Wednesday

Artist Residency at Royal Holloway



I am SO excited to share my giant news with you!...

Alongside my commissioned projects I am now Artist in Residence in the Plant Molecular Sciences Department of Royal Holloway University. This is such a dream project for me, the idea for which began around four years ago and I am so excited to see all those hours of research, planning and dreaming turn into a tangible year long adventure. This residency has been funded by the lovely folk at Ted Baker, and I'm really grateful to them for their support, belief and excitement in the potential of this residency.

Plants have always been my favourite subject and although my drawings echo nature, I enjoy embracing artistic licence by subtly altering the leaves, petals and root structures to create unrealistic versions of well known plants. Drawing offers the powerful opportunity to redesign the world however I choose, and this residency explores the potential of making my unreal botanical drawings come to life. To make these highly personal, altered drawings of plants grow and exist in the real world - exciting eh!

I will be spending one day each week drawing in the laboratory as well as attending lectures, having tutorials, working with a team of students and being mentored by my collaborator Professor Bogre. It is a highly experimental (in the artistic and scientific sense of the word) project and I look forward to sharing the work as I create it!

This week I've been working on a new project for Christmas (which I can't share yet but it's really exciting). I've visited the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the new A S T O N I S H I N G Anselm Keifer exhibition at The Royal Academy and the beautiful Manon at The Royal Opera House - the costumes were incredible!

This week Steve's in New York at The Future of Storytelling so I have a weekend of scrapbooks, sketchbooks, audiobooks and LOTS of learning and research for the residency - why didn't I concentrate in biology at school!? x

Thursday

What to Bake and How to Bake it

Hello, next Monday 29th Sept "What to Bake & How to Bake it" by Jane Hornby is published by Phaidon. I am so proud of this book, I illustrated the wrap around cover, end paper patterns, title page, half title page and the four chapter headers. I used a MUCH more vibrant palette than I would normally and it was so much fun to work with these stronger colours.

Here's the final cover...




The patterned end papers....



The title page...


Here's the original drawing for the title page...


The chapter heading for 'Simple Family Baking'...


The original drawing for Simple Family Baking...


The chapter heading for Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea...


The original drawing for Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea...


The chapter heading for Special Bakes...


The original drawing for Special Bakes...


The chapter heading for Desserts & After Dinner...


The original drawing for Desserts & After Dinner...


I thought it might also be interesting to see some of the earlier ideas for the cover....





This week I started two FANTASTIC new projects, they're really exciting and I hope to share the info from at least one of them with you next week. Have a wonderful weekend! x

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