2013: A Year In Pictures

A tentative start to the year. After the end of 2012 I didn't feel like pushing myself to do anything out of my comfort zone. Just happily went to work at Lush, drew for fun and spent the entire month talking to the cat and tending to my aloe vera plants. Highlight of the month = buying a nest of tables in a charity shop. A sign of the times.

Michael Lee and I organised a Newcastle sketch crawl. It was slushy, freezing and there were about 5 of us including Michael and I, but it was great to get out and draw and meet new people. If you haven't heard of Sketch Crawls, they're basically a group of people wandering around drawing/Urban Sketching. Working in a group is fun, and it takes away the self-consciousness of sitting by yourself drawing buildings. Nosy bonus: you can look at each others' sketchbooks at the end.

Work started trickling back in - this fluffy Pooki lookalike (Pookalike, if you will) was the first cat of many. I hereby declare 2013 the year of the cat portrait. This was also the first time i've been commissioned because of someone seeing my work on Instagram. Social media! All hail!

In April I designed a poster for a music festival happening in my home town, Berwick upon Tweed. During this time I was also slaving away with Chris Folwell on an animation to celebrate the Angel of the North's 15th birthday. SLAVING. That rusty angel became my life in April. 

We finally finished the Angel of the North animation and I celebrated by having a little sit down with a nice cup of tea. There was plenty of news coverage, and the animation was featured on Google +. I also turned 24 and went to the Lake District for a break.

In June I got involved with an exhibition of flip books. Scribbling all over books has never been more fun. In the aftermath of the exhibition I did some animation workshops for kids in partnership with local libraries. Highlights include trundling around Gateshead in a mobile library van, in a fashion not dissimilar to Postman Pat. 

Another first for me - a wedding commission. Possibly the most romantic thing i've ever heard; the groom asked for illustrations of the pub the couple got engaged in, the wedding venue, and a map of their honeymoon. These 3 framed original illustrations were given alongside a set of mugs for the wedding guests. In the future i'd like to offer more personalised mugs - they're great fun to design and make!

"Drawings an' That", my first ever solo exhibition went on display at Newcastle City Library. 

One quick building portrait for Cheryl Fitzgerald Photography (pictured), and then I sold all my stuff, quit my job, put my furniture into storage and broke up with my boyfriend of nearly-3-years. On the 21st of September I moved to Florence Italy to work for Family Nation.

October involved Urban Sketching alone around Florence, attending Couch Surfing events, going on a hike in the Tuscan hills, starting Italian classes, meeting other nannies and doing some graphic design for Family Nation.

Month 3 of living in Italy. I started working for Megan Claire cards, doing some art working in preparation for the Christmas rush. I got some more work from a PR company in Newcastle and a few pet portraits for Christmas commissions.  Also WINE.

Designing thank you cards and Christmas cards for Family Nation, artworking for Megan Claire cards, December was a card-orama.

Much as I love Tuscany and my current job to bits, I've decided to move to Berlin in March to teach English.  If I stay a while I'll be able to speak better German, save up for my MA and get some more inspiration from seeing new cultures and meeting new people.

Here's to adventures and quitting everything to go and eat pasta.

Custom Wedding Illustration

Way back in March I was asked if I'd be able to create a set of illustrations as a wedding present for a groom to give to his bride. He was after 2 building portraits; one of the venue where he proposed, and the other of their wedding venue. In addition to these he asked for a map of their honeymoon route. Since they were traveling from Las Vegas to California, to San Francisco and then all the way to Hawaii this was no mean feat! All the illustrations were A5... fitting thousands of miles of map onto that tiny space was my challenge of the year.

Firstly, apologies for the bad (awful) photos. In the end I was just so excited to have finished them that I wanted to get them to the groom ASAP and didn't take time to wait until daylight or until I was somewhere a bit more glamorous that my kitchen.  Lesson learned!

I've recently heard from the newly-weds whilst on their honeymoon and the mugs and illustrations are said to have gone down a treat.

So anyway, on the left here is the building where they got married, and on the right is the pub where he proposed.

A work-in-progress shot

The honeymoon map! (Click to enlarge)

Packing up the illustrations for the groom to give to the bride on the morning of their wedding.


There were two best men and each got a personalised mug.

Then the parents of the bride and groom got their own mugs too. You get a mug! You get a mug! Everyone gets a mug!