Whitby Book Shop is one of my favourite stockists. Situated on a quaint cobbled street a few minutes walk from my studio, this outlet is somewhere that I am proud to have my work stocked. We have been talking about me creating an illustration for them for some time, and I finally got time to do it earlier last month. We opted to put it on to tote bags initially, and they arrived in store this morning! They are already out on the shelves ready to purchase, and I popped in this afternoon to see them for myself. I often get commissioned to create artwork with an architectural theme and I am working on a few more pieces for other clients at the moment, and I will share the details of these in due course!
The Whitby Book Shop is situated on Church Street in the old part of the town, which is lined with unique shops and cafes. The street leads up to the famous 199 steps, at the top of which is Whitby Abbey.
Today I decided not to answer my emails, or do the admin waiting for me, and instead focused solely on doing something creative.
After spending a couple of hours drawing letters of the alphabet, I put them in to format below, and then decided that I would have a browse on Skillshare. I enrolled on a course taught by Ed J Brown entitled ‘Speedy Sketch Challenge: Learn Fast Inking & Combat Mental Blocks!’ This sounded like it would be right up my street, so I watched the videos and then did the challenges. My drawing style isn’t what I would necessarily describe as energetic – whilst quirky and a bit off kilter, each and every line in my illustrations are generally quite considered, so it was really helpful to do some timed drawings and not actually worry what they looked like. I’ve added a few of the sketches below. We were encouraged to use ink in the class so I did this for a while, and then experimented with pens and pencils too. I have thoroughly enjoyed my day and I plan to take part in lots more classes so watch this space!
I have always enjoyed designing for fabric, and have collaborated with top fabric companies P&B Textiles and Dashwood Studio in the past. I have decided to join Spoonflower and make some of my designs available for purchase on there. I haven’t worked in collections as such. Instead, I have chosen some of my favourite geometric and conversational prints for you to choose as a one off fabric, or maybe to pair with something else you discover on the site. Take a look at the art I have just made available below, and let me know if you would like see me add a specific design to the collection!
Back in March, myself and another designer friend booked flights to the west coast of the USA; something we had been talking about doing for a while. Due to our work commitments we could only spare two weeks but decided to pack it full of sightseeing in four American cities. If you follow my artist Facebook page, then you will have already seen a few images from my trip but I thought I’d write a more detailed round up here. We began our trip in Santa Monica then headed south to San Diego, up to San Francisco and then finished up with four nights in Las Vegas.
I love architecture, and there were some beautiful and quirky buildings in every place we visited. I just loved the Georgian hotel in Santa Monica, and many buildings were decorated with murals at Venice Beach.
We travelled to San Diego via the Pacific Surfliner, a train that runs down the coast. It was great to see some more of the Californian coastline, and was an easy and reasonably priced way to get to our next destination. The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego was my favourite area in the city as it was full of quirky restaurants and fun bars. Florent (pictured below), had tasty sharing plates, and I can also recommend Cafe 21, for some more delicious food, and live entertainment.
We visited Coronado whilst in San Diego, to see the famous wooden hotel. We also had a little time to pop in to Seaside Papery, a gorgeous shop stocking lots of beautiful stationery, including some by Rifle Paper Co.
I have always wanted to visit San Francisco and see some of the famous architecture and visit Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world! Definitely take a jumper if you’re visiting, even in summer, as it can get pretty chilly!
The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square, some of the most photographed homes in the city.
We spent a bit of time in the shops, and I was delighted to find my work on sale in two locations, the first of which was trendy US chain store Paper Source. My first order went in to them at the beginning of the month, and I am thrilled to have my work available to purchase from one of my favourite stationery outlets. Paper Source has stores across the USA including in Santa Monica, San Francisco and New York. On a trip to Sausalito (a town across the Golden Gate Bridge), I spotted my art on postcards, from my collaboration with wooden postcard company Timbergram. It’s still a novelty to see my work on sale in shops, particularly overseas!
The holiday finished with an adventure in Las Vegas. Highlights included visiting the Grand Canyon, seeing the Bellagio Fountains a number of times and visiting the Mob Museum in downtown LV.
I like the USA more and more each time I visit, and I look forward to returning back there sometime soon!
I love drawing anything inspired by the seaside and lovely surroundings in which I grew up. I have been working with fabulous local bakers, Botham’s since 2014, creating the last two years designs for their Christmas tea towels. You may remember the image below, which had a winter look on the original tea towel, but I have altered it slightly for an all year round appeal, and it’s now available to purchase on a full colour tea towel.
I have also created a colourful Whitby based design for a fine bone china mug, which have just arrived in their stores. Watch this space for the artwork appearing on more of their products soon!