Wednesday, 20 May 2015


I've been a little quiet recently as I have been squirrelled away completing a project at uni that I became very attached to. I had to produce a newspaper based on a news article or story that I found and stumbled upon this quirky little story

Bizarrely this happened 8 months before I was born and pushed forward oceanography for a further 15 years. Initially when the crate went overboard there was uproar as it would pollute the ocean but it became apparent that this unfortunate but rather amusing event unearthed the movement of the seas and lead oceanographers to the trash gyres. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracked their journey and estimated where these ducks would appear. The durability of these friendly floatees were put to the test and they circulated the seas. The last article I could find was in 2012 stating Ebbesmeyer is now following Nike trainers and Lego that have been lost at sea and it became apparent that the Ducks had run their course. 

These ducks are still turning up in places and I wanted to narrate their journey. 

The final product I received from Newspaper club and I couldn't be happier with it! The quality of  print is fantastic. I had a good idea of the size and colours that the newspaper would be as you can order a free sample which has pretty much everything you will need to know before sending to print. 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Creative Block.

We all as creatives come to a creative standstill at one point in our lives.

This could be for a number of reasons. The brief might not be working for you or you have a lot of personal issues on your plate. But the important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up when this happens. Getting stuck into a rut about these things can be frustrating and can have negative effects on our self esteem as artists and our productivity.

I had to spell it out for myself today, as for the past 2 weeks I have been so wrapped up and panicked about my current projects that I have almost burnt out.

I wrote myself 9 motivational points on an A3 piece of card to stick on the wall in front of my desk so every time I look up in exasperation it is there smack bang in the middle of my view.

                                                           I am an ARTIST! 
This is who you are! Painter, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Fine Artist, Musician, Animator, or Film Maker. How ever you want to dress it up. These are obviously a few of many you may even be multiple! Don't be modest. It is yours!

                                                           I WILL get a 2:1
I want to get a 2:1 more than anything. It is my dream grade and i know it is within my reach. I want it so i am going to work my stripy socks off to get it! You can get a 1st class degree if you really work hard but be realistic. Have you sat around all year doing nothing? That game of thrones episode can wait until you've done this. It will be there after uni. Even more reason to keep of Facebook!

                                                          I have worked hard
Give credit where credit is due. So you are struggling. That is a good thing it means you feel challenged and the relief when it's done and how proud you will feel for completing a difficult task is a feeling you should embrace.

                                                            I will finish Uni
You've come this far. Remember the pain it was to fill out a UCAS form? You still did it. You are here now so finish what you started.

                                                    I can finish these projects
It may seem overwhelming but STOP. Breathe. Plan how it is going to work. Have you overcomplicated it? Write it down.

                                                      I haven't lost my spark
Just because things aren't going right it doesn't mean to say you are a failure and that you aren't worth the title of being a creative. Unhelpful self criticisms aren't going to be of any use. Stop trying to find a beating yourself up or trying to find a blame.

                                                         I am motivated
The more you tell yourself I am unmotivated, I can't be bothered, I am just not feeling it. The more you will believe it so change it! Think positively get off your backside. Get off Facebook. Pull the dreaded project out and tackle it. I found an awesome website and I read the article in Drill Sgt Hartmans voice (yell) from Full Metal Jacket.

                                        I am worthy of being in the industry
Everyone has a chance. You don't have a god given right to walk into a design company and expect to be hired. You have to work for it. That is why you are working these projects and building a portfolio. Just because you get turned down (if you're luck enough) or you don't get a reply doesn't mean you are useless.

Do not give up, you worked hard to get here and you deserve it just as much as everyone else.
This is the most important part. Giving up won't get you anywhere. Regardless of how you got to uni you had to work your way some how so you have just as much right as anyone else to be there. I was absolutely rubbish in school all I wanted to do was read books and draw. I started from the bottom in college and worked for years to get to uni. If you want it, work for it.

Be the person you want to be even if it is horrifically hungover the day after hand in.....

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Save the Children Animation

I am so pleased to finally be able to put this out there. I spent the better part of my christmas holiday  squirrelled up in my bedroom working away at this project. The project was for Save the Children I knew this was the right brief for me as for anyone who knows me personally I am absolutely mad about books. A project about encouraging fathers to read to their children?! YES!

As I started to dig in to the brief and read Save the Children's statistics it was quite upsetting to see a lot of children aren't reading well by the age of 11 and struggle. Save the Children's campaign is to get children comfortable with reading so it helps them during primary school where the key developmental stages for basic reading and writing start. Their mission is for every child by 2025 to be leaving primary school as confident readers. the statistics shown were children from poorer income families were the ones that struggled.

We see so much on the news about horrid things happening all over the world which are important, but we are forgetting what is happening at home with all of our children? By just giving 10 minutes of your time per day to sit and read with your child and help them along you can help them become comfortable and confident with reading and also show it can be fun. I made it my mission to show how beautiful reading can be.

Save the Children had already made a video about their campaign but I found it far too over the top and exaggerated. The shock factor was far too heavy.

I wanted show the positive aspect of reading and how it can light up the imagination to not guilt trip fathers but shed some light on such an important subject. As creatives we need our imagination and reading has been a large part of my development creatively.

I worked along side Joseph Standen again who is a wonderful Motion graphic designer but this time I was the creator and in control of the story. It was a huge step for me to try something totally out of my comfort zone but this project couldn't have been better suited for an animation. I don't think a poster or a zine would have had the same effect. What a fantastic experience it has been and I have learn a lot from Joseph about how to draw for an animation.

Please do leave a comment as I would love to know what you thought be it good or any criticisms you might have.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


I am so excited to announce my first self published book!

I did a project on the struggles I faced when I injured my knee (I've torn my meniscus and require an operation). I have been on crutches since early September and during the running of this project I have struggled a lot giving up my independence and asking for help. Channelling my emotion into these drawings, which I don't usually do, has really helped and made me look at the positive of the situation.

So here is my book and a few of the illustrations please do go and have a look. This is also a huge thank you to everyone who has kept reading my blog and seeing what I am up to. I love signing in and seeing people have dropped by if I could offer you tea and cookies for visiting I would!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

My negotiated brief 2nd year.

As I have previously said in my last blog post I am uploading some more work from last year (academic). This project was really quite special to me because I had set myself really high goals and I was determined to produce this final and manage my time well. 

This was the first time I had been strict with myself and confident in my own idea. This was towards the end of the year as was the lie project and I had come leaps and bounds in the space of a few months with my confidence in my self. I have always struggled with it but I was proud of this project. (I still to this day hate showcasing my artwork but the joys of being behind a screen)

It's not perfect but it never is the day after let alone a few months! 

The basis of this project was to do create my own brief and execute it. I chose to do a recipe for children. As I want to become a teacher, I wanted to experiment with learning materials and instruction. I thought the recipe would be a really easy place to start and I could choose whatever is best visually as well. I wanted it to be colourful and bright so I chose the rainbow cupcakes which are simple enough. The final format was to be double sided A3 and then laminated for a wipe clean surface. 

I was also determined to hand draw absolutely everything in this project and I am pleased I did. The only thing that wasn't was the type for the instructions and the arrows for direction. I went all out and spend a lot of time making sure everything made sense. The only thing I completely forgot to take into consideration when placing on photoshop was to leave a few millimetres for bleed and the final print had taken a little bit off of the side to right. The biggest rookie mistake and I made it after all these years. I am glad I did though because next time I will give myself even more extra time towards print to make sure it is correct so if there is a problem I can tweak it. 

During the interim crit quite a few people commented on how they liked the drawing of the Vanilla extract I did and to be honest it was my favourite one to draw. 

We make mistakes to learn from them and for this project I had made plenty before during and after. 

Tell a lie collaborative project.

I haven't uploaded a lot of my work from last year as I felt really overwhelmed. I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone i wasn't sure at all how to feel about the work i produced and whether or not it was good enough or not. 

I have been sitting here tapping away looking through a lot of my artwork, old and new,  I have seen the good the bad and the ugly and to be honest last year had helped me evolve into the artist I want to be and that is free and confident in my own work. 

I had to collaborate with a few of my fellow illustrators in class and we decided to do a project on telling lies. We wanted to see whether or not the general public would expose their dirty little secrets to us and then we could present a visual representation of their lie. The project was based on national tell a lie day and we jump straight in and got to work, bouncing ideas off of each other and working as a team. 

We had some wonderful lies and I think in total we ended up collecting over 100 lies in a lie box we had left in a small boutique tea room in a small town called Puckeridge just west of Bishops Stortford. The incentive to submit a lie was a free piece of home made tiffin. 

If you're interested in visiting this beautiful little Tea Room head over to their Facebook page and show some support to the lovely ladies.

My chosen lies did make me laugh but that was what we were aiming for.

“I ran over my neighbours cat. I can’t tell them what happened, they would be devastated. I buried it in the garden under the lavender bush. I was called Whitney. I told my neighbours I hadn’t seen their cat”

“I gave birth to a unicorn”

“When I was little I would eat any chocolate in sight like most children would, but I got caught one day and said it wasn’t me only for my dad to point out that I had chocolate all over my face. Whoops :P”

A messy desk is a productive one!

I know I usually post about my artwork or teaching but I thought I'd share an insight into my bedroom made studio. Whenever anyone comes in in the middle of me working on a project or anything creative it is like a minefield. My Bedroom/Studio starts off beautifully tidy and clean but then I get into it and the whole desk is overtaken with bits, materials and paper which then overflows onto the bed.

This is my passion and if I don't create chaos I'm not having a good time. Don't let anybody tell you how you should be working, it comes naturally to me to work in madness and I've tried for years to curb it but it's my most comfortable. 

Also it does help to have a study buddy. Sadly mine isn't as motivating as most.