Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Last month, I took part in the #28blackandwhiteanimals challenge and, although somedays I found it less enjoyable than others, I liked the fact I had a small goal for everyday, so I have decided to do @joannehawker's March challenge, which is meet the maker.
I have already done a personal post about why I do what I do, but this might be a nice way of learning a bit more about how I do things!
This is me! My most recent 'selfie!' I'm Em and I will be 29 in a month's time. I have been an illustrator for about 4 years now after studying illustration at university and starting up my own freelance practice. I like to draw, paint, print, cross stitch, embroider and draw digitally.
I am currently living with my parents in Eyton, which is a small hamlet in Herefordshire (although, fingers crossed by the end of next week, I'll have this house I've got my eye on!) It's snowing this week and it is a beautiful place to be anyway, but covered in snow it is idyllic!
This is our front door and my one true love, Doug, our border collie.
3. How You Started
I always knew I wanted to do something creative, so I went to art college and then to University to study Graphic Design, but only completed two out the three years (I returned to education much later!) But, when I started a new job about four and a half years ago, I was chatting to one of my colleagues and we got onto the fact I draw and she asked it I would design a tattoo for her! I said yes, and drew this up. It gave me a little boost and I decided to set up a Facebook page sharing my personal work, which I'd never really posted online before, and when people began to respond and request custom work I decided to stick with it! My work has developed so much over that time, but I've had the chance to do some really lovely commission pieces and discover my abilities and style as an Illustrator. My Facebook page then led to an Etsy shop and Instagram page, and more recently, Society6 and Teemill shops too.
4. Favourite To Make
Currently, my favourite way to work is digitally and my favourite thing to make it something which promotes self love, mental health or body positivity. This is usually a naked woman with some sort of motivational thought or quote . I think that, if I feel this way, someone else must be feeling it too, which is proven as customers have messaged me letting me know why they have chosen to buy my work. I love making them because they are cathartic to me, an offloading of emotions and insecurities, which is very therapeutic. It's so lovely that people can respond to them and connect to them. I hope they are helpful to people other than myself!
I recently put up a blog post about my cross stitch and embroidery work, which included a lot of photographs of an textile pieces, so I wanted share something that you maybe hadn't seen before!
For two years, I seasonally adorned the windows of an amazing local cafe called Tandem Bakery. Heather, the owner, would basically let me run wild on her windows with a chalk pen! I created these characters before meeting her and she loved them because they reminded her of herself and her husband/business partner! They became known as Mr. and Mrs. Tandem and, every 3 months or so, could be found having another adventure together! Photographing windows is really difficult!
This is my bedroom/ studio/ haven/ dancefloor where I conduct most of my daily activities. There are birds who nest just above my window so they knock on the glass every now and then to remind me that there is an outside. I talk to my plants a lot. My bed is just behind my desk chair so sometimes I work from there too!
It's looking very likely that I'll be moving at the beginning of next week, so I'll get to create a new space for myself to feel inspired in!
I start everyday with a good breakfast! I an a gluten free vegan and, for the most part, refined sugar free. My breakfast is always a coffee, probably decaf, and either a bowl of porridge with coconut milk, topped with nuts and almond butter, a bowl full of coconut yoghurt with berries, seeds, nuts and buckwheat, or pancakes! Pancakes are the favourite and are usually eaten on a day when I am working from home as opposed to going out to my other job, which is making vegan cheese.
After breakfast, I'll take a look at my To-Do list for the day. I usually do some admin and postage duties before I start getting creative. Day to day changes, I might be working on a commission so a lot of sketching and coming up with the composition or doing some personal work, trying to get all the ideas in my head out onto paper!
I haven't got enough light to do a fancy new flatlay of some of my newer bits! But here's something I photographed for my most recent giveaway on my Instagram page. Two of my favourite naked ladies and two of my little pins.
9. How It's Made
Most things begin as a sketch. A really loose, messy sketch in one of my many sketchbooks! Usually a rushed pencil drawing that I mark down as the idea comes to me, and then return to and modify until I come up with the final design. That is then scanned in and drawn over in Illustrator or Photoshop, modifying little bits as I go.
10. Time To Relax
There are loads of ways I love to spend my free time. A lot of it is cooking and eating! Sometimes it's playing MarioKart with my younger brothers. Quite often it's listening to a podcast whilst pottering about. Every now and again it's taking a nice walk, or exploring somewhere new. But, throughout the day, on those little well deserved breaks, I like to sit down with a cuppa and watch something easy going on Netflix! I have seen Friends maybe 100 times and it's still my go to 'I don't want to concentrate but I want to be entertained!' programme!
I rebranded my company last year after being Emma Pryce Illustration for a few years. emandtheearth was the name originally given to my travelling job I started last summer, but it seemed to fit my artwork and content so much I stole it for my illustrative work!
The little flowering earth came from a drawing I had made of a cloud holding the earth titled "What if the Earth is just a Cloud's garden"
My brand, emandtheearth, is based around self care, body positivity and mental health.
12. Postage & Packaging
Most of the things I've been selling recently have been flat, so prints and cards, so I can easily pop then in an envelope to send them off! I like to try and make the envelope looks as nice as possible because it's always nice to get post but it's super nice to get something a little special! I use my logo stickers and any other little stickers I may have lying around, and I always draw some leaves next to the address as a further bit of branding!
Every parcel comes with a business card I've specifically chosen to go with the type of picture someone has ordered (ie. if someone buys a body positive print, I'll give them a card that says 'Love Yourself) and, sometimes, I put little freebies in too!
13. Work Clothes
I spend 50% of my time in pyjamas and the other 50% in dungarees! I think fleecy dungarees would be my ultimate ensemble! Dungers are comfy and easy to throw on, and I can put any old tshirt underneath and it doesn't matter if I have food stains down the front of it because no one is going to see!
As mentioned previously in this post, there was a possibility I would move by the end of the month... and I did! This is my first selfie in my new place!
14. Dreams & Plans
Three years ago at uni, I did a project which was a projection of where I saw myself in ten years time. I made a tattoo flash sheet to illustrate this. The ideas are as follows:
-Alone but Happy
-Have travelled worldwide
-Have completed my BA and MA
-Be an illustrator
-Live on a house boat
-Have a goat and some chickens!
-Have lots of plants!
-Have visited India
I am vegan! I am a spinster! I have travelled for the past two summers! I have completed my BA and am starting to study my MA in September! I am an illustrator, and am working towards making it my full time job! I don't live on a house boat, but I constantly searching for vans that I can live in! I haven't visited India yet, although hopefully one day soon! And I don't have any pets yet, but i did spend a lot of time with goats last year! I definitely have a lot of plants!
This platform does not support videos, so I can't upload a Boomerang! Maybe I'll draw a little picture of an boomerang instead!
My mum is my biggest helper! She takes photos for and of me when I can do it myself, she gives me advice when I'm not quite sure where to go with an idea and she promotes my work as much as she can. She even lets me put some of my work on her stall when she does local fairs.
This is us from last year at Hay Does Vintage.
17. Customers & Feedback
I love, love, love my customers! I seem to have the most wonderful people who follow me and buying my work. Recently, Sarah messaged me her story after ordered my Still Growing Affirmation Print and then sent me this photo when it had arrived. Customers have messaged me to tell me about their eating disorders, their mental health issues and if they are having a bad day, and to tell me that my work reminds them to love themselves... which makes me so happy! I feel so thankful that these people feel they can reach out to me and that my work can maybe encourage them to feel good about themselves. They make me feel very special and I didn't think my work would reach this point, so I want to thank them all so much <3
Although I am inspired by other artist's and things that I see and read, my main inspirations are my own thoughts and feelings. I've discussed how I use art as a type of therapy to offload what I think and feel, so the outcomes are usually just a illustrated outcome of my emotions!
19. Can't Live Without
It may not be very exciting, but my calendar is seriously the main thing that helps me through the day. Coffee is probably a close second, with a nap thrown in there maybe! But, I am extremely forgetful and I don't always know what day it is! So, a calendar is essential to me, even on weeks that aren't so busy. I get really muddled in my brain if I have too many things to think about, so writing them as physical goals and deadlines makes everything a lot easier!
20. Tools & Materials
21. Stories - A Day In The Life
22. Sketchbook and Lists
23. Hands At Work
25. Being a Maker Means...
26. Books, Blogs and Podcasts
27. Recommend a Maker
30. Top tip/Advice
31. Creative Friends