Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Christmas Exhibiton

I've been lagging, as usual.

I picked up my little book from the printers since I last blogged, and last Friday was the 3rd year Illustration Christmas Exhibition at Uni! it featured my class' work from the two projects we've done so far this year (so for me, that's the greetings cards/wrapping paper project, and the 'Bramble Wood' children's activity/colouring book).

Here I am, stood awkwardly at my table.

Was a pretty full-on week of building walls, painting, and hammering nails all over the place, but it was worth it in the end. Despite my part of the exhibition being crowded as Hell, I'm still pretty pleased with how it looked in the end :) It was all very exciting and weird to have new people and strangers looking through my work, though...

Everyone else's work was brilliant, here's a link if you want to see! There's just not enough space on this blog to show everything, but I wish I could because there was soooo much stuff I loved....

Purely for lulz, here's Steve (one of my tutors) acting slightly camp before the show.

I'll be blogging real soon about my Bramble Wood Activity Book! Just need to get some photos of it first...
If I don't post before Yule however, I wish you a lovely one!

Soph x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Illustration Friday ~ 'Stretch' (And Other Nice Things)

So I was minding my own business uploading a sloth to RedBubble when I suddenly discover this week's Illustration Friday theme; 'Stretch'... Well, here you have it.

Also I've (finally) started adding a few cards to my Etsy shop! So far the Caturday and Saturdog ones have been added, but I'll be uploading other original designs very soon! Great for any occasion you choose to celebrate. And I post all over the world :D

Below is an example of their extremely sexy quality. (Believe me, the card-stock is "to die for"... aaaand now I'll stop geeking out about them).

Next post I will be showing the first glimpse of my children's activity book! Picking it up from the printers on Thursday. Nerdy excitement ensues.

Soph x

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fox and Bear Public House

With thanks to Fox and Bear Public House in Washington for choosing my work as their Facebook banner this week! I am flattered. Such a cute name for a pub :)

Soph x

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

RedBubble & Buck 65

So recently I made an 'officiall' RedBubble account exclusively for my illustration, where people can buy my stuff on wonderful quality products such as prints, greetings cards, t-shirts, stickers and iPad/iPhone cases.

I love RedBubble, but I've never really used it for my illustration before, so I thought it was about time to make some of my work available. To the right is one of the greetings cards I have available so far. I should be updating regularly if I can avoid procrastination, so make sure to check in now and then (even better if you have an account, I always follow back)! I'll add a link to the sidebar, but you can also access my profile from here, to make life just that tiny bit easier.

In other (non-illustration or Uni-reated) news, I went to a show the other night. It was a spur of the moment thing when I realised Canadian alt-hip-hop artist Rich Terfry (AKA Buck 65) was playing in Manchester. I saw him a couple of years ago, and got the chance to meet him afterwards, but it was basically a crime that he was Holy Fuck's support act. This show was just him, in the funky surroundings of Manchester's Deaf Institute, rather than the dingy Manchester Academy, so it was much better.

Who I went with took little convincing to come with me, despite feeling like death warmed up (thanks again! ...You know who you is). I didn't take any photos or footage myself (which I'm kicking myself for because I was right at the front), but here's one of the videos my accomplice took - note at the start he is referring to hugging us after the show, because we put up with a smoke machine constantly farting into our faces ~

Anyway, the gig was fantastic. Funny, thought-provoking, and heart-breaking, often at the same time. I have no idea how one person can do so much on stage, and have the audience in the palm of their hand. I'm his polar opposite, but I'm completely in awe of his artistry (and spastic dance moves). It's not just the music that made it an exceptional evening - at times it felt as though I was watching a TED speech, or a SLAM Poetry reading (in a very good way). Rich is hilarious, prolific, interesting, and noticeably lovely to his fans. I got the hug, and he even followed me on Twitter and said he liked my blog. Best night in a looooong time :)

Soph x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Digitally Embroidered Monkey of Love

Tried something new recently at Uni... digital embroidery!

I had this unused scribbly drawing in my sketchbook that I really liked. He was an idea for a Valentine's Day card before I went all weird and came up with unusual occasions, but I just had to use him for something because just look at his face. So, I did my most hated thing ever and used a Mac, and after painstakingly learning the pen tool on Illustrator, I took my doodle down to the Digital Printing room at Uni, learned the embroidery software, and came out with a fit little stitchy monkey THAT I CANNOT STOP STARING AT, and also touching.

So, what I learned from my experience in the print room was that digital embroidery machines basically use magic to transfer your (perhaps crappy) doodles into stitched fabric made of win. Now all I need to do is find a practical use for this in one of my projects...

And speaking of projects, just to let you know my next one is going to be a children's activity book based on a woodland theme. I don't know a lot more than that at this point, but what I do know is that Slewfoot the Grizzly Bear will most likely make a sly appearance.

Thanks for visiting!

Soph x

Monday, 29 October 2012

Wrapping & Card Project

Just some images of the illustrations I did for my most recent project (seeing as the last photos I posted of the actual cards came out so rubbishly!).

I ended up doing most of the work for Caturday and Saturdog - the most adorable of occasions inspired by the Internet. Also produced some cards and wrapping for Talk Like A Pirate Day, as well as some rather condescending cards featuring my new character - Slewfoot the 'bear' (some slightly naughty words on those cards, so watch out if you are or have a child).

Caturday & Saturdog mascots.

Talk Like A Pirate Day cards & wrapping paper. Sorry for the small images, I am trying to prevent pirates from stealing my, um, design booty...?

My initial takes on Caturday & Saturdog, in card form.

Caturdays above, Saturdogs below.

Aaaaand finally, my Slewfoot cards.

Rather happy with a few of these designs, so much so that some of which may end up in my Etsy Shop (link to the right) before long. I hope you like :)

Soph x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

'Peter & The Wolf' Macmillan Project

The hand-drawn dummy book.
I've not really posted any of my illustration work in a while, so here's a little update on one of the Uni projects I've been working on recently!

We had to work on a children's book for the Macmillan Children's Book Competition, and I chose to re-work the idea I had last year about creating a modern take on the folk tale 'Peter and The Wolf'. The requirements were that we had to make an actual 32-page dummy book of the story, and work up four double page spreads into final artworks.

The above painting is mainly just a media experiment I did after finishing my four final artworks, because I wasn't entirely happy with the materials I used in them. I'm still trying to find a method of adding colour that I'm happy with. I kind of liked how this experiment turned out, despite having a long way to go until I'll be totally happy with my technique. The picture to the right is an example of me trying out digital colouring on the front cover of my dummy book, and I'm still not convinced this is the best way of working for me... it's something I have to work on, anyway! ^-^

It's easily been my favourite brief this year, and despite it being a lot of work I think I got a lot out of it. I didn't realise the amount of careful decision-making children's book illustrators go through when it comes to stylization and composition, and after going through the process myself, I have a new-found respect for people like Quentin Blake and Axel Scheffler, who make it look so easy... 

I had a lot of fun with it though, and now I'm aware of how much commitment making a children's book takes, I feel a little more confident in jumping into another project like this maybe over Summer, and I'm definitely going to be making more children's books in the future.

Anyway, here are
my favourite double-page spreads made into my four final artworks...

My character design for Peter has changed quite a bit since doing these, but I'm still happy enough with how he looks here. Any comments and critiques would be very much appreciated!

Soph x

Friday, 27 January 2012

Editorial Project & Fake Polaroids

Last week at Uni, we were introduced to the fast-paced world of editorial illustration. We were emailed an article and brief at the start of each day, and had to complete a rough by the end of it... Needless to say it was a bit daunting! Having to think so fast to come up with a solid idea is not something I was used to. It went okay though. I think you get used to working fast if you're required to, and I discovered I quite enjoy working quickly, which can't be a bad thing. We had to work up three of our roughs into final illustrations, and today I've pretty much finished them - so here they are! ^-^

'You May Scoff'

Le 'Scoff' Rough.
Article was about alternative methods of weight-loss, and mentioned studies done on mice about the issue. Apparently, sleeping a lot and not stressing over losing weight is a proven technique (sounds rather manageable to me too, to be honest).

(Side note - I hope to jeebus the skinny mouse doesn't look too much like a ferret...? D:)

'How To Maximize Your Memory'

Le 'Memory' Rough.
Article was on techniques used to improve your memory. Apparently someone managed to memorize five packs of playing cards by re-walking his everyday route around London in his mind, and attaching each card to a place on his travels. 

I can vouch for this technique in particular, actually -
it helped a lot in college when I used it to memorize things like dates of treaties and Mussolini's birthday in European History. 

'Bringing It All Back Home'

This article was more like a sort of guide-book aimed at helping struggling people, which was featured in the Big Issue. I chose the theme of a map, to help take the reader where they want to get to. That sort of thing, blah blah, etc.

I do hope you like these. I took a chance using pretty much the same materials on all three illustrations - pencil, pencil crayon, and watercolours (apparently, the most hated medium by one of my tutors... eep!) So any e-critique would be most helpful, useful, and welcome :3

My rather odd-looking new camera <3

On a completely different note, I bought myself a new camera the other day! I already have a digital camera, which I love and use all the time, but I discovered that Fujifilm have brought out a new analogue that takes Polaroid-type images. I couldn't believe it, I thought instant photography was a thing of the past, so I had to get one (if only to re-live my childhood and waste loads of expensive film). 

It arrived the other day, but I have yet to use it. Still deciding what to photograph first. Although, I did find a digital program called Poladroid, that turns digital images into Polaroid-lookie-likeys... Here's a few examples of the fun that is to be had using Poladroid (me/long hair, cuteolotls, Big Drawing). Perhaps I'll experiment with that first, in an attempt to save as much real film as possible.

Soph x