As I've mentioned (several times!) before, Being Freelance is one of my favourite podcasts and this week was an extra special treat for me as the episode was with an illustrator I really admire, Emmeline Pidgen. I've been following Emmeline on Twitter and Instagram for a while and love her warm style. It's really interesting hearing how she works and also to hear more about her brilliant project What Emmeline Wore.
I voted in the UK General Election today and as I walked towards the polling station I suddenly felt quite emotional at the thought that once upon a time women didn't have the right to vote. As I put my cross in the box I thought about all of those who fought for us and said a big thank you.
I've read Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley's gorgeous book Oliver & Patch so many times and every time I do I see more and more lovely details in the pages.
Oliver and little Patch have so much expression and every passerby is a fabulous individual character who looks like they could have their own story.
Kate's illustration is so light, sweet and fun. I particularly love these two images I spotted on Kate's Twitter. Lovely and inspiring.
I've been enjoying watching Roxanne Coble's YouTube channel since I saw a couple of her Vlogmas videos over Christmas. Roxanne, also known as By Bun, is a multimedia artist and illustrator based in LA who shares her work and life online in daily vlogs. Her art combines patterns, colour and collage, line art and words. I love how free her style is. Watching her videos and learning more about her style has encouraged me to play with my art a bit more, to try collage and layering and to combine media more. Her videos are friendly and absorbing, click here if you fancy a look (they also feature her two super cute pugs!).
Ed Sheeran released two new songs this week and coupled them with lyric videos. This video for Castle On The Hill really captured my imagination. The song is a love letter to teenage years, growing up and the feeling of going back to those brilliant memories. It makes me feel nostalgic for the times when we drank Malibu and Coke out of plastic cups and danced while looking shyly at boys across the dancefloor.
I love the paint strokes that gallop along with the melody and the hand lettered words popping up. Makes me want to learn to animate.
Unfortunately I can't find a credit for who did the animation, if anyone knows please Tweet me at @and_sowebegin!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas with one of my favourite Christmas illustrations by Dennis Mallet. Sending you all cosiness, warmth and love.
You may have heard of Alex because of his fabulous and very amusing Claude series or because of one of the many other wonderful books he has written and illustrated. He is something of a legend on Twitter, live tweeting along to the Great British Bake Off, making jokes with a nod to Victoria Wood and Larry Grayson and posting impossibly cute pictures of his three mini dogs.
About three years ago I tweeted Alex to let him know how wonderful I thought his drawings were and how much I WISHED I could draw. At the time I hadn't really tried to draw and it was something I felt quite wistful about...
For some reason, his reply really made me think. Try it, I thought. So I did... I practised and practised. And three years later drawing has become part of who I am. I draw every day and I partly put that down to Alex's encouragement.
Here's a wonderful video I found today of Alex inspiring young illustrators. What a magical thing to do.
You can only just see the start of my sketch in this photograph but there is nothing quite like a quiet hour of drawing or painting to start a Sunday. My 'studio' is actually my coffee table in my lounge but it doesn't matter, I get as absorbed there as I would in a real art studio. With toast and Mary Anne Hobbs on the radio for company it's the perfect way to wake up.