It’s my first afternoon back in the studio after my favourite trade show so far!! Harrogate is a pretty perfect part of the country and the show itself is renowned for being the most social and laid back of the year so it wasn’t a difficult decision deciding to exhibit there. Me and my trusty side-kick Mum headed up to Yorkshire last Friday, which corresponded perfectly with schools ending and Friday afternoon rush hour… so after a 10 hour journey in second gear we arrived at our beautiful B&B. Our host Jo is a Landscape Gardener and fellow rainbow-enthusiast so we immediately felt very comfortable in her quirky home. I love having a trade show to work towards and it’s the perfect opportunity to launch or debut a new range! Setting up went surprisingly smoothly – probably due to the fact we were surrounded by Publishers more common sense than us… (my ever-wonderful Agent Ian saving the day with his step ladder and nifty hand drill!)
I had three new ranges ready for Harrogate as well as 12 new Christmas designs – 48 new card designs in total and they went down well with the animal-lovers 😀 It was also the debut of my limited edition fine art giclee prints which will soon be available to buy from several galleries around the country and here on my website too! It was awesome to catch up with lots of my current stockists and to meet so many wonderful newbies! It was roasting hot weather for the whole week so there was plenty of opportunity for Pimms on the lawns/dying a slow, sweaty death inside the halls.
Next show on the cards is Top Drawer!! A bit closer to home for me so hopefully less time in the M25 car park!
Well I just popped myself off to beautiful Croatia on a little island-hopping and beach-bumming adventure with my bestest pal and number one plumpy pudding, Laura, and a few other lovely ladies that I got to know whilst away! We catamaraned between three islands, Hvar, Korcula and Brac and also tried our hand at captaining a boat across to some more remote islands for a little day trip as well!
I spent a carefree ten days bobbing around in the clearest, turquoisest sea you could possibly dream of, forcing stray cats to cuddle me, eating as much pizza and as few vegetables as I could get my hands on/off and painting pictures of boats and terra-cotta topped houses.
Now that I’m back Harrogate is very quickly approaching which I’m very excited for!!! And as usual I’m running to catch up!! So it’s Christmas in my studio this weekend with lots of new designs that’ll be ready in a few weeeeklings including these cutiepatooties below.
I’ve got myself a coooooooole new stoodio pad and I just flipping love it!!! Not only is it in my favourite city in the world but it is on my favourite street in the world next to my favourite coffee shop… you guessed it…. in the world. No. 19 Bond Street, Brighton is a pretty snazzy address don’t ya fink??
It is one of the rickety old buildings in the North Laines and I’m on the First Floor just above this old school little Tobacconist that I have to walk through to reach the upstairs and my desk is definitely sloping down hill and the window is so big you can literally stick your legs out and sit on the sill and there is a big danger I will spend many hours of the working day people-watching and eves-dropping! Not to mention eating, drinking and shopping!!! There is the best pick ‘n’ mix shop one laine along and I’m having to lay down some serious ground-rules so that I don’t eat all the food in the world every day of the week. I’ve got two awesome studio pals that I’m sharing with as well. Phil is a graphic-designer/web-designer/illustrator-but-mostly-on-the-computer and Dean is a coding genius/technical-wizard-creating-things-I-can’t-get-my-head-round so between the three of us we actually have almost all the skills required to tackle most commercial design briefs 😀
But seriously, with so much inspiration all around me I’m only realising now what a positive impact working in a bustling, creative city will have on my work! I’ve got several mood-boards developing with ideas for new and different ranges that I don’t think I’d have been open to if I wasn’t surrounded by weird and wonderful people, quirky architecture and shops and galleries crammed full of on-trend work.
It’s amazing to be back in the habit of location-drawing, which is one of my absolute favourite things to do and I often spend an hour or so in the middle of the day sat on a street corner with my homemade sketchbook and very nifty water-brush-pen-thing (so that you don’t need a water pot) drawing anything that catches my eye. In fact I’ve had some pretty interesting conversations during these sessions – including being interviewed and video-d about my political opinion on the Referendum, a discussion about watercolour techniques (about which I know next-to-nothing) and I even had a lovely homeless man come and draw with me for a really enjoyable half an hour!! I find reportage drawing one of the most important practises as an Illustrator!! It’s one of the only opportunities I have to really not care about the outcome and just experiment with different ways of working! It reminds me every time how much I love to draw! Here are a couple that are particularly rubbish but represent a very happy and carefree 10 minutes of my life.
My home-studio is now a dedicated warehouse and packing space which works out well with all the new designs that are currently at the printer and will need some extra shelving to accommodate them!! I’m also finally sorting out a range of prints to launch very soon that will be available to buy from my website and also for wholesale ordering! Keep ya eyes peeled!
FINAL THING – I’m busy prepping for my next trade show: Home and Gift, Harrogate!! COME!!! 🙂