Saturday, 31 December 2011


So it's the last day of 2011, and the new year is on the horizon. It's been an amazing and dull year simultaneously, with my graduation happening and then...  not a lot else. Next year it's time to get me some serious move on, and get myself back into working and hopefully starting to forge myself a decent career.

For now, as a final goodbye to 2011, I thought I'd share with you the labels I did for my Christmas presents. It's a combination of my favourite things - victorian type, painting with gouache and food! These were printed on sticky paper and put onto gift bags.

The truffles I made were all eaten too quickly for me to take a good photo, but I can now reveal their lovely fillings as everyone has received their gifts. The first two fillings were taken from Hope & Greenwood's recipe book and I gave them some festive names. 

Happy New Year to all my readers and I will see you in 2012!

Monday, 26 December 2011

R + J

A late Merry Christmas to you all! And a happy Boxing Day to my Brit readers. Today I wanted to share with you a gift I made for my friend Lily (the recipient of my home made Hogwarts letter) for her Christmas present. She adores the works of Shakespeare and I happen to know that this was one of her favourite quotes - "Did my heart love 'till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty 'till this night" from Romeo and Juliet. I have also wanted to do a typographical poster for some time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I wanted to keep it a mix of my typical favourite victorian style typography (which in this case I designed from scratch) and a calligraphy style type. I also included a surface pattern behind (the one I blogged before Christmas) and I chose roses as they are also referenced in the play (a rose by any other name, you know the line!)

I gave Lily the blue and white version of the print, which was only a print thanks to my great fellow illustrator friend Kat who kindly let me use her A3 printer! (She is simply fabulous, her blog is here check her out). The pink version of the poster below however still doesn't have a home, though I might put it into my portfolio if nobody takes a shine to it soon. Hope you like it guys!

(and here's a sample of the type up close)

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Good afternoon! I've been working hard on a little secret project today but I wanted to share a little bit of surface pattern I was working on too. I do love drawing flowers so I drew a few roses from some photos I took a few years ago and put them together. I adore my dip pen today!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Today I've been doing a little bit of painting pictures of food (no change there then) ready for some of my Christmas gifts. I had a go at making truffles (sorry if you are getting these and your surprise is spoilt) so I needed some images of them for the... I suppose you'd call it a chocolate menu? The fillings guide!

I found that making chocolates from scratch was actually pretty fun and not as insanely hard as I thought. I made a traditional style ganache truffle as well as two others with unique fillings. 

The recipes for the unusual fillings were from a book by the rather fabulous Hope & Greenwood that my brother got for me for my birthday last year, and beside the sumptuous recipes the actual writing in there is worth buying the book for alone - a very witty style that kept me entertained whilst endlessly dipping chocolates! You can find the book here (it also features some fantastic photography and lovely fifties style illustrations. It's basically the kind of book I would design if I were a publisher!) 

Here's some sneak previews of the actual chocolates - don't look, friends! The stars I used on the white truffles are Dr Oetker and you can get them from most good supermarkets or online here. I got the edible red glitter from a specialist baking shop in my local town but I found some online here if you'd like to experiment! 

I won't tell you what's in these - I shall save that until after Christmas! 

Update: Now that Christmas is over I can share with you the finished 'choccy menu', complete with details of the chocolate fillings...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Just a quick one today to share a poster design with you all that I worked on this evening. My dad is running the local pub charity quiz in a few weeks and wanted a little advertising so I thought I would step in! I have been feeling very Christmassy of late and got a little bit excited searching for typefaces, as I had to get this done quite fast and didn't have time to draw out my own font for a change! The festive type I used here is from this website though it's not entirely the same as the designer intended as I did edit out parts of the original type design. The candlelit background is some collage paper that I scanned in, I think it might be by papermania.  Overall I was going for the whole Tom Smith's crackers victorian postcard style aesthetic. Hope you like it!

Monday, 5 December 2011


Tomorrow I am off to paint my third mural, and so I thought I would share with you some photos of the second one I did a few months ago. This is my interpretation of my customer's request to have 'an angel flying above a magical garden'. She had a look at some books and liked Pre-Raphealite styles (good taste that girl) so I opted for quite a traditional looking angel, and went for yellows and golds to offset the lilac walls. The garden is a mixture of different flowers, and I put in some bunny ears in the lower right corner as she loves rabbits. Tomorrow I'm doing a smaller piece (this one is about 12ft wide in total) which will be butterflies and a big flower. I'm quite enjoying this as a sideline of work, though so far I have only done girl's paintings, can't imagine what'll happen when I start doing paintings for boys!
Shall post some pictures tomorrow. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Hello everyone! Happy December to you all, hope you have all started your festive countdowns with chocolate today in the same way I have!
Just managed to get some last minute entries into a competition I found through the magic of twitter. The Design Museum and the House of Illustration have collaborated and are looking for festive illustrations to light up their "Sparkle the Dark Up" event, which will be projected onto the side of the building in all their festive glory! So I decided to put together some of my festive packaging images into some entries. To look at some of the other entries get over to their flickr page.