Tag Archives: ARTIST UPDATE

A Summer Of Learning

Hi everyone!

Since a lot of people (and therefore clients) are taking things a bit more slowly and/or are going on holidays things have slowed down a bit in the studio. This led to asking myself how I could make the best use of that time.

The answer came pretty quickly: learning! And experimenting. And working on those personal projects that pop into my mind when I’m busy and that I have to leave on the back burner for a while before I can finally get to them.

You know how some children go to summer camps? Well I decided to have my own creative summer camp.


What I’ve been up to in a nutshell

So far I have taken two different courses, have participated in one illustration competition, I have produced at least four new pieces for my portfolio and am in the process of working on another two, I am working on a new zine, have been using paint more, I have been practising freehand drawing (i.e. drawing without tracing the lines in pencil first) and I have been playing with linocut. Phew!

‘Tell me more, Tell me more’

Courses

I am exploring the Make Art That Sells courses at the moment. I took my first course with them in October last year after seeing how some of their students presented their artwork on Instagram and thinking ‘Wow! I want to be able to do that too!’ I loved Lilla Rogers’s teaching style and the online community so much that when their next sale came up I purchased a bundle of courses. Some of them are live (e.g. Illustrating Children’s Books), some of them are assignment-based (e.g. Bootcamp) and some of them are self-paced (e.g. Hot Market For Your Art – Part A and B). Most of the MATS courses are more art-based (understand: learn about the industry while you create art in your own style through assignments for specific markets) and now they also have a couple of more businessy ones like Portfolio Review Live and MBA (Money BadAss), which started on Monday (13/08/2018) and that I am also taking.

This is not an affiliated post by the way (I am not getting paid to talk about them) but since I love their courses I thought I would mention them in case you want to try them too. Since I took my first course with them about 9 months ago, I have seen my style grow tremendously together with my level of confidence, my presentation and generally, my knowledge of the industry.

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Examples of pieces I created as part of the MATS courses

Personal projects

I am currently working on a couple of new pieces for my portfolio and at the same time I’m working on a new zine, which I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share with you! The only thing is… I can’t tell you more about it for now (sorry!) but watch this space and if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram (@camillesland) as I might leak some sneak peeks in my stories.

Art experimentation

Analogue textures

I loooove using actual materials to make things and although I also love the flexibility of Photoshop I would like to keep bringing in analogue elements and textures into my artwork. It isn’t usually something I can do in five minutes in a corner of my desk. It takes time, and space, and it can get quite dirty so it requires dedicating proper time for it. But it’s also so much fun!

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The biscuit bases I painted for the ‘Winter Holidays’ piece shown above (yum!)

‘Brave drawing’

Usually, I first sketch my illustrations in pencil before tracing over them either directly or using my light table. This too takes time and sometimes I lose the spontaneity and ‘freshness’ of the lines in the tracing process. So I decided to experiment drawing directly in ballpoint pen for a bit and see what happened. When you draw with a medium you can’t erase you are bound to make mistakes, some of your lines are likely to come out wonky, but after a while you stop caring so much – or at least I did. I drew like that for about 3 hours, up to the point that I actually bruised my thumb nail. I had a lot of fun and by not being precious about my drawings I gained in confidence over the session. I will definitely try that again!

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One of six pages from my three-hour freehand drawing session

Linocut

In line with using more analogue elements and textures, and bringing more spontaneity to my artwork I decided to experiment with lino cutting. I had never done linocut before so I’m a total beginner. I think it’s the perfect response to my current need to work with my hands, sculpt and do illustration. I love the simplicity, roughness and very DIY aspect and I’d been wanting to try it for a while.

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My first homemade stamps,yay!

The more I play with it, the more ideas I have and it makes me feel excited and happy in ways that even I find weird. I would almost describe it as the same kind of excitement you get when you start dating someone you really like and with whom you click.

Strange.


How about you? How’s your summer so far? What are you up to? Do you have a hobby that gives you butterflies and makes you feel very excited whenever you do it?

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My Most Northern Holiday

Hi everyone,

How are you today?

A few weeks ago I mentioned a big holiday that my boyfriend and I had been planning for a while. Well, I can’t believe it’s over now! If I’m being honest I’m even feeling a bit blue, which is an appropriate colour since we went on a cruise to the very top of Norway in the hope of seeing the Northern lights, so lots of blue skies, very deep blue waters and snowy mountains and fjords. (*sigh*)

MY TRAVEL SKETCHBOOK

When we were away I kept a travel sketchbook in order to immortalise some of the key moments of our holiday.

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I won’t write down everything we did because that would take ages, but you will find some comments below.

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On the first night we unexpectedly won the pub quiz. Our prize: a bottle of wine!

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We attended all of the talks about space that were given over the course of the cruise: we’re like that, we like to learn things even when we are on holidays. (Side note: we didn’t do too well in the later pub quizzes.)

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We visited an igloo hotel, went on a husky sledge ride, and went hunting for the Northern lights! Did we see them? You will have to wait until the end of this post or read my sketchbook entries to find out.

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We saw orca whales from the ship and won a bottle of champagne in a raffle! Yep, we don’t normally drink much at all but we won booze twice.

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We spotted E.T. on the upper deck! Just kidding. We went to the last talk on space which was about searching for extra terrestrial intelligent life. It was a really cool talk!

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It took us nearly 8 hours (instead of the 5 hours and a bit on the way down to Southampton) to get back home. A bit of a looonnnnng coach journey.

FUN & RANDOM FACTS FROM MY HOLIDAY

Because a holiday of this calibre wouldn’t be the same without a few stories, here are a few fun and random facts from our holiday that I thought I would share with you.

1) Snowflakes do have pretty shapes

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It might be a bit naive of me but although I have seen snow before, I had never seen the ‘star’ shapes of snowflakes in real life. Seeing the different shapes and how pretty they were got me all excited. All of a sudden I was 6 years old again.

2) Wrap up warm and feel supid – errrm, I meant epic

When you go this far north you want to make sure that you can survive in negative temperatures. This means wearing LOTS of layers of clothes and to put them all on, it’s a whole process. Apparently space suits take 45 minutes to put on. Snow gear won’t take you as long but when it’s not something you’re used to it will make you feel just the same: partly ridiculous, mostly badass (imagine yourself walking in slow-mo with the Armageddon music playing in the background).

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Source: Giphy

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See? Just the same! (Almost.)

On this photo I’m wearing 6 layers of clothes on my upper body and 3 layers around my legs (not counting underwear). At the same time you kind of have to when you go out by  -15°C to -25°C and you’re not from the area!

3) When you go on a husky sledge ride…

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Beautiful, isn’t it? It truly was. One thing we weren’t prepared for though is that the dogs do their business (you know what I’m talking about) while running. No ‘accidents’ to report, just a big surprise.

4) When you can’t use your fingers, use your nose

Okay, this is a bit of a weird one. After I nearly cried – okay, I cried – because of my painful fingers in the first port we visited my boyfriend and I came up with some ground rules. Rule number 1 was: “Camille will keep her gloves on at all times when outside.” But the thing is: how are you supposed to take photos with bulky ski gloves on? Well… I figured that using my nose instead of my fingers might work. And it did! All you have to do is put the timer on so that you can plan your shot and tadaaaa!

Seriously, one day nose photography will become a thing!

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Yours truly in action, setting up my phone for a “nose photo”.

Oh and if you are wondering whether we saw the Northern lights in the end…

We did!

Twice! (Hooray!)

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Photo courtesy of Glød

See you again soon for more updates and my latest artwork!

Eeeek!

Next week I’m starting the Make Art That Sells ‘Illustrating Children’s Books‘ five-week online course with Lilla Rogers and Zoë Tucker, and I am both excited and nervous!

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It looks like it will be quite challenging and I’m not talking just about the course. I will also be juggling with the new season of Inktober (I can’t believe it’s been a year already!) and client work.

But it also looks like it could be an extremely rewarding and fun month!

How about you? Anything interesting happening in October?

 

Doodle Week

Hi everyone!

I hadn’t done one of these catch-up video in a little while and I was starting to miss them.

This week in the studio: sketchbook doodles, summer and product photo shoot!

Have a great week!

May(hem)

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s nearly been a month already since the last time I wrote! Where has the time gone?

I wanted to make a video but I wasn’t sure how exactly I would manage to keep it short. I mean where would I even begin? Would I make a video just about last week? Try to sum up the month?

When in doubt I tend to opt for keeping things simple.

So here it is, a good ol’ post to update you on what I’ve been up to this month!

Admin

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A business wouldn’t be a business without its fair share of administrative tasks. I know, “Boriiing!” you may think. But necessary!

This month I set up to closing my accounts for the past tax year and filing in my tax return so that I wouldn’t have to stress later during the year.

See, that’s not exactly something that I could have shown in a video or… well, I could have but that wouldn’t have been very interesting!

Arty Stuff

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The big thing after my burnout experience last month was to loosen up and try my best not to care so much about what I draw – in short: have fun!

I did a lot of that in my sketchbook and in my personal work in general this month. I drew silly things…

… and things that I felt genuinely interested in and excited about – a lot of that was sciency stuff!

It’s also this time of the year again and another task I worked on in the background was a double spread for my agent’s catalogue.

It seems simple in appearance but if you’re like me and you like to see as many options as you can because you NEED TO compare or you won’t be satisfied, then you undertsand why it took me a while.

The whole thing involved redoing my space illustration as a digital illustration…

… Starting  laying out the images that I wanted to use on the page, realising that the space illustration didn’t quite fit the rest of the page (I think it was too dark in comparison with the brighter/lighter colours from the other images), drawing a whole new large illustration (see below), and trying about 30 different layouts before I finally settled for one.

Below you can see the progress on the new large illustration:

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It all started with this very rough sketch

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And the final illustration!

Day trip to the National Space Centre

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As a way to relax a bit after all the admin and layout work I did this month I treated myself to a trip to the National Space Centre (I told you, May was very sciency!).

I had wanted to go there to do some reference sketching for a while so that was the perfect occasion!

It was a day full of fun, rough sketches – there was too much to see to stay too long on any one thing – and discovery!

 

And that’s what I did in May!

Pumped

Hi everyone!

What a fantastic week it’s been! I was pumped and with all the positive energy came lots of creative ideas and the start of some new personal projects!

This week in the studio: the #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge on Instagram, my work in progress, my latest creations and what I got in the mail!

Have a lovely weekend!


* The illustration and postcards that I received in the mail are by Carmen Saldaña

A short week in the studio

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