HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Well this is another special Mother's Day for me. Last Mother's Day was my first Mother's Day as a mum, and I was illustrating a book at the time. This year, that book is available, and I am so proud it is out there in the world!



It is such as special book to me as I was working on it during a really lovely time in my little boy's life. I started it when he was 8 months old, so the real difficulties of having a newborn were over, things got a bit easier and more fun. He went through incredible changes in his little life like crawling, turning one, walking and starting to talk! what an amazing time. Truly a time of marvel. I feel like I was able to put a lot of emotion into this book, and it will always remind me of this time in my life.

This is the next to last illustration in the book, and I said to my husband when I finished it that this is my son and I :)





I hope you like it. And as a little treat for following along and reading this post (does anyone read blogs anymore?) here is a bit of downloadable goodness:


mother's day card

colouring-in page

If you are interested in buying the book you can get it here: booktopia or bookworld
(only in Australia, unfortunately. With any luck it will be available in other countries/on Amazon soon....)

So happy mother's day to all the mums out there! I certainly enjoyed my special day :)

One Word One Day

In the middle of all the Make Art That Sells mayhem, I made time to go to the ASA's One Word One Day event, to benefit the indigenous literacy foundation. This is the third year they have run this event and the first time I've been able to make it, so I was determined to go.

Basically illustrators get together for a few hours and illustrate a word. This year was 'Pounce'. You can make as many images as you like, in any medium you like, and there is a plethora of beautiful art supplies supplied by Zart.

For me, it was a time to see some friends, have a bit of fun, and play with some new materials. I think when you are constantly producing art for deadlines, it is difficult to give yourself the time to just play and be free and not worry too much about the outcome.

I was sitting next to Ann James from Books Illustrated who has a very lovely loose way of working and I think this was influencing all of us at the table. I played around with some 'Magiclay' which is like mouldable paper which then dries and you can paint it, plus some collage, feathers, leaves, buttons, watercolours, oil pastels, charcoal, fingerprinting and even mud!

I didnt know where I was going with this when I started, and that was part of the fun. Here's the craziness I ended up with :




Make Art That Sells: Scrapbooking

So this 3rd week in the online illustration course I'm doing 'Make Art That Sells' focussed on the Scrapbooking market. I can't say I was terribly excited about this market - even though I often use scrapbooking papers as collage in my work - but in the end I really enjoyed the process of creating this piece and it was one of my better received in the MATS community! So there you go. Open minds, people, open minds...

Our 'mini' assignment this week was to sketch ink bottles, vintage ones to be specific. This was fun. I actually went straight to carving some stamps. I've really enjoyed doing this for previous assignments, love the texture they create and am loving improving my skills with practice. So here is what I did for the 'mini':





Then we got the main assignment which was to create a design for a scrapbooking paper using the theme of 'correspondence', again with a vintage slant. I think the stamps really helped me with that look.

Thinking about how this piece would sit in my portfolio, I decided I wanted to do something that was more of a pattern which could be used in many different markets, as opposed to something suited only to scrapbooking, which might have text like 'my memories' or 'that summer' etc etc.

I went for a 'love letter' correspondence vibe, and when you think looooove, what else do you think but Paris?! So some French crept in there too. I did some more hand-carved stamps, ink work, fun splatters, and some hand-lettering:








 


I even managed to use a pressed flower I did in university!!


plus a photo I took of the Eiffel tower when I was there a few (ok many) years ago. Here's how it turned out...



As I said, really happy with this one. I even managed to finish early so that I could have the weekend doing easter egg hunts and gardening in the Autumn sunshine. perfect end to the week :)

Next week: Editorial.




Make Art That Sells : Babywear market

This week was all about baby wear - so right up my alley. Cute, fun, whimsical.

Topic: Pirates!!! Lots of fun!

So first I did some sketching and came up with the idea of doing Pirate Pigs! I made it into a bit of a pattern and everything - was all ready to start painting, and then I realised it's not really very 'baby' like. perhaps a bit of an older child with slightly edgier look and swords and everything??




so I quickly had to resketch as the assignment was upon us to do use our sketches to create a pattern for a baby onesie, and went for the all-out-cute factor.


I added in some hand carved stamps (which I am REALLY enjoying doing) and here's how the main pattern turned out:


I made up a placement graphic (a single image that might be used by itself as opposed to a pattern)


 and put it all together with some 'coordinate' patterns. ta dah!!!



and we're already into this week's market: scrapbooking! check back next week for another post.


Make Art That Sells : Paper market

I am back into the swing of Make Art That Sells and already the first week is nearly done! I am very excited about the Paper market which includes greeting cards, journal covers, notepads, etc...

our 'warm-up' exercise was to draw/paint gingerbread houses which were a lot of fun (and somewhat reminiscent of cuckoo clocks!) -- looking at reference, it's amazing the amount of work people put into decorating gingerbread. they are works of art and i don't think i'd want to eat them, they're too beautiful!




then our main assignment was to create a holiday greeting card (i.e.. christmas but non-denominational) at particular dimensions, using gingerbread houses.

here was my process:

for the 'mini' warm-up I sketched here there and everywhere - in a big sketchbook, on the train in my moleskine, and on some craft paper which i quite liked because i could use white for the icing.



Then once we got the main assignment i started doing some compositional sketches. i pretty quickly came up with the idea of gingerBIRD houses which i liked. (But I PROMISE I will not draw birds next week. Can't seem to get away from them!)


At first I had the birdhouses as hanging Xmas bauble-type things


But decided that was trying to combine too many things (gingerbread, birdhouses, bauble) so made them more birdhousey.


Once I had the sketch, the fun part came. This was actually pretty tricky to do traditionally because all the detail for the houses is in white. I decided I wanted to do this in separate layers so I could move things around if I needed. 

So first I did the linework in black, which I later reversed in Photoshop: 
(I was planning on using the smudginess/fingerprints in the background but didn't in the end)


Then came the colour on the craft paper which i liked so much and gave it good 'gingerbreadiness' (wow i'm writing my own dictionary here!)


 I did the birds separately and some black snowflakes to be reversed and used in the background:
 

as well as some hand-carved stamps of candy canes, stars and circles to be used on the garlands (i changed the colours in Photoshop)


And then I got to assemble it! It all came together pretty easily (for once!) Here was the first try with some text in Photoshop.


not working so well. I decided to change the location of the garland of lights to the bottom of the poles to break them up a bit. I also added some hand-lettered text.


and then submitted! WOHOO! :-)




Coming soon...

Coming soon to a website near you…


Some major revamping going on behind the scenes at kimflemingillustration.com.

stay tuned-- a few more practice sessions and we'll be ready to rock the house! :-)

MATS Bootcamp: Main assignment February : Cuckoo clock iPhone cover

Our assignment for this month was to create art for an iPhone cover.

Somehow in converting my sketches from the mini assignment to the iPhone dimensions, it became more about the birds than the cuckoo clocks. I'd still like to take some of the sketches and turn them into something more - patterns maybe? But here's what I submitted to the Bootcamp gallery for February:



You should DEFINITELY go check out the gallery and see what everyone else has come up with… as usual… Blows Me Away! so much talent!!

Here are some of my faves:

Let 2014 rock.



Hope your new year will be ROCKIN!

I am very excited about the New Year. 2013 was a very difficult year personally and I am happy to see it finish. I have a few things on the boil for 2014 and am hoping one or more of them will bubble up enough for me to make some really yummy gnocchi.

A few pots:

My new book will be out in April!

I'm excited to expand on what I learned in the illustration course I did last year and to take Part B in March.

I'll be going to the national Australian SCBWI conference in July (never been before!)

I'm working on a dummy of a my OWN manuscript. (eek!)

I'm having fun doing little guys like Rocky Raccoon here.


Here's hoping 2014 is a wonderful year for us all, with lots of joy, laughter, love and creativity. (and gnocchi!)

Happy daze

Just wanted to wish all of you out there a lovely summer daze for the days ahead (or maybe a turkey daze if you are in the Northern hemisphere) I know I am looking forward to a bit of relaxaaaaation over the holidays before things gear up again next year (if relaxing is possible with a toddler!)

Here is something a little different from me this year, a digital illustration a la "Make Art That Sells" class I recently completed.


MATS: Wrap up

The Make Art That Sells experience was quite amazing. It was intense. It was challenging. It was liberating. It was frustrating. It was eye-opening. It was affirming.

Intense: 5 weeks, a mini assignment each Monday, a main assignment on the Wednesday, due on the Sunday. Posts almost each day (sometimes videos of 30minutes+) on the market we were exploring that week. Information overload, but what amazing information.

Challenging: Definitely getting out of the comfort zone. Trying to complete a professional quality illustration in 4 days. Thinking about my art (and myself, my role, what I want my art to be) in new ways.

Frustrating: I felt like I never had enough time in each week and could have kept going for ages on each piece! (This is a good thing I guess. But so is knowing when to stop!) At one point I started to fall behind in class posts and was struggling to catch up. But in the end, I was mostly pretty happy with the pieces I put up. (except was disappointed in myself for the Children's Book week)

Liberating: Trying new things. Things I'd always wanted to try but never given myself the time or the freedom to try them. Having fun doing things I wasn't sure I would like!

Eye-opening: Seeing what all the other amazing artists in my group game up with was truly inspiring (sometimes daunting) but mostly motivating to work hard and achieve a higher level with my own art.

Affirming: This is what I want to do. I think I can do it! Finding some new directions to take my work in.


The class was definitely good push to try new things and discover other avenues to get my art into the world. I look forward to revisiting some of my pieces because I would have loved to have had some extra time to work on them during the class. I also look forward to reviewing some of the class posts because there was SO much amazing information given out, I'm sure I missed some along the way. But I feel like I am armed with all of the necessary info to enter any one of the markets we studied. It's just a matter of making some amazing art and getting it out there!!!

These are the pieces I created during the class:


You can see my posts here: Fabric / Home Decor / Children's Books / Wall Art / Gift

Another wonderful part of the class is the incredible wealth of information from classmates, as well as feedback and support through the Facebook group. Lucky for us, the fb group continues on indefinitely and we still use it as a sounding board and support network.

These are a few of the amazing pieces from some of my classmates: (soooooo much amazing work let me tell you!)

Rebecca Jones

Anna Whitford

Mary Tanana

Linda Tordoff
Kirstie Cookman

Hui Yuan Chang

Hung-yu Chen

And here are some of the other participating artists with blogs who are blogging about the class. Take a click to see incredible art from these talented people!!

Katie Wood - http://www.katiewoodillustrations.blogspot.co.uk/
Anne Waters - http://annewatersdesign.com/blog/
Aisha Khan - www.aishaandherwork.blogspot.com
Linda Tordoff  - www.paintlovestudio.blogspot.co.uk
Martina Lenhardt - www.ma-len.blogspot.com
Melissa Doran - www.goradiate.ie
Jo Chambers - www.studiolegohead.blogspot.co.uk
Son Atwal - www.applekaur.com/blog
Bari J. - http://www.barij.typepad.com
Eva Marion Seyffarth - www.eva-marion-seyffarth.blogspot.de
Rachael Schafer - www.rachaelschaferdesigns.com
Danielle McDonald - http://reddogandjude.blogspot.com.au/
Renske de Kinkelder - www.renskedekinkelder.com
Jordan Vinograd Kim - http://www.foundandrewound.com/blog/
Emma Schonenbergh - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Schonenberg/175939639128136
Aileen Tu - http://aileentu.com/blog/
Sarah Ehlinger -  www.verysarie.com
Jen Burbridge -  www.madebyburbs.co.uk
Carolina Coto - www.carolinacotoart.com
Claire Lordon -  www.clairelordon.blogspot.com
Anna Whitford - www.rosanna-rossi.co.uk
Mary Tanana - http://www.barij.typepad.com
Jennifer Wambach - http://jennartdesigns.blogspot.com
Victoria Johnson - http://victoriajohnsondesignblog.blogspot.it
Nic Squirrell - http://nicsquirrell.blogspot.com
Melinda Hopkirk - www.crouchriverstudio.com
Jennifer Appel - http://www.jaillustration.com/
Wendy Brightbill - http://www.agirlandherbrush.wordpress.com
Andrea van Dalen - http://dreamkeeperfae.blogspot.nl/
Ohn Mar Win - http://illustrationsouljourney.blogspot.co.uk/
Jill Byers - http://jillbyers.blogspot.com
Sarah Gager - www.sarahgager.com
Angie Sandy - http://www.angiesandy.com/blog
Diane Neukirch - http://dianeneukirch.blogspot.com
Larisa Hernandez | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Larisa-Hernández/166215440228435
Kathy Weller - http://www.wellerwishes.blogspot.com
Lisa Deighan - http://www.lisadeighan.com
Deb Trevitt - http://www.debtrevitt.com/blog/
Tara Lilly - http://taralillystudio.blogspot.com
Nicole Piar - http://www.ghostkittendesign.blogspot.com/
Stacy Peterson - http://stacypeterson.net/blog
Emily Dyer - http://www.emilydyer.com/blog
Antje MO (Martens-Oberwelland) - http://antje.art.com

Finito!

Well, I have finished illustrating the book I have been working on since March this year. Since I began working, my son has started crawling, then walking. We got a new (old) Prime Minister (again). And I did a lot of sketching and a lot of painting. And had oodles of fun.... Oodles I tell you!

Unfortunately I can't tell you much more about the book until it is out and available... not until April next year! But I will let on that it involves my favourite animal in the world, the giraffe. so here is a sneaky peak at my drawing table before I packaged up all the illustrations to send off to the publisher in Sydney.








The next thing on the cards for me is Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells course in October. I am soooo excited about it - I have had a few friends take it already with nothing but rave reviews. I'll be posting my progress on it here!



The other thing I'll be working on in the background is redesigning my website. Goodness does it need it! Something simple, something easily updatable (so I do it more), something me. Still have yet to figure out exactly what that is but I'm on the road :)

Still going....

I've been working hard on my current book project, a mother's day book to be out next year with Scholastic. I've completed 9 of 13 illustrations - woo!
I have really loved this book more than anything I have done to date - I think it's because the characters are all animals!

Anyway just wanted to pop in to say hello, but need to put head down and paintbrush to paper again (but first, head to pillow!)

until the next time, here's another little snippet, this time of one of the finished paintings...


A4 Book launch



I've got the above piece (one of my personal faves) in print in Lara Soulio's A4 Book, being launched in Melbourne at the Old Bar on Jan 25th. Get along if you can and let me know how it goes as I can't make it! ;-)



"A4 Book is a soft cover book of writing, images, photographs, drawings, poetry and ideas. Work included is visual, conceptual, literary or analytical."


Jonah Charlie Tree

This is a commission for a present for a little baby boy. I hope he likes it!

I've been experimenting with using hand carved stamps (all the blue leaves) -- something I've been wanting to do for ages. I've even had the tools hanging around for YEARS and never used them. So finally they have been inaugurated. It's pretty fun but I definitely need to practice! 

Happy holidays!

Startree - watercolours, custom stamps, collage

May your holidays be happy, and your new year be sparkly!

Thanks to all of you who read this blog. I really appreciate your readership, even when there isn't always that much to read!

Here's hoping 2012 has been a wonderful year for all of you. On this side of the pond, it has been a year of highs and lows. Birth, life, and death -- we experienced it all this year. A difficult and joyous year at the same time.

Thinking about the new year illustration-wise, I'm hoping to redesign my website and definitely make it sparkly, including a shop where I can sell prints. Also preparing to have a solo exhibition at the end of next year so I'm really excited about 2013.

And this is our first Christmas with our little munchkin.... so it is sure to be a lovely time.

much love, stars and gingerbread to all of you out there. Stay safe, happy and healthy!

xx

Whaleplay

Weeeeeeeee! Do it again! do it again!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! (a day late)

This is our first Father's Day, and how lucky we are to celebrate it with our little one. It was a gorgeous day here in Melbourne, and we spent most of it in the sunshine as a family of 3.

This is a piece I started before our little boy came along. I think I was fretting over the background, doing it and redoing it. When you have a baby, I think you fret less and just try to get things done in the little time you have! So I decided to just finish it. I just got it done this morning as I had some unusual time: a sleeping baby but very awake myself!

Hope you like it. It reminds me of how dads are so good at 'horseplay'. I guess this is 'whaleplay' :)