Thursday, 29 September 2016

AOI Competition

Hello my fellow bloggers!

Over the past few weeks I have been creating a piece of work to submit for the AOI Prize
for Illustration competition. This year the theme is 'Sounds of the City -an illustrated interpretation of urban sound'. The brief invited entrants to visually capture sounds heard in our UK cities in a single illustration.

My illustration was inspired by my walks in the Yorkshire countryside where I became interested between the relationship of rural and city life. It became apparent that urban life seemed nearby, whether that was a car driving by the roadside or the tall, shiny buildings on the horizon. I find it interesting how spaces interlink and change over a short distance. My piece therefore emphasises the entwining relationship between nature and the city by illustrating the layering of sounds, objects and atmosphere.

While creating the artwork for this brief I took the opportunity to document the process, as working digitally is something that I am experimenting with. People that know me well will know how frustrated I've been having not created that much of my own work lately, so this piece was a good excuse to experiment and get producing something in my own style.

All I have to do now is wait till November to hear who has been selected to exhibit at London Transport Museum, read more about it here

Enjoy the images below and as always let me know your thoughts :)
Thanks for your time.
Bye for now. 

Initial sketches and ideas

Final A3 sketch

Development work- Digitally colouring on photoshop 

Development work- Finalising colours and composition

Final image

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Millyard Gallery Exhibition

Hello my fellow bloggers! 

I have some lovely news, I have been invited to exhibit some of my illustration prints at a lovely gallery in Oldham called Millyard Gallery, check them out here.

The exhibition is on till 15th November so still have time to check it out if you're around there, I would strongly recommend having a wonder around the town and checking out some of the quaint cafes. I feel so privileged to be exhibiting alongside such talented artists shown below.

En Plein Air studies from Angelsey by M Whyatt 
John Hewitt Ancestral Figure Graphite 

Lush Design

Sarah Battle Water Colour Collage 

Woodcuts by Anthony Ratcliffe
My animal print framed and ready to go

Monday, 15 December 2014

Hillsborough College Photos

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone's having a lovely start to the week.

Here's some photos that were taken a few weeks ago at one of my visits at Hillsborough College, hopefully I'll be able to share some of the fantastic prints they did soon.

Advising a student on lino printing at Hillsborough College

Students and staff listening to my presentation

Student hard at work lino printing

Thanks for looking

Bye for now

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Hillsborough College Workshop

Hello Everyone!

Over the past few weeks I've been engaging with different universities and colleges with delivering workshops and lectures.
Here's a quick post about my visit to my old college at Hillsborough in Sheffield. It was so nice to go back their and talk to the current students, the college seemed so much smaller than I remembered...

I gave a 20 minute presentation to A level and diploma level art students about my work and experiences. The aim of the presentation was to show the students an illustration pathway that they might not have considered yet. I reassured the students that I didn't know what I wanted to do after college when I was that their stage.
It was actually my college tutor who introduced me to studying illustration at university, I must admit I had never heard of it before!

I took the students through my journey from school to uni- I even managed to find my final college project which I found hidden away in an art folder! I haven't got the heart to throw any of my old art out!

Example of College Project based around Self Image

After the presentation I asked the students if they had any questions and then began the printmaking workshop about lino printing. I gave them a demonstration on cutting and printing and supplied them with hand outs on the process to keep referring too.

The workshop was designed around a commission the students were given by Chatsworth House. Chatsworth commissioned the students to create a unique piece of work based around the environment and surroundings.

By using my paper pop up piece as inspiration, the students collaborated with me to create a new pop up piece about Chatsworth House.

Students used my pop up paper piece as inspiration

All the students were really engaged throughout the workshop and produced some fantastic lino prints. Some of them had never produced work in this medium before so it was great to show them a new process.

If you would like any information about my print workshops that I deliver or would like to book me for your school, college or university then please don't hesitate to contact me via email -

Thanks for looking

Bye for now

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Louise Wilson Interview

Hello Everyone! 

I thought I'd share this interview of the recently deceased Louise Wilson (1962-2014) who was the Professor of Fashion Design at St. Martins. 
Louise talks about her own MA experiences and how education has changed. 
For people that are thinking about studying for an MA in the Arts, I'd suggest to give it a quick watch. 

Hope everyone's having a lovely Thursday afternoon 

Bye for now

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Lincoln Illustration Lecture

Hello Fellow Bloggers!

I thought I'd share with you what I've been up too recently. November has already been a busy month, which I have loved every minute of and there's still more to come!

A few weeks ago I was asked by the Illustration Department at  Lincoln University whether I would be willing to talk to some of the third year students about my work and how the MA Design Programme had informed my practice and I of course excitedly said yes!

So on Monday 17th November I spent a full day lecturing to the 2nd Year and 3rd Year Illustration students. I firstly introduced myself and explained how a lot of their visiting speakers probably talk about their working experiences- to give them an insight into the industry their going in too. But my presentation was going to be slightly different, I was more focused on showing them my work and what to expect after uni.

I wanted to speak quite honestly and open about my journey through Illustration, including the highs and the lows. I think a lot of illustrators suffer from creative block from time and time and it can get very frustrating and disheartening when a project isn't turning out exactly how you planned.
I reassured the students that this perfectly normal and problem solving is why creative people love what they do so much.

I know if I found the creative process easy then I would get very boring very quickly; but I think taking risks, challenging yourself and making mistakes are all part of the creative process and need to be practiced, whatever stage in your professional career.

All the students in 2nd and 3rd year were really engaged and came up to me afterwards to talk individually. They all had different thoughts on where their practice might be heading and I know a few of them were considering continuing in education towards a Masters. I hope some of the advice I gave them was taken as food for thought , as everyone's experiences and opinions are different.

Here's a few images of my Portfolio that I took in to show the students, they all seemed to really like the stock I had printed on, which is 300 gsm Somerset Printmaking Paper. We all agreed that printing on nice stock gives the work a richer quality.
A3 Box Portfolio
The box portfolio is effective when prints need extra attention and need to be handled.
A3 Box Portfolio
Left- Boxing Cows, Giclee Print.
Right - Run Rabbit Run, Giclee Print
A3 Box Portfolio
Left-  MA Dissertation 'Stepping Beyond the Familiar'
 Right- Giclee print called 'Have you got any Polos?' 

Thanks to the Lincoln Illustration Department for inviting me to talk to the students and the students themselves for being engaged and enthusiastic throughout my time there

If students would like any advice or the notes from the slides them please contact me via email at

Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post about working with my old college on a Chatsworth House commission.

Thanks for looking
Bye for now

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Stepping Beyond the Familiar

Hi Everyone,

Here's a sneak preview of  my book 'Stepping Beyond the Familiar'.

Stepping Beyond the Familiar captures my experiences whilst studying for a Masters in Design and Illustration. The writing is set in chronological order and encompasses the changes in my development as a postgraduate student. My 'MA journey' is highlighted through various diary- like entries and vignettes, which illustrate significant moments in time when experimenting with new media and approaches with my creative work.

Front Cover 

The book offers an insight into the trials, tribulations and successes of being a postgraduate design student.  One of the document’s aims is to comfort those students who are questioning themselves, their practice and how they define what they do within the creative industry, by showing them that they are not alone in these intense thoughts. The writing therefore highlights some of my achievements whilst studying for an MA, but also emphasises the struggles of postgraduate development, by exposing those moments of uncertainty and doubt when exploring something new and unknown.

Back Cover
The book specifically takes the reader on my journey towards creating my new and experimental work, which was inspired by the act of wandering in the environment. My new work encompasses my encounters and experiences that are both seen and heard along a walk in the countryside. The work illustrates animals and objects that were seen in a variety of places such as: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Doncaster Wildlife Park and Chatsworth House. Through visiting these places it provided me with the inspiration to create rich imagery, which aims to heighten people’s own experience of the world and encourage them to explore new places for themselves.

First inner page

Inspired by my surroundings, I incorporated my encounters, overheard conversations and snatches of dialogue heard along a journey. The conversations and dialogue in the work were documented by using a Dictaphone and a note book, which I carried around at all times. Through combining the senses of sight and sound into the work, it that provides the viewer with a more engaging, insightful and stimulating experience.

Double page spread

The narrative behind my creative work is solely directed from the my own experiences whist being outside and isn’t inspired by a pre-existing text. This approach has allowed for more freedom to self-publish and promote the work independently, which also breaks the conventions of the ‘traditional’ illustrator, who has a brief or a client to work with. The work is autonomous and self- directed, which raises questions around whether it is an illustration or a piece of art. This then bares questions around whether we need to ‘label’ ourselves to define what we do in contemporary art practice.

Book exhibited in MA Design Show

The book is currently exhibited in the MA Design Show for you to look through at your leisure. If you would like more information then don't hesitate to contact me at

Thanks for looking
Bye for now