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!!!
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!
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.
After a very inspiring summer I have finally got round to uploading my pictures of my little jaunt around my Mum and Dad's garden when I was visiting my Grandma.
It's such an inspiring and creative place to be with lots of hidden treasures and beautiful flowers. Check out our Fi&Me blog to see Lucy under the arbour...aren't we lucky to have such a lovely garden as a backdrop for our creative makes and fashion shoots?!
I'm hoping to use the pictures I have taken of flowers to influence some new illustration ideas that I have so check back soon for those.
There's a bit of monkey madness going on at the Love Love Drawing blog today isn't there?!
I decided last night that my blog needed updating, especially if I am going to go freelance soon. Hopefully this will attract more people to the websites in time for the Fi&Me launch which is imminent! Business cards ordered, logo designed, stamp on it's way...thank you Lu!
I like my new banner but I'm just trialing it for a bit...as I don't want to focus souly on monkeys (even though I love making and drawing them!)
I have been working on developing my mini sock monkeys (or Minkeys) over summer and I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. I actually gave the pink striped one to my sister for her birthday and she called her Penny!
I had an exciting day yesterday! Many many thanks to my sister Jen who made it possible for me to drop off some work whilst she looked after my little girl! Thanks Jenny - you're a star!!
Over the next few months I will be exhibiting 5 framed prints in the Oasis Cafe at Stepping Hill hospital, Stockport.
On my way there yesterday afternoon, I slipped on a grid outside A&E! (which could have come in useful but luckily wasn't needed!)
With my jeans slightly torn and my ego slightly bruised, I finally managed to get to the cafe and handed in my illustrations and cards. They will be up soon and available to buy!
Over the last few months in preparation for the Fi&Me launch myself and my business partner (and sister Lu) have been reading books/blogs on starting a business. One tip from the wonderfully inspirational girls who run Red Velvet is to celebrate successes by treating yourself, so I went and bought a gorgeous winter woolly as a present to myself for my first little show (it made me feel better about falling over too!)
Here's to the first of many! (shows...not falls!!)