Summer Time Outfits!

"In the summer time, when the weather get hot"... what should a girl wear?!

The UK has been basking in a wonderful heatwave over the last few weeks and though I LOVE the hot weather, finding things to wear while working at home as been difficult!

So I made a quick animated gif to let my facebook audience click and pick my outfit for a day! The winning outfit was the long blue maxi dress... I was pleased with this outcome, as it was lovely and cool! 

Ohhh Snail Mail Information Graphics!

My bestie Hayley and I have recently been inspired by a designer named Giorgia Lupi, co-founder and design director of Accurat, to undertake the task of creating postcards made completely of infographics based on one topic, once a week, for the whole year!

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The idea being was to start to pushing ourselves creatively not only on how to capture and visualise data (no matter how mundane) but also to go back to good old fashioned hand drawn/created work that relied on snail mail!  

Giorgia's work is so inspiring and beautiful but I didn't want to directly copy it. I wanted to put my own twist own the idea by trying to keep it illustrative and colourful.

The hardest part is trying to think of new and interesting topics each week and being disciplined in keeping track. 

But it is amazing what happens when you start to focus on one small things or task and keep track of it. My favourite information graphic postcards that I have made so far, have been those where I tracked my sleep, drinks, music, words and thoughts. These allowed me to push my skills creatively and find new ways of show what I found.

Other small details I have learnt by working on this project is weather! When you send a gouache painted postcard and it rains... it is going to run! Same for some pens I used. The cards can get torn, bent or damaged, but it all adds to the experience.

I love waiting for the postman. He always asks me about the ones from Hayley and what do they mean. He has asked to see mine a few times too! The walk to the village postbox takes about 20 minutes rain or shine, but I enjoy the chance to stomp through the farmland and orchards to post my little postcard.   

I am really enjoying this process, I will continue to update you on some of the design I do. 

Ohhh Wine Time!

Kent Gold

As you know, I am passionate about small business, and work hard to support local and family run companies where I can. I love attending local food markets and fairs, stocking up on beautiful and unique food and drink produce.

Therefore I was delighted to be asked to design new wine labels for West Fisher,  one of the smallest commercial wine producer in the UK.

Working with the name "Kent Gold", described as: "A blended medium dry white made from Pinot Blanc and Reichensteiner grapes, Wiltshire grown but all made in our winery near Biggin Hill of course. Similar to a Soave in character with an almost Sancerre character to the finish, well suited to fish & summer dishes." and one of my favourites in the range, I started to play with my idea of wineries and Kent to make an illustrative mark. 

The old label (seen to the left of the image) plays with sun, but I wanted to play with the earth. 

Kent is synonymous with countryside, fields and farming. I wanted to add this feel to the wine labels as well a texture.

I started with a gold texture, a rounded and smooth shape (like a grape) and started hand curve out lines, as if the object earth being plowed for seeding / growing. 

One we arrived at a shape and style, I decided to look at changing the texture from gold foil to watercolour. This way we could make this work across the range. Each wine having a unique shape and colour in the same illustrative style. 

Working with the established West Fisher branding was difficult at first, but I think we came to a happy balance of old and new. The legal font sizes for measurement and alcohol volume also was tricky as it was in cm not in points! One thing I fighted for was to change the horse's head logo slightly. I raised the horse's head up slightly, so it was no longer looking down (sometime I felt strongly about!) as I felt it looked sad and downbeat. We also decided to make it fit into the illustrations which was a nice touch. 

Overall I am very happy with the result as is Simon! I feel a real sense of pride seeing all the bottles lined up on the market stalls! They look fab and plus they taste really good! 

If you are interest in supporting Simon and his amazing wines you can learn more and buy from his website: West Fisher Winery  or find them at many of the Kent based food fairs and markets! 

An Illustration Reflection - Best of 2016

My Favourite Colour Collective Illustration (Twitter Group Challenge) 2016

I so enjoyed taking part on Colour Collective this year. Thou I could not always do it every week, I tried my best to! Every Monday a Pantone colour was announced and the idea is to create a visual piece using that colour within it. It could be any medium and any theme, total freedom.  

This allows you to play and push yourself to create and play with both colour and styles as you try to make your piece stand out. I was amazed on how supportive and collaborative the group was. How quickly comments, shares and like built up where given. There was endless amount of inspiration as well, just scrolling through everyone work.

I bought new photoshop brushes and push myself to draw in new ways and styles. This little fellow was the result of a new style, new photoshop brushes and taking inspiration from outside my window. This fellow, on his way to school, stopped and just splashed about and then tilted his head back felt the rain on his face before mum pulled him back into the school run! So cute! 

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MY FAVOURITE PERsonal PIECE of illustration 2016

This was a difficult but rewarding piece of work that I completed alongside a self help/advice e Book called "Living with Endometriosis".

I wanted to finally write down my story, something I had been putting off for so long. I spoken about it lot's, but I always thought that if I put down my story in writing it would somehow make it feel more real and permanent. That it would somehow make me feel those same feelings or emotions again. In truth, it did, but it also served as a great healing tool. I felt lighter from it.

To go along side my story I illustrated several key moments in my story to help get the message or my feeling out to the reader. I also shared then alongside social media tweets about living with the condition as well as the physical and psychological effects living in chronic pain while also trying to get diagnosed.    

 

MY FAVOURITE COMMISSIONED PIECE of ILLUSTRATION 2016

I was asked by a wedding celebrant to create an illustrated bride for her to use across multiple platforms as piece of her brand.  

She wanted to have a "Bo-Ho" bride to promote the handfasterning market of brides as this was something she was enjoying doing.

I was delighted to help with this as I LOVE drawing bridal dresses. This one was a challenge due to the lace, but I really enjoyed the process and the delicate touches in the dress and flowers.

 

 

S6 & Redbubble PIECE OF ILLUSTRATION 2016

One of my most bought pieces from my online stores in 2016 where from my Hot drinks collection.

Started as a study of portraits in the vector style, three little pieces came about! My favourite piece being "That Hot Chocolate Feeling", because I LOVE hot chocolate in the winter, especially with little marshmallows floating around on top. Yummy.

That Hot Chocolate feeling - Artwork and gifts at S6 Shop

That Coffee feeling - Artwork and gifts S6 Shop

That Tea feeling - Artwork and gifts S6 Shop

 

MY LAST PIECE OF ILLUSTRATION 2016

Ohhh Mr Trump... Mr President-elect...

So much came out of America's latest Presidential campaign; quotes, news, false reports, back stabbing, lies, truths, russian tampering (?) , comedy sketches  and the good people of the USA themselves. So much was said, shown and done it was a feast for illustrators everywhere.

One of my last jobs of 2016 was to illustrate an article on the idea of those who made "him". I wanted to show the people and politicians campaigned and maneuvered Trump into power both cheering and leering at the "monster they made". A sort of Frankenstein feeling, while the "Monster" soaks up the power and glory. 

I think it came out well and the article writer loved it! 

I hope to do many of these political based illustrations in 2017, but not all on Trump I hope.


OHHHKAYE WORK

I work for a wide range of clients across advertising, editorial and corporate business fields but I don’t really have a ‘typical’ client. I get approached by all sorts of different people and companies and I love the challenge of creating something unique for each one in order to solve a problem visually. 

If you are in need of an illustration, please do get in touch on 07870 662180 or email: hello@ohhhkaye.co.uk 

Ohhh Happy New Year

It is that time again. Time to make a change. Set out goals and ambitions for 2017.

I always hate picking just a thing to change or do, often because I fail or slip up as it is often too difficult or complicated and so I just get frustrated and give up. Why just one BIG thing? Why not a few smaller things?

So I have decided to make lot's of small changes as I go through the year and not beat myself up if I can not do them all, but celebrate the ones I do complete or accomplish. If I fail once, or twice or thirty times, I still have thousand of small other chances to try again! 

Isn't that better?

So here is a list of things that spring to mind today 1st Jan 2017 of things I would like to change, do, see and try...

  1. Get outside more
  2. Meditation - let's do it everyday
  3. Yoga - start documenting my process and go to class every week.
  4. Don't get down, frustrated or upset when I am ill or under the weather - My body is doing the best it can!
  5. Take breaks
  6. Go to Paris
  7. Go to a London NFL game
  8. Listen to more music
  9. Read more - less online stuff thou
  10. Eat less sugar
  11. Buy art, music and craft art I love - support fellow small and independant artists
  12. See more of my friends
  13. Draw EVERYDAY - even if it small
  14. Go back to Screenprinting
  15. Be kind, Forgive, Slow down
  16. Be grateful
  17. Be happy - see the good in everyday things
  18. Fill of office wall with inspiration
  19. Laugh
  20. Run
  21. Try and write more
  22. Blog
  23. Take up a new hobby - pottery?
  24. Work on the house
  25. Go diving again - its been years! 

I shall keep adding as the year goes on. Let's see where this goes! 

To make a start here is a link to one of my favourite "remix" artists Pogo and his new album. This link takes you to one of my favourite tracks. I have downloaded his album via Bandamp. If you like what you hear why don't you? You pay what you want to pay... how much would you give? 

Happy New Year! Support one of my favourite musical artists this year.
Download Weightless from Bandcamp: http://pogomix.bandcamp.com/album/wei...

Another thing I want to do is to fill my office wall with inspiration - So I will start buying a few prints, postcards from my etsy favourite lists! One of which is this amazing work by Andsmile. I love her style and use or colour. It is in the basket, and when a few other shop reopen in the year I shall make a group purchase as fill my office with colour! 

Nighty Night (and get off twitter) is an A4 print. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/235954863/nighty-night-a4-print

Nighty Night (and get off twitter) is an A4 print.
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/235954863/nighty-night-a4-print

There, a start has been made!

Do you have any wishes, resolutions, goals for 2017? Why not share them with me... I would love to here, help or even support you on achieving them!  

Ohhh Kaye it's Tea Time!

Rebranding Tiger Spring Tea to Bergamia Tea

There is a lot of things I love about my job. I get to create lovely things everyday from my home with my kitten on my lap and lot's of cups of tea (and cake, occasionally).

So what could be better for me than a new client who asks me to rebrand their company which lives and breathes tea! 

From Tiger Spring Tea to Bergamia Tea

From Tiger Spring Tea to Bergamia Tea

Designs and Photography by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

It was an instant yes from me! 

Nigel and Lenka own Bergamia Tea (formally Tiger Spring Tea) and have a strong and passionate knowledge of both their product and the goals of their business. They are also creative people themselves which if I am very honest that this can be both a blessing and a curse!

But I honestly found working with them very exciting. It was a very collaborative process. Every detail was discussed from the bird illustration to the kerning of each letter and not just in the creation logo but in all the assets needed.

My original doodle made using Paper53 iPad app - which Nigel and Lenka loved so much

My original doodle made using Paper53 iPad app - which Nigel and Lenka loved so much

The bird mark arrived very quickly in the process. After talking to Nigel and Lenka and getting to know them, their likes, the interests and the business I knew a bird would appeal. I wanted to create a simple and bold mark that would become recognisable quickly, but also have character.  

I played with the general shape of black tea leaves to create a shape then added simple cut out features, including the wing being another tea leaf in it's shape. 

Created using an iPad app call Paper53 I liked the textured and overlaid colour feel to the illustration and so did Nigel and Lenka. The challenge now was to recreate the drawing as a vector while still holding onto the qualities and simple marks we all loved, as well as adding in  a few more details.

The challenge I had to over come creating the logo as a vector was to create the "overlap" of colour like over print and the grainy texture as if the ink had not covered the whole image perfectly, but I think it was successful. Working on the eye and wing detail was fun, thou the wing design itself went through many different versions until we where all happy with the balance and weight of the lines. The idea that the wing and eye can be used as separate element was them played with further. These will be used on the website and maybe on some other printed materials. 

I LOVE the bird design and I am very happy with how the logo has come out! 

The font was a big issue. We spent lot of time on this going from extremes! I liked the modern, clean sans serif fonts, but Nigel and Lenka wanted a old world / Georgian feel. I was worried at first that the simple bird illustration and the old font would clash but after playing and going through A LOT of fonts, we can across 1785 GLC Baskerville which I liked and I think works very nicely with the Bergamia bird. 

Bergamia Logo Details - Birdy's eye - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Bergamia Logo Details - Birdy's eye - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Bergamia Logo Details - Birdy's wing - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Bergamia Logo Details - Birdy's wing - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

With the Logo completed, we moved onto the biggest packaging project I had had in a good while, as Bergamia Tea has 6 varieties of black teas and over 100 labels for their tea packaging all of which needed to be redesigned. 

We all wanted each variety of tea to have it's own unique colour, so my first job was to find complementary colours that worked with the logo and also represented the tea. Most of the colours came straight out of the logo itself. The two strong prime colours (turquoise and bright orange), then from the over printed/lapping colours in the logo (a dark green and, dark orange), followed by the black used in the text. I then played with light but warm greys and found one I like for the white tea that worked well with the other colours.  

Brand tea labels - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Brand tea labels - Designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

With the colour choices confirmed, layout went through a few tries but we reach a layout design we all loved very quickly. The trouble came down to fonts again! Finding one that complemented 1785 GLC Baskerville was tricky, but with the added trials that it needed to go down to a small point size but still be easy to read and work within a tight space.

Working with a copywriter I recommended, Nigel and Lenka managed to get the tea descriptions down to a good size, but it was still a challenge to make sure the font would work. Florencesans was the final choice (If I said between us all we must have looked at over 100 fonts!). It was a battle, but one I think we won out on! I like the balance of my need/want for a more simple clean font and Nigel and Lenka's want to keep older style fonts. It did the style and space issue just right.

The labels also need to created in two different sizes as well (lrg and sml) which added to the readability issues, but both font's held up remarkably well. Many a test print was made and held up to the bags the tea would be packaged in to make sure both the size of the label was complimentary but the fonts and colours stood out against the silver.

I mentioned to Nigel and Lenka that the final paper the label was printed on would be a HUGE factor on the finish. I was delighted to be shown and asked my opinion all the tests and mock ups that where made. We all decided on a white textured paper (which I was very keen on) as I felt it created an accurate colour reproduction for the labels blocks of strong colour and also because it had a expensive and high quality texture/feel to it despite it not being the most expensive option! 

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Brand tea labels - Designs and Photography by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Brand tea labels - Designs and Photography by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea

Brand tea categories - designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea 

Brand tea categories - designs by OhhhKaye.co.uk for Bergamia Tea 

With the labels off to print, we moved on to the "Stamps" that would be both printed and for use on the website.  

The idea being that each stamp would represent each variety of tea on the webpage and would also be used as a sticker seal on the packaging. Again this stamps would need to be in the colours of each tea variety like the labels and Nigel and Lenka wanted a victorian like pattern around the edge.

Three versions of this design was needed in seven varieties. But this proved a quick and easy challenge and design was signed off almost straight away, with only minor tweaks. Even Ziggy the OhhhKaye office "helper" approved the look! 

OhhhKaye office assistant "Ziggy" giving his final approval to the designs!  

OhhhKaye office assistant "Ziggy" giving his final approval to the designs!  

Overall I am delighted with the results of this project. I LOVE the logo and colours as well as working so closely and developing such a great relationship with the clients Nigel and Lenka. 

We still have lot's more small jobs to do and I look very much forward to continuing working with Bergamia Tea over the next few months! 

Stress

It's #NationalStressAwarenessDay - I can suffer from stress from time to time, but when I do I REALLY suffer from it! It all or nothing! So I thought I would help raise awareness on this day on what it is like living with stress and anxiety and also share a few of my tips on how to cope. 

When you feel stressed it can feel like you're fighting yourself. Try not dwell or overthink things. Worrying just makes your mind more and more tired, more and more detached from everything around you.

Step outside and take a walk, go for a bike ride or a swim.Try meditation, or write a list, talk to friends or family, do not fight to feel better. Do not worry and obsess about how you feel. You need to give your body the break it so craves.

Fighting yourself - by OhhhKaye.co.uk

Fighting yourself - by OhhhKaye.co.uk

For someone living with #anxiety and #stress, the voice, or self-talk, can be overbearing. Find a hobby you love, an activity, anything you can get lost in. When you’re lost in a positive way like this, anxiety’s voice can’t find you.

Anxiety likes to have a voice. It means it’s heard (by us) and it has power (over us). Good thing that voice can be silenced.

xxxx

That little voice - by OhhhKaye.co.uk

That little voice - by OhhhKaye.co.uk

OhhhKaye and Meditation

logo and branding by OhhhKaye

logo and branding by OhhhKaye

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Camila Baker at a Medway based network meeting.  After a short talk I found myself drawn to her unique energy and her great positivity. 

She was needs some branding work for her meditation classes and I was delighted when she chose to work with me on this project.

While I was learning about her and what she does, I started to feel like my life was missing a skill. Medication. Thou I did do some after my yoga classes, I could never seem to do it alone at home.

I suffer from a noisy brain. It is always talking to me; whether it is that what I am doing now, what I’ve just done before or a random thing about the past, I find it hard to quieten it all sometimes find a moments piece.  So last month I finally took the plunge and took the four-day course at her home.

Camilla practice a form of meditation called Vedic meditation. She always spoke about her classes with such passion and enthusiasm that I knew I had to learn with her.  It’s also helped that she lives a beautiful home surrounded by some of Kent’s best countryside making it an idyllic place to learn. A warm and welcoming place where you can totally relax and immerse yourself into the practice of meditation. 

What is Vedic Meditation?

The word Vedic comes from the Sanskrit word Veda, or knowledge. Vedic Meditation is one of the oldest, most effortless, and natural forms of meditation. 

Vedic Meditation is not a monastic practice. Meaning, it wasn’t designed for people whose spiritual path involves detaching from society. It is practiced by sitting comfortably with eyes-closed, and gently using a specific sound, or “mantra,” to naturally settle the mind and body into a state of deep rest. 

This technique was developed for “householders”—people who are fully engaged in life. Multi-tasking people with active minds who lead busy lives with jobs, relationships, and families.

Although originating in India this is not exclusively “Indian” knowledge. The technique is universal in its nature, practiced by and benefiting people all over the world, regardless of their society, profession, age, religion, or belief system.

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For my first session I had to bring along some fresh flowers and fruit to offer as thanks to indian prophets that founded this practice. 

I had seen Camilla perform this ceremony before, but it was extra special this time around as this beautiful ceremony was just for me! The ceremony takes place standing facing a image featuring the prophets and Camilla sings/chants to the prophets while offering the fruit and flowers, as well as incense, water and rice. After this I was given my own personal mantra and spent the next hour mediating.

Slowly mouthing the words of my own personal mantra, first with my voice, then in head until they slowly faded away into silence, I felt a great sense of peace. Whilst I was meditating many thoughts passed through my mind, some incredibly random (shopping lists, how my new kitten was doing at home alone, my nanny etc), others things that I hadn't thought of for years (an old school friend for example) - I acknowledged them and went back to my mantra. 

The minutes sped away and I lost all sense of time and suddenly that was the end of the session! I felt amazing. As well as the feeling of peace, my head felt clearer and I felt more overall relaxed. I might not have had a completely silent mind, but I felt that my thoughts could be more easily pushed back or away by using my mantra. 

Camilla asked me to try and do another 20 minutes that evening which I did do with help from her FREE APP (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/sh-timer/id1030776645?mt=8).

I will admit it was harder to do allow at home, due to excitable kitten, a hungry husband and a home phone that kept wanting my attention! But I did it, I kept my eyes close, breathing calm and kept repeating the mantra. It is so good to create just 20 minutes of me time. 

I shall write about the following days training in another post but if you want to know more do visit Camilla's website www.stablehousemeditation.co.uk and check her out!

 

Relearning an old skill

It is no secret that I love print. I do love digital printing, but nothing beats the old school way of screen printing in my mind. I love the smell of ink on paper. I love the step by step process of mixing your custom colours and the tactile nature of spreading the ink about and the dragging the Squeegee up and down the screen. Wonderful. 

I realised it had been over 12 years since I had the pleasure of working on a screen print and yet just a few towns over, there was a open studios offering classes and studio time. Time to get my hand dirty again I think! I have been working on a series of one and two colour illustrations that I hoped one day I would have the chance to screen print and now seemed the perfect time to try them out.

Medway Fine Printmakers based in INTRA, Rochester, Kent offers courses once a month in screen print for £60.00 including all your tools and supplies. 

The day begins with a great talk all about of the process along with visual examples artworks all created at Medway Fine Printmakers. It was great to see the example as you could start to see the range of marks that you can reproduce with screen print design. The benefit of correct line making, making sure you illustration has true black and white (no greys), as well as how to create textures and other marks.

We then went on to reclaiming a screen and I was let loose with a high pressure washer! I forgot the crazy amount of sound that is created in this process! I managed to keep the water in the sink thou.

With the screen now ready to use, I coated my dry screen with photo emulsion, (this is always the hardest part in my mind), then quickly tucked the screen to dry in a warm, dry and dark place.

While I waited from my emulsion to dry, I started to preparing my artwork by printing the drawing out using an just inkjet printer and standard paper. Once the ink is dry on the printout, I turned the paper over and rubbed it all over with vegetable oil! Might sound strange but this makes the white areas on the paper transparent (very important to let the light through) and ready for the light box exposer.

Exposing the screen to my artwork and the light box was next step.

The black areas of my drawing blocked the light from the light box to the screen and stopped the photo emulsion from setting hard.  After my carefully timed expose was finished, I then set about washing the screen again with the jet washer (but at a much slower setting) to flush out the non-set emulsion and revealing my screen stencil!

And then... The best bit!  
Printing the screen onto my choice of paper or textiles. I of course, went for paper!

My first few attempts where okay, but I suffered some bleeding on the left handsome. Thinking it was my on the pressure Squeegee I started to worry, however it turned out to be my height as I was a tiny bit too short for the table. One step up later and perfect prints! 

I honestly was sooooo happy with what I had managed to create by the end of the day and just how quickly the old skills and steps came back to me as I went through them. I simply can not wait to go back and use the studios again soon. 

I highly recommend the course at Medway Fine Printers  for a newbie and or those who just want to get back into screen printing! Check them out and watch this space for more illustration from me!