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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: studio, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 169
1. Needle felt tinies and new workshops

Tiny Polar Bear (sold)

I  recently updated my website and for the first time (ever) catalogued all my designs by year and month. Nine years of almost non-stop needle felting.  It took many days of hunting on various camera cards and through this blog and Flickr, but eventually I got there.


Looking through it was a bit of a wake up call and I was able to look at my work and realise not only that I've done a phenomenal amount of work, but also that I've not really moved on, stylistically. Although, to be fair, the last few years haven't exactly been the time for creative navel gazing.


I think it has a lot to do with the last few years of creating commercial patterns, which have to be easy to make, and doing so many workshops, ditto. So I've not really stretched myself. 
 
 
I think making myriad cute toys has almost run it's course for me, after all, I've been doing them for nine years. So I've been finishing off several bits and pieces, including this set of tiny animals and bird dolls, which despite being small, take around six hours plus to make


As usual, I've bunged them on dear old Etsy. I'll be starting a shiny new website soon, for my new work. 



I started a new and very 'grown up' line of work this summer, but it is under wraps until I have several pieces. Suffice to say, I am stretching myself at last. 


While I'm cheerfully shoving things for sale under your noses, I may as well add that I've got some fabulous new workshops in the UK, for later in the year. I have two winter workshops in Hampstead, London at the Village Haberdashery - my first time in London! It's going to be the red eye train at crack of dawn for those two.

I am also going to be in Witney, Oxfordshire at the Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre. And in Birmingham, at the lovely shop of Lauren Guthrie, who was a British Sewing Been finalist in 2013, at Guthrie and Ghani

All of these courses, with links to the relevant booking pages, can be found on my website, on the Needle felt workshops page.




In other news, I've finally started painting properly again. But I'll spare you that for the time being.

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2. treacle, canine life model

Today Elissa and I have a canine life model in the studio!



If you look in the front of Jampires, this cutiepie gets a mention in my picture book with David O'Connell. :) Treacle's surprisingly tricky to draw!

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3. Bicycle girls with pony tail- Business Card Sculpture

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4. Head First into a Muck Heap!


I have been working on a couple of illustrations from the middle of the Class One Farmyard Fun. This is the bit where the bull is free and biffing people into the air, left right and centre. He tosses a whole bunch of children into a smelly muck heap and is then creeping up on the teacher...

As usual, I stuck other previously finished pieces onto the drawing board, to use as colour reference for the characters:


Perversely, I tackled the muck heap illustrations in reverse order. This is the one I did least week, where the children are already in the muck. Teacher is too busy wiping muck from her wellies to notice the bull behind her...


The background on this one has been left blank (the pink is just my pink paper), because I intend it to be cut away to a block colour, which we will drop in digitally. Or rather, 2 colours (which is what the diagonal line on the rough is about).

This digital background technique is firstly to create additional visual variety as the reader works through the book. I hit on the idea of the two-coloured background because, when doing the original rough, I had trouble with the scale of the children against the teacher / bull scenario. The kids should really be much bigger, if they are in front, but this didn't work, because they eclipsed too much of the page and didn't allow teacher and the bull enough impact. But I wanted a spread, for added drama. Hmmmm.... problem! By slicing the background into two colours, I am hoping to create a half-way house between two separate illustrations side-by-side, and a single spread.

I have just this morning finished the artwork for the spread before the one above: one of my favourites:


The children are flying through the air and landing in the muck heap. I created a stowaway piglet in the muck heap earlier on in the story, so it was fun to have him here, worrying about children landing on his head!

Next, I'm going to tackle a spread with the bull up close, a nice simple illustration for once, with the poor farmer flying through the air, about to land in a prickly haystack. Hee hee. Thanks for the great subject matter Julia.

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5. Proposal Pop-Up Book



My new designed book - shipped in time for Valentine's Day

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6. Ain’t no party like studio party! #thesis #watercolor...



Ain’t no party like studio party! #thesis #watercolor #studio (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1SZ6vAM

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7. Exhibition: a Year in Sketchbooks


What a varied and interesting year I am having! Yesterday, I went to visit a gallery called Z-arts in central Manchester, where I am having an exhibition in the summer. It is the culmination of my year as Artist-in-Residence at the Morgan Centre. The timing couldn't be better: the end of my residency coincides with the 7th International Urban Sketchers Symposium which, of all possible cities of the world, this year happens to be held in... yep, Manchester. Perfect. 


The funding is still to be finalised, but we are quietly confident and so have booked the space. It is a lovely big area, divided into two sections plus a screening room. Ignore the tables and chairs in the photos - there were just clearing up from an event. 

I hope to have created about 50 pieces of artwork by the end of my residency, so there should be no shortage of material. 


Any regular readers to the blog will know that each piece is created as a concertina sketchbook, recording some element of the life of the students and academics at the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives. The plan is to pick a selection of these sketchbooks to exhibit, and also to blow up details and have them printed on huge AO boards, as well as a few big photos, to show the process. 

The gallery has an outside covered-balcony area too, which will be perfect for a July private view:


We have been wondering how best to mount my artwork. Each piece of my sketchbook artwork is 2 metres long, which is not something you want to glaze. I originally envisaged them opened out and flattened to the wall, but now it seems a shame to entirely flatten them out - I'd like to keep some sense of how they were created. 

I researched different possibilities and sought lots of advice. In the end, I found a really low-tech solution. Very cheap, but extremely effective - using tiny clips:


The idea is the have the clips top and bottom, running along the length of the book, nipping the artwork to the wall at the sketchbook creases. I pressed my handy technician into service and we tested the system in the studio:


We needed to be certain it would work and also that the clips would stay up. It looks great and has been up on the wall for 2 weeks now, with so sign of problems - success!


The show will go up at the very end of July, with an opening event on the evening of Friday July 29th. Come along!

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8. help! we need to find a new fleece station studio!

Hello, everyone! It's the Fleece Station here. We've had a wonderful six years working together in the Old Police Station in Deptford, but our lease is running out and we need to find a new space. We need a new studio and we were wondering if you could help us!



There are three of us (and Gary's dog), and we all write and illustrate children's books, and were wondering if you know of a space that has:

* natural light
* electricity
* good Internet
* a loo
* a sink or somewhere to get drinking water
* space for four work tables and some bookshelves and cabinets (250 square feet or more, ideally)
* warm enough for working in winter, or with the possibility of adding some extra insulation
* 24-hour access
* reasonable security


Ideally we'd love to be near other creative people working and some sort of communal space and/or shops and cafes nearby, possibly in Deptford (our top-choice location), New Cross, Lewisham, Greenwich, London Bridge, Maze Hill or Blackheath. We've run into a few places that don't want to host us because we're not fine artists and our work is commercial, so we're going to have to find a place that doesn't mind having us working in there most days as our main money-earning job.

We will probably need to move out by next November, but we thought we'd better start getting on some waiting lists, and we could move in sooner if a new place came up.

If you're reading this and haven't heard of us, here's Gary Northfield! His most recent books are Julius Zebra with Walker Books and Gary's Garden with David Fickling Books, but he's done loads of others, and created comic strips for The Beano and The Phoenix Comic, among others.



I'm Sarah McIntyre and my most recent books are Dinosaur Police with Scholastic UK, Pugs of the Frozen North, with Philip Reeve and Oxford University Press, and Jampires with David O'Connell and David Fickling Books.



And here's Elissa Elwick, who's working on the first of four Little Adventurers picture books for Walker Books with writer Philip Ardagh, and who previously published The Princess and the Sleep Stealer with Macmillan.



And here are the books we've worked on, mostly in our studio together. What we do in our studio is mostly drawing, painting, digital artwork, scanning, printing, storing our books and drinking lots of tea.



Gary and I have been joined by a few other studio mates in the past, including Viviane Schwarz, Lauren O'Farrell and Ellen Lindner. You can see a bit of Fleece Station history in this video from 2012, right before Elissa joined us.



We'd be very grateful for your leads, if you know of a space, or if you can spread the word to people who might know!

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9. Lights... camera... autocue?

I am setting up recording equipment at the studio so I can film clips now and then, to supplement the workshops I'm running with The Kraken Studio (That's our studio).
It's fun.

Here's the camera and the studio ipad...

...which is a remote and monitor now. There's a microphone, too, and some lighting, but most importantly...

A video posted by Viviane schwarz (@schwarzviv) on


...the autocue, which is pure ancient open source goodness - plus some duct tape.




Good thing I've been collecting assorted electronics for the studio over the last couple of years!

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10. #clouds #studio #nature (at 17th Avenue Studios)



#clouds #studio #nature (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1Kaoji8

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11. “Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor...





“Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor #drawing (at 17th Avenue Studios)




Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1a2UxkQ


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12. mystery drink taste test challenge

One of my favourite things about reading a book is getting to go on adventure to somewhere new and exciting. And sometimes I don't like the book and it turns out to be a bad adventure, but sometimes it's BRILLIANT, which makes it all worthwhile. But it's fun to have other kinds of adventures, particularly when I'm working flat-out (finishing Pugs of the Frozen North right now). My lovely studio mate Elissa Elwick sometimes pops down to the shops and asks if I want anything, and we got into the habit of her buying a 'Mystery Drink', something she was pretty sure I'd never tried before. So we've embarked on the Mystery Drink taste adventure tour (also known as 'McIntyre drinks it so you don't have to'.)

First up: sugar cane drink. Sweet, a bit bland. Moving on. Rating on a scale of 1-10: 3



Two more cold teas with writing on them that looks Chinese. Also drinkable, but it gets more exciting. Rating: 5



Oo, now what is THIS? I bought it from the drinks cabinet in a Chinese shop on Deptford High Street, but the small-print English reads 'Deluxe Grass Jelly Dessert'. It turned out to have bits of black jelly in it, a rather nice sweet-ish drink and CHICKPEAS, which is a surprising addition to any drink or a dessert.
Rating: 5



This weekend, Stuart got into the swing of things and helped me taste-test another 'Grass Jelly Drink'.




Hmm, no chickpeas. Stuart said 'It tastes like flat Coca-cola with bits in it'. He didn't mind it, but said he wouldn't buy it himself. I rather liked it, the taste was gentle and nice and the jelly bits made it like something you'd get at a children's party, but more grownup-tasting. Rating: 6



If you buy this one, I'd recommend pouring/chunking it out into a glass or bowl, as all the chunky bits sunk to the bottom and were hard to suck out of the can. (And no, it doesn't taste like Branston Pickle, even if it looks like that.)



I went out to the high street to forage the next Mystery Drink: 'Wuhe Flavour Milk Tea'. I wondered (on Twitter) what sort of flavour 'Wuhe' is, and Alan Wyle advised me that it's a actually a place in Taiwan. So I read up on it:

The famous tea in Wuhe is 'Honey Black Tea', it doesn't mean that you add honey into the black tea. The tea leave is bitten by a tiny 'tea leave hopper', the saliva of the hopper interact with the juice of the leave, cause a scent of honey flavor, hense its name.

And you know what, it's VERY NICE! Well done, little leaf hopper. A lovely subtle sweet flavour and a nice, cold, full-bodied drink. Love this one. I think when you drink it, you're supposed to say 'WU-HEY!'. Rating: 8



Now apparently 'Mauby' is a Thing, but I wouldn't have known this unless I'd tried it and then followed the #mauby hash tag on Twitter. Right at the start, the taste was okay, but a split second later, the most horrible bitter aftertaste hit me and bizarrely, the only way to kill the taste was to keep drinking. But it was a very unpleasant experience. Rating: 2



Here's someone else's experience of Mauby:



Last up: Irish Moss (with oats). I think this was the strangest one. I thought the 'moss' would be something like the seaweed that's in McDonald's milkshakes, where it's just part of the consistency but you can't actually taste it. It would be a nice drink - sort of a thick, cold chai latte - except it has overtones of, well... dirt. You know that slightly unpleasant smell that hits you when you walk into a garden centre? Well, this is like drinking that smell. I don't get it.



But I made myself drink the whole can, just to see if the taste would improve. It didn't, but about fifteen minutes later, suddenly I felt VERY FULL. THEN I got it. This drink fills you up.



And then John Allison tweeted a video at me that he's seen on The Real McCoy on BBC2, and apparently Irish Moss helps with other things, too. ...Eek! Rating: 3 (but 8 for interest factor).



So thank you for coming on the Mystery Drink taste testing adventure with me. If you come across an unknown drink and want to share your taste test experience, tweet photos of it with the #MysteryDrink hash tag and let us know what you think. Or make a mini comic about it!

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13. A studio portrait...


It was fun having a bunch of my fictional illustration buddies drop by the studio. So I captured the event on film... lol!

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14. Tuesday - A Week in the Artist Studio

Monday officially sets the week in motion, and by Tuesday, I feel like I can best determine what kind of week it's going to be. Granted, things unexpected always happen, but this week Norah has a cold, which means a lot of play and a lot of snuggles. I need to keep my to do list simple and not expect to get everything done.

If she has a cold, I'm not too far from one, so self care (napping when she naps, eating well, etc) is just as important for me too.


Today I'm excited because I get to paint three lovely ladies sipping tea. I was going to do coffee (since I'm a coffee fanatic), but I wouldn't have been able to draw the wee tea flags that I adore so much. ^_^

Tuesdays are a day for creating. I do my best to reserve this day for painting or drawing. Sometimes if I am able, I will paint or draw Monday night to gear me up for Tuesday. Somehow that works for me.

Last night I was able to put 4 hours in (!!!) and got some Christmas art finished, and today is the reward by painting something fresh and new!


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15. Wednesday - In the Artist Studio

Made it to the middle of the week, and we're all still alive! Norah is getting some rest, and hubby stayed home, now sick too. Thankfully, I still haven't been hit with it, just a scratchy throat and runny nose..... allergies?

Wednesdays I try to make into web work days and painting if I can squeeze it in. I work on my Etsy shop if it needs attention, my personal website, and the Iowa Watercolor Society website...which I volunteer my time to do.

Today it was updating my Etsy shipping profiles to now allow calculated shipping costs. Yay! I really hate over charging people for shipping, and now I don't have to worry. Thank you Etsy.


I have also discovered today that I may need to invest in covered trash baskets.  >_<


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16. All Done!

The art for The Story I’ll Tell is finally done (!) and now in the hands Lee & Low books. It was an exhausting April because I insisted on re-painting several pages that I had already finished in order to improve them. (Changes, in watercolor world, often mean re-doing the whole thing.) Eventually, though, I had to call it quits and just send it off.

SIT-ship

Apparently the kitten wishes to be shipped as well.

I can’t wait to see how it will look when it’s all done. So far I’ve seen a preview of the jacket design and couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Soon… soon.

Even though I don’t have any art to show you now, I do have some fun photos!

First off, the studio. Here’s where the magic happens. I only have the one desk, so I move the drawing board and put the computer there if I’m scanning stuff or doing things online. The board on the wall (far left) is blank now, but it usually holds the book’s latest thumbnails so I can see the whole project at a glance. I update the bulletin boards often for inspiration and reference. The large format scanner is a brand new addition. I feel so professional! (Compare to my studio setup five years ago, which involved a travel watercolor set, a folding camping table, and a hand-me-down PowerBook from 2002. And no scanner whatsoever–I took photos of my paintings back then with a crappy old digital camera.)

studio

The studio, looking tidier than usual.

Sometimes I think that thumbnail drawings are the most important part of the process. They don’t look like much and most of them end up in the reject pile, but that’s where it all starts. I love to draw these while sitting at a cafe.

SIT-thumbnails

Too many to fit in the frame.

I make my own dummies at various stages of the process to see how it’s flowing with the page turn.

SIT-dummies

The cat finds the dummies amusing.

More info about the project should be available soon. I’ll keep ya posted.

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17. High-Res Scanning - Grappling a Monster


Yes, it's definitely a bit of a monster, scanning all the artwork which I have selected from my archive of sketchbooks. I haven't counted how many individual sketches I have picked out to go into my urban sketching people book, but it's quite enough to keep John and I busy.

Originally, we had thought that John would do all the scanning for me, but I am working on the computer so much at the moment that he's having trouble getting sufficient time on the scanner. 



So we tried a bit of teamwork this week, which really speeded things up. I found the low res version of each of the images on the computer, which was tagged with a reference number to remind me which sketchbook it was in, then John ferreted through the sketchbook piles to find the right book...



...then he flicked through the book to find the sketch. We had marked the possibles with post-its right back at the beginning of the project, so that helped too:



John held the sketchbook down flat on the scanner bed for me, while I set the scan parameters, then saved and filed the final file, while he was trying to find the next one in the sketchbook piles. All very dull, but it's got to be done (and over 400 times...).

Then of course, I still had to spend a while on each of the images later, correcting the tonal balance and touching up anomalies, like unwanted marks which had transferred from the opposite page or other sketches showing through from the reverse. I also have to get rid of unwanted text  - my publisher is keen to remove any text that is not essential, so it doesn't create problems with co-editions.



We've made a fair old hole in the job now and I feel much better for it. I was originally going to wait until all the layouts were back, so I would know for certain that all the sketches I have chosen are in fact going into the book. It's possible that, by doing the scanning early, we have scanned some artwork unnecessarily, but I was getting a bit concerned, as time is passing and the deadline is looming. It's one of those tasks - very hard to know if you've allowed enough time for it, because it's impossible to judge how long you'll need. At least this way, hopefully I won't get caught out!

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18. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...


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19. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...



How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1KfhZrP

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20. My Furry Companion is Back!


No, I don't mean John (who is actually getting less furry every year, though don't tell him I said that), but Maddy, my friend's cat. We have been 'babysitting' her for years, including on the occasion of my friend's honeymoon, when Maddy nearly plunged to her death by trying to jump out of the velux in the studio. I only just grabbed her back legs in time.

These days she is a very old lady, so is far less trouble. She is not above stealing my chair as soon as I get up to make a cuppa though:


Even though she just sleeps all day, it's kind of nice to have her in the room with me. I do miss having an animal, but John and I are too keen on gadding about, so it wouldn't be fair. 

Our friends all know we are a soft touch with pets though, so don't need much persuading to act as kennels. One friend got stuck in temporary accommodation some years back, so we had her two cats for months. That turned into quite a challenge: poor Clyde expressed his disorientation in pee, on almost every carpet in the house. I expressed my feelings about this in an illustration:


We did have our own cat once. We stole Smudge from a neighbour. Well, not quite literally, but she came into our house more and more, so we put a collar on her with a message, asking who owned her. The man round the corner turned out to be allergic to cats (Smudge had been his wife's, who had moved to Ireland), so he was very pleased to officially hand Smudge over.

Unfortunately she wasn't an ideal addition to the studio. She once nearly ruined one of my pastel illustrations, by jumping up on my desk. I think Maddy's days of leaping across the room are behind her, so that's reassuring.

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21. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...


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22. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...



More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink #illustration #poetry #bordercollie #dog (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1G9HRYz

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23. Studio Crush: Hum Creative

hum 2

Recently, I had the pleasure of stumbling upon the work of Kate Harmer, and became an immediate fan. Kate Harmer is an incredibly accomplished designer, creative director and owner of Seattle-based boutique design studio, Hum CreativeHum Creative focuses on brand and identity development, but their services run the gamut of logo design, illustration, custom typography and more. The studio got its start back when Kate realized that her freelance career was getting to be a bit too much for one person to handle, only a few years after she had graduated from an MFA design program at RISD.

hum 1

One of my favorite aspects of this studio is their client base. You might recognize clients like Death Cab For Cutie, She & Him, B.J. Novak, 826 Seattle, Penguin Books, and more. Many of their clients are based in the Seattle area, and it’s obvious that Hum focuses on bolstering their local community.

hum dcfc

hum great idea

hum 4hum SLUBP_Cool

 

Find out more about Kate, the team, and all that Hum Creative has accomplished so far.

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24. What it looks like after I’ve already culled 7 bags of...



What it looks like after I’ve already culled 7 bags of trash. #studio #cleanout



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25. Sewing Pop-Up Card 1351


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