13 April 2015

How to be confident series - drawing outside in front of people

Ooh what you drawing? is often the sentence you'll hear when drawing outside or in a public space and it can be intimidating having people hunched over your shoulder umming and arghiing at you, as you lay each pencil line down and you know what its off putting but I have learned over many years to embrace this. This weekend at Renegade I did a handful of live illustrations of people I had never met, it took many years of doodling on my own and of family members to gain my confidence.

It renews my confidence in my ability to draw, but if you aren't overly confident in these situations remember its your drawing and your space. Often when I know I am going to be drawing outside I take a small sketchbook so its a lot more private and practical I stumbled across the most wonderful sketchbook from Trago Mills when I was in Cornwall, I picked up two wishing I had bought all of them only £2.49 I shouldn't of passed it up but you can get the same ones here on the Derwent website I have the small version. It doesn't matter too much on the size of the sketchpad I think its all about having the confidence. 

So here are some of my top tips for drawing outside with confidence.

- Best way to do this is find a space outside where its unlikely you'll come across anyone, giving you time to get use to drawing outside and the environment around you.

- Choose drawing material that dries quickly, pencils, pastels, thin layers of watercolours.

- Take your time, some drawings take a little bit longer then others don't feel rushed by others if you are out drawing in public.

- I often balance my sketchbook on my legs but you can get drawing boards like this one from hobby Craft for a steal and obviously if you are starting out its a great way to get use to drawing outside.

- Be careful when drawing people in public spaces they might not feel comfortable with you staring and doodling them, just be careful.

- Embrace people staring at you while you work, or people asking questions its good for you, might even bag yourself a commission or new connections.

- You aren't going to feel confident instantly it's like everything else in life you have to work hard on it.

I hope this helps in someway to teach you that its all about what you are comfortable with and just doing your thing your way. I will be sharing this series over on my Instagram - _ellamasters_ with the hashtag #htbcwithella sharing you working on being confident with your art and creativity can't wait to see what you share with me.

Spring Renegade

Renegade was a bit of a whirlwind a good kind of whirlwind. First time in a long time that I have had to take a full day off to get over it all. With the help of my family and Chris I got my booth set up and sorted. So many printed goodies were available and I trialed a few new pieces like the Temporary tattoos and notebooks which were super popular which was nice to see.

It is always nice to get out of the studio, interact with customers and get out a bit. This time around I did live illustrations as part of my stall, drawing people who were fans of my art and people who wanted to give the gift of their face to a loved one. It was so lovely getting to chat to people about random loves, passions and share their life with me. I will be doing the Bust Craftacular on May 17th which will be nice and I will have lots of lovely new stock. So it is back to work for me and thank you to everyone for your support.

9 April 2015

Beautiful Spaces : Becca Allen

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a good block colour on white and the fact I am nosy about other peoples work/living spaces is beyond normal so for this new feature I will be sharing the inside of peoples beautiful spaces.
Now first up is the beautiful home/Air bnb residence of Becca Allen after months of renovating an old sweet shop in Penryn Cornwall Becca is finally opening her doors allowing people to stay how amazing does it look and too think I passed up moving here and back to Cornwall. Lets get chatting about colour, space and work.

How would you describe the "look" of your space? what makes it unique? and what inspired you to design it?
Colour. I am subconsciously drawn to colour, even when I think I like monochrome work and buy white and black furniture I end up covering it in plants and brightly coloured ceramics.
I recently purchased a neon yellow pencil case to house all my black pens. I like to work in a bright airy space with lots of visual stimulation. I surround myself with magazines, books, crazy fabrics and prints so I am never far from inspiration. 

I would love to know more about your studio looks perfect, where is it housed and how long have you been there? Could you tell us whats good about it?
My new studio space is located in the front of my house and I have been here a year, It is no.76 and used to be a sweet shop about 70 years ago so still has the feeling of a shop. This is why I have named the studio Sweet 76. 
The door opens out onto the towns high street so In the summer I can leave it open and chat to passers by. It has also been approved by the council to open up in the evenings to run workshops which I am in the middle of organising. 
Hoping to get this up and running this summer, now Air b&b is up and running this is next on my list.

Tell me a little about who you are and what do you do?
I am a freelance designer and illustrator working from my studio 3 days a week and 3 days a week as Senior Designer at Meor Studio in St Ives. 
Whilst trying to juggle freelance work I am working on the Sweet 76 studio workshops for Penryn and Falmouth creatives and starting a print and sew brand with a friend. There are never enough hours in the week!
I just love the mix of textures and that bathroom is perfection, so looking forward to booking up a few nights in the summer and heading back to Cornwall for sure.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful space with us Becca! If you fancy being featured and have a fab space please feel free to drop me an email at ellas_blog@hotmail.co.uk with the email subject Beautiful Spaces.


8 April 2015

Mud House Wines #Tasteforadventure in Scotland*

It's been a rather special weekend, if you haven't seen on my Instagram I have spent a magical couple of days staying in a beautiful cabin in the Argyll Forest with Mud House Wines on their Taste for Adventure campaign*. I have never been to Scotland before and it has always been on my list of places to explore and visit. We flew into Glasgow and for me that was a big adventure as I had only been on a return flight from Italy before, so I boarded the plane with excitement like a small child. Once we reached the cabin the views were just stunning and I had to grab my sketchbook and capture everything. 

You may have seen over on my Instagram (_ellamasters_) along with my doodles and photos of the landscape there is a little hash tag #TasteForAdventure this is all about being outdoors and sampling all that its has to offer, enjoy the adventure and exciting thrills that can take place when you step outside and do something different, its also an easy way to see how other have embraced the ethos of Taste for Adventure, I dare you to have a little look! Mud House Wines hail from New Zealand which to me is in my top list of places to one day travel to.
Mud House create beautiful, award winning wines for people with fresh ideas. Mud House was created by John and Jennifer Joslin, after traveling around they fell in love with New Zealand and settled down, starting to cultivate land and plant vines. #TasteForAdvenuture springs from New Zealand's famous adventurous spirit but also the foundation that Mud House Wines were built on and their taste for adventure. This ethos is vital for creating such a wonderful brand.
On our adventures exploring this hilly and pine strewn landscape there was so much to take in, we walked to the nearest town following the banks of Loch Long stopping every twenty seconds to snap a photo or two. I couldn't get over the vast beauty of this place, the Loch stretched for miles around us. On the first full day of our adventure we donned our walking boots and headed across to Arrochar taking in the sights the landscaped had to offer. The morning of the second day we made the most of our hot tub and the peace and quite that the location had to offer. I read my book while Chris read his enjoying the warm sunshine. After a few hours enjoying the beautiful sunshine, we decided to hire mountain bikes and head along one of the trails away from the Argyll Cabins. The trail led us down a river that fed into the Loch. One of the things I was really excited about was the prospect of wandering around the pine forest. I wasn't disappointed, the trees were vast and tall and I just couldn't help but snap a few pictures wishing now that I had brought my watercolours along with me.
For me getting out of London is an adventure in itself, but to find yourself exploring the glens, lochs and fresh air of Scotland isn't just an adventure, it's good for the soul. It's been many years since I have fully explored the outside world, like I did as a child. You would always find me barefooted, either up a tree or collecting bugs, messy unruly hair and a graze on each knee. My mother would  always describe me as a bit of a "Stig of the dump" which is always so heart warming... not! Seeing as my family are from this part of Scotland (also hailing from the banks of the Loch Ness) I found myself connecting more with the environment, feeling rather at home amongst the pines.
This trip for me was a way to connect back to the way I was as a child, it was great to not be overly bothered by dirt or mismatched clothes, there was a lot less climbing trees and more of the connecting with wildlife and getting some much needed fresh air in my lungs. I probably need to work on the mountain biking and my lack of balance. I guess you can't have it all. 
The lovely people over at Mud House Wines are running a competition over on their facebook to win a trip to New Zealand to experience the great outdoors similar to mine and Chris' adventure but obviously out in New Zealand, for terms and conditions head over to their facebook to see how to enter.

Having explored a small part of Scotland has made me realise how much I have missed being outside, even if there isn't really a purpose a nice ramble through the woods snapping a few pictures occasionally is a really nice way to spend your time, I'm already planning a lot more adventures. Do you have any trips, adventures planned?
*This is a sponsored blog post for Mud House Wines

7 April 2015

I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream

It's back to the studio to for me after a wonderful weekend away in Scotland and hello to new creations popping up ready for Renegade Craft Fair this weekend and its all go in the studio preping and packing all my items up ready for the fair. I'm so excited as this time round I will be offering live portrait illustrations for customers, there will be a price list on my stand so if you fancy bagging yourself a little portrait pop along. This new piece is inspired by my favorite artist Vincent Van Gogh, I just find it so inspiring. I am starting to be more adventurous with my work and branching more into stationary which is exciting. At the moment I am loving working in watercolours and drawing my city illustrations, I have a new Amsterdam print that is available and I am really excited to get started on my next few cities. I have 10 % discount (code funstuff15) on all orders and free prints with every print order.

3 April 2015

Into the Wild

This Easter weekend me and Chris have been whisked off on a little adventure in my families homeland of Scotland I've never been before and I am so beyond excited to get to experience the joys of the world north of Watford! So I will be donning my walking boots from Shoe Zone and heading into the wilderness with Chris to sample some loch views and muddy walks. What fun things are you upto this Easter?

2 April 2015

Sharing spaces with Selby

Not often on this blog I share photos of other peoples work or images, but i just couldn't pass up sharing images from the new Selby book. I've been a massive fan of Todd Selby's photography for a while now after the Edible Selby was a massive hit, The book is filled with culinary creatives and their work spaces and the original Selby book is perfect for having a sneak into other peoples spaces. But the Fashionable Selby focuses on the fashion side of spaces, i love seeing all the mixes of minimal and crazy overcrowded work rooms. For me the Selby books are like a physical Pinterest for me.

I am a rather nosy parker so for me the Selby books and the website are the perfect places to head to for visual inspiration. I spend way too long staring and dreaming of my own space and filling it with all the patterns, one day!

You can see from the pages that the book has many personal touches and more then just snaps of fashionable peoples work spaces. So many textures and this fills me with confidence when I look at my work space knowing that other creatives are just as messy as me. Does anyone else get a little obsessed sneaking peeks at other peoples work spaces and homes?

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