Heading to the city to buy art supplies, I grabbed an opportunity to head over at Cobden Chambers and find a little shop full of independant magazines, books, and stationery, Ideas on Paper. I have been wanting to visit since I moved here in Nottingham last February.
“We bring a thought provoking and collectible selection of magazines, journals, and books to Nottingham; independent titles on fashion, art, culture, design, business, economics, food, wine and travel, are complemented by a range of stationery, enabling you to get your ideas on paper.”
It is no doubt one of my favourite shops. Every wall was nearly covered with magazines and I was in awe exploring and spotting familiar names, such as Cereal and Kinfolk. I went in with an intention to buy few magazines – I wanted to stock up something new in my magazine box alongside Artists & Illustrators and Oh Comely, which has been my usual reads for years. Being a typically indecisive person, I wavered over which ones I wanted to bring home for ages and I eventually chose Puss Puss (I couldn’t not buy it after finding out it has a feline element! Crazy cat lady here *waves*) and two issues of Uppercase, which I have heard a lot about but haven’t got my hands on them yet.
I have to mention that the customer service I received in the shop was absolutely fantastic – the best so far. Alex, an owner of the shop, approached and greeted me. Even after he realised I was deaf, rather than running away (the usual response I get) he took my heavy shopping bags off me and offered me the chair so I could take my time reading and choosing. He also picked few magazines he thought I may like, Puss Puss being included in the pile. I instantly felt comfortable, and not rushed to buy and leave the shop. Because I struggle to intergrate with hearing society, I was really touched by Alex’s efforts to make me feel involved and relaxed with good reading materials in front of me.
If you are ever at Nottingham, I’d recommend putting Ideas on Paper on your must-visit list!
You can find Ideas on Paper in Cobden Chambers, Nottingham and online:
I mentioned in My Daily Art In April post that I struggled to come up with subject ideas but things got easier in May as I found my rhythm again after adjusting my new life in Nottingham. I seemed to be more inspired to paint botanical related subjects and the sun that finally came out got a lot to do with it!
My thoughts on being creative every day in May:
// I have started to paint with my black indian ink. These ink paintings might not be my best work but I really enjoyed using the medium and want to continue experimenting. In this quick fern painting, I diluted the ink with water to create light grey colour for the shadows.
// I still haven’t painted with oil that much and I have no idea why.
// Most of my best original art are listed on the shop.
// I still haven’t got the hang of filming myself painting but I uploaded a new speed painting video on my new YouTube channel!
// I love that just one painting could lead up into something bigger. I painted a sprig of basil and it was received well. I then painted more herbs afterwards and with the encouragement from my audience, I turned them into a ‘Culinary Herbs’ print, and you can buy one of yourself over at my shop!
In related news, Crystal Moody – a founder of year of creative habits – launched a brand new website and picked me to be interviewed! People has been very kind saying it is great to know more about me as an artist and my work. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it too – check it out here.
You can keep up to date with my daily art by following me on Instagram or using this IG hashtag – #ksdailyart. Thank you for your support!
As you may know or may not know, I recently collaborated with a natural dyer and designer, Rebecca to finish her much anticipated e-book by handlettering the main title and section titles. She was looking for natural and relaxed style of handlettering and she thought that my style would be perfect. I asked her to pick one of my handlettered quotes she liked the most so I could have it on hand to maintain consistency throughout her e-book.
I first tried a few different brush pens and discussed with Rebecca, making sure we are on the same page and that I understood exactly what she was looking for. She was a fantastic person to work with – she was fast to respond my emails, and was very clear with what she wanted so the creative process was a breeze.
Reading her e-book after its recent launch, it is beautifully designed and full of useful advice about natural dyeing – from gathering plants to equipment & safety to colour fastness. It would make a handy reading material for beginners natural dyer and being keen to try out natural dyeing myself, I would definitely recommend it. Personally, a good design is important to me too so this e-book is even more special with stunning photos and clear layouts. So if you are also interested, buy her e-book here!
I am always interested in reading a story behind the creation and this post of Rebecca’s about working on a dream project is a lovely read.
I think it is clear that I am really honoured to be given an opportunity to do a big handlettering related commission and to be a part of this amazing e-book!
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!
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!