Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What's been going on?!

I've neglected my blog in the last few weeks with no excuse other than I've been busy. I know, that's a rubbish excuse right?! So I just thought I'd let you know what's been happening in the last few weeks...

I've signed a licensing deal - my first one! which is exciting, more details will follow soon.

I've been busy on twitter gaining interest in my cards. And pleased to say my cards are now for sale on the wonderful Grace and May website. I'm also working on a branding project for a lovely lady I met via twitter. The power of social networking is really beginning to hit home!

Thanks to a fellow ABSPD designer I found out about Skillshare and signed up to 3 courses - The Art of Visual Storytelling, Digital Illustration and a photography class. To be honest I haven't had time to really embrace them yet but once you have signed up for a course you can access the lectures and class material even after the class has finished. It's a great site and the courses I've taken range from free - $20 so absolutely affordable! What's even more exciting is I've applied to teach my own course on typography and I've been accepted... so I'll now be designing the class and can't wait to teach, it's something I've always wanted to do and this seems like the perfect approach.

Finally I'd like to recommend an iPad / iPhone app. I downloaded Trello for free in the hope that is might keep my desk tidy (I'm a list writer, and have far too many to do lists lying around my desk!) It's brilliant, really helps me keep on track of where I am at on projects and keep notes as I go. I'm going to add 'keep my blog updated' to the list right now!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Talent Tuesday - Onneke

Welcome to the second Talent Tuesday featuring the super cool work of Onneke! I've been familiar with Onneke's work for some time now but after chatting with her it's so evident how much her children have influenced her work. From a personal point of view I can already see how my little boy's interests and likes are starting to show up in my designs and he's only 19 months. I'd be interested to hear who or what inspires you, whether in design work or something completely different... 

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into design and illustration?
My background is in newspaper and magazine design. I studied editorial design and rolled straight into my dream job at a national newspaper in Holland. I loved working on all the supplements and being part of a team of very talented and intelligent people. But I was still very young and had worked at another newspaper whilst getting my degree and so at 26 I resigned and went travelling. I met my other half in New Zealand and that's how I ended up in the UK eventually. First I worked for a year on a new women's magazine, which was great fun and taught me so much. After moving I started to do freelance work but always had a feeling that I should do something a bit different. It wasn't until I had my kids that I started to be more creative. It was a very natural process. My son loved drawing from an early age and so I would sit at the table with him and draw as well. I also started to make things like toys out of cardboard and came up with the idea to give them a handmade present each christmas. The first one I made was an alphabet book with collaged illustrations (pictured below). I loved making it so much that I decided I wanted to be an illustrator, even though I knew I had a long way to go.

It's great how your kids have ended up inspiring your career move into more illustration work. How would you describe your style and do you think your background in editorial design has influenced your illustration work in anyway? 

People always say my work is cute, and I guess it is but I would describe it as bright and clean. It's about celebrating the sweetness of everyday life. I always go through the same process of making something, then adding a lot of elements and colours to it, and then stripping it down again. I think my editorial work influenced me in some ways, if I look back at my old portfolio I can see a lot of the same colours, clean lines and elements that I still use a lot now. I had to battle some demons as I moved into this direction because I used to work with a lot of very talented illustrators and I had to realise that my work fits in a completely different corner. 

One of your corners is a successful shop on Not on the High Street. Can you tell us about some of your best sellers?
I have a few things that sell well in my Not On The High Street shop. All my family trees are quite popular with The Tiny Happy Family Tree being the bestseller. There was a Christmas Fayre on my son's school a couple of years ago and I thought it would be nice to have a little stall with prints and other little things. I thought of the personalised family tree the night before and figured that it would make a nice Christmas present, so I stayed up late to design what was later going to be the Tiny Happy Tree. It sold really well and has done ever since. 

I also sell little birth prints that are personalised with a name and date of birth and that make a lovely present for a newborn. The whole idea behind my print collection is that you can personalise them. When my first child was born, I used to love (and still do) seeing his name written down, or all our names together. I made a Tiny Happy Family Tree with our names on years ago, and it still makes me smile. 

I also sell a little collection of cross stitch kits, with a very popular iPhone 4 cover that you can cross stitch with my designs. The cross stitch kits, started of as illustrations with digital cross stitches. Then I figured that it would be nice to sell them as prints but add little kits so you can make them yourself in a real cross stitch. 

In the same way I have been working on knitted surface patterns and I love the idea that you could have a duvet cover with a fake knit (hopefully I can make this dream come true one day soon...)

Gorgeous work! One last question... What are your hopes and plans for the near future? 
I would love for 'Onneke' to grow into more of a brand. I am planning on adding some more products to the shop in the next months (like teatowels, tote bags and cards) And I would love to spend more time working on surface pattern collections and licensing them out. But I am feeling pretty blessed with the way things are going now. I am doing what I really love doing, it's bringing in some money but I am also still in the school playground every day at 3 to pick up my babies and spend the afternoon with them. 


Thanks Onneke for a great insight into your amazing designs... 
Don't forget to share your influences and what inspires your work below! 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Spotted! Print & Pattern Mother's Day

It's been a good week for publicity! Over the moon to see my MUM card has been featured on the Mother's Day round up on the Print & Pattern blog amongst lots of other gorgeous designs! Hope all you mums have a fabulous day on Sunday!

Spotted! Business Boom interview

This week has been a week of firsts and to carry on the theme I am really excited to say I've been featured on the inspiring Business Boom Collective site with my first interview! You can read the full interview here and please feel free to leave a comment on the site.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

First Etsy sale!

I've recently opened an Etsy shop to sell my cards and I have received my first order! Hopefully it'll be the start of many... But for now I'm pleased to say my first Etsy order is winging it's way to Orlando!

A little photography studio

Recently I've been taking product shots for a client of mine, so I thought it was time to invest in a portable studio. Here's a few pics of Harrison's toys I took using my new photo studio dome. I'm really happy with the results!