It’s been a tumultuous and busy past couple of weeks for most of the planet. I’m determined to keep sharing uplifting work, both new illustrations and ones from my back catalogue when I they are relevant.
The situation has moved fast and already has provided reflections on gratitude, for what may have previously have been undervalued, and the situation its is a reset of perspective of who is, and what is important.
Sending heaps of kindness and wellness to all those who are unwell or suffering.
I’ve been busy adapting our home for lockdown, had to make heart wrenching strategic business decisions, as well as finding tech solutions to replace face to face demonstrations. I’ve managed so squeeze some time in for illustration, which is therapeutic and can hopefully brighten someone’s day. This art from my heart follows…
I’ve been finding the terms used such as self-isolating and social distancing as having very negative connotations, and wondered whether putting a more positive slant on staying at home might make this feel more enjoyable and therefore sustainable. Here’s an example of this work, I’ll be developing these ideas and responding the World Health Organisation (@who) Creative Brief to communicate the key messages.
Home and family are everything. Despite the restrictions we must nurture our minds, bodies and relationships all from within our home. Thankfully technology can bridge between those we love but do not live with. Our families have come together for some great multi-generation live video calls which have been a great distraction and really made us laugh.
Here are a round up of the posts from my Instagram, to uplift and reassure.
This is for all those suffering with fear and anxiety. You are not alone. These feelings are understandable in this situation, so try to go easy on yourself. Comfort yourself with reassurance that you are safe and you are loved.
If there is someone that you feel would also like to see this please share. Spread the love. 💕 #stayhomestaysafe
There can be great joy in nature and this lovely season. Flashback to this watercolour painting from last year created as a book cover design.
The bright flowers are blooming to herald Spring, the birds are singing, daffodils shine bright. The sun radiates low into the rooms to warm away winter. Beautiful weather last week made the first days of lockdown easier as the garden is springing to life and the birds are full of energy and song.
Stunning spectrums that I spotted in our kitchen, cast by a refractive book cover being hit by the sun’s rays.
The March brief for #makeartthatsells was abstract wall art with a limited colour palette. This brief was a challenge when I’m so keen to communicate concepts through my art. I enjoyed the process once I got into it, and now seem to see tennis references in there. Maybe this was due to us building up to the new tennis season. I enjoyed layering of the paint, overlapping and becoming lost in the process.
Have Courage, Hold On. We are stronger than this thing. #alonetogether
I sprayed this positive quote from Audrey Hepburn in our garden, as a reminder, and for a little spray painting therapy.
Relaxing retreating in reading at the end of the day.
Watercolour and digital. You might recognise this scene from my chalet picture. Worked with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece. #stayhomesavelives
Backlit beauty. The low setting sun lighting up this stunning tulip. When this tulip got snapped whilst moving pots I brought it indoors and popped it in water in a perfume bottle. First of my tulip bulbs to bloom, love it. If we can find joy in nature, whether it is growing or on TV there is a wealth of good to enjoy in the natural world.
Enjoy the Great Indoors. Whether you choose to scale your stairs for a work out, adventure to far flung places on Netflix or enjoy some Eastern philosophy on your yoga mat, wishing you a lovely day. #stayhomestaysafe
Created this house in watercolours on wet then developed this further to create the composition at the top of this post…
And finally: Only Tweet the good. Trying to only share positive and factual content. The birds are so active around our home, their beautiful song so clear in the stillness.
Thanks for being here. Stay safe, stay home and if there’s somebody who you feel would like to see my work please share the blog with them.
Intending to capture the atmosphere after a day on the slopes and feeling everything from euphoria of achievement, to relaxing relief, I painted this conceptual illustration in honey based watercolour paints. This will be applied as editorial illustration and wall art for limited edition prints.
The artwork features a live music band entertaining skiers and snowboarders, some are dancing on tables, two are relaxing in deck chairs, there’s a little romance on the balcony whilst a discussion of the day’s route tales place over a piste map, and a light hearted snowball fight is underway.
Apres-Ski – detail
And because Apres-Ski is reputed to be a party straight from slopes, whilst still wearing ski boots, it’s all happening in a ski boot. A nod to the children’s rhyme about the old lady who lives in a shoe, “had so many children she didn’t know what to do”.
I’m intending this piece as the first in an Illustrated A-Z of skiing. I’ll be sharing the work as I continue to create it so please follow along here and on my Instagram or Facebook.
I’ll be putting words with the illustrations so I’m interested to hear how Apres-Ski is across the globe so please share this project with your ski friends, and tell me about Apres-Ski in your favourite resorts.
Thanks so much for being here. If you know someone who’d enjoy seeing my work please share www.inspirebykim.com or if it sparks an idea of how my illustration can promote your brand or service then please get in touch. To discuss licensing and commissions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bye for now and happy skiing. Have fun and stay safe. Don’t be the one who takes it too far, like the guy in the Apres-Ski illustration who’s balancing precariously one the high balcony 😊.
May all your nights have fresh snowfall and your days be blue sky ones, with the magic of sunshine. I love it most when the sun causes a myriad of tiny colours to refract in the snow crystals.
The mountains are a wonderful place for a perspective reset. They are eternal whereas problems are more transient and will pass in time. Have a good day.
Following on from the two festive illustrations for K Steels (below) I created a third on brand illustration. Each illustration was designed to reinforce the brand service values, delivery messages and the product range.
The new illustration was to reinforce the precision cutting service offered for steel, using a play on words of how New Year’s Resolutions are often stated as cutting out vices such as drinking or smoking.
The illustration uses a main photographic image with digital illustrations adding a resolution list, a warehouse operative, branding – both on the saw and on the steel, and a ‘text message’ style box to anchor the meaning and allow the viewer to quickly read the content.
The visual was created in a square format making it suitable for use on social media.
Secondly, in order to attract attention and increase stand out on social media, a GIF with light flares on the steel cutting blade and the text box being revealed.
So here’s to 2020. I don’t so much have resolutions but I do have exciting intentions for the year which will be revealed as they evolve and are created. Watch this space to see more and to follow the work progressing.
Thank you to K Steels for their illustration briefs. These are great opportunities to work with live briefs, which pushes my work forwards and helps to develop my evolving process.
Here are some recommendations for my illustration work…
Find out more about how I can help your business or project here…
I’ve been busy working on these bespoke Christmas illustrations. It was important that the illustrations were on brand and in line with the style of the company logo, website and social media channels.
I created two commercial illustrations in line with the brief for K Steels to use on social media. The illustrations reinforce key product lines and service messages.
The illustrations included photographic elements, cut paper and digital art using the K Steels brand colour palette.
Hoping that you and yours have a truly wonderful Christmas.
For more information about bespoke communications solutions for your business or organisation visit the following link:
Please Like my post if you do, and share with organisations who would like am on brand illustration. Thank you so much.
The most special night of the year the nights when the Kindness Cup is presented. A great celebration for the winner of the highest accolade.
I initially cringed at the magical worlds brief but quite enjoyed it in the end, right about the time I started adding fairy lights to the illustration.
The Brief: The ‘Magical Worlds’ prompt for #portfolioclub for this month got me thinking about ideal worlds, and how it would be if kindness was valued above all else and was the greatest achievement of success.
Life in this alternate reality would have cultivating kindness at the foundation of its values. It would be life’s work to be kind.
The brief had an ‘ethereal’ prompt and a defined four colour palette, which are not my normal colours therefore this was challenging, but I enjoyed working with them.
I spent time this year drawing trophies for illustration work to promote tennis club events for social media posts and on winner’s certificates. This work informed the development of the Kindness Cup.
The Kindness Cup with the cast iron work of the Paris Metro, which inspired the design. I love this art deco work by Lyonnais architect Hector Guimard.
I made the characters into silhouettes and gave them LED lit balloon and light up tulips. Added a little mist for atmosphere. The fairy lights, a fuzzy moon and multicoloured stars light the scene.
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.
Here are my latest illustrations and paintings. So loving creating at the moment.
The next task in #illustrationworkshop is a book cover. I thought that as I’m intending to create a book that I should use this prompt in this way.
A family gathering is always a lovely creative opportunity.
Summer Party themed illustration – developing the flower painting and trying out words and other items with the new paints and techniques.
Spot illustration for a magazine article about holiday/summer book recommendations.
Painted in watercolours and the elements brought together in @pixelmatorapp on my #iPhone
I like how this has come together and creating the woman for the glass.
Lovely time painting on location @renishawhallg with my little buddy. There are so many delightful flowers to choose from, some aren’t really in a place to stop and paint.
I’m pleased with how the floral art is developing and enjoying the paints.
I was pleased with this painting as it was a significant development on my previous painting on location at Renishaw. I like the energy and looseness of this piece though.
It’s this kind of work that o like to hold in mind and rest my subconscious on whilst trying to go back to sleep.
We’re getting the Folksy shop ready for the busy festive shopping time so if you’d like an original artwork for your loved one you can buy them here.
The tennis club needed a certificate, so keeping consistent with the illustrations I have done for club posters, social media posts and children’s colouring sheets I drew the club trophies, some are almost 100 years old, and a banner to start the build up to centenary celebrations, to create a certificate template.
I’m developing the drawing stage for my my next illustrations, I’ll share them when completed, but if you’d like to see the process and stages then pop over to my Instagram.
Thanks for spending time here, hope you’ve enjoyed it.
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.