I’ve just had a month of Make Art That Sells Editorial course and it’s been a lot of fun. There is something about Mats and being part of a community that makes the process really addictive and reassuring. There are so many fantastic artists that take part, many of them professional and resented by top agent Lilla Rogers herself. It makes me feel part of something and there is a lot of inspiration!
Editorial illustration covers all the images you see in magazines and newspapers and can provide interesting and challenging work. I really enjoyed learning some techniques on how to break down the conceptual process and also different ways of presenting your work.
I now feel empowered to start building my portfolio and start approaching editors. It’s going to take a little while, but at least I know the steps now. I’m really interested in areas such as spirituality, wellness and the environment and want to focus on those topics.
I was listening to the Kelly Trach podcast the other day, which is generally about finances (something that I am constantly having to adjust my mindset about) and was surprised to hear a conversation about manifesting and moon phases. It was totally my kind of thing and so affirming.
While Kelly Trach was talking to Jordanna Levin about raising your self worth they discussed how everything in nature has an active phase and a resting phase. You can see this in terms of the waxing and waning moon and also the inhale and exhale of the breath.
It reminded me of how important it is to stop with all the constant effort and how to focus on your own vibration. I think that sometimes we push beyond what is healthy in an attempt to be more successful. We learn from an early age that you have to try hard and that hard work is rewarded.
It’s a tricky mindset to shift, but I do know that art is energy and if you are in a bad mood then your art will have some of that vibration in it. I haven’t felt very well this month - I have been getting the same cough and cold over and over and so the permission I felt to let go was huge. It felt so life affirming to know that rest is part of the process and that I should embrace it rather than just try to push through the resistance.
I’ve been watching She’s Gotta Have it on Netflix - a Spike Lee joint - and loving this tale of a black female artist in Brooklyn. Nola Darling is such a strong character, but I love her passion for her art and culture. I love the music and how real it feels. It’s so good to see stories about artists living in the real world and the struggles they face in terms of authenticity and surviving. None of it is easy!
The struggle is worthwhile though. More and more I am finding the world to be such an amazing place. There is so much that makes me despair, but I feel that my work is not to go there, but to focus on things that bring hope and magic to the world.
I’m looking forward to learning more about myself as I let go and open up to the opportunities that the universe has waiting for me.
Much love. 💕
I got some screenprinting done and printed the last two unicorn t-shirts! I then destroyed my screen and am thinking about what design to do next....
i really enjoy taking photos of my products! It does take a bit of setting up, but I feel as though I have got the hang of it now!
I’m enjoying doing a bit of watercolour painting too. There is something about how the paint and water work together that you just can’t create digitally -yet!
This is going to be a somewhat random blog post into my thought processes! If you follow me on Facebook you might remember me posting about how I had to finish a picture before I could move onto my next project.
I also said that the same followed for books and Netflix... That is all fine and good, but some series can go on for 8 seasons and that’s like entering another world for a substantial time.
Anyway, my Netflix addiction is not quite the issue, it’s more about the thought that I have to do something without fully questioning i
So I decided to flip the thought and mix things up a bit. I COULD watch other things! I stopped watching Teen Wolf and started watching The Order. I could work on other projects! It was pretty liberating and energetically freeing. I could focus on where/what I most wanted without feeling obligated to carry on with something past the initial sense of enjoyment.
This initial thought flip proved so successful that I decided to flip lots of thoughts around, especially those ones that began ‘I always do this...’ or ‘I’m this sort of person’ or ‘I would never do that’.
It’s been actually very revealing on a personal level. A lot of thoughts can be quite negative or limiting and simply changing the script around helps to allow for something new to come in.
For example you might think to yourself ‘I always have a biscuit with my cup of tea’ you could flip it and say to yourself ‘I never have a biscuit with my tea’. (Notice the extremely safe example I am using!) How does this new statement make you feel? You might feel angry, you might feel disappointed... I just think it’s interesting to notice your level of attachment/alignment to the statements and then work with it.
You don’t have to act on every flip. You might need a little time to renegotiate. Eg ‘I sometimes have a biscuit with my cup of tea.’
Am I writing bollocks here? Anyway, it’s what I have been doing and finding the results interesting. It’s like trying a new version of yourself on for size. You don’t have to keep the new thought, just see how it feels.
There is something about hares that I have always seen as somewhat magical - indeed I have used one as part of my logo because of that association. I was drawn to use it in my work because of the hare’s connection with the moon, but I didn’t realise quite how interlinked the hare was.
The hare is a totem animal for the moon goddesses, Freyja, Hecate and and Holda and also the goddess Ostara is said to have the head and shoulders of a hare.
Ostara is another name for the Spring Equinox and the hare has become intertwined with this season of renewed fertility.
The hare is also seen as a positive sign and is even associated with immortality due to its strong connection to the moon which disappears from view and then appears to be reborn every night.
This link has even given rise to tales of witches shapeshifting into the form of a hare and running wild under the light of the moon.
No wonder hares have such power to enchant and spark the imagination.
My lino prints will be available at Know Thy Self, Falmouth, Cornwall, as well as a range of artists work as part of an evolving exhibition celebrating the hare and the 40th anniversary of Kit Williams Masquerade.
I have needed some professional photos for some time now and I kept losing the gumption to do anything about it.
I procrastinated quite a lot by reading plenty of photography ‘how to’s’ and watching advice on YouTube. This was all very well and certainly upped my game, but I knew I was still missing a certain something .
I didn’t really know the next step forward and it wasn’t until Emma Griffin of Emma Griffin Photography sent me a message In January that I decided to go for it.
I had been following Emma on Facebook and loving her creative work and had entered a couple of her Facebook giveaways in the hope that maybe I could win a photoshoot.
This was not to be, but instead she offered me a really good deal the very day after I had exclaimed that I ‘really needed to get some professional photos done’ to my family!
Synchronicity won the day!
I had been looking forward to the shoot for weeks and then started to feel the fear. It wasn’t so much about having the photos taken, but more the question of what if I get all this done and it doesn’t work for me?
What if this thing that I had been saying had been holding me back was no longer shown to be the case? That is, it wasn’t my photos after all, but simply me?
Well, I find the mind to be a funny thing sometimes and there are definitely occasions to turn the thoughts off. After all my mind had quite rationally got me into this before it started with the negative talk. So, I just ignored that and carried on.
The actual photo shoot.
Emma was very lovely and curious about my work, putting me at ease and taking charge of the situation.
She obviously knows what she is doing, not only in terms of taking the photos themselves but also content creation and storytelling.
Emma had me pulling out my lino prints, iPad illustrations , and showing her how and where I work. She took photos of me with my screen printing screens as well as my lino cutting tools.
My main concern was to get some shots of my t-shirts as I really wanted to get them out into the world some more. It’s a little awkward modelling your own work, but Emma directed me pretty well and I am delighted with the images.
I feel as though she captured my energy really well and now I can use them on my about page (check it out).
Emma worked really quickly and was finished at my house in about an hour. She took some of my work home with her in order to take some flat lays and then she had the images sent back to me the next day! I thought that was pretty awesome and it’s great when you are excited to see the results.
She sent me 60 photos in total ranging from flat lays of my work to story shots and portraits. All in all a very useful package that I can now distribute through my Etsy and social media plus any other marketing opportunities.
I think that nowadays this is a solid investment for any creative. I don’t expect a sudden flood of interest in my work, but just from a personal sense of self I feel as though I am taking myself more seriously.
It’s a little crazy that as a creative we tend to hold ourselves back the most and self belief is such a big part of this. I certainly feel the fear with each step forwards, but I also feel the joy of creating and sharing and this makes it all rather exciting!
Anyway, I hope this might have given you some insight into the process and maybe inspired you to go for it yourself!
I’d love to know what you think of my pics and please check out more of Emma Griffin’s work.
I have been taking part in something called Winter School, an online class by Make It in Design and I thought you might like to know a little more.
Winter School takes place over a month and consists of two main briefs which are given to you at the beginning and middle of the course. Their are three main tracks that you can sign up for, ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’.
I didn’t really know what to sign up for so I thought that intermediate would be a safe bet! I’m pleased I did purely from the standpoint of the briefs on that track which have really appealed to me.
My briefs have been ‘celestial ‘ and ‘animal attraction’ and for each brief you get a pdf/iBook full of trend ideas and designers to research for further inspiration.
You get plenty of content to get you going and access to an active Facebook group full of talented and aspiring designers. It’s great to see everyone’s unique take on the briefs and it spurs you on to want to create and contribute to the group.
It’s a great space to ask questions, get feedback and feel part of a community. You also get to see what people are creating on the other ‘tracks’ and it seems that the advanced requires a bit more technical ability, whereas the beginners seems a lot more playful.
In between the briefs you also get challenges/activities to help shake up your art practice and further generate ideas. It’s up to you whether you want to do this or not, but if you share your work then you can win access to other courses.
To be honest, I have felt so busy getting to grips with the workload and content, that these extra opportunities have slipped me by. However if you upload your work from both briefs to the galleries then you could win a place on ‘Module 2 - Creating your Professional Identity’ if you are lucky enough to be picked from the draw.
The other main prize is to have fabric and gift wrap printed with your design on which would be hugely exciting! There are three prizes for those on my track and winners are picked by Fashion Formula - - https://www.fashion-formula.com/ a global print on demand company.
Would I recommend this course? Yes! It’s been brilliant! I love getting on trend briefs and being part of the community. The thought of winning something is also appealing and you never know who might see your work when the galleries get shared.
Make it in Design was founded by Beth Kempton and Rachael Taylor. I have been aware of Beth Kempton for some time because of her work with agent Lilla Rogers and Make art That Sells - I have also read her book Freedom Seeker which is wonderful and so I had faith that this course would be worth doing.
Rachael Taylor is an internationally renowned designer with over 10 years in the business and so has a wealth of knowledge! She also joins in on the Facebook page and it is great to get words of encouragement from her!
I had been planning on updating my logo and clarifying my ‘brand’ for quite some time, but it’s a lot easier to design for other people.
Other businesses are generally quite clearly defined. They know what they have to sell and who their target audience is. As an artist though, you are encouraged to be authentic to yourself. To draw from your uniqueness, that part of you that has been shaped by your views and experiences.
With something as nebulous as a sense of self, it is pretty challenging because you are always changing and evolving.
My art practice is also a little bit sprawling! I am predominantly a digital artist, with a love of illustration, pattern design, graphic design, with a more traditional love of lino printing and screen printing.
I put my work on mugs, t-shirts, bags and even necklaces!
I felt a little lost with this and so I kept putting it off.
I bought a book called Style my Brand by Fiona Humberstone, which really helped me to get a bit more focused. There was a section that made you break your brand down into a season, with personality traits that went with each one.
I read though this MANY times! Changing my mind about my season nearly every time. Was I more spring or summer? Was I autumn with a touch of spring, or was I summer with wintry undertones? My indecisiveness shone pretty strongly at this time.
I managed to hone it down to certain aspects that were really important to me and that helped me to decide on colours and fonts. (I fell predominantly into a spring personality brand with a touch of autumn in case you are curious)
It was important to me that my logo still retained a sense of magic and I decided on the hare as it had been with me since I started Glitter and Earth, plus it represented the printmaking aspect of my work.
I like the freshness of my new look and feel as though it works for me as well as having the capacity to grow with my business.
I also learned to draw the line between me and my brand. Of course a lot of myself and my personality is reflected in my work, but these elements can obviously never be the total of who I am.
I think that just because I even thought that, it shows how intertwined and enmeshed I was as an artist with my work. It definitely took some time to weed through the differences but it’s been an interesting journey.
I feel very thankful to spend so much time creating and I hope that my business continues to flourish with this new look.
Thank you for following my journey! I’d love to hear from you, even it’s just a simple hi - it really means a lot to me.
My word of 2018 was the word ‘magic’. I said that I would live by the phases of the moon and learn to be more connected to the energy of nature. Over the course of the year I did this, but I found that I was easily knocked off course.
Life has a way of taking over and often I would find myself searching to find my way back to where I wanted to be.
For one thing it was easy to lose track of which phase the moon was in. Cloudy skies, an unrisen moon and early nights often meant that I had to turn to Google for this information rather than looking up at the sky.
Even if I did know the phase of the moon, it didn’t always mean that I would synchronise my actions with the prevailing energy. However it did provide me with a previously unknown structure by which to perceive the world. The passage of time travelled differently.
There are moments in my life when I call upon the universe to show me things and I look for signs as to what I should be doing or simply as a way to feel in communication with a power that is beyond my day to day life.
I had forgotten that I had asked this when I was driving home at twilight and I found myself staring at a bird, wondering what it was. As it came closer and closer into focus I saw that it was a barn owl and my pleasure at seeing it was cut short as flew into my windshield and glanced off.
I watched it out of my rear view mirror flying away, wondering whether I should try to find it and make sure that it was okay. It wasn’t safe for me to turn round though and my forehead ached as though I had hit my windscreen too. Tears came and I wondered what that sign meant.
It didn’t take too long to find out, but that is not my story to tell. Needless to say it wasn’t a good omen and the following week made me dig deep in terms of resilience and faith.
Not long after the owl incident, I came across a slow worm in the road. It was by a piece of rubber and it was only because I felt nudged to look closer that I realised what it was. Barely alive it seemed. It lifted its head as I picked it up and put it in the grass.
I have no idea whether it would survive but curious again to the meaning of such an encounter I looked up the symbolism of snakes. The word ‘transformation’ struck a chord with me and events seemed to be leading me in that direction.
On Christmas morning, while everyone was still asleep, I heard an owl hooting so clearly that I nearly got out of bed to go and find it. In the 17 years that I have lived here I have never heard an owl before and it felt reassuring, as though the owl was letting me know that things would be okay.
When writing blogs and updating social media there is always the temptation to put a happy spin on things. The same is true in real life too, the standard response of ‘I’m fine’ is so much easier than explaining why things aren’t . At a time when the cultural emphasis is on light and joy I have felt the darkness keenly.
I found myself casting a spell. I used ivy for resilience, Rosemary for health, rose quartz for love and some sea shells to anchor me to the ocean - a part of myself that knows peace and joy. I carry the energy around with me like a secret and it keeps me strong.
The ‘magic’ that I was searching for in this year showed up in a way that was far deeper than I expected and I think that this is a sign of what’s to come.
I’m pretty sure that this will manifest itself in my art too. I want to find strength and resilience and a smooth path into the next phase of my life. I feel transformation ahead.....
It is that time of year when I get particularly reflective and more than anything I tend to look at my art and wonder what will come next.
Unexpectedly my time at the Endless Spiral will not be for much longer despite really enjoying my time in the shop. The owner has decided to move on and so I will be there until 9th January.
It’s been a fun time and it’s pretty educational seeing my work in a retail setting. I now understand the need for consistency and collections!
I had no idea how satisfying it would be to play around with window displays, not to mention do lots of glass painting.
As a bit of a solitary artist it was also lovely to have a more social side to my work and maybe this is something that I will come back to again in the future.
I am really grateful to Dasa Filipova for giving me this opportunity and lots of creative freedom. She has been amazing - letting me move and change things around!
Although I am pretty sad about this, I am excited about starting an online class ‘Winter School’ by Make it in Design in the beginning of the New Year. This will provide inspiration and prompts to generate work by. It will provide a bit of focus and distraction from the grey days of January.
I shall fill my days with colourful art!
I have also signed up to Editorial Illustration by Make art that Sells which will start in May. I really like the idea of editorial illustration as it could provide some interesting briefs to work to.
I’m pretty happy generating my own work, but there is something special about working with a client on a project and even better when it gets used in the real world. I love that feeling!
I have had some great projects this year.
I feel very lucky to be able to do what I love. I hope this continues for me in 2019. Thank you for sharing this with me.