Lately I’ve been looking at my recent artwork and have felt frustrated by the lack of consistency between pieces. I think part of this is due to me being so busy with commission work; which is utterly amazing; that when I do sit down to work on my own stuff I tend to flit between ideas and mediums. I decided that to counteract these feelings it would be best to start a fun little personal project!

I sat down and started making a list of what I wanted to focus on. I knew I wanted to go back to my monochromatic art and since I’ve been enjoying creating a lot of digital art with an inky style, that this would be my main focus. From here I started listing adjectives I would want to describe the finished work; whimsical, slightly creepy, witchy; which helped me narrow down onto a subject matter! I also made a small list of what I wanted to improve on, which was botanicals, animals, bones, and minerals! Once I had set all these parameters in place an idea came to mind which sounded like it would be so much fun to work on. My own Creature Compendium of original nature spirits!

I was so excited to start working that I created a list of twelve prompts to keep me focused and so far I’ve ticked off the first two, Peonies and a Luna Moth.  From my peony prompt I was able to create my first creature, a peony Eyeshy, a nature spirit that inhabits a variety of flowers and peeks out of their centre with a single eye. My Luna Moth prompt inspired the creation of my second creature, a Luna Mothalope, a variety of antlered moth spirit.

So far I’m really happy with the first two illustrations of this new project and I’m excited to create more creatures! I hope you find them interesting to look at!

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As artists, illustrators, and designers, we’ve all been there. We’re in the middle of the creation process when you take a step back expecting to love it, but you don’t. It either looks weird or unbalanced or maybe you don’t even know why you don’t like it. Don’t panic, here are five tips that I use to help!

TIP #1 – LEAVE IT FOR A FEW DAYS!
This is something I always do. I will leave a piece of artwork for a few days to let the frustration subside and then come back to it with fresh eyes. The majority of the time I do this I can instantly pinpoint why I don’t like it and can start working on it to “fix” it!

TIP #2 – CRITIQUE FROM FRIENDS!
You’ve been sat wondering why you don’t like this piece but you just can’t put your finger on why that is. Show it to your friends or post it on social media asking for people to critique it. This is a great way to get multiple ideas on how to move forward with the piece.

TIP #3 – INSPIRE YOURSELF!
Hop onto Instagram or Pinterest or even you favourite artist’s website! Looking through work you love and admire helps you to realise what you like and how you can implement it more! Don’t compare yourself to other artists though, doing so will only frustrate you more, you just want some fresh inspiration and ideas!

TIP #4 – START AGAIN!
Sometimes it feels like a piece is too far gone so starting over again is a good option. Sometimes when I dislike one of my paintings I will just paint over it and end up liking it so much more!

TIP #5 – MOVE ON!
There are times when a piece is just not working and it has frustrated you to a point where you just can’t bear to continue with it. That’s okay! We’re all doing this because we love to be creative so don’t force something if it doesn’t feel right. Move on to something else!

These are just a few of the tips that I utilise in my own art practice and find useful. I hope that they can help you too! Do you have any tips to add? What do you do when you’re struggling on a piece?

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I have a new artist crush! Well when I say new, I mean I’ve been following her art journey for the last couple of months now but she is right up there on my Top 3 favourite artists right now! Her name is Katie Jobling and she is a full-time artist based in the UK. She takes inspiration from every day life and focuses on painting in Oil, Acrylic, & Watercolour.

I am absolutely smitten with the collection of work she is creating currently! Dreamy pinks and expressive paint strokes are everything to me right now. I mentioned in my last post that I am in a full love affair with the colour pink and as I’m experimenting with abstract shapes and forms, I find myself drawn to Katie Jobling’s work and just being lost in the gentle warmth of it!

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Katie Jobling also has an extensive collection of floral paintings too! The loose impressionist marks look so gorgeous and I adore the way she utilises colour, so much so that I have started experimenting with my own abstract floral paintings! Painting like this is so calming, it’s almost meditative. Trying to capture the essence of plants in paint form really is such a joyful experience, and I would recommend everyone to at least try it just to see what it is like.

If you like what you see then I encourage you to check out her blog, instagram & shop! She also has the most amazing YouTube channel, full of tutorials, speed paintings and more!

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Guys, I have a confession to make.. I’m obsessed with pink at the moment. This may not seem all that important but for someone like me who has a strongly defined witchy aesthetic overflowing with dark tones, this is a bit unexpected! I have always had a strange relationship with the colour pink, I’ve had stages of loving it, rejecting it, and reclaiming it. This time it feels like it has ebbed back into my mind, perhaps because I’m all loved up with my husband in our first little home and Valentine’s day is just around the corner? Regardless as to why it has made a return for me, it is firmly here and I am relishing in every delicious and delightful tone!

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Be it baby pink, magenta or peach, I am besotted with them all! So of course that means they are firmly the focus of my recent paintings. I’ve been experimenting with devotional paintings for particular deities as part of my spiritual practice, I’ll cover this topic in another post, but I’ve been devoting and dedicating my latest paintings to the Greek goddess of love, beauty & passion, Aphrodite. Trying to capture her essence in my abstract and expressionist paintings have brought me nothing but joy! I burn some honey & rose incense, listen to some songs by Marina and The Diamonds or some cute love songs, then just paint away! When I think of Aphrodite I reach straight for my various pinks, then I always finish it off with some iridescent white and gold. I think it really captures the feelings of being gentle, loving and beautiful, I also try to keep the movements flowing as if they were about to burst right off the paper.

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Here’s a progress shot of my latest painting, I was about half-way done here but thought it was truly a serendipitous moment when I noticed that my painting, with no prior-planning, had started to take on the appearance of an abstract vulva or rose! Unconsciously my strokes had combined in such a way that was effortlessly symbolic for Aphrodite! Once the painting was crowned with it’s gold and iridescent accents the piece took on such a peaceful feeling and I was just so pleased with it! Here’s a close up on how the gold and pinks mingle on the paper. Keep an eye out for a full view of the finished piece on my instagram!

The paints I used were Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic in Medium Magents, Light Portrait Pink, and Iridescent White. I also used Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body Acrylic in Titanium White, and Reeves Acrylic in Gold.

What colours are you currently obsessed with? Do you think there is a reason why you like them so much? I’d love to hear about it!

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There are a LOT of people who are hurting and are scared due to recent events and it breaks my heart when I see that devastation on my friend’s faces or hear it in their trembling voices. What’s going on terrifies me and everyone’s collective panic is palpable. It is in these moments that I feel I have to reach out to others who feel the same, just for the sheer relief that we will not be walking this path alone.

While scrolling through my Instagram I came across a post by @pixielighthorse, it was a message of comfort and solidarity, a project where us artists join together and do what we do best. Create and spread a message. Pixie explains it better than I ever could in her blog post here, but the gist is that we create a piece of artwork with this message and share it everywhere we can. We post it to our social media accounts and we can print out our work as posters to display in places where people can see it.

Above you will see my contribution to the #artistsforlove movement. It is available as a free download here so you may spread it too, though I hope you also create your own artwork too!

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no place for despair, no time for self-pity, not need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilisations heal.” – Toni Morrison