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.
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.
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.
Bali Parasol contacted me having seen my work on Instagram. They required clear instructional illustrations for how to put up their beautiful parasols, when new.
I accepted the work as I’m enjoying building the visual part of my business and am increasingly aligning this with my existing public relations, promotion and business strategy work.
New instructional illustrations and care advice would replace the existing instruction sheet. This would assist the customers enjoy their Bali parasol immediately, and secondly would free up resource by reducing after delivery queries.
The company provided a brief and suggested the illustrations for the stages of the process, along with outline wording.
It was important to brand the drawings to protect the sheet from being copied, so I was asked to work the Bali Parasol into the illustrations.
The sooner the work was completed the sooner the new instructions would be on their way to customers.
I created thumbnails of the different steps, planning out whether they would be wide action drawings or close ups. I added a couple of extra stages to those briefed to make the instructions unequivocal.
Here are the drawings for the stages.
This is the final A4 document that I created, it will be received along with the parasol.
It’s exciting to think of my drawings being sent around the world with a beautiful parasol as their travel companion, a little bit like the magic carpet ride in Disney’s Aladdin movie. This thought inspired the lead image for this post.
I’m delighted with the work, really enjoyed the brief as the product is so beautiful and intricately detailed and crafted. It was a pleasure to create and Ilse at Bali Parasol was delightful to work with.
The recommendation from Bali Parasol was great to receive…
I’m always keen to create solutions and illustrate concepts so if your business or project needs explaining in a way that words or images cannot then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no shade provider more beautiful than Bali Parasol. See the stunning Bali Parasol range at www.baliparasol.com
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.
The brief was to create a 5×7 illustrated map for Rother Valley Country Park in Sheffield.
The country park has a great range of activities so I enjoyed sketching those, keeping to a consistent style by using the same pens and techniques throughout.
I hand painted the background and water then brought all the elements together in Pixelmator app. Allowing for my drawings to become tiny icons on the map.
With a compass and legend the map was completed and is ready to promote the park as a promotional postcard.
I’m pleased with the map and it quickly shows what’s on offer at the park. Rother Valley is a great place and as the card says is fun for all. Check the website for more details of access and opening times.
See a 27 seconds video of the map here (clicking will take you through to my YouTube channel.)
Delighted with my latest furniture restoration. This mid-century G Plan Astro table designed by Victor Bramwell Wilkins. I love how the teak sings when it has been cleaned and oiled. Turning back time for this stunning table.
The table changed somewhat from the original prototype drawings, scroll to see.
Wanted one of these since seeing the table in Wendy’s office in the TV programme Billions.
Poppy stages embroidery inspired by our morning walk.
Saw this pretty poppy on our walk yesterday morning so I decided that it would be my subject for an appliqué embroidery. It’s not quite finished, a little hand sewing to follow, please pop back to see the completed work.
Created at @dawnirelandtextileartist workshop at #stitchedupandfleeced
It is four years since I decide to push visual arts to the top of my priority list.
Major knee injury meant I had to pass on the opportunity that I’d been hankering for years, to manage the PR for Meadowhall. Facing months on crutches and unable to drive, life was taken up by the countless rehab exercises and everything normal took three times as long. With a recovery period quoted in years rather than weeks time began to feel different. I had so little time spare that I had to get to the nub of spending time how my soul needed and what emerged from valuable sessions with my wonderful life coach Heidi-Mai, was art… making… creating, colour, I felt like there was a whole lot of colour and creations inside me that needed to be let out into the world. And so my visual art journey changed up a gear and I began to prioritise this work, moving it from the ‘indulgent, blissful hobby’ to the ‘if I don’t have much time available I’m going to spend it on what feels great’. And with a feeling of naughty delight I signed up for an Art Foundation course.
What an exploration it has been, and continues to be. I’ve always enjoyed a steep learning curve and staying on such a curve keeps me interested and motivated.
In the first four years I’ve had a solo exhibition, had work in four public exhibitions, have begun teaching fabric design techniques, have shared art skills in school, created commissioned artworks, designs, infographics, videos, animations and have made products from miniature pot plants to fabric birds.
I don’t know where the work is leading and when I’m in the creative moment I don’t think it really matters where or whether it leads. For me creating and making is calming, rejuvenating and present. It’s my antidote to the harrowing stories that the media try to intrude into my calm.
Here are my favourite pieces from the past four years. I look forward to seeing what will emerge from my work in the future.
I’m not stopping here. I’m busy preparing for my next workshop on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield.
I’m working on personal projects and strategic commercial communications. I’ve a plan for a book, watch this space, and have some exciting collaborations ahead.
Here are my favourite posts from the past four years:
Here are anniversary stories from the years you may have missed. I’ve always worked on the proviso that my work will improve, although I’ve a good way to go to be at the level I aspire to, when I reflect I can see the progression. Practice makes better…
Years in the making, and hundreds of tiny details in paper, but I’m pleased to have completed my Brighton inspired Seaside Arches.
In a big move forward for me I am, for the first time, offering three paperart originals for sale in my Folksy shop. (Act quick before I change my mind).
The British seaside inspired this piece. I tried to keep to a limited colour palette, which is tricky as I love colour so much. The steam train is arriving at the seaside where the arches are a tea and ice-cream cafe, a beach paraphernalia shop and a boutique with pretty dresses, hats and handbags. The picture captures a warm sunny day with brightly coloured bunting being tousled by the warm, salty sea breeze.
This time the small white dog Sam is joined by my new little four legged friend, thanks to www.BorrowMyDoggy.com, with both wearing neckerchiefs.
There’s a deckchair and beach towel available for anyone wanting to imagine themself into the pretty seaside scene. Hmmm memories of happy days by the sea.
This winter scene is influenced by gingerbread houses, ski trips to the Alps and Russia, my love of ice skating and a chocolatier selling from a street booth I spotted in Lisbon. There’s a shift in the scene from Autumn trees into winter and the cosyness of festive lights.
Going to the seaside is all about breaking away from the norms and city to race eagerly towards the seaside, the East coast of England in this picture, the shores of Lincolnshire and Norfolk. A pretty cottage awaits the family’s arrival with a fun big wheel and ice cream van to cool down after some sunny time on the beach.
People always ask how long the pictures take to make but I’m never counting the hours as I find a happy space in cutting and placing each piece of paper to build the picture. It can be almost meditative. I most like to do this work at the table in our garden but it’s rare for sunny days still enough to work with such tiny pieces of paper; they can so easily be carried by the wind, but those rare days are magical.
I’m going to be bringing my paper art skills together with the fabric design techniques I’ve been exploring to create some cut paper fabric designs. There, now I’ve said it here I’ll make it happen. Watch this space and see more at my Instagram feed.