Sweet Petite - Art Nouveau influenced illustration

Sketchbooks, Art Nouveua and Paris Indigo/Premiere Vision Print Show

There is no denying Europe is queen of decoration and I love decoration! I have always had a sweet spot for the elaborate, ornate and beautiful ancient artifacts of old. I didn’t realise until recently the appeal is all centered around pattern; simple objects combined in a flooded collection creating a visual explosion. A great example is Art Nouveau. As I look at styles of this area and those of Art Florentine and Art deco, it all accumulates into an inspiration that makes my heart pump that little bit faster.

This  week my evening downtime scribbles had a notable influence as this sweet little face fell onto the paper via my ink biro. I called this illustration, Sweet Petite

This is another inspired by this era:

Fabulous Fashion: Ink pen illustration in a sketchbook

Fabulous Fashion: Ink pen illustration in a sketchbook

Indigo/Premiere Vision Field Report

Earlier this month I posted on Supergraph to share a little insight on stall holders there. You can find the post here. This week my designer friend, Lidijia Paradinovic wrote an informative  report on Indigo/Premiere Vision print show in Paris.

It was interesting to note the preference of pattern buyers where drawn to the experience of feeling the pattern on fabric rather than when printed on paper. Additionally, the attraction to more traditional designs rather than trend orientated designs dominating the sales. You can read her report on Pattern Observer here.  Lidijia writes as she designs; decoratively. You can visit her website at Celandine Design.

Walk the Contemporary Graphic Art Fair – Supergraph!

In design forums there is a keen interest in trade shows. When you’ve never had a booth before, it’s always a good thing to hear what others do that works well. At Supergraph, Contemporary Graphic Art Fair held in the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne this month, I paid particular attention to the best decorated booths and the way illustrators showcased their wares. It made a difference having an attractive display; some artworks in and of themselves.

I interviewed the most creative booth owners on my phone and put together a short clip to share as I thought it would benefit others. It was so much fun and all were happy to oblige. I have credited those filmed. Most of us a little awkward or shy in front of the camera, but not too obvious.

Warning: I have never done this before and promise to turn my phone around next time! Take a look inside Supergraph and see some of the creative and unusual ideas there – complete with a very cute blooper. And please give me a like on Youtube if you enjoy it!

Video Art Showcase: Illustrators and designers share there display booths at Supergraph Melbourne February 2015

I was represented on the Illustrators Australia Showcase. I popped in to say hello and found myself helping out with handmade business cards as they had run out.

Illustrators Australia at Supergraph

Illustrators Australia business cards on the fly! Is that a run of 1/20 or 1/30 limited editions from me?

Me with my print, Koala Hugs (limited run soon available on my website)

My print, Koala Hugs displayed with Illustrators Australia at Supergraph

In collaboration with Yarra Trams and The City Of Melbourne, Supergraph held an Instagram competition of which I was runner up. This is my entry.

Yarra Trams, City Of Melbourne and Supergraph Competition: Trams to Supergraph

Yarra Trams, City Of Melbourne and Supergraph Competition: Trams to Supergraph

Face O Mat joined Supergraph with his quirky portrait booth.  I think it would be fair to say, participants paid a small fee for the entertainment experience rather than a portrait of any resemblance. The machine installation spat out an rather unusual but fun result.

Face-O-mat at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Face-O-mat at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

The Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne are worth seeing; beautifully decorated and maintained.

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings - Supergraph Contemporary Graphic Art Fair

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings - Supergraph Contemporary Graphic Art Fair

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

The paper arch installation made interesting abstract photos.

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Browsing the Supergraph favorite picks wall, I mistakenly thought you filled out the little scrap of paper to win one of the paintings. I picked one by Ian Mutch, titled Grow. It wasn’t until I handed my slip in at the desk, the lady asked if I wanted to pay cash or credit card. I then realised my vote didn’t count. You can take a better look here: http://www.ianmutch.com/prints/grow

Supergraph picks and my own from that wall: Ian Mutch, Grow

Supergraph picks and my own from that wall: Ian Mutch, Grow

It was Valentine’s Day. I was reading the wall of statements on Before I Kick The Bucket installation when a young man wrote Make a family with the woman of my dreams. I wondered if he hadn’t found her and was sad for him. Then I saw her melting over his dedication – so sweet!

Supergraph 2015 - Before I Kick The Bucket wall

Supergraph 2015 – Before I Kick The Bucket wall

Valentine on the Before I Kick The Bucket wall, Supergraph 2015 -

Valentine note on the Before I Kick The Bucket wall, Supergraph 2015

Redbubble had a live painting installation where a group of cousins could be scribbled on and they created an art piece once finished. I left a little random bird doodle behind with the words, Born to FLY. Their photographer took a few photos of me scribbling away. Redbubble also created the OZ Lounge Area where we had beds to lounge on.

I was impressed with the quality of their products too. I had a feel of the fabric and it was so thick! The printing was great. I am looking forward to setting up some products through them soon even more now.

Redbubble at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Redbubble at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Wood engraver, David Frazer was working away on very intricate wood blocks. I was fascinated. The process was kindly explained to me and part of me wanted to race off and try it! David has one-day workshops running in May 2015 in Castlemaine – very tempting!

Wood engraver, David Frazer at Supergraph 2015

Wood engraver, David Frazer at Supergraph 2015

The Drawing Olympics at Supergraph

The Drawing Olympics at Supergraph

The was lots more going on. The agencies had some gorgeous works too, some of artists I follow on Instagram. I could go on and on but you’ll have to go yourself next year and see for yourself 🙂

http://www.supergraph.com.au/

Surface design whale and creativity quote.

Overview of a VERY Creative Year!

1000 apologies! I neglected posting in December but at least I backed off at a time your inbox would have been bombarded with Christmas promotions and copious amounts of reading anyway.

But I’m back and charged for 2015! This year is going to ROCK! I can feel it with every part of me and I am READY! Are you?

Authentically makes us buzz

I spent every minute outside paid work, experimenting with my craft in 2014, questioning what was developing and where to go from there. It was a busy and exciting year creatively.

Freelancing, I was blessed with a variety of assignments from toy product design to program covers to interesting logos and adorable picture books.

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Illustrating children’s books for a few years has been wonderful but I discovered a desire for additional singular assignments. I really enjoyed doing small series or one off illustrations for jobs. Self-inflicted illustration challenges I committed to last year like Inktober, the 52 week illustration, challenge and the occasional Daily Doodle submission where helpful when I had freedom to be authentic to my own vision.

The many illustrations and sketches produced from the inspiration of the 52 week Illustration Challenge

The many illustrations and sketches produced from the inspiration of the 52 week Illustration Challenge CLICK TO ENLARGE

Producing a book is a marathon task and requires a particular boundary that limits exploration. You need to stay true to the character and style throughout all 25 plus illustrations. It not unlike creating a large body of work for an exhibition that requires the final art pieces to be all part of one series in a particular style. It is a skill and it’s fun, but it is restrictive. As I have consistently produced one picture book after another since late 2012, I need play dates with self- expression.

By the end of a book I am bursting to download what is now in my head and heart if I haven’t had enough in-between work or experimental time. We all need adequate time for risk-taking. As a result, in addition to books, I am looking for opportunities in surface design and editorial illustration this year.

I am also looking at teaching in the near future. (More on that soon!)

My new romance – surface design and patterns

I can’t tell you how it happened but I it happened late last year. In a matter of days I found myself obsessing over the beauty of pattern design and indulging in the fun creating them.

Surface pattern design: Umbredrops

Surface pattern design: Umbredrops

Vintage surface pattern design swatch. Floral

Vintage surface pattern design swatch.

Happy poster print Happy Butterfly. Illustration by Kayleen West

Happy poster print Happy Butterfly. Available as a print here

2014-12-18_ADVENT_snowman-brandedCombined with illustration pattern took on a life of its own. As a consequence my newest book, We Worship God, due for release this year by Xist Publishing, written by Nancy Streza, adopted a hint of pattern in my illustrations.

Children's illustration from ABC Christian picture book, We Worship God - Xist Publishing 2015 release

Children’s illustration from ABC Christian picture book, We Worship God – Xist Publishing 2015 release

 

Unleashing the authenticity

Sometime we need to stop long enough to align ourselves. January is perfect for this. My family go on a holiday for a couple of weeks and I take a break on my own. This may sound strange but I really need it. I am a step-mum of a very active young tribe and I am very tired by the end of each year. It is hard to get time to reflect seriously enough. Without parental responsibilities (a significant distraction) or too many commitments of any kind, I can catch up on my own thoughts and have time to play unrestricted.

Let’s play – MATS Bootcamp begins…

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Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

This week launched Lilly Roger’s MATS Bootcamp, the creative briefs being the main attraction – the springboard to begin the year.

The first mini assignment exploring Edwardian Brooches. In my self-indulgence as a faux–bachelor (I made that word up), I have produced dozens of sketches in ink and Illustrator already this week, staying up into the night (and morning) and sleeping past 10am – because I can! I suspect creative ADHD though as the more I create, the more I want to. The ideas keep coming!

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Detail of WIP design

Surface design: MATS mini assignment: Edwardian Brooches.

Belated Happy New Year!

Sorry, I didn’t even wish you all a Merry Christmas. I pray you have an awesome 2015 everyone!

Peek into my year summed up:

  • Both Adoptive Father and Celia and Nonna were awarded the seal of approval by the Children’s Literacy Classics
  • My picture book Without Me won an International CLC Silver medal.
  • I finished illustrating a new picture book, We Worship God, an ABC books with the letters hidden in the images and I love it! I am so pleased with the cute illustrations.
  • The art advertising agency, The Art Mob approach me about representing me. They are a new agency and so I have agreed to see how it goes. Hopefully this will bring more editorial work. I am looking for an established agency for my surface designs.
  • I completed every week of the 52 week Illustration Challenge with loads of illustrations to show for it. Many are sketches and some are completed. Some will be valuable to build on for future projects. I fill many sketchbook pages in the process.
  • I completed the Inktober challenge which was a huge advantage as I picked up ink for the first time in years – and LOVE IT! This is an important part of my design work now.
  • I discovered the world of surface pattern design! I have a huge amount of pattern files already. They are waiting to develop or put into a final portfolio. This is high on my TO DO list for this year.

So there it is. I hope my endeavors encourage you in some way to explore creativity yourself more.

Branching out and loving it!

Surface Design & Patterns

I am more than thrilled to be sharing with you my newest extension to my illustrative work – surface design. Although I haven’t had a tremendous amount of time to devote to surface design as yet, I have been working on several designs for fabrics and surface products. This is just a little taste of some of the designs I am developing. I have been commissioned to design toys recently and other products and enjoyed the immediacy of one off projects as I work on large projects such as picture books. It is refreshing to start and finish a commissioned piece in a short time. It give me space to keep creating new ideas. I suspect my writing may take a bit of a back seat in the new year due to all sorts of illustrations opportunities opening up to me now. I have more news soon!

Do you love Instagram?

What took me so long?! I xoxoxoxox!!! Instagram
Follow my active Instagram account where I post images of works in progress on the fly (all illustration areas) and things that inspire me. http://instagram.com/kayleenwest

Surface pattern design: Floral Burst

Surface pattern design: Floral Burst

Surface pattern design: Floral Burst

Surface pattern design: Floral Burst

Surface pattern design: Happy Fish

Surface pattern design: Happy Fish

Surface pattern design: Happy Fish

Surface pattern design: Happy Fish

Surface pattern design: Paisley prints WIP

Surface pattern design: Paisley prints WIP