I went to my agent Arena's Summer Party last Thursday - a rare evening off, and out! As I don't get out much without Oki these days, it's a treat to rediscover the world out there through different eyes - as myself, rather than as a mother. (Still got excited when I saw trains and cranes and diggers though, can't help it!) The party was lovely, and reminded me how important it is to stay in touch with fellow creatives. Having moved to the suburbs just before Oki was born, and not being to get out as much with a baby who seemed to cry inconsolably all the time, I'd lost touch with my previous self. I missed creativity, stimulation, friends, people from different backgrounds interested in a whole variety of stuff! My world suddenly changed, and who you were became almost irrelevant. 2 years on, and I feel like I am finding that person again. On the train journey back, a slightly odd but friendly woman sat next to me, smiled and asked me what I do. In response to that question, I've been saying "I'm a mum" for a while, but that night for the first time in ages, I said "I'm an illustrator, I make pictures" :) p.s. Thank you Arena for persuading me to come out and for hosting a lovely party!
A little overdue, but it's finally finished :) A portrait for Dani and her family.
I had the pleasure to work with Dani Wright some years ago, to illustrate "My Village", a wonderful collection of nursery rhymes from around the world. She approached me with the idea to do a family portrait almost 4 years ago. We've never met, but with the aid of some photographs and a little bit of information, this is what I put together.
It's strange, I feel like I've gotten to know them a little bit, just by working on this portrait over such a long period of time!
Here's a new range of greeting cards I illustrated for Early Bird Designs. I sometimes used to pop into the shopin Stoke Newington, following my weekly swim when I was pregnant. I've since moved away from the area, so not sure when I will next visit, but I imagine you'll find these cards there very soon :)
On my way to my first haircut since Oki was born (about 2 years ago!), I sat behind a lady who was putting on her make up on the bus. I find it fascinating watching women putting on make up, being someone who rarely wears it herself. It seems like such a private thing, transforming yourself until you think you are presentable to the world. You're giving away your secrets, but I suppose it doesn't matter so much in front of strangers. I also like seeing all these mysterious products come out of the bag. SO many things! Lately I have noticed people using their phones as a mirror. Owning a very basic phone that pretty much just texts and phones, I'm unfamiliar with all this technology. When this lady was using her phone to put on her make up, my thoughts were: "Really? A mirror seems like such a small thing to include in your bag, and all you need to do is open it, whereas I imagine with your phone, you have to press a few buttons. Is it really better using a phone?" I know I'm old fashioned. I like looking at a physical A-Z map, when trying to work out where I am. I once saw an old gentleman on the tube, and all he was carrying in his hand was a dog-eared, well loved A-Z. I thought it looked so beautiful. I love REAL books, pages you can turn and feel. I like playing with the pages, the sound and feeling and slight breeze as you flick through. I love the challenge of starting a brand new big thick book, and when you finally reach the end, how it becomes worn, the creases in the spine, the dog-eared cover...they're signs of the times you've spent together. Off on a tangent a bit there, but I can't help but have these thoughts as I notice how fast everything is changing around us. I suppose becoming a mum recently has made me be curious about what kind of world my boy will grow up in. I'm happy that Oki loves books, and the only books he knows at the moment are real ones. I suppose if I had the technology, then we'd look at books on a screen too. I've been told about digital interactive books that move about and stuff. I'm sure he'd love them. But for now, I love having him on my lap and us turning the pages together :) Anyway, back to the Makeup Lady. Her phone/mirror choice all made sense when she pulled out the most enormous brush I've ever seen out of her tiny bag. Ahh, ok. Fair enough. Yep, you need all the space you can get carrying that massive thing around with you all day!
I make pictures with paint, scissors, paper and glue. I love colour. My studio is messy, with paper trails often leading to the kitchen. I used to be a night owl until I became a mum. Now I am just a little bit of a night owl, with big bags under her eyes, yearning for just a few more minutes in bed.