Wednesday, 31 March 2010

No such thing as a free week?

Today's been a nice day, filled with busyness and loveliness! I helped the wonderful Jane hang her show at Mushroom Works (it looks gorgeous!) and showed the lovely Clare how to do a few computer things (check out her beautiful illustrations, below).

Thursday gone was my last day working at the Mushroom Works. It was a sad day and a happy day. Sad, because I'll miss being around such amazing, creative, inspiring and generally great people and happy because, well, the last seven hours of it were spent in one of Newcastle's finest pubs (The Cluny) with the majority of those aforementioned people.

I'm having a bit of 'free time' in between jobs, as I don't start the new one until 12 April... ages...two weeks in fact! Over the past few days I have been so busy, doing some wonderful things, like catch up with friends, celebrating birthdays, drinking tea (and wine), checking out the Living North fair, shopping (a little), tidying (a little), cooking (a little) that I haven't stopped to plan all the creative things I promised myself I'd do, like spraying my bike, painting my little Dalahäst, making some bunting, screenprinting at Northern Print, doing some Alice illustrations, painting Little Madam dolls and finishing wedding invitations. So tomorrow i'll make a plan and do at least one of the things on the list. And then blog about it. Promise!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sleepy Sunday

Today has been super! I've had a really laid back (and perhaps a tad lazy) day. It seems like aaaaaages since I've been able to chill a bit, so although I do feel a bit guilty for not being productive, I also feel really relaxed and recharged. So, although I'd rather be carrying on this little lazy spell, there are a couple of things which I wanted to mention this week.

Firstly there's Jane Smallcombe's exhibition (which is coming soon) to Mushroom Works. This, I cannot wait for! Jane produces beautiful and intricate hand-sewn brooches - little pieces of appliqued art. I introduced myself to Jane about October or November 2008 after seeing her gorgeous brooches on etsy and asked her if she'd like to take part in Mushroom Works' Christmas selling exhibition, Perfect Presents. Happily she agreed. Since then we've kept in touch, with Jane exhibiting in the 2009 Perfect Presents too. This coming show will be Jane's first solo show and from what she's told me it sounds like it's going to be a visual treat. Above is the invitation image for the show and below is one of the new pieces Jane has been working on (more of which can be seen more on her blog). The show opens on Friday 9 April, 6pm - I'm sure she'd love it if you came along.

Secondly, I went to see Alice in Wonderland last night however I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about it. I really wanted to love it. But I didn't. I really enjoyed it but it hasn't made the impact I'd hoped for. We're working on an Alice project as Set of Drawers (which I'll be able to talk about more later) and was hoping to be really inspired by this version. I came away feeling a bit short changed - it felt like too much of a compromise somehow, not saccharine enough to be Disney and not dark nor stylized enough for Burton. Hmmm, maybe I need to see it again.

Before I log off for the night I thought I'd post a few old pictures of my work. Here are few from two exhibitions I took part in last year - the top two are from The Circus Collection (Stuck on You and detail of Giddy Up) which was a Set of Drawers show held at the Richard Ling Gallery and the last image shows a selection from the Girls from Songs series shown at Quite the Character, an illustration show at Mushroom Works. Night, for now!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Set of Drawers

Howdy folks! It's been a while. Thought it was about time I introduced Set of Drawers, the illustrators' group I'm part of. 

The group began, back in 2008, simply as a handful of illustrators wanting to meet regularly to talk, show and celebrate illustration.  We've been meeting monthly (for over a year now) to discuss current projects, support, critique and encourage each other in our professions and bring ideas to the group for future projects. We've exhibited together twice, as Set of Drawers and have worked on a few group projects, one of which was the Pirate project commissioned by Shoofly. 

The group includes Bethan Laker, Josie Brookes, Deborah Snell, Clare Armstrong and me. We're currently working on a new website which will be ready soon thanks to the wonderful Alan Sawyers. Although the website's not quite ready you can find (and follow) the group on Facebook

Here's a group photo which we sent to Shoofly for the Pirate Poems. (L-R Bethan, Me, Josie, Clare and Debs)