Category Archives: illustration

Extreme Skiing Book Illustrations

I’m celebrating my work being published in a brand new book by an Extreme Skier in the United States. I was commissioned to create 24 bespoke illustrations for the book. It is wonderful to see my work in print.

I’m delighted to be able to now share the story of the extreme skiing illustrations I created this winter for the new book of Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur – 30 Years In A White Haze.

The Work

I created 24 illustrations in November and December 2020 for the third book of renowned US extreme skier Dan Egan.

Having seen my ski A-Z work, the US Hall of Fame skier Dan Egan, star of many of Warren Miller’s breathtaking ski films, asked me to create illustrations of his ski life for his third book.

It was fabulous, and a great distraction from lockdown restrictions, to be able to spend time vicariously in mountainous environments, creating high-adrenalin action art for 30 Years in a White Haze.

Anyone who knows my work knows that I’m a huge fan of colour, but I accepted and relished the challenge of conveying the excitement and thrills of Dan’s extreme skiing career, in black and white tones. It was key to show energy, movement, big air and Dan’s likeness in the artworks.

The Illustration Process

The Back Story

When I was growing up, our ski club, at the artificial ski slope in Rossendale, Lancashire, (England) used to hold Warren Miller film screening events each year. I loved the films and was in awe of the jaw-dropping stunts; so I was honoured when Dan asked me to create illustrations for his new book.

The Illustrations

With just a few weeks to go until the day that the book would go to be published I created 24 bespoke illustrations.

I worked in black and white tones of watercolour paints, and sometimes digital art, to capture and represent the excitement and thrills of extreme skiing.

Dan originally asked me for 15 artworks, I’m pleased to say that he liked the work so much he commissioned a further 9 pieces, it meant long days working, but it was fun. “Wow. The illustrations are amazing! You up for few more? “, Dan said.

Dan commissioned work from 4 other illustrators for the book. This investment in fresh ski art is wonderful. Art can cross boundaries, Dan was in New Hampshire, US and I was in Sheffield, UK, yet we were able to work together across the miles.

This short video gives a flavour of my extensive work for the book and the process.

Illustrating Skiing

I’ve skied since I was five years old including racing, teaching, and later promoting ski holidays. In January 2020 after a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France, I started what has now become a considerable project – the Ski A-Z, an illustrated glossary of the sport, that I hope will be published during 2021. It was this work which Dan saw on Linked In and prompted the work for his book.

My ski illustrations are intended to resonate with avid skiers, and attract new people to the sport, by demonstrating the exhilaration and joy of skiing. Through my work I want to encourage people to find and feel joy, to feel uplifted and inspired.

The Work In Print

I’m incredibly proud to see my work in the book. Every time I turn a page and see another of my illustrations the feeling is magic.

I’m so enjoying the reading the book. This sums it up…

“Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur’s Thirty Years in a White Haze is not only a story about Dan Egan’s worldwide adventures and the evolution of extreme skiing, but also a visual tour through the history, places, and relationships that help define both Egan and the sport of skiing.

To capture the joy, craft, and diversity of people and places readers encounter in the text, the book features custom illustrations sprinkled throughout the story. Egan called on the help of talented artists and designers to make this mixed media presentation come to life.” Said the ‘White Haze’ team.

Get A Copy

Dan said, “The book’s available on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble, on all the big retailers. It is also available at white-haze.com and if, of course, if you just Google ‘Dan Egan White Haze’, it pops right up. Shortly we’ll also have the audio book and the Kindle book. Next Fall, we’re going to release a special limited edition hardcover copy of the book. The book’s really special, you know, it has a lot of different elements in it. Of course, it has our story in it but each chapter opens up with beautiful illustrations.”

Unfortunately for many people in the UK and Europe there isn’t presently the opportunity, to ski the mountains; Dan’s book is a great way to get a ski fix until next being able to enjoy the slopes.

Thank You!

So a big thank you to Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur for this amazing opportunity, I am very grateful, and will treasure the book.

To be able to produce commissioned illustrations on a theme which is so much part of my existence was a wonderful opportunity, especially having seen Warren Miller films from such an early age.

Thank you to my husband for his support and being a helpful sounding board during this project. Thank you to my Mum and Dad for their dedication to our skiing and the wonderful mountain experiences that defined our upbringing.

Thank you to everyone who follows my work and supports with Likes, Comments and Shares, it really does mean a lot and makes it possible to keep going.

I’m delighted now to be able to speak about the project and show the work. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.

Bye for now

Kim

Latest blog posts…

Citrus Sport Illustrations – Journal Design Concept

I thoroughly enjoyed my latest project to design a journal concept. I developed the ‘Joynal’ concept – a lovely book in which to note and track fun times, and joyful days.

The Brief

The starting point for the brief was a citrus and candy colour palette which we were then asked to develop into a journal concept. The brief was from Lilla Roger’s Make Art That Sells (MATS) Bootcamp for illustrators. I study with MATS as I can feel progression in my work during the course of a project.

My colour palette design created from the colour prompts provided

My ‘Joynal’ Journal Concept

Here’s my final journal design, inspired by Lilla’s advice to “create a journal you would love to own”. The journal design features fabulous female characters enjoying favourite activities and sports; with the citrus concept running throughout in the form of orange, lime, grapefruit and citrus flower iconography.

I’ve been creating many ski illustrations in recent months, so I’ve been keen to explore illustrating other sports, and this was a great opportunity to do so.

The idea of skiing through fallen citrus blossom is just blissful, and I’m looking forward to getting back to tennis and swimming after this lockdown. Cycling is presently a great escape from the routine of home; the countryside and big open skies are so refreshing.

My Journal Design Concept – Available for License at the time of publishing

The journal pages will be unlined coloured paper which can take some watercolour painting. To accompany the book design is a wipe-clean bookmark concept on which to write intentions, goals, or a bucket list; with a pretty, colour coordinating, tassel. The journal concept includes a dry-wipe glitter pen and citrus heart paperclips.

Things To Spot

Favourite elements to spot are the sea turtle, stingray, embroidered mountains, grapefruit sun lounger, the orange slice bike wheels, and the pink grapefruit heart motif.

How It Was Created

It was fun to explore for the brief, and I was very at home with the colour palette as it has a number of my favourite hues.

Watercolour icons and hand lettering

The illustrations were created in watercolours, free-motion embroidery on textiles that I have previously dyed/printed, and digital drawing in Procreate. Compositions were worked out on rough sketches.

The hand lettered journal and bookmark titles were created in watercolours and are embellished in the lace effect pieces that I created on my trusty Bernina sewing machine.

Additional Citrus Themed Outcomes

During the course of the project I created these two zesty refreshing citrus themed pieces. They remind me of hot sunny days, holidays and beach resorts (UK and overseas).

Citrus Ice Lolly Spot Illustration
Citrus and Candy Cocktail Spot Illustration

Products and Tools

These were those used in the project and which I am happy to recommend:

Kuretake Watercolours, Dr Ph Martin’s Liquid Watercolours, Arches Cold Pressed 300gsm Watercolour Paper, Colourcraft Transfer Paints, Bernina sewing machine, and Procreate app on the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

And finally

I really enjoyed the journal brief, citrus prompt and colour palette. Thanks so much for a great brief Lilla. If you’d like to see all the Journal designs created in response to this brief you can see them at this link…

If you’d like bespoke art or illustrations, or to license existing work please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for being here. Please share with friends who’ll enjoy these illustrations.

Have a zesty, zingy day with plenty of what you love

Love and luck

Kim

Latest Projects

Extreme Skiing Book Illustrations

I’m celebrating my work being published in a brand new book by an Extreme Skier in the United States. I was commissioned to create 24 bespoke illustrations for the book. It is wonderful to see my work in print. Illustrations by Kim for new book 30 Years in A White Haze by Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur #30yearsinawhitehaze

Ski A-Z Cover Design

I’m delighted to share that I’ve completed the Ski A-Z book cover design which I’ve been developing over the past month.

The Cover Design

It’s a bright, bold design with three cover stars supporting the title letters in a mountain setting, The book will appeal to both those wanting to find out more about the sport, and to seasoned skiers.

Here’s the cover mocked up on a coffee table setting with ski themed props to bring the book concept to life. Notice the ceramic snowflake as a coaster for the edelweiss coffee cup.

The Book Concept

The Ski A-Z book concept – a practical, informative, fun, illustrated glossary of skiing with hints, tips and advice.

It’s the kind of book that you’d recommend to the friend that wants to get into skiing, it’s a gift for a ski lover, it’s a conversation starter for an evening in the chalet during your holiday.

The Design Process

I created the background and skiing characters in watercolours and ink, used a glue gun to give the letters texture and composed it digitally in Procreate.

My mini model Bruce posing for this character’s painting.

I had an idea to animate some of the book characters ‘excited to meet the readers’ to demonstrate the energy of the book.

Watch This Space…

Watch this website, my Instagram or Facebook page for updates on the project.

Here are posts about my latest work. Thanks so much for following my blog. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who will enjoy it.

Enjoy!

Kim

The Social Life of Forests – Editorial Illustration

My latest work is an editorial illustration inspired by The New York Times Magazine article, ‘The Social Life of Forests’ by Ferris Jabr.

Final illustration created with cut paper, watercolour, inks and digital.

The concept demonstrates the fungal networks through which trees can ‘communicate’.

“Carbon, water, nutrients, alarm signals and hormones can pass from tree to tree through these subterranean circuits.” Reported Ferris Jabr on the research findings of Suzanne Simard.

The Creative Process

After some Internet research on fungus I left home to see what I could find. The collage shows just some of the varieties I saw on two fungus spotting research walks.

I was surprised how much more there was to observe in forests when I looked closely.

Through rough illustrations I played with concepts and compositions. At the rough stage I explored a map concept, but decided to settle with the ‘above and below ground cross-section’ scene for the final piece. Can you tell that I like alliterations?

I painted elements for the final piece in watercolours.

Watercolour on 100% Cotton Paper

(This concept was explored alongside more general concepts for communication, the illustrations created are shown in this previous blog post. Connectivity, Love and Partnerships)

I used the paintings along with carefully cut crinkled paper, all assembled digitally in Procreate app,

Finally I created a 14 second animated version of the illustration. See more of my art ‘movies’ here.

This is the New York Times Magazine article, for if you’d like to know more about this fascinating way that trees communicate – The Social Life of Trees by Ferris Jabr.

The brief by Lilla Rogers, of Make Art That Sells, was for Editorial Illustration Live 2021.

I’m presently busy working on the Ski A-Z book, so watch this space. My latest posts follow.

Thanks so much for your support. Have a great day.

Kim

Self Portrait Progession

As I needed a new profile image I painted a fresh self portrait. As an illustrator it doesn’t feel appropriate to use a photograph for professional social media profiles. It’s an opportunity to give a sense of myself and my work.

Watercolour on 100% paper February 2021

Lovely illustration agent, and teacher, Lilla Rogers reviewed my Instagram feed in November and seeing the following portrait gave some advice which I’ve now had the opportunity to put into practice.

Watercolour – November 2020

As I’m developing my illustration skills my self portrait timeline is a measure of ongoing artistic development. I’m sharing this as I’m pleased with the progression, and to bare my past work in the hope that this inspires people to keep practicing at whatever you wish to improve. The portraits below go gradually farther back in time.

Watercolour on canvas – September 2020

A self-portrait can possibly be seen as self-indulgence but a lot can be learned by learning to observe and portray the features. As it’s face one sees most often, although in reflection, and it’s always available as a subject it’s a helpful subject to draw or paint.

Ink on paper – December 2017

Learning the techniques, materials, surface, observation, brush dexterity and choice of hues all plays a part in this progression. I find myself using a range of brush sizes, tube and cake watercolours, and am very surprised that I am often holding a magnifying glass to paint tiny details.

Charcoal on A1 size paper (huge) – July 2016

I use the mantra – Practice Makes Better, as I don’t believe in perfect; and I think that the pressure of attaining perfection can stifle experimentation, and thus can also inhibit progress. So I practice, practice, practice…

Acrylic paints on Canvas – March 2016

I look forward, next, to simplifying my portrait and maybe using a concept to communicate more. Here’s to seeing where the future leads.

Watercolour on paper – February 2016

The below is a bit of an anomaly, I feel it’s quite good compared with some of what came after, but no path is ever completely straight.

Markers on Paper, Then Digital – February 2016

I’m sharing this because everyone has to start somewhere, and is a beginner at the start of a new endeavour.

Enjoying the journey, whilst developing is, in my opinion, a wonderful exploration. I wish you luck in your creative practice and those activities at which you’re determined to get better. What is it you want to develop skills at? I’m interested to know how you motivate yourself forwards?

Here’s to a creative 2021, hopefully one where we can all enjoy more freedom.

Bye and sincere thanks for being here.

Kim

Connectivity, Love and Partnerships

These editorial illustrations are prompted by the #matseditoriallive ‘Communication’ brief. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

My latest watercolour work for a project about connectivity, poignant at this time whilst we cannot meet and be with loved ones.

Connectivity

The phone is the gateway to family and friends whilst we can’t visit them.

Messages, voice, and video time together.

Partnerships

A sweet concept for the illustration prompt ‘partnerships’.

I saw a couple riding their bikes holding hands in Spain, I was enchanted, so romantic and implies such a close bond.

My husband and I love biking as it feels so free and open to the air and weather. It’s rather a muddy activity with the current ground conditions though.

Love through letters

Love comes through the letterbox, whilst we cannot meet in person. Holding something that a loved one has written and held can make us feel closer, and can reduce the miles between. Royal Mail carries the love between us and helps it flow.

We will hug again

Lockdown 3 is teaching me that I love hugs. I look forward to when it is safe and legal to hug all the people I love (not all at once).

These ladies are two beautiful souls.

Love friends

I’m confess, I’m missing my friends. Made this watercolour animation where the love travels like a balloon caught on the breeze to go safely between us across the distance, and above the restrictions of lockdown 3.

There will be so much joy when we can meet and spend time together, and can be in the same place.

Making ‘love’

Creativity is such a blessing at this time. I find drawung, painting, and sewing feed the soul and help self expression, and can calm emotions.

I painted my sewing machine, and my favourite sewing equipment in the same colour palette.

I hope you are managing to connect with those you love, and that you’re doing ok. Aren’t these such strange times we are living in!

Thanks for your support; making the work is keeping me going. I’m determined to refine and reduce the space between what I conceive and what I create.

If you like the work please give it a ‘Like’ and share it with those to whom it might be a comfort. I’m grateful for feedback and shares as it really helps me to keep making new work if I feel it is making some kind of positive difference.,

Here are my most recent blog posts. Please pop back soon, some exciting news is imminent.

Many thanks

Kim

Thank you for reading to the end.

Have a lovely day.

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Here is the strategic Christmas illustration for Lancashire and Yorkshire based steel stockholders K Steels.

The illustration

K Steels wanted a still and animated festive illustration to reinforce the key messages ‘Great service and quick delivery’, and main steel product lines box section, steel plate and steel beam. The artwork was for use on social media and customer communication.

The animated version of the illustration

The setting is Santa’s Metal Workshop where the elves are busy unloading much needed steel. We see the edge of the production line where elves are busy manufacturing and welding. Santa is supervising and is very happy with the great K Steels steel and service.

I created the illustration and animation in the brand colours using photo montage of the wagons and hand drawn digital art on iPad and pencil in Procreate app. Watch the process from the final pencil sketch to animation in this quick time-lapse.

In addition to the illustration and gif I created a video version.

If you would like bespoke brand visuals, or have an idea that you would like to see visualised then email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com or complete the Illustration Request Form on my homepage.

This is the third successive year that I have created Christmas illustrations for the company. I’ve been working hard to progress my skills and techniques during these years.

What next?

Next you might want to take a look at these related posts…

Bali Parasol Illustrations

Apres-Ski Conceptual Illustration

And here are my most recent blog posts…

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2021.

Best wishes

Kim

Here’s my skiing Santa Christmas Greeting gif

Travel Illustrations

This year I wanted to use the opportunity of #Inktober to work on illustrations of travel memories. Using the prompts from #theydrawandtravel illustrating the places on the list which I have visited.

Paris

Paris – Homage to the Paris icons of La Tour Eiffel, Moulin Rouge and La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.

Paris is one of my favourite cities at any time of year. We were fortunate to visit most recently in November last year, which I have used as reference for this illustration.

Cairo – for many visitors this is the gateway to Egypt and its ancient wonders.

Here are my favourite Cairo landmarks brought into a composition – the majestic, mysterious pyramids, the stately Sphinx, the Ramses statue which looked onto to a bustling city square, and a river boat which is carrying intrigued travellers to explore the many temples along the banks of the Nile.

I was fortunate to visit first on a mini-cruise from Cyprus where I was working at the time, later on a trip from Sharm el-Sheikh, and on a work trip was fortunate to have a top floor hotel penthouse all to myself, when I attending the conference in place of my boss. A wonderful city, fabulous memories.

San Francisco – My favourite US city – first visited on a tour of California with my mum. We enjoyed the steep streets in a speedy taxi, rode a cable car were surprised by the sea lions at Pier 39. Most recent visit was en route to New Zealand with just a 24 hour stopover to enjoy the city and shops on Union Square.

Moscow

The stunning golden domes of the Kremlin and the colourful tiled domes of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square were what struck me visually when visiting Moscow. These and the enormous imposing Hotel Ukraine, one of the “Seven Sisters” of Moscow. 

Time in the city was a great experience which bookended our trip heli-skiing in Sochi. 

Sydney – what struck me as we walked towards the Opera House were the brightly coloured birds. The city felt much like a Northern European city, but the birds were striking, tropical, seemingly in stark contrast to the uniformity and familiarity of the buildings. The birds which enchanted me that day were Rainbow Lorikeets.

Sydney Opera House is a stunning feat of architecture, which I hadn’t realised until close observation is constructed in creamy coloured tiles, which appeared white in the bright sun, a little like the surface the space shuttle.

I took the opportunity to attend a dance show at the Opera House, performed by a number of Australian dance companies that was an evening to support Unicef. It was a dream come true to visit this stunning iconic landmark humanmade wonder.

Rock and Rome – featuring my Rome favourites. The Forum, The Colosseum, Vittorio Emanuele II monument, brought together with the tiny Fiat 500 so loved by my Mum.

Visited Rome on three trips last Autumn to help a loved one, and ‘Rock and Rome’ became a catchphrase.

Beijing – the iconic Great Wall, the curious roof adornment that is a man riding a Phoenix, and the Temple of Heaven.

Had a wonderful trip to China with @kuonitravel and met Cherie Blair (Wife of the UK Prime minister at the time) on the Great Wall. Recalling the fascinating acoustic effects at the Temple of Heaven.

Flamborough – Here are my favourite aspects of Flamborough brought together in this composition – Flamborough Head Lighthouse, the awesome gannets at Bempton Cliffs and our biking on the coastal path, all set under that huge sky with the salty breeze.

Here’s a round up collage of these travel illustrations.

Thanks so much for being here. These are my latest posts…

Enjoy wherever you travel, real, memories or travel dreams.

Kim

Latest Ski A-Z Illustrations

I continue to create the Ski A-Z book, spurred on by the upcoming winter season, here are the latest illustrations…

‘L’ for Lunches

A long lunch after a great morning skiing is a delight in the spring months. The cool morning air is replaced with the sun, which bathes and warms away any winter blues from long winter nights of the previous months. A leisurely lunch on the mountain restaurant terrace is ideally followed by time reclining in a deck chair.

Initial sketches and the final painting.

But not every day is sunny with blue skies, the snow has to fall sometimes (preferably at night).

This illustration represents the lunch breaks on colder days, maybe even in a whiteout or blustery weather.

Warming up on a cold snowy day in the refuge of a mountain restaurant is like finding a safe harbour in a storm.

This illustration is based on a memory of a very cold day when I was a kid. My Dad helped me to get warm, which seemed to take a long time as I’d been lost for an hour.

The intention is to illustrate the feeling, not a likenesses to anyone in particular.

Once warmed up and recharged there’s chance for more fun in the snow, and if it’s accumulated a chance to ski deep snow.

Although I’ve created illustrations for the letter ‘F’ (see the illustrations here) I kept feeling called to represent family ski days – so here is the content I’ve created…

‘F’ for Family

Skiing is a sport that all ages can do together. Meaning it’s great fun family time. I treasure many memories of skiing together as a family, from being a child, to leading the children and instructing, and now letting them lead when it’s safe for them to pick their own path. This one is inspired by a fab three generation ski day in Meribel, France.

Pop the word ‘Ski’ in my blog search box to see all the Ski content created so far and follow on social media to see the work as it’s created…

Instagram @inspirebykim

Facebook @inspirebykim

Thanks so much for being here, please share this post with ski friends who’ll enjoy seeing it. If you work in the ski industry and would like illustrations for your promotional activity then please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Here are my latest posts.

Enjoy your day.

Kim

Snowy Children’s Book Illustrations

Building on the Reaching For The Stars artwork (image below) featured in the previous blog post, I explored the character further.

Reaching For The Stars

I set myself the challenge of creating the same illustration from a top down perspective, with each of the animals in the correct order and corresponding position to the original illustration.

Here’s the resulting painting of the animal tower and young Jelena reaching for the stars, supported by the animals as snowflakes fall from the sky. Jelena believe her late mother to be amongst the stars; the animals assist her in her goal to reach closer to the stars.

In order develop the character further I created a page of illustrations of Jelena’s accessories.

I then thought about how she would move, painting different poses that she would move through in a children’s book story.

This work grew out of the Ski A-Z Book that I am working on. You can see this work at these links.

Apres-Ski Illustration

Technical Ski Illustrations

A-Z of Ski – E for Exhilaration 

Thanks so much for being here on my website. I’m posting new work as its created on my Instagram feed so you might like to follow my work.

Here are my latest blog posts…

Bye for now.

Kim

Night Skiing and TOP 9

Here are the newest illustrations for my Ski A-Z Book are for the letter ‘N’ along with my Top 9 ski illustrations from 2020.