Monday, 14 April 2014

New House and Home!

Anyone that follows my page on Facebook will know that I recently became engaged to my longterm boyfriend and that we moved home to Ireland!

We have been renovating a house here for the past two weeks, with a lot of help from my wonderful parents, and it is starting to come together. Yesterday we started to put up the first of our art, which was a great feeling. It is especially nice as we have collected the artwork together over the years, so our home will be very personal and special to us.


I love this beautiful print by Yumi Yumi Studio..


One of my most treasured possessions is this necklace that was a limited edition piece from a collaboration between Rob Ryan and Tatty Devine. My fiancĂ© bought it for me when things were starting to get serious between us... 


The downstairs floor is carpet at the moment, but we will be taking that up soon and painting the floorboards. I can't wait!

The two main pieces of artwork here are a 'Night-time Owl' print by Claire Scully and a lovely print that my friend Hannah made me for my birthday a couple of years ago which has a bird and birdcage print. I love the turquoise pieces together and they are the main pieces of art in our new home!


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Friday, 11 April 2014

Lovely Stationery by Lucia Barabas Designs


I was lucky enough to win a lovely set of handmade notebooks by designer Lucia Barbaras.


I love getting post- who doesn't!?- and was so excited when the postman knocked on my door with this beautifully wrapped little parcel, which had travelled all the way from Slovakia...




Lucia had included all the lovely notebooks and some handmade cards as well. Lovely!



As I have recently become engaged and we are renovating a house, these mini planners will go straight to use! I'm really looking forward to filling the other notebooks with inspiration as well.


You can read more about Lucia's scrapbooking and design work on her website and find her on Facebook. Thanks again Lucia!

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Monday, 7 April 2014

The Wonderful work of Wonder Meyer


Wonder is a South African artist who I met years ago when she was in Ireland staying with relatives here. It is very easy to get lost in Wonder's dreamy artworks. I love the combination of fine detail and explosions of texture and intrigue in her illustrations. Wonder has just graduated and is new to the art world, but if the work she has created so far is anything to go by I can't wait to see what her future holds!

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

I have just graduated from art school where I majored in printmaking and illustration, and am now working as a freelance illustrator in Cape Town, South Africa. I have been selling prints online and exhibiting my work around South Africa since the end of 2011, but now that I have finished my full time studies I can focus all of my energy on working as a full time artist and living my dream. Only really just starting out now I suppose.

Image © Wonder Meyer

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas,techniques, etc.)

My work tends to revolve around ephemeral themes. I like to illustrate transient emotions, the intangible and ineffable concepts that I don’t quite understand, and my illustrations are personal explorations of these things. The process usually begins when I have an experience that stays with me or affects me in some way, or when I’m wrestling with some kind of emotion that needs to be exorcised onto paper. But its not always the case, sometimes I just like to illustrate silly thoughts.. I start out by experimenting with different techniques and mediums to get a kind of loose, organic pattern or texture, and then add detail with fine pens and colour with watercolour and ink. I really love doing fine line-work, but it can become a bit flat and monotonous, so I think that having loose, uncontrolled element in my work helps to balance out the heavy detail.

Image © Wonder Meyer

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

Self-doubt is always an obstacle. Art is such a subjective beast, and as an artist you are exposed to criticism (even if its yourself doing most of the criticizing!). It’s hard to stick to your guns and see an idea through, and it always feels like an achievement when I finish an artwork and its well received. Also not having access all the awesome equipment and materials I was using at University!

Image © Wonder Meyer

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

I’m inspired by song lyrics, nature and wild, untouched places. I love drawing creatures that feature in the folklores and fairy tales I grew up with, as well and discovering old myths, traditions, and superstitions that imbue certain animals with strange symbolism. Until hand rearing baby unicorns or commandeering pirate ships in far-flung lands becomes a viable option, this is all I could see myself doing and that serves as motivation to make it work. And there’s no overstating the importance of deadlines, without them I would probably only have half-finished pieces.

Image © Wonder Meyer

5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?

Being able to settle down in a quiet space with your favourite songs playing and a cup of tea by your side really is a lovely way to be able to ‘work’. It’s such a blessing to wake up every day and be able to do what you love. I also really appreciate the loose schedule that comes with being a freelance illustrator. I was home schooled as a child and have never quite got the hang of routine, so I love the flexibility that this line of work allows.

Image © Wonder Meyer


6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

I have a healthy respect for writers and musicians. Painting pictures with words and music requires lots imagination and insight. I really admire Kiki Smith’s work, especially from 1999 onwards; she is such a phenomenal multi-media artist. I also love Mel Kadel’s work and her contemporary, neat use of watercolour. I take great comfort in the fact that she also only uses female characters!

Image © Wonder Meyer


7. Describe your creative space

I’ve just moved into a new apartment, so everything is in an advanced state of disarray at the moment! I enjoy working from home and have quite white walls littered with a few of my favourite illustrations, a big desk facing a window with a jumble of jars and ceramic vessels to hold my paintbrushes, pens, pencils etc.

Image © Wonder Meyer

8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Be hardworking and pursue your passion.


Image © Wonder Meyer


You can see more of Wonder's beautiful work on her blog and find her on Facebook here.

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Monday, 24 March 2014

The Wonderful work of Anna Wiscombe


I first came across London based designer Anna's beautiful wooden pieces on Etsy and was surprised and delighted to find her Wall Birds in Hausen, a lovely little store on Boxhagener Platz here in Berlin. Each piece is lovingly handmade so every piece is individual and full of intricate detail.


1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

I started my business in the summer of 2011 but had been working on my products for about a year before that too. I'd started working with wood and playing around with different ideas when my Mum asked me to make her some hanging birds for her garden. I loved making them and creating these little characters so from there started developing my wall bird range. The standing birds and bird brooches quickly followed along with my wooden necklaces and before I knew it I had a full range of products to promote!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

I normally sketch out ideas for shapes or designs and then get working on them in my studio. I'll cut out a number of the same piece so that I can work on the colour ways to see which works best with the specific wood that I'm using. Once I've refined the colours I'll often leave them for a few weeks at a time so that I can come back to them with fresh eyes to see if I still think the shapes and colours work. I normally have a good feeling as soon as I've made a piece as to whether it will work so if I also come back to it after a break and feel happy with it, I know it will be good!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

If the question hadn't included the bit about time, that would definitely have been my answer! Every designer I know would like there to be more hours in the day!
Apart from time though, for me, having to be in control of every aspect of my business, from accounting to marketing to designing and packaging is the biggest obstacle. It can be really tricky to try and do everything, especially as naturally there will be things that you're better at than others. I aim to do as much as I can as well as I can and hold on to the hope that one day there might be some people to help me do the things I'm not so good at!


Images © Anna Wiscombe

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

I don't find it that hard to stay motivated - probably because I always seem to be quite busy so there's always one deadline or another that I'm working to! I do find motivation harder when I'm working on new products though so I have to remember to think of things in small stages so the task doesn't seem too enormous!

I find inspiration in all sorts of things and particularly love looking at plants and flowers or images or birds for ideas. Nothing beats a good walk in the Country to get thinking about new products either!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

5. What has been the icing on the cake for you as a artist/designer?

Recently it has been the inclusion of my swallow wall birds in the Emporium section of Country Living. I remember looking at that magazine when I was just starting out and thinking 'how do people get their work featured there?!' It seemed like such a big thing and I still can't quite believe my work is in there now!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

6. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

I really admire the textile designer Donna Wilson and always look forward to seeing her new catalogue and products - she always manages to keep things really fresh.

Image © Anna Wiscombe

7. Describe your creative space

Quite tidy for a woodwork studio! I'm very lucky at the moment to have a space with a messy area for all my woodwork and a nice clean area for all my varnishing and packaging. Lots of my products are dotted around along with plenty of images for colour and design inspiration!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Do what makes you happy and believe you can do it. It can sound a bit cheesy but it really works - doing what you love is genuinely the best thing in the world!

Image © Anna Wiscombe

You can read more about Anna and her beautiful creations on her website and buy her beautiful work from her web store and her Etsy store.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Beautiful work by Jo Cheung


I first came across London based illustrator Jo's lovely work when I was in college. She just listed this illustration in her Society6 store- isn't it beautiful!

Image © Jo Cheung

You can read more about Jo on her website, like her Facebook page and buy her work in her Society6 Store.

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Monday, 17 March 2014

The Wonderful work of Linette No

I recently came across the beautiful work of Bordeaux based French artist Linette No on her Behance profile. I love her style and especially her new 'Bouquet' series which features these lovely flora and fauna illustrations...

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

I worked freelance from 2001 until last year, and my work was very different then. Moving to the country in 2010 has greatly influenced the new direction I have been working in.

Image © Linette No

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

I get my ideas in the garden, on walks. I watch the little creatures and I focus on the detail of plants.
I then do some research, make various sketches and then I finalize most of these sketches. The coloring is mostly done on the computer.


Images © Linette No

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)?

Remain constant in my work (the job I have now leaves me little time). Continuing a drawing where I had left it is not always easy.

Image © Linette No

4. Who do you admire (other artists/designers; other people generally) and what/who are your biggest influences, past or present?

Many, many artists, and each time I go online I find more. To name a few: Roger Duvoisin, Brian Wildsmith, Edward Gorey, Rob Dunlavey, Kitty Crowther and Atak

Image © Linette No

5. Describe your creative space

A room in our house work (a mess in a mess ;-) ) and in the garden when the weather permits.


Images © Linette No

6. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

A piece of advice that was given to me in art school and that I have remembered ever since:
"Do things properly, or don't do them at all."

Image © Linette No

You can keep up to date on Linette's work on her blog, see her Behance profile and buy her illustrations as prints and applied to a range of products in her Society6 Store

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