Tuesday 12 May 2015

Desk Life ♥

hello chums, just thought i'd throw together a quick blog post before I head off on my annual travels through the UK to France and on to Andorra and Spain. I don't leave until Thursday but i'll be super busy tomorrow packing and stuff (or more likely reading all night and then packing at the last minute!) so I'll do a blog tonight instead.

i've mentioned it before on here a few times but last year I FINALLY bought myself a proper desk so that I have a place to work and also to display some of the random colourful junk i've collected over the years. You might be thinking 'who cares about a stupid desk' but it's my blog and I really like my desk so I'm gonna talk about it a bit and post some photos so if you're dead inside and hate anything fun, then you don't have to stay here...

So back to the desk. As an artist i'm quite a visual person (wow there's a surprise!) and I like to have lots of inspiring things near or around me when I work to help give me ideas or just to brighten things up a bit. I'm fortunate enough to have a retired painter and decorator for a dad which means the wallpaper in my room is utterly hideous and won't be replaced any time soon. So I long ago resolved to cover every available inch of it with as much random crap as I can muster. Hence the walls full of stuff!

I tend to keep a mix of items around my desk, you'll notice quite a bit of my own work pinned up along with designs from other artists I admire or just general bits n' bobs people have sent me or i've collected on my travels. Although I have a separate space to paint in (which sadly has walls i'm NOT allowed to decorate with cool stuff!) my desk is where I come up with most of my ideas for designs and products. It is for all intents and purposes, precisely where the magic happens.

I know i'm not the only artist that works this way, in fact most of my arty/illustrator/designer friends have similar desks or studio spaces chock full of items they've acquired over the years. I'm not sure about them but I know that I find it really helpful to have a heap of cool stuff in front of me while i'm working on a design or making something.

I'm lucky enough to have some very generous creative friends who've sent me all sorts of nice stuff like fun prints, postcards and groovy stickers! I stick most of this stuff up next to my desk to help with colour palettes and you know, because it looks pretty! And if YOU had hideous skin disease wallpaper then you'd probably slather pictures all over your walls as well.

I'm a big kid at heart and i'll probably never really grow up, so you'll also spot plenty of daft toys on my desk, like my trio of Monster High girls and my mini popobe bear collection. There's quite a lot of Geeky stuff as well, like fanart and other homages to various fandoms. I also keep my 'thinking crown' handy for those times when creative block strikes, I pop on the glitter crown and issues usually resolve themselves. And if they don't, who cares, i'm wearing a crown, nothing matters.

The desk is also home to my beloved Pullip doll and a whole host of other critters including Catbug, Puppycat, Paddy the gnome, my Lego Ghostbusters set, Moomin family, Sailor Moon, Toothless the dragon, Maurice the monkey, Arale, Jack the giant Popobe bear, Tofu Dolls, Dunny figures, oh and a Tardis because why not?!

it might look like a cluttered nightmare but it's surprisingly well organized (for me!) and I have quick access to all of the bits I need to create stuff and if I can't find something then I just shuffle through it all and swear profusely until I can. It's a very successful if entirely inelegant system of organization, typical to most artists. 

you might also spot Tom Hiddleston's face lurking on the desk as well, this was a recent gift from my friend Lorna as sadly the real Tom Hiddleston wasn't available, apparently. You might ask 'but Jade, why so much stuff everywhere?' and all I can say is that as far as i'm concerned, if it's not teeming with stacks of random stuff then it's not a real desk!

you might also think that i'm not left with much space after all that junk, and i'd like to take a moment to ask why on earth you're so judgmental but instead I will tell you that despite the clutter I manage just fine...

Now onto the other reason I wanted to do a post tonight, yes that's right, I lured you here under false pretences only to ambush you with something else entirely! As I mentioned at the start, i'm off on my holibobs this week which means i'll be closing the shop for a bit. However, i'm going to the post office in the morning so if you've been hankering for a treat or need to buy a present for someone, this is your last chance until the end of the month!


And as a special sweetener, i'm throwing in a FREE Girl Gang sticker with every order + EVERY purchase gets a 20% off voucher for their next order!So i'm not sure what you're waiting for, go buy something cute! SHOP NOW

and on that happy and colourful note i'll say goodbye, I won't have proper internet access while i'm away but i'll do my best to post stuff over on my Instagram page so if you want to see what I get up to on my holiday, then maybe you should follow me on there!

so until next time, that's all folks! speak to you all again soon...

Monday 4 May 2015

Gnome Sweet Gnome ♥

hello chums, I appear to have once again vanished into the unknown and neglected my pretty pastel blog in favour of other delightful pursuits such as binge watching Daredevil on Netflix, bringing my Goodreads reading challenge up to 35 books for 2015, as well as frequent trips to the doctors and hospital for blood tests and various other medical-esque things.

This means i've been spending even more time at home than usual, since I wake up almost every day feeling ill, and it's all getting me a bit down to be honest.

But i'm here now, so that's really all that matters, i'm sure you'll agree!

I genuinely began working on this post about a fortnight ago, but as I mentioned, other things have been happening so I just haven't found the time to finish the post. Well that's not entirely true, i've probably had plenty of chances to finish it, but i'm a lazy swine, so I haven't. Until now that is.

So i'll stop blathering on and get on with it. In case you haven't already seen it on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr profiles, I recently took time out of my busy reading/netflixing schedule to paint a very small garden gnome to add to the collection of random stuff living on my desk.

now you're probably thinking this is a tad unusual, even for me, and while you'd be right in thinking that, it doesn't really matter because I bought a plain plaster gnome and about a day later I had this candy coloured darling instead!

Don't ask me why but when I saw the 'DIY paint your own gnome' kits, I just HAD to have one! I could already see it painted in candy colours in my head and when I got home I worked on painting it in the EXACT colours i'd imagined until I was left with this happy little chap.

Pretty Paddy
There's something so RIGHT about seeing a garden gnome in non-traditional colours isn't there! I've decided to call him Paddy, and he is the prettiest gnome in all the world! (fact). He's all settled now on my desk hanging out with my mini collections + various other neat stuff.

my desk family

It may surprise you to learn this, but I haven't just been painting small gnome gentlemen lately, i've also been working on a few new paintings for no particular reason other than that I felt like painting some Candy Dolls one afternoon!

colour blocking and blending
It typically takes me anywhere between two days to two weeks to complete a painting, depending on how addicted I am to certain shows on Netflix, how hooked on a new book I might be or just how often I can be bothered to lock myself in my tiny and very cold studio, stick on the Musical/Disney soundtracks and get on with some actual painting!

pastel paint shots
 It's not all doom and gloom though, a new painting means I get to crack out my meagre collection of rainbow spray paint cans and spray, splatter and splash together a colourful background for whatever pastel haired babe i've just finished painting.

an armful of rainbow magic
This time I went for some smaller pieces using a pair of wooden circle boards I've had lying about for about a year instead of my usual 4-foot boards. It was fiddly but fun and although these ladies don't necessarily come as a matching pair, I think they complement one-another rather nicely.

fineliner time!
Eventually, after days (or weeks) of scrabbling at the board with messy decrepit brushes, painfully pricey Posca pens and endless bundles of permanent markers, I will sometimes end up with an actual finished piece, or in this case, two of them.

I haven't come up with titles for either of these yet, so if you have any suggestions or ideas, leave a comment below! I'm currently working on two more paintings but they're a bit larger and have been taking me a lot longer to finish as i've been under the weather quite a bit lately.

in other candy coloured news, if you like seeing my drawings and paintings of rainbow haired ladies, and you think to yourself, 'wow I wish I could be one of those radical pastel babes' well then I have good news for you because YOU can now become an official member of the Candy Doll Club!

membership pack with Baby Pink Rosette
I decided to whip up a bunch of nifty little Membership Cards for all the wannabe Candy Dolls out there! The cards come in special Membership packs, available in the Shop now

a sample of the treats in each Membership Pack
each pack is full of fun signature Candy Doll themed goodies, naturally everything is peppered with pink and dripping with sugary goodness.

membership pack with Hot Pink Rosette
at the moment the packs are available for just £4 each + p&p and the only other place you can get your hands on an official Membership Card is if you treat yourself (or someone else) to more than one item from the Shop

and that's about it for now, I can't think of much else to tell you without going into rambling/babbling territory. So i'll just stop for now.

until next time, that's all folks!