Sunday, 21 February 2010

A lovely gift and my retro kitchen

As promised, a lovely desktop wallpaper by Jen, proudly displayed in my matching (genuine!) retro kitchen. They suit each other beautifully!

This post is a couple of days later than I would have liked, but this has been quite a busy week what with one thing and another. The most time consuming activity has been making my facebook fan page, since prepping, uploading and organising my image gallery took most of a day by itself. It's pretty much finished now, all that's left to do is get some discussions going and twiddle with a couple of other things. If you have the time then please have a look and leave some comments, positive or negative I always love to know what people think!

As mentioned last post, this is hardly the way I would choose to decorate a kitchen... but when you're renting, beggars cannot be choosers. Also, this flat was a lot more generously proportioned than a lot of places I viewed while flat-hunting. In truth, it's quite alarming what will even pass for a home in London, and the conditions some people are forced to live in. I bet the estate agents would rent a broom cupboard if the law let them.

The colour scheme is a tad *ahem* overwhelming but over time it's grown on me, and looks more cozy as various bits and pieces were moved in (like my windowsill ornaments, including a polarbear mug from Paper Owl (aka Isobel Blake). Anyhow, if you're going to do bad decor, why do the usual dull, drab magnolia? Going all-out awful is way much more fun. And after all, there is a point where something is just so bad... it is almost good!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Nobrow competition entry

I've spent most of this week avoiding my laptop, and more specifically, avoiding the internet. The trouble with the internet is that everything is only one click away. You only need to click to be transported to another new page of interesting factoids that you can use as a valid excuse for procrastination. Twitter is the worst for providing distraction. Typically I have only just got stuck into what I'm doing and then, with a gentle pinging sound Vice UK tweets it's Do's and Don'ts of the day. Bye bye, rest of the morning. If there is anyone out there who can look at just one, you clearly have more willpower than me, because I can tell you, clicking that link is suicide for any work I intend to get done.

The reason for this isolation was that the entry deadline for the Nobrow flickr competition was only a scant week away, so I could ill afford the distractions of the internet if I wanted to submit my work on time. The brief for the competition was to create two images, one of a person I had never met, and another of a conversation I've never had. Rather than treat each image separately, I decided to have them as a kind of mini-narrative, where the viewer sees a little character (based upon the flower of the aptly named man-orchid, a native British plant that looks a lot like, you guessed it... a wee man) disappearing into the undergrowth, follows them, and finds themselves in a grove surrounded by the more of the beasties. I guess it's a bit like a Victorian fairy painting, except these 'faeries' are anthropomorphized flowers instead of creepy fat kids with wings.

Anyway, it's been entered, so all that's left now is to sit back and see how it does. After looking at the other submissions, I realised that my entry is a quite a lot different to most of the others. For one thing, it's one of perhaps a handful of black and white entries, and depicts an entire scene where most of the other entries are a lot more minimal. I am not sure yet whether this will work in my favour or not. It may be so different as to be refreshing, or it may be too different and not be at all what the people at Nobrow were looking for.

Either way, I am satisfied with the resulting pieces of work. It has been a long time since I have worked in this way, and it may be an avenue that I explore further. I think it would be nice to make work that is a little less 'flat' and minimalistic than my previous stuff, and now seems as good a time as any to really test the limits of what I can do. Let me know what you reckon of this direction, I would really appreciate hearing people's thoughts on the matter.

In other news, the lovely Jen Pringle very kindly sent a really beautiful Valentines wallpaper for my laptop, so many many thanks to her! I promised that I would provide pictures of it in-situ in my retro kitchen (not me having an ironic taste in home appliances, our landlord just hasn't ever redecorated it) but unfortunately I have run out of time for this evening. Another post to look forward to later in the week!

Many thanks for reading, until next time!

Friday, 5 February 2010

My inspiration wall

As promised to Mr. Yen, I present my inspiration wall! Most of these business cards and post cards were picked up at degree shows last year so I decided to devote a little time to decorating my workspace with them (I know, ages ago but in the grand scheme of getting things sorted in a new flat, organising post cards comes near the bottom of the list.) Some of them are by my illustration buddies that I graduated with, and most of the rest I picked up at D&AD. There wasn't any particular criteria, I just chose stuff I liked or that I thought had interesting themes. I intend to keep checking on what people are up to, I'll be interested to see where everyone goes in the next few years. And I expect I'll drop in on the D&AD and other shows again this summer to add more to the collection.... the project continues.

Over and out!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Dreaming of spring...

Lately it has gotten infinitesimally warmer in the British Isles (read: it isn't snowing) and the daylight hours are getting longer. If it isn't my imagination, I would even dare to say that a couple of days have been somewhat sunny, of late. All this gets me thinking about the oncoming of spring, one of my favourite times of the year. Winter is so bleak and depressing this side of Christmas, so I am greatly looking forward to seeing the first daffodils, snowdrops, tulips and crocuses coming up.

With all the promise of the outdoors my studio suddenly seemed small and stuffy, and London just too crowded. So I teamed up with fellow illustrator Jo Cheung to head out on a day trip to visit June (you guessed, another illustration buddy) in her home town of Kingston-upon-Thames for some quality together time. We had a really wonderful day, strolling around town and taking lots of pictures on the bank of the Thames. And June was even kind enough to take us to the beautiful little chocolate shop where she works so we could pinch all the free samples and have the most amazing hot chocolates ever known to mankind.

We rounded off the day in style with a meal out. We went to a beautiful little Thai restaurant in the nearby village of Cheam, which is owned and run by June's parents. I have only ever eaten Thai food in a resaturant once before so it was lovely to sample some really authentic Thai cuisine. Thanks guys for a fantastic day out!

In other news, you'll notice that I've changed the layout and look of this blog quite a bit. I have been working on the new banner on-and-off for the last week or so, and it took quite a bit of twiddling in the final stages to get it like it is currently. I'm satisfied with it for now, though it's probably only a matter of time before I get bored and change it again! At any rate, this will be 'the new look' of my online territories, so I'll be giving my website, flickr, etsy and twitter all a makeover soon (not to mention an update).

And in case you were wondering where the drawings have been in the last few posts, I would like to reassure you that yes, I am still doing lots of drawings (and even some painting last week, woo!) The pictures will be on here as soon as they have been scanned and cleaned, I'm aiming for late this week/early next week to have them up on here. Look forward to seeing you again then!

Emma x

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

New Year, new look!

I decided that my blog and online stuff could do with a wee makeover, so I devoted a little time to making a new banner/logo and changing the layout of this blog. I think it looks rather better, though there are still things I'd like to twiddle with. Let me know what you think and if there are any things you reckon might improve it further.

Sorry about the short post, there will be a later one tomorrow afternoon so I can show you what I've been up to lately...

Ciao for now!