Thursday, 12 December 2013

Alien Activity

Here's a little maze puzzle I whipped up to go in my children's publishing portfolio. Again practicing how text and image can work together on the page. It also counters the extreme girliness of my last post.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Colouring Book

Here's another new piece of children's illustration. I've been trying to incorporate typography into my latest portfolio pieces to place my work in a commercial context. I'm planning on producing at least one spread from the inside of this book to go alongside it too.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Three little paintings I finished off today. Nice to get back in the habit of working with traditional materials, helps loosen everything up. Would anyone like to see these on greetings cards?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Butt Out Billy!

This is a mock front cover that I created for a job application at a children's publishers to show creative use of layout and typography. I had so much fun making this that I am tempted to develop the story and work up some further spreads to go in my portfolio. Plus I love to draw goats!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


This is the first of a series I'm working on for my portfolio. It's aimed at 0-3 year olds as part of a book about insects. I will be doing several others in a similar way and sending them out to publishers and agents in the next month or so.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Shooting the Messenger

Here's an editorial style illustration I created for my secondary blog. It's referring to the way people can react aggressively towards those trying to educate others about ethical decisions. I'm hoping to create this kind of opinion article and accompanying illustration at least fortnightly to bump up my portfolio and practice my writing skills for blogging. You can read the full article here.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Secondary Blog

Some of you may know that I am, in fact, a vegan! As such I try to advocate animal rights in a positive way which is why I set up my secondary blog. The Illustrated Vegan covers food, ethics and culture from a vegan perspective with a little bit of humour and some illustrations to jazz it up. I also use it as a place to experiment with different styles and formats of illustration so even if you're not vegan or vegetarian hopefully you'll at least enjoy the pictures! Here's my favourite illustration so far:

Anyway you can find my blog here, on Tumblr here and on Facebook here.

Monday, 21 October 2013


This week I am making preparations for setting up and Etsy shop so to celebrate I am offering people the chance to win a selection of goodies by entering my giveaway on Twitter. All you have to do is retweet this link and I will pick one winner out of a hat on Friday 25th October. Everyone who retweets will also receive a 20% off code for use in my store.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Internship update

Since the end of August I've been working as an intern with a local, environmentally-friendly graphic design company call Green Hat Design so I thought I'd write a little post to update everyone on my experience there so far. I secured the placement through a speculative email with a copy of my CV and a link to my portfolio. I was then asked to visit the company for an interview at which they offered me a placement after looking through my printed portfolio.

As an illustrator, I have a general knowledge of graphic design, the programs used, technical terms and the like but after just a few weeks I've realised there is a lot more to learn! The head of the team, Andy, is also aware of this, however, and has given me jobs that utilise my illustrative skills as well as some more design-focused tasks.

Firstly I was thrown in at the deep end and asked to create a banner for the University of Bristol's freshers fair that outlined the possible modes of transport for getting around the city. We decided on a design that emphasised connections, diversity and the fun you can have traveling. After many hours of Illustrator, even more hours of Photoshop, some tweaks from my co-workers and one massive file we sent the document to print - here it is with me standing next to it!
The next project I got to work on was super fun and very close to my heart - illustrations for Secret World Wildlife Rescue who are helping vaccinate badgers in opposition to the badger cull. Andy put together a pitch for the centre and it was my task to jazz it up with some animal illustrations, including this one:

And Green Hat got the job! So hopefully there may be some further work for me there and the possibility of a trip to the rescue centre! Finally I am working on a Christmas card (which is enormously enjoyable) as well as doing bits and pieces here and there.

Although my self-employment plans have had to go on hold whilst at the company, I have found it to be incredibly helpful to work with real jobs and real clients. I've noticed a sharp increase in both the quality of my illustration and my general work ethic which will undoubtedly help wherever I end up in my career.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Preparing for my favourite holiday of the year! I will be selling this as a greetings card at the Bristol Comics and Zine Fair and on my soon to open Etsy shop. So if you'd like to get your hands on one watch this space!

Friday, 23 August 2013

New Baby

This week I've been working on self-promotion by sending out work to bloggers and websites who might be interested (see previous post) as well as arranging the details of my internship which is now due to start earlier than anticipated on this coming Tuesday. So I haven't had a huge amount of time for creating actual images this week. However this is something I managed to squeeze in and I'm going to try and do at least one more greetings card over the weekend. Once I have a handful of designs I will be getting them printed, ready to be sold on my Etsy shop which is due to open its doors any time soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Business Boom Collective

Good news - I have been lucky enough to be featured on Business Boom Collective!

The website is dedicated to showcasing up and coming talent in the design world as well as advertising jobs and events in the creative industries. My work can currently be seen on the homepage and you can read the article about me and my work here.

There is also a page dedicated solely to students and graduates from the University of Lincoln which is rather nice too.

A massive thank you to James at Business Boom for the feature!

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Third and final editorial of the week. This one was about people who attempt to make their own luck, which in itself defeats the point of luck.

Also I've been updating my website this week - have a look here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Here's another practice editorial for an article about how people who work to strict schedules can often be freer in their spare time than those who don't. I totally agree with the article and my 9-5 pattern has proved to be particularly efficient this week already.

Monday, 12 August 2013


A little piece I've been working on to try out some new brushes and techniques as well as sharpening up my editorial skills. I gave myself 24 hours to read the article, come up with thumbnails, sleep on it, revisit it then create the final image and this forced me to work efficiently and make decisions on my work. The article was about people wearing their true colours.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Creative CV

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been looking at and applying for jobs in graphic design. So it makes sense that my CV visually reflects my design skills, especially considering I don't have much in my portfolio at the moment. This is the current version I'm using and it was really fun to do because I put some of the design skills I've been learning into practice. My next task is to create another version of my CV but for publishing jobs, working it up as a spread for a magazine.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Graphic Design

I have been reading lots about graphic design since I've moved to Bristol because I am looking to branch out into other creative areas.  Not only will this increase my chances of getting some work but also provide me with new challenges.  My illustrative work naturally takes on quite a graphic form so it will be interesting to see whether my graphic work ends up becoming more illustrative.  This is a flyer I've designed for Trinity, a local community arts project who regularly give local artists the chance to design their promotional material.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


As some of you may know, my entry for Anorak magazine's games competition was chosen to be published in the summer special of the mag - and here it is!  I am very proud to be featured in one of my favourite magazines alongside some of my favourite illustrators.  Congratulations to everyone who made it in!  Photo by  You can also see my original image here.

In other news, I have been taking part in Lilla Rogers' Global Talent Search 2013!

The first brief was to create a journal cover for Paperchase based on old school playground items so I started by working on a piece involving cheeky monkeys on the monkey bars (see previous blog post).  This, however, did not turn out to be very successful so I made the decision to start again and came up with something more traditional, but more in line with the theme and the client.  Here it is:

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Work in Progress


 A sneak preview of a rather fun project I've been working on this week.  It's pretty hard fitting in illustration when there's so much to do with the new flat (and when there's such nice weather outside!) but it feels good to be working on something at last. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Easy Chilli Recipe

An illustrated recipe card as practice for my upcoming food blog and as an experiment with something a little more graphic.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Competition and Charity

You can win a custom portrait or pet portrait (hand-painted by me!) by donating £1 to the amazing Well Small Animal Rescue in Lincolnshire!  As you can tell from the name, they're a rather small sanctuary but are growing steadily thanks to support from donations and fundraisers like this.  In addition to winning a painting, you get to officially name this lovely little fellow.  You can enter as many times as you like and winners will be drawn from a hat later this week.  Follow WSAR on facebook or message me for more details. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Business Cards

 Today I managed to put up all of my work for the degree show (sadly no photo as I forgot my camera) and my business cards arrived!  Now all I need to do is buy a new portfolio sleeve, double check my sketchbooks and put my files on a CD.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Degree Show Excitement

Our degree show is looking to be the best Chad Varah House has ever seen!  Lots of work is going into the preparation of it by the awesome committee members and I can't wait to see the fantastic work our year has produced on display.  If you'd like to come along, the private view is on Friday 31st May, 6-9pm and the show will stay up for two weeks until June 14th (closed Sundays).  More details can be found here.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Art Is Smart

This painting is for a Twitter competition to redraw Gerard Way's profile picture and to encourage people to be creative, which is what he's all about.  I met him once but forgot to take a drawing so this is a pretty good opportunity for him to see my work.  Plus I doubt I'll get starstruck over the internet.  It was lovely just to paint and play with traditional techniques for an afternoon instead of staring at a screen all day so I might just be doing some more work in this vein very soon.  Possible background to come soon too.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Another game to go in my activity book.  This one has the most relevance to the plot of the opera and I'm really pleased that the limited palette works.  Originally this image had loads of thick black lines round everything and it just looked horrible.  Very glad I had time to change it into something much slicker.

EDIT: Just realised this is my 100th blog post!  I love blogging.  Thanks to everyone who has visited in the past three years!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Activity Book Cover

Cover design for The Magic Flute's activity book for children under 10.  I've just got the activities themselves to tweak and I'm done!  Organised or what.  These may be available in small printed versions at the degree show but that will depend on print quality when scaled down.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Forest Animals

Taking a break from FMP work with some cute animals and pretty patterns.  This is what my sketchbooks are full of all the time yet they never end up as finished illustrations.

Finalised Character Cards

Completed (?) character cards for my FMP.  It's fantastic having a tablet that works with my Mac; I had forgotten the freedom of being able to draw straight back into vector images to make them instantly more energetic.  The Queen and Sarastro card is my favourite, but I'm actually pretty pleased with the whole set.  Looking forward to seeing them printed off nice and big.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Palmer Hargreaves on display

Here are some photos of my winning competition entry on display in the reception of Palmer Hargreaves' offices.  Henry Billington, who was kind enough to offer us this opportunity, has featured my work along with the other two winners, Grace Sandford and Jenny Palmer, on his blog which you can visit here.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Repeat pattern

Pattern based on the character of Papageno in The Magic Flute.  Hoping to enter this into the Tigerprint competition but I might play around with the colours to make it more feminine as the brief is looking for something quite specific.

Colouring in!

This is literally the most fun thing I've drawn all year - think of the fun I'll have colouring it in!!  Part of my FMP activity book.  My favourite is the snail.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Character Cards - further development

Further work on my FMP character cards, trying to get the balance between texture, energetic line and my love of clean shapes just right.   I really like how this set of images is coming along and it feels good to have some more final pieces under my belt.

Dot to Dot

Part of my FMP involves a selection of illustrated games for children based on The Magic Flute.  This is one of them which has caused me a right headache since its conception way back in January, but I'm finally pleased with it.  I'm also entering this into Anorak magazine's games competition in the hope of winning a lifetime subscription to their magazine!  Even if I don't win, it's nice to have my work seen by the editor of one of my favourite illustrated mags.  Wish me luck!

Monday, 22 April 2013


The start of an exciting new development in my FMP work.  I really can't wait to get this idea off the ground and developed into a clever addition to my body of work.  This set of images has given me a new boost of confidence and enthusiasm which is exactly what I need so close to the deadline!  More of these and further development coming shortly.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

New Ticket Design

The front and back of a ticket design.  I'm not sure if they fully work together so I'll have to print one double-sided to see how the design works as a whole ticket.  The back is my favourite because scarab beetles are cool.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I won something!

My piece for Palmer Hargreaves was selected to be displayed on the screen in their new reception area.  A massive thank you to Henry Billington and his creative director for choosing my work and for the fantastic opportunity.

Friday, 12 April 2013

CV and Business Card Designs

Preparing myself for a careers meeting on Monday morning.  Hopefully I'll get some useful advice on how to get a job and get paid!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Magic Flute Poster - further development

Here is the poster at the next stage - more tweaking of the triangles (I should have done those in Illustrator!), the addition of the other characters and the serpent, plus I've changed all the moons to be half moons to reinforce the balance/opposites/two-halves-make-a-whole theme.

I'd really love some feedback on this as I'm hoping to use it on the back of my business cards.