Summer Time Outfits!

"In the summer time, when the weather gets 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 has 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 was to start to push ourselves creatively, not only 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 inspiring and beautiful but I didn't want to directly copy it. I wanted to put my own twist on the idea by trying to keep it illustrative and colourful.

The hardest task is to think of new and interesting topics each week and being disciplined enough to keep on track. 

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

Another small detail I have learned by working on this project concerns the weather! When you send a gouache painted postcard and it rains... it is going to run! The same goes for some of the pens I used. Also, 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 cards from Hayley and what they mean. He has asked to see mine a few times too! The walk to the village postbox takes about 20 minutes, but I enjoy the chance to stomp through the farmland and orchards, come rain or shine, to post my little postcard.   

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

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. Though I couldn't 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. It could be in any medium and on any theme; total freedom.  

This allows you to play with both colour and styles and push yourself to create as you try to make your piece stand out. I was amazed at how supportive and collaborative the group was, how quickly comments, shares and likes were given. There was endless inspiration to be found by just scrolling through everyone's work.

I bought new Photoshop brushes and pushed myself to draw in new styles. This little fellow was the result of an experiment in style, using new Photoshop brushes and taking inspiration from outside my window. A little boy, on his way to school, stopped and splashed about in the puddles, and then tilted his head back to feel the rain on his face before his 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 for my self help/advice eBook called "Living with Endometriosis".

I wanted to finally write down my story, which is something I had been putting off for a long time. I've spoken about it a lot, but I'd 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 doing it.

To go alongside my story I illustrated several key moments to help get my message or a particular feeling out to the reader. I shared the illustrations on social media, with Tweets about living with endometriosis, including the physical and psychological effects of living in chronic pain while trying to get a diagnosis.    

 

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 to 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 the most purchased pieces from my online stores in 2016 was from my Hot Drinks collection.

These started as a study of portraits in the vector style, and three little pieces came about! My favourite piece is "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 to light in America's latest Presidential campaign; quotes, news, false reports, back stabbing, lies, truths, Russian tampering (?), excellent comedy sketches and the diverse opinions of 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 in 2016 was to illustrate an article about the idea of those people who made "him". I wanted to show that certain people and politicians campaigned and manoeuvred Trump into power while both cheering and leering at the "monster they made". This illustration has a 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 more 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 

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

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!