Monday, 22 April 2013

That's Us.

I’m back! I feel terrible my resolution was to try and maintain this blog to the best of my abilities, but alas. It’s difficult keeping up with a million different social media platforms on a regular basis. I think I need to set one evening aside where I actually write about my current Illustration work!

I have begun to feel a bit more motivated to engage with the world and try to showcase my work more frequently. It's just like any marriage, it needs constant maintenance! It’s strange but since I have been at ECA it’s actually made me less inclined to promote my work on the Internet than I had realised.

So, where to begin! I guess I’ve done a few editorial pieces for The Skinny in the last few months and some other freelance work here and there. I also got my website up and running which you can see here:

It has a lot of my new and current work up there from the last few months. I’ve realised I’ve begun to run out of illustrated merchandise. Such as my wooden brooches which is something I want to pick up again over the summer. For my final project for third year, I’m focusing on making three bespoke Lazertran laser-cut Perspex clutch bags inspired by VHS cases and heroines from films with an Existentialist theme. I've ordered some stickers of my Existential Silver Beauties which I'll post up on my Etsy when they arrive! I'm planning on stocking my shop with lots of new prints too.

Anna Karina - Alphaville

Sean Young - Blade Runner

Nastassja Kinski - Paris, Texas

In other news, I also just got back from Berlin. I went to the Pictoplasma Contemporary Character Festival for a wee Illustration class trip. Pictoplasma was definitely an interesting experience and good to see so many people in the industry making it by drawing! Some really interesting talks and it put me at ease to think I am not totally alone in the way I research or work.

Berlin was one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever visited. I have totally fallen in love with Berlin. I can’t say that about a lot of places I’ve visited, but Berlin seems to be my calling. I’ve decided I’m going to move there if I can’t find a job once I’ve graduated. It just seems like the perfect place to be an freelance illustrator and easier to get a jobs in design or the arts than living in the UK.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet for the time being! I’ll try and post up some images from my Berlin trip and some new work soon.

I've also created a new Facebook page where you can keep up to date with tidbits of my current and upcoming projects! I am doing a giveaway on some of prints and one of my laser cut brooches, so feel free to like and share the above image! 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Don't Believe.

OK, this isn't really illustration related so much. But, I just wanted to show off my boyfriend's wonderful talents - but more importantly say that my other half is so sweet and made me this beautiful light box with his own hands. I feel so lucky!

I've been using it for lots of projects recently... My latest project has made me staying up until 7am in the morning, stressed beyond belief. I think its because the tutor and all the feedback I've had so far this semester about my work from tutors hasn't been particularly positive. I know I need to become more experimental and be able to develop my work further. I've been playing with lino printing, mono printing, collage and even PVA and glitter for my current project. The problem with experimenting with work with such short time scales is that it can be really limiting and I know other people can do it, but when you acquire the skills of Photoshop life becomes so much easier and yes, I will say it, a bit lazier. 

I have been suffering from insomnia, working way too much, smoking too many cigarettes, probably not eating properly and listening to Vashti Bunyan to try and find a sense of calm within jumbling around a lot of things going on. This is what my living room has looked like for about two days now:

And here is some of my development work which I've been doing for my final piece on my current project:

At present I am doing an essay on the theme of Existentialism and the film/book Never Let Me Go (which I think I mentioned in my previous post). I have a huge pile of books on Existentialism which I need to read and try to understand (yes, it's heavy stuff) - and a whole bunch of other films to watch for my design theory. Although finally I have felt my practical and design theory are beginning to find ways into my illustration work which I am thrilled about. It's even made me interested in going to more film lectures after this semester. (Yes, I am that much of a nerd.) I'm using Blade Runner as one of my references which I have never seen before until recently and I am now mesmerised by the entire style and narrative of this film. 

It reminds me a little of Wong Kar Wai's 2046 and Jean Luc Godard's Alphaville. I can't believe I've never managed to watch Blade Runner before, but yes, I like finding inspirational moments like that. My two characters in the image above are loosely inspired from Blade Runner. My friend Jess (DressMeBest), made a sweet reference to Wall-E and it also reminded me of another short film by Spike Jonze called 'I'm Here' I watched a few years ago which I really liked in terms of narrative and style.

I also got an iPhone 5 very recently so I think it may be easier for me to now 'connect' better to the internet world and keep a record of my daily work and yes you can even get to read more about my daily aimless ramblings. I jest. 

I also forgot, I got featured on Amelia's Magazine recently. Please feel free to view the article here about Kate Sibley's eco friendly jewellery. In my next post I'll add some information behind the ideas of the editorial piece, and I'll show my ideas, thought processes, and physical development of a book cover which I created for an upcoming ECA Illustration exhibition at West Port Books in Edinburgh. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fact or Fiction

So once again, I've been pretty out of touch with the whole 'blogging' scene. I know it is something I should get back into but I have been dealing with the reality of life unfortunately to an extent. OK, that sounded pretty pessimistic. I have been having an great time in my first semester of third year and getting back into the swing of projects and doing lots of other fun things involving stuff outside of college. I have been having some problems again within the dealings between Edinburgh University and ECA in regards to exchanges, but I am not going to vent it out on here as it would be unprofessional of me, but I have been scoping out other opportunities to hopefully find some other interesting things to do.

I watched Gallery Girls for the first time this evening and the feelings that resonated within me made me die a little inside. I think it was because it reminded me of the reality of my future, how pretentious it makes the creative industry appear, and the competitiveness within an art school environment and the art/design industry. I was at an internship at an illustration agency in NYC myself just past August and this TV series has made me feel lightly disheartened about my career choice and all these opportunities I've tried to pursue. I know that these kinds of American TV series are somewhat dramatised but also touches on some things which are a bit too close to the heart. Maybe I'm just being too overly sensitive.

I also watched Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives for my design theory this evening, and I loved every moment of it. It's like a series of short stories and it reminded me of all these classic asian films I used to love when I was a kid, such as the The Littlest Warrior, Princess Mononoke, and the Monkey King (not the new version but the older versions) TV series, The Cave of Silken Web and Jet Li's The Evil Cult. The costumes, language, music and inspiration behind the story line just remind me of days long gone.

Anyways, aside from cultural asian media ramblings...

Here is some work I've actually been doing for college - I did a 'reportage' theme illustration project about Carol's Sauna on Easter Road where I created a series of 'Tart Cards' style calling cards inspired by the ones you find in London phone boxes in the 1980s/90s where they were cheaply made and printed. I was interested in the history and graphic quality of the creation of the original Tart Art cards. There's a good essay which I found a lot of my research from by Tom Phillips called the Commercial Art in the Public Realm and Wallpaper*' Sex Issue's Type Tart Art project in response to a letter sent by Mike Dempsey to Wallpaper* magazine.

I also further developed some of the imagery of these 'tart cards' inspired by the Belle du Jour (1967) film and Belle du Jour (1928) book by Joseph Kessel into a book cover which I had fun playing around with typography. I wish I had had more time to develop it but I only had one week to do this project as I was away in Moscow but I was happy with the result but I guess as I didn't cover the brief properly by not conveying my opinion more. 

Asides from that, there's a few more things I'll try and post up over the next couple of days. I have some work for a new Edinburgh street style Indian restaurant Tuk Tuk opening in Tollcross and another book cover which I've been working on for an exhibition at West Port Books which I'll put up in my next post! 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I have returned from my adventures in the capital of Russia, Moscow. If I had to summarise my adventure in three words - bewildering, stunning and inspiring. I have to say even though it was cold, I would definitely consider going to Moscow again although it would have been easier if I had a Russian speaking guide as the language and alphabet can be quite confusing to the silly foreigner (i.e. myself).

 I felt like a true tourist in Moscow, but it was a wonderful place to visit despite warnings of unfriendly Muscovites which is true to an extent. In contrast to NYC it was so different.

On our first day we visited Red Square and ventured inside St. Basils Cathedral –I have to say it is definitely one of the best buildings I have ever seen in all my travels. Beautiful would be an understatement. We then managed to find our way around the Kremlin to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts featuring a large collection of ancient artifacts from Egyptian to Greek culture and various others.  It also had a special exhibition of Le Corbusier’s work ranging from painting, textile, photography and architectural drawings that were really interesting also.

Our second day, we went to the Tretyakov Gallery which featured lots of traditional Russian art in a style similar to the Renaissance painters. The architecture in Moscow, I was in complete awe of - it chops and changes from beautiful decorative buildings to Soviet style buildings, each as grand of the other as their own polar opposites.

Friday - We went to the Memorial of Cosmonauts, another absolutely breathtaking spectacle of awe for myself of a gigantic steel rocket monument and a array of sculpture figures to commemorate Soviet cosmonauts. It is the entrance to the Space Museum – which features a large exhibition of space related items that I found fascinating with a certain kitsch feel to it of being in a set of a 1960s sci-fi film. It also has Belka and Strelka immortalized in taxidermy, the two space dogs which survived their space voyage and landed safely back to earth.  We also had a cycle on a two-person bicycle around the All Russia Exhibition Centre that had a variety of an odd collection of buildings and a theme park. I also visited Leo Tolstoy's house which was also filled with beautiful crafts made by his own family.

I found some lovely children’s illustration books in Izmailovsky Market – the best place in Moscow for cheap Russian souvenirs, antiques and lots of other curiosities for all kinds of tastes. I purchased a Laika postcard from 1958, Russian stamps and badges. You could easily spend a whole day there rummaging around and find some wonderful Soviet and Russian items. There are a few other places I haven't had a chance to mention but overall my trip to Moscow was a bizarre but very culturally interesting and I hope I can return again. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Peter Higgs Editorial

This is a piece I created recently for an editorial brief for the Edinburgh University staff magazine based around the Higgs Boson particle. Physics in general confuses and stirs my inner curiosity, but I liked the idea of having Peter Higgs celebrating over his discovery and the idea of the universe relating to his personal journey.

New York Cares

Yet another post which has been long overdue! But it is cold and wet outside, a typical Monday morning in lovely Edinburgh. I'm stepping out today and going to put some more focus onto my personal journal. Summer has come and gone so fast. I've been given a new brief today which is to do twelve drawings over the next few months and write up something (vaguely) interesting about it.

I was in New York City in August on my internship at the joint illustration agency - Gerald and Cullen Rapp and Mendola Artists. It is a very small hard working team who were all very lovely to meet and taught me quite a lot about the illustration industry itself. They have been established for over twenty five years covering a very wide range of illustration in all aspects from editorial to commercial. Gerald and Cullen Rapp are primarily editorial based and Mendola Artists are mainly commercial illustration ranging from projects in advertising to packaging and more. It was extraordinary to see the vast amount of artists and how broad the styles were and it gave me an insight to see that there is a market for most types of illustration but also keeping up with trends and style were important too. 

My role was helping Lydia with social media and administration by maintaining a variety of artists portfolios to increase potential business for the company. In some ways my job was looking at illustration all day which was great, but also daunting at how far I need to come along before my portfolio is anywhere near the same professionalism.

It was interesting to see which artists are doing quite successfully in terms of publications and the entire process from brief to the printed illustration in context. For example, Michael Crampton's poster which was shown for the U.S. Open 2012 which I then saw on the 'Museum Mile'. They also have a sister company based in the UK and became aware of a lot of illustrators names who have done work for major companies such as McDonalds, Santander, etc which made me realise there is definitely work out there for illustrators. I think I'd been feeling pretty dismal about the future but I think my internship has made me feel a lot more positive about the future.

Overall, my entire trip was a great experience in itself and got to visit and stay with my friend Cindy (who has Cuban/Colombian descent) and try interesting South American/Spanish style food and also visited some of the best art galleries/museums I've ever been to - the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the American Folk Art Museum, Natural History Museum, the New Museum, the Met, the Whitney, Neue Galerie (one of my favourites) whilst also walking the high line, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Grand Central Library, Grand Central Library, and Central Park Zoo. It was really inspiring and hopefully I'll have the chance to go again in the future. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New Blank Document.

Photo: Cerny Laun

Yes, I’ve been hiding away, and truth to be told, I have been thinking about all the things I should be doing (and haven’t). This being one of them which I really need to get into the habit of doing again. I just can’t seem to find the motivation. Also I have been looking after my lovely friend Maggie’s pug, Rupert who I am now missing terribly. 

Apart from surrounding myself with cute but expensive animals to distract myself, I can’t believe New York is just a little over a month away before I go to do my internship at Gerald Cullen and Rapp agency. I’m nervous, broke and it doesn’t feel I’m going to the States just yet. I’m also doing a volunteer placement at Dundee Contemporary Arts in their print studio and in return I should get some time to do some printmaking which I hope will make me feel a bit more motivated to do some more illustration work again.

On the topic of lasercut… I also have a secret which I've been working on - which is my new upcoming series of laser cut brooches that I made at the Edinburgh Laser Cut Studio. They will be for sale soon in my Etsy store. I am undergoing a bit of a revamp and hopefully this will all be underway soon! I did a photoshoot yesterday to create a promotional portfolio of all my new work with photographer, Cerny Laun and my lovely fellow illustrator classmate Eilidh as the face of my new line. Here's a sneak peek of one of the photos we did the other day... More to come!