Thursday, 26 May 2011

catching up

My week in a day... There really are lots of things I should be doing instead right now but, as I've been neglecting this blog lately, first here's a quick catch up. The old chairs I picked up in the charity shop are finally re-covered, one in red, one in green. The red one is pleasingly throne-like I think!

 And, in the post today, the booklet using my first linocut as its cover...

I have been moving furniture around and have found a place for my precious owls. These belonged to my Nana (who always referred to herself as a 'wise old owl' - usually when giving me advice on some hair-brained scheme I was planning!) and I have started adding to the collection I inherited (the lovely little red glass owl is one new addition). This was also the inspiration behind my wise old owl postcard - and if you look closely you might spot the actual owl he's based on...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

word in pictures

The Word Festival Marquee and the Crown Tower of King's College Chapel

Elphinstone Hall

I spent Saturday strolling around Old Aberdeen - visiting the Word festival, browsing bookshops, nosying at the Alasdair Gray exhibition in the Old Town House and being inspired by the very shy but super funny Tim Dowling. Strolling round Old Aberdeen feels a bit like stepping back in time; it's a small university town surrounded on all sides by an oil obsessed city and has a vibe all its own. Totally separate and the better for it. Perhaps I'm biased because King's College Chapel also the place where my parents got married.

The Old Town House

And at the end of the day (and quickly donning my day job hat), I hijacked the members of all girl ceilidh band Danse McCabre after their performance in the festival cafe and forced them to pose in our organisation's tshirts for the front cover of the newsletter I'm currently working on! So all in all a very productive day.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I spent yesterday at Aberdeen's Word festival. There's way more to come on this, as soon as I get around to downloading pics, but one thing I came away with (apart from far too many books) was a new enthusiasm for my own little book. Combine this with my earlier revelations, and I think it's safe to say the focus will be switching away from here for a while and over to here instead...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

near and far

“Originally about me leaving behind the cut throat world of corporate design and becoming a freelance illustrator”

So says the spiel down the side of this blog. The process began in 2005 while I was still working full time as senior designer, now six years on I have a part time job I love with a music education organisation and, until the end of last year, a growing freelance business.

I’ve been incredibly lucky with the projects I’ve worked on and met many wonderfully committed and creative people but, with the funding for so many arts organisations (including my own) increasingly uncertain, it’s doubtful whether the myriad cultural festivals and arts events I‘ve had the pleasure of working with in the past will now happen at all. If they do, it will almost certainly be with a vastly reduced budget for design and illustration.

With this in mind (and combined with an irritatingly inconvenient need to eat, darn it!), I guess for now the spiel is changing… wheels have been set in motion to leave the world of freelance illustration and rejoin the world of corporate design.

More positively, the time spent promoting my work and sourcing new freelance clients can now be used to work on the much neglected growing boy.

Monday, 2 May 2011

and testing a hairy cow

The first print of McNair
Testing my latest linocut - a Highland coo I've christened McNair. I've been experimenting with my new baren but to be honest I'm quite taken with the results (above) I got using a good old wooden spoon. With both of my fox linocuts now sold, hairy McNair will be making his debut over on Etsy very soon...

in pictures

 A combination of work, holidays and glorious sunshine have kept me away from blogworld recently. It's very easy to take where you live granted and I guess I'm guilty of forgetting I have this fabulous landscape on my doorstep. With the Highland cow lino block finished and ready to print, for the second time in recent weeks I headed for the cliffs and this time took my camera, partly in search of inspiration for my next linocut (I found lots).