22 April 2014

ARTIST IN THE LIMELIGHT: STEPHANIE COWBURN

This month's Artist In The Limelight is the lovely and talented felt artist, Stephanie Cowburn! Again, I found her on Twitter and immediately thought her pieces are just adorable. Read on!
..............................

Hey Stephanie! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I guess we all have two sides to our personality - on the dark side, I'm impatient and have high expectations, on the lighter side, I also am impatient and have high expectations...but of myself and not so much of others. I'm self motivated and always eager to try and make something new.

Being a part time teacher (mainly teaching primary art - how lucky am I?!) means that I'm used to breaking activities down into manageable steps in order to build success for the children. I apply this principle to my own work too: develop an idea, improve it, and make it into something pleasing.















































How did you become an artist?
From an early age I enjoyed drawing and painting, my parents bought me a good quality water colour pallet when I was doing my A levels believing in me enough to make the investment and to encourage the need for any artist to use good quality materials.

At university we had looms for textiles...that didn't work, but it made me hungry to discover more about textile work and after selling a Batique I'd made for £50 I was smitten, (although the new owner claimed he'd have paid more)! Humph!

I only branched into felt making once my own young family had started school. I bought a felting kit off the internet consisting of a laminated instruction card, some wool tops and a car mat! I played and practiced in my kitchen and became hooked.

How would you describe your work?
Quirky. Cute. Adorable. Irresistible and a little bit of nonsense!

It's not going to change your life but it might make you smile when you least expect to.



































Who or what inspires your work?
The inner child within everyone inspires me - if my inner child shouts 'make me a cow or a horse or a sheep' then I know that someone else's inner child is saying 'I want a cow or a horse or a sheep', we never fully grow up.

I write quirky individual profiles for each of my animal characters which customers and clients spend a long time reading and enjoying. I want to please people. I want my work to inject humour and pleasure. I want to create something you can't buy off a shelf in every shop you enter. Humour and fun comes from the people and animals you meet and interact with, therefore everyone inspires me!












































What's the favourite piece you've ever made?
It's difficult to pin point one particular piece that's my favourite since I'm so fickle and led by my visual heart - my latest piece is often my favourite... However I do have two groups of art that I would take commissions from but never sell the originals of and these are 'Zack and Lily' two little zebras. They feature in a series of children's picture books that I have written which are currently with my agent, and the 18 mad cats that make my websites 'dating agency for cats' called 'Moggy Match'. I had so much fun making them and writing their profiles that even now some of these neurotic and eccentric cats have the ability to amuse me.



























Who is your favourite artist?
I love working with children, they are open to suggestion, willing to try and are constantly developing their skills. I aspire to be like this, not to become stagnant and ever believe I've reached my full potential. I like artists who reinvent themselves and evolve as their work remains fresh and on the verge of brilliance. Students, graduates and young artists with self belief and raw determination to get their work noticed really appeal to me. They take risks, create what matters and are not shy to share their vulnerability with the world. I like that.

What advice or tips would you share with fellow artists.
It's been said before but it's worth saying again- be true to yourself. Believe in what you are doing and create art that you like. Don't let other people chisel off the rough edges for it's those rough edges that make you different from all the rest. You only need one person to believe in you because that one person can open a door to the rest of the world.
..............................

Stephanie, thanks so much for your fantastic answers. It was fun to know a little more about you and your creations! Everybody, be sure to pop over her website and have a nose around or say hello on her Twitter and Facebook.

Interested to be involved in this series? Get in touch! You can be photographer, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, knitter etc too. Meet the rest of artists here.

17 April 2014

TOMATOES




























You might have seen this on my Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter already, sorry!

I am very pleased with this drawing, I like how realistic it looks compared to other vegetable illustrations I've drawn. 

I have been planning to get some of my artwork printed on A5 or A4 giclee prints but I have a difficulty of deciding which ones I should use, I want to start with two or three to see how it goes - like my greeting cards. But after drawing this and getting a lot of good feedback, I am thinking to get that one printed to start with. I imagine it will be a great print for kitchen walls! 

What do you think? If there are A5 and A4 prints of the same illustration, which one would you pick?

P.S. And don't forget to vote for me on Women In Making competition if you haven't yet. Thank you so much for your support!

16 April 2014

TULIPS



























One night last week, Aneurin came home from work and gave me first ever bouquet of tulips! Obviously, as a flower lover, I was very delighted. I admired them for a good while until I realised we haven't bought vases yet so we had to use the tallest glass we could find - Guinness pint glass..it works but in the next few days tulips ended up bending out of the glass and yesterday two or three fell off with their petals broken off. Not too sad about it, according to Internet, tulips is well known for 'dancing' that they get bendy and is tricky to keep them together. Soon I am going to get myself a long vase in prep for the next bouquet of flowers. Hopefully!

Knowing me, I took photos of them immediately. They are so pretty with long leaves. 

Do you give/ receive flowers for/ from your partners?

11 April 2014

LATEST ILLUSTRATION + WOMEN IN MAKING 2014 COMPETITION




































Hey, what do you think of my courgettes? As you might have already noticed, I have enjoyed drawing vegetables of late - I've been cooking more vegetables/ vegetarian dishes since moving in a new place with my boyfriend so I've been really inspired I guess. Even though I've always struggled with watercolour, I painted red onion on the other day.

And I've just entered Women In Making competition this year - since I am a little late and got only 21 days left to gather votes so help me out by voting me HERE. I'd really love to have that opportunity to develop my business selling more products of my original illustrations. I would be really delighted to have your support. Thank you so much in advance, will really appreciate all the votes.

Happy Friday and have a fantastic weekend, you all!

6 April 2014

KATERINA PLOTNIKOVA PHOTOGRAPHY




























I absolutely love this photography project by Katerina Plotnikova - those animals in the portraits are actually real! Of course there were professional animal trainers helping out in the shoot, take a look at this behind-the-scenes photo album. I'd totally love to be up close with bears, elephants and cuddle with foxes - so envious of these lucky models. 

Would you go that close with animals? Have a browse at the rest of the photos here.

3 April 2014

NEW HOME!




























Hello! I guess you were wondering where I've disappeared to..

My boyfriend and I have moved in our first home together last week! Over a month ago we decided that we wanted to live together so we started looking for flats, which was tricky - most of good flats we found were gone before we even had a chance to view them! But one night we were lucky enough to view the beautiful flat in Elephant and Castle and decided to grab it on the same night.

Now with unpacking done (but not quite settled in yet, we are building a new desk tonight and few more furniture coming in this weekend!) and new internet set up, I am blogging again and hopefully as regularly from now and on. I might do a little flat tour post if you lots are interested. 

As of my studio in Peckham, I will commune most days (30 mins walk, 15 mins on bus) and have started on Monday, which so far is good but if I happen to miss working from home, I do have a lovely wooden table in our new living room to work on - apart from messy projects aka oil painting of course, we are only renting so we have to be reasonably careful. I seem to be working with colour pencils and watercolour more recently anyway. My shop hasn't been updated for a while but new stuff will be up in few weeks! 

How are you doing, lovelies? Looking forward to catch up with your blogs soon!

14 March 2014

RETTS WOOD AT HOME IN LONDON

























































This awesome home belongs to Retts Wood, a photographer from London. I have always liked the idea of living in the canal boat. But my mammoth collections of shoes, bags, cameras and notebooks would be a problem! If you are also in love, have a peek at the whole set of pictures here.

Would you live in a canal boat?

images via the selby