Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas!



Here are some festive illustrations to feast your eyes on. Have a very happy Christmas, it's Christmas Eve eve! I have always prefered the 23rd! Presents wrapped (except the one's Santa is delivery - he's sure to be very busy wrapping presents galore as we speak) and the house is almost 'Christmas' tidy.

Feet up and a nice bottle of festive cider I think.Cheers everyone!
Happy drawing x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Drawing 2011

 
Above images by Fiona Meakin 2011 (copyright)

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2012!

2011 has been a productive and busy year, and one where I feel I have developed a way of working that is more disciplined than perhaps it was previously. I have found that I have cycles of productivity, so draw when I feel compelled to, which in turn produces ideas and designs for products such as toys, badges, homewares etc. I think I am making moves in the right direction of becoming a full time artist (or at least even more of a part-time one!).

I have begun to sell prints of my illustrations through Chorlton Arts Festival Shop, developed a more coherent range of soft toy characters and begun to send my work out to publishers. At Fi & Me HQ we have upped our presence at craft fairs as intended, taken steps towards becoming self-employed, designed our branding, packaging and ethos. Lucy has master minded the business plan, built a website and a shop and above all we have spent alot of quality time together.

I have also been approached to do something theatre related...more info will follow asap (!!!) as well as being involved in an exhibition in a group show with friends from my MA, so there are some exciting projects in the pipe line.


Lots of Love Love, and of course, Merry Christmas!

Fi x

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011

Two Weekends of Craft for Christmas!

What a busy weekend! Despite the rain, Saturday brought a lot of people down to Town Street in Marple Bridge for this year's Winter Wonderland. It was a magical, festive day - but a bit soggy! Thank you to our parents for lending the gazeebo with sides! Phew!

I thought I would show you some pics of how we displayed our products over the weekend. The event at Stockport Town Hall was particularly good because Pure Radio were there to promote the event and had been advertising on their station. Events at the Town Hall always seems really well organised so if you are starting out and thinking about doing Craft Fairs this may be a good one for you.

Anyone who is a regular to Craft and Gift Fairs will know that foot fall can fluctuate drastically throughout the year depending on many factors so to have this fair advertised on Pure Radio was a definite bonus.

We met and spoke to so many lovely customers and browsers over the last two weekends and would like to say a big thank you for all your comments and feedback, and purchases of course!

Assorted accessories by Lucy

Reindeer tree decorations

Squidgy Upcycled owls by Fiona

Retro/Vintage fabric gifts by Lucy

Assorted cards and toys by Fiona
To see more designs click HERE





We design and make all our own products using fabric that is vintage/retro or pre-loved. If I become tired of an old scarf or jumper I felt it up in the washing machine and turn it into something new.

Visit the Fi&Me website for more info x






Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Summery Picture for a Chilly Day...Brrr!

Summer Dog Walk, FM 2011
To see the work in progress for this picture click the link below:


Crafty Owls! Copyright Fiona Meakin 2011

I am in the thick of finishing off making my owls for this weekend's craft fairs and have bought some lovely display cases this morning for the stall on Sunday at Stockport Town Hall. I decided to just concentrate on selling the stock I have already made (some is pictured above), with some additions of smaller owls made with up-cycled retro/retro style fabrics as these have been popular. I have also made some crochet owl bag charms so I'm excited about seeing how they go down!

I thought I would show you my Summer Dog Walk picture as I have finally finished it...it may make you feel warmer on this chilly day! Doesn't summer seem so far away?

Fi and Me will be at the following fairs, along with our friends Rachel and RockleSnock


Sat 3rd Dec 1pm - 4 pm:
Winter Wonderland, Marple Bridge

Sunday 4 December 2011
CHRISTMAS GIFT FAIR
Stockport Town Hall Ballroom
FREE ADMISSION
10am - 4pm
Come along . . . pick up some fabulous Christmas gifts.
Car park 50p per car
Light refreshments on sale
0161 474 3451

Visit my portfolio HERE

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Card Designs







Here's a glimpse at my new hand-drawn cards for Christmas, each one is completely unique, and they are available to buy over the next few weekends at various Craft Fairs, and online very soon at www.fiandme.co.uk.
We are at Stockport Market tomorrow for a special Christmas event 'Countdown To Christmas'

It's on from 10am until 4pm at Staircase House, Stockport


Visit my portfolio HERE

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Daily Animal Doodles

I'm not the only one in my family who loves to draw cute animals! Check out my sister's  Daily Animal Doodles on our blog.
She has set herself a challenge to draw everyday for a month. Daily Animal Doodles are the brainchild of Paper Sparrow who draws and creates quirky animal related accessories and gifts.Here blog is lovely, and really worth a look.

by Lucy Meakin 2011

I think this is possibly the cutest creature I have seen all year!!!

Click HERE to visit my porfolio

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Vanity - Illustration Friday Topic

'Pukka Up' FM 2011
Here's my entry for this week's Illustration Friday. Click on the link below for more fabulous responses to this week's topic.

IF* is really helping me to develop my practice and it's always good to work to a deadline for a personal challenge. Hope you enjoy my little vain fox!



Click HERE to visit my portfolio

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Silent - Illustration Friday Topic







Here's a quick sketch for this weeks IF* Topic. After all, Christmas is getting closer! Eek!

To visit my portfolio click HERE

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sketches of C


My daughter was 3 this week! I can't believe how time has flown by. This morning she was playing with her new farmyard set, so I tried to capture some moments of play. She moves fast (!) so they really are snapshots but it will help me with my character development and creation of realistic looking characters.

I like how I have captured how unruly her hair is in the morning on the centre figure!

For more pictures in my portfolio click HERE  xxx

STRIPES - Illustration Friday topic for this week


This is my entry for this week's Illustration Friday topic which is 'Stripes.'

Here is Panda dressed in a striped dress and tights, and her friend Owl in his little blue striped wellington boots. Even the bus stop is stripy!


It's evening, they're waiting for the bus and it looks like rain!

Saturday, 5 November 2011


'Granny Hen' 2005




Model from Magazine 2005


Revisiting old sketchbook (2005), found this one of my Granny Hen (not sure she'd be that flattered!)

I like to try and capture people by sketching them quickly, so often there are bits missing - perhaps I only do half the face. Somehow this tends to look more realistic, or representative of what the person actually looks like (see pic of my dad below). I used to spend a lot of time on trains going to auditions, or back and to from various places that I was working or studying, to Manchester.
I will publish some of these if I can find them...



Have a lovely weekend, oh and check out my sister Lucy's cute drawings! She is posting a drawing a day on our handmade and vintage blog.


How cute is this?! Well done Lu xxxx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

SKETCHBOOK PROJECT 2012

I am very excited because I received my sketchbook from the Sketchbook Project in the post yesterday!



The topic I have chosen as a guide to what I will be drawing is 'I Remember You.' This title (out of approximately 30 to choose from) was the one that jumped out at me so now I'm mulling over where to start and then I will see where each page takes me...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

SCARY - Illustration Friday Topic

http://www.fiandme.co.uk/

Help! This little elephant didn't invite any mice to the fancy dress party!

This week's topic for Illustration Friday is aptly, SCARY!!!

I thought I would mix the halloween theme with something that I find scary...MICE. They just move so quickly! I can't believe I had a hamster for 3 years when I was younger. Any kind of rodent freaks me out nowadays!

I've just done a quick sketch and tidied it up in Photoshop.

Enjoy x

Visit my CARGO page for my portfolio

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Toys in Scarves!








Just back from a good day at The Handmade Market, Stockport Indoor Market. We had a stall there and it was lovely to meet and chat to loads of new people. This event is growing in popularity, so if you're thinking about starting up your own craft stall I would recommend getting in touch with the organisers. Visit their facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/TheHandmadeMarketStockport

Above is a look at my new winter makes. I will be selling my reindeers cards and toys during the run up to christmas!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

NEW LOGO! FI & ME!

We can finally reveal our new logo and with our website launch imminent it's a very exciting time here at Fi & Me!
Check out our logo and new business cards below, and for more info and a list of upcoming craft fairs that we will be attending visit our official blog on the Fi & Me site.

For images of our last craft stall click here x



If you have any enquiries or questions please feel free to email us at hello@fiandme.co.uk

Saturday, 15 October 2011

IF Topic - Scattered








Clarabelle and the Trick or Treaters


Here she is! Clarabelle Teagreen (my new character!)

This week's topic for Illustration Friday is 'scattered.' I opened my sketchbook this afternoon unsure of what to draw so I started with Clarabelle's face (an upside down teardrop shape). I added her headscarf and ears and suddenly a picture came into my head of a bowl of sweets being dropped. With Halloween just around the corner I thought 'yep, that'll do.'

Thought I'd try a bit of a storyline this week so my drawings are sequential, and I have limited my colour pallete as a bit of a personal challenge.

Check out Illustration Friday for more responses to this weeks topic xx



All images by Fiona Meakin, copyright 2011

CRAFT BLOG UK, SHOES AND MONKEYS!

Penny Monkey (Monkey Tour 2011)


New Show designs
Copyright FM 2011
I LOVE SHOES!

Here are a couple of NEW pictures...a little look at my new shoe drawings (above). I am developing these into cards and accessories to compliment both mine and Lucy's styles for Fi & Me and experiment with making some illustrations more fashion inspired.

I LOVE MONKEYS!

The little monkey is Penny from Lucy's leg of this years Monkey Tour! Check out what Lucy has written about it on the Fi & Me blog

I LOVE CRAFT BLOG UK!

You can now find my craft blog under the Art & Photography section. CRAFT BLOG UK is a directory that gives you access to fantastic craft and design blogs, if you are looking for a specific gift or specialism you can find it there. You can also find blogging tips and many blogs covering how-to's on many subjects such as card making, scrap booking, photography etc. Craft Blog's author is Hilary Pullen and you can find out more about her here http://about.me/hilarypullen

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

**NEW** GREETING CARDS RANGE!







New cards and stuffed owls

New card range available soon at Fi & Me!

I have developed a cute range of animals wearing scarves too! More images to follow soon...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

National Stationery Week

In celebration of National Stationery Week, I am re-posting a blog post from a little while back, on the importance of traditional means of communication. In case you didn't know, it is currently the national event is on until the 3rd of May. Why not send a letter, card or postcard using traditional 'snail mail' instead of a text or tweet?

CARDS AND COMMUNICATION


Here is a sneak peek at one of my latest card designs available at the Fi&Me shop


Last Saturday morning a postcard addressed to my 2 year daughter fluttered onto our door mat. It was from her Aunty and Uncle (or Aunty and Ankle as she calls them!) How exciting!

Although not addressed to me, this card was right up my street – the star of the postcard being a teddy bear in various locations around Cornwall (check out my Monkey Tour blog post). This image whisked me back to my childhood, remembering that Lucy always used to like sending these kinds of postcards to her school friends.

During her holiday, Lucy and I have been in regular text-message contact, but what could have been said in a text message was lovingly and carefully written onto paper instead and this is what is so important.

What’s more, it gave my daughter an exciting surprise. It was probably only the 3rd piece of mail addressed solely to her. She has had an introduction to the importance of written social communication!

I hoard my old cards, postcards and letters, because they are so special to me and this is why I began creating my own greetings cards originally.
It is also why at Fi & Me we choose to leave our greetings cards blank inside because quite frankly, the more white space the better, think how much (or how little) you could say? It’s up to you and that’s the beauty.

Having said that, I am not against verse in cards at all. Many greetings card manufacturers and designers choose to include verse, because sometimes you just don’t have time to spend penning a mini work of Shakespeare in a 125mm x 125mm space! Sometimes you just can’t find the right words to say and that’s what’s great about buying a card where someone has already taken the time to do it for you.

An interesting resource that is available in association with the Greeting Card Association (GCA) is a project they have set up in conjunction with the Royal Mail. Worth checking out, especially if you are a teacher. It’s designed for 5 – 11 year olds and encourages key English skills, nurtures knowledge of other beliefs and cultures and compliments the art and design curriculum.

www.teacherspost.co.uk/free.html

And this brilliant timeline illustrates just how important cards are for ‘communicating knowledge over distance or time.’

www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk/info-resource/3d-cards/short-history

In conclusion, in whatever form they come in, I think greetings cards are like chicken soup, good for the soul!

For more images you can visit my website www.fionameakin.weebly.com

http://www.nationalstationeryweek.com/


 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Animation - Twinings Tea advert


Here is the new Twinings tea advert for 2011. I had to put it up on my blog because the animation is beautiful, I love the softened colours and the drama of the sea! The animation itself is produced by Psyop LA animation house, and the sound track is by Charlene Soraia - Where You Will Go. Don't you just love a nice cup of tea?!


 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lil' bit Downton Abbey

Here's my latest picture. I have been revisiting old sketch books and found some figurative pictures I had done on my foundation course at Stockport College (2005/2006). I absolutely loved the course, the tutors John and Gill Patterson and technician Karl were so supportive of all of us, and really helped students to consider their options and what was best for them in terms of applying to Universities. Without John's guidance in particular, I don't think I would have had the confidence to apply for the MA course at Wimbledon...anyway, I digress!

My point was that I thought I would return to looking at more realistic figures and this lady has appeared on the page. Apart from the bear ears, she's a little bit Downton Abbey (series 1) don't you think? She's also a more realistic version of a character I am creating called Clarabelle, who is drawn in my children's illustration style.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Random Jam and Grumpy Monkeys




Could this be the grumpiest monkey ever?! I designed and made him last year but just found this picture again. Grumpy things make me chuckle. I think I'm going to make some more, and have recently been to a crochet workshop so I am going to make little monkey scalves for the winter too!
Feel free to email me at fionameakin@hotmail.com if you would like one.

This is quite random, and not linked to monkeys but I have had an idea for an 'Illustrated Jam' project...I made some jam for the first time ever last week with damsons which our neighbour grows. Damson is particularly high in pectin so it wasn't hard to succeed because i didn't need to measure out any to add, it's simply water, sugar and fruit. Mint. N.B. don't put mint in!

The previous night I had watched Jules Holland with Emeli Sande performing Heaven. If you haven't heard it, it's beautiful...especially the acoustic version. Whilst making the jam I was singing it...I felt a bit like a happier version of the lady in 'Like Water For Chocolate,' so in some way my jam is infused with the lyrics and music of Emeli Sande and I am going to illustrate the labels for my jam accordingly. Plus this jam jar shop looks pretty cool to buy all the bits from! http://www.jamjarshop.com/
Check back soon for the results.

This got me onto googling 'illustrated jam' to see if this is a common practice or just me being strange, and I found this wonderful blog from Jam Grantham, York based illustrator. I just love his style and humour. Very worth checking out...http://www.illustrated-jam.blogspot.com/

I love how things link randomly together sometimes.

My Cargo page

Design for monkey by fiona meakin, copyright 2010

Friday, 30 September 2011

Fabric Designs



At Fi&Me, we'd eventually love to get our own fabric printed, so I have been working on some rough ideas. This one is my 'wallpaper' fairies (provisional name).

Images copyright Fiona Meakin 2011

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Literally LOL - Theatre Review



Literally LOL!


A couple of Tuesdays ago, I had the pleasure of travelling back in time! Impressive ha?

I got to spend a whole hour with my good friend and room-mate, Laura Mugridge on her tour of ‘Running On Air.’ For the past 5 months, Laura (or Lol as I know her) who is a comedian and storyteller, has toured the UK with her one woman show written in collaboration with husband Tom. I am so proud of them both for their dedication to what they do and their commitment to their chosen art forms. And through another lovely coincidence the show was produced by another very good friend of mine, the very talented, Rick Watts, theatre producer. We met at sixth form college back in 1997!

Laura and I both studied Drama at Hull University and as two girls from the North West we were deemed compatible and paired up to share our huge room in Cranbrook Ave. The huge room was in some ways an illusion as somehow 10 students were crammed into our reasonably sized house in windy East Yorkshire. It became our refuge when the house seemed busy. If you read Laura’s most recent blog entry you will see she likes to make ‘nests’. I would say our room had the Mugridge treatment for sure, and soon we had both decorated our halves of the room with posters, photographs, free postcards, fairy lights etc!!

Looking back now, I was glad to be moving away from home but probably terrified in equal measure, I can see now that it was a really special time because I felt safe sharing a room with Lol. So, fast forward 12 years…here I was, a couple of Tuesdays ago, in the safety and comfort of Laura’s campervan Joni! I felt proud and also a bit smug that I was the only audience member (one of 5 seated inside the van) who had already had the pleasure of many an hours audience with her!

Not only was Laura’s delivery gently hilarious, it was also very heartfelt and she talked about the difficulties presented to those individuals who choose a career in the arts. Being torn between life at home and work – needing to work but missing being with loved ones on cold winter’s nights…

I think that if you are an artist and are lucky enough to be able to sustain the lifestyle you are suited to (working and supporting yourself whilst being able to work as an artist) then bingo – you’ve hit the jackpot, but the reality is that it is, in most cases, difficult, without personal sacrifices in some way. Can you really have your cake and eat it? Often it’s not hard to find the work and opportunities, but to be paid for them (or paid well) is a different story.

Voluntary, unpaid, or low pay work is a great way to gain experience but can’t be sustained if you need to pay bills!

For me, having been Laura’s roommate at Hull University, the show was particularly inspiring. I felt connected to her experience over the last year. Here I was, in Laura’s portable home, her ‘tortoise’, able to spend time with her once again. She made me feel that I should carry on with my ‘dream’ of becoming an illustrator and encouraged me to stick to my guns, painting the subjects that are dear to my heart, for an audience who want to see them.

Good luck with the French leg of the tour Laura and Tom! Bonne Chance!!!

Laura's Blog:
http://www.adventuresinwellingtons.blogspot.com/

Monday, 26 September 2011

Work in progress







Here is a work in progress of one of my 'summer inspired' illustrations. I don't even have a dog but they seem to be recurring themes in my work at the moment! I would like to have a rescued grey hound at some point and the character I'm creating currently has a grey hound called Tilly.

This summery lady is wearing my interpretations of fashions, that I spotted in magazines on holiday. She's also wearing my lilac Birkenstock's so there's a little bit of me in this drawing! Perhaps she's me really?...I'm too scared of heights and would never walk that close to the edge of a cliff even if the view is worth it!

For more images visit my Cargo page portfolio

http://www.fiandme.co.uk/

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Handmade Market, Stockport





 Do you remember the felt I blogged about a couple of weeks ago? Well, here is a small selection of items I have created for our stall at The Handmade Market, Stockport.

My owls are usually popular, so as well as my normally squidgy ones, I have decided to introduce a bit more functionality to them by making some into bag charms/keyrings. To create the bag charms I have used vintage fabric.

There are so many sumptuous colours on the high street and in the fashion world currently which I have tried to use in my new designs. I am loving mustard and teal (these colours can be spotted on the cheeky monkey birthday cards at the top!)

We will be at The Handmade Market in our first official outing as Fi&Me on Sunday. We have been busy re-branding over the summer in preparation for our website launch before the year is out.
Credit must be given to Lucy for all the hard work she has put in with the web design and technical bits!
It's been hard work, especially since we both work, and I have an energetic 2 year old to look after, but we find it so rewarding so it's worth it.

It's been fun, and so exciting to come up with our logo which in turn has enabled us to order business cards, packaging, labels and start the ball rolling.

Come along on Sunday 25th from 10am until 4pm.

Visit http://www.thehandmademarket.co.uk/ for more information, or on the Fi&Me blog



All designs and imagery copyright Fiona Meakin 2011.