As September becomes October I’ve been reflecting on the past month and setting intentions for the remainder of the year.
I’ve been gradually working more to illustration briefs and am increasingly align my visual creative activities with my communications, marketing and public relations work. It’s an exciting time as these two fundamentals of my work come together.
Striking visual content that catches attention by standing out, as people scroll for meaning and satisfaction on social media, is key to reaching the right people with messages that will make a difference to their lives,
Watch this space.
So here’s my reflection on my favourite illustrations and artworks from September.
From left to right top row:
Stitched greeting card design, new drink concept bottle design, folk costume design for if Inspire by Kim were a country – we have to love nature, our survival depends on it.
From left to right second row:
Floral watercolour painted on location at Renishaw Hall, ‘Summer Reading’ spot illustration for magazine editorial, and finally fabric folk costume design using free machine embroidery, fabric paints and sparkly embellishments.
To see these pieces in more detail please click on these links.
Looking forward to October it’s a busy time for me with annual property management tasks, business strategy work and putting creative communications agreements in place for the new year.
As well as this I’ll be using #inktober (the ink drawing a day for October) prompts as briefs to visually communicate fundamental messages that I passionately believe in. Pop back through the month to see those or see the daily posts at Inspire by Kim Instagram.
Here’s my first day illustration to kick off the month…
It’s also the time for stocking my shop ready for the Christmas shopping 🛍 spree. Pop in and take a look.
Thanks for being here. Get in touch if you’ve a positive project that you want help communicating.
I cringed when I read the brief for September’s #portfolioclub “Folk Costume”, but illustration briefs aren’t always going to be something I’m jumping up and down to illustrate, so I ploughed on, trying to keep an open mind.
However I have enjoyed the exercise; probably because I decided to illustrate a costume based on my favourite things, the sun, nature and rainbows. If Inspire by Kim was a country this would be the costume, echoing the beauty of life.
This was an early drawing where I was developing the idea of the costume mirroring the environment.
I developed the idea whilst travelling so in black pen and then added colour digitally.
the Inktense version was less effective.
This concept then started to feel a little fluffy and idealistic and wasn’t saying enough about my causes. So I had a think about what the costume would be for this theme…
I might revisit this alternative concept but the first concept felt incomplete. I came to the conclusion that either way a folk costume should be illustrated using fabric.
So I free machine embroidered the design onto a shiny fabric from @sunnybankmills.
I then painted the design with fabric paints from @colourcraft.
Next stage was to hand sew and embellish the dress.
Here’s the completed work with embroidery silks, thread, metallic thread, glass beads and crystal organza.
Instagram Post: Prompted by @flow_magazine #50waystodrawyourbeautifulordinarylife using the techniques from @tutorbill ’s course #drawpaintclickillustration
With #inktober in mind, and the instructional illustration prompt for #portfolioclub for August, I drew the elements of the recipe whilst travelling to Wembley Stadium and back by train.
One of my favourite books at the moment is, Flow Magazine’s 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life, which set a task of an illustrated recipe, as a family heirloom. I thought it would be sweet to use French for this for my neice.
I assembled my drawings in Pixelmator app using a vertical flow for the instructions., I wanted the colour to be subtle and to keep the recipe more drawings than words.
Here is the final outcome,
This is a favourite recipe from family baking as a child, if you bake it do enjoy and it would be lovely to see what you’ve made and hear about it,
The brief was to create a 5×7 illustrated map for Rother Valley Country Park in Sheffield.
The country park has a great range of activities so I enjoyed sketching those, keeping to a consistent style by using the same pens and techniques throughout.
I hand painted the background and water then brought all the elements together in Pixelmator app. Allowing for my drawings to become tiny icons on the map.
With a compass and legend the map was completed and is ready to promote the park as a promotional postcard.
I’m pleased with the map and it quickly shows what’s on offer at the park. Rother Valley is a great place and as the card says is fun for all. Check the website for more details of access and opening times.
See a 27 seconds video of the map here (clicking will take you through to my YouTube channel.)
Tiny lavender bouquet brought by bluebird, delivering relaxation and sweet slumbers.
Textile illustration using hand and machine stitch with appliqué.
First sketched as part of the #illustrationworkshop process before being made in paper, then fabric.
Inspired by the lavender at #dawnirelandtextileartist group
Poppy stages embroidery inspired by our morning walk.
Saw this pretty poppy on our walk yesterday morning so I decided that it would be my subject for an appliqué embroidery. It’s not quite finished, a little hand sewing to follow, please pop back to see the completed work.
Created at @dawnirelandtextileartist workshop at #stitchedupandfleeced
I did some line drawings, coloured them in with intense pencils and then brushed water over them to activate the inks.
I used shadow and still images as backgrounds for club member testimonials…
Echoed a champagne cork popping with a tennis ball tube as a poster design for display and social media promotion.
I hand painted tennis balls in heat sensitive dyes and printed them onto fabric and ribbon, repurposing a bed sheet, to make bunting to use at the event on Sunday.
I’ll be demonstrating these fabric design techniques, showing how to press designs onto fabric at my workshop on 2nd June 2019 at Stitched Up and Fleeced textile studio in Sheffield 10 – 4pm. £60. Book or enquire at this link.
I’ve been on the ball with designs for a local tennis club. After determining and drafting key messages for the club I developed a number of artworks to encourage new members onto the courts through poster designs, and visuals and a video for social media.
Member testimonials for social media to give a player perspective.
I used this tennis ball and changed the colours to create a junior coaching poster….
Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.
Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.
It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet.
Heatpressing hand painted peppers
Machine rendering after hand sewing
Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging.
So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort.
So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.
Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease.
Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers.
Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.
Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.
Celebrating 3 years: It’s now three years since I began focussing on art and making. After injuring my knee I decided to follow my heart and felt a need to let out the colour and creative potential that I instinctively knew was within me.
Switching to a less commercial line of work has not been easy and has taken courage and conviction, but as I continue to explore and my work evolves I’m keen to see what I’ll be creating next.
The highlights of the past three years have been two Art and Design year long course Distinctions, a solo art exhibition, and being commissioned by customers to create bespoke artworks and gifts.
Collage of my favourite 9 from the past 3 years…
Latest work: My latest creation is an embroidered work for a dear friend, inspired by an image. I felt real flow in this work and felt guided in creating it by some artistic wisdom that joined me while I hand and machine appliquéd and stitched.
Workshop Development: Exciting news is that I’m developing a heat press workshop. This will given people the opportunities to develop a design and print it onto fabric in just 2 hours. Watch this space for news and dates. if you’re not signed up to receive Inspire news then you can do so by typing your email address into the box above.
Work in progress: Miniature plants need a miniature place to grow so I’ve been building a greenhouse in Fab lolly sticks with a Magnum stick for decoration. I’ve also tried a more rustic ones from twigs pruned from my Japanese Acer. Need to eat a fab lolly or two more to be able to complete the roof structure. I’m considering whether to plant miniature climbing plants with the rustic greenhouse to encourage them to grown up and within it.
Greenhouse picture 1 &2
Ceramics: I’m exploring ceramics, its not an area I’ve studied before so I’m learning hand building techniques. More on that when the pieces have been fired.
Commission Time: Christmas is coming and its traditionally a time for commissioned artworks for loved ones, providing a bespoke gift made for them. My deadline this year for commission requests, to be ready in time for Christmas is 31st October. Please email me and I’ll help determine all that’s needed to begin the creation of your unique artwork.
Thanks for the support in the past three years and here’s to the future. To creativity, and beyond!
October is #Inktober: I’m taking the #Inktober challenge again this year. My intention is to try to illustrate the prompt words simply and clearly. You can see my ink creations in my Instagram ‘stories’.