A Peek into my Sketchbook

Here are some scribbles from our sketch crawl that was back in January.

It was a cold, slushy day so we spent the majority of the time hiding indoors with hot cups of tea. We visited the Scrumpy Willow & the Singing Kettle, City Library, the Laing gallery and finished off at Tea Sutra.

We had more people than ever before at this sketch crawl and it was great to see new faces! Thanks to all who braved the cold to come along and draw.

(Click any image to view a nice big slideshow.)

Hands sketching in Tea Sutra

Various teapots in Tea Sutra

Jessica and Emma sketching in the Laing

People browsing the Laing Gallery

Above: Michael sketching (viewed through a chair)
Below: people in the library

Lunch at the Laing

Laing Gallery cafe - people eating, reading and queueing for food

Scrumpy Willow - first sketch of the day!

Our next Sketch Crawl is going to be in Sunderland - join the Facebook group here, or like our page here to be kept up to date and come along!  All ages and abilities welcome.

Sketchcrawl January

Here is a little plug for our next Sketchcrawl in Newcastle upon Tyne.  This time we're staying indoors because it's bloody freeeezing out there.

On Saturday the 26th of January we'll be meeting at 10am at Scrumpy Willow Singing Kettle (89 Clayton Street, Newcastle - just a 3 min walk from Central Station) and then moving on to the Laing Gallery.  Lunch will be had at some point then, and then we'll make our way to City Library to draw for a bit and then have a look at each others' sketchbooks.

You can come along for as much or as little of the sketchcrawl as you like. If you'd like to be kept up to date with all things Sketchcrawl Northeast then you can like our Facebook page, or join the Facebook group.

Here is our poster. Feel free to share/retweet it on Facebook or Twitter. I'll probably be tweeting about it lots :)

Here's the poster, and a new illustration for my portfolio. Hurray.

Sketching at The Hancock Museum

On the 14th of December a little group of us met at Haymarket metro and went to the Hancock Museum to draw for the day.  It was our second meet up so far and they've both been great fun :)

Here are some of my sketches from the day... click to view larger versions.

I added a bit of colour to my favourite sketch of the day: this group of angler fish, seagulls, whimbrel and a snow hare. Don't think you'd see this lot together in the wild...

If you live near Newcastle and would like to come along to the next sketch crawl, you can 'like' the Facebook page, join the Facebook group, or follow me on Twitter as I'll probably be banging on about it for a few weeks beforehand. 

Studio Space, Christmassy Banners and a New Layout

It's long loooong overdue, but *TADAA* here is my new layout.

You can now search for posts in the top right-hand box, all social media links (including instagram) are along the top-left, and there is a nice navigation menu just up there. I *almost* feel that I could use this instead of my website.  The only thing this blog would be missing is a portfolio section but there is probably a way around that.

Probably the most exciting thing that's happened since I last posted is my new studio space right in the centre of Newcastle. Here's a photo of my little desk - right beside the window. I'm sharing with two other people but it's exactly what I need right now.

Illustration-wise I've had quite a lot going on lately - I created the Christmas Bear illustrations for banners that are currently on Berwick-upon-Tweed's high street (see photo below), and I've also recently produced a set of character illustrations for Julie Hodgson, author of Jodie and the Library Card.

Aand i'm back working at Lush after a brief stint in the real world. I lasted a grand total of 5 months in the office before running back to bathbomb-land. It's a long story which I might tell another time.

Anyway, a massive big thank you to Iksandi Lojaya for creating this template. I'm excited to use it! Here's to much more blogging in the new year.

The Very First Sketchcrawl North East

Hello, blog-readers! Apologies for the lack in updates, but please accept this offer of a fun event in Newcastle as a consolation prize.

This Saturday the 27th of October, people who like to scribble will be joining forces and drawing things all day in Newcastle. We're meeting at 10am at Central Station (by the main departure boards) and will make our way to the quayside, the Baltic, and the Sage.  You can come along for as much or as little as you like - we plan on wrapping up at 4pm and passing sketchbooks around.

All you need to bring is warm clothes, sketching materials, a seat if you don't like standing, a packed lunch or money for food and your beautiful smiling face.

The Official Blurb
"SketchCrawls are organised events for anyone who loves to draw on location. They work a bit like a pub-crawl (without the pubs) with sketchers moving from one location to another throughout the day. To finish, sketchers meet together to chat and share their creations. They're a great way to get inspiration, practice your skills and meet people, turning a solitary activity into a group event!"

We look forward to seeing you there!

You can join the Sketchcrawl North East page, and confirm your attendance on Facebook too. Tell a friend!

p.s. the weather man says it's going to be sunny but cold... definitely get your thermals on!

8 Things Nobody Told Me About The Real World

I've gone from being a napping, biscuit-munching student, to a 9-5 office girl designing full-time and sitting on the sofa every evening looking like a zombie...

...and I have a bone to pick:

8 Things Nobody Told Me About 'THE REAL WORLD'*
  1. There are no naps in the real world. 
  2. You will feel tired at the end of the day, despite having been sat down for 8 hours.
  3. In the real world, everyone emails each other. I know they're sitting a mere 3 feet away. Don't question it. It just IS.
  4. Prepare to be taxed. 23% of your wages will disappear before you can even touch them. Twenty threeeee percent. Think about it.
  5. Going to the bank is nigh on impossible.  It's Saturday mornings or never.
  6. You've got 12 months to crawl out of that overdraft.
  7. Petrol is very expensive.
  8. If you want to make boring phonecalls then you will have the pleasure of squishing them into your 30 minute lunchbreak.  A mouthful of sandwich, chatting to the HMRC, booking your cat into the vet, calling your Dad to check he's still alive etc etc.
A lot of big life things have happened since I last posted.  Here is the past 4 months in list form...
  • I graduated from university with a high 2:1 (2 more marks and it would've been a first. Gah.)
  • I passed my driving test
  • I bought my first car
  • I left my part-time job of 4 years at Lush
  • I got my first "proper" full-time job
  • My cat had 4 kittens
  • I went to Paris for 24 hours
  • I slept in a fire engine for 3 nights
  • I had my first big proper scary terrible disaster everything-goes-wrong illustration job 
  • I got a few more freelance jobs that went fine
  • I became KNACKERED
  • I also became skint

I'm going to try and post more regularly, zombie-like-state permitting.

My top piece of advice to take away from this would be:

University is a cushy walk in the park. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Any things to add? What shocked you about leaving the university bubble and joining the 9-5 gang?  Were you exhausted too?