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Archive for March, 2010

summer projects …

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I love a long bank holiday weekend, even more so when I take a sneaky Thursday holiday and get 5 whole days off! I can’t believe I used to get three whole weeks off whilst I was at university; just a few days now seems great. Tomorrow I plan to travel back to my university as I need to start researching for a summer project I’ve been given and just know if I don’t start tomorrow I never will. I firstly need to decide which store out of Reiss, French Connection, All Saints and Anthropologie to design an AW 11/12 collection for … it will probably be Anthropologie! The collection needs to be based around hand crafted techniques so I’m hoping to learn how to crochet! Though I’m not too hopeful after my disasterous knitting experience! I will be posting my progress through the brief and look forward to hearing your feedback … see you all on Tuesday!

be inspired: daily photo

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
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Let's Explode

say hello to: Caitlin Suzanne

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

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Caitlin Suzanne is an 18 year old artist living  in Edmonton, Alberta Canada – a place that she describes as being too cold! Caitlin has kindly answered my questions about her work; I hope you find what she has to say as inspiring as I did!

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Please tell us a little about yourself and your work…
I like to write and play guitar and crochet and tear up paper and make collages. I like to use paint in my collages, but most of the time I lack the patience for full-on painting or drawing.

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Describing your work in five words or less:
A good thing.

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One of Caitlin's collages

What are your favourite materials to use?
My work used to revolve around a lot of brightly-coloured construction paper combined with magazine cutouts, but lately I’ve been gravitating towards more paint and texture and a more minimalistic collage style. I use a lot of white tissue paper, white-out, clear gel medium and watercolours, along with found paper and old magazines; my favourite is a vintage women’s magazine called Coronet.  My newest collage journal is a recycled moleskine year-planner.
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Caitlin's moleskine

What advice do you have for somebody staring at a blank page?

Take some white-out or other semi-opaque medium. Smear it messily over the page, forcefully if necessary, covering up whatever you’ve done so far if necessary. Feel better, or at least I always do. I find that making a mess before I start gets rid of some of the insecurity about messing up as I work.

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I also think it’s really important to feel comfortable in the place where you’re working – before I start making anything I always take a few minutes to tidy up my art desk, or just to become reacquainted with everything that’s there. Once I’ve reminded myself that all the right things are in the right places, I usually feel better about getting started.
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work space...

Biggest achievement so far?
Interviews and blog features like this make me feel really good! And also every comment and favourite on flickr or other sites. I can’t say I’ve accomplished much in the realm of shows or publication, but I also haven’t been trying (yet).

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finished piece

What do you hope the future holds for you in terms of your art?
I’d love to just keep refining my style until it’s at a place that I’m really comfortable with (if that will ever happen – maybe it will always change!) and once that happens, try to set up some shows and establish more of an artistic presence outside of the internet, maybe even look into selling some of my work. But that’s not a big priority for me! My art is very personal; I feel that my collages especially are more like a diary than display pieces. That isn’t to say that I don’t like to share them, but I make them as a way of dealing with my feelings and not with an audience or goal in mind.

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What inspires you creatively?
There’s always music, but for the most part it accompanies me while I work and isn’t so much an inspiration. My collages are based on whatever I’m feeling when I make them, and the attachments I’ve formed to certain materials and techniques for expressing those feelings. Artwork by other artists and designers can help me to feel inspired when I’m not working, but that goes across all forms and mediums, not only collage.

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my personal favourite

Where can somebody find out more about your work?
I’ve started setting up a personal website, but I’ve run into some problems because of not having enough space to upload all of my artwork. I think I might have to find a different way to host it. So, probably flickr is the best for now: http://flickr.com/people/leforet

Even better, anyone can email me at csuzanne7@gmail.com about anything they want. :) I would love some emails.

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new arrivals

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Yay! I just had to let you all know two books I ordered arrived today; Developing a Collection by Elinor Renfrew & Colin Renfrew and Fashion Illustrator by Bethan Morris. I will do a more indepth review at some point, but from what I’ve peaked at already they seem like great buys!

developing a collection new arrivalsfashion illustrator new arrivals

sketchbook tips

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

I love sketchbooks! They are my favourite part of my university projects and I am always looking for inspirational books to give me ideas for layout, techniques etc. I find it fascinating to look through somebodies sketchbook; they are so personal and I think they show a person at their most creative.

I have put together a few pointers that I think about when starting a new sketchbook, I hope that you find them useful!


Sketchbooks are available in many sizes and it is important to think before you start how big or small you would like yours to be (I hate it when half way through a project you find the pages too big that you struggle to fill them or if they are too small for your photographs, etc).  I have found that artists and designers tend to stick with a size that they find comfortable to work with; for some reason I like a square sketchbook… Small sketchbooks help to make your work look busy and exciting and full of ideas, however they can be restricting if your research and imagery is too large. Large sketchbooks (A4 plus) can be daunting when faced with a blank, white page, but the space is less restricting, allows for more creativity and there is many more ways to layout your ideas.

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Everybody has their own style when it comes to the layout of your pages; sparse imagery with lots of background colour can look just as great as a busy page with lots to see and touch. I find looking through graphic layout books really helpful as well as seeing others work. The main point is that the page flows and is visually interesting. I always try and make the page different to the previous one, take a risk and it will probably pay off!

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I usually start a new page by adding some paint to the background and make a mess! Then I start layering images, magazine tears, fabrics and papers. Craft and art shops sell great ranges of patterned paper but this is usually expensive; I try and use cheaper alternatives like old wrapping paper, packaging and paper bags. Be creative when attaching items to the page, perhaps stitching it would look good, or use a paperclip? Small details like this will enhance your sketchbook! Adding in texture can also enhance each page; I like to use corrugated card or bubble wrap as stamp with a thin layer of paint. Staining with a damp tea bag is also an old favourite!

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A great big chunky sketchbook instantly looks exciting! Even though this is a personal part of development within a project, I always think about somebody else flicking through the pages and would they be interested in what I have done? I like to include elements on every page that the reader can touch and feel; such as fabrics, textured paper, textile samples and other crafty items such as buttons and trims. My favourite way to include these is by making little envelopes that can hold the item and allow the reader to fully handle it! I find that UHU glue is great for sticking a diverse range of materials to the pages.

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There are many ways to add text to your pages whilst keeping it in the overall style of your book. Stencils and stamps are quick ways to add titles and look effective. Try printing on acetate paper which is good for when your page is full as it can be layered over without the need to compensate any imagery.

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All photographs and work my own.

be inspired: daily photo

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

A little illustration for a Sunday afternoon – I love Jackie’s style, very naive, colourful and full of spirit! Check out her website here.

jackie is a peppermint be inspired: daily photo

* by Jackie is a Peppermint

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