Thursday, 15 January 2015

Photography Illustration Collaboration

Last year, during a quiet period, I made it my mission to try some new things and meet new people through collaborations.  One of the biggest challenges for me, was my collab with talented still life photographer, Johanna Parkin and the wonderful florist, Geraldine Casey.
Together we created this lovely series of photographs.


We wanted to create a series of images which would blur between reality and illustration. Hoping that it would be difficult to see what was real and what was not. The illustrations on the vases blend into the paper at the base and back.
The process was quite complicated; trying to get the illustration to line up with the angle of the camera.  That was before we even added the flowers!


There was weeks of preparation to create three large panels and paint three vases.  I found it quickest and easiest to work wth letraset promakers, which gave a beautiful watercolour texture on the ceramic.  Sadly, though, it meant that the vases weren't watertight.  They look great in the pictures but are sadly not much use for holding flowers day-to-day.


The day of photoshoot was one of London's warmest days, which meant that the florist had problems of her own, as the flowers misbehaved. 


 Johanna needs to be a perfectionist. It's amazing what the camera shows up.  I've got a new admiration for the amount of work involved in still-life photography.


Sadly, we ended up not using all three pieces, as the third and most complcated piece didn't hang together in the set.   Experimenting in this way was a great way of finding your limits.
I love doing collaborations like this, with new people and with interesting projects (especially when it gets me away from my desk and into the real world).
Let me know what you think.
x, Willa


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 Year Round Up

I'm feeling pretty good about 2014.  I feel more grounded in my work.  While I'm not earning any more than I did last year (one of my goals), I'm happy to have survived conquered my first year of being a full-time illustrator.

My 2014 run-down

I went full-time
I gave up my part-time job in January 2014.  It was the worst possible time.  January-March is always my slowest period and 2014 was no different.  I started the year with no work and a dwindling bank account.  Not great, but it's part of being freelance I guess. 
It gave me some time to sort out my processes and I worked on some wonderful collaborations.

First my collaboration with Photographer Lorna Milburn and Make Up Artist Sam Norman, where I created the illustrations and head piece for a fashion shoot.


Later, I worked on another photo shoot with the amazing still life photographer, Johanna Parkin


Of course later in the year work started to pick up and by the end of the year, I was back to normal.
Here's some of my favourites:

My first book (illustrated) was launched:

  
These cute b&w illustrations for Keri Scarves:
These bold fashion illustrations for American Express:



This step-by-step of male grooming for Vän Magazine


Food illustrations for Tesco's Online Magazine.


I started an illustrators' meetup in Berlin
I've been travelling backwards and forwards to Berlin for the last year or so, but never enough time to really make friends or get to know anyone.  In the summer I officially started a German branch of Yo Illo out there. It's been a great way to get to know people and understand how different the illustration industry is out there.

I did a lot of live drawing events.
This was a huge success for me this year.  I was asked to do some live-drawing work for H&M, so I invested in getting some great photographs from the event, which I knew that I could use for promotion.  It worked! I worked for H&M, Links of London, Folli Follie, The Grand National and Microsoft to create some great personalised illustrations.


I threw an illustrators' party in London
I had an awesome time at the Yo Illo party.  It was a huge amount of work though; it nearly killed me in the process.  I could write a whole blog post on that alone.

It's actually pretty difficult to squeeze a whole year into a blog post.  I've realised that I need to go back and write separate posts for some of this stuff.
Oh well,  January is always pretty quiet anyway :)

x, Willa







Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone

I hope Santa was good to you all.

.
Willa, x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

*Christmas Special* - Personalised Fashion Illustrations available for preorder

A lot of people have asked, so I'm finally doing it! 

This Christmas, for one day only, I'll be offering people the chance to purchase their very own live fashion sketch at the unique price of only £25.  Perfect as a christmas gift for your fashionista friends, or a little treat for yourself.

To make it even more special, you'll be able to watch your fashion sketch being drawn in real time as part of a Live Drawing Event!  I'll be capturing the pictures by tweeting and instagramming, so you can see my process and ask me questions. throughout the day.

This is a special price for this event only.  Places will be limited so book early to avoid disappointment. you can pre-order through the depop app here






What you get: 
On the 8th December, I'll tweet you, to let you know when your artwork is being created, with a link through to a live stream, where you can watch me creating your artwork in real time.  
You'll then recieve a unique, personalised fashion illustration signed and wrapped, posted to your door. The illustrations are created in pencil, ink and watercolour on 300gsm Fabriano watercolour paper. They measure 8’x10’ so will fit into standard frames. A frame is not included.
Artwork will be posted in a hard-backed envelope on Monday 8th December by next-day, signed-for delivery. Please note, that this only guarantees Christmas delivery for those living in Europe, North America and Canada.

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Once you've purchased your illustration on depop, I will contact you and ask you to send me a full length photograph of you (or your friend) wearing a favourite outfit.
Photo guidelines:
- one person per portrait and humans only please!
- a clear, full length picture.
- If you want to be wearing something different, please let me know and I will try to adapt the illustration.
- some clothes work better for illustrations. Black can be a bit boring but textures, prints, sparkles and furs look great.
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I'm really looking forward to the event! If you have any questions let me know.

Willa, x


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Live Portraits with The Jockey Club

Another live drawing event! This time with a difference.  
I was asked by The Grand National and The Jockey Club to attend a dinner event and create a series of fashion sketches of people as they mingled and during dinner.  The sketches were to be portraits of the attendees, each wearing a hat, in ode to a day at the races.  Hats were provided by the fabulous Awon Golding and Lizzie McQuade and provided some excellent inspiration and couture shapes for the portraits.

Obviously, I didn’t want to spoil the attendees appetite or make them feel awkward, so I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible.  It’s not an easy task to capture 20 portraits over dinner when people are eating and chatting; especially when you’re trying to keep track of who you have/haven’t drawn already. *yikes.

Here's some photographs (with thanks to The Jockey Club) and some of my favourite portraits from the event.



my tools
A selection of the beautiful hats on offer

The amazing venue

Drawing secretly in the background



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

New Work - Portrait for Stella magazine

Truthfully, this commission was from back in August, but I'm just getting around to showing it.

I was asked to create my smallest ever commission. A teeny tiny portrait for Stella magazine at a miniscule 26mm wide.  Despite it's small size, it was no simple task to create a good likeness at this size.  I had to use simple, bold lines and strong colour to make it work.  A bit different from my normal style.
In fact, the art director, Jason Morris, had contacted me after seeing this ipad drawing on my website.  He thought that this style would be ideal for this simple, yet fashionable brief.


So, I set out to create an similar illustration, created with ink and watercolour.  And here's what I came up with.  Two options.  The art director had wanted something straight on, but I felt that the angled head would be more interesting for this graphic piece.  I'm pleased that they went with it.

 I also created some hand lettering for the article title.

Unfortunately I missed the image being used in the magazine; shame.

x, Willa


Monday, 10 November 2014

Live Fashion Illustration with Links of London.

Photo from @labelsforlunch instagram Lettering by me.

Last week I was asked by Links of London and Epiphany to attend a blogger event and create some live fashion illustrations of the bloggers.
As always, it was a great night.  The girls were all so lovely and made sure I got plenty of cupcakes to keep me going. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures, but I've shared some of the great pictures from instagram below.  Thanks to everyone for your lovely pictures! It's great seeing them being shared and loved.


Photos from
@mintyessence
@acidbrights
@linksoflondon
@laurenella1990
@sabrinachakici


x, Willa