20 February 2014

Slow and steady wins the race! (It's not a race. But if it was we won.)

So, February, still hanging around eh? Get a shift on, I want (my birthday and then) some sunshine and flowers. In the meantime, here are some pictures of a workshop I held at ECA yesterday!

(preparation involved some very serious tortoise illustrating)

In collaboration with the Centre for the History of the Book for Innovative Learning Week, we had a group of students from across a number of disciplines come for a day of looking at the amazing collection of Aesops' fables before heading to ECA to print and fold their own books. The prep was fun - it was a pleasure to meet the very clever Masters students. I also love an excuse to hide away in the studio and cut out pretty little stamps for an afternoon. A large group had signed up so with Lucy (teaching fellow), Anine (studio assistant) and Phil (my fellow AiR)on hand we were ready to go. Focussing on the story of the tortoise and the hare (a personal favourite...I don't advocate moving anywhere too quickly so I approve of the moral of this tale) students made folded books, cut out lino images and hand printed their work onto the books. The results were impressive, considering only one of group had ever relief printed before.

Students cutting their lino and rubber stamps (and Phil lending some expert advice in the background)

An awesome example of the work - this student embraced the race theme and made a lovely little sequence of images

Queueing up at the printing bay (Yes it got a bit messy. And yes I loved this.)

So all in all a fun day. I think I could get used to playing around with ink and stamps and calling it 'work'. 

1 February 2014

Public Service Announcement: 2014 is cold. Stay indoors and make pretty things.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and isn't this weather awful?

Now we have got that out the way I'd like to show you what I have been up to lately. I came back from Christmas in New York (yup, that happened) with a ring on my finger and a wedding to plan (that happened too) and full of good illustration-y intentions. Aside from a lot of house fronts and logo designs I have been busy sketchbooking and making patterns. I'm working on a self-initiated project about my home and things I associate with home:

And today? Well today was pretty good. I was part of the Scottish Book Trust Illustration Lab - chaired by Viv French and with guest speakers Val Braithwaite (Creative Director at Bloomsbury) and illustrators Catherine Rayner and Nick Sharratt. Here is a sneaky snap I took while looking at Catherine's sketchbooks and dummy books:

I manage to seriously geek out whenever I meet Nick Sharratt and today was no exception. I mumbled something about copying his illustrations from the front covers of my Jacqueline Wilson books when I was about 8, then I got all flustered and ran off. Smooth! That aside, the day was really great. Now I have a brief to get working on to present at our next session in two weeks. Busy busy!