New website!

New website!

New website design!

I’ve been freelancing since July 2003 and in that time I think I’ve had five different website designs. They’ve been built with WordPress since the second one and I think I can say, hand-on-heart, that this is the first one I’ve been truly happy with.

Another designer gave me the phrase “the carpenter’s door always squeaks” with reference to his own website – we’re so busy making our clients’ communications look beautiful that we neglect our own.

My last site was okay, I suppose – but the theme used to build it was slow and clunky and regularly broke. It looked pretty in the sales pics (doesn’t everything) but the proof being in the eating, this pudding was half-baked.

I’d tried Divi, the theme this site is built with, before a few years ago and couldn’t get on with it. But either it’s changed or I have and it now behaves impeccably and I’ve got it to do everything I want. It’s fast, easy to use, intuitive and seems to work well across all platforms and all devices I’ve tried it with. I’d really recommend it. & if you need a bit of help getting a design together, getting it set up or getting it to go live, you know who to call 🙂

I’ve started a Patreon!

What’s Patreon?

“For creators, Patreon is a way to get paid for creating the things you’re already creating (webcomics, videos, songs, whatevs). Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per post you release, and then you get paid every month, or every time you release something new.”

Some of you will know that as part of my MA in Illustration (Authorial Practice) I am writing a book that will consist of 33 illustrated passages of 333 words each.

I’m keen to spend time working on this. It will be a document partly about what it is to live life as an non-binary trans person in a binary world. It’s inspired by my own life experiences and the queer theory I’ve read, as well as avant garde writing by people like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce (though I promise: the text is very accessible!) You can read the first passage here – you’ll see what I mean.

The visual language I’m developing for the book is delicate and visceral, dark and strange and very nature-based. I’m using oil paints – a new medium for me – and I’m enjoying discovering what I can do with them.

I think it’s really important for marginalised voices to be able to tell their own stories. We don’t need people to speak for us – we need our voices boosted.

This Patreon will enable me to do tell such stories. It means I will have a fixed income I can rely on every month that grants me the time to work on this project, and for only a few dollars my supporters get exciting rewards such as hand-printed cards, limited edition prints and copies of the book when it’s printed.

You’ll also get to follow the progress of the book, comment on the text and images and generally get involved.

Sign up here! 😀

Work in progress: huge illustrated fabric wall hangings!

I get asked to do a lot of weird and wonderful things and this request has been my favourite in a long while – illustrated fabric wall hangings.

The client has recently had a house extension and has large areas of his new living room to cover with art – and he also wanted to soften the reflection of noise on the bare walls.

I’m no stranger to creating large works – I created this four-metre bilingual mural using watercolour pigments and salt for the Wales Millennium Centre, but this is even bigger – four panels that together make a forest scene progressing through the seasons that is five metres by .8 metres, and one tall piece to go above a fireplace that is 2.1 metres by .8 metres.

I’ve initially working the illustrated fabric wall hangings up in pencil: the first job was coming up with various concepts using rough layouts – below is a close up of the set of four panels as roughs.

The next job was working up the selected concepts to a larger scale to improve the composition and increase the detail. Here are some critters from the seasonal scene, set in a forest of silver birch.

illustrated fabric wall hanging - close up of pencil design - hedgehogillustrated fabric wall hanging - close up of pencil design - boxing haresI’m keeping the designs fairly simple. I’m planning to do a lot with colour and texture on them – I see them as being a delicate balance between detail and simplicity. So the birch trees will be of a fabric with a subtle sheen: in spring they will have catkins dangling from their branches, in summer leaves, in autumn the leaves will be orange and in winter there will be snow. There will be a subtle gradient of colour in the sky in the background and the ground will be textured.

illustrated fabric wall hanging - close up of pencil design

Snippet of design for tall illustrated fabric wall hanging

The next job is to work in colour – I have a strong palette in my head (I am obsessed with colour – did you know this? I really am) and I can see them coloured up very clearly – now the pencil works are all approved I will colour them up. The client’s paintwork is a slightly lavender grey and my colours will work well with that.

Once we have the colours, it’s on to buying the materials and creating some of the details in advance – the animals, for example. The hangings will be appliqued and machine-sewn with some embroidery, quilted to aid the limiting of sound reflection, and hung from bamboo poles. I’ll travel up with my sewing machine to Cwm Gwili and spend a week constructing these illustrated fabric wall hangings. I cannot wait to see them in the flesh!

PS have you seen my new rook screen prints?



Radio silence!

I’ve been a bit quiet on here and on my Facebook page, basically because I’m so busy (which I can’t complain about!).

I need to blog about my exhibition up in Aberystwyth and the start of my part-time MA in Falmouth but for now here’s a list of projects I’m working on and what’s coming up:

  • I’m currently working on the design of a website for a Bristol-based rape and sexual abuse charity. I’m creating the designs in Photoshop, doing the picture research and the lovely Gwyn at Agave Web is doing all the backendy magic. He’s the chap I worked with on SARSAS’ consent website
  • I’ve just finished The Diversity Trust’s newsletter and will be creating a magazine-style report for them in November
  • I’m working on the design of a resource for Women’s Equality Network Wales
  • I created the design and illustrations for Marc Block’s new album – link to snaps on Facebook page here
  • I’m doing a lot of quotes at the moment, including some for a large wildlife charity involving both print design and detailed interpretation panels
  • I’ve designed the logo for a new Cornish vegan brand and we’re working on the label designs at the moment
  • I’m designing a logo for a life coach
  • I’m helping an architect with his website

I also have a lot of college work on at the moment so I am unavailable for new work between Tues 25th October and Thurs 10th November and then again between Mon 5th December and Tues 3rd January inclusively. Get in touch if you’d like to book me outside of those dates!

Current projects

I listed the things I’ve got on over the next four weeks and I thought I’d do a little blog post to share. My job isn’t and never has been just one thing, and I like to work on very different projects simultaneously, finding that they inform and inspire each other in rather lovely ways.

A List of Things

  • A logo design for a vegan Cornish catering company
  • A logo design for a newly-self-employed counsellor
  • 5 x illustrations for WEN Wales along with a document design, with the possibility of an infographic too
  • Album artwork for the delectable Marc Block
  • Preparations for my upcoming art show in Aberystwyth with willow sculptor Woody Fox
  • A website design
  • And, er, starting my part-time Master’s (two days a week) in Falmouth School of Art at the end of September!

I have a few days clear between here and there so if you need something doing get in touch ASAP. I’m booking more substantial projects from the last week of September now.