Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sneak Preview of 'The Norwich Resident' mag' press

So, I thought I'd show you some of the illustrations that are going to be featured in an article on Norwich illustrators - due to appear in August's issue of 'The Norwich Resident'.  Since it launched in June, rumours have it that people have been trying to buy copies - even though it is free!! That's some frenzy! You can actually subscribe to the e-edition here - for free! More about it here too if you're interested...!

Emma Harrowing (the Editor) approached me and asked if I would draw something in response to the question: 'what does Norwich mean to you?' My experience of this 'fine city' is that I have been lucky to meet some mighty fine people (!) ... so I decided to draw some of them in our favourite haunt - our local. We get together for 'Stitch & Chips' at the Kings Arms on a fairly ad hoc basis these days, but there's definitely the same spirit of camaraderie - that ever there was since we first started going there - over five years ago now. For me a local is is all about friendly faces ... here are just some of the one's I drew:

Look out for the printed/ e-edition for the others I drew and to put names to faces! Here are a few snaps I took too from the night I did the initial sketches:

I was a bit shy about being in the final piece myself. I really saw it as a reportage illustration and like a photographer, the idea of me being 'in shot' didn't make sense... Anyway, here's hoping my friends are still just that - after they see how I 'captured' them...fingers crossed! 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lovely Violet

This is sweet and funny Violet, who my daughter is lucky to be great friends with. F really does adore her, so much so that she gives her hugs and kisses that she rarely offers to us - her parents! Lately she can't stop saying her name as a question, as if asking where she is! Sadly, Violet will be emigrating with her family to Australia at the end of the summer. Not sure how I am going to explain to F where Violet has gone in September, but just hoping that we can Skype and write lots of letters.

For Violet's Birthday, I drew this portrait of her ... here are the lovely family - just after they got back from a trip to Portugal, which was when I finally got to give them the framed illustration. I know Mamma Vanessa was pleased with it; just not so sure about Violet and her Daddy ... !:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

If you go down to 'The Craft Room' today .... are sure of a big surprise - in the form of some seriously gorgeous wares ... by some seriously talented artisans! It just so happens that I was lucky enough to meet some of them properly at 'Clutter City' this weekend - and darn nice people they were too!

 Clutter City Craft Market 20/4/13 
(My buddy Gemma Correll designed the brillo pads website banner above!)

One of the lovelies I met there was Becky Garratt, who I already met briefly once at 'The Craft Room' (Hall Road, Norwich UK) and who I also realised has brought out some zines I am a great fan of! After seeing her great new cards at Clutter City, I realised she also has the most stunning and versatile handwriting - think I am a little bit in awe! I strongly recommend you check out her blog here:

This is Becky's great business card

Becky was at Clutter City with another great talent too - Will Wilson who is an amazing illustrator and painter of such amazing dinky brooches (have to be seen to be believed!)... you can find him on Twitter and Instagram here: @willwils0n ...while you are there ... I also bumped into another lovely creative bod: Emma Bosancko ...who is a mutual friend (thanks to Miriam Nice!) and most definitely worth a follow - check out: 'The House of Handmade' (here's the: Etsy Shop) for an array of inspired Vintage accessories. I just adore her incredible neckware (not sure if that's what you call it!?) I really am seriously covetting her lovely lined headscarves too- roll on payday! Here's some cross stitch loveliess she sold on Etsy:

Emma's 'Cross Stitched Horseshoe Brooch'

I guess I should add that I have also recently posted a Facebook post about 'The Craft Room' as I have some of my framed prints for sale in there. One of which is this illustrated fella:

Can definitely recommend checking out The Craft Room webpage here (where there are links to Bryony -friendly face and owner of the shop's- Facebook and Twitter pages ... go on - give her a 'Like' - she definitely deserves it!  The shop has been open over a year now and is really is brimming full of great stuff that is also realistically priced too. I also love the fact that you can have proper coffee under the awning out at the front and watch the neighbourhood tooings and frooings!! I shall be heading there this week for sure - whether the weather holds or not!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Spring has arrived in the UK at last...

This last week has seen spring finally descend on the UK ...only a month and a half late! Down my allotment in Norwich (Lakenham Baths) there is such little growth that I took to drawing some veg' instead...! With my thoughts filled with sowing onion seeds and shallot sets, my hands turned to drawing alliums of various kinds. Here are the stages I went through to make the 'allium garland' for my best friend's hen do last week (it was a funny surprise!):

Sunday, 3 February 2013

New Greetings Cards

I have been busy getting some new greetings cards designed and printed. So pleased with the quality of the ones I got printed by Moo  - such lovely thick quality card and envelopes!

The range is called 'Le Coq Gaulois' which means 'Gallic Rooster' - the unofficial bird of France. My partner Manu is French - so I was partly inspired by him. I tried to be playful - using just the rooster's body language to express the meaning of the words ... with dada inspired surrealism! The colours are meant to represent those of the French flag.

With Valentine's fast approaching, I have also had printed a card with some Northern Cardinals. These really are such stunning red birds. I also hope the body language of these two males (a bit of a nod to the campaign here in the UK to legalise gay marriage) ... is suitably romantic!? Before I started illustrating the card, I did a bit of my usual research ... and I found out that cardinals or 'redbirds' as they are also know, are amazing songbirds. Both males and females sing (very unusual) and they have up to 24 songs in their repertoire - impressive!

Monday, 21 January 2013

'Snowfest' and new specs

In case you haven't heard the UK is one big snowfest right now! So last week the news on the street was that the streets aren't safe - to walk on that is! In the UK when it snows the pavements become near impassable (Here's some funny Norwich evidence to prove it: and the whole country seems to just want to hunker down. Hibernating instincts aside (I definitely have them at this time of year) I decided to avoid the skiddy pavements and tentatively tread a different path - Lakenham Way (with my daughter bumping along in the pram) and we were rewarded with some lovely scenes.

It was totally inspiring to make this little discovery along the way: someone's wonderful guerilla bird feeding attempt by a lamp post, happily being enjoyed by a robin - ahhh!

Back at home, Manu took this arty dramatic one of our garden:

...where I set to work putting some of this lot out ('Project Feed/ Water the Birds' is in full swing!) - I might have got a bit carried away, but I have been literally been losing sleep over whether the birds are going to be alright with what's turning into quite a cold snap. I have been checking out the neighbours gardens and it's looking rather barren on the bird food front so it was definitely time to step up the feeding!

In other news this past week saw me get some new specs - in preparation for going back to work after being on maternity leave. Not quite as effective at disguising the ongoing sleep deprivation as I might have hoped - check out those bags!

Speaking of sleep deprivation I had a grand total of 6 hours last night (bisected mind!) and got up at 6am to get ready to travel to the Sixth Form College where I work. Another 5cm of snow had fallen overnight and it was such an adventure walking down the crazy-steep gradient that is Mariners Lane. I was almost skipping but snow boots held up nicely. Just as I was getting to the train station, I saw some trees lit with Christmas lights - had I entered a time warp - surely it wasn't Christmas again already?! I make no apologies for loving trees and decided that anything that celebrates or attracts attention to them is alright by me - a sweet start to the week!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Two of my favourite things

... in one poem! I illustrated this with the January blues in mind ... these are my two favourite antidotes. A bit of poetry comes a close third remedy. There is something very innocent and endearing about this poem and the line 'I thought she was afeared till she stroked my beard' did make me giggle!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I'm Boxing Day Sandwich Designer of the Year 2012!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you would see that I have been getting a bit excited this week about a competition I won ... for something I drew - a sandwich I made over Christmas! It was Miriam Nice's competition and was sponsored by Total Yoghurt. Here was my entry:

As well as the lashings of Total greek yoghurt (a month's supply no less!) that arrived yesterday, I also won Miriam Nice's "Ultimate Sandwich Making Kit' - isn't that dinosaur sandwich bag just great?!:

As if that wasn't enough, I had the honour of having my 'Merry Mushroom Melty' being made by none other food extraordinare herself Ms Nice - as you can see from the stunning photo she took below:

You can see the other entries (there were some very inspiring + delicious looking ones too) as well as more lovely food shots like this one that Miriam Nice's took on her facebook page. Also check out her blog as Miriam is always posting exciting (not to mention inventive) yummy things on there - she really does come up with some seriously tasty treats!

Monday, 7 January 2013

The wanderer returns!

Well now ... what do you know? I've returned! Just as I am sure you were about to give up hope of ever hearing from me in on here again!

Must apologise for the prolonged disappearance act. It's been quite a hiatus I know, but I have been dabbling with Tumblr and Wordpress in my absence. Decided to come back to Blogger as it is so much easier to use on my mobile. I also have another reason for being away for a time ...



And 9 months later (this Christmas)

So as you can see, quite a bit has changed in my life since I last posted. Flobear (her nickname!) was born on 13th of March 2012. It was a rough old road in the early days, but we were also as equally unprepared for how fun a baby could be! My partner Manu (pictured) has made this new chapter a whole lot less less rocky than it could have been. He is really enjoying being a Dad, as you might be able to tell?

It's certainly not all roses of course - it is utterly exhausting and F can easily consume my every waking minute, if I allow it! I have fought to keep a semblance of my previous identity, mainly by keeping my interests alive. I have had to become much more disciplined and have become something of a night worker - NOT in the lady of the night way (!) ...that is to say I do most of my drawing at night now. Sadly the crafting that I also used to write about on this blog has taken a major hit, but I still sometimes manage a wee bit of knitting in the early eves.

Being a Mum definitely forces you to focus your efforts. It also makes you more determined to enjoy the little time you do have, as there's nothing like a baby to make you realise that time really is so fleeting. So for me I hope to make 2013 all about getting my illustration out there - it is after all the thing I love and am officially qualified to do!^^

This Christmas, some of my work was published in the Annual Edition of 'The Lady' magazine. Here's the illustrations I produced for the Victoria Hislop short story (extract):