Monday, 11 May 2015

Nocturnal Animals Project with Class 4!

I was contacted the other day by a lovely primary school teacher named Marion. She was researching artists for her class (Class 4 from Greatstone Primary School in Kent - all age 6 at minute) to study within their 'nocturnal animals' project, and asked if they could ask me some questions about my Nocturnal Animals of the Forest illustration ~

Of course, I was completely flattered and thought it was the cutest idea ever, so I agreed. The questions were brill - they ranged from 'how long have you been drawing?' and 'what were your best lessons at school?' to even more delightful ones; 'are those possums or badgers in your drawing?' and 'how did you draw bats upside down?', which I was more than happy to answer.

Also, to my surprise, they children spent an hour of their day drawing using white pencil on black sugar paper, in my style! I was taken aback by how great their drawings were - I think there's certainly some budding illustrators in Class 4 (thanks again guys, you really made my day!)

I was a little overwhelmed to see they'd even made a display featuring a photo of me and my original artwork. Just lovely! Hope you like the photos :)

Soph x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Little Update & Some Items of Note in My Studio

Hello lovely blog readers! I hope you're all well?

After being on a bit of a hiatus from blogging, I'm hoping to be updating a lot more from now on. I can now legitimately call myself a full-time freelance illustrator (yes, it's terrifying), and I'm working entirely from home now so there's no excuse to neglect my blog any longer. I stopped freelancing on a regular basis for Hallmark in September last year (I think) due to budget cuts. Since then, I've been lucky enough to find freelance work with a few different companies, and have focused on commissions and selling through my Etsy shop again, which is great (thanks to everyone who has bought things recently - you're the absolute best!). I've had time to work on personal projects too, update my website, and add to my online shops (Redbubble, Society6, Teepublic... the list goes on. They're all amazing companies, keeping me afloat and being lovely about it, too). Even on quiet days with no freelance work, there's always something to do, and the best part about it is that I find it so fun!

Also, I've really felt like blogging more recently. Things feel like they're starting to piece together, and while it's hard at times, I feel so, so lucky that I'm able to be doing what I've wanted for so long - actually be a freelance illustrator. It seems to be working for me at the minute, and that's exciting. I'm currently working on a top-secret project involving a children's book! I wish I could share more about it - it's terribly exciting for me and so difficult to keep quiet about it. Sigh.

Oh well, as an introduction to my new freelancing and oft-blogging self (I even have a daily diary now and can pencil blogging in - this stuff's serious) I've drawn a silly little sketchbook-style illustration of some items of note that reside in my 'studio' (yes, it also doubles as my bedroom for now, but that will be changing soon too. Another top-secret update that I should be able to discuss shortly)...

Hope you like! If you enjoyed this illo, do let me know. Or if there's anything you'd like me to blog about in particular, feel free to leave a little comment :)

Soph x

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Illustration Friday ~ "Wiggle"

First Illustration Friday post in aaaages! Had to do it, as 'wiggle' is one of my favourite words.

Dancing Turtles

They might look a bit like the Ninja Turtles, but I was inspired by this amazing video to draw some dancing turtles ~

Work in progress with some more sketches ~

Hope you like!

Soph x

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Pencil Pet Portraits & Some Sad News

I've had loads of commissions lately for portraits of people's pets! I just love doing them. Hearing about each of their little personalities and what makes them unique is just wonderful ~ they're definitely one of my favourite commissions to get! Below is a select few of the little cuties I've had the pleasure of capturing over the last few months ~

If you'd like your own pencil pet portrait, just visit my Etsy shop :)

Speaking of wonderfully unique pets, my best friend of 15 and a half years, Millie the border collie, passed away a couple of weeks ago. It was really tough, and the house just doesn't feel the same since she left. There will never be another dog like her - she was so smart, and sweet. She even used to smile, and didn't really seem like just a dog - she was so much more than that. Ah, Millie... I miss you.

Soph x

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Hello 2015 & What I Did in Iceland

Yes, I know I'm very late with this, but here we go... Happy new year everyone! I have a few updates since I last posted, so here's the first... In December, I went on a plane for the first time in my LIFE, and traveled to Iceland for a Christmassy break. A few people have been asking about it, so here it is.

View from Hallgrimskirkja church. You can see my hotel from here!!

Iceland was lovely. I stayed in the city centre of Reykjavik, right near the Hallgrimskirkja church (which has an amazing view from the top) and close to so many ace cafes and lovely shops. I was only there a few days, and wish I'd had time to visit them all! I did spend a day buying gifts and checking out the shops - there were so many tasteful gifts to bring back, and I don't even want to think about what I spent. The city was utterly adorable, all the buildings were colourful and cute, and I didn't see one tacky Christmas light. Every light I saw was tasteful and pretty, which was nice, and lots of the houses looked like gingerbread men lived there. Oh, and while I was there, the entire city was covered in snow! I even saw diamond dust one morning (as I was making my way to the hotel's breakfast buffet, oh yeah), which I'd been wanting to see for ages. I also saw the aurora borealis (or northern lights to people from t'North, like me), and that was what I expected - magical. I went on a tour of the Golden Circle, which included seeing the massive Gulfoss waterfall and Geysir, meeting some cutie horses in the middle of nowhere, walking the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and talking to the tour guide about trolls. I even met some crazy geese on a frozen pond, in the middle of the city. I wish I'd brought some bread for them, but they seemed to like me anyway. I bought a lopapeysa. I tried skyr. I listened to a Chinese tour guide sing opera on a bus at night, for no reason (she was pretty good). I visited the Phallological Museum (also known as the Penis Museum). That was crazy. I clambered about the snowy city of Reykjavik for four days, like nobody's business. It was well ace. Apart from, of course, the failed attempt at whale watching. That was the one negative part of my journey - no whales were spotted that day, but I did discover I get seasick pretty easily. And so do lots of other tourists. Horrific. But yes, Iceland is a little gem, and I'd certainly recommend. Just make sure you have lots of layers on beforehand, it got a bit chilly at times.

Here's more holiday snapz ~

Looking chilly by a waterfall (this one was a lot smaller than Gulfoss)
The Lights!!

Typical Icelandic wall
Original Coca-cola lorry
Friendly birdies on the last night
The Sun Voyager sculpture!
I didn't even slip here (I did near Geysir though, of course)
dat Geysir tho
Fluffy Icelandic horses that my mum would have adored
Lookin' froz'd on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
A sample of colourful Reykjavik!
Hallgrimskirkja - the pretty church outside the hotel

Since I got back, Christmas has come and gone, and I'm now back to work! (And also playing lots of Nintendo). Looking forward to this year, I have a good feeling about it. I'm going back to Uni in September to do an MA in Children's Book Illustration, so I especially can't wait for that! Lots of new work in the pipeline, so make sure you follow me on facebook to keep up to date!

Thanks for stopping by,

Soph x