Monday, 5 August 2013

Work-life balance - permission to take a break

It has been another busy week here at the studio with family, friends and work, as well as some very valued studio time. After my blog post about Work-Life balance last week I have been thinking about the lovely comments you all left and it has made me feel very relieved that it isn't just me my who is suffering with this never-ending balancing act. I don't think there is a perfect solution and I think we will all find our own answers to the conundrum eventually but for me I think my own answers are there, it's more about the state of mind or the mind-set which is going to help me achieve a more even-keel. I have been recommended a great book to read. It's called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I'm going to be treating myself to a copy very soon and delving into that in the hope of finding my own answers.

Part of getting my balance right is that I have given myself permission to take a little break from blogging. I feel that I need a bit of time away from the laptop, time to reconnect with my family, my work and my life without the distractions of social media, emails, twitter and facebook (although I;m sure I'll be tempted!). I have a lot of books to read and lots of new things to learn, so when I'm back i will hopefully have lots of exciting news to share with you. So if you wonder where I've gone and whether I'm coming back, the answers are 'Not far away, I'm still here and I will be back very soon'

Friday, 2 August 2013

A bit of news and a prize

It's Friday, the end of another working week, so I thought I'd finish the week by sharing a bit of news. I'm really excited to announce that I found out last week I had been accepted to take part in the November 9th and 10th Arts Market in Holmfirth. I got all of the information through last Saturday morning and I must admit, I did do a little happy dance when I opened the envelope!! I have applied on several occasions to the Art Market but wasn't lucky enough to get in and I very nearly gave up and stopped applying, wondering whether my work just wasn't right for them. But, it just goes to show what happens if you keep on trying..... Hurray.... very happy girl.... another of my ambitions realised!!

I have four fairs and one exhibition coming up before Christmas so I need to schedule some creative time in through the rest of this month and get some new work produced. I also need a big overhaul of the studio as I feel as though the walls are closing in on me at the moment. Too much stuff and not enough storage = a bit of hard work to get it all sorted. If I'm ever going to have an open studio day I need to get this space looking a LOT better!!

As well as this great news, I also need to share the results of the giveaway for places on Jo Gifford's 'Idea Generation and Creativity for Bloggers' e-course.

So I'm pleased to announce that OhHay and Melanie Wickham are the lucky winners of the places on Jo's e-course. Please can you both drop me an email and I'll pass your details on to Jo.

As for me, I'm winding down my blogging and social media for a while, and hoping to spend some good quality time creating in the studio during August. All will be explained on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy the sun!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Sketchbook Peeks - Charlotte Dredge

I first saw the sketchbooks of Charlotte Dredge in a shop window display at the Wirksworth Art Festival in 2012 and I was immediately intrigued and wanted to have a lfick through the gorgeous pages, which would all stand as works of art in their own right. I then met Charlotte in person at the SOCK Art Market in Loughborough earlier this year, and again, it was her sketchbooks which drew me to her stand. I then put two and two together and realised that I had seen them before. I knew that I had to ask Charlotte to let me feature her on the blog and luckily for us all, she agreed. This is what she had to say....

Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now
I’m a recent graduate from Nottingham Trent University, where I studied Decorative Arts, a multimedia design course. Throughout the course, we were able to work in materials such as metal, textiles, paper, wood and Ceramics, which I specialised in in my final year of study.

How long have you been using sketchbooks?
Coming from a family with a very creative Mum, I’ve always been interested in drawing and generally making things. Art and Design were always my favourite subjects at school, and I went on to do an Art/Design Foundation Diploma before going to university. Sketchbooks were a very important part of the course, and still are to me now!

How often do you sketch?
I try to draw two or three times a week, but it depends when I’m in the mood and where I am. I find it’s something that you can do in front of the tele or when I have nothing to do on my lunch breaks at work.

How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook?
I used to find it quite overwhelming, as I always thought they needed to be full, but my university tutor taught me to have a very different view. Now, I never draw on both sides of the pages and like to know I can add to drawings when I feel like it, rather than feeling pressured that they have to be finished all in one go.

When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages?
I’m currently drawing from old postcards, which has been carried on from Uni. I’ve been doing this for over a year now, and still find it interesting and am not bored of it yet.. I generally like to draw buildings, as I know I can draw from pictures as well as real life.. buildings won’t change in a hurry so there’s never any rush!

How would you describe your creative process?
I suppose because of the way I’ve been taught, a sketchbook is always the foundation of a project, as it allows you to put initial ideas and thoughts down on paper to work from. Things can then be developed and changed throughout and allows you to see the working progress at the end.

Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how?
Definitely! I always used to be very hard on myself in terms of what I drew and always wanted every page to be perfect.. I had a habit of ripping out things I wasn’t personally happy with, and either start again or admit defeat and not go back to it. I’ve since learnt that things that you personally see as a mistake, others see as talent or quirks, and this gives you your own style.. it might not look exactly like the picture that you were working from, but no one else will ever make the same ‘mistakes’ as you. I always work in pen.. it can’t be rubbed out and I never make a decision about whether I like it or not until it’s finished.. sometimes the wrongs evolve into a right!

What is your favourite medium to work with?
Watercolour and just a plain black pen are my favourite things to draw with! They’re simple, easy to carry around with you at all times and give a very natural outcome, which I love.

Do you have a favourite sketchbook?
I guess the one that I’m drawing in now.. just because I can see how my drawings have come on over the past year, and the drawings feature on my current ceramic pieces. I love looking back through my sketchbook and feeling a sense of pride that I’ve done something that people enjoy looking at.

If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why?
My favourite drawing has always been the Margate postcard, with the people looking out over the bay. It was one of my first postcard illustrations, but it’s simple and shows me where I started out! I have a big soft spot for little beach towns. I hope to live somewhere like that one day!

I'm sure you will agree that these scetchbook pages are BEUATIFUL! If you want to find out a bit more about Charlotte and her work you can visit her web page on the Design Factory website here and you can read her blog here

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