My fourth year of being full time artist has been a learning curve but fun. This time last year I was preparing for my Made In Camberwell stall and then I booked myself 6 market events from October to December – I was so busy! In a good way, of course.
Some point in the summer, I decided to give myself a little break from commissions, and focus on my shop for few weeks, which was probably a bad move as once I announced that I was taking on portrait commissions again, I have been struggling to get any ever since. But it is not all bad…
It looks like that my 1 – 2 years worth of dabbling in handlettering has paid off. I had three handlettering focussed commissions so far, which I loved doing! Two of them weren’t just handlettering but design work of wedding collection and birthday invitation. I also got commissioned to paint a holiday house and blueberry plants, which was not my usual kind of commissions but I enjoyed painting them so much. I love that I can paint anything!
I also started a sketchbook, challenged myself to draw in public and had an amazing opportunity to photograph a christening.
Most importantly, I made a life- changing decision in late December – that I would aim to draw or paint every single day in 2016. I was following Crystal Moody’s year of creative habits and she launched a course that I couldn’t not join. Joining the course has been nothing but fantastic for my art practice and personal growth as an artist. Follow my daily art here!
On personal note, my boyfriend (who is also self-employed) and I made a difficult decision to move away from London in bid to save up money for our future so we moved to Nottingham last February. So my studio has moved as well and walls needing a paint job, settling in has been tough, especially with missing my old London life on the top. Looking at the bright side, it is quite exciting around here – I now have beautiful massive kitchen (I didn’t know that my love for cooking could grow!) and two gardens, with several of wild flowers I didn’t see much before. Birds! Every time I do the dishes, through the kitchen window I would spot at least three different types of bird and I love it. It is a big change, from London maisonette with no garden to cottage-esque house with gardens in both side!
To celebrate my business birthday, use this coupon code KATRINASOPHIAIS4 to get 20% off everything on my shop until Tuesday 31st May. Thank you for your continued support, guys!
I found Martyna Zoltaszek‘s beautiful work when I visited my sister in Bristol. She showed me the famous Stokes Croft’s independant shops that sells art and handmade gifts and walking in one of them, these vibrant paintings caught my eyes and I bought couple of her cards in no time.
I love how she chose to paint with exciting palette of colours and that the colours across each painting are in harmony. In this very moment, her art is making me want to experiment with colour more in my illustrations. I would try painting one of my herbs in, erm, blue and see how it turns out!
Other than her wonderful use of colour, I have a penchant for big cats and plant life so naturally these paintings are pretty much perfect to me.
More of Martyna and her work:
When I first heard about Elle Luna‘s The 100 Day Project, I wanted to join but I couldn’t come up what I was going to do. I wanted this new project to be something focussed and as I finally decided to do handlettering I joined in two days later. Better late than never, right?!
I originally wanted to do the usual process – handletter to perfection, scan and edit every time but I realised that with my year of creative habits project and work commitments I wouldn’t have time so I just look up for a lovely quote, write it in my sketchbook pages for couple of times and take photo (hence these slightly weird shadows and inconsistent grey backgrounds, which I kinda like anyway!).
Naturally, I am loving it! This project gives me a chance to really practise with handlettering as well as experiment with different pens and styles.
I am also pleased that through this project, I got commissioned by lovely Rebecca Desnos to handletter titles for her new e-book about natural dyeing, which I got really interested in from following her seriously beautiful Instagram account and want to give it a whirl. If you are curious too, do sign up to her newsletter to get a discount code when her e-book gets released very soon! Stay tuned for more detailed post about this exciting collaboration.
Follow my 100 day project over at Instagram by using this hashtag #100daysofkshandlettering and see the rest of my handlettering with #kshandlettering.
Are you doing #THE100DAYPROJECT too? I’d love to see what you have done so far!
April is my hardest month to date. I struggled to come up with subject ideas to paint, but this has led me to explore my surroundings and draw from life more, such as my daffodil, fern leaf, passion fruit, periwinkle, dandelion and flat leaf parsley pieces, so it is not all bad. Although I didn’t do as much oil paintings as before, I really enjoyed doing watercolour paintings and line drawings, which I like to think that I have improved!
My thoughts on being creative every day in April:
// I really love painting/ drawing botanical from life and I want to continue doing this by finding interesting plants outside and growing stuff in my new garden.
// I want to get back at planning my subject ideas in advance again so instead of wasting time in the mornings to think about what to paint, I would be able to start painting sooner than later.
// I skipped one day but I painted more to make up for it as well as for two missed days in March.
You can see the rest of my daily art here. Thank you for your continued support – it is really great for my motivation!
These delightful collages immediately caught my eyes when I was exploring Instagram and ever since her account has been one of my favourites!
Fiona Clabon is a collage illustrator from Bristol and her creative process is unique – from her love for printmaking, she creates coloured textured papers by pressing a piece of paper down onto rolled out ink and when dry, she cuts them up to make illustrations. How amazing is that! But Fiona explains her creative process so much better than me so do read her “My Making” page.
What I love about her illustrations the most is texture, it makes every detail of the picture interesting and beautiful. I love her use of colour too.
I have recently set up a Pinterest board all about collage art because I have been dreaming of doing a collage piece for myself lately but because I haven’t done any since uni (7 years ago!), I am little afraid to start!
More of Fiona and her work:
This was what I was working on last month. It was so fun to paint as well as challenging since I rarely paint houses. But I’d LOVE to paint more commissions like this so if you happen to know anyone that are looking for their houses to be painted, let me know! Thank you.
This commission was painted with watercolour and a bit of acrylic. As always, I was nervous to post it to my client and to my delight, she loved it so much.
We were still stripping wallpapers, painting walls and building shelves but as our to-do list got smaller, it got easier to stay creative every day. I managed to schedule my work wisely when I had a commission – I worked on my daily art in the mornings and commission for the rest of the day.
I did something different towards the end of the month when I took my colour pencils out and did mixed media paintings – watercolour, colour pencils and white gel pen, which I discovered that using these mediums together made my fruit paintings look even more realistic. Switching up mediums keep my daily project interesting.
There are still life drawings, i.e. the tulip sketch above and these herb drawings. Even though I am not brilliant at it, I enjoy it so much and I hope to find foliage outdoors to continue drawing from life this month.
My thoughts while being creative every day in March:
// I love pomegranates so much that I have painted it three times this year! I also made a video of me painting the latest one and uploaded onto my YouTube for the first time! I would love it if you take a look and subscribe if you are interested.
// The creative community over at Instagram is amazing. My art got featured on Maker’s Movement, Year of Creative Habits and Found Made Modern, and I am so grateful!
// I have found that if you are not inspired to create, it helps to stop and think about what is positive about your day. For instance, I had to spend most of my day in laundrette and I wasn’t exactly inspired when I got home but I remembered the positive bit, that there were so many beautiful plants in the laundrette so I drew this!
// It is amazing how the likes, comments and shares help my motivation massively – they keep me going when things get hard.
// This month I somehow have been striving for improvement. I found myself painting some subjects more than once, like these vegetable paintings.
I hope you are enjoying my daily art, especially my YouTube debut!