Recently I had the pleasure of chatting about keeping sketchbooks with Margret Petrie of the Authentic Obsessions podcast along with artist Sandi Hester. In our hour long chat we talked about when we started keeping sketchbooks, why we do it and how we use them alongside our art/illustration practice. I shared about the benefits I see in having a sketchbook practice, the sense of having a space that is mine, taking time to play, keeping my tools sharp, observing from life, and consistently showing up to draw. I loved hearing Sandi’s thoughts on keeping sketchbooks and her willingness to play and realising that a huge part of an artist’s life is to simply produce for the joy of it, accepting that you will produce a lot of bad work, but remembering that all the bad goes into the good! Margret, our gracious host guided us in our chat and asked […]
Play mats needn’t be boring and that’s exactly what Marcos Millet of Hippo Play mats believes having launched a range of mats based on towns and cities across the UK. I was contacted by Marcos late in 2020 to see if I would be up for designing a Cornwall based play mat and of course I said yes! I love creating maps and I also love Cornwall so to design a children’s play mat which features both seemed to be the perfect fit for me. The Cornwall based play mat is now on pre-order here, shipping September 2021, printed in a limited edition of 100. I hope you’re just as excited to see it in the flesh as I am!
January 1st 2020 I set out to draw a postcard everyday for the entire year…little did I know what kind of year 2020 would shape up to be. 366 days later, 1 Pandemic, 5 bottles of black ink, 30 postcard books, 2 lockdowns, 1 overseas work trip and 14 days in quarantine I have emerged sanity in tack with 366 postcards sketched every day of 2020. To say it was a little tricky at times is an understatement and to be honest there were moments when I did think what am I doing? Do I really need to keep going with this project? After all we’re living through a pandemic and I’m sure no-one would bat an eyelid if I decided to stop. However there was something I discovered about myself this year that pushed me to keep going and that is; when the going gets tough, I dig in […]
Recently I’ve launched a podcast about running a creative business with my artist friend Natasha Newton called Creative Catchup. Basically each episode we chat about a subject that has come up in our own creative practice, and share the ups and downs, struggles and successes along with some advice we hope you’ll find useful too. If you enjoy listening to podcasts whilst you work, then consider adding us to your playlist too. You can find us on Youtube, Spotify or Apple podcast.
I love creating maps and so when the call went out from They Draw and Travel’s site requesting for maps of special interest I decided to take the opportunity to create a fun map of my current place of residency-Mullion in Cornwall. I’m excited to announce that out of 300 submitted my Mullion map was chosen to be published alongside 99 other maps in They Draw and Travel’s special places book. To purchase your own copy and take a look and get inspired by all the fun maps created just click here.
The Feb/March edition of MyCornwall mag features one of my paintings, inspired from a visit to Barbara Hepworth’s garden studio last year. I painted it last year after a visit to Barbara Hepworth’s house and studio, an inspiring gem tucked down one of the many narrow lanes in St.Ives. The day we visited was actually pouring with rain but we still enjoyed walking around and I particularly loved her conservatory/garden studio with the gorgeous colour palette of greens, bright pinks and apricots. Below is the print of my original which you can purchase from my shop, just click here to buy if you’d like a bit of Barbara on your wall.
2020 has started with some exciting map related news; I am now the map illustrator for Ferment Magazine, UK’s No. 1 craft beer magazine, brought to you by Beer 52. It sounds like an unusual fit for me, as I am not a beer drinker but I do love the Magazine’s art style and fresh appeal. I first approached the editor back in 2017, having been drawn to the brightly coloured cover I saw in WHSmiths and asked if they’d like a map illustrated for their next issue. Rather encouragingly I received a positive response from editor Rich and my first map was commissioned for their California issue and published at the end of 2017. Their new art director Adele Juraza got back in touch the end of 2019 and asked if I’d like to illustrate another map, this time for New Zealand. It was a quick turnaround but I […]
Last month I was interviewed by Steve Folland for his Being Freelance Podcast. It was the first time I had been interviewed on a podcast and so was quite a new experience for me! I needn’t have worried though as Steve is an experienced podcaster and broadcaster and great at putting people at ease and as I felt like I knew him through watching his vlogs on Youtube it was relatively painless. I spoke to Steve about my illustration and freelance journey and how I got to where I am today. It was actually a really helpful exercise for me as I could clearly see, looking back, the progression I had made from literally not knowing anything about illustration to working with a variety of national and international clients on a range of illustration projects, simply through taking small intentional steps. I think when you’re in the midst of building […]
I’ve been busy planning my classes for this term and am excited to tell you what’s on offer. Here’s a full list of the workshops with a short summary of what I have on offer for the Autumn Term. I am also available for leading workshops at Art Groups, Festivals, Cafe’s, Craft Fairs etc. so do get in touch if you would like me to work with you. Sketchbook Drawing Club This is a chance to brush up on your observation and drawing skills. Each session we will look at a particular subject and discuss ideas for capturing your subject creatively and then set to work producing a beautifully illustrated sketchbook spread. We will be working from life where ever possible to really help us ‘see’ what actually is in front of us. All of our sketchbook classes will be held at Colroger Deli in Mullion Wednesdays 1.15-2.30pm. Book your […]
My next block of sketchbook drawing sessions will start April 30th. We will then meet every other Tuesday at the Colroger Deli 10-11.15am. Each session we will concentrate on a particular theme and I’ll be sharing ways in which to capture it in your sketchbook. £10 per session or block book all 5 for £45. Book online at www.melaniechadwick.co.uk.
Monthly drawing workshop Once a month on a Saturday I’m now running an informal drawing workshop, hosted by Colroger Deli in Mullion. We begin with a some fun drawing warm-ups before focusing on a subject to study in more detail. All participants get 10% off their drinks and all the materials are provided. Join us if you’re in the area and book on at www.melaniechadwick.co.uk
It gives me great pleasure to announce that my Porthleven in Postcards book is now available to buy in store. As most of you will know I have been working on this project for some time and even though my Kickstarter funding didn’t come through it hasn’t stopped me from working out an alternative way to get my sketches published and printed. So I’m happy to present to you this new format which has been printed on luxurious thick textured card by local printers, R. Booth. Each book contains 15 unique drawings of Porthleven, artist notes and a glimpse into Porthleven’s history, making them a lovely memento of the area for you to keep, send or frame.
Written contracts as opposed to informal contracts are really important to have in place with any illustration work you may be commissioned to do, both for the illustrator as well as the client. Even with the best of intentions without a formal contract things can quickly go awry and problems can range from work not been paid for, disputes over who owns the copyright, to a general confusion over what is expected for both the client and illustrator. Interestingly any agreement which has the following three elements: An offer Consideration (something in exchange i.e. money) Acceptance written or verbal– automatically creates a contractually binding agreement between two parties and cannot be altered after the event without agreement from the other. It is after this stage that a written contract can be drawn up to further define the terms of trade. I’ve found that contracts can vary from client to client and sometimes the commissioner will have […]
There are lots of benefits to having a sketchbook habit, for one it allows you to be in the moment and observe and take in your surroundings. I find that it calms me down, almost like being in a meditative state, and I often will feel more relaxed once I’ve sketched as my mind has had a chance to switch off and just draw what’s in front of me. Here are 10 ways to get you going if you’re thinking of taking up your own sketchbook habit. Use a sketchbook It sounds obvious but it is essential to nurturing your sketchbook habit if you choose a sketchbook that you will enjoy using, preferably one that will fit in your bag or pocket and is unlined. Having a sketchbook will help you keep things in sequence and can also be read like a book. You’ll be able to look back on […]
Over the last 4 months I’ve been filming and chatting with creative individuals based in Cornwall about their businesses. They’ve shared their struggles and successes as well as what they are currently working on, their inspiration and where they’d like to be in the next few years. It’s been insightful, encouraging and uplifting, not just for me but also those who have been watching the series online so far. I hope to continue interviewing my guests in this relaxed way and build up a collection of chats that will provide insider knowledge and inspiration for those of you who are also interested in the creative industry . Over the coming weeks I will update my blog with all of those I’ve interviewed so far with advice and tips they have shared withe me. If you can’t wait for that you can check out all the interviews on my channel here.
I am now offering sketchwalk workshops following on from my successful Urban Sketching workshop at Truro Arts Centre in May. They will be held in Porthleven, weather depending and will last a couple of hours. We will be exploring and sketching the village, views, buildings and details. To book a place online please click the link here. All materials are provided although I do supply a suggested material list should you want to bring your own. This workshop will appeal to you if: You are looking for a creative meaningful activity to do on your holiday or in your down time You are looking to improve your observation skills and grow in confidence You want to take in and explore your surroundings in a more meaningful way You are interested in Urban Sketching and looking to start a habit of sketchbook journalling I have a number of dates for July […]
Hi guys I thought I’d update you on my sketchbook project. So over the last few months I’ve been steadily building a collection of sketches of Porthleven in my moleskine. It started with just the desire to draw what I saw around me and observe my environment but has grown into a little drawing addiction and a passion project. I love drawing the old buildings and fishermen cottages and capturing them on paper really allows me to soak in the view as well as discover their histories and past lives. I now have over 50 drawings and have decided to collate them into a book along with the history, map and story of the town. I am aiming to publish and print the book with the help of crowdfunding within the next few months and can’t wait to share it with you all. If you would like to hear how […]
I was really excited to complete this project last year for Cornish Seasalt’s pinch pots. The brief was to illustrate the ingredients and to make them look fresh and exciting. I worked closely with Cornish based design studio Channel and we decided on using watercolour with acrylic inks to produce the final illustrations. The newly designed pinch pots are now on sale in Sainsbury’s – I’m currently using the seaweed salt in my dishes and love it sprinkled on sliced avocado and tomato on toast. Cornish Seasalt also did a mini interview on the project with me which if you like you can read by clicking here.