Sunday, 17 November 2013

Store Visits

If you go down to the woods today... 

I took a trip to Brighton last week for some store visits. As well as visiting the main shopping area, I visited Brighton's North lanes, full of quirky independent shops brimming with unique product. 

There appears to be a strong woodland theme across the high street this autumn, with little fox characters being a major focus. Look at these adorable little kids clothes in an independent store in The North Lanes: 

Love this awesome packaging concept in Next to package jewellery. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

New Town. New Job. New Life

The last half of this year has flown! I haven't blogged for ages... May infact. May, when I was contemplating what my next move was going to be. Where was my life/career going? 

Since graduating in 2011 and working part-time in retail, as well as working endless hours on my design and illustration work, I felt life was taking its toll and I wasn't progressing anywhere. I decided enough was enough and wanted things to change. I was striving for more. So, on the 6th June I packed a suitcase, and with a one way ticket to Brighton in my hand, I jumped on a train with no idea what was going to happen...

This. Was. The. Most. Scariest. Time. Of. My. Life. 

.... But. It turns out that move was a good move and being brave enough to do what I did paid off. Within two weeks (two weeks of trauling around design agencies pushing my work on every single creative director I could get hold of) I bagged myself the perfect new job. 

I am now a full-time retail graphic designer and illustrator working with some of the high streets most prolific retailers and supermarkets. I can't believe that I can finally say "this is my full-time job" 

I'd love to be showing you all what I've been working on for the last few months but everything is shush shush for now until they hit stores. Until then... I'll share my inspiration and experiences of my new life in Brighton. Be prepared for plenty of pictures of fish and chips, the beach and the pier (which you've probably seen plenty of if you follow me on Instagram!)

What has been your bravest life experience/change so far? I would love to learn of your experience :) 


Monday, 13 May 2013

Shortlisted- AOI Illustration Awards 2013

I am so pleased to announce that my work has been shortlisted for the 2013 Illustration Awards! My illustrated windows for Browns Fashion, which I was commissioned for last year, have been shortlisted for the Public Realm category of this years awards! Round 2 of judging will take place at the end of the month, when the final winners for each category will be decided....(fingers crossed!!)

Big congrats to all fellow shortlisters! - The full list has been published here on

Work in progress..

Thursday, 9 May 2013

// NEW WORK // Fashion Editorial

So you may have seen a few sneak peeks revealed on my Facebook page over the last couple of weeks?...

Well, I have just completed my first ever official fashion editorial! YAY!! I was commissioned by new online fashion publication, Never Underdressed by Shorlist Media, to create three 'Fashematic' illustration editorials as a feature for their launch.

Each illustrated 'Fashematic' equation provides a break down of inspiration behind international collections by Louise Gray, Fendi and Celine.

Never Underdressed was launched only this week, and is the UK's first freestanding digital glossy aimed at affluent stylish women. It combines original fashion and beauty shoots and video, with up-to-the-minute news, galleries and features. Go check it out!

The Queen + Tesco Value = Louise Gray #4

Carebear + Punk Mohawk = Fendi #24
Laundry bag + Hug = Celine #22

Thursday, 18 April 2013


I have launched a HUGE sale in my Etsy store, with some items reduced by 75% off! I am currently in the process of developing a new product range and so wanted to clear some existing stock to make room for my new pieces!

Some prints have been reduced to ONLY £5!! -Be quick!!

Perfect for the bf, no? >>

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A little trip to Brighton.

Last weekend I took a mini break to Brighton with one of my best pals and I had the best time!

Our weekend happened to coincide with the Brighton Marathon, which packed out the streets on Sunday- luckily the weather was amazinggg! After exploring the beautiful lanes, home to the cute independent shops and boutiques, we played the 2p machines on the Pier, ate Fish & Chips, walked along the beach in the sunshine, and enjoyed a Choccywoccydoodah dipping pot to finish off the 'holiday'.

This was my first visit to Brighton and I instantly fell in love with the place.. so much so, that I really want to move here! ..(right, I'm off to get planning)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Blog&BuySale ~ Spring Wish List Favourites

If you are a regular follower .. you may have heard the news I spoke about a few weeks ago that some of my products had been selected for the Blog&BuySale Spring Wish List?

The Wish List launched Sunday 17th March and runs for 7 weeks, until Sunday 5th May. The list provides a showcase of some of the very best creative products available online from independent artists & designers. I am so pleased my handmade wares are featured alongside so many awesome products.

Bunny Cushion - Rebecca Abell - £20
Barn Owl Illustration Collar Clips - Rebecca Abell - £10


My Favourites


Here is a pick of my favourites from the list.. there surely is a fab selection of Spring treats to choose from .. (it has been very difficult to restrain myself from buying everything!)

Be sure to check out the full showcase here: BlogandBuySale

Geometric Leather and Waxed Clutch - Weald Handmade - £25
Hand Woven Wool Rug - Agnis Smallwood - £39

Pigeon Brooch - Alice Shields - £16
Tea Tin - Comins Tea House - £20
iPhone Case - Cayenablanca - £18
More Blog&BuySale:


Thursday, 14 March 2013


Ted Baker introduce 'Ted's Finishing School'

Each day throughout the week, from Monday 11th - Friday 15th March, Ted Baker have encouraged followers to get creative and submit an image in response to a daily 'line'.

I have eagerly wanted to submit an entry all week, but due to a busy schedule today has been the only day I have been able to respond. Today's line was "I never compromise on the art of smart" and I came up with this...

Being an illustrator, of course, I decided to illustrate my response within the concept of a fashion illustration. I am totally in love with this Ted Baker- Bird Print Shirt, so took inspiration from this to create my own Ted inspired smart fashion girl. I used my own bird illustrations to create the garment print, which I am super pleased with!

If you're feeling creative.. respond to tomorrow's line, which will be revealed at 11am. Submit an entry through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. (Make sure you hashtag #TedBakerLines for your entry to be valid!) There are prizes up for grabs too, including limited edition tote bags and spot prizes each day.

Friday, 8 March 2013

// FEATURED IN // Blog&BuySale

I am very pleased to announce that I have been selected to feature on the Blog & Buy Sale Spring Wish List! Two of my products have been chosen to be showcased for 6 weeks, along with work by other selected creatives.

The Wish List launches on 16th March and will run until 28th April..  and, I am very certain there will be the perfect Spring treat for you, so why not pop by? 

Image from BlogAndBuySale

A little bit about The Blog & Buy Sale..

The Blog & Buy Sale is a curated list of the very best creative products available online.

"Run by James & Josephine, BlogAndBuySale was launched to help support and showcase the very best creative sellers from around the world.

Intended to promote artists and designers who sell their work on the internet, BlogAndBuySale is all about helping up and coming talent looking to get noticed and make some real cash to boot. There are so many brilliant things getting sold by independent artists and designers, but the problem is the public doesn’t always stumble upon them."

There are some awards up for grabs too! - including, "most shared", "BlogAndBuySale Pick" and "Guest Creative Pick". 

We are delighted to welcome The Design Trust and The Design Museum Shop as our Guest Creative Judges for the Spring special! They will be picking a shortlist of their favourite products before announcing their top pick after the Wish List has finished.
Learn more:

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

ASOS Marketplace

I've been away from my blog for a few weeks (my other part-time job kind went full-time for a while!) Anyway, exciting news to unfold.... I am now selling my wares on ASOS Marketplace!

For now, I have only listed my favoured collar clip collection, consisting of my illustrated rose and owl designs. However, I am hoping to develop a larger range and expand on my collection over the next few months- so stay tuned.

Visit my ASOS shop -->

Here mine is accompanied with my Warehouse acid wash denim shirt- perfect!

(I also sell a range of other gifts on Etsy)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I am back!

 After 10 days off - I have returned to the studio.

As many of my fellow illustrators will tell you, working as a freelancer can mean you leading a very isolated life at times. The hours spent in the studio working to deadlines, alone, day-by-day, (with only a pencil as a friend), means feeling quite lonely most of the time.

So, from having a ridiculously busy Christmas period, with my illustration work, as well as my part-time job, (and a poorly hand), it deemed necessary to plan a break for January.. and so I did.

First things first- to turn off all incoming emails and all social media notifications to my iPhone! (I was reluctant at first, but it had to be done to fulfill complete tranquility).

I then began my week by spending the first few days with my best pals, having laughs, in a hot tub, in the middle of nowhere, with lots of food and lots of drink. AMAZING. After returning, I spent the rest of my week taking it easy... spending more time with friends, family and my baby nephew. It was just what I needed, and I feel so much better for it.

I'm now back at my desk with a fresh head, full of ideas and lots of plans that I wish to accomplish this year!

Thank you to my friend Megan Kelly for these photographs. x

Monday, 14 January 2013

Product photography day.

After the snow had stopped this morning, the sunshine broke out, and the light filled up my studio! It is very rare that I get any natural light into my studio, so I took upon this rare opportunity to take some product shots of some new items to be added to my Etsy shop.

These handmade necklaces holds one of small pencil illustrations and are part of my 'Woodland Walk' collection that I launched back in November. (I have more products in my Etsy shop adorned with the same illustrations).

Monday, 7 January 2013

Did you know? ...

DID YOU KNOW? .. My collar clip illustrations are coated with a gloss sealer 3 times before gluing to a glass cabochon topper. Once dried, they are glued into position in blank pendant trays and attached with a small chain, cut suitably to size. Finally, each one is carefully checked over, making sure they of top notch quality and ready for packing to you in my handmade packaging! (All for only £10 each!)

These are available to buy at my online shop

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

My 2012

I am so pleased with my first year as a freelance illustrator and I couldn't be more happy about what I have achieved. I am humbled to have had so much support from not only friends and family, but from the people who have followed me through my social networks and given me some really supportive comments and feedback.

Here is a little reflection in pictures...

1. Graduation at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham  2. The Enquiry Desk: In Session, presentation at Pick Me Up Arts fair, Somerset House, London  3. Window display backdrops at Browns Fashion, London  4. Secret 7" Project exhibition at The Idea Generation Gallery, London

5. Signed Florence & The Machine vinyl from the Secret 7" project competition  6. I discovered and took a class at COW Studio in Birmingham's Jewellery quarter  7. First book cover illustration for The Gentlemen Press  8. Selected for 'British Culture' exhibition at John Lewis, London Oxford Street store

9. Hero of Switzerland group exhibition at The Lomography Gallery, East London  10. My precious little nephew was brought into the world September 18  11. 'Ghost Bike' illustration selected for new talent category in Images 36: Best of British Illustration  12. Illustrations featured in 1000 Portrait illustrations publication

13. Started a new venture by adorning handmade products with my illustrations 14. Sold my new handmade products at Christmas craft fairs 15. Made more products for Christmas 16. Had the best New Years Eve with some of my favourite people

Wishing you all a very happy 2013! x