Who Inspires Me...? Bloghop

A few weeks back the amazing and lovely, Rachael Schafer asked if I wanted to be part of the ' Whats Inspires Me' blog hop - I was honoured and also rather gobsmaked. Read Rachael's post about myself & Jo Chambers here.

I first met Rachael on Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells course last autumn. Part of the course was a friendly online community that supported and bounced ideas off each other. We had all come from different backgrounds, careers and experiences and we were all looking to further our creative journeys. I feel Rachael's work reflects her fun loving and blithe nature. Look at these...

...aren't those monkey so gleeful  and having a great time with the giant ice lollies !

...that ship is certainly on a cheerful adventure.

I love this theme..the colours are super happy and joyful.


I am putting together foodie related images that I feel would do well in my portfolio and in a on-line shop I'm aiming to open in a few months. Since taking the MATS course I have realised images/ icons do not necessarily have to be stuck within one market and can actually overlap quite easily & successfully. 


I've been pinning on Pinterest for about 2 years and after a while realised I was just naturally drawn (no pun) to food and travel images. At the time I had a toddler and was pondering if I should change career. I feel very lucky that I stuck to my guns because I just LOVE TO DRAW- simple as that. I've entered two Spoonflower competitions on a whim, one based on fishing, a past time which I've never done, BUT I loved researching the images, and just draw draw draw with pen and ink. I'm now hoping to turn those images into a collection. So although my primary interest is food and travel there is SO much I feel I could turn into art simply because I'm always eager to learn.


Whether the brief is one I set myself or for a competition I usually mull over it for a day or two making mental and actual notes ( I carry a notebook and pen everywhere). I start with a pile of sketches from photos or other reference using pen and ink (it so much easier to scan) I'll see where I'm at after this stage - whether there is a theme or a germ of an idea emerging. Sometimes the sketches go to Ai, but more and more often they are taken to Photoshop for lots of playing around with textures.

Enough about me already. I want to move onto TWO remarkable artists. Each of them has their own unique approach to art. But what strikes me the most is their fearless attitude getting their art out there - I just go along for the ride sometimes.

First off we have the uber talented Wendy Brightbill of A Girl and Her Brush fame. She literally paints her joy, its also therapy for her. Again I met her on MATS last year and she just has not looked back since. Wendy was always breaking through comfort zones and is highly prolific - I've never known anyone work to fast. Added to which is smart and perceptive nature. Take a closer look....

...her examination of colour was featured in Upppercase magazine !!!

....she can combine photos with paint with linework to create gorgeousness

....arn't these animal characters sassy. Wendy had never done characters until a few a months ago - like WOW!!

Now I want to move onto the lovely Harriet Mellor who delights us with fabulous details in all her work. I was lucky enough to meet her on MATS. The funny thing was we would often appear on the same 'page' of Lilla's reviews - similar but different. Harriets work sometimes seems to have a luminosity that gives her art a beautiful depth. Her work is easily recognisable with stunning linework and thoughtfully placed overlapping icons. See what I mean....

...I adore this piece and the similar one featured in They Draw and Cook

...so dreamy and atmospheric - just sheer magic

...what a wonderful idea, colours that pop and beautiful, delightful details


So there we have it. I've throughly enjoyed writing about 3 equally amazing artists, who have had the pleasure of sharing my MATS journey, and now beyond !! They are so creative on many levels, super supportive & caring in different areas and best of all quick to laugh. I do look forward to their blog posts about what inspires them.

Global Talent Search - Little Terrariums Wall art

So there about 12 hours before the top 50 artists names are revealed for Lilla Roger's Global Talent Search - the eventual winner will have 2 years representation at her agency. I have a slim chance, one of the 999 who submitted a piece for this first round.

If I'm honest I was nervous about this brief and didn't look at it for several days because I was panicked by it. The little terrarium part of the brief was fine, the wall art aspect was trickier for me. However Lilla had kindly provided within her PDF some top tips for creating wall art that sells & images for inspiration.

Plan A went like this -I was initially drawn to the more modern hanging versions but realised at the sketch stage mine looked like Christmas baubles with bits of greenery sticking out

Plan B - my son found inside his fortune cookie the phrase...'every flower blooms in its own sweet time' I thought that was a sign but soon realised it just wasn't going to work either.

Plan C - paint a scene from The Eden Project in Cornwall where I visited the week before on my summer hols. The only problem here is my skill level on canvas did not match my imagination.

Time was ticking by pretty rapidly. Looking back over my notes I'd jotted down the invention of the terrarium was for the transportation of exotic plant specimens (such as ferns and orchids) from far flung places like Asia and South America during in the 19th Century back to England. The botanists who collected these plants can only be described as intrepid explorers going into unchartered territories for the sake of a beautiful plant.

So we had Plan D in the making. I want to point out that I'm just drawn to tropical plants and monsoonal countries - it must be in my genes being from Burma. My grandma kept 4 or 5 dozen orchids in her garden when I lived with her in Yangon so I have a particular fondness for them too. Using some of the pics I'd taken at Eden I started with my standard pen & ink sketches.

Working with the origins of the terrarium I wanted to convey the exploration aspect of finding all these tropical plants that would be placed inside. I've trekked through rainforests in Thailand and Malaysia and even these days there is still an element of adventure in these lush humid climes (don't get me started on leeches though)

There were many moments of second guessing but I'm becoming better with these bouts of self doubt. I feel for the first time ever I have a piece of art I am incredibly pleased with. So what ever happens tomorrow I've already created a win/win situation for myself which is certainly a positive outcome.