Thursday, September 23, 2010

new stuff

'Fairy Bread' card range 
'Lemondrops' card range

Ello!! Just a quick one today to do a little plug for some NEW STUFF available right now in my Etsy store - yippee!

There's the 'Fairy Bread' card range - four cards for birthday or everyday occasions featuring characters from some of my favourite fairy tales... Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and
Puss In Boots.

And there's the 'Lemondrops' card range, if you need to send a cheery greeting :) Featuring Thank You, Hello Sunshine, Basil and Nelly.

You can find them in my Etsy store, or you can buy them through the gorgeous Lark online shop.
Cheers everyone! :D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

exhibition accomplished!

Howdy everybody! How is your week going? Only a couple more days until the weekend - yay!
The exhibition opening last Friday was great - SO many fab people rocked up to have a look at our artwork and have a good natter. Was a very fun evening! I finally decided on names for my last two little friends... Thanks so much to Flora, who suggested the name 'Meg' for the girl and to Moira, who suggested 'Alfie' for the boy. All your suggestions were very much appreciated though, it was hard to chose just two.

Oh and I have decided to post the 'Getting to Know...' segment monthly. Workload is getting a bit nutty, and organising myself to do mini-interviews is a little tricky at the mo :) xo

Thursday, September 16, 2010

getting to know... Pinky the Toymaker

Hello lovelies! Sorry about the delay in this week's 'Getting To Know...' post. I've been a busy bee getting the exhibition set-up. All done now and ready to roll for opening tomorrow night yay!

OK - May I introduce Pinky the Toymaker! Pinky has been sewing for 20 years - since she was little. She has studied sewing, pattern making and graphic arts at college and now also teaches at college. Pinky says POO POO to factory-made toys, and aims to create gorgeous softies that are just as special as the children they belong to. Pinky has a wonderful Etsy shop here and a Flickr photostream here - please do take a visit!

 images and designs copyright Pinky the Toymaker 2010

*Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration for my toys from fabric, my fiancé and my childhood. I didn't have a lot of store bought toys when I was little and I guess that's why I started sewing my own too. My mother had a beautiful wooden Babushka doll when I was little and with all the beautiful bright fabrics available I have always wanted to make a fabric one. I like simple forms because they are quick and easy to make but I've also been know to spend 100's of hours making art dolls too.

*How do you usually start and finish your working day?
I teach and I'm a freelance graphic artist so my days vary. I do a lot of my toy making in the evenings during the week and then spend all weekend sewing some times when I should be doing UNI assessments or marking assignments!

* Tell us something about where you live....
I live on the border of NSW and Victoria, so I'm right on the Murray River. I enjoy the peacefulness of a country town but LOVE trips to Melbourne which is three hours away, that's where I do most of my shopping for fabric :)

* What do you do for fun or relaxation?
Sew, sew, sew and cook! Both things that make LOTS of mess! Hahaha.

* Do you have any pets? Tell us about them...
I have a lovely little cat who thinks he's a dog. He's an Abyssinian which is a short-hair cat with BIG ears and an even BIGGER personality. He loves to help me with anything I'm doing. That's why I keep him locked out of my studio because I'm sure he's love to try and arrange my fabric when I'm not home. He's our little that's what we called him!

* Of all your softie creations, do you have a favourite?
You shouldn't have a favorite softie! But... in saying that, there is one that is dear to my heart and he lives with my Nanna. He is the first softie I ever made. I designed and made him when I was about 8 years old by cutting him out of an old blue fleecy jumper. I used the buttons from the front of the jumper to secure his limbs to his body. He's a tatty, disproportionate little fellow and my hand-stitching was very rough but I literally love him to pieces! 

* What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is SPOTS! I can't get enough of them. Whenever I venture into a patchwork shop I always come out with at least one little piece of spotty fabric. I find that spots go with everything and there is something so childish about them I just love them. So needless to say, when you see my toys you'll know why their little bellies or clothes are all spotty.

Also, I remember telling myself when I was a little girl to remember what it was like to be a child and promised myself never to forget. At the time I wanted to be a toymaker but also thought that maybe it was a far-fetched dream. But here I am today doing all the grown-up stuff and still doing what I wanted to do when I was little! :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

just for fun

Ben's doodle
Ben's first-time-in-Illustrator version

My version

Happy Saturday! Today I wanna share a fun little unplanned collaboration between myself and my little brother, Ben. Ben is an amazingly talented artist, I'm actually quite jealous of his skills! Anyway, he sent me this little doodle he did - characters of himself and his friend Chay. Ben's been wanting to learn Adobe Illustrator for a long time, and he decided he'd dive into it head-first and have a go at re-creating this doodle in Illustrator... So above we have Ben's little sketch, Ben's version in Illustrator (damn good for a first time Illustrator user!) and I couldn't resist doing a quick version too - fun! We hope to swap doodles for each other to colour-in some more.
Have a little peek at some of Ben's other work below - some sketches, some more finished. As you can see, he likes the darker sorta stuff as well as the super cute stuff! What an eye for detail!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

wall art

Morning all! Just a quick one today... a couple of wall-art designs I recently did for a company here in  Australia. The brief was to create cute sea creatures that would be suitable for a boy or a girl's room. It was actually a lot trickier than I thought it would be to make them gender-neutral! Have you ever had that problem? I didn't realise how much I tend to think in terms of gender when creating illustrations for kids, although personally I've never subscribed to the idea that 'pink is for girls and blue is for boys'! Anyway, it was a super-fun project, I enjoyed every moment of it :) Have a lovely Thursday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

getting to know... Moira Millman

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Getting To Know...' post! This week the wonderful Moira Millman is sharing a little bit about herself with us - yay! Moira has been working as an illustrator since she graduated in 1992, and has worked (and continues to work) with a very impressive list of clients. She also sells her gorgeous hand-printed Gocco prints in her beautiful Etsy shop here. And why not take a peek at Moira's blog here to see what she's been up to! Thanks Moira for alowing us to take a peek into your world...

image and design copyright Moira Millman 2010

* Where do you find inspiration?
I think my love of the 1950's is one of my main inspirations, I've been very drawn to that era ever since I was a teenager and collect all sorts of things from the 50's up to the 70's. That whole period was a fantastic time for design and I love old pottery, packaging, books and other ephemera and these quirky little collections inspire my work.  I'm not a minimalist by any means, although I think I may have reached collecting capacity now as our shelves are heaving!
As well as my commissioned work for magazines I've been doing more personal work lately.  I've always liked coming up with witty ideas using wordplay and doodling in my sketchbook and I've been enjoying turning these little ideas into prints. Selling my work online is a new area for me as I've always concentrated on the commercial side of illustration but it's something I'm hoping to expand on...

* Tell us something about where you live...
I'm originally from Devon which is a very southerly part of the UK, a popular holiday destination and famous for its lovely hilly scenery and cream teas: scones, jam and local delicacy, clotted cream!  After graduating I spent 10 years living in London and now I live in one of the flattest parts of the UK, the Fens.  This area was originally underwater before it was drained in the 17th Century.... good job because I'm not much of a swimmer!  I live in a small town which is surrounded by farmland so it's not unusual to be stuck behind a tractor when you're going out somewhere!  Being so flat, this region is also known for its big skies, lovely sunsets and plenty of cyclists.

* Do you have any pets? Tell us about them...
I have a greedy grey and white cat called Alf who we adopted from the RSPCA 4 years ago, we don't actually know his real age but recently he's been getting a few more grey hairs! (like the rest of us!) and he's calmed down a lot.  When we first got him he was a bit crazy, climbing up on shelves, the fridge and wardrobe and he has been known to knock pictures down from the wall to get our attention, broken glass everywhere!  For all his quirks we love him to bits!!

* You share a studio with your husband, what are the pros and cons of working so closely with your partner?
Well we have shared a studio for a long time so we don't really have anything to compare it too. We used to both work in a tiny box room which was a challenge especially as I can be quite untidy!  We now have a bit more space which is great but my end of the studio is still a lot more messy than my husband's!  I'm lucky to have the window near my desk which looks out to the garden, a nice distraction. It can be hard working at home alone and for me it's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off and for a second opinion. Maybe you should ask my husband though, he keeps threatening to put up a partition!! ha ha

* What is your guilty pleasure?
Ooh probably watching too much rubbish on the tv!  I love quality dramas especially Mad Men but I can sometimes be found immersed in a 'made for tv' cheesy movie or old episode of Columbo!
I also eat far too much chocolate, I only eat the 70% dark stuff and I tell myself it's better for you than milk chocolate but my expanding waistline will testify against that! Well curves are all the rage don't ya know!!

images and designs copyright Moira Millman 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

you're invited

Oh - Monday again - really?!! Bah! How was your weekend? Hope it didn't fly by like mine did! I had a lovely Saturday, starting with scones and jam for breakfast - baked by my hubby (yes I'm very lucky!) Then I had a visit from my super good friend, Liz... Awesome! What did you get up to?

What are you doing on Friday night the 17th September? If you are in or near Melbourne on this night, I'd love for you to come along to the opening of "Paper, Paint & Pixels" exhibition. I'm very excited to be exhibiting alongside some very talented friends at Hogan Gallery in Collingwood. Please do come on down for some opening night drinks and say G'day - it would be lovely to meet you!

P.S - Still deciding on names for those two little friends... I'll let you know as soon as I do :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FREE printables for you - yay!

Hellooooo! First I'd like to say a huge THANKS for all your name suggestions for my two little nameless exhibition friends. Wow there are so many I love that it's gonna be a bit of a process to narrow it down... I'll keep you posted :) Also I'd like to let you know that over at our group blog We Love To Illustrate this month we have created some free printable labels for you to download and use... yes FREEEEE yippee!! Please do head on over here to grab your free labels created by Shirley, Julissa, Jennifer, Cally, Nina and myself. As always, we'd love for you to join the fun - create some labels of your own, and post a link to your artwork on our blog. Cheers :)