Crumbs, long time no blog. I swear I will try to come on here more often! Despite my blogging tardiness I've had quite an exciting week, considering it's January. Last Tuesday I gave a talk on self promotion and my illustrating life to a group of third year illustration students at De Montfort Uni. I was incredibly nervous, and I've never done it before, but I was made to feel really welcome and appreciated by the tutors, especially by Dan Morley, who invited me to sit in on a couple of his tutorial groups. Most of his students looked terrified, even though they all seemed very talented and Dan was more of a cuddly Andrex puppy than an angry Rottweiler. So, at 4pm I gave my talk, feeling as though I was blushing and stammering most of the way through and watching the kids starting to fall asleep in the snug, studio heat. The tutors very kindly asked me plenty of questions all the way through and at the end several of the students did too- a couple of them even came up afterwards to ask more. The tutors tell me it went well and that I was coherant not stammery so, nerves aside, I'm going to believe them. Thanks to the students for not actually falling asleep!
After a week of recovery (several Double Deckers were consumed) I finally got to... my birthday! I'm now the grand old age of 29. That's right people; I'm very nearly a Proper Grown Up. Amongst lots of other lovely treats (including a £10 Thornton's voucher- thanks dad! nomnomnom) I got this sari material from Rowan to hang on the walls of my room to make it all nice and cosy (instead of cold, dull and magnolia-y) and a miscellaneous pot plant. They're beautiful, the material's so twinkly and covered in elephants diamond patterns. If anyone can identfy the plant I'd be very grateful- the label just says 'Groen Mix' and tells me it likes light and water....
*Update: Thanks to the wonderful Carly for informing me that I'm the proud owner of a Dwarf Umbrella Tree!
Talking of plants, we got a new allotment today! It came with a shed and a taken apart greenhouse that we can, hopefully, put back together. It's also got what we think is a plum tree, so with any luck we'll have a cupboard full of plum jam this time next year! It's a lovely plot in a nice, quiet area, only 15 minutes walk from our house, and all the neighbours seem really helpful and kind. I'll post some photos soon!
On the illustration side of things I've been designing my new promo postcards all week. I've gone for a bit of a maritime theme this time, and I've ordered them from Vista Print again. I hear a lot of people complain about Vista's quality, but my cards have always been perfect, and I got 500 for £32 including postage and tax, so I'm more than happy! Here's my design.
The illo on the back is from a commission I did before Christmas for branding company, eatbigfish.