Tag Archives: girl

Bob The Balloon – Children’s Book Illustrations

I hadn’t considered that children’s books was an area I wanted to explore, but knew that my drawing skills and illustration techniques would progress by doing the Illustrating Children’s Books course.

However, what I experienced during the intensive five week course was a wonderful journey through the process of creating characters and their world.

Book cover mock up with props

The Make Art That Sells course was a live global gathering of aspiring and professional illustrators having a wonderful shared experience towards a common goal.

I chose Zoë Tucker’s story about a balloon with wanderlust to travel the world; a feeling which I imagine a lot of people can relate to this year.

My initial concept for the characters

I decided early in the process that Bob would be a heart shaped balloon, as our world needs love.

Accessorising Bob – fun but fussy

In the story Bob the balloon lives with his best friend Bug in a lighthouse; until he’s gusted away on an unexpected magical adventure.

Bug looked out at me from a page of my character sketches

I created Bob using four small heart balloons (blue, pink, teal and purple), overlaid digitally and areas selected to give Bob’s unique colours, highlights, shadows and transparency. I added facial features to one of them to help with three quarter, side, high and low angle perspectives.

The balloons which altogether make up the character Bob

The challenge then was to demonstrate Bob and Bug’s different emotions, whilst keeping the characters and colour palette consistent.

Conveying a range of emotions and interactions between the two characters

Initially I thought that Bob might change colour with his feelings but then decided to keep the main shade of blue consistent. The real balloons were helpful in understanding the form, movement, bulging and deflation characteristics for Bob.

Animation frames for Bob bouncing on a river, studying the globe and observing a ladybird which Bug is drawing.

Whilst considering the character motivations I felt that Bug’s fascination with the balloon (Bob) may have been due to physical limitations, maybe she wished she could be light and rise off the ground. I experienced such yearnings after major knee injury, so could relate to these feelings. Therefore I developed Bug’s character to represent a person who is assisted to move around using a wheelchair, whether this be temporary (due to injury), or ongoing.

Character poses for Bug, using her imagination.

It was a criteria of the course to demonstrate the character in different action poses to give the character life.

Lighthouse inspired by Amsterdam architecture and a love of gardens.

The culmination of the course was a double page spread (16 x 10) inches of a scene from the book. I chose to represent a sunset scene where Bug is telling Bob stories of far away lands in her cosy nook bed. I made a pop-up book to include in the scene and made it cast a shadow on the wood panelling behind Bug. I added my watercolour paintings as wall art and soft furnishings. The globe form is inspired by a garden ornament at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire.

Bug is telling Bob stories of faraway places.

By conveying emotions that draw the reader and child into the narrative, they will care about the characters. I wanted to demonstrate the connection between the characters and to give them a place to exist which is in a consistent style and medium.

The final task was to create the book cover, important for point of sale marketing whether viewed on a book shop shelf or as a tiny thumbnail on Amazon.

Bob flies through the travel themed cover design

Thanks to Make Art That Sells, art agent Lilla Rogers and children’s book author/art director Zoë Tucker for a fabulous course and the wealth of informative content, sketch prompts, and weekly assignments. I felt my work shift forward enormously during the five weeks. I invested a lot of time, was determined, and am pleased with the outcomes.

How the final book would look.

Thanks also the the many insects who landed close by me during the course, which seemed quite serendipitous.

Grasshopper, beetle and ladybird.

Mediums used include inks, gouache, watercolours, cut paper for the pop up book, and digital techniques.

I am open to illustration projects, editorial and children’s book illustrations so please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks for being here and following my work. I’m creating new work all the time so please pop back soon or head over to my Instagram space to see work as it is created. My latest posts follow and a link to an illustrated children’s book that I created a few years ago.

Thanks so much.

Kim x

The Dog Who Wanted To Fly – Illustrated Children’s Book

REACHING FOR THE STARS – CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATION

Children’s book illustration for the culmination of Jelena’s journey through a winter wonderland, to reach the stars.

“Grandma said Mummy is polishing the stars, so that they shine on me.”

My character Jelena (meaning Bright) is helped by the mountain animals to go closer to the stars, where she believes her late mother to be.

I’m delighted with this latest work. I can feel the progress, enjoyed painting it and am pleasantly surprised with the final piece. It’s already framed and on our wall.

Illustrated children's book page. Little girl Jelena lifted up by alpine wildlife.

Having lived with the next generation effects of childhood bereavement I wanted to create a work that speaks to children, and the child inside the adult, who lost their parent.

Jelena realises through the narrative that she is not alone, and is reassured by the support and kindness from her new animal friends.

The stars are so bright and you can see multitudes of them above the mountains, as there isn’t the light pollution. It can be breathtaking to walk at midnight in the snow and gaze up in wonder.

I created this painting for the Make Art That Sells #matsprep assignment. The inspiration for the mountain setting is from the Ski A-Z book that I am presently working on.

How This Piece Was Created…

I painted the alpine wildlife that we see when we visit the French Alps, and the Vanoise National Park.

I have often seen deer, foxes and wild boar whilst driving the mountain roads at night. The marmots we see emerging from hibernation in the spring, enjoying eating crocus as the snow melts away. I once encountered an imposing bouquetin at high altitude by the glacier near Val Thorens. We would also see herds of bouquetin grazing and fighting on the slopes of Champagny Le Haut. Mountain hare tracks can be seen from the chairlifts indicating their nocturnal presence. Whilst driving by Lake Annecy a family of five wild boar crossed the road ahead of us, parent and their young, so cute.

I also painted a Eurasian brown bear which lives in the Caucasus mountains of Russia, where we skied over bear tracks in the snow. Next to our hotel was a woodcarver’s yard where he whittled life sized bears from huge tree trunks. I chose a small carved bear as a souvenir of the trip. To read about heli-skiing in Russia click here.

Collage of the animal paintings

My first composition (below) felt predatory, I needed a less confrontational arrangement of the elements.

Therefore I chose a tower of animals, united in assistance for the story’s main character, painting them in a less literal style for the final artwork.

A3 Painting in progress, using masking fluid, watercolour paints and acrylic gouache.

I’m determined to keep learning and growing my skills through study of theory and techniques, practical art and colourful exploration. You can follow my blog to see work as it develops and the projects progress.

My intention is editorial illustration work, ideally the cover of Flow magazine, and commercial artwork for ‘change for good’ marketing campaigns. The big dream is an interactive art TV programme.

Here are my latest blog posts…

If you would like artwork to support a positive project please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for being here.

Signup to see new work as it is available. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and if there’s someone who you think would enjoy seeing the art and illustrations please share a link with them…

I think you’d really like to see this illustration. Take a look.

Many thanks

Kim

Ski A-Z – F for Flying, Freedom and Flow…

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.

Technical Ski Illustrations

Ski A-Z ‘E’ for Extreme, Enjoy and Exhilaration

My favourite – Apres-Ski Illustration

Heli-Skiing in Russia – Illustrated Travel Memoir

Ski Illustrations

A-Z Ski Glossary

Here are my latest posts…

Thanks so much for being here. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and share with others who’ll also enjoy.

Many thanks

Kim

Ski A-Z ‘E’ for Extreme, Enjoy and Exhilaration…

I wasn’t sure as to whether there is relevance to continuing on with my ski A-Z project in the present global climate. But time is spent in lockdown should be time made better by finding the joy, and I get a lot of joy from making this work, and so I found that it felt best to continue. There’s a lot of people who enjoy skiing and mountain sports and so maybe share in the work can share some joy too.

If you’ve not seen my artworks for the letters from A to D then check out the links at the bottom of this blog post to catch up there.

Next up is the letter ‘E’ there are a lot of words that came to mind for E and I have incorporated this into a large artwork which illustrates some of my favourite ski feelings.

These are:

Enjoyment of the soaring peaks and stunning views of the mountain environment.

Exhilaration of skiing strong and fast, putting myself against the challenge of the mountain slopes. I always enjoyed giant slalom, over slalom courses, when we were ski racing.

Experiences – Skiing is a great switch off as it’s so engrossing physically and mentally that it’s hard to think of anything else meaning it’s a magic kind of mountain meditation.

One of the ways I love to experience and soak up the mountain atmosphere is to get off the piste and find somewhere to just sit, and be in an entirely natural environment, ideally with a semmel sandwich and a refreshing drink. To sit awhile and take it all in. For the non skiers, if you can get your skis into the snow you can use your ski poles between them to make a seat. Alternatively you can sit on the snow, ideally on a rucksack or plastic bag to avoid getting a soggy ski pants.

Extreme skiing needs you to have your wits about you and is so satisfying when you look back up a slope that you’ve achieved. Often having experienced a range of emotions on the way from doubt and fear to joy and euphoria.

My most extreme ski experience was Heli-skiing in the Caucasus mountains of Russia and Georgia. I illustrated an account of this trip which you can read and see at this link.

Here are the links to the Ski A-Z work already created…

Apres-Ski Illustration

A-Z of Ski Glossary

Technical Ski Illustrations

Watch this space for the ski paintings for the letter F…

Thanks so much for being here. If you’ve enjoyed this post please like it and if you know someone who’d enjoy it please share it with them. Let’s spread the joy of skiing.

Kim

Breakfast Cereal Design Concept

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…

Pilot eating breakfast, sketch
My favourite concept from all the ideas (below)

The character was further inspired by the aviation PR work I’ve been busy enjoying in recent weeks, thanks to my client in Florida.

Female pilot

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.

Watercolour painted pineapple, oranges and coconut
Watercolour painted pineapple, oranges and coconut

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.

The cereal box design before assembly
The cereal box design before assembly

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.

Have a flying start to a great day. 🛫

Here’s my recent work along similar lines…

Bali Parasol – Instructional Illustration Work

Tennis Club Promotional Work Highlights

Bottle Brand Design

Brand Art – Steel Company

Get in touch for inspiring communications for your project.

My Life In Paper

“My latest paper masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. It is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.” 

Read the full story: 

I often have an idealistic view of what an event will be like. For instance say to me garden party and instantly an image conjures of pretty bunting flapping in the wind, smiling faces, beautiful colourful tablecloths, bright blooms, pink lemonade with ice glinting in the sun, gorgeous dresses and a cloud leisurely tracking across a vivid blue sky. My idealism can often lead to the reality being a little disappointing. I had seen this  as a trait that was negative, that I was being naive and childishly silly.

But I have realised that it is this ideal world imagination that is the magic that can make my special kind of art.

My growing number of paper cut creations, finely crafted like a self-made jigsaw, come from this visual idealism.


Best seen in their original form the pictures are intricate and unique. In their creation is a calm happy place for me, one where I am in that sweet spot between consciousness and subconscious. Piece by piece, thought by thought I cut and stick to form a whole that when I step back I wonder how that came about.

When I was a youngster I would get frustrated that my art did not look like I had envisioned. That I could not recreate on paper the picture that I had in my head. But my paper artworks never start from a whole vision, it begins like a building, first the walls go in place, then I furnish the building with pretty furniture from my imagination and add personal items that belong to the imaginary owners, curated over their lives.

Ta-Da… My Latest Picture Revealed

I very recently completed what I feel is my latest masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. Like the earlier smaller (A4) Beach Huts, Allotments and Ski Chalet (all in the strip above), it is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see, but this new piece is A3 and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.

I created the Ice Cream artwork with new colour understanding after studying the relationships between colours. As a result it really pops off the page.

So here it is for your visual consumption. Have a Flake with that.

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Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

Hot Days Eating Cool ice Cream is a design made entirely from pieces of paper cut into shapes to make a bright, colourful work of art. The design feature an ice cream cafe on a sunny day. The ice-cream maker also sells the delicious ice creams out and about in the sparkly ice-cream van.

Two girls are at the cafe to enjoy ice-cream and a small white dog trots by to in the hope of a little chocolate or sweet treat.

In the distance people enjoy the fun and thrill of a rollercoaster ride and a plane flies overhead to spread the work about the wonderful ice-creams.

This is my first paper cut work that prominently features people. This was a challenge, at first I painted people and cut and added those, but later recreated them in paper and am happier with the paper characters.

Here are some details from the picture… (watermarked).

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Of course Maltese Terrier Sam, as in each of the paper-cut pictures, is there – Copyright Kim

And now the fun starts on creating canvases, fabric and products which will take the picture out and about and on the move in the world.

Ice Cream Jigsaw
Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

I am seeking an art agent or art business mentor/manager to assist my art out into the world. Please share my post so that it can find its way to the ideal person to help.

If you’ve enjoyed this post here are related posts to feast your eyes and imagination on. Enjoy!

Paper-Cut Pictures

Animating Paper Pictures

Paper-Cut Portrait

Paper-Cut Pictures Part Two

My Story

My YouTube Channel

My Facebook Page

All that Ice-Cream makes you feel hungry then have a few scoops and a Flake.