'The place where inspiration hits the page running... A sketchbook to fail and reflect on my work and my process'

Sunday, 26 February 2012


It's Sunday evening and I need to get things done, as I have a very busy week next week with publishing work, and getting things ready for the Stuff fair in Plymouth in March. So I'm in designing and blogging, which is great and feels like my time, rather than guilty time. The dog's been fed and my roast is seeing me through! Here are some snippets of the book I'm working on. No new work as I haven't had time, but all my favourite MA work in a book together. I just hope I get it right and the costs work out too.  I'm working with Steve at A0 Printworks, and as always he's being super patient and helpful!

As time goes on I am beginning to realise where my ability to create my best work happens. I have worked to brief all my professional career, but I guess I have always known that my best work is the work I do for myself. As artists, with social media and the internet, we are constantly putting an image of ourselves and our work out there. The difference is that when we take it into our own hands we create an image that we believe is true to ourselves and our work. Putting the best work up there. Or at least the work that represents us most truthfully and in the best light! The image I nurture online with my blogs is different to that on my website. The website is an overall view of all the work I do, and a site that brings in work for me. My blog, however, is my inner workings and a more personal view of my work and my process. Something I am more comfortable with. I am happier when people can see the inside of me. I prefer open doors and unlocked honesty, that's just the way it is. It scares people and I get stung a lot and gets confusing when I react to that, but I want my work to represent the honesty of my character, and if I produce it with integrity and patience I believe it will find a place worthy of it's process.

Collaboration is such a valuable way of being creative and something I want to do more of. Working with a designer would be very exciting, putting my work into different formats and compositions and seeing what comes out. As much as I love putting my good self out there I also want to lose myself a little and lose a little control, to see what comes out the other end, to see how somebody else sees it.... I can feel a interactive project coming on!

Saturday, 18 February 2012


I've had a week of reflection, frustration and insight. The reflection has come from a talk I did for my parents, for Truro Art Society. It reminded me of ways of working that I had forgotten, and knew would be good to revisit. Whenever I do a presentation it reminds me of what I have learnt and cements it further in my mind which I find rewarding. Also that I didn't get anywhere with the folio competition, which doesn't surprise me as the work I did was forced and overworked and not what I want to represent myself.
 My work isn't getting noticed in the worlds that I am putting it, so I am aiming to pair it down to basics and release it gently in areas that are more personal and less commercial or competitive. It will find its place but I believe it will take time and I mustn't take it as failure. It is simply not the right time or place for it. I'm actually beginning to believe that my work has it's own personality, and it's success is determined by it's personality and how well it fits in its place of rest! So having to suit the work to it's appropriate resting place is key, and something I have to consider if my work and its process is to survive.

 It's at the point where I am also beginning to believe that I am not as good as I think I am, or was going to be. We always strive for the best and I'm doubting whether I can be that! I feel trapped by trying to earn a living from my work, and that pressure is so huge. I live and breath art and creativity now, which I love, but the work I do on a daily basis is not mine and it's beginning stifle my confidence again. Is that all I can do?

On a more positive note, I have been asked to do an illustration fair called Illustration Stuff at PCAD in March. Nestling next to the current MA group from UCF, along with my brother and couple of ex MA students, I hope to sell some prints, cards and I'm designing a book to sell too. The book will have my MA work in it and I may also print out my MA book from the show and make into a more affordable format.

 The insight came from Emma Griffin, hi Emma. She and her partner have set up a website called Project Insight, with intent to make a book about artists in their studios. Interviewing local artists in their studios, entering their world for a moment, discovering and offering a new a dimension that an audience would not get a chance to see otherwise. The very talented and lovely Sam Bassett is the first artist, and I think I'm the next one in line after the equally lovely and talented Faye Dobinson. Go to www.projectinsight.blog.com to see more details. Emma is coming to my studio in a couple of weeks and has prompted me to post some pics of my own studio.

The frustration has come not only from a poorly and fractious dog who wakes me up 5 times a night but also the fact that I haven't had any time to do my own work this week, and the fact that I am still committing to things, events and jobs that take me away from my work with no real gain on my behalf. So onwards to a fresh week.