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.
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!