Saturday, 31 December 2011

So long 2011... ★

well, it's been a funny old year hasn't it! Some ups, some downs and as my blog will tell you, lots of colour!

I figured that a little look back over the year was in order, i don't normally fuss too much with New Years stuff but this year i'll be home alone, cooped up watching TV all night so i thought, might be fun to have a look back at it all!

2011 has been kind of a busy year for me, i've been working as a freelance illustrator and designer for just about 3 years now but 2011 has been my busiest year ever commission wise!

i've also altered my work style a little bit this year. this time last year i could barely scan an image to edit digitally and now almost everything i do is digitally edited/coloured/finished whether it's based on a scanned drawing or is drawn directly into photoshop or illustrator.

i'm still in college, which is evident from a lot of my posts, shots of my messy college desk and board frequently pop up over the year, but running the blog as a student helps me tick off units for my course as well as being able to share some of the more mundane parts of my day with you all!

i've always been a fan of all things cute, girly and kawaii, but in 2011 my work went to whole new levels of sweetness (i think it has anyway!) and everywhere you look on my blog there are sweets, cupcakes, princesses and lots of pinks, blues and reds!

other than college, it's been a quiet year for me! from time to time i do like to post about my family and friends but although this has always been first and foremost a personal blog, i try to keep family posts to a minimum, however i hope the ones i have posted haven't been too tedious for you all!

it's been a fab year networking wise as well and i'm fortunate enough to have made many creative new friends via Twitter (mostly!) as well as lots of new clients and contacts. oh and thanks for the kind words, emails, tweets and comments from all of YOU over the year as well! 

time for a list! i love lists and to try and cheer myself up i thought a sort of '2011 achievements' list might be a good idea!

so, this year I have...
  • gotten some of my pieces and merch stocked in a local shop here on the Isle of Man
  • been included in an exhibition at the Isle Gallery at Tynwald Mills, with my artwork hung up the rest of my HND class from college as well as alongside some of the islands best artists, sculptors and photographers.
  • completely re-designed my website (along with the help of a local web designer) and set up an Etsy shop to sell my handmade stuff + merch
  • designed a winning t-shirt design for 'All Tropical'
  • set up POD shops on RedBubble, Artflakes and Society 6 and sold lots of stickers, prints and t-shirts + nearly 60 iPhone cases! i don't who's been buying them but thanks all the same!
  • designed quite a few logos, flyer, poster, banner and advert designs for various clients both local and international
  • built up my paid commissions portfolio (and subsequently spent most of my commission fees on business cards, postcards, prints and merchandise... i may be addicted!)
  • learnt a lot more about 'professional practice' + how to gain new clients and network with artists, galleries, collectives and shops.

so what are my plans for 2012 I hear you cry?

Well next year I intend to...
  • finish my HND and get a move on with my last year of the BA at college so i can finally achieve my degree in Fine Art
  • produce more' fine art' so that i actually live up to my course guidelines!
  • finalise the characters and story for a little children's picture book or maybe even FINALLY finish the pages for 'Where's Charlie?'
  • get more merchandise items featuring my work produced to sell in my online shop, in local shops + at local craft fairs
  • learn to use my bamboo tablet and further develop my digital illustration skills and techniques using photoshop and illustrator
  • learn to drive! 

and i think that's about it! if there's anything else... i've forgotten it so oh well!

thank you for visiting the blog, whether you stop by to read about my artwork, my boring life or even if you just check in to see the pictures i post, i'm glad that you visit at all so THANK YOU!!!

all i have to do now is wish all of YOU + all of my friends and family a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 

may 2012 bring you everything you wish for!

so until next year, i guess that's all folks... ◕‿◕ ★ xX

Friday, 30 December 2011

Creative Café #24 ★

so 2011 is on it's way out at last, and what better way to see out the New Year than with a funky Creative Café post!

when i started the 'Creative Café' features back in June i never thought i'd manage to keep doing them (what with the failed 'Super Sunday' posts...) but more than 20 Creative Café posts later and i still absolutely LOVE finding artists and creatives to feature here and share with you all!

 so here's to another year of totally super duper Creative Café posts to come in 2012!

anyway, quickly dash off and get a snack and a drink, maybe in light of NYE you'd like to grab a glass of champagne and kick off the festivities early, if not... get a nice cup of tea/coffee instead!

don't forget the cake, biscuits + leftover Xmas chocolates!

ok then without any further ado todays post is all about the truly awesome and fantastical Iris Luckhaus

Iris is a really fabulous illustrator, designer and stylist from Germany

she creates really stunning and incredibly detailed images full of gorgeous colours and bold outlines (i think you'll be able to see why i love her work so much!) her work is often very girly and fun, with sultry pouting pin-up type girls dressed up with fabulous outfits and accessories! 

i'm a fan of pretty much everything she does although i think some of my particular favourite designs of hers are from the 'Lily Lux' character sets

when she's not designing fab illustrations or putting together gorgeous outfits, Iris is a big fan of visual storytelling... and storytelling is one thing her drawings definitely do! 

each one has it's own tale to tell and they are often so full of little details that you could sit and look at one for hours and just keep spotting things to add to the story!

first discovered Iris' work about a month or so ago when her name popped up in my 'twitter suggestions' list, the moment i clicked on her website i knew i'd have to feature her! 

her bold graphic style is stunning and the more i flicked through her work, the more i liked it

 ok, so i may have rambled on for long enough! have a nice scroll through some more of Iris' lovely designs in your own sweet time! enjoy...

gorgeous stuff right?! of course it is... although it was tricky to narrow it down at all! i wanted to post EVERYTHING! 

anyway, time for some links now...

to see even more of Iris' fabulously funky artwork, head over to her official website here - Iris Luckhaus

she also has a shop on her site selling books, prints and products featuring her designs + some really groovy magnetic dress-up dolls (i might have to treat myself to one of the doll sheets in the new year!) - Shop

you can also follow her on Twitter - @irisluckhaus

'Like' her work on Facebook - Iris Luckhaus Design

and follow her on Behance - Iris Luckhaus

she's also on Google+ so if you're on there, add her to a circle - Google+

you can also see more of her Lily Lux designs here - Lily Lux

all that's left for me to do now is say a very massive THANK YOU to Iris for saying yes about the feature! when i asked her she said yes straightaway and made my day by adding 'I think my girls would like the nice company they'd have there :)'. well i hope the post is ok Iris! Danke schön :) x

All images featured in this post belong to Iris Luckhaus © do not claim, use, distribute, reproduce or trace ANY of her work without her express written consent. All Rights Reserved.

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in other news, i've been working on some commissioned files for ads and banners so i STILL haven't finished working on my new candy characters! but i promise that when they're done, i'll post them on here for you all to see! 

if i don't post tomorrow, i'd like to wish all of you the happiest of New Years! may 2012 bring you everything you wish for!

so until next time (and maybe even next year!) that's all folks... ◕‿◕ ★ xX

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

★ Seasons Greetings ★

so, another year, another Xmas been and gone! did you all have a nice day??? i hope you had fun with your family/friends/loved ones and that Santa brought you all some nice goodies :)

i spent the day cooped up at home with my parents at Chateau Boylan, although i've not been very well so i actually spent most of the day in bed feeling poorly!

never mind though, it was still a nice quiet Christmas

i usually post on Xmas eve or Xmas day but this year i decided to take a few days out of it all so i vanished offline for a bit which was great, think i'll do it again next year!

anyway, i thought since it's Xmas time and it seems tradition that bloggers post about gifts and what not, that i'd share a few of the lovely presents i received this year from my family and friends!

i think most exciting of all was the book my dad got me...

it's the new Christian Louboutin monograph, published to celebrate 20 years of his work within the world of shoe and accessory design

it is absolutely chock full of the most gorgeous photos, sketches and written excerpts from Monsieur Louboutin himself mapping his journey over the past 20 years. 

and to think, he began professionally designing shoes the year i was born!

one of my favourite things about the book is the pop-out pages hidden under the cover!

speaking of books, i got a nice stack of them on Xmas day!

among them was this absolutely fabulous book by Vintage lovely, Angel Adoree! a truly fabulous gift from my best friend Courtney

the book is so divine! full of darling illustrations, photos, recipes and tips on how to host the perfect vintage tea party + how to do vintage hair/make-up to go with it!

it also has loads of gorgeous illustrations to accompany the recipes and DIY projects

as well as all the lovely books, i also got a very funky Marc Jacobs laptop cover

so that my macbook can be transported in style at all times!

and a gift that i expect a lot of Manx people woke up to on Xmas day, the very special 'Isle of Man' edition of the boardgame Monopoly

i've also been making lots of cute little fabric badges/buttons using the kit my mum got me

and i now have a cute place to store my earrings thanks to my big sister Simone who sent me this adorable little trinket box featuring artwork by the very awesome Myka Jelina

obviously i got lots of other lovely stuff as well but these were some of my fave things so i just wanted to share them with you all...

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in other news, how are we liking the blog colours? sort of back to normal now only with a new banner for the top, it actually matches my new Facebook Timeline

yes i know i only changed it the other day but i fear this may be a regular occurrence, me changing the 'cover' photo every week or so!

not long now though until the New Year so i suppose i should get my head down and get on with some college work! saying that though i have a smashing Creative Café feature to run over the next few days so be sure to keep an eye out for that!

so until next time, that's all folks... ◕‿◕ ★ xX

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Gingerbread Cottage ★

so i may have mentioned it already but i'm not feeling particularly festive and christmassy this year! no advent calendar, no decorations, no festive spirit whatsoever!

well to try and drag myself out of this bout of doom and gloom i had a little go at decorating a Gingerbread House (well mine is more of a cottage but it's supposed to be a house i guess!) using a nifty little kit from Ikea

the 'PEPPARKAKA HUSkit contained a flat pack set of gingerbread panels ready to be assembled into a little house!

it was actually LOADS of fun to build and decorate! even if my decorating skills aren't exactly the neatest...

i bought in a bunch of sweets + tubes of icing to use and i'm not going to lie, i had a lot of fun icing it all and sticking on the sweeties!

next year i might just have a go at baking one from scratch myself but for now... this will have to do!

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in other news, the very uber cool Tim Easley (illustrator, graphic designer and sneaker aficionado) sent me one of his groovy little Rudolph Xmas cards 

as well as a very awesome Zombie Moustache sticker

truly coolio stuff for sure! big thanks to Tim!!! to get your hands on your very own Rudolph Card head on over HERE (+ they're on SALE at the moment!) or for a 'too cool for school' Zombie Moustache sticker, head over HERE

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in other OTHER news, last night i finally switched my Facebook over to the new Timeline, although this isn't the most exciting news in the world, i did have fun fitting together a little 'website matching' cover image for my profile page!

do you like it? or loathe it... 

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not much else to tell for now, i spent today zooming around Douglas and Onchan delivering Xmas presents to various cousins and family members! but hopefully i'll have some more stuff to share with you all tomorrow night or Xmas eve!

son until next time, that's all folks... ◕‿◕ ★ xX