New Devon Carers Magazine

This quarter’s magazine for Devon Carers is complete! A slight change to the layout and content due to COVID-19 putting a halt to meetings and events, and meaning many more online zoom calls, meetings and courses, but all done and dusted.

This edition had the usual editorial design, but we had some great infographics in there as well, and lots of information for carers about services, help they can receive and the upcoming Carers Rights Day on 26th November.

I love how colourful this magazine ends up being. It’s a serious subject, often with lots of text and information, so to be able to have the freedom to create something that breaks the information down into easily accessible articles is rewarding and an interesting job to do! You can find more images and the links to download these magazines on my portfolio.

New work – AEA Review 2020

I’ve just completed this year’s Age England Association Review. The same format as last year, but with updated text and infographics. I love this project, the infographics always look so good, and it always feels good to do some work for a worthwhile organisation!

I’ve updated my portfolio, so you can see the work I have done for AEA over the years. Whilst it’s great to do new work and come across new challenges, I love going back and doing work for long-standing clients. I’ve been working with AEA for about 6 years now and it’s always a great project to work on.

Monthly Art Challenge – October

The Hunter’s Moon!

Using a few new skills and media… Watercolour, alcohol, pilot parallel pen and fineliner.

I really like this one, I enjoyed doing it and it came out better than I expected too. Small issues with the alcohol, but I have learnt whilst making this how to control it a little.

Only 3 months to go…

Dementia Booklet

Over the years I have done a great deal of work with Devon Carers and Westbank, and recently they asked me to work with them on this booklet. I enjoy this kind of work, as it’s all about making sure information is put across in a simple and easy to understand way. Whilst the booklet needed to look good, the main aim was to make sure this information was accessible.

I decided early on to colour code each section, and use a strip down the side of each page so it was easy to find each section. I also wanted to add a little section at the beginning explaining that questions were in green, top tips were accompanied by an icon, and information was in a blue box. I followed this throughout the booklet.

I used images and diagrams throughout to break up the text as much as I could, to avoid large areas of just text, and the booklet cover was filled with as much relevant imagery as possible.

I wanted to ensure the booklet did not look intimidating, and was something that everyone affected by dementia would want to pick up and look at, not an official looking report, but something a bit more friendly and open to all.

As with many pieces of work like this, there are lots of people working on it, editing, checking and proof reading, so this took a little while to pull together! It’s available as a screen version, and a printed booklet, and hopefully it will provide people with the information they need. You can see more images from this piece in my portfolio.

Monthly Art Challenge – September

This month’s moon – the Barley Moon…

I wanted to have a go at a quick illustration for this one, using ink and watercolour. I am pleased with how this one came out! September is also the moth of Autumn Equinox… and I have designed a piece using a blessing I found…

A little bit of uncial calligraphy with watercolour, and some leaves, with lots of Autumnal golds, reds, yellows and browns.

I love Autumn, it’s my favourite season and I’m enjoying the slightly crisper weather, the darker evenings and the colours of nature!

Romance Novels – Inked

A little while ago, whilst on lockdown, I took on a job to design the front covers for a set of romance novels. They are set around a tattoo bar, and there are 6 in total.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We designed a whole set before these covers, which we didn’t go with in the end, but I’ve included a few here, because I quite liked them…

 

 

 

 

 

Once the covers were all finalised, we worked on some Facebook advert posts, and the cover for the set…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a fun job, something quite different to what I have done before. I loved putting these together and seeing them as a set. A little while after, I put together this cover for a different set (I did just the artwork for the cover, not the book covers themselves):

And we’re currently working on the next set of romance novels! Watch this space for the next set!

 

New work and website changes…

I have been a little quiet of late… work has started picking up (great!) and I’ve been working on the Etsy store (more on that soon) and I have also been tidying, updating and general ‘housekeeping’.

Firstly, a new brochure for Ron Campion’s Furnishers! A little later than normal due to Covid, we put this together. I’ve updated the project on my portfolio, so you can see it all there, but here’s the front cover!

I’ve also got a few new projects to put up soon, once they are completed and when I have some time…!

I’ve also been updating this site, changing the look, some of the information has been updated, and I’m working on a sub-site to sell my work (as well as Etsy). I was hoping to have it all together by now, but life has got in the way… it’ll be up soon, I’ll update as soon as I have a date!

So all busy, life getting back to the ‘new normal’ and enjoying it for the most part!

Blackboards

I’ve been doing a few blackboards here and there in the last year. A few pub signs, a shop sign, some bits and pieces here and there. I’ve really enjoyed it, I like to get my hands dirty and do something physical and ‘real’ instead of being in front of the computer all the time. I’m hoping to get a few more done in the next few months, if things go well… so if you’re interested, please give me a shout!

Centre of Excellence Calligraphy Diploma

Before lockdown, early this year, I looked around for some online courses. I was hoping to improve my Calligraphy skills, and had played around with a few tutorials and worksheets, but wanted something a little more structured.

A few different courses came up, I didn’t want to spend major money, and I wanted something online that I could do in my own time, and Centre of Excellence ticked those boxes. The cost of the course at the time was £127, and consists of 10 modules about calligraphy. Around this time Coronavirus was a concern (although I wasn’t expecting a lockdown at this point…) and I was busy with work, so it remained a bookmark on my computer. When the lockdown hit and I was furloughed from my part time job, and my freelance work dried up overnight, I decided to get the course and go for it. Due to the lockdown it was reduced to £29 – a bargain!

I managed to get the first 3 modules down pretty quickly, then took a break as I did some other courses (more on that later) before coming back to this one, and finishing the other modules fairly quickly. I got all of my marks back by mid-July, so all in all it took me approx 3 months.

The website was easy to use, the course materials are available as module articles, and each module ends with an assessment which was easy to upload images, type answers or pick an answer. You can buy the course materials as a physical object and have them posted to you but I can work quite easily from a screen so I didn’t buy these. There were 10 modules, history, tools, types of calligraphy and how to start a business with your new skills.

Honestly… I found the course quite easy. The theoretical side of it all was quite interesting and went into a fair bit of detail with the history, but I made extensive notes on the first module which I barely looked at to answer the questions for the assessment. The instructions for actually drawing and writing were good, step by step with diagrams, and probably the best I’ve seen without a video. But there was one exemplar per calligraphy style, and having done more courses since, I found that each module covered the basics and not a lot else.

Had I been a complete beginner, this would have been a great start, however with some experience behind me, I found the course rather easy. I passed the course with a distinction, I managed 99%. The whole experience was easy to work my way through, useful as a springboard onto other courses, and at £29, very good value for money! I have since been working my way through Domestika courses based on specific calligraphic styles, and have just bought the “Postman’s Knock” Intermediate Calligraphy Course, both of which are much more detailed and based on specific styles – I will report back once they are all complete!