Artist Crush: Andrea Lauren

I first came across this amazing lady on Spoonflower, falling in love with her geometric, animal inspired patterns.

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Andrea Lauren’s Llama print

But what I love most are her intricate linocut prints! They’re simply gorgeous, I love the way she layers colours, and she gives a great insight into her process through her Instagram pictures.

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Andrea Lauren print

Isn’t that gorgeous?! It certainly makes me want to try my own hand at linocut, though I think it will take me quite some time before I can create something this detailed!

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Andrea Lauren print

Check out more of her work at http://www.inkprintrepeat.com/

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Fun with Brush Pens

I have wireless again!!! The last few internet-less weeks have felt looooong – but I guess it did give me time to focus on other things (well other than stealing internet from the pub over the road…) – like drawing! I’ve had this Japanese brushpen for a little while now and haven’t really used it much, so I thought I’d try it out with a bit of doodle – I like the illustrated list thing.

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FUN!! So fun. This may be my new favourite way to draw things now. The lines just have so much character, everything kinda looks like it’s dancing!

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Yum breakfast! I coloured my vegetable design and made it into a pattern…

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…but to be honest I think it looks just as fun in black and white.

What do you think? Any suggestions as to what I should draw next? Any thoughts appreciated!

Pattern Summer School

All creative people find themselves sometimes just drawing a blank. I can spend hours staring at my computer trying to think of something to draw or make and nothing happens. So as a prompt for my pattern productivity I signed up to do the Make it in Design Summer School to make myself sit down and create something – even if it turns  out badly. They’ve been really useful so far: I find that, for me, creativity needs some sort of restrictions to really give some brilliant results – if the options are limitless I just find myself becoming paralysed because I don’t know where to start!

The Summer School works by setting creative briefs with a theme to design a pattern to. First briefs are in and here’s what I came up with:

  1. Beginner: French Riviera/Nautical theme

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Ok so I cheated a bit with this one: I took a pattern that I had already created and just played around with the elements and a new colour scheme to fit with the French Riviera theme. I added the diagonal stripes too which took a lot of tweaking to get right, but overall I’m pretty happy with the result.

2. Intermediate: Meadow theme

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A field of wildflowers is encapsulated in this colourful pattern

I found this one way easier as florals seems to be my go-to for pattern creating, and I had a lot of photos and sketches of wildflowers to draw upon. I could see this pattern making a pretty gorgeous dress or looking nice on some home textiles.

3. Advanced: Pop Art

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Ok so this one was way harder! I do really like pop art and that bold cartoony style that’s becoming really popular in acrylic jewellery (think Tatty Devine or Designosaur). However, artistically, it is really not my thing at all. In the inspiration pictures pineapples popped up a lot, so I ended up doing a pineapple based thing. I’m not super jazzed with it – some of the simpler ones I created later I liked much more – but at least now I know that my pop art skills might be something for me to work on!

Hope you enjoyed my new patterns! Let me know what you think below! 🙂

 

Vintage crafting with Perler beads

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One day during my regular Amazon browsing for random art supplies and crafty things I came across something magical. Something from my childhood that I had completely forgotten about until that moment. I found a bucket of perler beads. You know perler beads, the colourful little plastic bits that you make into a design and iron over to magically make a melted plastic picture? I LOVED doing this when I was little, I could make little melty flowers and hearts and stars for hours and hours. The actual finished product was not the point – I mean how many coasters and fridge magnets do you really need? – but the act of painstakingly placing each colourful bead onto a spiky tray and watching with joy as Mum transformed it into something solid was just the best – and somehow amazingly satisfying!

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The urge to relive the glee of that childhood past time was so strong that I found myself adding it to my virtual basket and going to the checkout before I even knew what was happening, and oh what fun I have had! What colourful coasters I have been able to create (though seriously if anyone knows of anything else I can make with perler beads please tell me!)

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My set was party themed so I got a rainbow selection of colours and trays shaped like cupcakes, so naturally I had to make a few. Like a kid I happily spent a whole afternoon trawling through thousands of colourful beads to make citrus slices and cupcakes to my heart’s content. I think they’d make a fun little handmade gift for friends, or maybe to stick as a removable design on a thank-you card. All round an excellent (and actually rather cheap) way to fill a rainy day!

 

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I’d love to see some of your amazing perler bead creations! Post a pic below and share your creativity!

Artist crush: Jessica Hische

It’s a long time since I did my first artist crush post about Erik Marinovich, but I really enjoy sharing my artistic inspirations/icons and talking about how awesome they are!!

If you love hand lettered anything haven’t heard of Jessica Hische, then this blog post is for you because she has amazing typography skills! Her work has been published on pretty much everything, from book covers to art prints to product labels. She did a beautiful typography collection of hardback classics for Penguin Books and is responsible for the MailChimp logo too. Take a look at some of her work below…

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And she has a fantastic class on Skillshare about designing stand-out drop cap lettering, inspired by the Penguin Books project, where she talks about her process and design journey, in all her nerdy glory!

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Amen sister!  Her website is pretty awesome (if you click on the heart on the top right corner you can change the setting to different modes, including teenage girl – complete with flashing stars and unicorns! Check it out here!)

Do you have a favourite designer that you want to share? Tell us all about them in the comments below!

Paper-cutting

Hey gang! It’s been a little while I’m afraid, been busy getting burnt in Spain and then burying myself yet again in job applications and cover letters. However the last couple of days I’ve been taking a break to try something new…

My aunt and uncle have their 25th wedding anniversary this weekend and, considering how sparse my bank account is looking right now, I wanted to make them something to commemorate the event rather than buy something. I watched a show on craft recently on BBC, about how getting crafty and making things is becoming more popular again, and on this show they featured paper-cutting. I’ve always really liked papercut art, and the beautiful delicacy of papercut pieces, though I never really thought I would be patient (or dextrious!) enough to actually be able to do it myself. However, I was feeling inspired so I thought I would give it a go, and I am SO pleased with the results!

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First things first, I have learnt that it is a slow slow process, and that’s ok. This is just an artform that takes time, but you are rewarded for being so patient. Even just drawing the design: mine was about A3 size because I wanted to do quite a complex design, so to draw it all out took about four hours. This is also because I needed to make sure I knew absolutely which lines I was going to be cutting on, what’s going to be the cut-out area and what will be left behind and also ensuring that the entire design is linked together and won’t end up with a massive hole in it!

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The actual cutting out took about 10 hours altogether, but actually it was really theraputic. I just became so entraced by the whole process that I didn’t even feel the time go by (though I didn’t do it all in one sitting!) I started out with the smallest, most delicate holes while the structural integrity of the paper is still as it’s strongest, then moved on to the bigger sections.

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And here’s the finished product!! Yay! I wanted to corporate as much as I could about my aunt’s family: their hobbies and interests, etc. So there’s cake on the table in front of my cousin who loves to bake, the older sibling is holding a book with Harry Potter’s lightning scar on the cover, my younger cousin is near her cricket stuff and the cat and the chickens are featured too.

I’m so glad I tried this out and it’s definitely motivated me to try this out more in the future! Hope you like it too! 🙂

Society6 Shop now Open!!!

Just a quick hello to say hey, I’m still alive – even though I haven’t been posting! What I have been working on is a new pattern collection (inspired by Kyoto in spring – so pretty!) and setting up a new online shop! I’ve heard really great things about Society6 from other artistic friends and I’ve decided to give it a go myself – please check it out!

And below, my first pattern from my new collection – Cherry Blossoms (Aqua). Spring is coming, I can feel it!!

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Surface Pattern design

Finally my gruelling contract has ended and I can actually focus on putting a portfolio together. Throughout the last few months I’ve spent my spare hours collecting old doodles and photographs of flowers (of which I have MANY) and using them as inspiration for my own range of pattern designs. I’m still finding my feet in this field so I’m not sure how perfect they are yet, but when I discovered surface pattern design it was what I could only describe as a lightbulb moment.

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I’d always loved patterns: I’d always been drawn to them and I liked copying them when I was younger, eventually making my own pieces on Illustrator. Yet it never actually dawned upon me there were people out there who made patterns for a living.

Nothing else, just patterns.

And they got paid for it.

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This made me very very excited and ever since then I have been trying to make as many patterns as I can to start finding ways to get my work out there in the world. There’s still so much to learn, and that really doesn’t scare me, because it just means there’s still so much more room for me to discover and develop and get better and better. 🙂

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No Time for Anything (Except a Cup of Tea)

Time has been escaping me these last weeks! What with the flu, and a trip to Brighton, and new contract at work, I’ve been pretty flat out! Not so good for drawing (or blogging either!), but I’ve somehow managed to fit in a few sketches here and there amongst stacking books and sneezing my way through a Parks and Rec marathon. (Man, I’ll miss that show!! I firmly believe Amy Poehler is my spirit animal. Her, and Minnie from The Help. I seem to have a thing for strong, goofy women!)

Anyway, rather than embarking on any giant new projects, I’ve kept myself going with teacups. It started out as a watercolour exercise – a way to practice with colours and brushstrokes whilst seeing how many designs I could imagine.

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I think I must be quite a satisfying British friend by fulfilling an awful lot of clichés: apart from being very pale and very polite, I absolutely love tea and everything to do with tea. I love the ceremony of making tea, the boiling of the  kettle and collecting all the cups and teabags and pots. I like drinking tea with people: there’s nothing better than catching up with friends over a hot cuppa. Tea is hospitality. I grew up in a large extended family which whenever you entered anyone’s house, tea is always offered, so every visit is always preceded by the ceremony of tea-making. Even better, tea and company is an excuse to get out the teapot and pretty cups, which somehow makes tea taste even better! I wish I had more of these in my cupboard!

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