Ford Capri Sketchin’

I had lots of fun working on this personal project recently. My Brother-in-law is a Ford Capri fan (he is currently in the process of restoring one) so my Sister thought it would be nice to create a unique gift for him for Father’s Day.

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It was great to draw something a bit different, and also something with a more masculine edge. I sourced a few images and really got into the retro seventies styling and all the different bold colours of that era. I decided to draw just the MK 1 Capri since this is the model my Brother-in-law likes the most, and also the model of the Capri he is restoring.

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The process was the same as usual. Since the illustration was to be printed on to a mug, it took a little time jigging around the different illustrative elements to create a strong design. I wasn’t entirely sure if the design i’d created would work on the wrap-around as I wouldn’t see the product until it was finished, but I was really pleased with the result.

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I decided to use Vista Print for the printing as the print quality is often good, and there were the added options of having coloured handles and interior which really added to the overall look of the design. It was a total fluke that the lime green I used in the design matched with the colour option offered by Vista Print.

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And most importantly my Brother-in-law was very happy with his gift. Now he just needs to work on getting that motor on the road. Perhaps being fuelled by several good cups of tea will help!

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Live Illustration for e.l.f. cosmetics

I was recently commissioned to do some live portraits for the UK launch party of e.l.f. cosmetics at 19 Greek Street in Soho. e.l.f. is a U.S brand due to launch in Superdrug stores this June, and being a lover of make-up I was quite excited to be part of the launch.

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It was a busy night and the place was buzzing with activity. There were opportunities to try the make-up and receive tutorials, along with having a live portrait created by my good self.

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My first task of the evening was to create a portrait of the Artistic Director of e.l.f., Achelle Richards. The canvas I was asked to work on was a little larger than i’m used to and due to the gloss surface was a little tricky to work with as my pens didn’t seem to want to dry, but in spite of the ‘technical difficulties’ I was happy with the final result!

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I was also fortunate enough to be joined by the incredibly talented Miss Led, who was also live illustrating for the event. We were both hard at it all evening with people queuing around the room to get their portraits.

It was great fun and a great experience. We were encouraged to experiment with some of the make-up and to incorporate it into the illustrations. The make-up was very versatile so I found myself being able to match colours with relative ease.

And the best part of the evening for me was going away with a goodie bag of e.l.f. products. I have been having lots of fun using them, not only are they good quality and affordable, e.l.f. are also a cruelty-free brand. So it’s a double thumbs up from me!

 

Spooky Illustration for Texto Editores

I was recently commissioned to create a series of illustrations for Portuguese educational publishers Texto Editores.

One of the briefs was to create an illustration of a home complete with all identifiable rooms and corresponding furniture, even down to empty cardboard boxes in the attic.
It was an illustration to feature in a text book to teach Portuguese school children English, so it took me back a few years to my school days, learning French and Spanish in the same way.

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I was also commissioned to create more detailed illustrations of the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room (as shown above). It was surprising how enjoyable it was to draw all the little details that make up a typical room in a house, even things like the toilet roll holder in the bathroom!

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The project required a bit of drawing and re-drawing to get all the angles and perspective right. There was a lot that needed to be visible in the house so fitting it all in and also keeping a good level of realism was a challenge. But I was very happy with the end result and hope it will work as a helpful tool for learning English.

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And after the house was complete, I was also commissioned to turn the same house into a spooky haunted house, complete with ghosts and a witch on a broomstick! I’m used to drawing from life quite a lot so relying on my imagination for most of the elements in this final illustration was a real change for me. But a change that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

 

Affordable Art @ Art Rookie

It’s been a while since my last post to say the least! But i’ve been busy with lots of new and exciting things, one of them being my new shop on Art Rookie.

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Art Rookie is an online platform where artists can sell their artwork on a variety of products, from greetings cards to wall clocks.

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And I’ve been having lots of fun creating new artwork (and adapting some old) for my product range.
The quality of the finished product is very good, and the range also quite extensive. It is also a much more sustainable way of getting my work on some of the products i’d wanted to, but hadn’t been able to due to the initial financial outlay needed.

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Mugs seem to be the most popular products that i’ve seen ordered from my range, along with plates. I’ve been loving seeing my artwork come to life on products that people will have and use in their homes every day.

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Also available to buy are art prints at very reasonable prices, framed, unframed and on canvas which has again given me a broader scope in the products I’m able to sell.

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I’ve also been expanding my greetings cards range, and was able to take the opportunity to create a Father’s Day card I knew my Dad would like (along with present!)

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Another great thing about Art Rookie is that they are always promoting their artists. I was very pleased to be a recent ‘Featured Artist’ on the Art Rookie Blog, where I was interviewed about my creative journey so far, the things that inspire me and also the ups and downs of self-promotion.

It was a great experience to be asked some questions I’d not pondered on for a while and to get a broader view of my ‘creative life’ so to speak!

You can shop my products here:
http://artrookie.co.uk/carmenjohnson

And of course, read the interview here:

Featured Artist: Carmen Johnson

Christmas Art-Making

Woh, it’s been a busy couple of months. With lots of great work on I can’t complain though.

I took part in the Illustrators Christmas Fair last weekend, organised by House of Illustration. There were lots of talented illustrators there, selling their illustrated wares. I mainly sold a selection of Christmas cards and other greetings/postcards.

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The fair was really interesting and I believe the first one HOI have done of it’s kind. It was held within the UAL building in Kings Cross, a beautiful restored granary building in you guessed it…Granary Square.

I’ve also been selling my Christmas cards on Etsy this year, managing four designs this year, rather than just the one I produced last year. They seem to have been well-received and i’ve been kept busy on little trips to and from the post office.

Another Christmas themed project came in the form of a Christmas e-card commission for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

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The brief for this was open, so I came up with a couple of concepts and this ice-skating idea was the one that we went ahead with. This was my favourite concept so I was pleased that it was chosen.
I worked the charity logo into the pattern on the main figure’s skirt, and also into the trail she leaves on the ice. It must have been quite an impressive twirl on ice that she performed…shame we missed it.

So all in all, a busy but very satisfying end to the year.
I look forward to seeing what 2016 brings!

Merry Christmas x

 

The World Illustration Awards

I visited the World Illustration Awards Exhibition at Somerset House this weekend, in association with the AOI.
I always enjoy visiting Somerset House for an exhibition, the exhibitions are consistently great and it’s a pleasure to visit the venue alone (and the gift shop…and the many different eateries aren’t too shabby either!)

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The award has been running since 1976 and 1200 artists from all over the globe submitted work in the eight categories: Advertising, Books, Children’s Books, Design, Editorial, Public Realm, Self Initiated and Research & Knowledge Communication.

A shortlist of 165 works was elected by a judging panel (see more at theaoi.com/awards). The exhibition itself is curated from highlights of the shortlist.

All the work was beautiful and to an amazing standard, but these are a few of the main ones that caught my eye…

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Beautiful work by Paper Sculptor Gail Armstrong in the Advertising/Professional category. This piece was commissioned by SOGO Hong Kong as a celebration of the department store’s 29th anniversary.

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Amusing and delicately painted illustrations of imaginary homes by Illustrator Nicholas Stevenson. I just love these little Henry Hoovers!

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Work by Overall New Talent Winner Jessica Bromley Bertram. Jessica illustrated a collection of 14 illustrations for a story of a man falling in love with a drowned woman.

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I really liked this illustration by Rebecca Hendin on the theme of surveillance and paranoia. The image was commissioned as an editorial piece for STRIKE! Magazine.

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And there’s no missing this collection! Delicately painted duck eggs by Illustrator Andy Ward.
This was a submission in the Advertising/Professional category and was commissioned for Morrisons. Andy created three hand-painted portraits of ‘Cel-EGG-rity’s on eggs per day, over six days in response to live Twitter requests from the public. You can see more of Andy’s process on his blog here.

The exhibition is in The Terrace Rooms, South Wing and runs until 01 Nov 2015.
Opening hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm. Admission is FREE

Ice Lollies & Flower Power

The British summer time isn’t always reliable where sunshine is concerned but that hasn’t stopped me from indulging in the odd ice cream. And documenting my findings…naturally.

I have fond memories of the summer afternoons of my childhood, being spoilt by my grandparents with there continuously stocked freezer full of ice lollies. These days it may be considered a form of child abuse the amount of sugar my grandparents made readily available to me and my Sister, but i’m confident it had no adverse affects on me…

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A brief break from food…
The Seventies trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast so I thought i’d create an illustration to express my appreciation for said trend.

It’s one that’s been peeking it’s way in for the last couple of years but now seems to have finally been embraced. And there’s so many beautiful clothes in the stores at the moment, Zara seem to have Seventies Chic nailed.

It is also a slightly more mature look. Having been a child of the 80’s/90’s, I felt like I had my fill of stone-wash denim and ‘Mom Jeans’ back then so am pleased to see a new trend emerging.

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And then there’s always more time for illustrating food in my world. I try my best to maintain a healthy diet with the odd treat here and there, but I still can’t help but finding junk food so satisfying to draw!
The colours and shapes that can be created using icing and E numbers are just too fun not to document.

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Did I mention that I thought my early exposure to sugar had no adverse affects on me?! Hmmm…..