Over the past couple of months I’ve not done very much drawing. Partly because my energy’s been very low for a lot of the time and partly because I felt that I needed to do some different things after drawing every day for the 100 Day Project.
Even so I’ve still been working on some creative projects and one of them was learning some basic bookbinding. I’d made a simple accordion book but more “Making a Sketchbook”…
August has been a necessarily slow month. After finishing my 100 Day Project and another big piece of work I decided to take a short break from drawing and painting, to catch my metaphorical breath.
But that short break turned into a longer one because my energy levels crashed and, as anyone with M.E will know, all you can do when that happens is rest, take care of yourself and trust that things will improve again.
Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better and in between resting and napping, I’ve done a tiny bit of work, mostly for fun.
I took a few of my botanical drawings and created a couple of new repeat patterns – one of wild flowers and one of kiwi fruit slices.
Then I decided to do something that I’ve been intending to do for a very long time. I uploaded these designs, along with 2 of my older repeat patterns to Spoonflower, and ordered some fabric swatches. Now that I’ve done that I’m able to make these 4 designs available to purchase as either fabric or wallpaper in my new Spoonflower shop!
The shop is a bit of a work in progress but for every sale of my designs I will earn a small commission. I’m hoping to add more designs to the shop over time so if there’s one that you’d like to be able to buy, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.
Yesterday was the last day of this year’s 100 Day Project, which is an annual global art project, free for anyone to join in. All you have to do to take part is choose a creative project that you can work on every day and do it every day for 100 days. If you choose, you share your work online with the hashtag #the100dayproject.
I’ve taken part twice in the past, making patterns and hand lettering. This year I decided that every day I would make a small drawing with a botanical theme – flowers, fruit, vegetables, leaves… These are the 100 drawings I made and as you can see, I played around with different mediums and styles and I really enjoyed it.
There were times when it felt difficult or like I really didn’t want to draw another flower ever again but I kept going and I’m glad I did. It’s been a really good way to create a new body of work and be playful at the same time.
I have some ideas about what I want to do next but for the moment I have a big piece of work to finish and then I think I’m going to have a bit of a rest from making new drawings for a bit.
In the meantime, I’m slowly adding all of these 100 drawings to my Etsy shop. Some have already sold but if the one you like isn’t there yet it will probably appear over the next couple of weeks.
During April for MATS Bootcamp we were asked to create a magazine illustration that could sit alongside a magazine article written by Beth Kempton the topic of Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese view that nothing is perfect, everything changes, that that’s OK – and in fact there is beauty to be found in that imperfection. Beth’s article, which was an extract from her book Wabi Sabi:Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, focused on how it’s helpful to accept change in order to be more resilient when change inevitably occurs.
It took me a long time to work out what I was going to draw for this assignment but in the end I decided to illustrate the bamboo that Beth referenced in her article. I also came across lots of examples of cyanotype photography online, which inspired the textured background and white leaves.
I don’t know if it was coincidental or not but around the time I made this illustration I kept coming across quotes and articles about accepting imperfection, including a quote from Stephen Hawking, which was on the front cover of Flow Magazine (issue 29). I think maybe this was something I needed to be reminded of and it was helpful to have it reinforced.
There’s one more assignment for MATS Bootcamp but in the spirit of being comfortable with imperfection, I’ve decided to give myself permission to skip that one and continue focusing on my current 100 Day Project, which you can follow along with on Instagram.
In letting this go I feel like I’ve given myself some space to think about and plan the next pieces of work I want to make. Is there something you can let go of that would help create space, either physically or mentally?
This year I joined in with the Inktober challenge again, which involves making an ink drawing every day (or as often as possible) during October and sharing each one on Instagram.
In the past I’ve stuck to black ink and last year I just used a fineliner for the whole month. This time I decided to add some colour so I used liquid inks – mostly India ink and occasionally acrylic ink.
I used a pen once or twice for lettering and black areas but otherwise I used inks and brushes. Here are my 31 drawings from the month. You may recognise a few of these as the new postcards which you can now buy in my Etsy shop.
A few more are (or are going to be) available as prints too.
Click on each image to see a larger version.