Them Portraits

Them Portraits

I must confess, I have quite a ‘thing’ for portraits, and painting my ‘selfie’ reminded me of this. In addition, my newfound boldness with using watercolour to create portraits has given me the drive to create a few more.

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Small Works Exhibition Visit

This morning I had the pleasure of popping out to attend the Small Works exhibition at Sunset Framing and Gallery, here in Port Macquarie.

The exhibition features six local artists, Kerry Wheeldon, Patricia McInherny, Vana Ford, Charlene Tubbs, Patricia Philp and Jo Braas. Between them, these talented ladies cover all kinds of artistic mediums, including textile art, ceramics, mixed media, basket weaving and tradition painting.

It was a little bit like being a kid in a candy store - there are so many different and varied things to see, and they are all so beautiful (I just wanted to take them all home!).

For the next two weeks, their exhibition will be accompanied by a series of workshops and artist talks. I’m hoping to sneak out and attend one or two (fingers crossed) - so I might meet you there.

Well done ladies on such a fantastic, quality exhibition.


I don’t know about you, but I simply LOVE freebies! With careless abandon!

I was chatting with a friend this morning about planners - and it made me remember the little weekly planner I created to give away a little while ago… it’s about time I designed a new one, right? Especially as we are hurtling into the busy end of the year.

So here’s a little freebie for you to print and use as often as you like. I’ve included the link to the one I designed a little while ago too, so you can choose! Simply click below to download it.


The fine print: These weekly planners are copyrighted to Katherine Appleby and are for personal use only. They are not to be redistribution or sold, or used for any commercial purposes. Thank you!

New Logo, New Directions?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything or made a vlog. But a lot has been happening! So here is an update.

First up, I’ve spent some time creating a new logo for my brand. A few months ago, I was accepted into our local Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Arts Smarts program. The program offers monthly workshops and mentoring to help you develop or grow your arts business. The mentoring has been fantastic in keeping me on track and helping me to develop a clear(er) direction.

I’ve always felt a little ‘scatter-brained’ when it comes to what I love to do… I love to illustrate picture books (usually digitally by request), I love to paint quirky creatures and illustrations (usually watercolour), and I also love to create detailed watercolour illustrations of flora and fauna (and sometimes food!). So how do I take all of this and choose one clear thing to focus on?

I realised, in all of this, what I love to do is create illustrations (for books and products) that are cute, quirky, whimsical and detailed - and perhaps that would be focus enough for now. So creating a logo that would reflect this meant creating something that could apply across these varied things. It’s pretty simple, and uses three primary colours (reflecting that childish-style of illustration I love). And I can animate it and customise it to each project. And hopefully that’s enough for now.

In a recent Creative Pep Talk podcast by creative genius, Andy J Pizza (Miller), he talks about finding your gift in a 3-step process (much like finding gold): Mining, Refining, Shining. I feel in some ways I am still in the mining phase, still trying to sort out my style and focus… But I also feel like a direction is starting to emerge. I think, more than anything, I need to just let it happen, rather than stress about it and try and force an outcome. I know that in five or ten years time, it will probably be totally different again, as this things often emerge - as you are doing the work - over time.

Anyway! Onwards!

It’s been a busy time also as I had my first solo exhibition in September, held at Sunset Framing and Gallery, which was a great success and a whole lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who came and supported it. I was blown away with the response!

Then just a week later, I hung and held the official opening for Drawn From Here, an exhibition featuring creative art journals from artists, photographers, writers and more from all over Greater Port Macquarie; also held at Sunset Framing and Gallery.

I have been working hard on this project for quite some time and it was wonderful to see it all come together. The artists involved did such an amazing job!! I de-installed the exhibition on Monday earlier this week, and was sad to see it end. But this will be an annual project - so keep an eye out for next year’s installment!

I’ve been making lots of new products I am proud of (something the ArtSmarts program encourages). And I am now offering some of those lovely, shiny new things wholesale also. (If you know a retailer who might be keen, please pass on my contacts to them!).

That 30 Birds in 30 Days project, I’ve transformed into some beautiful greeting cards, a 2019 wall calendar, a 2019 desk calendar, and a gorgeous A4 Open Edition Print. Love them!! One of those desk calendars will be staying with me and living on my desk next year.

I’m also working on taking some of my illustrations from my September solo exhibition, Curious Creatures, and turning them into products also.

In addition, I’m working on creating some little illustrated affirmations and quotes that will sit in an easel on your desk. And there are a few other ideas up my sleeve that I would like to release before Christmas.

I love making products that will brighten someone’s day. I know, for myself, that when the day seems gloomy or stress is on the rise, I spot these lovely items on my desk, or perhaps it’s a cute cushion waiting for me on my favourite chair when I get home, and it just brings a smile to my face. That’s what I hope for my illustrations. If they do this, ‘my mission is complete’.

Speaking of projects, I have a number on the go! (No surprises). Currently, I am working on completing some picture book illustrations for a client, and am starting a new project that will involved animation. I am also working on a pet portrait commission - and I have just a few of these available prior to Christmas.

It’s certainly getting to that busy time of year. I hope wherever you are at, that you are happy and well. Wishing you all the best as we head into the busy season!


Opening my solo exhibition. Image supplied by Available Light Images.

Image supplied by Available Light Images.

Skye Frost, Katherine Appleby, Leslie Williams MP, Scott Rayner at the opening of Drawn From Here. Image supplied by Available Light Images.

Cherie Morton, Katherine Appleby, Leslie Williams MP at the opening of the Drawn From Here exhibition. Image supplied by Available Light Images. (Psst! That’s the photographer on the left - she’s super talented, so do check out her work!).


30 Day Bird-A-Day Project: Challenge Completed

30 Day, 30 Birds. This was the challenge I set myself for July (which also happened to be World Watercolour Month). And the challenge is complete!

This 30 day project has been one of the best things I have set for myself. I have learnt a lot about watercolour (despite painting with it all the time). I feel I have improved at painting and drawing. I have learnt what I can achieve if I push myself a little. And I have developed a healthy habit of creating art daily. 

But further to that, I have been blown away and humbled by the response from all of you. I sold all but 1 bird (and I never expected to sell any). And your kind comments, likes and shares have given me such a boost. So I really want to say: thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank YOU. 

Tonight I will be announcing a new mini series that will commence 1 August 2018. Each daily artwork will be auctioned off to raise much needed funds for a friend is who undergoing brain surgery. Read more about it here. And please make sure you follow me on instagram, as this will be an instagram-only art auction. See you there!

9-Square Self Audit for Illustrators

I love listening to podcasts and audio books while illustrating, they really help to keep me focused on my work. Today I listened to a new podcast by SVSLearn called 3 Point Perspective: The Illustration Podcast. In the first episode, Will Terry described his 9-square self audit activity for illustrators which goes a little like this:

  • Study the published things in the realm that you want to go in, and have the “right heroes”
  • Pick 8 top illustrators, who are getting their work published, by the big publishers, i.e. Harper Collins, Random House, Scholastic, etc.
  • Make a 9 Square grid. Put your best piece in the middle and surround it with a piece from those 8 illustrators that you admire
  • Identify what you like about it. Don’t just say, “I love this!”, you need to verbalize specific things that you love about their work, create a specific list, and write it down. These are the things that you need to work on incorporating into your work.
  • Hang the list by your desk in order to remember these principles and to try to incorporate them.

I was intrigued and inspired, so I decided to give the activity a go. You can see my 9-square grid below. 

Art vs Illustration Heroes.png

In the center is one of my illustrations for Max the Mighty (Josey Hurley, Little Steps Publishing). I'm not sure if it's my 'best' illustration, but it is one that I like. Then from top-left and working around clockwise, there is work by Oliver Jeffers, Gus Gordon, Shaun Tan, Lee White, Laura Woods, Anna Walker, Beatrix Potter (one of many historical illustrators I love) and Dan Santat. 

I haven't completed the rest of the exercise yet, (I want to take some time to do it properly), but already I can see some sharp differences between my own work, and the work of those that I admire and wish I could be like "when I grow up". 

One of the difficulties for me is that I was originally asked to illustrate my first children's book digitally, and this has meant that as this is the work that now resides in my portfolio, this is the work I am continually hired to do. I am not complaining! But it does mean that should I wish to use a different style (my heart belongs to watercolour illustration), I need to take time to work on those illustrations and put them in my portfolio. You are only hired for the work that others can see. 

I wanted to share this with you as I felt it's a fantastic task for illustrators that is incredibly simple, yet powerful (seriously, check out the podcast and read the accompanying episode notes). I hope it's useful to you also. Time to get back to work! 

Inky Experiments

Getting new art supplies is better than Christmas! ...well, almost. 

Recently I got a lovely new set of Ecoline Inks and Brush Pens from Royal Talens. I've been creating a few experiments with them, and I love them!! 

The inks have a really great consistency and the colours are so vibrant. And the pens are beautiful to work with and made me feel like a I could make beautiful lettering with very little effort. 

I'd love to experiment with a few more different ink colours and see how they mix. (Which just means another art supply 'Christmas present'  to myself, right?!) 

What I'm loving with these experiments is that I am working fairly quickly to create something quite simple (compared with my other work). But what's been surprising is that these simple, 'fast' experiments have turned out to be more interesting and exciting than some of the pieces I spend hours on!

So over to you - have you used Ecoline inks (or do you want to?). What did you think? And what other art materials are you keen to try?


Is My Content Safe? | Vero vs. Instagram vs. Facebook

Vero is the latest social networking app causing thumbs to twitch worldwide as we share pictures and videos of our wonderful lives with others.

Already, it's experienced such a huge influx of new users that the app has been experiencing problems as their servers struggle with the load. We're all curious to see what the fuss is, and more and more we are afflicted with the fear of missing out. 

It seems what makes it so great is its use of a chronological order of displaying posts (compared to Facebook and Instagram's 'clever' algorithms). It also promises to be ad free.

But one area that it has come under criticism, particularly from creatives, is in relation to its use of your content.

The following post will compare the terms of use in relation to your content across Vero, Instagram and Facebook. I am in no way claiming to be an expert in any of this, the aim is simply to post them here for you to have a read and compare. So let's do this!


3. User Content Ownership and License  
As between you and Vero, you retain any and all right, title and interest in and to the User Content you create, post, or otherwise make available through the Service. We claim no ownership rights over your User Content. 

In accordance with your choice of the privacy settings offered by the Service, by posting or otherwise making available any User Content on or through the Service, you hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary to grant, to Vero a limited, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, list information regarding, translate, distribute, syndicate, publicly perform, publicly display, make derivative works of, or otherwise use your User Content, including (without limitation) your name, voice, and/or likeness as it is contained within your User Content, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or technology, whether now known or hereafter developed. This license is being used by Vero solely as necessary to provide the Service, and for such other limited uses identified in our Privacy Policy. This license is not being used by Vero to sell your User Content to third parties or otherwise profit off of your User Content in any way unrelated to Vero providing and promoting the Service, and it does not give Vero any rights to own your User Content or limit your ability to use your User Content however you wish outside of the Service. 

You also hereby grant each User of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your User Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such User Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under this Agreement.

You reserve all rights to your User Content not expressly granted in this Agreement and in our Privacy Policy, and no right or license in your User Content is granted to Vero, except as expressly set forth in this Agreement and the Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Section 3, please contact us at

(View full Terms of Use here).


Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy, available here, including but not limited to sections 3 ("Sharing of Your Information"), 4 ("How We Store Your Information"), and 5 ("Your Choices About Your Information"). You can choose who can view your Content and activities, including your photos, as described in the Privacy Policy.

(View full Terms of Use here).


Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

(View full Terms of Use here).


Vero: hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary to grant, to Vero a limited, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, list information regarding, translate, distribute, syndicate, publicly perform, publicly display, make derivative works of, or otherwise use your User Content, including (without limitation) your name, voice, and/or likeness as it is contained within your User Content, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or technology, whether now known or hereafter developed. 

Instagram: hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service...

...You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).


So what's the conclusion? As I said, I am no expert in copyright laws! But I think we all need to make sure that as creators of content, we are aware of the terms of each platform we post and share our content on. By posting content on these platforms, we grant all three a non-exlusive right to use that content. It makes me nervous to read that Vero can make derivative works of my content without giving any credit to me as the original creator; but I also think I would be deluding myself if I think other platforms can't do the same... 

So over to you! What do you think? I'd love to know your feedback - and if you're going to use Vero too! 

P.S. You can find me on Vero, just search for Katherine Appleby. ;) 



New Enamel Pin!!


It's landed!! And don't let the snail shell fool you - this guy is FAST! He speed all the way here from the factory - my new DragonSnail Enamel Pin! 


He's the second member of my Proudly Different enamel pin series. This is a group of curious creatures (the first being Penny Farthing Fish) who remind us daily that it's okay to be different. You don't need to fit in with the crowd. You don't need to wear the latest fashion or do what's popular - just be you! And be proud of who you are! Proudly Different. 

I'm so pleased with how he turned out. He is created based on a watercolour illustration I made some time ago that illustrated the idea: "if life throws you a twist, just go with it". 

When you design an enamel pin, you make that design as accurate as possible, choosing the exact Pantone colours too. But there is still that part of you that has no idea of what the final product will look like. So when that little box finally arrives on your doorstep.... Well, let's just say I could have done an unboxing for my YouTube channel...... But I just couldn't wait!! I tore it open! And I was - and still am - so thrilled with the results. 

If you love him too, you can find him in my store. :) Each of the pins in this series are limited out of just 50.

Welcome to my new website!

Grandad, from Grandad's Glasses (Howard White, Little Steps Publishing)

Grandad, from Grandad's Glasses (Howard White, Little Steps Publishing)

It's been ages since I first started wishing I could design a new website that looks good, functions well, and is easy to manage. So over the past couple of days, I took some time out to create this new site with Squarespace. 

I can tell you it was VERY easy! And I'm excited that it has a store too - I'll be populating it with a few more items over the coming weeks (including a brand spanking new item that is yet to be released!!).

Last week, I completed the final art for Grandad's Glasses, a cute and funny children's book, written by debut author, Howard White. The story is based on himself and he's talent for losing every pair of glasses he owns... how will Grandad figure out how to stop losing his glasses?! The book will be published later this year by Little Steps Publishing.

This week, I've started on a new book, My Nanna Nelly's Australian Adventure, written by Sean Williams. This will be his second book in the series - and you can check out the first book (beautifully illustrated by Karen Mounsey-Smith) here.