Tag Archives: creative

2020 Review

I had a wonderful start to 2020 with skiing in France and Bulgaria, and little did I know when watching Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall in March that it would be the last theatre visit of the year. Since we first went into lockdown in March my creative work has been enjoyable distraction and focus. As a result it’s been a productive year for my art and illustration work.

I have explored editorial illustration, children’s picture book work, and the themes of food and travel. Enjoyed the wonderful Make Art That Sells global community, and also the UK/US illustrator group that I’m blessed to be part of.

Ski Illustrations

After a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France I relaxed by painting ski related equipment.

This initiated the Ski A-Z book project which I have worked on throughout the year and will be in book form in early 2021.

Sharing these ski illustrations on social media led to an exciting client commission, which I will be able to reveal in the coming weeks – watch this space.

Here are my favourite ski illustrations of 2020 (that aren’t embargoed). I find that often the favourite pieces are breakthroughs in terms of the detail, materials, and/or techniques.

My intention with the project has been to demonstrate the joy and emotions of skiing and related activities in a way that is often less apparent in photographic images.

There are people who are at their happiest when skiing, unfortunately many of them aren’t able to ski at present, I hope they can feel some comfort by seeing the work and vicariously having some ski escapism.

More about this work at this link Night Skiing and TOP 9

Ski Prints

I’ve had a number of people requests prints of the ski work, so I’m pleased to reveal that I’ll be producing limited edition prints in 2021. Follow my blog for more details when they’re available. If there are ski illustrations that you’d like to be included in the selection made into prints please email me inspirebykim@outlook.com

Top 9 of 2020

Here are my overall favourite 9 pieces of 2020 across ski, travel, food and character design…

I worked hard on the first to show an expression of joy in this freestyle skiing pose. The second was a children’s book character I created for the Make Art That Sells Illustrating Children’s Books briefs. The third was a painting of juxtaposed elements of our biking holiday in Flamborough, the stunning scenery and incredible bird life.

The fourth was for an illustrated travel memoir of heli-skiing in Russia. The fifth is a conceptual illustration for Apres-Ski fun, my entry for the AOI World Illustration Awards. Sixth was my favourite piece from a number of dessert illustrations.

Seventh – the delightful feeling of calm and seclusion when enjoying some quiet time after skiing, warm and snuggly as the temperatures drop outside. I contacted Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards for a quote about the feeling of flying, and created this illustration from images that at Eddie provided. The ninth was a festive illustration/animation of steel deliveries at Santa’s Metal Workshop, commissioned by steel stockholder K Steels for their social media channels.

A particular highlight of lockdown, and since, were regular ‘Art Chats’ with my friend. We simultaneously worked on our individual creative projects on video calls. Being able to see the development of each other’s work, and to get ‘work in progress’ feedback, was helpful, I have found that chatting can help to divert the conscious mind and allow the subconscious to create in flow; the art nirvana that one can experience in particular circumstances and creative activities.

In the course of the chats my friend created an entire 2021 calendar of bird watercolours. You can see his work at

@dgrealise

For me personally good has to come out if a challenging situation, and thus I’ve made it a productive year with development of my skills and evolution of my illustration work. Here’s to a good 2021. Enjoy this short illustrated gif…

Thank you for each view, like, comment and all the support in 2020. Sharing my work gives me the impetus to continue to create, and to push myself to be able to more and more effectively express concepts visually.

It is always my mission to spread joy and inspiration so I hope that it contributes to the positive vibes going out into the world consciousness.

Read more about the key 2020 projects

Apres-Ski Illustration

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel

Bob The Balloon – Children’s Book Illustrations

Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to ‘Like’ the post if you do; and if you’ve friends who’d also be interested please share it with them.

Here’s to a great 2021. Hoping you have freedom to enjoy everything you wish for.

Find your joy

Love and luck

Kim x

Here’s are my latest posts:

Brand New Ski Illustrations – Ski A-Z

Here are the latest illustrations for my Ski A-Z book project.

This collage shows all the ski related illustrations that I created in October 2020.

X Jump

New ski illustration for the letter ‘X’ in the Ski A-Z. I reached out to the Facebook Ski Club for ideas for this tricky letter and this jump position was a popular suggestion.

Rescues

We never want to need rescuing from the slopes or the off-piste mountain areas, but if we do then we’re grateful for the care and skills of the ski patrollers.

They may go by different names in different parts of the world, but they are the ones who help us down the mountains when injury means we aren’t able to get down unassisted.

This illustration is dedicated to those individuals, these heroes on our worst ski day.

Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiing’ encompasses a number of disciplines but has roots spanning thousands of years.

Whether classic or skating style, cross country skiing is a great way to explore alpine environments without the need for uplifts, allowing the skier to get close to nature. It is an energetic workout so has lighter weight clothing ranges than downhill skiing.

The lightweight skis, fixed only at the toe require precise balance which I find makes downward slopes exhilarating.

Thanks to the Facebook Ski Club members for this suggestion for the letter ‘N’.

Telemarking is also a Nordic ski discipline, something I wish I’d tried whilst younger, watch this space for a telemark illustration.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the mountain and spot wildlife. We like to pack a picnic and find a place to perch, ideally with a view across the mountain range, blue sky and sunshine.

Snowshoeing is a good alternative activity for those new to skiing, as learning to ski is very physical. Skiing is a sport that becomes easier as one progresses. A brisk walk or snowshoeing is a good way to stretch the legs muscles.

The ski illustrations on my previous post are also featured in the October collage, you can see them here…

Thanks so much for stopping by to see my work. I’m working on a mock-up of the Ski A-Z book, so it’s really starting to come together,

My most recent posts follow.

May all your ski days be blue sky and powder.

Kim

Beach Bag Illustration

Beaching can be a state of mind. For the past few years I’ve found that having a beach bag available for when relaxing in the garden can help transport oneself to the relaxation enjoyed whilst relaxing on holiday.

Creating outdoors

Months of lovely warm, sunny weather for most of lockdown have been ideal for garden beaching. I used the pretty colours of Inktense and my travel industry know how to illustrate the contents of a beaching, at home, bag.

Detail…

Thanks so much for being here and taking the time to look at my work. If you need bespoke illustrations to support a change for good project, please get in touch.

Here are my latest posts…

@baliparasol @derwentartofficial

beach #holidayathome #staycation #travelinyourmind #illustration #beaching #illustrator #editorialillustration @makeartthatsells #theydrawandtravel #vacation #holiday #ink #inkart

Ice-Cream and Fab Lolly Sign Designs

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!

Here is a related post…

Hot Days Eating Cool Ice-Cream

Here are my latest posts.

Thanks for being here. Please take a look at the work. You might want to check out my portfolio or might have an need for a bespoke artwork.

Bye for now.

Kim

Art and Illustrations To Inspire And Uplift

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 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.

Wear Your Wings – Copyright Kim

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.

It’s snowing here. But it’s cosy, safe and warm in our home. Enjoy the home comforts. #stayhomesavelives

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.

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

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.

Here are my my most recent posts…

Thanks so much for being here. See my Facebook Page and Instagram for more frequent updates and work.

#staysafestayhome

Kim

#washyourhands

Ski Illustrations

I have skied since I was 5 years old, thanks to our local council taking the bold steps to build one of the first artificial ski slopes in Britain.

I decided to illustrate a subject matter that I know well and began painting ski equipment, there is a lot needed for a day on the snow.

I’ve been working on a number of ski icons as part of this project. Here’s are the pieces so far throughout this email…

The ski slope was our playground. We trained there, made friends, raced, jumped, fell, got up and enjoyed skiing in all weather from baking heat through drenching rain to the delight of freshly fallen snow.

Often travelling with friends and the local ski club we travelled to the Alps for the added magic of real mountain skiing.

More to come on this project as I’ll bring these elements into compositions for editorial illustrations and marketing campaign visuals. So follow my blog to see the development of this work.

I have been busy painting skiers, ski lifts, and most recently I started to paint some of the additional snow based activities such as snowmobiling.

One of my favourite pieces in the project so far is this Parascending painting.

I’ve found an ease to this work, knowing the subject matter and working from experience. I love these watercolour paints, they’re lush hues and a delight to create with.

If you’d like unique, eye catching visuals for your marketing campaign, editorial or activity you can email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks for being here.

Here’s related work…

Heli-skiing in Russia – Illustrated travel memoir

On Brand Illustration

Best 9s of 2019

Christmas Commercial Illustrations

Tennis Club Promotional Work Highlights

It’s been a productive January with ski illustrations and two sewn projects.

I’d love to know what you think of this work so please Like if you do and comment below. I’m keen to reach people who will enjoy my work, so if you’ve a friend or colleague that springs to mind please share this post with them.

Regular updates on my Instagram feed…

https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Thanks folks 😊⛷

#ski #illustrator #marketingcampaign #socialmediavisuals #editoialillustation



Illustrated Recipe – Buns

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.

After adding some colour in Inktense pencils I added water to activate the ink pigment.

These pretty buns made with my niece, who so carefully and beautifully decorated them, were the inspiration for this recipe illustration.

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,

This work related to these projects,,,

Portfolio Club – Circus Illustration

How to plant a tree – Instructional Illustration

Tennis Club Promotion Part Two

Illustrated Map

Please feel free to have a look at these and the content on my blog and website.

If you’d like an illustration or bespoke artwork please message or email me inspirebykim@outlook.com

You might want to take a look at Flow Magazine, 50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life

I highly recommend Bill Wright’s Draw Paint Click Illustration course and the techniques taught.

Here’s a link to Inktense pencils that I used. You can check out #portfolioclub on Instagram.

May you have a sweet day.

Kim 😊

Creative Apps, Tools and Tips

I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.

CamScanner App

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.

CamScanner App screen grab
Screen grab of my CamScanner latest work

iPhone XS

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 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Screen grab of my photo album.
I take a LOT of photos and create new designs on my iPhone

Pixelmator App

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 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.
Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.

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

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.

YouTube

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.

Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab
Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab

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.

Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.
Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.

Instagram

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 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Inspire by Kim Instagram Screen GrabInspire by Kim Instagram Screen Grab

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.

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Birds

Workshop – Testimonials

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

Passion for Textile Flowers

Everlasting passionflower lovingly crafted from textiles.
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The satin cheese plant I made led to my decision to make a textile passion flower….

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I studied the beautiful flowers that I have been growing in garden for 15 years.

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Some all-white varieties surprised me in the garden this year.

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Passionflower study in coloured pencils

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Monochrome study aiming to simplify the forms.

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Watercolour study of passiflora.

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I then took the designs into stitch. This was the first iteration of the passion flower with a little fused Angelina fibre panel for the centre.

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Free motion embroidery and ribbon couching to create the second flower design.

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After considering different fabrics I decided to use satin with scrim behind for the third flower experiment.

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It was important that I create depth for the flower’s corona filaments, anthers and stigmas. I used felt, a bead and embroidery silks.

My intention whilst working at Chelsea College of Arts at the start of the month was to create screen printed designs that I could later add 3D passionflowers to. 

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A passionflower couldn’t exist without its leaves. I created this one using satin that I have designed and printed using Colourcraft products, with felt behind/underside made at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield.

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The final addition was the tendrils shaped with a little love as inspiration. Photographed in the sun, which is what prompts the passionflowers to reveal their striking beauty.

Thanks so much for reading to the end. I’m delighted with this work and will be looking at the display of it. So watch this space by popping your email address in the box at the top of the page to follow my blog. Normally a maximum of one post per week, a little bright creativity into your inbox

Here is the work that led to the passion flower creation.

Bird and Flowers Design

Satin Cheese Plant

Textile Print Design at Chelsea

And finally here are flowers I painted in pomegranate juice (and a little green watercolour). The juice was a stunning pink so I could resist making art with it. The work is inspired by a great book I’m reading The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block.

Additional inspiration from the Botanica book by Uppercase magazine. A delightful treat of a book.

Designer Dog Coat

Personalised Pooch Weather Proof Coat

My four legged furry buddy isn’t keen on walking in the rain. So to stop this little guy…

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…ending up looking like this…

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I decided to make him a bespoke coat. As he’s a Lhasa Apso with a long body shop coats don’t fit him so off the peg wouldn’t do the job.

So using his silhouette and paw print, captured on a snowy day, I designed a repeat pattern.

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I painted the design in dyes using wax relief…

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Then heat-pressed the design onto fabric and cut out the shapes from the paper pattern I had created to fit my furry fashionisto.

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The good weather took the sewing and quilting of the layers al fresco.

I love reflective fabric so used used this for back panel of the dog coat.

My lovely Bernina sewing machine made light work of the creative quilting and edging tape sewing.

I don’t think, for me, sewing can get much better than making with fabric I’ve designed and printed myself.

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After attaching the pieces and adding Velcro and a button fastening the coat was ready for “walkies”.

The collar up option for heavy rain is quite David Bowie/spacey.

The collar down option for chillier but less wet days.

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You might want to see these dog inspired projects:

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Drawing With Silks – Cute Dog

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The Dog Who Wanted To Fly

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Maltese Dog Portrait

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Dog Portraits in Acrylic Paint

I’d like to thank my fabulous furry fashion model, Borrow My Doggy for the introduction and you for being here.

Make a new furry friend through Www.BorrowMyDoggy.com

For more fun makes follow my blog, my Facebook page and Instagram feed.

Thanks

Kim and Willow xx