More Blackboards…!

I’ve been busy on some new blackboards over the last few months, ready for re-openings!

I worked on some long boards for a local restaurant – Quay57, serving local specialities and with a new alfresco dining area.

I also did 2 A-boards for a bar in Exeter – The Terrace:

And finally, some work on a window at our local – The Queens Arms in Brixham, to help brighten up their outside area:

You can see these and more of my work on my blackboard page in my portfolio!

Sunshine and Shenanigans – branding and update

Around a year ago, I updated and re-opened my Etsy store. I updated the logo, and made some new supporting graphics for social media, the Etsy store, and for the website.  I thought I would share with you the logo, supporting graphics and some of the work I have for sale.

The logo is based on Sunshine, and uses hand-written calligraphy and Amatic font. It was hand painted and drawn and then digitised. I wanted something warm, bright and cheerful.

The supporting graphics are based on what I have used on this site, to tie the two together. They are mainly to showcase the main pieces of work that I have for sale.

 

 

 

As well as Social Media channels, I have also got a page on my website dedicated to the store (and of course the Etsy store itself.) Have a look, and see what I’ve been up to, and what I’ve got for sale.

I am always thinking about and working on new ideas, I find this a good creative outlet, so when I have some time I am working on this! I have some new ideas in the pipeline, Father’s Day, and of course some ideas for Christmas… With the various lockdowns over the last year cancelling weddings, I haven’t really been concentrating on the Peg Doll Cake Toppers or anything else wedding related, but they will hopefully start up again soon!

Masters Degree and Coming out of Lockdown…

I’ve been a bit quiet of late on here… The roadmap of lockdown restrictions being lifted has meant I have had some enquiries and new work coming in – which is great news. I’ve also had a few jobs, which I’ll be updating the site with soon. A few bits and pieces for existing clients – Devon Carers and another set of books for Vanessa James, but also a few new jobs which is great news, and helping to make the future look a little brighter. It’s all been a little dark and dismal, the weather has been miserable, I’ve had to postpone my wedding again, and more and more celebrations have been taking place over Zoom so a little bit of brightness on the horizon has been welcome in our house!

I also decided over Christmas to apply for my Masters Degree. Falmouth University have a great flexible course – it’s all done online and is part-time, so I thought I’d go for it. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for a long time, and I feel recently as if I’ve lost confidence, and don’t really know how to progress professionally. I’ve spent more time and effort on my Etsy store, which has been great, but really wanted to do this, and the opportunity and timing is perfect. It’s been hard work so far, but I expected it to be, and I’m enjoying it. I’ll share some work soon, but for now, if I’m a little quiet on the blog or on my social media… this is the reason why!

My Etsy store seems to be going well. Since November, I have had a lot of sales, and I have some great ideas for new stuff to create and sell, which will hopefully be coming soon. It’s great for the the little bit of extra income, but I’m also enjoying the process of being creative and productive – it’s been helping my mental health through this time! I’m hoping to add some more prints and cards soon, as well as some other items as and when I can get the designs finalised, and I’ll be posting on here soon with lots of news.

Finally, I’ve been re-arranging my workspace – it had become a dumping ground for the house, storage for bits and pieces that needed a home, and I was struggling with my back and neck working at a laptop for hours on end, so I have spent some time re-organising, tidying and improving my space. I am so lucky to have a home office, especially at the moment, and whereas before Covid, I was able to work with clients at their premises, or out in Cafe’s, my needs have changed! It’s looking much better now!

New Romance Novel Covers

The new year saw a new set of romance novels! This new set – “Satan’s Outcasts MC Sacramento Chapter” is about a romance series about a biker gang. Each cover is a different member, and the author and I spent some time looking for the perfect images. I designed the MC logo, and then put the covers together.

Once they’re all released, I’ll post them all on my portfolio, but for now, here’s the sneak preview!

Dark covers, with rugged, tattooed bikers – with simple and effective text on them. You can pre-order the books here: Vanessa James on Amazon 

I also have other book covers by this author in my portfolio.

Updates

It’s 2021… and not a lot has changed!

I’ve been busy so far this month, which is good. A few projects on the go, which I’ll update you all on in the next month or so. I’m also working on new pieces for Sunshine and Shenanigans, and a website, again, more on that soon! I’m also working on some online courses etc. including my MA in Graphic Design, which I’ll post about soon.

I’ve updated my website and social media with some new supporting graphics. It’s usually a quiet time of the year for me, but this year I’ve had a fair bit to do! I’m still at Paignton Zoo, I’ve been working with Dart Sails, and I’ve had a Devon Carers magazine this month as well. I’ve decided against an art challenge this year, I have plenty to get on with, and I don’t fell I need the creative push that they have provided in the past.

More new work to come soon, more news on Sunshine and Shenanigans, and hopefully less lockdowns and restrictions and a happier time in the future…

Monthly Art Challenge – December

Final moon of the year, and the challenge – The Oak Moon

A watercolour piece, with ink, that ended up in my Full Moon calendars and as a print on my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/919678167/a3-full-moon-2021-calendar

I have really enjoyed this challenge. I have found it wonderful to try out new media, ideas and layouts, and really pleased with how it all ended up. I have even managed to sell a few prints and calendars which has been great! Below I have posted all 13 moons from throughout the year:

 

I also did a piece for each of the solstices and equinoxes:

I have a few plans this year, and to be honest, I don’t feel like I need the creative prompt that the lettering challenges and this moon challenge provided, so no challenge set for 2021! Finally, I’ll leave you with my Winter Solstice piece:

Happy New Year!

What a year. Lots of changes and challenges, obviously!

I started the year in a new post at Paignton Zoo, due to end December 2020. I had some projects set up ready to go with a few different organisations and companies, and ongoing work for Ron Campion Furnishers, then, in the space of a week, I lost several projects (some cancelled, some postponed and some downsized), had no work with Ron Campions as they had to close, and was on furlough. It was an uncertain time, as I am sure it was for many, and I tried to use my lockdown time as productively as I could!

For a few months I had very little to no work, a few updates to websites, but not much else. In between some downtime with my family, and some home DIY and catching up with jobs we had been putting off due to being busy, I signed up for a few courses, and worked through some tutorials. I’ll post more about these as I’m still working my way through these, but using Udemy, Domestika, The Postman’s Knock and Skillshare, I learnt some new Calligraphy skills, improved my drawing and painting and learnt more about social media and branding.

By August, things were looking up, I was back working a little for Ron Campions, some of my regular projects had been started up again, and I had picked up a new client – Vanessa James books – designing covers. I started to put a lot of time into my Etsy store, working on some pieces for sale, and got really into the whole process.

In October, things changed, again. I was due to go back to Paignton Zoo, but we ended up self isolating due to Covid in our household, and then entered another lockdown. Work slowed down again, (and a few things were postponed or cancelled…) so I made an effort to get some work together to sell on my Etsy store, and managed to make over 20 sales in November and December. The bestseller was most definitely my wall planner – I have sold around 15 of these now!

So now we enter 2021… I am at the Zoo still, my contract has been extended to May. I have a few upcoming regular pieces of work for Devon Carers and Ron Campion, and things have picked up a little. I will be doing some regular work with Dart Sails and Covers starting on Monday, and I have a few plans and ideas up my sleeve…

I really enjoyed the work I managed to do for the Etsy store, so I am working on more and hope to expand on this next year. I still have a few online courses to complete, and ideas for more learning for next year. I have many ideas for projects, and a sketchbook full of bits and pieces, so watch this space…!

January and February are often quiet, and with Covid, I am expecting it to be even quieter, so I’ll be concentrating on improving and expanding the Etsy site, and spending some time with Willow, before hopefully a busier, healthier and happier year.

I hope all is well, and wish you all a Happy 2021.