The blog of Hannah Robinson, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.

Monday, 31 October 2011

GREAT NIGHT


I'm the one dressed as a convict, in the white t-shirt with arrows, shackles and my trusty plastic cup. No one could believe my slightly fetish-y chains came from Wilkinsons, the backbone of British home goods. Good times. Thank you Chantal and Natalie for a great party.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Illustration Friday– 'Scary'

This is a sneak-peek at my first ever zine, due out soon, on grief and grieving, It's called The Kubler-Ross Railway, and it ties in rather well with this week's IF topic. Thanks for looking!

Rambles, Musings, Ponderings



In a way, I think it really counts for something to be a creative in a city which struggles to make room for the arts. It means you have to go underground, organise things yourself, look harder for beauty and inspiration. All of this makes you a better artist, I think. Whoever said "Calm seas don't make good sailors" never spoke a truer word.

In case you're wondering where this random musing came from, I was just reading this article in the guardian about my home city and it was encouraging. People where I live are fighting for the arts to come out of the cracks and I applaud them. It makes me excited and happy, that people here give a damn about where they live and what goes on here. More please!

My first Zine, a sneak preview

In other news I am so, so excited about my first Zine, I'm currently working on the drawings for it. For those of you that don't know, a Zine (pronounced 'zeen') is a mini publication, usually A5 or smaller, designed to be printed, photocopied and distributed easily. It has opened up a whole new world of underground publishing and I haven't been this fired up about something in ages. There are lots of good websites about Zines out there, in particular We Make Zines, as well as Zine World and Fall of Autumn. Mine is going to be on the theme of grief and grieving, based on my own experiences in late adolescence (I know it doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs but it's not as grim as you may think), and it should be out very soon, so watch this space...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Bumpy Road– Bereavement Christmas cards now on sale


Following on from an experimental forum post and enquiries on facebook, I got a good response to my designs for christmas cards aimed at the bereaved.

Like I said on the Folksy forum, to some, the words 'Merry Christmas' on a card when they are feeling anything but, can really matter. It can be difficult choosing a card for someone bereaved, or someone who has simply had a rough year. Having suffered a family bereavement some years back, I will always remember how much my mum, in particular, was touched by those who acknowledged our grief in their choice of card.

So after lots of brainstorming and thinking, Bumpy Road has been born, a range of sensitive greetings cards for those who, for whatever reason, find significant days or celebrations a hurdle rather than a holiday. On sale now at my usual price, do have a look.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bereavement Christmas card

I was thinking today about some christmas card designs. I don't normally bother with them: not to sound pessimistic but it's a tough market and I don't enjoy the scramble to try and sell them followed by the dispiriting price drop and efforts to shift the leftovers in January.

However...

Christmas can be a tough time for some, not least those going through their first christmas without their mum, brother, husband, sister, dad. The jollity can be a little wearing. Also those who are addressing christmas cards to you can be a little afraid of sending one saying "Happy Christmas."

So I was thinking about giving this one a go...

Monday, 24 October 2011

24th October 2011

Interview with Amiee Bowker – Handmade & Heritage
Vintage Upcycled Lavender Cushion
Back on track with Monday interviews, this week: Amiee Bowker with her online shop Handmade & Heritage.  Amiee's  shop is a world of thrifty chic, she upcycles fabrics, paper and found materials into lovely homeware. She likes drawing, making hats, and watching X-men. I wanted to find out more... 


Aimee, tell us a bit about yourself.
Handprinted Bluetit Card




I originally studied Fashion specialising in Millinery and worked for a headwear company as an assistant designer until child care costs and travel expenses forced me to be a stay at home mum. Handmade and Heritage is the culmination of different projects over the years from jewellery making to millinery which also incorporates my love of traditional craft, history and nature. 


How long have you been on Folksy?
I've been a member of Folksy under different guises for a couple of years now but its only in 2011 that i've really started to develop Handmade and Heritage.

So, you started out as a Milliner? How did you get into that and what's it like making hats? Millinery came about as a bit of an accident really. I studied fashion at college with the intention of specialising in costume design however a national competition that the college entered yearly really caught my attention. I loved that you could take a piece of felt or straw and mould and manipulate it into amazing shapes using processes that have not changed for hundreds of years. Each hat to me is a bespoke piece of art and I really enjoy developing designs with sculptural inspiration. Even though my craft has taken a different route now, I still find myself sketching and playing. It's something I could never not to again and the odd commission for family and friends keeps me happy.





What would you say inspires you?
Vintage Cigarette Card Bunting
Anything really could take my eye. It could even be a song or TV programme. Recently I've found inspiration with birds visiting my garden. I sketched everything that passed through and used it to create a whole range of items from prints to embroidery. I constantly read books, trawl the internet for ideas and scour charity shops and car boot sales for vintage finds such a bead or scrap of fabric to spark an interest. In the new year I want to look further into the Biologist and artist Ernst Haekal who illustrated hundreds of species of animals and plants, I think his illustrations would translate well into my style of work. 

Where does your passion for handmade stem from?

Origami Bracelet
My family. My father is an artist and my mother has sewing and knitting skills I could only dream of achieving. I was brought up making and drawing and also creating something out of nothing! My parents have taught me so much over the years not just practically but also to widen my knowledge of art, craft and culture by taking me to galleries and museums. In fact a lot of my family are talented makers, crafters and artists we all seem to work with our hands!




And finally... favourite Saturday morning cartoon whilst growing up?
Over the years I've had many Care Bears, Beauty and the Beast, Fraggle Rock (my nickname is Fraggle) spring to mind. I have to say my favourite that I could still watch now is X-Men. I love it and always wanted to be Rogue. In fact I have a little section dedicated to X-Men on Pinterest featuring images and crazy ways to make Wolverine's claws!





Partridge Christmas Gift Wrap
Thanks Amiee for being interviewed. That just leaves me to showcase one of my favourite items: this Partridge gift wrap, and to encourage you to check out Handmade & Heritage for yourself. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

HOORAY! New cards in my shop!

They've finally arrived! I've been itching to post my new cards but thought I'd better wait until the postman actually brought them, and here they all are! A bargain at £1.75 each. It feels great to have illustrated again, and I hope these go down well with my Ghost Goose fans (I like to pretend).


Anyway please have a look, I've also re-stocked my Cake card, due to popular demand.

Off out clubbing now, Whoop!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Folksy Friday - Ceramics

Bunny Bowl, by Julia Smith Ceramics

I've finally got round to blogging about Folksy Friday. This week is ceramics. I am a SUCKER for ceramic stuff. Unfortunately, not having my own home means I have to curb my enthusiasm for beautiful cups, bowls jugs etc. I did buy two beautiful ceramic beakers when I was in the USA this summer - each piece had a tiny acorn - the artist's trademark - somewhere on the clay.  I love the way they sit in the hand, love the way ceramic feels. They looked robust enough to survive the flight home and sure enough they did. I like drinking wine from them and pretending I'm a hobbit! Weird? No doubt. But at least I'm happy. Marvel at these before having yourself a good weekend.



Ceramic Bluebird Brooch by Vintage Bluebird



Ceramic Cupcake Pot by Rosie Maguire

Ceramic ACEO - Rockpool Beach by Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics

Tealight Lantern Sphere by Cat's Ceramics

Handmade Ceramic Owl Vase by H B ceramics

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Kits!



I get really excited about kits. Opening them up, unpacking all the components, holding them up to the light and admiring them, letting anticipation course through you when you visualise the finished result...


Imagine that, but with recycled materials or hand-made elements!


Featured here today are lovingly assembled kits you can actually buy, for yourself or a loved one, perfect for christmas. Fun, funky, often child-friendly, with recycled elements or independent design included. I've posted some of my personal favourites here, including the genius creation seen above by the aptly named Craftivist Collective. It's a Mini Protest Banner Kit. I defy you to find anything as cool or thought-provoking as that for your young-'uns in John Lewis. And it's a fun, arty alternative to rioting. :-)


And here are some more marvellous kits:


Felt Bookmark and Button Crafty Kit by Kitties Closet


Russian Doll Plush Kit by Zouzou Design

Mini Bunting Kit by Sew Recycled!

Felt Dinosaur Kit by Kitty Kay Make And Sew

Love to Knit Project Kit by Do Come Again



Monday, 17 October 2011

Scatter!

Here is my Illustration Friday response to the word "Scatter". Mmmmmm, autumn colours...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Haircut achieved... and new website design!

Not bad for a weekend's work! I'm finally happy with my website... for now. It's gone through 3 or 4 re-designs in the past year but I think I have nailed the simple, informative design I was going for. And I got my haircut, as well as meeting with my confidant for a fun storming session and work critique, in between sips of wine.

Thanks for the feedback on the birds in the last post, I think they will find their way onto a card and into the shop eventually. I did put in an order for some cards today from Moo.com, and I'm itching to put them up on here but I'm going to wait until they're actually available... so that you can all stampede straight there and buy them all! Cue evil laughter...

You may have noticed I've not been interviewing people these past couple of weeks, due to being hugely busy and time whizzing by too fast for me to measure, but things have calmed down now, to a degree, so... would anyone be interested in being the next in the hotseat? I'm looking for artists, illustrators, or crafters to share their wisdom and work, with me and the Robinson public. Comment or get in touch via missrobinson85@gmail.com. Read the other interviews here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Some pencil work

I've filled a sheet on my coffee break with pencil doodles. I find loose sheets of paper much more liberating than a sketch book - I tend to be less precious and more creative. I think school and college are to blame for my sterile relationship with sketchbooks - because they were marked, there was always pressure to make every page perfect. Not so with loose or scrap paper.

Anyway, here is an idea for a wedding card, two little birds, scrubbed up and 'tying the knot." Geddit?

I have also got my rear in gear and booked my first craft fair of the year with my confidante and fellow biscuit eater Carly. We're going to sell art and handmade stuff at the Green Backyard at Peterborough, on Sunday 13th November, so I'd better get going with my planned projects.

This is my latest commission, almost finished: the branding and publicity material for The Fenland Poet Laureate. I had lots of creative freedom with this, the client and I have built up a good relationship and she and I are pretty much on the same wavelength, always a huge bonus.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Cool evening air

I went to an art exhibition on Friday night in Peterborough city centre, with mum. Our Museum and Art Gallery is being renovated this year (when I say 'our', I mean The City, not as in Mine and Mum's, though how delicious would that be?) It was great to see art in alternative settings, and there was a beautiful selection, in particular the work of Tony Nero who, aside from being one of the nicest, smiliest people I have ever met, is very talented. His subjects vary but I love his food paintings the most. No change there...


This is by Paco Calvo, a local mosaic artist. I could have stood and stared at his creations all night. The picture, whilst stunning, doesn't even begin to do the work justice. How does he plan a work so complex as this? Amazing...

I did a shift in my local pub today as a favour to my friends who run it, and got chatting to someone who runs the student union in Peterborough's new university. He was talking with great excitement about plans for the future. There is a slightly dilapidated, large building in the south of the city, which seemed to have gained a new lease of life last time I cycled past. Turns out it's been bought by the university for their nursing students. Listening to him enthuse about nights out for the students and how the university will integrate, I couldn't help but get a little excited about what having a university may mean for Peterborough's future. It could inject new blood, new ideas, new bars (heehee) and hopefully even more vibrancy and individuality.

I have got very little done creatively this weekend, apart from if you count knitting a few rows of my annual jumper (estimated finish time: summer 2013). But I have been to the art gallery and the theatre, so plenty of culture and mind expansion.I've also done a little bit towards my latest commission: a logo design for Fenland Poet Laureate, along with accompanying merchandise. Will post when there is more to show you.

And then this: my latest greetings card design which I hope to have printed and for sale soon in Ghostgoose. I'm going to do some more, with a similar fantasy/circus theme. I like it! Thoughts?


Monday, 3 October 2011

Logo design, frazzlement and happiness

Hello all, I know Monday is usually interview day, but last week was insanely busy from start to finish and I never got time to make the necessary preparations. You can catch up on my latest interviews here though. Highlights include: Selling some earrings (whoop) working a full week, designing a theatre programme until 2 am, bowling, dress rehearsal, beers at M's, three performances where I sold tickets and manned the interval stand, and rediscovering the joys of Red Bull. Mmmm. We raised almost £2000 over three nights with our performance of Evil In Tents - go Haze Productions! The exhaustion and stress was worth every penny.

In other news, I have been asked to design a logo for up and coming card maker and knitter Covlolly Crafts. Thoughts?