AOH and Illustrator Fair with House of Illustration

Hi all! Yeah I have been reaaaaallly bad with updating my blog – I am so sorry! The last few months work at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft has been manic with our big summer exhibition, I’ve been completing a new Make it in Design course (Module 3, which has been fantastic but overwhelming!), and I have participated in the famous Brighton Artists Open House, which was an excellent experience. For those who aren’t familiar with it, basically every weekend in May artists open their houses to the public so people can visit artists’ houses, see how they work and, hopefully, buy stuff direct from the maker! It’s a really fantastic event that’s gathered so much momentum, it’s really popular now in Brighton and attracts a lot of locals and daytrippers. For the artists, it is also a valuable opportunity to gain exposure and instant feedback about your work from a huge range of people (although it feels a bit nerve-wracking to begin with!) I exhibited my work with the lovely Izzie Roffe-Silvester, a silversmith and jeweller, her artist mother Charlotte and talented Claire Cullen of Kitsch Religion. It was great to be involved with such a creative group of women.

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In more recent news, I found myself a fella who has been taking up a lot of my time and headspace (squeeeeeee!!) AND preparing for this Illustrator’s Fair with one of my favourite galleries in London, the House of Illustration.

I started volunteering with House of Illustration when I first arrived in London in 2014 and I’ve always loved it – they always have really interesting and diverse range of exhibitions, as well as a supportive network of creative volunteers, often jobbing illustrators or art studetns themselves, who love getting involved. I’ve gotten involved in their Christmas fair before and I thought this would be a brilliant way to keep up momentum from the Artist’s Open House in May.

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I loved being able to see other illustrators I knew through volunteering or through other fairs exhibiting their creations, finding creative ways to sell their art on a range of products, from cards to pins, tea towels to mini zines, candles to temporary tattoos. I also experimented with some new postcards featuring original watercolours and patterned pocket mirrors, which I think went well.

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Definitely planning to do some more craft fairs soon, I’ll keep you posted!! And hey if you think of any interesting new things I can make for the next one, please let me know!! I love suggestions xxx

Indigo Botanicals

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been about two months since I’ve written anything! The past few months have been pretty crazy actually and have simply flown by – most days I have no idea what week it is, whether I’m working tomorrow or sometimes where I am. But, through all that, I have actually managed to do a bit of creating in between the crazy!

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At the museum I work in, there has been a live Natural Dyeing project where people from all over the world have sent in skeins of yarn dyed using all kinds of plants, bark, roots, seeds, etc. Some of the results are truly spectacular and I have really enjoyed watching it grow. Have a look at their Instagram to see what incredible colours have been created!

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This exhibition really inspired me to try working with just Indigo as a starting point. I love blue and white – I wear a hella lot of navy and dark blues, so indigo had a natural pull for me. This also seemed like a really good way for me to experiment with using more wet, tangible mediums in my pattern design, as often I take my sketches straight to the computer for final artwork and colouring. I am really enjoying the process of using watercolour and inks to create motifs, and though it’s certainly far from perfect, I feel like this collection is definitely helping me expand my style and give me more confidence in using different media to design!

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Hope you enjoy the results so far!

Zoë xoxo

An exciting new collaboration

I have a few exciting announcements to make since I last posted… Firstly I will be having a stall in at the Brighton Etsy Christmas Fair! The competition is really stiff so I’m pretty honoured to be selected! It’ll be happening at the Brighton Dome on the 3rd December, so I hope to see some of you there!

More excitingly I have started a new collaboration with the talented people at ArtsCase! They are an iPhone accessories company that work with a range of fantastic artists and designers to create really unique and good quality products. I am thrilled to say that I will be joining their team of creatives! They’ve even written up a nice little bio introducting me, here. Even better, as a special welcome present, they’re giving 30% off all cases featuring my artwork, take a look here! I can’t wait till I get one myself, it’s really satisfying seeing stuff I’ve drawn on a real thing and not just in my sketchbook! (That and also because I keep dropping my currently caseless iPhone 5 and it’s reaaaaally starting to show!)

And now for my third exciting piece of news: I’m moving house! I have been living with relatives for a while now, who have kindly been letting me inhabit their spare rooms, but finally can now say I am able to move into my own space. At the moment my room is becoming piled ever higher with boxes of books (not an understatement – the majority of my boxes are purely books…) and I am scouring the internet for cheap wardrobes and furniture.

So let the new adventures begin! Thank you to everyone for all your support so far, onward to the future! 😀

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Pattern Summer School continued

Hi all!

So the Make it in Design summer school has finished, wow that went quickly! I can’t believe it’s already the end of August and colder weather is just around the corner… Though it’s been so beautifully hot here in Brighton that I’m still able to kid myself that winter is far away!

I wanted to share what I had created for the final creative briefs, these were certainly more challenging than the first round!

For the beginner brief, the theme was Honest Marks. After trialling a whole load of different styles, everything I did seemed too forced and over-complicated. I decided that really simple was best and just went for some hand-painted ink strokes, the results of which I think are really striking!

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For Intermediate, the brief was Souk, which I think is a really fascinating topic! There’s so much you can do with that, so I would really like to give it another go. I kind of ended up with a pattern medley design, but I think I will be experimenting with this theme on my own as well just to see what I come up with.

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And finally, Advanced’s brief was Summer Botanicals, which of course being a floral queen is right up my alley! Sadly with a sudden mass of work I didn’t have time to create something new for this brief, but found a pattern I created not long ago which fit in to the theme (thought I know I’ll be revisiting this brief in my own time too so I can create something new!)

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Beautiful bright bouquets that are reminiscent of spring in the countryside.

So that’s it! Let me know what you think in the comments below, and for all those who also participated in the Make it in Design summer school, a huge well done for completing this epic design challenge!

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! 🙂

 

New Etsy Shop!!

Oh wow. Can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I’ve posted anything! So bad of me, however I have got a new job (yay!) which is taking up a lot of my brain space at the moment. So far though I’m really enjoying it and I’ve met some really great people.

I wanted to announce that I have just launched a shop on Etsy! So now you can get greeting cards and notebooks featuring some of my pretty patterns…HOW EXCITING!! 😀 Click the link above to have a look, I will also be adding a tab to my menu so that you can go straight there from my website.

Even better, for the rest of July 2016, I’m giving anyone who uses the coupon code BLOGREADER will get 10% off as a thank you for being my first customers! Hope you’ll take a peek and thanks so much for tuning in!

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Geometric prints (and jobsearching)

Hi there! Well it’s been a busy few weeks of scouring the internet looking for someone to employ me. Is there really nothing so soul destroying as job hunting? These days it seems all about experience and ticking the right boxes rather than qualifications and skills. Maybe I would enjoy it more if I was looking for some fantastic design opportunity for an awesome creative company, but as it is I’m looking for a day job that’s going to pay the bills. Such is life!

Thank goodness I’ve had pattern design projects to distract me! I’ve been doing Make it in Design’s surface pattern design modules – I’m on number 2 at the moment – to gain more knowledge as I try and build my pattern design business into…well..a business! Some of it is simply reinforcing what I’ve been able to work out myself or have learnt from others already, but I’ve had some great insight into the pattern design industry through the module, and the creative projects they set are really helping me to extend out from my safe zone of floral patterns and sketches of cake!

Last week we were set a  challenge to create six geometric patterns using a ‘summer’ colour palette, and although geometrics are really not my strong point I’m actually pretty pleased with the result. Take a look, I’d love to see what you think! 🙂

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New site!

Hi everyone, it’s been a while! Spent the whole day fiddling around with WordPress widgets and pages to completely transform my site to make it look a bit more professional, and so it can function not just as a blog, but as a beautiful portfolio website as well. What do you think? I think it looks pretty fab, but then I’m a bit biased! 🙂

I also FINALLY got round to uploading all the patterns I’ve created this year, there’s quite a few! This includes my two collections, Kyoto in Spring and the very new Summer Holiday, check them out in my Surface Patterns page.

Have a lovely weekend! xx

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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