Greetings Card GIVEAWAY

Last year I did a little Twitter giveaway of one of my Shine Like Stars prints and it was really fun, so I want to do a few more giveaways on the blog this year. I really appreciate the support and encouragement of all you lovely readers so it's a nice way to give something back every now and then.

So first up (just in times for Valentines Day too) I am giving away a pack of 10 of my greetings cards (worth £25!). Each card is printed on beautifully thick 270gsm snow white card. The envelopes are all made with brightly coloured 135gsm natural paper. 

The 10 cards will all be different, some of them have been available in the shop for a while and a couple are brand spanking new ones that are not even in the shop yet!  The giveaway is open to international readers and the winner will be selected at random next Friday (using Rafflecopter).

I personally really like to have a good stash of cards in the house for emergencies (like a forgotten birthday!) or spontaneous letter writing. Getting an unexpected card in the post from a friend is seriously the best thing, so I like to send them whenever I can. This selection of 10 cards will be a great way of having a stash ready for different occasions. They are all blank inside so that you can write your own message and a lot of them are non-event specific so you can use them for whatever you want!

To enter just log into the rafflecopter widget below and there are a few different ways to gain entries to the competition. Happy Friday folks! Hope you have a great weekend.

Tools for blogging

I have started to get into a bit of a better routine with my blogging - my organisation still needs a lot more work but I have come up with a bit of a system that so far in 2015 is working for me. Anyway I thought I would share with you some of my favourite tools that I use for blogging. 

1. Extra Large Moleskin. 
Despite all of the amazing technology and amazing apps out there nothing is ever going to beat a good old fashioned notebook. I know it's a bit cliche now for a graphic designer's choice to be a moleskin but I really do love this notebook. I go for the extra large plain softback version, that I carry with me most of the time and I just use it for putting all my ideas down. I have pages with ideas for blog posts, ideas for new prints/cards for the etsy shop and ideas for design projects I am currently working on. What I love about this notebook is that it is simple and stylish and lasts a really good amount of time. I find it very satisfying to have my old moleskins on the shelf incase I need them and also the pocket in the back which is a feature on moleskins is really helpful for me as I am a bit of a hoarder of scraps of paper. 

2. Evernote
I signed up for an Evernote account a couple of years ago and had a play around with it, but for some reason I never took to it, but I decided to give it a go this year and I am won over - after only a few weeks I can't work out what I did without it! What I love about it is being able to organise all my draft blog posts and being able to dip in and out of working on them (I used to have all my drafts in Squarespace and I started to find it a bit messy and confusing - so now I only move them over to there when they are pretty much ready to go).  It also syncs on my computer and my phone - and so it is great to be able to work on blog posts in progress on my commute. The other thing I like about it is it's great for making lists, storing ideas and inspiration. I guess this is my digital version of the moleskin. 

3. Squarespace 
Last year I moved my blog from Wordpress to Squarespace and I am so so glad I did. I have had such a great experience with Squarespace. I love how easy it is to use the interface and all the tools and functions that it has. I also really like that I have the option to integrate a shop into the website which is something I am planning to do later in the year.

4. Feedly 
Ok so this tool doesn't really help me in my blogging per se - but it is what I use for reading other people's blogs and I love it. Again it's great because I can use it on my laptop but also there is an app so I can catch up with my favourite blogs on the go. I like the design and how easy it is to use. 

5. Lighting 
Something that has made a huge difference to my blogging was getting these lights for Christmas. Before it used to be a bit of a nightmare getting pictures for the blog because the light was only just about decent in a particular room in our house in the day time - but because I was at work this limited me to the weekends and also we were often out at the weekends. These lights give a really even and natural looking light and they mean that I can take photos for the blog at any time of night and day and they come out so much better. I am so pleased with them and having them has really sped things up when it comes to preparing blog posts. I have a DSLR for taking photos which isn't anything special but it is doing the job for now. 

6. An Editorial Calendar 
I haven't totally worked out the best way for keeping track of this and so far for me this is a printed calendar that I scribble all over laying out what posts will be coming when so that I can see a month or so in advance what I need to be working on. This is one of the things that I do miss from Wordpress - a built in editorial calendar in the blog. I haven't seemed to find anything like this in Squarespace. Ideally I would like this calendar to be digital because often things change and I am moving blog posts around and changing my mind, so with the paper version that gets very busy and messy - but for now until I find something better the paper version is working pretty well. I did think about getting one of these notebooks so at least it will look way better than my scraps of printed out paper stapled together! 

Anyway there you have it - those are the tools that I use on a daily basis when it comes to my blog. None of these are anything new and I am sure very similar to what other bloggers use - but I hope you enjoy getting a bit of insight into my process for now. I might try and do a bit of a 'tools for...' series - and share what I use for handlettering/designing etc if people would be interested. 

#52handlettered

At the beginning of January on instagram I spotted a lovely idea from Miranti from Pen and Peplum, which was to do some hand lettering every week for 2015. I thought it would be a really great way to practice my lettering just for the fun of it, often I only do it for particular jobs or with cards and prints in mind, so I thought this might be a chance to experiment and play around and generally hopefully get better. I got some new inks for Christmas and I am loving the colour of this blue. It is just so rich and I love the texture created by the ink being more concentrated in some areas than others. Maybe each month I will experiment with a different coloured ink. 

I know I am going to find it hard not to be obsessed with only posting things that I am perfectly happy with, but I think it will be fun to see the images over the course of the year and see how my style and skills develop as it goes along. 

This year has already started with lots of hand lettering, with a range of new greetings cards soon to be in the shop and also a calligraphy workshop (and I am still trying to practice regularly) and I am loving it. 

Above are my first 4 contributions to #52handlettered for the year. You can find the prompts set by Miranti here and I am already looking forward to getting stuck into February's

While I have enjoyed taking part in this I have also loved scrolling through the hash tag, seeing what everyone else has been up to and also discovering some more talented people to follow. Here are a few of my favourites - If you click on the images it will take you to their instagram accounts.

If you want to follow along with my creative journey and see more hand lettering you can find me on instagram here

Currently in January

I really like writing these currently posts – they force me to stop and think about what is going on right now and help me to focus on little things to be grateful for and that are good. I am trying to be a lot more organised with my blog this year. So far in January some weeks it works and some weeks it just doesn't but I feel like I am learning and improving how I go about it - and generally I just enjoy sharing in this space and so I have been having fun coming up with ideas for blog posts and for ways to make improvements. The photo above was taking while walking to work this morning. There was something really beautiful about the hazy warm light and the crisp cold air. I hope you all have a great weekend - here is what is going on with me right now: 

Making: new greetings cards and working on another exciting project I can't mention yet. I am hoping to update my wholesale catalogue in the next few weeks! I really need to get my act together in time for V day - I am new to all this though so it might be too late already! 

Watching: Greys Anatomy - it's on Amazon instant video - what more needs to be said? 

Reading: I just finished reading Crazy Busy and now I need to get back to Rebecca which I had a little break from - hope I haven't forgotten what has happened so far. 

Wearing: loads and loads of layers - man it is cold right now. I have got my eye on a nice warm jumper from Cos at the moment. 

Grateful: for all the book recommendations that I got on this post on instagram - I am looking forward to checking them out and making time to read. 

Learning: how to chop an onion properly! I am trying to improve my cooking skills and this has been a good start and giving me a lot more confidence for some reason - last week I made a beef and prune stew and this week a butternut squash and chickpea stew. Am enjoying following through recipes and making good food! 

Obsessed: with chicken and avocado sandwiches! Seriously I have only just discovered what a dream team avocado and chicken are! 

Looking: forward to going down to 4 days a week in Feb. I am not sure if I have mentioned it on here before but I work full time as an in-house graphic designer and have been doing extra freelance work and my etsy shop on the side. It has been amazing but also frustrating juggling all 3 and not having as much time as I would like to work on my shop. Although it's only one day - I am so excited about the extra time I will have starting from Feb. I will keep you posted on how it goes! 

Wanting: to find some more yummy and healthy snacks that I can eat at work. I have realised my weakness is snacking at work. If anyone has any good suggestions please let me know! 

Enjoying: Entertaining lots of friends in January. We have had/are having lots of friends over for dinner and whilst it's busy it has been really lovely spending quality time with good people. 

Loving: practicing calligraphy after this class I took. I am not sure I have improved much but it is so fun and enjoyable. I'm also using it as a reason to write letters to people - so I can try and write their name and address in calligraphy on the front. 

Dreaming: about all of the places that I want to go after this post. We need to get on with it, start making plans, saving and booking things. 

Travelling Dreams

I think it is quite a common phenomenon for people to start planning their holidays in January. If you live in the UK the days are cold and wet and very short and so you start day dreaming about warmer climbs and travelling adventures. I certainly have been, and so I thought I would share some of my travel dreams with you. These are some of places that I am longing to go to. If I am lucky I might cross one or two off this year but most likely I will have to wait a while before visiting a lot of these places. Also some of them are places that I have been to and am longing to go back to. Anyway here we go:

1. Segovia

I lived in Segovia for a year when I was 7 and went to school and spent a lot of time doing Spanish dictations. Anyway that was over 20 years ago now and I have been wanting to go back for years. I think 2015 might be the year!

2. Bolivia

About 10 years ago I spent 4 months in Bolivia on a mission trip. I fell in love with the country and would love to go back to show NM this amazing place and also because I am sure it has changed a lot since I was there. The photo above is of the Salt Flats - all of that is salt! It is a truly incredible place.

3. Iceland

This has been on my wish list for a really long time. Lots of people seem to have been making the trip in recent years. I love the idea of renting a remote cottage, hiring a car and just exploring.

4. Faroe Islands

I found out about this place from following along with photographer Tim Coulson's travel adventures with his family. It just looked so beautiful it got added to my list. 

5. Amalfi Coast

NM loves all things Italy and so do I now too. He went to the Amalfi Coast years ago and ever since I found out about it I have wanted to visit. It looks like such a magical place (lots of stairs though!)

6. Amsterdam

I have been to Amsterdam once for a day on a family holiday and I don't know why but it got under my skin. I have been wanting to go back for a couple of years now and it is also on my list of places I would love to live. Not sure how I got that from just one day, but seriously I loved this place!

7. Salvation Mountain

Ok this is not a city or a country and I think it is in a desert in America somewhere but doesn't it look insane. Ever since I have seen pictures of this place by various bloggers I follow I have wanted to go there, especially since it is basically a massive work of art which is a tribute to God with its powerful message 'God is Love'. You can find out more about it here.

8. Marrakesh

I have wanted to go to Marrakesh for ages now. We nearly went last year but it didn't really work out. Maybe a long weekend sometime in the future though. Love the thought of exploring all those souks. I have heard good things! 

9. Croatia

All these pics (click image above) by Sally Mussel White has put Croatia firmly on my list. This looks like a great country to explore. 

10. New York

What can I say - I HEART New York. I spent 3 months living there doing an internship when I finished University and I FELL IN LOVE. It is an incredible city and I desperately want to take NM because I know he will love it too. 


All of the images above are linked to their original sources...just click on the photograph. I would love to hear if you have been to any of these places or if you have any other places that you I should add to my list. I am going to have to go back to saving the pennies! 

Happy Wednesday!

Moodboard Monday

Apparently today is known as blue Monday because its the most depressing day of the year. I can figure why people think that...what with everyone being on a bit of a downer after crimbo and desperately waiting to be paid.

But I am saying no to blue Monday, I am not blue, I am trying to focus on the little things, and making time to enjoy them. I have decided to do a blue themed moodboard for today though. Some of these photographs are so beautiful and mesmerising. 

I hope this Monday has been good to you and there was nothing blue about it.

Here are the sources - clockwise from top left: 1/2/3/4/5/6

Modern Calligraphy Workshop

For ages I have wanted to learn calligraphy and particularly modern calligraphy. Before Christmas at work we talked about doing a bit of a team building/fun activity in January to inspire us and give us something to look forward to after Christmas had past, so I got in touch with Quill London as quite a lot of bloggers I follow had been to one of their workshops and loved it. 

Quill regularly run modern calligraphy workshops in London but because there was quite a big group of us they put together a workshop especially for us, and we were not disappointed. 

The workshop was 3 hours long and our lovely teacher Chiara from Lamplighter London provided all the materials that we would need (and got to keep afterwards so that we could keep practising) and took us through the process. The class was really well structured and the tasks that were set were really helpful in developing our skills. Chiara was lovely and spent time helping people individually to improve their technique.

It was exciting being taught the basics and being given the skills (and tools) necessary to practice and improve. Part of me was really excited about what I was able to do after just 3 hours, but I also realised how much practice I will need to get really good. But I am really keen to do the practice and improve so that forming the letters and being creative with the glyphs and how letters join each other comes a lot more naturally to me. Watch this space for hopefully more calligraphy action in 2015!

Book Review - Envelopes by Harriet Russell

Over the years I have been a big fan of collecting beautiful design and illustration books. I have had to cut back on this in recent years because I am running out of space but there is nothing like holding and looking through a really beautiful design book. Recently I have been trying to look through and enjoy old books that I have had for ages but not looked at for a while, and so I thought I would start a feature on the blog where once a month I share one of my favourites. Mostly these will be books that I already own and enjoy (and are probably quite old) but every now and then I might use it as an excuse to treat myself to a new one. 

So to start the ball rolling I want to share with you Envelopes by British illustrator Harriet Russell. What I really love about this book is the sense of humour in it. The concept of the project was to challenge the postman...and see how much effort he/she would put into solving puzzles to work out what the address is. 

The book is full of beautiful envelopes created in Harriet's lovely illustrative style. I have always been a lover of snail mail and so I was immediately drawn to this book and it always inspires me to try and make my envelopes a bit more interesting. You can totally imagine these letters making the postman smile as he went about his/her day. 

The book is smallish and quite thin but has a really good hardback cover and is nicely and simply laid out inside with one envelope on each page. The end papers (below) are also a really fun detail with a collage of the insides of envelopes. I love the patterns on the insides of envelopes and have a little collection of my own (and even made some envelopes out of them) - so this totally floats my boat!

This is the sort of book that you could flick through quite quickly and that would be lovely to have laying around the house for people to pick up, it would definitely bring a smile to their faces. I think it would also make a great gift for illustrators/designers/snail mail lovers. 

Moodboard Monday

A bit of inspiration for a Monday morning. These Monday mornings in January can be a bit tough but I'm trying to keep myself inspired and motivated to start the year well. I seem to have been going through a bit of a pink phase with some of my recent designs (which is strange as I am not a very pink person) - so I have decided to run with it and create a bit of a pink moodboard. I probably need to give my black and white moodboards a bit of a rest for a while. 

I did a bit of painting at the weekend too and hand inked 'moodboard monday' to go on all these moodboards. 

I hope you are all having a good start to the week. 

Here are the sources - clockwise from top left 

Awesome Print by Studio Meez
Pretty blush wall
Blush pink converse
Roses - I can't find the source of this image

 

Birthday Calendar Printable (free)

I have been meaning to do some more printable's on the blog, so I figured why not make that a bit of an aim for 2015 and start as I mean to go on.

For ages I have been wanting to make myself a birthday calendar. Usually I use one of these big wall calendars by Crispin Finn which I absolutely love - but I get a bit bored of every year having to go through and put everyone's birthday's on it, so I thought I would finally put together a calendar just for birthdays that I can then use every year and that I can share with you guys too!

This calendar is so easy to print and put together. All you need is 12 x A4 sheets of paper or card (I printed it on pretty thin printer paper but you can see in the pictures where the ink has made the paper a bit wrinkly so I think I might reprint on thicker card - and hopefully then it will last longer) - Download the printable pdf from HERE and then just print it out on your A4 sheets. 

Then all you need is an A4 clipboard. I really like a nice simple one. You just clip your A4 sheets into the clipboard and it is super easy to change the month as you go along. 

And you can keep adding birthdays to it - so now there is no excuse for not remembering!

Hope you enjoy!

*please note this calendar is copyright © Liz Mosley, 2015, and is only for personal use and must not be used for re-sale or any financial gain* 

Print Swap

I follow lots of blogs by various creatives...illustrators, designers, photographers etc, and every now and then someone will post some work that make me think 'wow - I really want that on my wall'.  A little while ago I bought a print, of a collage by Laura, after seeing it on her blog and falling in love with it. 

Anyway, I have been a follower of Rhianne's lovely blog for a while now and a little while before Christmas she did a post and the photographs were just stunning...I am not really sure what it was (maybe the colours, the delicacy) but I knew that I wanted that third image on my wall somewhere. 

I got in touch with Rhianne and she said she would be happy to sort out getting a print done - the same day I posted a picture on Instagram of the prints that I had screen printed at Print Club London and Rhianne messaged me saying she loved it and how about doing a print swap! 

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What a great idea right?! I love having work by all different people over my walls and in particular work by creative people I have made friends with online or offline. 

Anyway Rhianne's photograph is framed and on my wall now and it makes me so happy. 

If any other creative types are ever interested in a print swap with me, I would love to hear from you. It is such a lovely idea! (I actually have 2 of the 'let's be adventurers prints left)

My goals for 2015

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To be totally honest I am not into New Year's resolutions at all. I always choose things that are just way too ambitious and not really achievable and then it doesn't last very long. I do like to set myself some goals though, things that I can get my teeth into and that I have the whole year to work on. I guess its normal to have a think about these when there is a New Year but sometimes I like to set myself some goals in the summer too to give me some added motivation and drive. Looking back on last year I feel really pleased with how I did with some of my goals. I really wanted to lose some weight, and although it wasn't as much as I hoped, I lost a stone and it felt great. I really noticed a difference. I also (re)launched my etsy shop and really pushed things forward, which was something I had been wanting to do for ages. I also took on some new freelance clients which has been really rewarding and a great experience. 

This year I think my goals are probably fairly similar to last year's (not sure I published last year's on the blog though) but just pushing things along slightly. So here we go. 

1. Keep trying to be healthier. I know this is going to be on my list of goals probably for ever but I think it's something that I am always happy to be working on. I want to be much better at looking after my body and being a bit more mindful about what I am putting into it. I love food so much and so I want to find a way of not denying myself everything to the point I don't enjoy it anymore, but to be more creative with healthy lunches and little treats. On the exercise front I would really like to get into running again. A couple of years ago I did really well and built up to running a half marathon, but it's amazing how easy it is to slip out of it. Ideally I would like to get into the habit of running home from work as often as I can fit it in to my schedule. 

2. Blog more regularly. Over the Christmas break I have tried to put together a bit of a blogging schedule so that I can be more organised and plan in advance for some of my posts. I am hoping I will be able to keep this up. I am aiming to post 3 times a week for now (I'm not going to give myself a hard time if it's only 1 or 2 on the odd occasion though). Anyway you will probably be able to see how this is going. I am really hoping that over the year my writing, photography and the quality of my content is going to improve. 

3. Grow my Etsy shop. I want to carve out time to create more products for my shop this year. I feel like I am developing a style that I am happy with and so I need to make time to create regularly. I also want to work on my wholesale catalogue. Before Christmas my cards were stocked in the Turpentine (Brixton) and Bias (Peckham) - which are both shops that I love and I would love to get my cards stocked in more independent shops in London and the UK. 

4. Live more simply. I know this is all the rage at the moment and there are lots of blogs dedicated to living a simple life - but it is something I want to take seriously in 2015. It really is crazy the amount that we consume, and I know I could be a lot happier with less possessions and a less cluttered life in general. This won't be easy as I do love to shop but I am going to work on it. I guess this all links in to saving money too. I would really like to do a big trip to the US this year but to make it happen it will involve cutting back and saving the pennies for sure. 

The postcard in the picture above is by the very talented Jen Collins. I got a little set of them before she closed her etsy shop. I love them - they totally motivate me. This one will be going on the wall to keep me motivated in 2015. 

Hope you all have a great week! 

Happy New Year

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I accidentally slightly abandoned my blog at the end of November. I totally intended to post in December but life just got in the way. I really want to try and get more organised so that that doesn't happen so often. I have had a really good break over christmas though and have been having a good think about how I want to develop this space and improve my blogging over the new year. I have been coming up with ideas for new features, and posts and giveaways etc, so hopefully I will have lots more inspiration and creativity to share in 2015. 

I hope you all had a great night last night and are not feeling too rough today. We had a nice chilled evening celebrating with close friends.

Anyway what I really popped in to say was HAPPY NEW YEAR - I hope 2015 is a great year for you all. 

Christmas Independent shopping guide

I think christmas preparation is starting to really pick up now. I like to get started early so that I don't leave everything to the last minute. With a growing family there are more and more people to think about. This year I am trying to spend some time thinking about the gifts I get and where I get them from. For some people I am going to down the hand made route but for others I am trying hard to support independent shops. Since setting up my etsy shop earlier in the year I have just realised how lovely it is to support independent makers and designers and there are so many beautiful online shops out there that I have discovered this year. 

So I thought to help you guys out if you are looking for ideas I would put together a post of some of my favourite shops. Some of these I have bought from myself - some of them I am planning to buy from - and some are on my own christmas wish list! All of these are UK based because I wanted to support shopping local as well. 

Have a look through at all the talent out there and hopefully this will help kick start your christmas shopping. If you click on the images below it will take you straight to the shops


Oh My Clumsy Heart - Minimal handmade jewellry

Oh My Clumsy Heart - Minimal handmade jewellry

Lucie Ellen - Handmade wooden products,

Lucie Ellen - Handmade wooden products,


Fred and Noah

Fred and Noah

Anna Wiscombe

Anna Wiscombe


Handsome Craft

Handsome Craft

The lovely drawer

The lovely drawer


Alice Gabb - Calligraphy starter kit

Alice Gabb - Calligraphy starter kit

Sort - Hand printed letterpress gifts & ephemera

Sort - Hand printed letterpress gifts & ephemera


So there you go. This is not an exhaustive list but I hope you enjoy exploring these shops and finding new things, and hopefully more folks will make an effort and shop independent this Christmas! It really makes a difference.

(Also if you are lucky there may be some black friday deals today so get in there quick!)

Print Club London - Screen printing workshop

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For my birthday my colleagues bought me a gift voucher for Print Club London to do a screen printing workshop...I had wanted to do it for ages and so I had obviously gone on about it enough for them to decide that it would make the perfect gift! 

It took me a while to get my act together and actually find a weekend free to do it, but a couple of weekends ago I headed over to Dalston on a rainy Saturday morning ready to get messy and go through all the process of screen printing. 

I'm afraid I didn't take loads of pictures because, you know, I was getting on with the business of actually making my screen prints and the ones that I did take are a bit fuzzy and from my phone but hopefully they give you an idea. 

The lovely Barry and Oli led our workshop. We started off with a talk from Barry going through the basics of screen printing and showing us lots of amazing examples of things that had been created at PCL. Then Oli talked us through the process of taking our artwork and preparing it so that it was suitable to go onto a screen. 

All our black and white artwork was printed onto tracing paper ready to expose onto our screens. We then went into a dark room with red light to cover our screens with emulsion. These were then left to dry. While the screens were drying we checked our artwork for any imperfections. 

Once the screens were dry we used the large exposure unit to expose our screens. It literally took 40 seconds! Crazy. We rinsed the screens down to get the emulsion that hadn't hardened off (the bits that hadn't been exposed to the light because they were covered by the black artwork) and left them out to dry. 

After lunch we were ready to start printing. The major dilemma was picking which coloured ink to use!

We all helped each other out with printing on the table - and after doing a few test runs, all eventually came out with 6 beautiful prints. I loved seeing everyone's work on the drying rack and it was fun to see people's image choices and colour choices coming together.  

The prints came out really well considering it was a beginners workshop and most people's first go at screen printing. 

I will be honest I fell in love with screen printing all over again (I had done a little bit at university and also some fairly rudimentary printing on my kitchen table) - and the thought of spending hours and days in those studios really appealed. It took me back to the very happy days of art college and having lots of time to experiment. I might save up the pennies and try and become a member in the new year because I would love to be able to offer all sorts of screen printed items in my little shop

If you have ever wondered about screen printing or just wanted to give it ago I can't recommend this workshop enough. All of the people running the course and on the course were so lovely and friendly and it was a great way to spend a Saturday! 

Etsy shop earlybird discount code

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I haven't done a discount code yet since I opened the shop so since things are about to start ramping up for Christmas I thought I would do a little early bird special. 

Until the end of November I will be offering 15% off in the shop using the code GETINEARLY. Perfect if you want to get some Christmas cards or if you're organised - get in some early Christmas shopping. 

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! 

Creating a distinctive illustrative style

I love finding new illustrators whose style I admire and I'm always impressed by how so many illustrators create such distinct styles, to the point now where there are certain artists work I will see in a magazine or advertising campaign and just know that it is them.

Although I am not an illustrator as such, my design work often includes illustrative elements, but I have always struggled with creating a distinct style. Although saying that, friends at university always reassured me that I did have a distinct style – I guess it was just harder for me to see. I think sometimes it's really good to limit yourself to inspire creativity when producing new work. Sometimes I try to limit my colour palette or the tools that I use.  Recently I've been trying to limit myself (well not exclusively but mostly) – to black ink.

I read an article once about how creative types find it hard to just do one thing, they want to try everything. I think that is definitely the case for me. I struggle to pick just one thing and get really, really good at it, because I'm inspired by so much, and want to try so many things and learn new stuff.

Sometimes I love this, but sometimes I get frustrated and feel like that famous quote “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies to me.

Anyway I don’t really have any answers, I think I'm still going to want to keep learning and trying lots of new things, but I think for my personal work and my etsy shop I am going to try and limit myself a bit more, choose a few things to work on and get particularly good at. At the moment I feel like the things I want to focus on are my black ink illustrations (whether typographic or patterns etc) and lino printing. I only just started lino printing recently but really loved it and feel like it could be a printing medium that could work really well for me. I might dabble in screenprinting too and see where things go from there.

Now that I've written that though I've remembered that I've been really wanting to experiment more with collage too. See I just can’t help myself!

I feel that since I've opened my etsy shop I've stepped things up a bit in terms of creating personal work rather than just work for clients (which I do love to do too) – and it's meaning I'm making much more time to experiment, produce more and make mistakes, and I 'm really enjoying it. As ever I'm hoping to keep sharing more of my creative journey on this blog. 

I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on whether they find it easy to focus on just one discipline or work in one particular style, or whether they're always wanting to try new things, and experiment with different styles and tools.  

Moodboard Monday

I haven't done a moodboard in a while so thought I would start as I mean to go on with a bit of inspiration from good old pinterest.

clockwise from top left you can find these images here: 
Letterbox // envelope // roses // sea // wanted and wild // arrow
(sadly couldn't find a lot of the original sources for these - that does frustrate me about pinterest sometimes) you can follow me on pinterest here

Hope you all have a lovely monday. 

Burano

While we were in Venice we visited the islands of Burano and Murano. Both were beautiful and it was a great day out, but the one that really stood out was Burano. The island is not big at all (you could probably walk around the whole island in about 30 minutes) but it is absolutely full of striking brightly coloured houses and quaint canals. We were there on a glorious sunny day and it was just amazing. I found it really inspiring because the colour combinations were just so bold, and every little corner made you want to take a photograph.  Burano is famous for lace, and in the olden days (not as much now) lace was a big Venetian export and this was where it was made. It was also a fishing village and the story goes that the fisherman painted their houses different bright colours so that they could spot them easily while they were out at sea. I'm not sure that is the reason anymore, it's probably more to attract tourists, but it really is lovely.

As I mentioned in this post, the concentration of tourists in Venice is pretty high, and on Burano it is even higher. It's such a tiny island and basically the vaparetto is full of people planning to wander around the brightly coloured streets.

Here are some of the photos I took. I really love how some of them came out so I think I might print and frame some and have a little set to go on the wall. They would definitely brighten up any room! 

Happy Monday!