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? 

Craft Markets in Newcastle upon Tyne

So, with one week of university left i've finished my Final Major Project at laast.
It evolved quite a lot from the initial proposal, but here it is, 'Craft Markets Newcastle: an illustrated guide".  It is a listings guide to craft markets and vintage fairs in Newcastle.  Simple!

The Blurb: Ever wondered when and where all the craft fairs are in Newcastle? WONDER NO MORE! The illustrated guide to craft markets in Newcastle upon Tyne contains over 150 listings for regular and one-off crafty events in and around the city.Printed on eco-friendly recycled paper, it's a pocket sized A6 booklet of dates and times, tucked inside a full colour A5 folder to hold all the business cards and flyers that you will inevitably be given at a craft fair.A little bit of blurb on each market gives you the general gist of what to expect... i.e. grannies ahoy, or contemporary joy.For regular craft market updates and information you can follow @craftmarketsNCL on Twitter

I printed off 100 copies of the guide to sell, and as it's my FMP I wanted it to be the highest quality and not skimp on anything. I've put free postage in the shop, so there's no profit whatsoever. I'm just breaking even.  I'll be selling them at the following craft markets across Newcastle:
  • 2nd of June at the Grainger Market in the 'Make and Mend' market 9am-5pm
  • 10th of June at The Cluny in the Ouseburn, from 12pm-4pm
  • 24th of June at the Indoor Craft Fair (just along North Shields fish quay) 11-5
If you're not in the area on those dates you can buy one online at  and you will get a lovely sleek, illustrated-by-me guide in the post.  It's first class postage, too. No skimping here people. 

Thank you to everyone who has already bought a copy! Also, thanks for all the lovely feedback.  It's all muchly appreciated.

You can also follow Craft Markets Newcastle: an illustrated guide on Facebook

p.s. Lucy Farfort wrote a lovely review on her blog here. Thanks, Lucy! You star :)

A Brief Update

It's only 7 weeks until the end of university now.  I cant believe how fast time has gone, argh.  This past couple of weeks everything has picked up the pace and I haven't really had time to touch my Final Major Project, which is slightly worrying.  I know everything will be alright in the end, though. I tend to work better under pressure anyway.  So here's what's been happening.

I did some work for Poco Nido.  I designed a couple of craft instruction sheets instructing on how to turn the mailing tubes into a functional "thing".  One of the things was an owl money box:

I also designed a repeat pattern to go on some children's footwear for the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.  Cant wait to see how that looks when it's all done. Here are prewalkers from the current Poco Nido collection. (Not designed by me.)

Here's an example of the footwear Poco Nido produce. This pattern was created by George Law.  So cute! All of the products are tested to make sure there are no horrible chemicals and the inks are water-based so everything is 100% safe for baby feets.

Earlier in the month, Julie Hodgson got in touch and asked me to create some illustrations for a couple of her books... so far i've worked on the illustrations for Jodie and the Library Card, which will be going to a presentation in Portugal.  It's all a bit secret but you are allowed to see a beard. You're welcome.

Mmh. Beardy.

I've been creating a logo for a non-profit company that's being set up in America. They take photos of abandoned animals to help them get re-homed.  I love the whole idea behind this business and thoroughly enjoyed combining a pet portrait with a logo design.

Messy late-night working desk... cat portrait.

In addition to those bits and bobs I've been creating a logo for photographer, Lynsey Nichol, who is getting started up in the photography world.  That's still a work in progress but it's getting there and once her website is up and running I will share :)

OK, last but not least, I have had an exciting email from The Alpha Parent, and we are teaming up to create a breastfeeding-related thing of wonder.  You'll have to wait because i'm UP TO THE EYEBALLS and neglecting my Final Major Project, but i'm really excited to get started on this project.

Phew. I need a lie down.


Final Major Project

Final Major Project is well underway now. We are over a month into it (aaagh) ...maybe even two months in - i'm too scared to look - and i'm feeling a bit behind. (aaagh)

What i'm planning to do, is create a set of illustrated greetings cards, bags, pocket mirrors etc. to sell in an Etsy shop. I like puns, so there will be very bad jokes illustrated onto them. In addition to this I am going to rebrand my whole website and business cards and all that, and make a kit for selling at arts and craft fairs in the North-east. I'll be nice and prepared for being freelance when I graduate. (aagh)

I'm also going to create an illustrated guide to arts and craft fairs in the north-east. Not sure what to call it yet, something along the lines of "Crafty Geordies" or a more boring approach such as "arts and crafts north-east : an illustrated guide". It's all still very explorationy and developmental. I'm trying out different techniques for printing bags, visually working out how I want to illustrate the cards, and researching prices for printing everything.

The guide itself is going to be a sketchy little cute illustrated thing, possibly with interactive things like lift-the-flap and maybe some cut-out sections with coloured acetate or something to make it more interesting. I want to end up with something that people will keep and read and enjoy. I'm taking inspiration from zines and little self-published things that crop up here and there around the crafty scene.

Enough rambling. I'm off to do some work on it.

p.s. I have a Facebook Page now!