I thought it was about time I started a little monthly journal as a bit of a behind-the-scenes of our daily business lives. I know I love to see inside other creators’ sketchbooks, see the thumbnails and the process, the messy studios and the people and lives behind the brand. So here we go, our first monthly round up: February 2021 with a bit of January thrown in!
I’ve been working on illustrations for a new collection this month with a British Wildlife theme. I don't have all the British animals in our ranges yet as I really love doing the exotic ones like the big cats and colourful jungle foliage, but I've adored having a go at foxes and badgers for this.
I’m not one to tactically keep a project secret until it’s launch date, I much prefer showing artwork as it's growing and developing. I'd hoped to have the range finished by now, but other things have kept cropping up, and I often suffer with a bit of a dip in inspiration when I'm half way through a collection which isn't ideal. So here's where I'm at so far... my favourite finished design is the moony nighttime fox who you can see a tiny snippet of in the bottom corner of my Procreate sketches below. Not all these illustrations will make the cut... my Mum said the badgers below look more like hedgehogs and a few people have affectionately referred to them as badgehogs 😅
I also learned how to create a repeat pattern in Photoshop this month… I’ve only been a professional illustrator for 5 years 🙄! It was like a brain boggling puzzle to start with but it’s very satisfying seeing the tiles clunk together. I’m excited for all the surface patterny possibilities to come. This repeat will be used as part of a larger project I'm still working on and may or may not involve leopards! I LOVE painting leopards!
Thumb-nailing at the very beginning of a project is my absolute favourite part of the design process (except the research stage) and I always think there’s something a big magic about the first scribbles. I sometimes use a pencil and paper and sometimes use Procreate for this. Once I've got a bit of a plan, I like to procrastinate for a good long while before getting going on the painting of the artwork assets, which I really enjoy when I finally get on with it. I'm using more and more digital editing these days to create the final design. I used Photoshop to place all my assets into a square tile which repeats.
I received a very special invitation in the post for the wedding of one of my oldest friends in the world. I'd designed this for Natalie last year but I didn't check my postbox for about two months so only just found it!
In other very happy news, our lovely Yaz who is part of our operations team has welcomed a baby boy into the world. We can't wait to cuddle baby Ethan once all the restrictions ease up, he looks very cuddly from the photos we've seen 🥰.
Here are a few other photos that capture our February!