Wednesday

Fearless Drawing at The Millennium Gallery Sheffield

Hello! I just wanted to share some photos from my recent Fearless Drawing workshop at The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, a fun weekend drop in for all ages to celebrate my new book. I based the activity on pattern as I LOVE drawing pattern and find it really meditative, it's also completely unthreatening for people who might be nervous of drawing as it allows them to just happily doodle! On arrival at the gallery I quickly painted some designs onto the glass of the space to help inspire pattern ideas...


It was really great to see how engaged the participants were, the repetition of pattern making is fulfilling and addictive as it allows you to be completely absorbed but does not require a huge effort. This is why I find it so relaxing, hours can go by and I lose track of all sense of time - I just get so deeply immersed in the process.


Here's just a few photos of the FANTASTIC finished drawings...





Huge thanks to all the participants for a brilliant day, to the Millennium Gallery for all their help and assistance and particularly to the brilliant Catherine Mailhac for organising the event and taking these lovely photos! 

I'm off to explore the London Design Festival today before tonight's performance of Inala at Sadlers Wells with choreography by Mark Baldwin and music performed live by Ladysmith Black Mambazo YIPPEEE! I'll report back next week! x

Friday

New Phaidon book!



Hello! 

I'm SO EXCITED to share this new Phaidon book 'What to Bake & How to Bake it', for now I'll just show the cover as it's not really published until later this month on the 29th. It's a lovely book full of cakes, biscuits, pies and treats by the genius Jane Hornby (and lots and lots of my illustrations!) and available for pre-order here. I absolutely loved this job, and I'm so proud to see the final book! - I'll share more images after the 29th x

I've had a lovely week of drawing and exploring, I highly recommend the Gert & Uwe Tobias exhibition at Maureen Paley (and whilst you're there it's only 5 mins from the glorious V&A Museum of Childhood - always worth a squizz.) Francis Upritchard at the Whitechapel is totally joyous, and the exquisite photographs of Francesca Woodman at Victoria Miro in Mayfair are a must. OK, that's your weekend exhibition visits organised by bossy me! I'm having a lazy one of sewing + movie watching + cake eating + sketchbooking + PJ's HURRAH!

See you next week x

Dig for Victory

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Hello I just wanted to share my GORGEOUS new handmade dresses created by Dig for Victory in Brighton. As a 4 foot 10 inch mini woman, I've been so fed up with nothing fitting me, and as an illustrator I really don't want to wear other peoples patterns, so it's such a dream to wear my own drawings on clothes that have made just to fit me HURRAH! Eleanor and her team in Brighton are talented, fun, friendly and creative and I HIGHLY recommend them all x

Dress 1.
This is my dream dress featuring custom embroidery from Hawthorne and Heaney based on my new waterlily illustrations for the East London development I'm currently working on.

Dress 2.
Has digitally printed fabric from Spoonflower featuring my chairs pattern (from drawings created in Heal's lusting after the Orla Kiely upholstered chair.)

Dress 3.
Features my hand printed lino cut fabric (you can find out more about the process of creating this here)

Dress 4.
Is a bright red silk party dress YIPPEEEE!

I'm having so much fun wearing these and I have another 3 on the way! 

This week I finished up a job for Countryfile magazine, created new drawings for Holland & Barrett, and illustrated wedding cakes and bouquets for a private commission. Tomorrow I'm off to Sheffield (early start, please send coffee) for a drawing workshop based on my book at the Millenium Gallery YEY.

Have a lovely weekend whatever you get up to x

More for Holland & Barrett


Hello! here's another new drawing for Holland & Barrett illustrating iron rich foods, I really liked drawing the steak. I've had another lovely week full of drawing, long walks and I'm learning to play the ukelele! It's really fun for me but I'm sure it must be super annoying for my neighbours (sorry neighbours!).

On Tuesday I went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time I'd heard rave review and had been meaning to go for ages and I'm so glad I did. The staging was so inventive and I left feeling completely inspired - I REALLY recommend seeing this one. I've also found a new favourite magazine, it's called Hole & Corner and is full of really passionate crafts people talking about their practice (I've got issue 3).

Next Saturday 6th Sept I'll be running a 'Fearless Drawing' workshop based on my book at The Millennium Gallery in Sheffield. It's been fun planning the event with the team from afar, so I'm really looking forward to putting faces to names! If you're in/ near Sheffield it would be so lovely to see you there!

Have a great weekend! x

Saturday

Holland & Barrett



Hello! here's a new illustration for Holland & Barrett, I love a good massage and so I feel very jealous of the lady above. I've had a really lovely week, lots of secret meetings for new projects (can't wait to spill the beans!) floral commissions and wearing my beautiful new (hand printed) dress made by Dig For Victory in Brighton. I'm in the process of getting seven dresses made, one for each day of the week, and the new one I'm currently designing features my squirrel illustration for Harvey Nichols with long sleeves ready for the (fast approaching!) Autumn.

Yesterday I went to see the Making Colour exhibition at The National Gallery, it finishes on the 7th September and so if you can get to it before then I HIGHLY recommend it. This Bank Holiday weekend will be full of pots of tea, sketchbooks, long walks and reading, have a fantastic time whatever you get up to and I'll see you next week x

Wednesday

Harvey Nichols Bristol










Hello! here's my new illustrated windows for Harvey Nichols in Bristol. They were originally created two years ago for London Fashion week for the Knightsbridge store, they moved to Edinburgh for the festival last year and now have arrived in Bristol. I'm so delighted with how they look and big thanks to the lovely team there who made me feel so welcome x

If you're in/near Bristol then do go and have a look, and whilst there I HIGHLY recommend Cafe Kino I had THE MOST delicious dinner and it's got a really great atmosphere. I'd also recommend the Here and Soma galleries if you have time.

This week (when not in Bristol) I've been drawing echinacea and researching EFT ready for new illustrations for Holland & Barrett. I'm also really excited as the hand printed fabric I recently created is being made into a new dress for me and will be ready on Friday HURRAH!

Enjoy the rest of your week, and next week I'll be back to share some more new drawings for Holland & Barrett x

Tuesday

Hand printing fabric

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Hello! I'm currently getting lots of dresses made by the geniuses at Dig for Victory in Brighton, as I'm a mini 4' 10" and fed up with ill fitting clothes. I have also decided that I don't want to wear other people's drawings, and want to wear my own illustrated fabric. I've had some fabric digitally printed with my design from Spoonflower (highly recommend, great quality and price) but I wanted to try hand printing fabric with my linocuts.

Linocutting is my new addiction, I am OBSESSED with this process, it really suits my nerdy attention to detail and I love the physicality of carving the drawing from the lino. I started out with a really cheap Speedball linocutting set but it was really frustrating, more like digging than carving and I couldn't get the crisp lines I was after, so I splurged on two very beautiful swiss tools which glide through the lino like butter. 

The photos above show you what I've been up to, I'm so delighted with how the fabric has turned out and so thought I'd share the process here...

Image 1: I used carbon paper to transfer the image onto a piece of grey lino, I then used a permanent marker to colour in all the sections I wanted to cut away.

Image 2: I cut away all the black areas using my fancy new tools (pictured), and then coloured in the raised botanical design so I could see what I was doing. I then continued to cut away decorative patterns within the plants. Once complete I inked* up and printed the lino onto paper to check and make further changes as required. 

Image 3. Once I was happy with the print I rolled out black ink onto a sheet of glass and then rolled it onto the block. I laid out the (ironed) fabric along the floor in my hall (it's carpeted, if yours isn't put a towel underneath as it was good to have a soft surface, and protect your floors as the ink might bleed through onto the back.) I then placed the block ink side down onto the fabric, covered it with a sheet of newsprint and then a VERY heavy book. I then stood on top of the book bouncing gently all over the book for 2 minutes (bouncing from the knees only - don't let your feet leave the book as you don't want the lino block to shift underneath!)

Image 4: I repeated, repeated and repeated the printing until I was knackered and had 2.5 meters of fabric hand printed. I then left the fabric for 3 days to dry, ironed it on the reverse to set it, left it another 3 days before washing it in the machine, and then ironed it again ready for it to be made into a dress.

*A little word about inks... I tried lots of different inks as I was ideally after a waterbased ink but I found the results of these VERY disappointing and in the end went with an oil based ink from Lawrences which is fantastic and suitable for fabric and paper. It has to be cleaned up with vegetable oil (as I don't like stinking out the studio with solvents) but is worth the extra clean up effort for the quality of this ink.

I hope that this little rambling how-to might be of use to someone, it's mostly for me to be able to remember the process so I can do it again, but maybe it will help someone else too!

Have a fantastic week, and I'll see you next time x