Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Just So much to do!

Last night I met with the lovely Sarah & Rowan who own the Just So Festival to obtain more information about the event and discuss ideas.  It was a great opportunity to meet them, there was a lot to talk about!....a few things we discussed was the activity I had in mind, materials, volunteers and how it would all fit in with Just So's theme of animal groups.

The activity I will be doing is 'Tribal Animals' where children and families can get together and decorate masks to wear in the parade on the last night of the festival, it will be dependant on which 'Animal Tribe' they belong to, there are six tribes in total which are the Fox's, Lions, Stags, Fishes, Frogs and Owls.

It's really exciting as I love mask masking, working with people and bringing art to life, and where else better to do it than Rhode Hall in Cheshire during August.  I have been allocated a medium sized marquee in the forest which adds to the magical feel of this event!.  I also have the freedom to decorate the area and create a visual tribal world so that people really connect with the activity.

It's now my task to prepare 800-900 animal masks, a list of materials, a few sets of hands and decoration/visual props to decorate the marquee.  It's going to be a little daunting, but all good fun and I'm sure it will be a great experience.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Occupational Health - Art Therapy Placement

Today I met with Emma the Occupational Therapist and 3 other Occupation Health students from Salford University.  I really enjoyed discussing our ideas about the activities we plan to do with the patients and also how much I learnt about the The Meadows Centre and also Occupational Health.

I will be volunteering at The Meadows centre every Friday for 3-4 hours and my task will be to work with Rosewood patients who have been diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer's and provide Art Therapy via various activities themed with nature and the garden.  We came up with various activities such as painting to stimulate the senses, building and painting a totem pole made from wood, planting plants and decorating plant pots and also making collages around nature.

I am really looking forward to starting the placement and think it will be challenging but very rewarding. I love working with and meeting people from all walks of life and backgrounds as I think it opens my eyes to new things and I learn more.


I got this for free today as it had been thrown away in my partner's antique shop as it was slightly damaged.  It's wooden and is from the 40s/50s! It is a little tatty but with a touch of paint and a few characters living inside it will be fab.  I am saving it for a project as it has so much charm and character!.

And they all lived happily ever after....In my Art Room!

I was looking through my blog today and realised that I don't seem to have any finished pictures of the things I have made for past projects. 

So here are some images of the things I have made so far, they all live together on a little shelf in my art room now!.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Vanessa Boer - Illustrator & Maker

I have not been having much luck lately trying to find a Illustrator-Maker type person who works in a variety of mediums, however today I stumbled across Vanessa Boer by chance, Her work is magical and tells of stories. She is currently located in Broklyn, NY, Vanessa is a great all rounder as she is an Illustrator, Maker and Collector who has her own shop on Etsy where she sells handmade things, prints, greeting cards etc, another string to her bow is how she creates props and sets for all kinds of events - This is something I am really drawn to myself.

I found her to be really inspiring how she markets herself as a 'Maker' too and not just an Illustrator.

Here is a link Vanessa Boer's website.

I really loved her website too, the navigation was really good and the 'Studio Tour' was a lovely insight into her visual world.

Some of Vanessa Boer's work...

Handmade Mobile

Handmade character

Vanessa Boer's Studio

Prop / Set Illustration for events

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Discussion Forum 25th January

We have started the Discussion Forums again and the other week the group talked about the differences in personal and commissioned Illustration work.

There was a mixed bag of opinions, for Example Matthew Richardson said he liked his personal work compared to his commissioned work.  Other Illustrators thought there was no difference between personal and commissioned work.  Other Illustrators advised that they prefer a wide open brief with no restrictions but that they tend to set them self personal targets so that they have something to work to by a certain deadline.

 The discussion was then focused on myself and other students about our own opinions.  I prefer much more open briefs as I am a generator with ideas and like to keep producing work, I also feel able to take risks and be more playful, also I am more of an authorstrator as I prefer to create my own narrative from the characters and worlds etc.  I also feel when the brief is really strict it pushes me into a corner almost, this happened in the Gay Straight Alliance brief, I compromised my style and tried to please, but by doing so I was working in a way I never work and producing work I wasn't happy with and didn't feel comfortable doing ! - Definite learning curve.

Art Therapy Placement - What to expect ?

Last week we were informed of a great opportunity to volunteer within the Occupational Health department under the NHS and work on a Art Therapy placement that would be for a few hours each week, that's all I know about it so far.

Art Therapy really interests me as I also use Art as a therapy myself as well as it being something I love.  I have also worked as a Caseworker in the Welfare to Work sector, and although it wasn't from a creative aspect, it involved working with people and supporting them to overcome emotional hurdles and challenges etc, it also involved understanding and connecting to individuals and I connected my experience from that role to this placement as being of some relevance and obviously I love art and all things creative.

I don't know what to expect yet but I am excited to find out.  I will be meeting with the Manager and some other students on Friday to find out more about the opportunity.

Pick Me Up - London 19th April 2013

There seems to be alot happening during April in the creative world this year!.  Train tickets all booked for a day at Pick Me Up that is held at the magnificent Somerset House on the Strand in London.  Pick Me Up is a contemporary graphic art's fair that is in it's 4th year.  I can't wait for this event as it's action packed with galleries, workshops, speakers and the chance to talk to people from the industry.

OFFSET 2013 - Dublin

I have just booked my flights to Dublin for OFFSET 2013 that is being held in Dublin on 5th, 6th & 7th April at the amazing Bord Gais Energy Theatre. I am really excited about going to this event as there will be a wide variety of Illustrators, Graphic Designers and Animators speaking at the event about their practices, influences and the industry and I feel it will be very knowledgeable to listen to them, and of course a little trip to Dublin will be a delight too!

The link to their official website is below where tickets can be purchased:


Just So Sense of Place

I recently made contact with Sarah & Rowan who own Just So Festival to express my strong interests in volunteering for them at Just So 2013.  They got back to me and advised they were more than happy for me to go down to their lovely office and meet them to discuss my ideas etc.

Before I meet them I will put together a 'Sense of Place Book' to visualise my ideas as I want to hold a 'Tribal Animal' activity at the festival that will tie in with Just So's animal theme.  I already have ideas of colours, masks, tribal themed decor and totem poles etc.

Below are a few things that spring to mind that I will use in my 'Sense of Place'...

Moles Little Home

Over the weekend I started to make Mole's Home.  When I make I like to be as inventive as possible and see things withing random objects and found things to make them my own.  For Mole's Home I bought a small set of wooden draws from Hobbycraft, some pot puri and a small mask!.  I felt that the materials selected fitted best in the content of the story.

The next stage will to be make Mole and also the giant Musical Tree that will be behind Mole's Home.

Below are some photographs I took of my progress so far...

Making Wind In The Willows

I am still in the process of drawing and creating the main characters for Wind In The Willows.  Below are some of my drawings I have created so far.

I have just been playing really with different mediums and styles.  I am at the point now where I would like to start thinking about how the elements would work together in a image, So my plan is to photocopy all the images I have made and begin putting together compositions and montages of the elements, and seeing how they work together, alongside this I will continue to create more characters and play with mark making for the background.

I have also realised that I would quite like to do some making and create Moles Homes as I like to bring to life little worlds where these characters would live!.