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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:

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Here is the strategic Christmas illustration for Lancashire and Yorkshire based steel stockholders K Steels.

The illustration

K Steels wanted a still and animated festive illustration to reinforce the key messages ‘Great service and quick delivery’, and main steel product lines box section, steel plate and steel beam. The artwork was for use on social media and customer communication.

The animated version of the illustration

The setting is Santa’s Metal Workshop where the elves are busy unloading much needed steel. We see the edge of the production line where elves are busy manufacturing and welding. Santa is supervising and is very happy with the great K Steels steel and service.

I created the illustration and animation in the brand colours using photo montage of the wagons and hand drawn digital art on iPad and pencil in Procreate app. Watch the process from the final pencil sketch to animation in this quick time-lapse.

In addition to the illustration and gif I created a video version.

If you would like bespoke brand visuals, or have an idea that you would like to see visualised then email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com or complete the Illustration Request Form on my homepage.

This is the third successive year that I have created Christmas illustrations for the company. I’ve been working hard to progress my skills and techniques during these years.

What next?

Next you might want to take a look at these related posts…

Bali Parasol Illustrations

Apres-Ski Conceptual Illustration

And here are my most recent blog posts…

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2021.

Best wishes

Kim

Here’s my skiing Santa Christmas Greeting gif

Travel Illustrations

This year I wanted to use the opportunity of #Inktober to work on illustrations of travel memories. Using the prompts from #theydrawandtravel illustrating the places on the list which I have visited.

Paris

Paris – Homage to the Paris icons of La Tour Eiffel, Moulin Rouge and La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.

Paris is one of my favourite cities at any time of year. We were fortunate to visit most recently in November last year, which I have used as reference for this illustration.

Cairo – for many visitors this is the gateway to Egypt and its ancient wonders.

Here are my favourite Cairo landmarks brought into a composition – the majestic, mysterious pyramids, the stately Sphinx, the Ramses statue which looked onto to a bustling city square, and a river boat which is carrying intrigued travellers to explore the many temples along the banks of the Nile.

I was fortunate to visit first on a mini-cruise from Cyprus where I was working at the time, later on a trip from Sharm el-Sheikh, and on a work trip was fortunate to have a top floor hotel penthouse all to myself, when I attending the conference in place of my boss. A wonderful city, fabulous memories.

San Francisco – My favourite US city – first visited on a tour of California with my mum. We enjoyed the steep streets in a speedy taxi, rode a cable car were surprised by the sea lions at Pier 39. Most recent visit was en route to New Zealand with just a 24 hour stopover to enjoy the city and shops on Union Square.

Moscow

The stunning golden domes of the Kremlin and the colourful tiled domes of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square were what struck me visually when visiting Moscow. These and the enormous imposing Hotel Ukraine, one of the “Seven Sisters” of Moscow. 

Time in the city was a great experience which bookended our trip heli-skiing in Sochi. 

Sydney – what struck me as we walked towards the Opera House were the brightly coloured birds. The city felt much like a Northern European city, but the birds were striking, tropical, seemingly in stark contrast to the uniformity and familiarity of the buildings. The birds which enchanted me that day were Rainbow Lorikeets.

Sydney Opera House is a stunning feat of architecture, which I hadn’t realised until close observation is constructed in creamy coloured tiles, which appeared white in the bright sun, a little like the surface the space shuttle.

I took the opportunity to attend a dance show at the Opera House, performed by a number of Australian dance companies that was an evening to support Unicef. It was a dream come true to visit this stunning iconic landmark humanmade wonder.

Rock and Rome – featuring my Rome favourites. The Forum, The Colosseum, Vittorio Emanuele II monument, brought together with the tiny Fiat 500 so loved by my Mum.

Visited Rome on three trips last Autumn to help a loved one, and ‘Rock and Rome’ became a catchphrase.

Beijing – the iconic Great Wall, the curious roof adornment that is a man riding a Phoenix, and the Temple of Heaven.

Had a wonderful trip to China with @kuonitravel and met Cherie Blair (Wife of the UK Prime minister at the time) on the Great Wall. Recalling the fascinating acoustic effects at the Temple of Heaven.

Flamborough – Here are my favourite aspects of Flamborough brought together in this composition – Flamborough Head Lighthouse, the awesome gannets at Bempton Cliffs and our biking on the coastal path, all set under that huge sky with the salty breeze.

Here’s a round up collage of these travel illustrations.

Thanks so much for being here. These are my latest posts…

Extreme Skiing Book Illustrations

I’m celebrating my work being published in a brand new book by an Extreme Skier in the United States. I was commissioned to create 24 bespoke illustrations for the book. It is wonderful to see my work in print. Illustrations by Kim for new book 30 Years in A White Haze by Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur #30yearsinawhitehaze

Enjoy wherever you travel, real, memories or travel dreams.

Kim

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

H in the Ski A-Z Book

Here’s the latest instalment in the Ski A-Z Glossary book I am presently working on…

H is for Hot Chocolate, a delicious comfort for snow lovers if all ages on a cold day, Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate in a mountain hut, with a log fire crackling, is a treat that revives the spirit for the skiing ahead.

H is also for Hot Tub. Warming the muscles at the end of the day in a hot tub is a soothing way to relax. These can often be found in a hotel spa, but a warm bath with salts can be as effective, although less sociable.

I’ve combined the two to create this fun Hot Choc Hot Tub illustration.

H is for Helmet – an essential piece of ski kit especially for skiing fast and when venturing off the marked pistes. Ski helmets are warm and cosy, sometimes too warm, so those with air vents which can be open or closed are a helpful solution.

H is also for Heli-Skiing, when a helicopter drops you off on a remote peak and you ski on slopes that would otherwise be inaccessible. I previously shared an account of heli-skiing in Russia. This travel memoir will appear in the ‘H’ pages in the Ski A-Z book. Here is the link if you’ve not seen it.

Heli-Skiing Travel Memoir

Editorial Illustration

Next up will be ‘I’ – so watch this space and Follow, if you’re not already doing so to see the new book content as it is created.

Thanks for being here. These are links to the previous ski artworks and content…

Apres-Ski Illustration

Technical Ski Illustrations

A-Z of Ski – E for Exhilaration

Thanks for being here. Please Like and Share so more people can enjoy the work.

If you need bespoke illustrations for your project you can contact my by emailing inspirebykim@outlook.com

Here are my most recent posts…

I hope you enjoy seeing the work. I’m making new art all the time so watch this space.

Bye for now

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

West Side Story Poster Design

My submission for the West Side Story poster design brief for #makeartthatsells. Theatre production poster for West Side Story on Broadway, NYC.

Work in progress Letters cut from striking papers I’d painted.

I added dancer shapes cut from paper and, a compass point, then wrote text in Procreate app to complete the design.

Experimenting with bold textured lettering creating using Dr P..H, Martin Liquid Watercolours

You might want to check out Make Art That Sells from Lila Rogers Studio.

Thanks for being here. Come back soon and see my new work.

Kim

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



On Brand Illustration

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…

Tennis Club event poster/social media visual

Instructional illustration sheet for Bali Parasol

Find out more about how I can help your business or project here…

Creative Solutions, Visual Content and Illustration

If you have a need for visual content or an illustration to promote your brand and key messages, please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for reading, please Like this post if you do, the feedback really helps.

These are posts that relate to this work…

Christmas Commercial Illustrations

Ski Illustrations

Best 9s of 2019

Bali Parasol – Instructional Illustration Work

Breakfast Cereal Design Concept

Tennis Club Promotional Work Highlights

Brand Art and Infographic – Steel Company

Thanks so much and here’s to a great 2020!

Thanks to much. Have a great year.

Kim