Work in progress – from start to finish

This is a post I have been thinking about for a while, but I haven’t quite had the time to pull everything together. It’s a kind of start to finish look at a single piece of work. So here goes….

First there is a sketch, which in the case looked like this:


The majority of my art work then basically involves me sitting for some time with sketches and and a pair of scissors. I normally end up with a kind of white silhouette in reverse of the original sketch. I really like these, I think they are really elegant in their own right and am thinking about doing some work based on these alone. Let’s see.


After this stage I use these white bits of paper as stencils for working with different kinds of coloured paper to build the final image. This results in a series of movable pieces coloured paper that I can start to place together in different ways to form the final image. With the magpies in this case I used pritt-stick just to lightly glue them together as the whole magpies were much easier to move about than the individual bits. Here is the skeleton of the magpie image.


Then I will probably add some paper flowers, which are becoming a bit of a signature feature. I have stockpiles of these. I have cut so many of these now that I can cut them free hand, without really paying too much attention, in front of the telly.

I like to back most of my images up on different kinds of cloth. This image below is backed with a white Kashmir silk scarf that I bought while on holiday with my sister in Dubia. Most of my work involves physical materials, things that I can feel and manipulate directly with my fingers. I am becoming increasingly aware of how excited I can get about different textures in my work – in this image I particularly like the contracts of the smoothness of the paper against the very delicate pattern woven into the silk. Now I take a digital photo.

Two for Joy Raw

Finally, just at the end I will jump into photoshop and do a few tweaks. For this one I very slightly brightened the photo and increased the contrast. I then added on a sepia filter to warm it up slightly, and I finally added in some text. The final image looks like this.

Two for Joy - final

Available on a range of things here at Redbubble.

 

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Buying my own swag – experiences with Threadless and Redbubble

Tote bag from Threadless


Over the last few weeks I have ordered some of my own swag from Threadless an from Redbubble to have a look at the quality of the products and to see what the experience of being a customer to either platform is. As far as the quality of the products goes, I was happy with the things I received from both organisations. The tote bag in the picture at the top of this post was from Threadless, it feels really solid and strong, the colours of the digital printing are really good.

 

Tote bag from Redbubble


The blue tote bag above is from Redbubble. I would say the quality is similar, the digital printing again is really nice and the cloth is a little softer which I prefer I think. 

I think the main difference has come in the form of my experience of getting the products shipped to me in the UK. Redbubble appear (from one experience so definitely not a systematic exploration) to have world wide shipping sorted out. I ordered things last week and they are all already in my sweaty excited hands.

Threadless unfortunately do not seem to have this cracked. I think I made a mistake in the early stages of ordering – you can opt to pre-pay surcharges and I didn’t do this as I didn’t quite realise I needed to do this (if you live outside of the US do this). Two of my items are now floating around the uk postal system somewhere. I contacted Threadless’ customer service team for help with my undelivered items and let’s just say I had a very frustrating interaction with someone who didn’t seem to understand my problem, or didn’t care that the did give me a second tracking number, which I had not seen before, so I could work out the problem for myself. I am not trying to work with the courier, having had to find contact details for them via google, to find out what I need to do next – I think I need to pay a customs charge, but not really sure as neither Threadless nor the courier have actually contacted me directly to tell me what to do next. So basically I’m having to do far more detective work than I have time for to get my hands on my own products. I am hoping this is a one off shipping problem, and not their general approach to customer services as it is pretty disappointing so far.

Another thing – I submitted a design to a Threadless competition this week- it’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this – if you had a spare moment I would really appreciate your votes, which you can submit here.

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Getting out there to sell my swag.

Still here 2

A few weeks ago I launched some of my creative things out into the world through setting up shop on both Threadless and Redbubble. I can’t imagine this will surprise anyone, but since setting up I have sold one thing, to my boyfriends mum. So I’ve not exactly been a roaring success, which is ok because I’m still learning how to do these things.

I have been investigating how it is that people actually sell stuff on these forums and one of the things that seems important, which I doubt will come as a surprise to any bloggers out there, is raising your profile within the community that uses a particular site. Threadless has a nifty way to help with this – it has a rolling competition which allows you to submit a design for other members of the community to vote on. This will allow other people to see your style as you invite them to rate your stuff. If you win, I think your design may be selected to be printed up and sold on the main website, which would be pretty awesome. In any case I think this is quite a fun thing to do.

So, to that end, I’ve just submitted my first design to Threadless. I would really appreciate it, if anyone reading this had a moment, if you could pop over there and vote for my new design (pictured above).

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That time I nearly got kicked in the face by superman

I’ve been at Brighton kite festival today and while there I saw this wonderful thing billowing in the wind.

I absolutely love how the tentacles billow and ripple and curl in the wind. While trying to film this there wasn’t quite enough wind and my face almost came in contact with a really large superman kite that wasn’t quite inflated enough.

I’ve begun working up some ideas for a B-movie style animation involving an octopus like creature comprised of lightnigh, stray electronics and the huge soup of discarded plastic currently drifting around our oceans. It’s a fun, not very well thought out idea at present. Seeing this lovely octopus dancing in the wind has given me some stylistic ideas to consider. 

It has made me think of where inspiration can come from. I think sometimes I have a tendency to want to stay in and work at things, but this is a timely reminder that inspiration can strike at unexpected times, and in unexpected places, if you allow your self to be open to it.

 Like any of the art work featured on this blog? You can now buy my stuff at Threadless, or at Redbubble.

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Courgette update: time and benign negligence 

The courgette keeps on growing with very little attention for me. We have had rain and sun this week and all I’ve needed to do is top up the moisture levels with a few watering cans of water now and again. We actually have six of these ladies busily gaining size and volume. If we are lucky and all of these plants go on to fruit we’ll be facing a bit of a glut later in the summer. This suits me well as my boyfriend is particularly skilled in making courgette chutney, this is something to look forwards too.


We’ve also got lucky with a few little tomato plants, which have self seeded themselves from plants we had last year. Luckily I am too lazy to do any serious weeding and so we now have four little tomato plants with very little investment in effort from my end. I have watched these little guys, day by day, sprout up first with curiosity and then with admiration as these tiny plants continue to grow and establish themselves. 

For various reasons I have been thinking a lot about patience, and about how sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing. A little careful watching and waiting can sometimes be more effective than knee jerk active responses in taking you to where you want to be, or even to somewhere you didn’t know you wanted to be, but are very pleased to arrive. In the last few weeks patience, or benign negligence, has filled my little garden with an abundance of natures blessings. 

Like any of the art work featured on this blog? You can now buy my stuff at Threadless, or at Redbubble.

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Work in progress – blossom on the branch

I’ve been doing some more work on the magpies – here are some blossoms on a branch for them.

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Some more news: Redbubble

spring blue back 2

After doing a little digging I have decided to try out Redbubble as a route for selling my designs alongside Threadless. I am really new to selling art online and I am not sure which option will be best for me so I am going to experiment with both sites for the moment. Both sites allow for a similar service, but have a slightly different range of products and different arrangements for paying UK artists. I will be blogging a bit about how I get on with both sites, but for now I will leave it at introducing my Redbubble portfolio (which happens to look a lot like my Threadless portfolio).

I have been using paper cut and mixed media techniques at the moment and have been pretty pleased with the results. Both sites seem to be handling the digital photos of my work well, which is important as my style is relatively delicate and the details are important to making the aesthetic work.

So here is is, my Redbubble portfolio.

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