Thursday, 28 August 2008

Birthday boy

Although they are pink and undoubtedly girly, these are for my boyfriend's birthday. The boy in question doesn't like sweet things but doesn't want to miss out on a cake either, (confused?) so I decided to make something lovely looking. The polenta makes them taste a little grainier and healthier than normal cupcakes, yum.

Here's the recipe for Strawberry and polenta cupcakes.

NB is an excellent website made by Poke, the site had a few initial teething problems last year but it's my first port of call for all amazing recipes, cakes especially.

This is London

I've just had a delivery from Amazon, which always makes me smile, BOOKS! Among which I received This is London, illustrated and written by Miroslav Sasek, he was inspired to create this series (18 different countries in all) after a visit to Paris.

What is beautiful, aside from the gorgeous illustrations is the snapshot of 1960's life they capture, from attitudes, dress sense and even colour.

My version is a reprint but has footnotes about modern day London. The tone of voice is just wonderful, I imagine it could enthrall adult and child alike.

"Queuing is for a Londoner a kind of sport" and "This is a street-cleaner. At the end of all things comes the broom".

Just wonderful, I want to go off exploring London town.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Green graffiti

I am completely in love with this project, I want one! Previous student bedrooms have been known to cultivate damp but this mossenger project is really beautiful in comparison, I'm going to go and find it, it's only around the corner from my flat.

Congratulations Anna Garforth and Eleanor Stevens for this simple and beautiful work, I wish I'd thought of it. It's part of YCN Live which I'm going to the opening of tonight, so I may keep an eye out for them...

Anna has somewhat of a green finger, she's also made some beautiful Head Gardeners from old milk bottles, I'm tempted to make one.

My First Commission

I haven't seen this in two years! It was commissioned by Paul Barlow of L&Co for Reed Education, I had to illustrate from a list of quotes about teaching.

There's a lot I'd like to change about these images, but it's still good to see what I did, just a little scary it was two years ago, pre-Digit.

I was digging about my old illustrations at the weekend and will have to post some of the findings, I need to photograph my 2.5D work from New York. It made me want to start making things again though, which is good! Watch this space.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

100 Things Challenge

I've never backpacked around the world, but I have been a student and I have lived out of suitcases while looking for flats in London, but could you survive/cope for a year with only 100 belongings?

It sounds a lot, but actually think about it, four seasons, holidays, entertainment, clothes!

It's an interesting concept, there are people in the world who have nothing, so this act of humility(?) could make us all rethink our lust for products. I'm quite intrigued, the rules are fairly flexible, I could count all my books as 1 item...

100 Thing Challenge
Illustration Credit: Penelope Dullaghan

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Home Tweet Home

Being back at home is a great chance to recharge your batteries, eat good food, and catch up on your old belongings. I love rediscovering old books and especially old illustrations. I'm a huge fan of the lost art of writing letters and Nick Bantock's intricately illustrated books are a marvel of detail and yarn spinning but at its core it's love story through time, space, flourishy handwriting and stamps.

If you're able to, read these books. You have to remove the letters from their envelopes to read their correspondance, it's a voyeur's delight and Bantock's love of detail makes sure you spot something new at every read.

Illustration detail from an envelope in the trilogy.
Photo credit: Fu Man Jew

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Reading is officially sexy

I love Penguin. Anyone who knows me, knows this much is true. So I have to tell you that Penguin have teamed up with to form, so you can find your love based on the books you read, you have to have a common interest right? Unless you subscribe to the 'opposites attract' philosophy which I happen to.

Photograph credit: Eifion

Penelope Dullaghan

I'm a big fan of Penelope's work, and own a print of The Sweeping Print. Her work is narrative, delicate and soothing, take a look at her stuff, it spans editorial illustrations, painting, type and pattern.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Serge is in the details

I'll be honest, I'm posting this because Spencer Wilson has just reminded me how lovely his work is, while he's the guest poster over at It's Nice That. I saw this ENORMOUS Vodafone (commissioned by BBH) poster in an Istanbul airport in May while I was in the departures queue, so I had a long time to study the immense detail in this beautiful piece.

I looked for ages for who has created this world, and then when I wasn't looking stumbled upon it at The AOI's Images 32 exhibition a few weeks ago, and took an illustration-tourist shot of it. Most impressively I've learnt that Serge Seidlitz created the world in 7 days! He's a god among illustrators, so to speak.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Anything rather than nothing

Thank you Elin Svensson, for echoing my thoughts, sometimes it is better to draw anything rather than nothing, I have been known to suffer from blankpageitis.

"Blocked by my own expectations, I could not seen to get anything down on paper. The fear of having nothing kept growing ... I drew and sketched what felt like gibberish, determined to create something out of nothing"

Elin is a graphic design and illustration graduate of London College of Communication.


I am currently coveting this Rob Ryan print available from If You Could, but it's only available for the next 12 days, I'm hoping I can wait until payday.  His papercut images are highly distinctive and intricate and I can't say enough good things about him.

My inner fangirl came out when I met the wonderful Mr Ryan at the V&A Village Fete, where we both had stalls. I was there reppin' Digit (my day job) along with the Hammertime crew.

I'd spotted Rob on the friday night and on saturday promptly presented him with my copy of This Is For You, a most divine book, a birthday gift from my lovely friend Sophie.

Incidentally another Sophie (Dahl) writes a review of the book, 
"An enchanting rare book, that is a pure delight from beginning to end".

Beard - new and improved

Lauren Beard is a button-loving Bolton-based illustrator and she has new website, so take a peek...

Her characters and story lines are quirky and endearing and just a tad on the dark side, perfect for children! I especially love The Useless Adventures of Squirrel Girl, although maybe that is aimed at a slightly older demographic. Lauren has worked with Orchard Toys and their publishing house Tiberius Publishing and has some beautiful books that you can buy right now, Say Please Louise and No Bath Bob.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Smooth legs font

I developed this font for a Wilkinson Sword project called The Butterfly Effect, I have finally gotten around to making it into a proper font, using a programme called Type Tool. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and now want to make more! I'm still tweaking the kerning between certain letter pairs, but it's more or less done.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Images 32

I had the pleasure of attending Images 32 private view a few weeks ago, which was a lovely event over at London College of Communication. It's a great space and is there until 29th August when it goes on tour. So if you can, take a peek, it's free!

The AOI have done a great job and by their own admission, it's been a strong year for illustration, it was a strange experience seeing illustrators whose work I've admired from afar, so putting faces to names and most importantly seeing the people behind the illustrations was surreal. Jill Calder, Jonny Hannah, Tom Gauld and most extraordinarily Quentin Blake were in attendance, the latter of which was presenting the awards in lieu of David Downton's absence.

I was there as Jemma Robinson (pictured above) of Jemillo fame's guest, this is Jemma's second inclusion in Images. My work was featured in last year's Images, but my day job has become my excuse for not doing more personal work, this is something I aim to amend. More pictures of the night are available on my flickr page.  

Images 32 cover photograph courtesy of The AOI, cover illustration by Jill Calder.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Triangle trends

I spotted this in Benefit's window, I like their use of illustration for 'b spot', it's very on-trend with geometric doodly fillers. YCN are a big fan of this style, their represented illustrators have their finger on the popular pulse, there's always the fear of being seen as chichi, but I think this illustration works well, especially on a large scale.
I'm a sucker for Benefit's packaging, always quirky, tongue-in-cheek and antiquated. However this particular illustration is verging on the style of Dirty Girl packaging.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Hello world!

I'm told this is the traditional inaugural opening line of any blog, so let's go! I hope to write about illustration in all its guises and hopefully encourage myself to finally make a website after two years of hot air.

I'd also like to add, after a very fruitful conversation at lunch, this insight:
"Happiness is our default setting, we just can't help but meddle with the settings"
Who knows, an illustration may follow one day, or atleast Bowerbird's book of insights.

Also I would like to thank Spencer Johnson, who penned two books that have had a profound effect on me which I recommend to all, tinker,tailer, soilder and spy alike. "
Who Moved My Cheese" and "The Present". Don't be put off by the titles, they offer very profound lessons in the form of simple stories, and are the reason I am starting this blog about my passion, illustration.

Image Credit: Bowerbird, pitch illustration for Marks & Spencer