As November seems to be passing by at an alarming rate, I am busy working on fresh designs to launch in the new year, which includes some location specific work. I have spent some time focusing on locally themed art over the last few months. My coastal body of work has always been close to my heart. The early designs were inspired by Robin Hood’s Bay. However, they were never meant to depict those places specifically, to the point that the products wouldn’t sell elsewhere. I have done the opposite of that this year, and created some prints that are entirely meant to represent the local area. I began in April with my Whitby map design. I’m proud of this piece of work. It took way longer to finish than I thought it would; but then again most of my favourite pieces of work do.
Robin Hood’s Bay
This made me feel inspired to create other pieces, with a local focus. So far I have concentrated on Robin Hood’s Bay. My upbringing in this quaint village was perfect, and I have always felt lucky to have been brought up in such a picturesque location. I have just received my first run of prints and cards based on the village, and tea towels are set to arrive next week!
Amidst all of the time I have spent working on art and thinking about the type of designs I want my collection of products to include for 2018, I have finally got around to refreshing my branding. When I first launched my business, I very quickly settled on a logo. It featured ‘Jessica Hogarth Designs’ in a perfect rectangular shape and really does not represent what I am about as an artist at all. I always hoped that my business would take off, and become my full time living. However, I guess I didn’t think seriously enough about my branding at the start, and what all of my products would grow to look like featuring this logo down the line; if that actually happened. I considered changing it after a year or so, and didn’t. Finally over 5 years on, with the help of one of my amazing friends (Megan of Megan Claire), I have a new logo that I believe echoes the feel of my work.
I used to refuse to use black in any of my personal illustration work, thinking it was too ‘hard’ for some reason, and always opted for navy. That too has since changed. I use a lot of colour in my work, particularly blues and mustards tones. That said, I was reluctant to settle on just one for my logo. Therefore, the original version of it is simply black wording on a white background with the option of altering the colour, dependent upon how its being used.
The circle will be used for stickers and such like, and they too will vary in colour depending on where they are placed.
A large proportion of my business is actually the card publishing side of things. However, I primarily see myself as an illustrator and surface pattern designer, hence the tagline. My love affair with surface pattern began in second year of art college. I find myself wanting to put every design I create in to a repeating print, but of course, that’s not always practical.
I am really excited to have a more consistent brand identity, and one that I feel really represents me.
The image below shows some of the newly packaged tea towels. The blurb will accompany a selection of the product packaging.
The run up to Christmas will see me heading to London for meetings, and a photoshoot with Yeshen Venema. I’ve also got a couple of local festive markets, and of course, lots of designing to do!
I have followed people doing drawing projects on Instagram before. It’s great to see the collection of work that they build up over the course of a month. Flora Waycott’s cat drawings for Inktober were delightful. Some projects are longer, like the 100 day project. When I read about this Instagram challenge launching again on April 4th, I decided to go for it and see what I could achieve.
The first thing was deciding what to draw. People tend to choose a theme and stick to that for the duration of the project. At this point I was in the midst of preparing for Surtex and pondered what could add the most to my portfolio before I went. I wanted to draw something that tied in with my Instagram account since I’d be sharing each daily illustration on there. After a bit of consideration I opted for buildings. I have drawn hundreds of architectural structures over the years and it’s something I really enjoy. It would probably be beneficial for me to choose a theme I am not as familiar with going forwards. There is a limited amount of floral work in my portfolio, so focusing on something like that next time would be good for me.
Even though I am a designer for a living, I have never drawn something every single day for 100 consecutive days. As it happens, I still haven’t. My 100 day project fell by the wayside at day 54. I felt like I was really getting in to a routine ahead of flying to New York for Surtex. I’d often do my drawing late at night before heading to bed. It felt satisfying to do something creative at the end of the day.
Aside from a couple of days whilst in NYC, when I posted photos of buildings instead, I managed to keep on top of the project until after I came home. I often find it hard to focus on designing when there is so much admin to do. This is something I am working on getting better at. after all, my main job is supposed to be creating beautiful patterns.
I posted images daily on Instagram, and made sure I scanned and saved the art on my computer. When I returned back to the UK, I kept up with the drawings for a little longer, but then catching up in the studio seemed to take over. I couldn’t even seem to find 20 minutes in a day to draw. Despite not making it to 100 days I am happy with the illustrations I created.
Some of the buildings were made up, whereas others were drawn from photographs. A lot of these drawings will most likely never be used in a project as such, but that wasn’t really the point of me doing the challenge. The image below shows the majority of the drawings completed during the 54 days. It’s satisfying to see them all together! I used the hashtag #100daysofbuildingsjh which means they can all be viewed together on Instagram.
New art as a result of the 100 day project
The most enjoyable part of the project, was drawing a selection of Parisian architecture. I have focused on Paris as a theme many times before. The intricacy of the stone and ironwork that adorns many of the buildings in the city is stunning. This also means there is lots of detail to be captured within a drawing. I gave myself 20 minute time limits when drawing landmarks such as the Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. Without this I could have easily spent an hour on each drawing. Working quicker allowed the illustrations to be a little more spontaneous. There are some examples of these below.
After a few days I had enough illustrations to think about putting them in to a design. One thing I was keen to create was a brand new architectural art printed on a banner for Surtex. I decided to work on a ‘map’ of Paris, and then changed it in to a repeat format for the show. I really enjoyed working on this design, often late at night in the studio with no distractions. The result (shown below), is probably my favourite piece of work to date. Going forwards, I aim to work on similar pieces based on other famous cities.
Other new pieces of repeat print work included a winter themed pattern and some New England inspired coastal buildings. I also created some placement prints on a Christmas theme.
Despite not managing to complete the 100 day project, I feel quite satisfied with what I have achieved. I’ll be keeping an eye on Instagram for other challenges, such as Inktober, and aim to take part in one of those later this year.