Wednesday, 5 November 2014


I've been asked by Marianna of sewpro2 to participate in 'bloghopping' which involves answering a few questions about my blog and then passing them on to someone else to complete. The idea being a way of spreading the word about other blogs. I don't know when Marianna and I first communicated or how we became aware of each other but it is one of the lovely things about blogging - finding a 'connection' with someone and becoming friends even though you haven't met. Marianna writes with a wicked sense of humour and I'm in awe of her ability to run up a wardrobe of clothes for her and her family with such style! 

Why do I write/illustrate what I do?
I'm self employed and work from a home studio which can be a lonely experience and making a living as a designer means always satisfying the briefs and specifications of others. So when I started my blog 7 years ago I became part of a whole community of like minded people and I used my blog as a vehicle for my own illustration projects and photography. I always write and illustrate from a personal viewpoint on the blog rather than a work one and it's very therapeutic.

What am I working on now?
I'm inspired to illustrate or photograph when I see something that brings me pleasure and I see shapes, colours and textures that urge me to put pen to paper.

I'm concentrating on drawing at the moment as it's the basis for all my work. I bought a variety of squash last week - the patterns are incredible plus there's a beautiful bird's nest I found when trimming the garden hedge - so I'm about to embark on 2 new drawings.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
This is a hard one! I find it difficult to be subjective about my own work. If I analyse things too much or compare my stuff to others, I can get a creative block. I love to see work that's unique and very personal and I think it's so important to embrace your natural style and not to mimic others. After all it's being different that makes life interesting.

How does my writing/illustration process work?
I either draw from life (which gives me the best results) or from photos and use a HiTechpoint 0.7 black pen on white paper. This is the part that gives me most pleasure. Here the process is shown using an illustration of my favourite bag.

I scanned the initial pen and ink drawing from my sketch book and used it as a graphic which I coloured in CorelDraw and then added some more decoration by drawing the green shapes. Finally I found a photo of some cracked mud, turned it into a line artwork, made it brown and clipped it into the shapes of the bag to show the effect of old leather.
This bag is very old and battered now but I still love it.

Thanks Marianna, I thought answering these questions would be daunting but actually I really enjoyed it!

I'm passing the task on to Cally of Forest & Sea who again I've connected with through blogging. You get a real sense of Cally from seeing her beautifully delicate designs - it's a calm and tranquil place to visit and I can't resist the pictures of her sweet cats too.


Cally said...

Good to find out more about your design process and I love that bag drawing! The textures are the most fun aren't they? They always add some extra depth and unfussy detail - I'd never have guessed it was mud!

Marianna said...

Thanks so much for taking part and letting us know a bit more about you. I look forward to seeing Cally's blog too.

I wouldn't have noticed the mud layer if you hadn't pointed it out, just the effect of leather.

Vicki Smith said...

Interesting post Nicky. The explanation of your process explains how beautifully you combine your love of nature with the use of technology.