Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Spot Illustrations for DuJour Magazine | Monochrome Watercolours

In October of last year I worked on 12 spot illustrations to be printed inch wide for DuJour magazine, based in New York. It was something new to be asked to paint for such a small space, but I'm happy with how they turned out, and as I've said before, I do enjoy a bit of monochrome painting! I'm currently working on some more for their spring issue.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Summary of 2013 | Watercolour Illustrations

Welcome to my enormous blog post correlating my year of work from 2013. It has taken SO LONG to figure out exactly when the work was produced and in what order, but I hope the overall effect is... satisfying? Perhaps? For me at least.

2013 was an amazing year for me, one in which I was able to shake off the day job for the first time in my adult life, and become a full time illustrator. This time last year I was newly back on English soil having spent 3 months travelling with my sister (read about it here!) and was in the process of getting myself to London.

Looking back, it was stressful, finding work to support myself and finding somewhere to live on my own, but if I hadn't done all that, (lived with strangers, worked a waitressing job and painted feverishly in my spare time) I would not be where I am now.  I've worked on some amazing projects this year and I feel incredibly lucky for that.

However, as someone who is naturally pesimistic, I can't help but be quite nervous about 2014, given that 2013 was "my year" (a few people have told me this!). What if it was all a fluke? What if I have to go back to the dreaded "work place"? What about creative block?!

However, I have a few great projects to ease me into the new year, so I'm hoping I can hide these questions somewhere very far away.

Apple computers - FEBRUARY

I produced this piece on the progression of Apple products for a University magazine that I've actually forgotten the name of. How rude.

My Secret 7 submission (with added text) - MARCH

A lost project - MARCH
I wasn't going to mention the above work but it kind of affected my year so I thought perhaps I should. The cow painting was towards a brief with Laura Ashley, which abruptly ended when the design team changed their plans. It was a real shame and it crushed me for a good couple of months. I felt SO low, and I even considering giving illustration up. Quite glad I carried on though!
A hindu goddess for a fragrance line in the US -APRIL See more here.

Campaign For Wool Illustrations - APRIL. See more here.
Autumnal illustrations for the Lindex toddler clothing range, Little Ones - MAY.
I worked on some woodland themed illustrations in May for the Scandinavian clothing brand Lindex. Illustrations were used as props in a baby and toddler photo-shoot, within the catalogue and online, as well as for in-store merchandising and clothing tags. See the whole project here.

Mini chef illustration - MAY
This was another project that never went to term - but by this time I had developed a really thick skin and was fine (joke!). This was for Cathay Pacific which is a huge corporation, so I kind of had an inkling my little watercolours might not be quite right/ a little daring.
Sweet chilli noodles for The Sun - MAY
May was a joyous month because I obtained my first weekly illustration spot - and what was so magical about this was that it was to paint food. My favourite. It was around this time that I quit my day job too (yay!).

Ten illustrations for Voyeur Magazine. See them here! I loved this job - JUNE
Portraits for RIBA Journal - JULY
I was lucky enough to work with Matt Willey on the redesign of RIBA Journal, and produced six contributors portraits. See them all here.

VIP Magazine - AUGUST
I worked on a lovely brief with John Brown Media for Pets At Home's magazine - VIP magazine. I painted eight British garden birds in a border-style illustration for a double page informative pull-out poster (tongue twister!). See the finished piece here.

Black & white work for a book! AUGUST
In August I was approached by an American publishers, and accepted some work on two cookery books. Very exciting. Above is some work for a book about preserving food in the home - the books are quite technical and printed in black and white - but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed monochrome painting! The book work is ongoing....

Chocolates for a pitch with Selfridges - AUGUST

Teacups painted in SEPTEMBER
Above is work from quite possibly my most exciting project of the year. I can't announce any details yet - but it will be for an undisclosed UK supermarket (my favourite one at that!!) and used on some undisclosed food packaging. It will be out this spring so I will reveal more when I can.

Black and white composers - SEPTEMBER
Another "secret" project from September.

Baked beans on toast - OCTOBER

Halloween themed food illustrations - OCTOBER
More bits for The Sun. See a lot more food pieces on my website.

Wool Week 2013 - OCTOBER
Above is a photo of my work at The Royal Academy in London - where Merino sheep were on display to the public as part of Wool Week. It was so exhilarating to see my work in situ like that; I've always wanted to produce work for an information board, like the type you find in museums, and at historical sites for example. So fun! See many more sheep here.

Wildlife illustrations for The Sun in OCTOBER
Black & white paintings for a book on frozen yogurt - NOVEMBER
November was the month I finished my first book. Phew! Above is a small selection of the illustrations I produced for an instructional book on making frozen yogurt at home - something I'd quite like to learn myself!

Beef bourguignon for Readers Digest - DECEMBER
A snowy scene for BBC Wildlife Magazine - DECEMBER
This was a lovely project to end the year on - seven illustrations of wintery spectacles found in the UK. I can't wait to see this in print later this month, and to show it in its entirety on my blog. The illustrations involved painting "scenes" which is something I was not entirely comfortable with (I LOVE white space). But I'm quite happy with how they turned out, and I learn't a lot from stepping slightly outside of my comfort zone.

LASTLY, I should also mention that from around September I have been working on a full colour book with Chronicle Books that has, as of today, been completed! It was hard work and involved months of late nights but I'm so pleased to have illustrated my first full-colour book - in fact I can't quite believe it!

Other clients this year have included Du Jour Magazine, Traveller Magazine and Intelligent Life magazine.

I hope you enjoyed 2013 as much as I did - and thank you for reading!