I’ve been reviewing the past 12 months and evaluating my favourite work.
Best 9s are a great way to do this. Here are my Best 9 of the year. Work that I feel pleased with as they broke new ground in terms of skills and technique progress.
It’s been great to apply art to commercial illustration briefs and to monetise my practice, as above.
Here are my painted Best 9. A real break through this year was the workshop that I did in Rotterdam with Helen Dardik. The techniques Helen shared, and the products she’s uses, are a real revelation. With practice and care my painting skills are building.
Fabric and Textiles Best 9 – I enjoy the colours and textures that I create on fabrics. Florals and birds were key themes of my work in these mediums this year.
Here’s to 2020. I’m excited to see what emerges this year. I hope your have a great year.
Please like my post, if you do. Thank you so much.
Great days start with great mornings so I wanted to create a positive, inspiring breakfast cereal in response to the brief: Create a fun sized design concept and packaging for a new cereal product.
I wanted to inspire and uplift women through a positive, confident image of a female pilot. She already has three stripes so she’s doing well; metaphorically and literally she is flying high.
Here are my rough drawings whilst brainstorming ideas for the box creative…
The character was further inspired by the aviation PR work I’ve been busy enjoying in recent weeks, thanks to my client in Florida.
I thought that aeroplane shaped breakfast cereal would be fun and novel. This idea was warmly received in consumer testing, with enthusiastic feedback.
I later added the fruit, and additional cereal aircraft, into the bowl for the final iteration.
Once I had the character idea I felt the breakfast cereal design concept formed around her.
In order to create the entire packaging concept it was necessary to define the target market, and what would appeal to them, to decide the ingredients, flavours, also to create a cereal brand, logo and product name.
I had all this in mind when choosing the colour palette of gold, red wine and cobalt blue. These were colours I could use throughout to represent the morning sun, and the colourful sunrise sky.
I chose ‘Inspired Mornings’ for the cereal company brand, and after painting a sun in watercolours I recreated the round window effect of my ‘Inspire by Kim’ logo and added the new brand name.
Nutrition and natural ingredients are key to wellbeing, which is fuel for a positive frame of mind, so I wanted the flavours and sweetness to be natural, therefore I chose fruit flavours on a Tropical theme, This flavour choice was to evoke the idea that the pilot is flying to a tropical island destination.
Travel, new experiences and the relaxation enjoyed on holiday/ vacation are fundamental to enjoyment of life, so by bringing flavours that are associated with holidays into the cereal concept the consumer would start the day enjoying a breakfast that the brain can associate with positive, pleasant experiences and help the person benefit from the associated holiday feelgood factor.
By illustrating the ingredients it was possible to give the consumer quick visual references and these were to denote the fresh, healthy, natural qualities of the product and brand values.
The reverse side of the cereal box was a great fun opportunity to further inspire the consumer and providing positive affirmations to start the day, in the form of a circular word search.
The wordsearch was placed over the watercolour sun using my favourite digital application of present, Procreate.
I created a template to fit the sizes in the brief, 4×3 inches, and arranged the completed panels within this.
This was the completed concept.
I was delighted that as I completed the design I saw the Virgin Atlantic campaign to inspire young women with a day of activity using the hasttag #seeherfly Wonderful that this timing coincided with my design.
I’m pleased to have made it through to the fourth and final week of #Inktober. Here are this week’s ink artworks… apologies that they aren’t in order.
A tricky prompt was day 25, tasty. I did a line drawing which has been a bit of a breakthrough piece for me as it has helped me realise that it is conceptual illustration that I really want to excel at.
I did an ink line drawing which I then developed into a painted piece. Painted on the beach whilst on holiday in Turkey, in my favourite watercolours.
“The Doctor will see you now”. Ink and cherry 🍒 juice.
I’m not really into Halloween anymore but the illustration prompts are all part of the challenge. So here is my macabre drawing for the Day 22 #Inktober prompt Ghost and #portfolioclub which gave me the haunted prompts ‘doctor’ and ‘conservatory’.
Happened upon this ancient species today, sadly it was dead. So have honoured it for today’s #inktober2019 drawing.
This fascinating ancient species was a pleasure to study.
These next three pieces I drew inflight, whilst travelling back from my holiday. I find the seating and table position on aircraft ideal for drawing.
Inktober day 27 prompt is coat. This and recent observations made me think about how inhibitions, self-consciousness and fear can become a heavy, restrictive coat, holding a person back from fully enjoying life.
#Inktober day 29 prompt is Injured. This of course took me back to my knee injury and this climb back from injury that I’ve illustrated is ‘inspired’ by the long rehab experience.
I started with a page from #breathemagazine that I thought represented the climb back from the lows of injury, the uphill struggle and having to keep picking oneself up, both mentally and physically. Drawn inflight.
#Inktober day 31 – the final prompt of the month is Ripe. Without colour ripeness if a tricky thing to show so I thought about readiness, strength, mental preparedness in the form of belief, being at your best, in your prime and from somewhere came a superhero strawberry wearing power pants.
And with that I’ll call #inktober2019 officially done. And I’ll sigh, rest my eyes for a moment and then get on to the next project, powered up and ready for creative challenges.
Ps I find this piece kind of weird but haven’t got time to do anything else. 🤣
Also in a line drawn style I recently made this card for the newest bundle of joy to arrive in our family. Tiny sparkles were added to the paper card which was personalised with baby’s name and birth date.
Cheers for being here to see my work. Sharing helps me to continue developing my work. I figure it will only get better with practise and keeping creating. So support and feeling my work is reaching people really helps spur me on. I’m always interested to read comments and hear which pieces you like so feel free to comment. Supportive comments always most welcome.
Here are the previous weeks drawings. I’ll be selecting my favourite ones and then calling #Inktober2019 done!
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,
I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.
A great convenient, ‘on the go’ tool for scanning using your phone and the CamScanner app. You can either take a scan/picture using the app or can import an image to convert that into a scan. The app locates the boundaries of your image and adjusts the light so you can even scan in low light. It’s a huge time saver and has a good memory capacity before it requires any payment. You don’t get bugged by ads. CamScanner is 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in my opinion.
My phone is a key tool in my work, for photographing, drawing, editing. The camera on this phone model takes beautiful images and the ‘portrait’ mode is a useful feature for product shots and photographing work. I like the ‘pano’ feature for creative shots. Couldn’t function without this. Great size, weight and stable when used with a tripod. iPhone XS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
How I love Pixelmator. I can’t say how much I use it as it’s seamless in my work. I’m probably across in the app 5 times a day. Layering images, drawing, adding text, creating social media ads, resizing, mocking up ideas, creating repeat patterns. The app is intuitive, making it easy to learn and to use. This is a corker of a creative tool 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Bernina Sewing Machine
I would never have thought that I could love a sewing machine as much as I do my Bernina. It’s reliable, compact, and with the digital display I know what the machine settings are at a glance. I want to make the marks myself so I’m not interested in sewing machines that take over and do the sewing themselves. Swiss engineering is renowned and my Bernina is a fabulous example of this that runs like clockwork. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.
A learning gateway for everything you might ever want to learn about, where someone always seems to have the answer for using a new product, or technique. I’m going to give YouTube 🌟🌟🌟🌟 as the ads can be annoying, but then again it’s ‘free’. YouTube is about the people who take the time to share their experiences and knowledge. Of course it’s best to watch a few videos for any given subject to be able to gather a few perspectives/ methods.
I’ve always enjoyed making films so I love that I can share my movies and reach people through YouTube. Here’s a link to go to my channel.
50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life
This book is like a hug of a drawing course. The creators of Flow magazine have done something magical by bringing together exercises from their illustrators to make this big beautiful collection of inspiring, drawing skills inducing delight. Love it with some good TV and a pencil or fine liner. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Flow Magazine.
The place to see image based posts, as opposed to more wordy content. A window on creative studios, processes and what everyone is working on, it’s such a creative time that we live in. Instagram makes the world shrink to the size of the app and I love how we can connect with kindred creatives and find people with shared interests. And there’s always someone somewhere on Instagram, even in the middle of my night – when the darkness becomes a blank creative canvas for new idea seeds to germinate in my mind. Hoping the ads, which have increased in frequency, don’t takeover, like they appear to have on sister site Facebook 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Also I have to mention PicCollage, which now allows a mix of still images and videos in collages, and WordPress for my blog.
I hope this proves helpful. Wanted to share these findings and also this is a way of expressing gratitude for this tremendous tech and fabulous phone based functions which are my fundamental tools.
Please stay and see some more posts here.
If you’d like a street these are my favourite ones.
This image shows the three key stages of fabric design that I’ll be demonstrating and sharing at my workshop on Sunday 2nd June in Sheffield.
Step One is a design worked out on paper.
Step Two is to create the design in heat sensitive dyes on paper.
You can apply the dyes to paper using paint brushes, or you can collage painted papers or you can stamp the dyes onto paper. No drawing skills are required but some thoughts on composition are worthwhile.
The colours in this stage of the process are very different from the final outcome, as demonstrated in this short colour sample video.
Like any art work you can spend as much or as little time on your design as you wish. You can print your design and then move the design and over print if you like.
You can print a number of times from the dyes, although each later print will be slightly unique from the previous one, but we experiment with time and colour during the workshop.
Step Three is to press the paper with the heat sensitive dyes together with your desired fabric at high heat for a few seconds. This will activate the dyes and make them turn into gas, to wrap around the fabrics fibres and thus transferring them.
In seconds you’ve got your designed fabric and it can become whatever your imagination will allow.
As a recap on the process here’s an alternative design, a small coastal landscape design made by collaging torn papers which had been painted with transfers dyes.
Step One: I had a seaside composition in mind to fit into a greeting card window.
Step Two: I collaged torn paper to compose the picture. Note I have not drawn anything in this piece. For many people drawing skills, of their perception of their skills can be a barrier to them enjoying art. That’s a shame as there are many other ways to make marks and create. This is just one suggestion.
Step Three – I heat pressed the design onto one, then another piece of fabric.
I’ll be sewing into the design next before mounting it in into the greeting card for a unique, handmade, frameable gift.
If you’d like to try these techniques for yourself you can book at the Stitched Up and Fleeced website. Stitched Up and Fleeced is a lovely studio with great facilities which are ideal for our workshop.
The workshop will be from 10am to 4pm giving chance to learn techniques and enjoy exploring them and developing your ideas using these new possibilities.
Whether your a textile artist, crafter, designer, or just fancy trying something new you’ll be creating in no time and will have a number of fabric designs by the end of the day. Your fabric designs could be framed, appliqued, made into accessories such as zip bags, glasses cases, cushions, home decor, gifts and so on.
You can see more details of the workshop day at this post. When you’re ready to book you can do that here.
See more fabric design ideas to spark ideas of what you might like to create: