Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lilla Rogers Bootcamp February - Cuckoo Clocks!

Get ready for it!!!  There's about to be a tidal wave of cuckoo clocks washing over the internet - such is the influence of the magical Lilla Rogers.  There are 400 designer/artists on this course and they are sooo GOOD!!!
The theme of this month's assignment was...cuckoo clocks of course.  It's a lovely theme as the clocks themselves are full of details: the little house, the clock face, the animals and figurines around them, the cuckoo itself, the pendulum, the painted floral decoration, balconies, shuttered windows.  There are so many design elements within them and such huge variations between each clock that I thought it would be fairly easy to create something pretty and interesting even though I was a bit stuck for time.  I had to miss out the first week of sketching and went straight into the second week so rather than explore different concepts I interpreted the theme quite literally, thinking that the variety and interest within the subject matter would be enough to draw on.
We were instructed to create a design for a phone case (very clever - old and new technology) and were given a colour palette - initially a combination of dusky pink, acid/mustard yellows, palmolive greens, teal, purple and red - and at first glance I thought I'd give them a miss and choose my own palette.  There didn't seem to be much point in paying for expert direction only to completely ignore it though - so I decided to rise to the challenge.  And surprisingly (or not, if you consider the source) it worked.  The colours looked really pretty together.  So, all happy with that, I read the third week's installment from Lilla - another colour palette (the original one really with a greenier yellow and the addition of a lovely dusty navy and orange).  Hmmm.  I'd thought I was finished.
I couldn't not have a go.  I should have been working on a project but really wanted to try that navy. So I did.  I put the two versions to the vote on the FB page and the blue one won hands down.  I'm really pleased with the way it worked out.  It was refreshing to try something new and make it work.  I can't wait to do some designs to go with it. And I can't wait until the gallery opens and I can see ALL 400 interpretations of this theme!  The talent in this group is extraordinary!
Below are the two versions based on the two different palettes. Which do you prefer?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone and Happy Birthday to my darling Isadora who's 9 today!!  You can see these designs featured on....Print and Pattern!!  Click the link and scroll down past the Paperchase things!!

Woohoo!  So pleased.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Flora Waycott and Melissa Iwai - my super talented Surtex helpers!

This is a blog post all about Flora Waycott and Melissa Iwai and their work.   They will be helping me on my stand at Surtex and I'm so pleased.  I was quite concerned about how I would manage on my own and to have their support is just invaluable - especially as they themselves are so very talented and accomplished.

Flora Waycott
These are some of Flora's beautiful designs.  Please go and see more of her work at  Flora is English with a Japanese mother, living in New Zealand - so she has plenty of interesting influences to draw from!

She  freelances creating childrens designs, surface patterns and illustrations. Clients past and present include Victoria's Secret, Pumpkin Patch, Urban Outfitters, Sainsbury's and Paul Frank.  Her surface patterns are published in the wonderful book "Print and Pattern Kids" by Bowie Style of leading UK pattern blog Print and Pattern.

Melissa Iwai
Here are some of Melissa's fantastic illustrations.  Please have a look at her website  Melissa is from California and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
She is a freelance illustrator and has illustrated around 20 children's books, one of which she wrote, Soup Day. (See the first two illustrations!)
Her clients include Viking, Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt/MacMillan, Harper Collins, Harcourt,  Houghton-Mifflin, Scholastic, Hyperion Books for Children, McGraw-Hill, Karben/Lerner, Random House, National Geographic, Highlights for Children and BUST Magazine.


Thank you so much for offering to help Flora and Melissa.  I can't wait to meet both of you! See you in a few months!! xx

Monday, February 3, 2014

Surtex 3 1/2 Months Away!


I aim to post on my blog once a week and so far during its existence I've more or less managed to - except the last couple of weeks.  I am chasing my tail!  I'm desperately trying to design, research new contacts, send work out to existing ones and make sure I'm sticking to client and Surtex deadlines - but my kids have been ill, I've had a lot of visitors, we've had loads of birthdays (I'm going to change my birthday to July so they're not so bunched together), I CANNOT keep myself away from Facebook  - and then Rome inconveniently flooded last week. At the moment the kids are off school and we have no heat or hot water.  I didn't even try today. I just took them to the park instead.
So that's a list of distractions.  Now here's a list of what I've managed to do - in spite of all that.  This is me doing self affirmations again - sorry to drag you all into it!
Did a group of 8 rabbit designs.
Did a group of 4 Valentines designs.
Designed a new logo.
Got a great contract with a fab company.
Started a new online course - Lilla Roger's Assignment Bootcamp!
Got invited to take part in Nicole Piar's Lovely Ink Blog Project along with some other great artists -more about that to come!
Booked my flight.
Ordered a load of stuff from Society6 and Zazzle to decorate my stand.
Got a traveling companion!!!  - my super-close friend Charlotte who's a lawyer in Rome and is going to expand her business in NY! not one, but two, amazing artists to help me at Surtex - Melissa Iwai in Brooklyn NY and Flora Waycott in New Zealand!  I am sooo pleased about this.  I'm just so flattered that such great artists would offer to help me.  They deserve a post just for them to show you how lovely their work is. (Coming right up after this one!)

I suppose that's not too bad. There's a small persistent voice following me around saying - But what about your postcards?  Your banners?  What the hell is a press kit?  Who does all this stuff in Italy?  What about another 50 designs? Aren't I supposed to send hand-embellished, original works of art and a box of gourmet chocolates to each and every art director in the world beforehand?

At times I feel like flinging myself down on the floor like my three year old son does - but I haven't yet. They're back at school tomorrow so I'm going to focus - when I'm not checking Facebook, of course.