i love those mad men, i do

this weekend i was away in edinburgh celebrating with my friend on her hen do. a lovely weekend had been arranged - a gorgeous apartment, silly games, lots of food and drinks - and on the night out the dress theme was Mad Men. everyone made such an effort with their outfits! 

so the plan was to do a post based on the Mad Men fashion and lovely accessories...but then i found a Mad Men poster. things changed. i LOVE these graphics! makes me wish i was a graphic designer. love the simplicity and colours and texture. something i think i'll incorporate into my own designs. in fact the more i do these posts the more i am realising i definitely have a style i am honing in on - look at my post 2 weeks ago - the doodle monkey says it all! there's a clear graphicy-simplistic-block-colour-with-texture-thing going on. that's the best way i can describe it. you know what i mean. don't you? ...!

anyhoo, onto these wonderful artists...

3 - olly moss
4 - malota

from the Design Library . . . Olle Eskell

i think it's time to reopen my library. it's not fair that all the pretty books on my shelf are not shared any more...there's too much goodness on there for just little old me!

so with that i'm going to bring this feature back every 3rd Saturday of the month. starting today with a brand new purchase - 'Olle Eskell - Swedish Graphic Designer'. i've chosen this one to start us off as last weeks post was about my desire to really start drawing again.

i stumbled across Olle's work, i can't quite remember how now though. i just loved the drawing style, but i think it was the colours that caught my eye. there's a bit of a palette that runs through one collection which is just 'mel' all over! 

it can be a bit difficult to follow the chapters simply because it's either written in Swedish or Japanese - neither of which i am fluent in - but throughout the book his illustrative skills are shown in  a variety of projects - advertisement, postcards, packaging, books...he pretty much covered all bases! 

my favourite collection is a 1930's range of illustrations (top right ad bottom left below) featuring city scenes. i've got a mega itch to do some myself, i have had for months, and i must must must do some! i have some beautiful photos to work from from my travels and i need to venture round London to get some of the local life snapped up too.

* the book can be bought from amazon for only £20 (sure it wasn't this much 2 weeks ago!!)
* and i found a bit of a shop full of Olle goodies!

this drawing dream all comes at quite a good time - i'm in Edinburgh this weekend which has some amazing architecture. lots of higgle-di-piggle-di housing and cobbled streets winding this way and that. should make for some interesting sketches.

let's unleash the doodle monkey!!

it's all about the doodle monkey

i've come to the conclusion that i need to draw more. i definitely need to draw more. i doodle. a bit. and then make it into a pattern but i want to do more illustrations and placement prints than repeats.

and so i shall.

i've bought a few design books recently and i can see a bit of a theme running through them. i think i'm getting more of a clear idea of the styles that i like to look at compared to the styles that i can actually do myself. there are so many talented designers out there at the moment i wouldn't know where to start on naming those i'm inspired by so i'm looking at some old skool faves. recent book purchases have included Olle Eksell (of which there'll be a more thorough looking at next week. top right), Charley Harper (how have i only just found out about him?! bottom left), and Angie Lewin (top left) who i just love (ok i've had her book for while now but it's still delights me like it's the first time i've looked at it!). and i've recently discovered a mr Peter Donnelly (bottom right) who is just awesome.

i started drawing last year and have aimed to do a #doodle-a-day. this did not go quite according to plan. at all! i managed about 9 days and then it just belly flopped. so i'm not going to be quite so outrageous with my own demands this time, instead i will aim to just 'loosen up' first, get into it a bit and see where it leads me. but i have set ideas in my head that i really, really wanna do so i'll end up going in that direction regardless!

i've also been inspired by Jo Clark (left) and Flora Chang (right) who both use markers so need to get some of these bad boys involved too.

i've seen some of other peoples so called 'doodles' on facebook and twitter. let me tell you - they are not doodles...they are amazing! so it's given me an additional kick to get on with it again and stop being scared at not being able to draw what i want and for it to come out how i want it. it's all part of the growing process and who knows what happy accidents i may stumble upon.

here are a few of my 'doodles' from last session that i hope to expand on, in particular the amsterdam architecture. hopefully the more i do the more my style will develop and this will inspire some new amazing collection of designs!
ps - i have no idea where 'doodle monkey' came from, but i quite like him. he can stay.

January - round up

we're a 1/12 through the year already guys!!! say whaaaaatt?! please don't let this year fly by as quickly as  the last - there's so much i want to do and i need time!  january is normally a pretty 'meh' kinda month for most people i think, but for me this january was an exception...

* the first 2 weeks of the month were taken up with, oh what was it... i did a show, what was it called again...? oh yeah, Top Drawer! you've all heard me go on about it enough so i won't bore you again. here's the full round up if you fancy a gander...

* following the show there was a lot of following up all the leads. i made lots of contacts - some for now, some for the future and i'm very pleased to say i've had my first sales and will soon have my products in the shops - yippee!

* and with that yippee my designs are off to the printers to get more stock made up (...there's one for the credit card!!)

* also from the show i was invited to what could turned out to be a rather exciting meeting. i think i may be at too early a stage to really take advantage of the full project but i still got some top advice for my new business from some very lovely ladies. looking forward to seeing what comes from it...

* i'm part of the Textile Design Lab - a spin off from the fabulous Pattern Observer site run by Michelle Fifis. lots of workshops and tutorials to keep the brain occupied

* and just to top it off - shock-horror - i designed some stuff. i know right, i'd forgotten what that was too, but there it is ... Christmas 2014 range is all go! here's a teeny-tiny snippet...

* oh and one thing i'm quite pleased about is i've managed to stick a weekly blog post each Saturday for a whole month. well done me! i want to make this a definite thing which some regular features but also a few randomers thrown in for good measure...see you next Saturday!