Tuesday, 26 March 2013

"Sketchbooks tell a story because we perceive them page by page" -Rama Hughes


This will be maybe the last giveaway post I do! So just to get you up to speed I am giving away the book "An Illustrated Life", a book featuring sketchbook pages and interviews with over 30 illustrators, designers and artists. For this post I picked Rama Hughes. I picked Rama because I think just from looking at his work you can kind of tell how important his sketchbooks would be to his process. However in his interview he mentions having to be coaxed at certain periods into drawing in his sketchbooks,
" One day I realised that I hadn't drawn in my sketchbook for almost a year. I felt bad about it. Taking my brother's advice, I started working out projects in my sketchbook."



Rama says he used to sketch people in class in High School and that it became a hit with with them. Which is something I can relate to! He also mentions that when you are drawing from life there is a performance aspect.





This is actually something I enjoy, I like that when you sit down to sketch in a public space you become a part of the public spectacle. People prod you, kids ask you what you're doing, people try to inconspicuously look over your shoulder, and maybe sometimes become a part of the piece you're working on, and I kind of enjoy it. It's nice to read about other illustrators viewing drawing in their sketchbooks in this way.





"I have always enjoyed the experience of books: holding them, turning the pages, having them! As an object, a book is a beautiful thing. Sketchbooks tell a story because we perceive them page by page."

I firmly recommend a flip through Rama's website. Every illustration he's posted (and there's a lot) comes with a backstory, the one above in particular has some interesting philosophy behind it. And perhaps that's often what sketchbooks help us out with, not just working through an idea for a piece but working out our minds, they're like little peeks into how we creative people keep their minds in order.



So you want to see more now right? Because there's a hell of a lot more! I mean I've showed you the work of Robert Crumb and Butch Belair and even a snippet of James Jean but you guys, there's over 40 artists in this book right here! So if you want to win it you've got TWO DAYS LEFT. 
here's how you go about entering the giveaway:





send me a tweet with a link to this blog post, or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway, 

- leave a comment on this blog post or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway. 

-like my facebook page
(or any combination of those will get you entered in there too, feel free to do any of these more than once!)

YOU HAVE UNTIL THE 28TH. I will post the book out on the 29th (it has been pointed out to me that the 29th is Good Friday and thus after that it is Easter Weekend, if the post office is shut it will be posted out to the winner at some point next week).
 I'll be keeping you updated on the giveaway over on 
twitter and facebook, so keep your eyes peeled.

Good luck!

Friday, 22 March 2013

"This is both inspiring and terrifying" - Butch Belair


 For my next post featuring "An Illustrated Life" (which if you're new to the blog you should know I am holding a giveaway for) I wanted to pick an artist that was new to me. I was drawn to Butch Belair as I love a bit of really good reportage however after looking at his beautiful sketchbooks in this book I was shocked to discover that Butch Belair is actually an artist who specialises in very swish 3D images like the one above,


DSC01807.JPG

And is also a rather talented photographer. His sketchbooks however are admired widely and featured on websites like Urban Sketchers and Art Out There.

W'Burg Broadway 1.jpg

Butch's way of finding the right spot to sketch isn't one I've heard of illustrators doing before. He simply drives to his location and draws from the comforts of his car. To an illustrator who has drawn in rain and snow this idea seems genius...why don't we have sketchbook roadtrips? 

"There was a time, early on, when I felt drawing might be directly related to how I made a living. And there was more doubt and stress in involved in the process. it felt as it it were a requirement as opposed to a desire." His sketchbooks perhaps give him a welcome departure from the pressure of creating work that does relate to his main source of income. It's a different perspective (for me) and I find it pretty fascinating that it's not just illustrators that keep sketchbooks like this one.

(what did we learn from taking this picture..I have weird fingers and taking pictures in the lounge is a no no)

"Drawing in a book is part of the process. I feel a sense of permanence, substance and chronology that a loose collection of drawings might not give. This is both inspiring and terrifying." The idea of other people's sketchbooks being both inspiring and terrifying is something I can relate to!

Want to see more of Butch's work? You can keep an eye on his flickr but I have to say from my snoop around on the internet the book has some drawings of his that I can't seem to see anywhere else)



So wanna see more sketchbooks pages and words of wisdom from artists like Butch, Robert Crumb and over thirty other illustrators, designers and artists? Here's how


send me a tweet  with a link to this blog post, or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway, 

- leave a comment on this blog post or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway. 

-like my facebook page
(or any combination of those will get you entered in there too, feel free to do any of these more than once!)

YOU HAVE UNTIL THE 28TH. I will post the book out on the 29th (it has to be this date as after that I am leaving the country for quite some time!) I'll be keeping you updated on the giveaway over on twitter and facebook, so keep your eyes peeled.


Good luck!







Thursday, 21 March 2013

Priestess Miriam


This is Miriam. I've been hanging on to this piece for a while and I don't know why when this person was one of the most important people I met on trip across America last summer. My Tribe project doesn't just involve lost children, nomads and gutterpunks but also involves the kind of people I think would visit and help out the Tribe. Miriam here is a Voodoo Priestess (with her own wikipedia entry no less!). When I was in New Orleans there was a lot of tourist crap everywhere offering Voodoo readings and odd souvenirs but as someone with a huge interest in different types of religion I wanted to get to the bottom of Voodoo as best I could in a few days and it seemed the best way to do it would be to go to the Voodoo Spiritual Temple.



Priestess Miriam does offer professional readings in her alter here (for a price) but she is more than happy to sit down and have a chat with you. So that's what we did! 


She is an incredibly happy person! Keen to dispel the myths surrounding Voodoo and stressed to us that Voodoo is about seeing what is good for the planet and relating it to what is good for your own life, and vice versa. 


She is a little bit mad but full of curiosity, wonderful stories (she came to visit a witch friend in the UK once who was having trouble with her coven!) and warmth and she really had a profound effect on me. 


I just know that if she had knowledge of the Tribe she would want to sit around the camp fire with them and learn about why these kids left home and just totally support their way of life. 




Wednesday, 20 March 2013

"To Draw From Life is To Learn About Life - R.Crumb"


Giveaway Post number two focuses on the illustrative force that is Robert Crumb. Now unlike his contemporary Dan Clowes, who I wrote a speculative essay on showing how Dan Clowes' psyche isn't completely reflected in his comics as he is not cold, particularly judgmental or mad, Crumb on the other hand is quite different. You can see how he is just a bit mad in this incredible documentary about him and his personality is perfectly reflected in his harsh, often explicit but absolutely fascinating illustrations.
So why else should we care about Robert Crumb?
Well apart from the fact he's a figurehead for adult underground comics. 


He invented this dude, Mr Natural. Half guru spewing statements on how the world is going down the pan, half conman (he's great.)
The man has illustrated the book of Genesis for god's sake! (no pun intended)



 His sketchbooks are renowned for being collector's items and this book gives you a little snippet of them and a really inspiring interview with him.


"Learn to express your real, personal feelings...Look for the commonplace, the unnoticed details of everyday reality. To draw from life is to learn about life." - R.Crumb

Fancy winning this book filled to the brim sketchbook pages and interviews from incredible artists like Robert Crumb? Here's how:

send me a tweet  with a link to this blog post, or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway, 

- leave a comment on this blog post or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway. 

-like my facebook page
(or any combination of those will get you entered in there too, feel free to do any of these more than once!)

YOU HAVE UNTIL THE 28TH. I will post the book out on the 29th (it has to be this date as after that I am leaving the country for quite some time!) I'll be keeping you updated on the giveaway over on twitter and facebook, so keep your eyes peeled.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Tata Naka and Amelia's Magazine


I've always wanted to have a go at doing an illustration for Amelia's Magazine and so when the callout went up for illustrations of Tata Naka's super cool school colour inspired collection I jumped at the chance! These are a few of some of my favourite looks from their collection. (pictures taken from Vogue.co.uk and Amelia's Magazine.com) Those coats pictured above are probably my favourite part of the entire collection. I NEED that lilac, grey, yellow concoction!




So this was my little contribution, I hope you like it.



Tata Naka by Rebecca French
I'm trying to get more textures into my collage work and be a bit freer with the paper types I use but making something look like a fashion illustration didn't come easily. I hope can find opportunities to improve, but I am happy with this as I haven't done anything quite like it before : )
You can see it over on Amelia's Magazine here along with the rest of Amelia's feature on Tata Naka.

Monday, 18 March 2013

An Illustrated Life - GIVEAWAY!


I AM HOSTING A GIVEAWAY!
I received this book a long time ago and have long loved and admired it. I recently came into possession of another copy and I would like to give it away! This book contains sketchbook pages and interviews of 49 established illustrators, designers and artists and if you're anything like me, you love a good snoop through someone else's sketchbooks. I am going to share a few snippets from this book with you up until the 28th. That is when I will announce the winner!

All you have to do to enter is either
send me a tweet  with a link to this blog post, or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway,

- leave a comment on this blog post or indeed any other blog posts involving this giveaway.

-like my facebook page
(or any combination of those will get you entered in there too, feel free to do any of these more than once!)

YOU HAVE UNTIL THE 28TH. I will post the book out on the 29th (it has to be this date as after that I am leaving the country for quite some time!) I'll be keeping you updated on the giveaway over on twitter and facebook, so keep your eyes peeled.

So to give you a first taste of what to find inside "An Illustrated Life" I thought I'd show you a couple of pages I really like.


This one here is actually taken from the incomparable James Jean. (I would link you to his website but it appears to be down) A man who's sketchbooks are the reason why I thought I should really, really get stuck into reportage and make the most of my commutes.


I hope you guys like what you see and good luck!

I won!


So the other day I came home from a long day and yet another walk home in the snow and rain to a lovely little parcel. Wrapped in a map of Siberia no less!
It turns out I had won a prize in the very lovely Anna Jane Searle's giveaway!It was just the thing to brighten up a horrible cold evening.
 So wonderfully wrapped too! I've long admired Anna's work on flickr. In particular her incredible embroidery work

untitled


Embroidery Sample

I recently got twitter and got in contact with her and learnt that she also makes some lovely jewellery! And that's what I won! 

(I learnt photographing jewellery is no mean feet! Also that my macro setting isn't happy with me..)

The studs are my favourite. I wear a lot of stud earrings but always seem to be losing them. I will make sure I won't lose these though! Everything is so delicate and little, and I love how it all has Anna's handmade look to it. Ever so chuffed! If you want to see more of Anna's work you should check out her Etsy. I also really recommend a rifle through her blog, everything is so organic and nature filled, which is something I always like to see in an illustrator.

Monday, 11 March 2013

What I Wore 11/3/13

I have taken to collaging my outfit posts, because I have SO MUCH TIME so spend on this type of thing...I just really like doing them..and also I hope they will tide the ol' blog over while I get all my big picture posts scanned and edited  for the next few. Exciting news is on the way as well so stay put!
xxx

Monday, 4 March 2013

Get Stacie to Top Drawer 2013!






Friend, former classmate and talented illustrator Stacie Swift has been creating beautiful quirky products for quite some time now and now she needs your help! Stacie wants to take her business to the next level by having a stall at the incredible international trade fair Top Drawer 2013 but she needs your help to get there. Please please go and pledge on her Kickstarter and help her get there. She's been nothing short of fantastic to me in giving me advice on everything from printing to postage to giving my work some exposure!



I always liked her work in class so her success so far doesn't surprise me! 


I especially like her new pattern work.


She's doing well so far but there's still a little way to go for Stacie to reach her target and only 39 hours to go!! So please pledge and get Stacie to Top Drawer 2013!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Flower Power

(Praying Mantis by Becca Stadtlander)

So not long ago I explored my somewhat more girly side with my pretty Thank You cards and realised I have a fairly good flower knowledge and actually rather like them! Also mother's day (in the UK, it's different in the US right?) always seems to go hand in hand with flowers and floral patterns so I thought I'd share some of my favourite recent flowery finds with you.
floral watercolors by mackintosh via BloomingLeopold


old fashioned collages via collages

The Seed via Leung Kayin

via rosylittlethings (a really beautiful flower filled lifestyle blog)


Pakayla Biehn via booooooom

Sasha Prood's incredible typography via Sasha Prood

amazing print but also amazing things to do with washi tape via Miss Moss


The Queen of Pentacles via Teagan White
how amazing would it be to collage something like this? Your collage would have to look so spot on and realistic! via Miss Moss

Adam Hancher via Illustrated Ladies

Ok this last one is sort of a bonus or just for me...or y'know if your mum is super cool..and/or into taxidermy


These are by Cedric Laquieze and his blog is really worth checking out as he not only does crazy things like these but also some very delicate "fairies" made from moth wings and flowers.

Hope you find something here to inspire your mother's day gift this year
xxx