Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Illustration: Heartbreak Hell

I am a hopeless romantic and I have fed my feelings with Disney movies and old classics that are full of romance and happy endings. I remember the first time I saw Casablanca (1942) I didn't understand why he didn't run off into the sunset with Ilsa and live happily ever after. 

My latest project is heavily based on love and loss. I have been inspired by Shakespeare, old movies and the darker side of being in love. In a nutshell, 'Heartbreak Hell' features the woman we saw in my previous piece, 'Forbidden Love'. She fell in love with a devil in disguise and gave him her heart and soul. The groom jilts her after her transformation into a lonely hawk moth and she is left to die alone. I like to think of this piece as Great Expectations meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

I have been trying to build a portfolio of work for a long time. I spend a lot of my time wrestling with my m.e and after many years of completely giving into the devil of chronic illness I decided I really needed something to show for the years I spent cooped up. The first piece was 'Forbidden Love' and due to the work involved it was a complete shock to the system. I spent a long time recovering from that piece and swore I would never spend that amount of time on a piece again. Well, that didn't happen and I started 'Heartbreak Hell' with the same vigour as before. I had to restart this piece 7 times due to having very little energy and this knocked my confidence. I love this piece more than anything else I have done because it reminds me how creating something positive can help inspire better choices. 

Thursday, 31 January 2013

My Regrets Follow You To The Grave

My computer has been away getting fixed so I haven't been able to post many photos on my blog. I took these photos on my iPhone which explains the grainy quality.  I love skulls! I think everything I own has a skull on it. 'My regrets follow you to the grave' is something that will always haunt me. I never want to regret anything in my life! When I am laid to rest with flowers in my hair I hope I'm happy and satisfied with what I have achieved in life. Wow! I am morbid!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

New Illustration!

Last week my new computer, which I've only had for a month, had to go to the hospital. In a way it was a blessing in disguise as I had time to concentrate on my drawing and rest. I spent four days on the sofa and managed to produce something I am pretty darn proud of. I have had this idea for months but I hadn't felt ready or had the time to tackle it.  I usually use a fine paintbrush but it never got me the fine detail I was after so I invested in a dip pen for this piece.
 I have been trying for a few days to try and get a decent photo but without my computer it has been extremely difficult. I posted a few images on Instagram and had some great feedback which was awesome. I don't know what my next project will be but I will not doubt be sharing my thoughts via my Twitter page, Instagram and my blog. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Inspiration Clinic: Part Two

In 2006, when studying art at college I kept an altered book for my project. I spent most of the summer in London and I was inspired by the dirt and grime of the giant city. I had an old London A-Z hanging around so I put it on my desk and started adding things that I had collected. I took photographs of interesting people and places, added tube tickets, nuts and bolts I found laying around. I ended up with this book reflecting the streets and my project was mostly installation inspired by scaffolding and the dirty streets. This one little book provided enough inspiration to fuel my last project at college and it still inspires me. The reason I have chosen to show this book to you is because it still plays a part in my work now. I look through it on a frequent basis and I treasure it like a diamond. Maybe the cities don't inspire you, but the point is you can take any book and fill it with the things you love to look at! Instant inspiration! Happy sticking!

I have recently been exploring the wall collage, sticking up photos, magazine cuttings and anything that will stick on the wall with tape. I love looking at it whilst I work and I sketch from it on a daily basis. I wanted a break from books and as I spend most of my time in my studio it made sense for me to stick it all up on display. I love how it looks messy and creative! Like a huge brainstorm demanding your attention and believe me it gets it. I always keep a sketchbook, but now it's full of doodles instead of the stuff I find. If you can't stick things to the wall because you're renting, how about a big pin board? Pin boards are great for moving things easily and if you prefer things a little neater then this is a better option. Happy pinning!

I hope you feel inspired to get inspired! My next post will be about photography and how it can play a huge part in your creative projects.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas Decorations

This year I finally have my own tree, fire place and the freedom to decorate it with geeky and handmade decorations. I have always been a bit of a Grinch, but this year I rather enjoyed decorating my tree and I finally feel festive.
 I really wanted a wreath for the door, however they were extremely expensive in my local florist and I was bitterly disapointed. Luckily, I found some clay in my studio and I decided to make my own. I now have something I can keep and hand down, instead of binning a wilted mess. I thought I would share a few photos of my decorations on my blog and I have also been posting on my Instagram page. I hope you all have a very merry christmas and a jolly new year! 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Inspiration Clinic: Part One

I often get asked by friends or family where my ideas come from? How does a piece come about? My answer every time is that I was simply inspired by something I saw, heard or even a moment in time that left a seed in my brain. Inspiration is a fleeting moment that you have to grab on to and use. I thought I would start a series of posts to help those who are having or have had a creative block. Where do you find inspiration? What can I do to help form an idea? How do I store my ideas?  These are a few of the questions that I am going to try and shed some light on in the coming weeks. I will put together a creative action plan at the end of these posts for you all to download. 


When I was at college I often used a spidergram to brainstorm initial ideas and I still do this to this very day. I love that I can link everything by squiggly lines and it totally makes sense to me. I know some people prefer lists, which is fine but it doesn't work for everyone, so this is a handy alternative.  I use the spider gram because a) its a little more creative and visual b) it's quick and spirals out of control once you see a pattern emerge and c) it looks like a brain explosion. I love how the page looks excited and raring to go!

I always start with a subject in the middle, then I add some lovely long legs and there you have the spider skeleton. I add an idea to the end of each leg and then hopefully some little legs for related ideas. It usually escalates and you're left with this busy spider map full of inspiration! I always start a new project off this way as you can come back to it whenever you need some guidance. The excitement of the idea is right at the beginning and you may end up doing a few to keep the passion bubbling.  

Collect stuff

I love collecting tat! I surf the web and wonder around charity shops looking for bits and pieces that take my interest. Books are usually what I go for, as an artist it's important to have references to hand at all times. I also like to buy old books and use them as sketchbooks or even use the pages as backgrounds in new books. I am OBSESSED with ram skulls, in fact I am currently working on a project based on them. I bought this gorgeous ram skull on eBay and it has been a constant source of inspiration and a great talking point. My house is full of toys, books, ornaments, handmade things and photographs that help maintain my creative buzz. If you hate clutter, why not take photographs of things you see in charity or junk shops and put them in a scrapbook? A book full of fantastic things!

Next week- I will be talking about various ways of storing inspiration. I will open up my sketchbooks and share my wall of inspiration with you all. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Fly! My little review

The Fly doodle

The last few weeks have been awfully stressful so I made sure I sat down and watched a creepy movie over the weekend. I chose The Fly (1986) directed by David Cronenberg who brought Videodrome (1983) and The Dead Zone (1983) to our screens. The film stars Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis (whatever happened to her, huh?!) and it was everything I needed on a Saturday night, sad, creepy and full of amazing special effects. I'm pretty vocal on twitter about my love for horror up until it went shit in the mid nighties. Ok, don't quote me on that because there are some good horror films from the 90s and 00s but they're few and far between.

The Fly, in a nutshell, is about a guy who wants to transport solid matter through a teleportation device he designed. He meets a young journalist (Davis) and they develop a relationship until, one night, things go horribly wrong when he attempts to teleport himself through the device. Ok, so it sounds a little droll but once your chuck in a few sex scenes, a monkey corpse and a human/fly hybrid, you have yourself one of the most romantic and heart wrenching films you will ever see. Forget Sleepless In Seattle or Titanic! If you want a true love story then watch Davis hug a dissolving human without an ear, that's love that is.

This film deserves your attention because of the special effects, they are incredible.  There is something about that era that modern horror just cannot replicate! It takes a lot to make me wince so I was extremely satisfied and amazed when my stomach turned over some of the gorier scenes! I often see The Fly in a bargain bin! Why?!? It's a great cheesey horror, with great gore and a heart wrenching love story.  If you see  it in the bargain section then please pick it up for goodness sake! It doesn't deserve to be surrounded by cheap chick flicks and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.

The only thing that keeps making me scratch my head, is where the eck do you get a couple of baboons to teleport? Did he ever answer that question?

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