Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Cinnamon Joe's Magic Show!!!

At long last our new studio website is up and running. It has been a long process co-ordinating everything, but the new website is now live and I am really pleased with how it looks.
You can check it out at www.cinnamonjoestudio.co.uk or go via our old website which we still really like at www.cinnamonjoestudio.com. Go to the links page of our older site and click on the button that says Cinnamon Joe's magical show.

Here's my page in the artist section

Monday, 21 July 2014

Friday, 18 July 2014

Woof! Woof!

Had a bit of a week of it, my dog has been in doggie hospital having a wee operation. She is out now and I'm looking after her.
Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Yeh! It's Doodle Day....

Friday again and it's a Doodle day. I feel like a piggie in mud, so happy to be playing with arty things....
Started making lavender bunnies for Christmas, ( I know it's the "C" word, but never too early to start, and handmade bits and bobs do take time).

Little rabbit is on K and Company scrap page by Brenda Walton.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Day never goes by.......

A day never goes by, were I think to myself, I am so lucky to be a designer who gets to create art that makes me happy and work on wonderful commission pieces that make me smile. I am so HAPPY to be a freelancer!!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Design Briefs

I've been writing a lot of briefs for designers recently and it made me stop and think. At no point are you ever taught "How to construct a brief". It's not on any curriculum, should it be? It's an imperative skill, being able to extract exactly what you want from a brief to an artist/designer, saving time, money and frustration on both sides of the brief.

So here are my top tips on writing a brief, (and this is how I do it, I am sure others have different ways).

1.Firstly make sure the project is suitable for the artist. (ie. there is no point giving the designer traditional floral to create, if the artist is a children's whimsy designer.) They specialise in that area for a reason.

2. Know what you want
( Yes, sometimes you don't know what you want, but you should know what you like and dislike, so use that as a starting point. I would generally have a collection of images that indicate my likes and dislikes, on perhaps scale, pattern, layout, style, composition, colours etc.) An image speaks a thousand words. Try to give the artist as much direction as possible, it will result in a better product for you and the artist.

3. Colours
Where possible give colours. ( Not giving colours, means that the artist has to spend unnecessary time collating colours which may not be used, or changed several times, time is money).

4. Fonts
(If there is wording in the artwork, make sure that the phrases, fonts etc. have been checked with legal, before the artist starts the artwork. There is nothing worse than creating a beautiful piece of artwork, then it has to be scraped because the fonts/phrase don't check with legal, again waste of time and time is money).

5. Set a realistic time frame
(Today or tomorrow, is not realistic. Artists work better to a longer leadtime and in the end the finished product will be far superior).

6.Laying the artwork out
(The artist needs to know beforehand how the artwork needs to be laid out. For example, if it is in Illustrator, then the artwork might need to be grouped, or in named layers. It will  same time in the long run).

7. Terminology
(Seems straight forward, but a term in one country, may mean something else in another, so make sure the understanding is clear).

8.If in doubt ask!
(It's always a good idea once you have gone over the brief to get the artist to clarify that they understand it, by giving you a synopsis of the brief. It will set your mind at ease that they understand the brief and also gives the designer the opportunity to ask any further questions).

Of course someone else may do it differently, this is just my way!

Cheeky Monkey

Gorgeous day, got my work done and now just hanging out!

Monday, 7 July 2014

I'm a little Nutty!

Sometimes, it's nice to create outside your comfort zone and for me, every challenge that I set myself with textile sculpture is a new one.

I went on a 10 week course last year, with a wonderful artist/tutor called Lauren Scott. The work isn't neat,it doesn't fit in a tidy box,it's organic, slightly scary, very tactile and everytime you look at a piece, you see something very different in it.

Armed with the skills and knowledge that Lauren imparted to me, I decided to create a little squirrel. It has taken up my whole weekend, but I seriously don't mind, thinking through the creation process with no pattern, no sketch, just a collection of recycled fabrics, scissors, pins and embroidery threads is wonderfully liberating.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Foxy Doodle here I come!

I trained as a Fashion Designer. I never kept a journal,I had an ideas book and that consisted of sleeve heads, collars, hem lines, colour combos and textiles. All the components that I would need for designing clothes. 

Being a fashion designer you are so aware of clean lines, precision cuts, measurements, pattern cutting and decimal points. The detail is everything and in that you can become very strict with lines, fluidity never really existed for me except if I was creating something with drape. 

So, this whole process of just letting yourself go, (that is in art, HE! HE!), only really became apparent when I switched from fashion to graphic design, where I could play with creating little critters. 

So the whole creating characters etc, has been the creative life I have lead now for over 12 years, but I suddenly realized, like some great  epiphany that you need days where you are just playing with paper and paints. It takes you outside your comfort zone, it's scary, there are no rules, just see how it goes....

So, sit comfortably and let's begin.....

Blank page, getting over it!

I have no idea where or what I am going to end up with but ripping different papers is where I start.

Using Winsor and Newton Artists' Acrylic Matt medium I just start applying a thin layer in sections of the page and stick the bits of random paper down wherever I feel. Covering the surface with more Matt medium.

A hairdryer in the studio becomes an essential item to dry the layers quicker.

I don't like so much of the text showing through, so decide to cover in bits of tissue paper, again using the matt medium.

It needs some prettiness to it.....
Using K and Company scrap paper I found a very pretty neutral type of design by the fabulous Brenda Walton, and add patches of that.

At this point am I just making a mess?
Perseverance is key!...
Whatever it turns out like, I am enjoying the whole process of thinking it through!

Using Liquitex matte gel and a stenciling brush, I just brush the gel over certain sections so as to keep the brush-strokes and bring out the hairdryer again....

Out comes Winsor and Newton titanium white, yellow ochre and burnt umber. I don't have a sheet of glass, so I just use an old lid, and brayer.

Just added smudgy rolls in the ares that I felt needed it.

I used a distressed pad of peeled paint to certain bits like the corners. Getting my hands dirty with moving the paint around a little.

Still needs a little something, using Golden's Acrylic Glazing liquid and green gold, I get the stencil brush out again and just kind of touch up areas...

OK, I'm at the stage it needs some kind of image, but what??
I've been drawing quite a lot of foxes recently for the collection for Cinnamon Joe, so it seems appropriate.....

I actually decided I wanted the image bigger, so I scanned the image into my computer, enlarged it slightly and printed it out.

OK, the layered textured surface is not opaque, so I have to do a reverse drawing to get the image onto the background.

Get out the trusty charcoal!!
On the reverse of the image I created the charcoal outline.

I actually quite like the roughness of this charcoal image!
Anyway, onwards and upwards.....

Tape the background onto a board using pretty washi tape I bought on my last trip to Tokyo!!

Now the image with the charcoal on the underneath needs to be taped down, scribbled image facing up...

I held a large brush over the image and used it to lean on so that I didn't smudge the background and with a ball point pen I drew out the scene.

I really like the grainy lines that charcoal leave behind, but again let's keep going and see where we end up....

Using Golden's Zinc white and a little water I start painting in the white bits, dry them and then another layer...

I am happy to stop at 3 layers of white...

Now for the foxy reds!!

And finally the rest!!!

Last but not least it needs the fine detail, so with a ball point black pen I add bits here and there and TA! DAH!!!
Hey Foxy!

So looking forward to next week's Doodle Day! Don't know what I will be creating but it doesn't really matter.

Feeling super!!

It's pretty rank outside, been raining ever since I got up this morning, but it's my doodle day today, plus it's Friday so I'm actually feeling great. Can't wait to get experimenting!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

It's a blank!!!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have days were nothing comes to mind. I can sit surrounded by the most amazing research from all over the world, and nothing! I stare vacantly at the computer wishing for some divine inspiration and it just doesn't materialize. So after some thought, I have decided to take a day a week, preferably a Friday, (so as to ease myself into the weekend)and begin a sort of journal. I say sort of journal, but it will really be a collection of individual pages, as like most artists, if I make a mistake the thought of ruining a gorgeous book is just not on, so at least this way, I have control... (and yes! I am a bit of a control freak were my artwork is concerned).

Not the most inspirational thing, I hear you cry, but for someone who has never created an arty book of thoughts,(DAH!), feelings, (HMMM!)techniques and general experimentation,(OH! AH!) it's quite a big thing.I generally work straight onto the computer or start with a very simple sketch which I scan in.... There is no real record of my thought process.... ( Maybe I don't think??) HE! HE!

So stay tuned for my therapeutic journey back to creativity.....

Day 1.... Blank white page!!! Scary!!!

So I just doodle.... (Yes, I know it's not Friday, but I felt like doodling, and someone, somewhere, said "A little of what you fancy does you good")

Funny Suddenly I feel inspired....


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Have an ice-cream!

Been away for several weeks, and getting caught up slowly. It is so very hot and sunny here at the moment, I really fancy an ice-cream....

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I spy....

Had a bit of spare time to do a little snooping, and spotted these two front covers I designed for Creative Teaching Press some time ago.

Watery start....

Ever wondered why Ireland is so green? .... because of the enormous amount of rain that we get here. The odd time it does make me feel blue, but on the whole I don't mind it, I still get out and about. It rained this morning, and now the sun is doing it's best to squeeze through patches of blue.....

Friday, 6 June 2014

A night out!

Tonight is the start of the Graduation Shows of the University that I went to. Really looking forward to seeing all the wonderful new crop of artists. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Little home for birds....

Recently been in Georgia, (USA), and we went to Warm Springs.
Saw this cute little bird house......

Friday, 30 May 2014

Been away and now I'm back . . .

I actually was at Surtex in New York City, but unfortunately, my wee doggie doesn't understand what Surtex is. She did have a nice vacation at the kennels.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Little Bits and Pieces

I based this little illustration on my own little cute doggie.
The image appeared in Print Pattern Kids Book by Bowie Style published by Laurence King.

My dog with a summer hair cut

And growing her bangs out

And below some more images of the artwork that I did that appeared in Print Pattern Kids Book.

Friday, 9 May 2014


Surtex New York City is next week, it is always a mad rush to get everything done in time. Yesterday, PrintPattern.blogspot.com featured all the lovely artists at Cinnamon Joe Studio and here is my flyer that appeared and the Studio flyer that I created.