Tag Archives: l’envers du décor

Mad Tea Party

Hi everyone!

This month MATS Bootcamp is all about tea.

The Mini

First, for the mini assignment we had to do some research on tea and draw anything and everything we liked about it. Not set rules. We could draw absolutely anything we wanted as long as it was tea-related.

I started by working on a piece about what tea means to me. Before we were given the mini assignment I had been working digitally and with textures so I decided to stay in the same vein of work.

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While I was working on the piece above I got slightly carried away when I did my hand lettering and started another piece (below). The “minis” are all about experimenting and having fun so I didn’t mind too much starting and trying different things.

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I love these green colours mixed with the white and the black of the hand lettering. After I finished it I realised that it reminded me a bit of Clipper‘s tea packaging (although I didn’t use them as reference).

I couldn’t stop there however, and had to move from digital to analogue.

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I worked freehand with felt tip pens and a limited palette (above), and I worked with Posca pens and colouring pencils to add some texture (below).

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I love the piece above so much! Not only did I have a lot of fun making it but I absolutely love the bright colour combinations. I feel that this illustration is very like me and looking at it makes me feel happy and excited.

The Main Assignment – WIP

At the beginning of this week the main assignment – still tea-related – was revealed. This time we are creating a journal cover for the gifts industry and the focus is on tea leaf reading.

How unusual and exciting!

I have to confess that I have become quite obsessed with the theme.

After filling many sketchbook pages I started dreaming about what my journal cover would look like.

At the moment it’s all work in progress.

 

Some of the artwork that I will be using in the final piece.

I also bought a proper tea cup (we only had mugs at home) to give tea leaf reading – or tasseomancy as it is also known – a try.

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My new V&A tea set for one I bought in a sale. The design by Anna Maria Garthwaite (1690-1763) was originally for a woven silk.

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First ever tea leaf reading.

I have one more week to work on my assignment and submit it to the class gallery and then I am off to a big holiday that my boyfriend and I have been planning for a year.

But that’s another story for another day!

See ya!

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Mid-January Update

Can you believe it’s mid-January already? Because I can’t!

My birthday is fast approaching, so is the exciting holiday that my boyfriend and I started planning  last year (more on this another time)!… Where has the time gone?

Since I got back to work I have been in a sort of whirlwind and I really wanted to share with you what the past couple of weeks have been like for me before it’s all gone.

So here we go…

I’m starting the year with a minor shoulder injury, most likely caused by my first day back at the gym. I go to the gym several times a week and didn’t have that a long rest over the festive season (I mean, my boyfriend even got me to go for a run on the morning of Christmas Eve!) so I’m not sure what happened there. My first workout of the year did feel challenging (as it should) but not more than usual. Anyways. It’s not as bad now as it was the first week and I have booked an osteopath appointment for in a few days.

After a few years of not celebrating it, I introduced my boyfriend to the French tradition of the galette des rois (“king cake” in English). On the 6th of January French people traditionally celebrate the Epiphany by eating either a frangipane-filled pie or a brioche depending on the region of France you’re in. There is a lucky charm hidden in the pie/brioche and whoever gets it is crowned king or queen for the day. I made the pie version – it’s easier than making a brioche and it’s my favourite – and I got the charm (I didn’t cheat, I promise)!

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At Christmas I got some new neon acrylic paints and I’ve been having lots of fun with them so far (I can’t wait to use them again soon!).

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I finished working on a big and exciting client project that I had started before Christmas. I can’t reveal much more for now but more info on this as soon as I can.

I also started working on a fun collaboration with a French blog about expat life called l’Allée du monde. If you don’t already you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see a new illustration come out every Wednesday until the end of the month. And if you can read French I really recommend that you take a look at l’Allée du monde: it’s full of fun facts and anecdotes about what it’s like to live abroad as a French person. Gabrielle (the author of the blog), who I met for the first time in July last year, is a very lovely person and when she asked me if I was interested in working with her on this project I was over the moon because I love the way she writes (her blog is basically the expat blog I wish I had).

After taking my first Make Art That Sells Class in October last year I am back into MATSland! Lilla Rogers’s way of teaching is highly addictive and I had to have more. And since I really want to up my game and develop my career as a whole further in 2018 I thought that signing up for a bunch of her classes would be a fun way to make sure I do it (it can be tough at times to find the time to create your own artwork but it’s important to do it!). The MATS Assignment Bootcamp started again Monday last week and we had to draw what’s in our bag for the first mini assignment of the year.

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I challenged myself to draw “freehand” (no pencil lines before tracing) to keep it very spontaneous so that’s why it’s all a bit wonky. But I like it. And funnily enough the easiest item – the pen – is the one that I had the hardest time drawing (three attempts, no less!). Sure, I was getting a bit tired by the time I got to it. But still! It’s a freakin’ pen!

That’s for for me!

I hope that 2018  is treating you well so far. Do you have any goals for this year? Did you make any good resolutions?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

Why I am an illustrator

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Hi everyone,

As per a recent post on my Instagram I wanted to come back on some of the reasons why I became an illustrator in the first place.

I love to draw, that’s a fact.

But loving to draw doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to draw professionally. If it had been just about loving to draw I could have carried on what I was doing before and drawn in my free time like I have been doing – like – forever.

No. I became an illustrator because I love to draw AND because I want to move people with my art.

I want to make you smile, I want to make you laugh, I want to give you a short mental break from your daily life.

And I want to be one of those people who sets an example and inspires you to follow whatever path you choose because everything is possible.

“You can do anything you set your mind to.” (Benjamin Franklin)

So be free! And have a lovely Friday!

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!

8 Lessons I Learnt From Keeping A Travel Sketchbook

Hi everyone!

I just came back from a trip to Austria where I went to visit some friends of mine. It was a great holiday and one of the things that I am super happy about is that I kept a travel sketchbook!

A lot of the time when I travel I take a sketchbook and some pens and pencils with me and I end up not drawing at all.

However, just before I went on holidays I got inspired by the fantastic Christine Nishiyama (also check her Skillshare classes, they’re great!) who had just completed a road trip and had kept a travel sketchbook which she shared on Instagram. Her illustrations were so simple, beautiful and fun at the same time that they made me want to give it a go.

So I decided that I too would draw my adventures!… And the thought totally terrified me!

I mean, there is so much great stuff on Instagram and the likes that I felt very pressured to produce something that looked awesome, even though the whole point of going away for a few days was to relax and have fun.

And then I remembered how Christine’s account of her road trip and experience of drawing in her travel sketchbook made it sound approachable and laid back.

I wasn’t too sure how and where to start but I decided to be brave, forget about the idea of making something perfect and I gave travel sketching a go – my way! And I learnt a lot in the process!

Here are 8 lessons I learnt from this experience:

  1. Drawing when you are away is not like drawing at home: some of the materials I brought with me were different from what I normally use which means that I had to adapt my drawing a little.
  2. Sketching the illustrations in pencil first made it feel too ‘controlled’. I was spending way too long trying to get things perfect so after 30 minutes of not being happy with my drawings on day 1 I erased everything and went ‘freehand’.
  3. Going straight into painting without sketching my illustrations first forced me to think differently about what I was painting/drawing, loosen up and not ‘care so much’ (it brought back memories from the last Inktober challenge!).
  4. I gave up on perfection… and it felt good! At first I was really disappointed with some of my illustrations that looked inferior to what I normally draw at home. As soon as I reminded myself that it was okay for things not to look exactly like my photos, I started to enjoy myself a lot more and funnily enough the illustrations got better!
  5. Drawing complicated stuff (like people kayaking) freehand when you are hungover is very difficult. Actually drawing anything when you are hungover is more difficult!
  6. Wait for the ink to dry! I really should have remembered this one since I work a lot with Indian ink. Except that since I used an artist brush pen instead of my usual brush and bottle of ink I didn’t quite think it through which resulted in small smudges here and there – lesson learnt!
  7. I added some text to my pages but I didn’t have a particular plan when I started writing. Like the rest, I decided not to overthink it and I just wrote whatever came to my mind. I might not win the Pulitzer Prize for it but it worked just fine for me.
  8. As the days passed and I started to let go some interesting things started to happen. I became more confident and it was reflected in every aspect of what I drew (use of space, colour, subject matter, etc.). Sure, it was maybe not the illustration project of the year, but it was mine, and I owned it!

In hindsight there’s a bunch of stuff that I would now do differently.

But you know what? It actually doesn’t matter so much. Yes, there were a few bumps but there were some really cool things too!

As imperfect as they are, not only do those illustrations tell the story of what I did during this trip but they also show how I grew in just 6 days and that, in itself, is amazing!

And I am so proud that I committed to drawing every day and that in addition to the photos I took I also have illustrations of my holiday!

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!

Fighting the burnout – Step 3: To infinity and beyond

Hi everyone!

Today our space adventure comes to an end but don’t be sad, there will be new ones!

He’s alive!

I know, this is the second film quote today (well almost, the original is “It’s alive!”) and I haven’t even written that much yet. It could be because I did film studies when I was younger or maybe it’s just that those quotes are so famous that it’s difficult not to think about them.

Anyway, one of the first things I did today was to paint the little astronaut’s face.

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Planets

I also worked some more on the planets adding colour, rings and land on the big blue one.

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(Reaching for the) Stars

Finally, I got to paint one of my favourite parts: the stars (if you have been following this series of posts I was already looking forward to that on day 1)!

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Conclusion

I am very happy with the result!

I’m sure that when I look at this illustration again in a few months (maybe it will even only take weeks or days… or hours) I will be more critical about it and point at things that are not quite right or that I could have done better. And that’s okay.

But for now, the paint on my palette and my brushes aren’t dry yet and I am just happy, and here’s why:

1.I drew the sketch back in February. After such a long time this sketch could have just been forgotten like a lot of my other sketches but it actually became a physical painting!

2. I didn’t use any references other than my initial sketch and didn’t even trace the illustration before starting – this could have gone wrong in so many ways, but it didn’t!

3. I wrote about my process! (Whoop, whoop!) I do normally share work in progress on Instagram – the convenience of pictures and the immediacy is nice but sometimes it is good to sit down and reflect on what just happened.

4. I am very happy because it worked! When I started working on this project I was feeling drained. My brain was submerged with self-doubt. I was lost! Taking some ‘me time’ and painting whatever I wanted however I wanted showed me that I can draw, and paint, and that I have a personal voice. You might think “Duh! Of course you can draw!” but unfortunately sometimes the obvious doesn’t seem so obvious.

Anyhow, I am thrilled that this experiment worked! Now I feel more confident and excited again!

Well, I guess there’s only one thing left for me to say:

Have a great weekend and see you next time for some new adventures on Camille’s land!

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