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My Studio (So Far)

It wasn’t until recently I finally got more storage for my new studio,  had a big tidy up and all my materials are now stored away safely. My studio is a studio! I am so thrilled to have a lovely space to run my business and paint beautiful things.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I have two tables: one as a general desk and one as a painting table for bigger, messier painting jobs. As I paint from images (or still life), I have an old laptop to use on my painting table. I love that trusty chair my mum gave me when I had my studio shed, which I miss a lot (apart from spiders that wouldn’t leave!).

The painting below is my portrait painted by my big sister. We agreed to paint each other for our 25th birthday presents. Here is what I painted for her.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I love that my painting table is a drop-leaf table so I can put it “away” when I am not painting. I really need to get it a table cover as it is very old – it used to belong to my grandma I think and I was given it by my mum. Since it is becoming my favourite table in the whole world, I really should start looking after it.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I aim to fill my studio with indoor plants and these two babies are just a starting point. I have several downstairs in the living room/ dining room and kitchen already.

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

Katrina Sophia's Studio in London

I am still figuring out where my things go in these two shelves. There are spaces for more and I plan to fill them with my poor old cameras (I have about 12) that has been left in the box since I moved in last March. I only have my two most used cameras out. The books need to be reorganised too. If there is still enough space, I’d love to take my unused notebooks out of my drawers so I’ll remember to use them rather than buying more.

I am excited that there is plenty of wall space so I can put up a lot of artwork (I already have quite lots waiting to be hung up!) and making my space even more beautiful.

Do you have a studio? Show me!

How To Get Started With Your Christmas Collection

Christmas brainstorm diagram
As an artist and small business owner, I like to plan my Christmas collection super early and be prepared. A couple of months ago, I started thinking about my new Christmas cards but I have been struggling to start properly ever since. It was sunny, I was selling my spring/summer collections, I was trading in summer arts markets and painting stuff that were hardly inspired by Christmas. Luckily the weather this week was pretty miserable, it gave me a little push to start thinking about it again and after a bit of visual inspiration, I am painting Christmas! But I am not quite there yet. I still need to do some things to get myself in a christmassy mood and hopefully I will have my cards available to buy this autumn.

If you found yourself struggling to get started with your festive collection, I hope these tips below turn out helpful for you. I would love to hear about how early you start making for the festive season and where you find your ideas.

// USE GOOGLE IMAGE OR PINTEREST SEARCH

Collect images for inspiration. Do not copy or steal. As for Pinterest, pin away and you can make your board secret if you prefer.

// BRAINSTORM

Write everything down that reminds you of Christmas, even if you are unsure. I wrote down rabbits and I am still unsure if it is christmassy or not! Leave a google image search page open for ideas if you are stuck.

// WATCH CHRISTMAS FILMS

Keep a notebook in your hands in case you get ideas in the middle of the film or soon after. What to watch? These below are a few of my favourites:

Die Hard
It’s a Wonderful Life
Love Actually
The Muppet Christmas Carol
8 Women

// LOOK BACK AT PREVIOUS CHRISTMAS DESIGNS

Get yourself reminded of your old designs and how you felt when you made them. It can be helpful not to make something too similar. Check out my previous Christmas cards here.

// ASK A FRIEND

Take note of what are the first things your friend thought about Christmas. And it might end up a brainstorming session!

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed yet, can you find what I wrote down twice on my brainstorm paper?! Silly Katrina!

What I Bought In Designers/Makers Market

Dorry Spikes

Like my Made In Camberwell stall, I managed to leave Aneurin to man my Designers/Makers stall and looked around and said hello to stallholders. Even though I couldn’t speak well, I made efforts to say something nice about their creations because they were truly amazing and they needed to be complimented! Most of stallholders were just lovely and attempted to converse with me as clearly as they could after discovering that I am deaf.

While I would just buy everything, I only could afford a beautiful art print by Dorry Spikes. Approaching to her stall, I immediately fell in love with her big scale paintings. They were so detailed and full of character. I knew I had to buy something from her and being typically indecisive, I was standing there for ages and trying to choose which one! I ultimately chose a print of The Owl Service.

Stalls I also saw and love:

// Edith Ceramics
// i am acrylic
// Mia Hawk Art & Apparel
// Daisy Cooper Art & Ceramics
// Mind The Cork
// Mitas & Co
// Emily Eggz

Designers/Makers In Old Spitalfields Market

Last Saturday I had my stall in Old Spitalfields Market with Designers/Makers!

It went quite well but it wasn’t the success I hoped for. I didn’t sell enough to cover the cost of my stall, which personally was a lot of money. Why didn’t it go as well as my last two market events? I am not sure. It can be the different audience, my presentation, bad luck or several reasons combined.

I did have a wonderful day in the end – I met a lot of lovely artists, visitors that bought my art and gave me compliments. I also had a few surprise visits from my friends! Along with various prints and cards, I was delighted to have sold my Fab lolly original.

Apart from the backdrop (I didn’t realise that I would need one!), I love how my stall looked. I improved it from my previous stall by adding an info board detailing what my stall is about and materials I use etc. I also provided a basket for my originals, which was a lot better than awkward sized box I used for the last two market events. I brought my three small succulents as decorations rather than two big ish plants that wouldn’t survive the journey as we had to take public transport. Thankfully I had Aneurin helping me with carrying heavy stuff to there and back!

If I were to apply to trade there again or markets with pricey stall cost, I will need to think about if it is worth another risk or how I sell better.

Please don’t let this honest post put you off from applying to trade with Designers/Makers! I have seen some stalls there that were selling like wildfire! It really depends on what products you sell, the presentation of your stall or whether the market and its audience is suitable for your business. As always, whether it is a success or not, you will learn something from it and be better next time.

Sketchbooking

IMG_0091

I have started a sketchbook!

Just recently I came to realisation that the last time I use a sketchbook seriously is when I went to university. I remember that I did take a sketchbook out and tried to get into it several of times but lost interest in the end.

With my three years old business, I have forgotten to paint or draw for myself and for the sake of fun. I only sketch when I have ideas or need new designs for my products, I actually use rough papers or battered sketchbook and bury them in the drawers when they are not needed anymore. I am a bad bad artist. So I popped in Paperchase on the other day and got myself a Moleskine sketchbook. I want to fill it with delightful drawings that are purely for me. If it gives me ideas or could turn in one of my greeting cards, then cool!

I have decided that I am going to share pictures of every page on my Instagram, even if I don’t like what I’ve drawn. It would be interesting to see how it turns out and whether I will be sticking with it or not! I really hope I will as I know it is a healthy practice for artists.

Do you sketch religiously or will you join in getting a new sketchbook and start drawing for yourself?

The Great British Bake Off Illustration

The Great British Bake Off Illustration

I was so excited for The Great British Bake Off’s new series on Wednesday that I painted the logo with the faces of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood!

As I rarely painted portraits with watercolour (I predominantly use oil for portraits), I don’t think I am quite there in term of likeness but I am happy enough because they are at least recognisable, right? I was tempted to paint them all over again but since it have taken me a long time to complete the illustration and that it is just for fun, I thought I shouldn’t fret about it too much.

In case you are wondering where I am at with my business at the moment – my commission listing is currently closed due to wanting to focus on my blog, shop and admin work as well as self development after neglecting them. I am also redefining my commission service and hoping to reopen this autumn (or possibly in the New Year) with a new dedicated page. While I love painting commissions, it is quite refreshing to be able to do everything else that also needs attention and I want to reopen the listing with an intention to improve my time managment. Tips? Send them my way!

Do Something New

Do Something NewLooking back at my 5 Ways To Get Inspired post, I want to share ideas how you can do something new and get inspired. To my experience, doing something new can instantly inspire me and being inspired is really good for me – it makes me happier, work better and feel more positive.

// VISIT SOMEPLACE NEW

Travel to a new country and get a change of scenery. But it doesn’t have to be a holiday or far away from home – it can be a town or park nearby you have never been to and you might be surprised. Google your hometown as if you are a tourist!

// DO AN ADRENALINE ACTIVITY

It is not my thing but doing adrenaline activites does make me high with inspiration and hopefully for you too. Go-karting gets me inspired and in turn, feeling like the top of the world for days are great for my creativity and productivity. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as bungee jump or skydiving, which I would refuse to do – it can be a super fun activity like go-karting, indoor climbing or even indoor skydiving if you are terrified of heights like me!

Check out Adventure Days For Two.

// TAKE A EVENING CLASS

Hunt down for evening classes available in your local college or club and attend a class that tickles your fancy. Maybe you will eventually find another passion or hobby along the way! It is also a great way to meet new people – as Yasumi said, they never fail to surprise and inspire you even when they don’t realise it.

You can find local courses/evening classes over at Hotcourses.

// START A NEW PROJECT

Go on Pinterest for crafty project ideas (and don’t expect your project to end up as visually pleasing!) or any sort of projects you have been wanting to start. Don’t be afraid to start a new project that is outside your area of expertise or comfort zone. If it doesn’t go well, all what matters is that you tried and you should be proud of yourself.

As we all are individuals, I would love for you to share where you find your inspiration in the comments!