Saturday, 24 September 2011

oh, eca, how i've missed you!

My first week back to ECA has been a little over anticipated as expected but none the less, nice to be back. I was given my first project of this semester called 'A Day in The Life' where we were asked to go out and buy a junk item and write and illustrate a story about said item. My chosen object happened to be this delightful pair of budgies I found in the wonderful junk and antiques shop called Relics in Glasgow. Love at first sight, literally.

So far, my idea for my story is a little sketchy. I have been watching a million budgie related videos, watching their behaviour. I came across certain quirks that budgies have, such as falling in love with their own reflection and repeating the words of others which happened to remind me of the greek mythology tale of the two nymphs, Narcissus and Echo. I'm loosely interpreting my story around that, but it's still fairly early in the research and developmental stages at the moment.

I have started doing some roughs and here is, finally some new work! Excuse my first poor attempts at digital colouring. Yes, possibly by the end of my degree I will have skills in being a photoshop master but this will do for now. At the end of this project I should have around 5 illustrations altogether but I am hoping to experiment in printmaking and possibly some other materials depending on where things to lead to. Soon to come!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

after a short interval.

Saos Bras de Alportel, Portugal

After what seems to have felt like a very long summer, it is definitely heading into autumn. My illustration work has sadly been a little stagnant as I have been working two mediocre jobs and took a little trip to Portugal with my other half. I've cut down my jobs now and I have just started a new part time job at Mango. I am also going to be entering into my second year at Edinburgh College of Art as of next week. I can't express how excited I am to go back to school and indulge in doing illustration again! I feel like things have definitely improved for the better in these last few months.

Bucks and Does is now for sale in Analogue in Edinburgh so feel free to pop in and pick up a copy! I definitely felt like I learnt a lot from this project but I would be interested in doing something similar again. I finally bought a printer and scanner so I will upload some of my new work in due course. I really feel like I need to learn some technical skills this year and get back into doing printmaking and learning more about photoshop and illustrator. In other news although my Etsy shop hasn't taken off completely yet, but its been nice to have it there for promoting my work and have sold a couple of pieces which I'm of course, very happy about!

I will be posting up some new work as soon as I can so watch this space!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Laser Cut Brooch

My new laser cut brooch available in my Etsy store! Handcrafted by my self and measures at 6cm x 6cm.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Bucks & Does

After a long long wait, I finally bring you Bucks and Does! A zine dedicated to species of the Cervidae family. A collective of Edinburgh College of Art Illustration, Fine Art and Animation. Lovingly hand bound by myself and Thomas Fraser.

Laura Griffin

Sam Caldwell

Seamus McKillick

Julie Ritchie

Thomas Fraser

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

your imagination is known to wander, but mine is staying.

“You Knew I Wouldn’t Wait Around Forever”

Oh my, where to start!

My poor little journal has been badly neglected again. I really need to start practising doing regular updates as I always feel like every time I come back to this I'm preparing to write an epic novel.

To cut a long story short – since I finished up from Edinburgh College of Art for this term, I’ve been working two jobs and in my little spare time, I’ve been trying to cram in as much illustration work as I can (although I have been a little more productive on that front recently!) Not forgetting to mention having some kind of social life with family, friends and boyfriend.

I moved to a beautiful large flat with the lovely Clair Stirling, a fellow Illustration student and LuckyMe DJ (Check out her tunes here: As of course, find this a great opportunity to show you where I work and things I'm inspired by.

My humble abode.

My bedroom with my typewriter, vanity lights, and knitted acorn!

Squid Stirling - the most minature cat ever!

I was invited to the openings of Duncan of Jordanstone and Edinburgh College of Art Degree Shows. It was such a pleasure to see my friends graduating and view their work on display, so pleased for them and wish them all the best of luck. I found it interesting to compare the two Illustration Degree Shows and I was deeply impressed with both. A lot of the people I knew and admired this year received firsts which makes me realise I have a lot to learn to get to where I want to be!

Overall, I did get 6 A’s and 3 B’s for my results this year which I am very pleased about but still feel like I could improve so much more. My goal for the end of summer was to focus on doing more illustration work. I have finally gotten round to opening my Etsy store ( and you can follow me on Twitter (lauragriffindraws). Yes, got to love a bit of shameless self promotion! I have big plans on making a range of different products including laser cut jewellery, tote bags and pillows hopefully. Keep your eye out!

‘Bucks and Does’ is almost finished now, I have all the submissions bar one. As soon as I get a day off need to make the actual product but fingers crossed, it should be finished up shortly. The image above is a sneak preview of my submission for the zine.

So far this summer, I went to Florence to visit my friend Zen who attends Angels Academy – a private classical art school which teaches you high technical skills in the same styles as that of Da Vinci or Carravagio. I think I've seen enough Renaissance art and sculptures to do for the rest of my lifetime. I wouldn’t of said Florence was particularly catching for design, but it has inspired me to put some kind of insiders illustrated travel guide to Florence. I have started writing it up so just need to start putting that together as another side project for myself. I also visited Germany with my other half and went to see family which was a nice break from all the 'normal' work I’ve been doing…! Here are a few photos from my travel adventures...

Pet Store in Koblenz, Germany

Moselle River, Bernkastel Kues

Florence Train Station

Thursday, 19 May 2011

here comes the summer.

It's been a very busy month of final submissions, moving house, exhibitions, degree show parties whilst also in the process of forming an ECA Illustration/Painting collaborative, doing new drawings and self initiated projects. I forgot to mention the very hectic social life of playing and working hard also!

Amelia Gregory and her new book
Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration

On Tuesday, I went to the Fruitmarket Gallery with a few Illustration friends to see the very multidisciplinary Amelia Gregory, founder of Amelia's Magazine who is currently on tour promoting her new book, Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Her talk was really inspiring and makes me realise what a long way I have to go in terms of experience! Amelia discussed a variety of different topics from eco fashion; becoming a self publisher and setting up Amelia's Magazine and the stages it developed through; how to showcase and promote your work as an Illustrator; sponsorship; and the benefits of using a variety of different social networking mediums to build awareness of your work.

After the talk, I had a chance to have a quick chat with Amelia Gregory herself who has greatly emphasised twitter to me which I must organise as soon as I can! Amelia managed to create a lovely atmosphere, bringing with her a variety of wares such as her two books Amelia's Anthology of Illustration and Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration, Amelia's Mag back issues, and Tatty Devine jewellery and lots of free postcards!

There was also lovely free Dr. Hauschka goodies, party rings, iced gems and Juiceology juice to indulge on. I had the Apple, Lime and Mint which reminded me of a tasty mojito. Mmm!

Rachel McBrinn and Julie Ritchie
Seamus Killick
Rachel McBrinn, Julie Ritchie and Sam Caldwell

Amongst all this, I am collaborating with my fellow class mates Julie Ritchie, Rachel McBrinn (former Art Director of Trisickle magazine), Seamus Killick, Thomas Grant, and Sam Caldwell to create a small zine dedicated to the theme of Bucks and Does. We are aiming to get it online and into a variety of different outlets in Edinburgh and possibly for around the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show. Watch this space.

There is also the opening of the Duncan of Jordanstone Degree Show tomorrow night which I am highly looking forward to. A lot of my friends from Jewellery, Fine Art, Textiles, Graphic Design and Illustration are graduating so can't wait to see their end of year show and of course all the parties...!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

slow loving and teacakes

At the moment I'm still very much in the midst of my final Illustration project at ECA and I have been one busy pup. I am in the process of making three different books which I don't want to publish on my blog as of yet but I will keep all updated once I've managed to complete them!
For now, here is a small illustration I did for a friends' birthday of snails and a Tunnocks teacake. I framed it with a Tunnocks teacake box with carrot cupcakes. Yes, the life of being an illustrator can have its' perks!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Gemma Correll

Gemma Correll

Gemma Correll is a Norwich soon to be Berlin based Illustrator who was kind enough to answer some questions for me on her work and professional practice.

What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?

I can be inspired by anything really, but it's a mixture of my
imagination and observation. So I can be inspired by people or animals
that I meet, conversations that I overhear, movies, music or books. My
Pug, Mr Pickles, is an endless source of inspiration and my friends
are a funny bunch who are always providing me with material. The rest
just comes from somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind.

What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to
showcase your work effectively?

Beyond the ability to illustrate, I think it's important to have a
good sense of design (for creating your portfolio and website) and
also a good idea of how to market yourself. You need to be able to use
social media to your advantage and to connect with other people in the
industry. I think it also helps to show your personality- the most
effective blogs are the ones where you get to see a bit more of the
illustrator's life beyond their work. You need to update as often as
possible, with new work, new photos and updates.

What makes yourself different from others in your field?

I'm not sure that I'm all that different but I think that my style is
fairly individual. What made me different from the other graduates in
my year who are not working as illustrators was not talent (there were
people who were a lot more talented than me) but perseverance. It took
me 5 years of hard work and part/full time jobs and not having a
social life to get to where I am now.

Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to
reach? Are you local or global?

I work with clients all over the world and my blog is read by people
in various countries. It's all down to the internet, it's really
amazing how easy it is to connect with other people, internationally.

Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or
private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?

I'm happy to show my work anywhere really. It's nice to exhibit in a
real space, beyond the confines of the internet. I'm always a little
nervous about displaying my work publicly, which is silly really
because I do exactly that online.

How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or
mixture of both?

It's a mixture of commissioned Illustration work and products for
sale. I sell things like greetings cards, tote bags and zines
featuring my designs- both myself (in an online shop) and through
retail outlets around the world. It's probably about 50/50 in terms of
where my income comes from.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

sorry for the neglect.

At the moment I have been overwhelmed with ECA work, but I will try and tend to my journal needs as soon as I have some free time. At the moment I have been doing some print making, experimenting with a piece of 20 cm x 80 cm bit of linoleum, etching with caustic soda and deer collage dedicated to my love of Sorley MacLean's poetry. I am also in the process of illustrating a book cover for one my Illustration projects, inspired by Roald Dahl's The Visitor. It is a bit of a dark adult story written as cleverly as his children's books. The story is based on the main characters receiving a box of his curious uncle's memoirs. These contain 28 volumes of his uncle's writings on his luxurious adventurous lifestyle and his insatiable appetite for wooing ladies and prominent hypocondriac tendencies.

In my other goings on, I will be moving into a rather lovely flat complete with fellow illustrator and DJ Fifi Eclair and lovely little kitty Squid in May. I also went to see Norwegian Wood and to the Craig Murray Orr exhibition at the Ingleby of his beautiful water colour landscapes. In terms of process and trying out new mediums, I experimented making my first ever laser cut brooch and here are the results complete with cake of course!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Interview with Alice Melvin

Alice Melvin

Alice Melvin is an Edinburgh based illustrator who creates lovely illustrations of birds, vintage crockery, and lovely kitsch patterns.

What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?

I love decorative arts and find places such as the Victoria and Albert museum amazingly inspiring. I could wander their ceramic and textile galleries for hours, sketchbook in hand! I find inspiration from being out and about and a tea cup that I’ve drunk from in a cafĂ© or a beautiful lightshade can often find it’s way into my work at a later date. I follow a range of design blogs, buy a lot of books and read magazines all of which help fuel my work.

What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to showcase your work effectively?
Good presentation skills and good business skills, as well as having selected work that is worth looking at in the first place of course.

What makes yourself different from others in your field?
Everybody (who doesn’t set out to deliberately emulate another person’s practice) will differentiate themselves from others in their field through their personal illustrative style and their working methods. Everybody is different and all customers and clients have different tastes and ideas, which is what makes illustration such a varied field.

Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to reach? Are you local or global?

I work with a range of clients, predominantly UK based. Some like Tate have established international links such as the co-publication deals for my children’s books, which means that aspects of my work get global exposure. Sales from my online shop are shipped internationally and I wholesale to both UK stores and to Europe.

Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?

People mainly find my work either through my website, through exposure in other people’s blogs, or by seeing a product that I have designed.

How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or mixture of both?

Both. I offer a service in that I produce illustrations that answer a client’s brief, but I also design and print my own merchandise which I retail direct to the customer and to trade.


Friday, 4 March 2011

Interview with Lizzy Stewart

Lizzy Stewart

Lizzy Stewart is a lovely illustrator from Edinburgh who I also had the opportunity to interview about her work and professional practice. It's been quite interesting to compare illustrators, so here is yet another interview I felt I could share!

What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?

I love story-telling and I guess thats what really drives me. I like that you can build entire worlds in a single image and tell impossible stories with just a pencil. I'm influenced by all sorts of things and it changes constantly. At the moment I'm really getting stuck into renaissance art, british history and the films of James Stewart (those have less sway on my work though!). I'm constantly inspired by music and literature and try to embed both in my work. I also enjoy all things eastern european and am a secret fan on pre-raphealite painting (although I know its sickly and naff). I try to avoid spending too much time looking at the work of other illustrators. Its important to find your own visual language without getting caught up in other peoples.

What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to showcase your work effectively?

Now i think its vital to be proficient with technology! You need to be able to show your work off to its best advantage so on a basic level its important to know how to scan and clean up your work so that it looks good on screen. Using the internet for self promotion is incredibly useful so to have a grasp of things like blogging and twitter is advisable.

What makes yourself different from others in your field?

I'm not sure that I'm that different really! I just draw what comes to me and hope for the best. I think that's what most people do! I don't feel like I'm blazing a trail or setting trends or anything. I want to be a good illustrator and artist and thats all I focus on.

Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to reach? Are you local or global?

I am mostly local with flashes of global. I've worked for a handful of UK publishers and magazines and a few in the US. I sell my prints all over the world so I guess the self-directed portion of my work is a global business! My audience is me! I try and make work that makes me happy rather than try and please other people. The minute you start second guessing what people want to see it all goes wrong!
I enjoy working for publishers and drawing for texts and those are the clients I seek out with self promotion. Hopefully I'll get more of that kind of work in the future.

Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?
I guess most people come across my work online; on my website or blog but the place I most enjoy showing my work is in exhibitions. I like when people are able to get in close to my drawings and see how they're made. Seeing work in the flesh is the most inspiring and involving thing so in an ideal world i'd like people to see my work for real rather than on a website.

How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or mixture of both?

Illustration is my only income. A mix of commissioned work and selling prints and cards online and in small gallery shops. So I suppose I offer both a product and a service. I think thats the best way to go. When I'm only working on commissions I feel a bit helpless, like I don't have a say in what i'm drawing. For me its important to juggle an equal amount of drawing for myself and drawing for clients!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Interview with Julia Pott

Julia Pott

For one of my projects at Edinburgh College of Art, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to approach and interview one of my favourite illustrators, Julia Pott who does lovely little animations and illustrations of anthropomorphic animals. I thought I'd share as I feel entirely selfish keeping it to myself and thank you again so much, Julia!

What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?

As my work stems a lot from personal experience, I draw inspiration from things I enjoy in everyday life. Guilty pleasures like rom coms and kids tv shows influence my work. I was recently able to charge my 'When Harry Met Sally' DVD as a business expense, which made me realise how lucky I was to have a job that allows me to get away with that! As a short film maker I find short stories a great source of inspiration, especially the work of Haruki Murakami, JD Sallinger and Dave Eggers. It can become quite common for your work to slip into a rut, producing work you know will be well received but doesn't necessarily bring anything new to your portfolio, so I am always looking for new sources of inspiration to get me excited about making work again. This can come from socialising with other people in your field who often direct you to good exhibitions, artists or resources, or going to a bookshop, on a trip, having a new experience. I recently met a photographer who ended up being the source of inspiration behind my new short film. If I hadn't gone out and met them, who knows what I would be making now instead.

What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to showcase your work effectively?

I think it's important to put yourself in the public eye as much as you can. I use a lot of social networking sites such as facebook, flickr, blogger and twitter to get the word out about new projects I am working on. It can take time out from the main reason you became an illustrator in the first place but it will secure future work for you as so many people look to the internet now for new talent. You cannot cut corners in terms of presentation. Taking a beautiful photograph of your work rather than a rushed one on your phone will make all the difference and make you look professional. You should showcase yourself with the same dedication with which you create your work, otherwise you will let your work down.

What makes yourself different from others in your field?

As art is so much an expression of yourself I think it is natural for all artists to be different from other in their field. My work is incredible selfish and deals primarily with issues I am struggling with in my own little world. I think it is important to primarily make work that you like, that you feel connected to, and the public will respond to this. If you go out into the world copying what is already 'fashionable' and taking too much influence from others your work will look forced and people will be able to tell. Go with your instincts when creating your work and your talent will come through with whatever you make.

Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to reach? Are you local or global?

I tend to make work that deals with relationships, whether they be romantic, friendly or hateful
ones! So I do not work for a specific audience, just people who might see my work and relate their own experiences back to it.

Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?

I have a lot of my work online, on a website, flickr, my blog etc but I also show in exhibitions on occasion. Organising a show really makes you think about your work in a new way and allows you to deal more with scale and materials because people can see you work in the flesh rather than flat on a screen. As an animator my film work shows a lot in festivals, and my recent work for the decemberists and bat for lashes screened behind the performers, which was an incredible experience and brought a new dimension to the work.

How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or mixture of both?

I am both a freelance animator and illustrator so I make my income from both.
A lot of my constant income comes from selling my work online and in shops. Things like screenprints, tshirts, tote bags etc. With freelance work being quite inconsistent it's good to know there is one source which you can rely on to keep you afloat! However the bulk of my income comes from freelance animation and illustration jobs. Though they can be few and far between when the do come around they tend to pay quite highly and you can make most of your income for the year in a few months.