I wrote this blog post at the beginning of lockdown but for some reason didn’t share it. So I’m sharing it now…
Here are some ways to feel better. Here’s a bright inspiring wordsearch. Just a couple of minutes but the words will uplift you. Best done in a morning, to set a positive tone for the day.
You might like to create a word search of your favourite things. Maybe send it a friend who also loves the activity.
If you or the children fancy an art challenge why not paint, collage or print your bunting for home, and will also brighten up social media. If you have bunting already then maybe let it fly. Individual bunting flags around 16cm wide can be decorated and then sewn onto ribbon or placed on a length of sellotape.
Many people are making rainbows and displaying them in their windows for children to spot.
Here’s one for our window. For this technique I wet the paper where I wanted a colour to go, ie in an arc for the red. Then added gouache paint, which then flowed to the edge of the wet area. I then wet the next section and overlapped the red as I applied the yellow paint, therefore creating the orange when they layered. And so on. It’s an easy way to create a rainbow using just red, yellow, blue and an indigo, for contrast. Gouache colours are vibrant. This technique, paint on wet, needs a good thick paper or card so it remains nice and smooth and not buckled.
If video is what moves you then check out my art movies and animations on YouTube.
Leave the mixer in the cupboard and bake with just the strength and motion of your stirring, folding the ingredients. Let your mind wander as you mix and let yourself become engrossed in following the steps of a recipe. Edible treats are at the end so baking is a lovely thing to do. If you have time that you would normally have you might enjoy decorating them with pretty details.
My lovely niece enjoyed carefully decorating these buns so beautifully after breaking her foot. She enjoyed taking time in a way she wouldn’t normally and we all enjoyed these delightful bakes.
Planting and growing a garden can be so delightful and fulfilling.
For pretty much daily inspiration and content designed to make you feel better follow my Instagram and it Facebook Page,
Enjoy, be happy. Stuff will happen but we can escape into our own imagination, or each other’s imagination.
I’ve created some garden sign designs of ice-cream and ice lolly nostalgic summertime themes.
Ice-Cream painted sign. The wonderful, iconic 99 ice-cream, here in a tasty wafer cone, with chocolate at the end. 😋 Poster design to enhance the garden shed. Adding some fun summer icons.
The second design, with the same colour palette, again in acrylic paints was themed on the Fab ice lolly.
Nice weather meant it was possible to get outside and paint.
Have a Fab day! Fab ice lolly themed poster art. Enjoyed painting this piece. Please scroll sideways to see the work. Research was fun, and tasty 😋. The fab lolly is a product which is still going strong after more than 50 years!
The latest instalment of my Ski A-Z for the letter ‘F’
There is flow and freedom in skiing which can feel like you’re flying. I love it when gliding along on skis on the mountain tops can feel like flying. Often birds can be seen flying in the valleys below.
I wanted to capture this feeling in this artwork. A sunny day is a must to conjure this magic feeling.
I feel this sensation of flight most in Les 3 Vallees above St Martin de Belleville and Meribel, when heading in the direction of Val Thorens.
The feeling of flying got me thinking about how Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards must be the British person who has most experienced a feeling of flying on skis. Unusually Eddie, originally a downhill racer, first ski jumped as an adult. In a feat of courage and resolve he created a new British ski jumping record of 73.5 metres, the equivalent of jumping over 6 double decker buses.
I contacted Eddie (his given name is Michael), now inspiring people as a motivational speaker. I asked him about how skiing can feel like flying.
Eddie Edwards, said, “To fly……. is to be free!!”
I wanted to create an illustration which captured the freedom of flight mentioned in Eddie’s quote, along with the joy he demonstrated to the crowds after his Olympic ski jumps.
I don’t usually have a person in mind when painting faces for the Ski A-Z characters, I’m more trying to demonstrate joy and emotion in the expressions of the skiers.
A big thank you to Eddie for the quote, and the inspiration for the illustration.
Finally here’s a very short animation of the Fly, Freedom, Flow painting with a delicate ethereal stitched wing, to bridge between reality and imagination.
So, next up is the letter ‘G’ watch this space and follow to be sure to see the new work as it’s created.
Many people missed out on skiing this winter or had their seasons cut short. I hope that my artworks can give a positive vibe, to spark feel good memories.
If you’ve not seen the previous ski illustrations I’ve been working on you can see them at these links.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve really enjoyed creating in August. The month started off with the Helen Dardik workshop in Rotterdam which was beautiful and inspiring. The month and art has flourished from there.
I created an illustrated map, an instructional illustration for #PortfolioClub, an illustrated Recipe prompted by Flow Magazine’s book 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life. I also created a party invitation book cover and stitched/painted self portrait.
I added new items to my Folksy shop as we start to get ready for the busy festive period.
To learn more about this latest work follow these links❤️
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,