January desktop wallpaper FREE download

In the lull between Christmas and New year is the time I most often find myself planning. With the warmer temperatures it has almost begun to look like Spring outside and I have even spotted the odd bulb poking up through the ground. I’m not sure that this warmer weather will last but I love the hope of Spring. With these thoughts in mind I designed this months FREE desktop wallpaper. Frosty leaves frozen to the ground yet still we see the first few glimpses of Spring.january desktop wallpaper Continue reading “January desktop wallpaper FREE download”

My favourite illustration tools

Post contains sponsored and affiliate links*

I have worked on and off on my illustration work over the years and it’s something that has built up to offer me a little extra income whilst I’ve been taking a career break. I love the feeling I get when I sell something on Redbubble or someone buys my fabric on Spoonflower. It’s a nice feeling to know someone out there has made something with my design on. Recently my illustration work has taken off and I got signed to Allied Artists illustration agency.illustration tools

I often get asked about my choice of pens and other tools when I post pics on Instagram and twitter, so I thought I’d share my favourite illustration tools with you today.

Black illustration pens.

illustration tools Like shoes, I have a bit of a problem with collecting when it comes to black pens. I am always on the lookout for the perfect black pen that can deliver it all. For me, there is nothing better than inking over the messy pencil sketches with smooth black lines. These are currently my favourites.
Sharpie Fine Tip Pen
uni-ball Air Blister Pen
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pen
Uni-ball Eye UB-157 Rollerball Pen Fine
UNI-BALL PIN DRAWING PEN FINELINER ULTRA FINE LINE MARKER 0.1mm
Dual Brush Pen – Black

Watercolours.

I recently rediscovered my love of watercolours, I love the fluid nature of them and the unexpected results they can bring. But it was only very recently that my whole watercolour painting experienced changed. After watching some great videos on watercolour painting for surface pattern design I bought some Artist Water Paintbrush for Watercolors which you fill with water, so no more muddy coloured water pot and I’ve tried out some Liquid Watercolors  which I love for the intensity they bring to my paintings.

Penclic mouseillustration tools

This is my new favourite tool. The Penclic  is great for illustrators that spend alot of time on the computer. I often find that I get a cramp in my hand from holding the mouse and often find I can’t get the control I need when designing on the computer with my mouse. This is used like a pen so it gives me more control and a more comfortable hand after a couple of hours recolouring designs. It’s a great bridge before I can save up enough to buy myself a Wacom

Adobe Illustratorillustration tools

Finally this has been my most expensive illustation tool but by far the best investment. I love the pattern making functions which are great for my work in surface pattern and textile design. If you can’t afford Adobe illustrator I would recommend inkscape for great vector work and gimp for making patterns both of which are free!

Do you have any illustration tools that you can’t do without?illustration tools

This post contains both sponsored and affiliate links. For further information please read my advertising and disclosure policy.

You Baby Me Mummy

Watercolour fruits Spoonflower competition

You will probably know that I love Spoonflower. It’s the perfect website to find almost any fabric design you could desire. It also allows you to design and print your own fabric. I have a store on Spoonflower and would love it if you took a look.

Spoonflower also run a weekly design competition and I love to take part. Unfortunately, I just haven’t found the time recently but I wanted to join in the watercolour challenges. I’ve already missed a couple, but I’ve entered this weeks Fruits challenge.

‘Sometimes we like to get our recommended 2 to 3 servings of fruit in the form of a surface design. Nothing says spring and summer fun like a whimsical watercolor fruit pattern!’
Here is my entry for the competition.

What do you think? Does it say Summer to you? It does to me! I’d love a beach throw or a bikini in this print.

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Voting opens on the 11th May.

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BritMums

Spoonflower design competition, Hexagons

Do you know Spoonflower? It’s a great website which allows you to design and print your own fabric. It is also a great place to shop for unique and original designed fabric as many of the designers list their work in their own little store. I have a store on Spoonflower and would love it if you took a look.

They also run a weekly design competition and I love to take part as it often makes me design things I wouldn’t normally draw.

The latest competition was a design based on Hexagons
The brief was: From honeycombs to water crystals and basalt columns, examples of hexagons are all around us in nature. Create an original design inspired by this beautifully symmetrical 6 sided polygon

I continued with my Japanese wood cut style and created Hexagons with the appearance of slices of wood. I am in love with the cool colour scheme and think this print would look great on bedding.

If you like my design please pop over to Spoonflower and vote for me. Last chance to vote for me as the competition closes today

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How to protect your design work online.

 To share your work or not to share? It’s a tricky question and for those in the design world looking to get work it is something you have to tackle on a daily basis. Do I share my works in process and finished pieces on my Instagram to try and find work. The risk is such that people will rip your work off, copying or even worse reposting it as theirs.


There is no way that you can stop people from copying your style from your photos but you can limit them from directly nicking your images. You can watermark your pictures, but if you are just taking quick pics of sketches and works in progress you might not have time to edit your photos. I think I now have a solution.

Sticker Printing by stickershop.co.uk

I have had printed stickers with my logo on made that I can attach to my sketchbook page as a quick watermark. Making it much harder for people to pinch my images and crop them, trading them off as their own. You don’t even have to stick them down on the page. I have one on a piece of card that I just slot in the flat lay photo and hey presto a copyrighted image.

I was lucky enough that Callum at the StickerShop printed this set of labels for me. They are great quality and have a lovely finish to them. I will definitely be popping back to get some packing labels made for my etsy shop too.
Label Printing by stickershop.co.uk

So is it better to share?
Yes, I do think it is. Inevitably their will always be someone trying to pinch
your work, but you have to take this risk if you want people to appreciate your work. I love sharing my work in progress and sketchbook shots and get such great feedback from other artists. I wouldn’t want to miss out on this.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to see your sketchbooks and works in progress.
Do you have any great tips on how to protect your design work online? Please share them below.

You can find the StickerShop on facebook, twitter and Instagram

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10 Top tips for selling on Redbubble

I have been working on passive income generation for some time now. I had a whole bank of digital and sketchbook work to draw from, so I thought I would trying selling via some of the most popular print on demand sites. Here are my top ten tips for getting your work seen and bought! On Redbubble.

redbubble

redbubble

 

1. Fill in all your info

This may seem really obvious but some people don’t. You have got to get people interested in you and your brand. Tell them what makes your work special, tell them where else they could see your work, tell them your skills and promote yourself!

redbubble

2. Link all your social media

Redbubble makes it easy for you to link up your blog, facebook page, twitter, Instagram, tumblr and pinterest sites. If you haven’t already done this, then do. People love to see more of your workspace, work in progress, sketchbooks and pictures of your cat!

3. Embed the portfolio code in your blog.

You can find it in your account settings – promote – embed code.

4. Join redbubble groups.

A great way to connect with fellow artists that share similar passions. There is literally something for everyone.

5.Enter challenges.

Stuck in a designing rut? Haven’t had any views on your shop recently. Try the challenges. It’ll inspire you to create new work, look back at old work and have fun. I often join in challenges, they keep me buzzed about my work, make me design things I wouldn’t normally and there is nothing better than getting your work featured 🙂

redbubble

6. Join the facebook group

Like I’ve said, it’s all about community.

7. Make use of the Share it buttons.

Put something new on redbubble? Make sure you share it with your audience on google+, facebook and twitter. Likewise got some seasonal designs in your back catalogue, make sure you are sharing them in the run up to Easter, Christmas etc.

8. Join in redbubble create competitions.

I follow redbubblecreate on Instagram and I love joining in on the fun themes and competitions they run. It’s a bit of fun and gets you seen by a wider audience.

9. Spread the love, got other artists you love?

Why not tell your fans about them, like and comment on peoples work, who you genuinely love and hopefully them might send some love your way.

10. Finally, add new designs regularly.

 Keep your portfolio up to date with your most recent work. It means people will want to come back and take a look at what’s new and encourages you to keep working. Your work will only get better. Occasionally take a look back through your portfolio too and review it? Is it all good? If there is work there that doesn’t best represent you don’t be afraid to delete it. You might also find some hidden gems you forgot about and you can remind the world how great they are!

Good luck on your Redbubble sales! I hope this short guide helps. redbubble

Do you have any top tips?

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Be Brave from sketch to final product

Eat your greens, from sketch to final product

Still time to do some Easter sewing

So nice to have my fabric featured by WovenMonkey today. As they correctly pointed out it’s only a month till Easter and how cute would this fabric be making Easter baskets or lining bonnets. Stop by and check out my great range of fabrics. Woven Monkey print in the UK have a range of 5 great fabrics and aim to have your fabric printed, fixed, cut, packed and despatched within 7-10 working days. How fab is that!

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Be Brave, from sketch to final product

So I got such nice feedback on social media from yesterday’s post, I thought I share another from sketch to final product process. Still with the typography work, I couldn’t avoid working on something motivational and I wanted to improve my brush lettering. Be brave I think is a good motivational quote as it can be focussed on in so many situations. Bravery I think is often underrated, I have had to at times encourage myself to be braver and as a mum you often have to champion bravery to your kids.

This is the original design scanned in from my sketch book. I did the lettering in brush script and I am pleased with the joins and overall flow of the letters. I could add a few more flourish’s and I have bookmarked a skill share tutorial to watch on this, so you may see more in my future work.

I scanned the design in at 600dpi in black and white and then imported it into Illustrator. I image traced the design and then recoloured it.
I wanted the lettering to have a ombre look and the floral motifs around to be in matching tints and
tones.

I also moved some motifs around and replicated them so there was an overall floral frame to the lettering.
I watched a video on society6 the other day by Cat Coquillette and she offers her designs in a variety of colour ways to suit peoples preferred colour schemes. This is something I hadn’t thought of and wanted to try so for the ease of it I thought I offer the design in two colour ways and with or without backgrounds.

These are the designs in Blue.

These are the designs in pink, the choice of colour really changes the mood of the design and this is something I will play with more in future work.

Again it is so nice to see the designs on products and that is one of the main reasons why I love print on demand sites such as Redbubble and Society6.

I picked two of my favourites to share but the designs are featured on many different items.
Here they are on a t-shirt and tote bag.

If you like these designs or fancy checking out my other work. Pop over to my redbubble, society6, zazzle or PAOM stores.

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View my gallery
Watercolour fruits, Spoonflower competition
10 Top tips for selling your work on Redbubble