31 August 2015

6 ingredient fruity porridge - simple healthy Breakfast

As I venture into my first day of my new diet I thought I would create a simple breakfast with six ingredients just to kick off.


1 cup of Oats
300ml cold water or milk  
a handful of blueberries
half a green apple
maple syrup 
Sprinkle of cinnamon

1. It's pretty simple pop the cold water and porridge in a saucepan at a mid temperature on the hob for around 4-5 minutes, stir occasionally.
2. Peel the apple and slice thinly and wash the blueberries
3. Pour Porridge into the bowl and maple syrup or honey if you aren't a fan of maple syrup.
4.Add the fruit to the bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon

Simple but taste wonderful and is so easily mixed up, you could easily add a handle of sunflower seeds or Almonds to the mix


30 August 2015

Nourish your way to happiness

 Life is that life, it's as long as it will be, I've gone through some rather tough times as of recent nothing majorly life threatening but have been tough on my skin, my mind and my confidence, I will admit it, it has been masked by my furious appetite to work. It's what I love to do but it is subsequently acting as a comfort blanket for dealing with life and things that I've have popped in the  "I'll do that tomorrow" box.

A note slipped under my bedroom door early one morning from my mother, (yep 27 still living at home damn you london house prices) but anyway the note read " I know the last few weeks haven't been easy - but you will go onto do great things love mum x" At that point I felt a mix of guilt and hope, guilt that my mum had picked up on the fact that I wasn't happy and hope that someone had more faith in myself then I did. After my 27th birthday and the weeks leading up to it,  had made me realise I have become a person I'm not happy with. Yep I've lost weight but I don't feel healthy, Yep I've been running but I don't feel energised, I no longer enjoy things I use to,  riddled with anxiety and self doubt, I have decided to start a fresh capture. 

Whilst running at the gym I have been using youtube like a podcast and listening to interviews with Kris Carr if you have no idea who she is, she's pretty wonderful, she was diagnosed with incurable/inoperable cancer 13 years ago and decided to change her life, through what she put in her body, how she thought about life and by doing great things, she is an inspiration. It has helped reaffirm to me that what we put in our bodies is so important, important in giving us a core to help our well being and just as important to help our mind. I want to help myself and hopefully along the journey help others by keeping a diary here on this blog of my well being journey. It won't only be about food, Illustrated Ella is a lifestyle blog and with that I want to share my life, art, food and well being.

So I have a little plot of land thanks to my parents owning a few allotments and with the help of a few of my veggie/vegan friends I hope to nourish my soul so the bouts of depression are less and my M.E. is stabilized more, I no longer want to rely on coffee for an energy boost or comfort eat rubbish. I will be cutting out meat and focusing on a more plant based diet. I hope to show you also that art to me is my meditation, were I will teach techniques of focusing and mindfulness so you can cope with things comfortably. 

I hope to share with you my adventures to find my new self, you will be able to follow the ways I stay positive, paint and nourish my way to happiness, with email newsletters, recipes, paint classes and illustrations.


28 August 2015

Twenty seven things I have learn at twenty seven

I have just turned 27 on the 25th, as much as this dampens my soul slightly at getting closer to 30, I have learn a few things along the way. 

"Hope is a wonderful thing"

1. Be grateful for what you have, things are easily taken away. 2. Don't smoke, 3. Never settle, 4. Don't be afraid to know what you want and go get it, 5. Tell that special person you love them even if they don't feel the same, 6. Heart break is great for work, 7. Hope is a wonderful thing, 8. Spend more time with your Grandparents, 9. Do your best, 10. Only go to Uni if its right for you, 11. Don't take crap from any man or woman, 12. Take that opportunity when it appears, 13. Listen to your mum, 14. Less jealousy and paranoia and more faith and trust, 15. Doubt has no place within you confidence is key, 16. Date more, 17. Don't ever give up, 18. Never underestimate yourself,  19. It's your skin get more tattoos, 20. Don't feel pressured to fit in, 21. Tea heals everything,  22. Back up your work, 23. Switch your phone off more, 24. One good friend is better then a million shit ones, 25. Enjoy your family, 26. Embrace other people successes, 27. Cuddles are underrated

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Massive thank you to Paige Joanna for taking the photos.


27 August 2015

Things i have learn whilst being a my own boss.

 Top man jeans | H&M Breton Top | Zara Patent loafers | Daniel Wellington watch

Things wont come to you over night, build a strong client base, have faith in your abilities and above all else work hard!

Freelancing has been a dream ever since I was a child, well I didn't call it freelancing then but working for myself and calling myself boss is a dream of mine. So I thought I would share with you what I have learn and a few tips and thoughts.

Keep yourself organised
This is something i struggle with, there are elements we are all going to struggle with and this varies between people. I keep a big calendar and diary with colour coding so I can instantly look at it and know what I have to do. The calendars I use are pretty similar to these Rymans Calendars.

The night before 
Make your to-do list the night before, so you can wake up and know exactly what needs to be done that day, I use to do this when I was at school to help with my anxieties works a treat.

 We all have days when we are bombarded with lists of work, prioritizing is the best way forward to cope with mountains of work. Make sure you get all deadlines written down and list them all of what needs to be done first, if its a quick job or needs a little more work. It will also help your brain does with mine.

Write everything down  
When I started I had a million note books and planners, but eventually I learn to put all my ideas, thoughts and to-do lists in one place, it all depends on how you work, I'm all about a good pen and paper situation, but using the notes in your phone, voice recording, get those thoughts, ideas and work down and out of your head.

Keep records
Keeping on top of fiances is something I have learn very quickly, making sure I document spending and keeping on top of my paper work has really helped. I do this all manually but I know a lot  use Kashflow to help them keep track of invoices, payments etc. 

Keep a templates
I have found it easier to keep standard templates for invoices and emails I personalize them all for clients it just saves time

Communication is important 
Keep your clients in the loop its the best way if ideas change or you are doing more hours then you thought. I try and keep on top of my emails everyday but hotmail does sometimes have sporadic moments Be prepared to talk on the phone or deal with skype meetings, this is something I have had to gain confidence in practice with friends I have found this works if you don't have confidence.

Have a Break 
Having a break from work is just as important as keeping on top of everything, go for a run, having a cup of tea take yourself away from your work and focus on something else always helps with burn out or lack of inspiration. 

Inspiration can come at anytime so be prepared to grab that inspiration keep your sketcbook, camera and notebook on you all the time.
 Don't look at your competition - panic, get jealous or think you aren't good enough, enjoy other peoples work don't you dare question your ability. 

Don't be afraid to put yourself, go to new event, speak to lots of new people, if you don't ask you don't get. A few of my clients I have sent wonderfully worded emails to, if i;m passionate about their brand and I want to work with them, I know I'm good enough go for it! 

Be prepared for rejection/disagreements 
Not all client work goes well, people can be fussy, sometimes it appears a struggle but just go with the flow, stand strong and be patient.

So you've done something and it doesn't work, doesn't matter too much if that way isn't working pivot and try a new way, keep learning and trying.
Have faith in yourself 
Things wont come to you over night, build a strong client base, have faith in your abilties and above all else work hard! 

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Massive thank you to Paige Joanna for taking the photos.


26 August 2015

Ella Eyre Motionsense gig with Sure

There is nothing like dancing around in a warm room getting to watch Ella Eyre perform an intimate gig with Sure, I had that pleasure last wednesday. I have become one of those people if I can get up and get out and do something that gets me moving I am all for it, I was given a Fitbit to see how much I moved during the performance and it was really surprising how much you work up dancing your bum off, I clocked up over a thousand steps, nothing like burning some calories doing something a little more fun the tread mill at the gym.

Everyone was wearing sure wrist bands which lit up when they moved to the music, Ella's voice was just amazing and she filled the room beautifully also the fun part of the gig the more we moved the more she played and the louder the crowd got.  You can imagine dancing around stage with that main of hair can me getting a little sweaty and I know I was in the crowd. So sure has created an antiperspirant that is activated just like the glowing wristbands by movement using Motionsense technology so the more you move, the more it protects which is perfect in the summer months and dancing around at a gig or a festival. 

Since seeing Ella live, I'm not going to lie I've had her music on none stop in my studio and whilst I'm out running, nothing like an upbeat sound track whilst you're working and breaking into a sweat.



19 August 2015

Investment pieces - Girls jean style challenge - Topman

c/o Topman jeans | White blouse - second hand | Daniel Wellington watch | Primark sling back court shoe | Accesorize bag - similar | Antique locket | Anthropolgie second female drape duster |
My style has definitely evolved in the last six month and what with my  clothes spending ban in full swing, I have decided to make the most of the pieces I have, I was kindly gifted these wonderful Topman jeans to style you can see my first styling challenge here.

Lets talk about basic investment pieces, I'm not a designer kind of girl I don't think I own anything designer for that matter so for me its about taking your time to buy something off the high street that fits in with your look and being able to add it in and make it work with existing pieces. My Anthropolgie which is actually a boutique piece from Second Female within Anthropolgie cost me I think around £80 me and Lisette pretty much fell in love with it whilst we were at an event I couldn't walk away from it and I practically wear it everyday and has totally been an investment.  
Now when it comes to shoes and hand bags I'm sadly a practical kind of girl, a hand bag that can hold all my needs, ankle boots and flat that keep my feet happy is where its at, I know what to work with and I'm happy with that. 

When it comes to jewellery, when growing up it was my obsession, yes whilst I was at University I had over 200 silver rings and not to mention copious jewellery boxes, after selling pretty much all my collection I only wear pieces that are real silver and simple. I'm a sucker for silver and turquoise and I keep pieces that I could one day hand down to my daughter or son, I like to think about a piece of jewellery as telling a story or being of importance. You wear it on your body nearly everyday it becomes a part of you. When it comes to a watch, I only have three, a piece gifted to me by Daniel Wellington and my Grandmother 24 Carat antique watch that never I've never worn through fear of loosing it and lastly an antique watch that I found in the woods near my house when I was about 5, to me a watch always makes an outfit, I feel more complete, more grown up more important silly really what items we wear can make us fee. 

Now when it comes to jeans I'm such a champion of good fitting jeans, I would happily spend a goof few pennies on an amazing pair, I have three pairs of black jeans that are exactly the same that I rotate (wash) through out my week its my thing. The jeans by Topman are such a versatile pair which is always needed in anyone's wardrobe being able to grab something and dress it up or dress it down to me is vital in anyone's collection of clothes.

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Massive thank you to Paige Joanna for taking the photos.


18 August 2015

Being single in your late twenties - dating in london

This week is just speeding away from me, I just don't know where the time is going, can I have an extra Sunday or an extra Tuesday  every week please!? This time next week I'll be turning Twenty Seven, how very scary. Over the last few months I've had mini conversations in my head, with the mother and with my group of girl mates about being single in your late twenties. If I told my seventeen year old self I would be (newlyish) single at twenty seven I would of probably laughed and then cried a little inside. 

Don't get me wrong its probably not as bad as it sounds, I've had some great adventures in those years but when a lot of my close friends are paired off and pretty happy with their other half's which is fabulous, it does leave me feeling somewhat bewildered. For a very long time I chose to be single (three years to be precise) I wasn't fussed about finding a partner, but the older I'm getting (yes i know twenty seven isn't old) the more pressure I feel to fall in with the right guy, but finding him is somewhat impossible when your mates aren't single, you can't exactly hang out in a bar on your own, and lets face facts Tinder is just filled with confused men looking for hook ups.

Facebook seems to be steady stream of with friends getting engaged, married and having beautiful babies and I'm here painting and drinking my cups of tea (I do get out I promise) wondering what the hell am I doing wrong. Wrong probably isn't the word, I'm probably looking under the wrong kinda rocks or possibly the fact I freelance from home doesn't exactly give me the chance to bump into the office hottie!

Dating in London is tough there are so many men (and I'm sure some women are the same) out there that seem to be fixed on the "I'm not ready to settle down vibe," of the "I haven't quite got my shit together thing" In the last year and a half I decided to make a conscious effort to try and find a nice guy, people are either in two minds about this, "you go get them girl" kind of people or the more laid back "let love find you" types. Now I am a mix of the two and that's a very confusing place to be. I have been told dating in London is completely different to other parts of the country and now with the introduction of Tinder and other dating apps it seems finding lasting, meaningful relationships in such a fast pace city a struggle, with at the swipe of a digit you can find another girl to chat to. 

When you're in your late twenties the pool that you find yourself bobbing about in has some what lost its ripples and its just you swimming about with what appears to be the guppy fish and that elusive clown fish that keeps darting in and out of the coral, I personally don't find it always sucha fun place to be. Believe me dating is fun, its great I have some hilarious stories and some cringey goings on. But gosh its hard to put yourself out there all the time. I should be less stressed at the prospect of being single again and embrace it, enjoying my time not spent cleaning nappies or halving bills.

So instead of worrying about what others think,  how they perceive me and feel I have to put myself out there I'm going to be all radical and just go with the flow, I'm going to enjoy my own company, get out more, dress in pretty clothes (for me) and concentrate on myself and making me feel capable to tackle anything alone, because at the end of the day that's what its all about being the best version of yourself. Lets enjoy what we have more and not what we don't or we wish we had, everyone's path is different and everything happens in time.

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Massive thank you to Paige Joanna for taking the photos.


17 August 2015

Girls jean style challenge - Topman

c/o Topman Jeans | Zara Patent leather loafers - Similar  | Dorothy Perkins shirt | Topshop Lace Bra | Guess belt | Daniel wellington watch

Gosh I love London sometimes, getting to stroll the streets and enjoy the sights, I was feeling rather sassy in this outfit, nice mix of classic and a get away from my staple stripe. New jeans ella? well Topman wouldn't be my first port of call for a pair of jeans, so when I got involved with the Girls jean style challenge I knew that I wanted to find myself a chic pair, chic pair of men's jeans is it possible? 

I opted for a simple classic jean colour in the Mid Blue Stretch Skinny style, as I normally go for black high waisted skinny jeans I thought it would be a bit more of a challenge as I seem stupidly intimidated by the blue of the jean. The jeans themselves were a great fit around my legs and being so short I naturally rolled the legs up as that's how I normally like to wear them. My look was inspired by my love of a simple elegant Parisian inspired look. Loose baggy shirt with a good pair of fitted jeans, I was a little worried that the jeans would be boxy and unflattering because lets face it men have roomy jeans for a reason, but once tucked in the shirt extenuated the hips and I felt comfortable.  I have slowly been trying to build a wardrobe of more stylish timeless carefully selected pieces as I feel since loosing weight that it's the best for me, as I now know what suits me so being able to add these jeans is great as they're comfortable as part of an everyday outfit or a little dressy with kitten heels. 

Have you ever brought mens jeans did they make you feel sassy?

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Massive thank you to Paige Joanna for taking the photos.


16 August 2015

lets talk fashion

As many of you may have seen over on my Instagram or on my portfolio I am sharing a lot more fashion based work and less of what I am known for in the illustration world which is tattoos and bearded men. After receiving emails from a few disgruntled "fans" of my work who have purchased my big pops and strong man prints and wondered where my trusty doodle style have gone, and my answer is nowhere I still draw those bearded tattoo men but I guess if an artist draws the same style or image constantly they fancy a new direction occasionally. I have always been a big fan of fashion, fashion designing and loving clothes. 

One of my many goals as a young child was to grow up to be a fashion designer, I loved it, I became obsessed with Audrey Hepburn and would spend hours chatting, sewing and drawing with my Granma, absorbing anything she cared to share about her love of fashion and creating. 
So I thought I owed it to myself and my dear sweet Granma to not let those doodles and styles stay cooped up in my old sketchbooks, hiding them from the world I would share them and develop my skills in something I love. They have been received well which is wonderful, I even got the chance to illustrate an article for Into the fold magazine which was lovely head over and have a good old read about being an intern at a fashion magazine. 

I'm not going to lie its still a tiny little part of me that wishes to be a fashion designer, how fab would that be? I don't think I'm cut out for that kind of world, but being able to draw beautiful garments, hone my skills and have my work appreciated is a wonderful feeling. I think being from a fine art background it has given me a insatiable need to create work and to keep learning, my style does matter to me and creating a "voice" in my art but I believe like any other job or skill in life it needs to keep being fed and have the room to grow, so I'm giving my root plenty of water and nourishment and just enjoying and loving what I do.



15 August 2015

getting out of London

It's been a while since, I just took a day trip just because I can. I have been tied to my desk for seven days straight completing work and working on my dream, I'll talk more about that another time. So we decided to jump in the car and head on over to Berkhamstead which is about thirty minutes drive from me maybe less. Lovely little town with a beaut of a cinema and some wonderful little shops. 

We decided to book tickets to see the film song of the sea which for anyone like me who loves animated films this Irish folklore based film was spectacular, simple but delicate. Before we watched the film we had a little time to kill, and wandered down by the canal, ate a sausage roll, screw you diet I'm heart broken and then read a few books in Waterstones making the most of the fashion and art dept. 

It's always nice to get out of the city and make the most of the surrounding areas, just wish I ad brought my sketchbook and watercolours!



5 August 2015

coffee and Suede

Primark faux suede skirt | Office Boots | Anthropologie waterfall front jacket | zara Striped vest 

My spending ban is in full swing over here at Illustrated Ella, so when the brother treated me to a latte at Half Cup I was a little excited as I have decided to cut the random coffee treats out of my life and Stripe tee buying as this little one has exciting plans for those spare couple of quid, its not going to break the bank, but it really all adds up. I savored the moment. Deciding to venture out of the studio after a solid five days drawing and painting and late nights was the best . 

The brother invited me along to his first tattoo consultation and as an old tattoo connoisseur probably for the best he dragged me along. We chatted about tattoos, pain and what he should get done, he settled on a lovely ankle cuff design which is super exciting. 

Talking of treats I posted over on my facebook about my spending ban on the day my sister asked me to go shopping with her and I fell in love with the Faux suede skirt that Primark are selling at the moment, I had been in search of one for months, so for a present and a surprise my sister snapped one up for me and I just love it, one of my key items at the moment.

3 August 2015

A time to reflect

So we are already three days into August my Birthday month, Yay! But I am still feeling the weight of July on me and evidently in my to-do list, it's not all bad I promise,  towards the end of july it was a time for me to be creative, the gym took a back seat (I'm still going at least three times a week) and my bum stayed firmly on the chair at my desk while I drew up new work to show my ability in a variety of styles because you know what why the hell not, I have a grand plan that I am now working towards  and it just needs to be done, there is something I have recently figured out, i already kinda knew it, but there isn't a magic answer for success or happiness, would be fab if you could just go to a shop and buy it. But there's no one there in the morning telling you to get out of bed and on with work, or making you put the long ours in, its all you. Hard work, passion, hard work, self belief, encouragement, hard work, sweat, tears and you guessed it hard work. I have sadly spent the early part of August questioning my place as an artist, hence my twitter silence and needing a little break from a few forms of social media.

I found since I graduated, five whole years ago (I know ages ago right) that my production rate and self belief in my work has decreased, I found since I discovered the internet and social media the rate has gone hand in hand. Its a double edged sword. Instant place for inspiration, instant place for questioning yourself with a dash of self loathing. Not great for an artists mind, please don't get me wrong, it has been the best for sharing my work, clients, inspiration, hope and encouraging others. I did however have a dreadful thought the other day, that maybe my work does this to people, maybe my blog and drawings make other people question their ability at what they do, (insanely big headed I know) and I would hate to think no one thinks they're good enough.

I receive a handful of emails a day mainly from young girls asking me how to become an artist, illustrator or doodler,  saying their work isn't good enough, that they'll never be able to draw as good as me or other people they find inspiring, it does break my heart a little. Passion for something shouldn't be squashed because you don't think you're good enough. I was lucky between the ages of 5 and 20 that I had no real grasp on the internet, sharing work, we used it for school but we never had a computer at home, so I honed my craft without having to share it with the world, I don't ever in that time remember looking at a painting and think "oh god that's awful" I use to look at it and think, "You gave that a fair whack earlier, there is room for improvement, carry on girl" that's not big headers or me thinking i'm good that's me making it possible to keep going, if I don't love what I do no one else will.

When I grew up my art idols were Jacqueline Wilson, Van Gogh, Monet, Gustav Klimt, and all the art teachers I had ever encounters from the primary to secondary school. Majority of the artists were sadly no longer with us, so I stared at paintings and I drew,  a lot. We are talking from the moment I came in from school till bed time, I looked at books too dyslexic to read and believe me at the age of 8 when you feel inadequate and stupid (my coping mechanism) when I couldn't understand the words that I saw on the page I naturally began to analysis the paintings and aspire to one day go to art school and draw all day.

What I am trying to say is if you really want something that badly you'll find a way to learn, to gain the skills, my library card was my best friend, my cheap paint brushes and palette were holy to me. 

Sometimes it's OK to loose our way and not know how to get back on our path, and by asking people who have paved theirs before you is the best kind of advice, they can't give you everything as they aren't you. Van Gogh died a penniless artist but what he put into this world to me is some of the best expressive heart felt work this world has ever seen. If he created something so wonderful and meaningful there is nothing stopping you from putting pen to paper and creating even if its just for yourself, (yes everyone says he's an artistic genius but do you think at the time that's what he thought?) put it's out in the world and you never know what it may evoke in others.

The way we see ourselves and how others see us, be it our size, personality or what we create are separate beings. 

Don't put yourself down or compare what you do with others its so easy, just work, work on yourself, what you are putting out in the world and more importantly nourish yourself. Read a bloody book, keep notes, paint. Go outside and draw people, be amongst it all, sew your own clothes, see your Grandma, be kind to yourself. You aren't going to get discovered if you censor yourself, be happy, enjoy what you do. Get seen for being who you are and doing what you love, and more importantly develop a thick skin, not everyone is going to like what you do and that's ok, take encouragement from knowing people have opinions on your work, at least its evoking something and above all else never stop.


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