I’ve tried to write this paragraph at least ten times, but truly all that needs to be said is that 2015 has been unbelievably surprising. I find myself surrounded by lots of new faces (and some familiar ones, thank you for sticking around, you’re the best), lots of new challenges and work hurdles, new portfolio pieces and new clients, less money, more comfort, less structure, but a lot more happiness. I could definitely talk at lengths about the mixed bag of emotions this year has brought, but instead, let me debrief a little through some of the Instagram updates I’ve posted over the past few months.
I hope you’ve all been well, and that your year has also been pleasantly surprising (captions are top-bottom, left-right).
- I was lucky enough to do cover to cover illustrations for Finsbury Green’s 50th edition of Look magazine. I’ll do a complete post about this job before the end of the year, but this photo was taken on the day my personalised copy arrived in the mail and I was beyond chuffed.
- Some of my typography inside Look. I’ve enjoyed developing my handwriting to suit my illustrative style throughout the year, and finally feel like I have a good grasp on my style which I can apply to both personal and commercial jobs.
- My name and portrait on the back of Look. A big thank you to everyone involved in both acquiring and facilitating this job from start to finish. I feel very lucky to have worked on such a momentous project for my first ever illustration job. My copy of this magazine lives on my studio desk and has become an emblem of proof that I should persevere anytime I want to throw in the towel.
- Forever celebrating clever pals. My friend Ffive and Martina Martian exhibited together at Rooftop Art Space in September.
- Inspiring body positive artist Frances Cannon, in front of some of her works at her Paper Queens exhibition last month.
- A portrait of me that sits on the wall in my studio, by one of my favourite artists Ben Sea.
- One of my best friends finished her degree and I was one of many who went down to see their graduation show and celebrate. Well done Lizzi Morris! Very proud of you, and the beautiful portfolio of works you have achieved this year.
- A moment of important introspection as the year draws to a close.
“This time last year, I had just finished my bachelor. I was coming off the back of a big graduation exhibition, enjoying the summer and spending my days in the sun with friends. I was about to turn 21, about to embark on an ambitious journey to start my own small business, and waiting for my mum to relocate so that I could be at home again. I was content, warm and excited for the future. I wouldn’t have ever anticipated the year I’ve had, but I’m taking a moment to appreciate how unbelievable the last 12 months have been. Thank you to everyone who has given me time, good energy and support through a sometimes turbulent time. I’m doing my best, and I’m proud of myself for that.”
- A work in progress shot of an illustration job. Quick and relatively simple, but probably one of the most satisfying and happy jobs of 2015. They eventually made up a header of a newsletter, for a local school in my hometown.
- Working in the studio surrounded by lots of chaos and lollies and photos and artwork and very nice feelings.
- Another big illustration job complete – and this time printed large scale for a display suite wall in Heidelberg. This was one of five lifestyle illustrations, that went into a brochure for a new apartment development. They featured a range of terrifying subjects outside my comfort zone, which I eventually had to bite the bullet and draw (full bodies and buildings!) I spent a little bit of time panicking and a lot of time working hard to get these done to a standard that myself and the client would be proud of. A very hearty tick off my creative bucket list.
- A detail shot of another illustration from the apartment series. A cheeky pair walking their dog next to the river. I’ll do a full post of this job soon too.
This year certainly hasn’t come without it’s challenges, I’ve spent as much time stress crying as I have celebrating my achievements. Freelancing is not a glamorous lifestyle, but with the inconsistencies and awkward emails and long hours is little glimmers of pride. Someone recognises you at a gallery opening and tells you you’re doing a good job. You get an email offering you a job with one of your creative idols. A comment on an Instagram post telling you that you should be proud of your work, and you are. Take all the little wins, they are the things that make this ridiculous journey worthwhile.
Thank you to everyone who has made it count. You know who you are, I love you and I am forever thankful.