Friday, 27 April 2012

Costello Portrait for The Florida Times | Watercolour

This illustration was based on the infamous wheel Costello uses during his concerts, to determine what song to play next. His discography is vast, and stretches over so many genres - hence the appeal of the wheel to decide the set list.

This was a really fun job - painting portraits is one of my favourite things to do and I got to play around with a little visual idea I've had in my head for a while, which coincidentally fit with the brief. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Strange Brew | An Exhibition at Here Gallery Bristol

This weekend I decided to get out and explore the city. I went to this great vintage fair in St. Pauls held in a rather grand looking church, and picked up some huge vintage sunglasses. Then my sister and I popped to one of my favourite art spaces in Bristol, the Here Gallery in Stokes Croft.

This exhibition was really colourful and cheery. One of the comments in the guest book described it as really "moomin-y" which I thought was perfect, couldn't have described it better myself!

Secret 7 Launch Night!

Spot my sleeve!
This is a really exciting project that if you haven't heard about already - where have you been?! It's currently open to the public at Idea Generation Gallery and you can find everything you need to know about the show on the Secret 7 website:

Monday, 16 April 2012

☀ Sunshine Awards! ☀

Hello, and welcome, to the 'Sunshine Awards'. I'm not entirely sure what they are - I think some sort of blogging trend?! - but I was nominated by the amazing Harriet Gray (click her name to see her lovely blog, and crazily perfect illustrations) so I thought I'd give it a go.

Image source.

Basically I just answered what my favourites are of the following. I hope you enjoy finding out a little bit more about me!

☀ colour
 Black - is that weird?! Most of my clothes are black, which indicates it might be my favourite. At the moment I'm loving gold though...Gold and pink.

☀ animal
Rabbits! Always and forever. I love how typically cute their exterior is - fluffy, twitchy nose,  big eyes and ears - and yet their temperament can be a little mean and grumpy! My rabbit growls at me when I put my hands in her cage, for example. She's not afraid to tell me off.

☀ non-alcoholic drink
Strawberry milkshake.

☀ facebook or twitter

☀ getting or giving presents
This question is to determine if you're a nice person or not, right?! Nice people say giving, meanies say getting. I like getting chocolate! I do genuinely get really excited about giving though, especially if it's something I've made or painted.

☀ flower
Daisies. I am contemplating a botanical style tattoo of a daisy plant - HOW exciting.

☀ pattern
 Pocka dots.

☀ passion
Painting, food (cooking/eating) and animals all bring joy to my existence.

☀ number
I really don't have one.

I've got to nominate five people I'm going to nominate some twitter peeps that I follow and admire (and who also happen to have gorgeous blogs!).

1. Devon Smith (illustrator). I love following her work through Instagram especially. Damn this girl can draw.

2. Hannah Evelyn (illustrator). Happy happy drawings and a lovely blog.

3. Kaye Blegvad (illustrator and jeweller) Because I just ordered one of her rings. Oh so beautiful. Who knew drawings and jewellery could be so intertwined?

4. Emmeline Pidgen (illustrator). Very talented lady, and one of the first people I started following on Twitter!

5. Julianna Swaney (illustrator). Dreamy blog, and dreamy drawings.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Facebook Timeline for Artists

So, as all page owners will have noticed, Facebook has now introduced the new Timeline layout to pages. The layout was rolled out to Facebook profiles a couple of months ago and I was one of the few that liked the change... but I have to admit when it comes to pages, I am a little bit more hesitant.

I like this change for big brands, such as Coca Cola and Burberry, as the focus is now on a narrative - which gives a large scope for brands with an interesting and long withstanding history. For artists and smaller businesses, I think this is less effective.

However, the change is here and it's time to embrace it! I've come up with a list of tips and tricks to get the most out of the Timeline for your artist page.

Two Columned Layout
As far as I can see (and my opinion of this may change) the best thing about the Timeline is the two columned layout, which allows for more visible content as you scroll down. This means a larger scope to showcase your lovely work - so posting image heavy updates is a good idea for creatives.

Your Page Cover
A feature I loved for my Facebook profile, this is also a great addition for an artist's page. Showcase your skills here - perhaps by uploading your best piece of work, or even by creating something new. The measurements for the cover are:

850 px wide by 315 px tall (minimum)

It's worth bearing in mind Facebook have some rules on what is acceptable for your header. The following are NOT acceptable:
  • Price or purchase info (eg. 40% off)
  • Contact info - all of this should go in your Page's 'About' section
  • References to Facebook features and actions such as "Like" or "Share" or a sneaky arrow from the cover to the 'Like' button.
  • Any call to action (eg. "Buy now" or "Tell your Friends")

My page cover.

Highlighting Posts
In the top right-hand corner you can see a star icon - this is to highlight a post. Starring or highlighting a post expands it to widescreen, which is particularly effective for images and video. My one tip would be to use larger files here, as I tend to upload screenshots, which get pixelated when expanded!

Pinning Posts
In the top right corner of every post you make, is the option to 'Pin to Top'. Pinned posts last for one week and are a great idea if you have an event (such as an exhibition) you want to remind visitors of. They're also good for any discount codes for your online shop, for new products, new work or any short term promotions.

Pinned posts stick to the very top of your timeline, and so are the first thing your visitors will see.

Milestones appear like highlighted posts (expanded across the two columns). I think this feature is be great for any professional achievements such as winning an award or appearing in a certain magazine. Think of this feature as your resume, a chance to showcase the highlights in your creative career.

To add past milestones to your page you must first create a 'start' date. Mine was when I enrolled at Middlesex University. To do this go to the line that runs down the middle of your page from which your posts hang, where your cursor should become a + symbol. Click here and Facebook will ask you for a start date.

Once you've determined a start, you can go back and add other milestones (such as graduation, your first commission etc) by adding a milestone at the top of the page where you would normally post.

Change Default Layout Decisions
Facebook defaults a the "Recent Posts by Others" box at the top of your timeline. If you have lots of happy customers commenting on your page this is a good thing, but I personally found it made my timeline a little messy. Go to 'Manage' and 'Edit Page' to edit permissions and defaults.

Final Word
As with all social media ventures, the trick is to be constant - update regularly, add important milestones as they happen, and keep your followers in the loop. I'm still a newbie to the Timeline, and will be exploring apps as my next mission - so keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post.

Thanks for reading - if you have any tips it would be lovely if you could leave them in the comments!