Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza

I spend a lot of time browsing through art blogs, they are an amazing way to discover new artists, exhibitions and generally be nosey about what’s going on in the art world. I love it when I come across a real gem, one being the work of Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza who I discovered over a cup of tea one morning while perusing We Heart. They are a Brooklyn based couple who create these amazing other worldly sculptural plants out of paper-mache.



What I was drawn to most was their unbelievable colour palette and crazy mark making.  Their work simply exudes fun and play.  I really want to include this type of mark-making within my books as it is so fun and looks so tactile you just want to touch it!


Chiao and Frezza do it all, photography, painting, sculpture, even their palettes are inspiring! You can check out more of their work at Eternity Stew.



Art School Confidential

My tutor at Aberystwyth SoA asked me if I could have a go at doing an illustration of the art school for the SoA website.  These are some of the characters I’ve been working on who will be milling around the outside!


Back to collage

I have finally made the move back to Manchester to finish off the rest of my MA.  I know I have only been in Aber since September, however as I’m working primarily digitally my tutor said it was fine for me to complete the course over e-tutorials. This was a great relief as my boyfriend was getting a bit antsy about me living so far away!  Today it’s a fairly grim day – standard for Manchester! So I’ve decided to crack on with some collage work, as I mentioned the other day I felt my work was losing the handmade quality that I really liked within my older paper cut work. I’ve decided to do a beach inspired scene as living in the city for the last few weeks has made me miss the laid back sea town lifestyle that Aberystwyth has in abundance.


Once I’ve scanned this in I will play around with it and add some more characters and detail digitally.  My aim is to try and keep all my work looking much more hand made.

To chop or not to chop

Before I started the MA course I actually trained as a painter. That seems like a LONG time ago now! Since I graduated, as it was difficult to paint without a studio I became really obsessed with chopping up bits of coloured paper and making collages, abstract collage and character based collage. It’s what really sparked my interest in print and pattern and gave me the motivation to explore it further, so its probably the main reason I am here today on the MA studying illustration.  I still use a lot of paper cutouts in my work, although now I combine it with digital tools like illustrator and photoshop. Here is one I made recently.  I really like the way the faces are all looking at each other in a sly way, like they all know something the other faces don’t!


Camila Prada

I discovered the fantastic ceramics of Camila Prada a while ago through one of my regular scouring sessions on ebay.  She’s a UK based ceramic artist with a creative eye and a love for all things fun in ceramics. Her work has some serious personality which after checking out her social media you will see it comes straight from it’s creator – Camila is a seriously driven ceramicist who really does want her brand to be personal and unique.


I’ve been stalking Camila’s Instagram for quite a long time now. I first saw some of her behind the scenes pictures of her work during the firing process and was hooked. There’s something about seeing the creative process that really intrigues me and Camila really does share it all from the designs to the final products! 



I love the simplicity within her work.  It is something she has stuck with since graduating in 2000 from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada.  She has already gone down a storm at New Designers and I’m hoping to bag some more of her items which are now hand-made in the UK.


Enemies Yay

Enemies Yay are a very cool creative duo who are based in Oz on Victoria’s Surf Coast AKA artists and illustrators Laura Blythman and Pete Cromer.  They met over 10 years ago when they worked as Junior Designers at Hallmark Cards and always wanted to collaborate, so Enemies Yay is the result!  Together they create super bright and cheery mixed media collage pieces.  I don’t know about you but I want to buy them all. They make me feel so happy!





Hands off the computer

I’ve been finding it a bit struggle recently between getting the right balance between using the computer as a tool for my art and using my hands.  Before starting the MA I never used a computer to create art, so I have been pretty much learning as I go along  how to use Illustrator and Photoshop.  I was initially scanning in textures and hand-painted work and then using photoshop to manipulate the image slightly.  Now, as I am finding the programs much easier to use I have bypassed the scanning in of my handmade work and have been creating images solely on the computer.  Looking at the computer based images although I do like them, I feel there is something missing from them.  The imperfections and layers that make up handmade work give them that extra bit of character and added quirkiness.


You can see what I mean here.  In the piece above you can see the hand-painted mark-making, hand cut paper and layering that gives the piece it’s character. Whereas in this next piece although I like it, I feel it is missing the character from the first one.


Today I’m working on a piece which combines both the hand-made aspect and some elements created on the computer.  I’m hoping that it works more successfully as an image without losing any of it’s character.  I’ll post the results for you to judge!

Character development

This is something I’ve been trying to work on of late.  I felt the characters in my first book weren’t that strong, so I’m spending a lot more time developing individual characters before I start my next project.  I’m working on a different animal every day and trying to give each one a different personality. Today’s effort was squirrels!


I find it quite challenging getting the shapes just right, so I’ve started doing a lot more warm up sketching and then I take them into illustrator to finish the drawing then photoshop to add colour.  I think they’ve come out okay, but are still a bit flat for my liking. I want to do some hand painted ones and see how they come out, so will keep you posted.  Oh and check out the next one, I got a bit sentimental!