Etsy shop-nanigans

Oh hey! It's been a little while since the last update! Last week I had the misfortune of a torn eardrum, which is much more healed now and no longer a hindrance to my daily life. Chewing and swallowing is a little bit weird still but hey, nothing beats a good metal concert. Seeing as I can never really sit still, I've been researching how to take fantastic product shots. Trying to sort out the right feel and direction for my art has been a perplexing journey that I feel I've only just found a happy-place for -- and now I have to work out how to advertise it? Those words make the anxiety-riddled artist inside me tremble, but I choose to stride forward with my fingers in my ears. Lalala I can't hear you crippling fears~ Allright, overshare done --  so here's my crash-course method of snapping product photography. I'm definitely still learning, but I think I've gotten some pretty tops results this way. Without further ado, here's my set up; This is literally everything that I used in the shoot, bar my own two hands and my desk. blogimages Mind you, my house is kind of a dark cave that's pushed up tight next to the neighbours' and has very small windows -- my task would have been much cheaper and less stressful if I'd had access to some natural, free and lovely daylight. If you do have sparkling rays warming your abode, you might not need these tips! I might post in future about simple bouncing methods for daylight, but as I am lacking a source to play with I'll leave that for another day. Because I have no access to good light I used a pair of softbox lights which I picked up for around $100Au on Ebay, which feels like an absolute bargain. They're flimsy, mind -  but more than good enough for the job! They're tall thin tripods with heads that take 4x Fluorescent bulbs, and come with box shaped hoods to direct the light. There's also a thin white cover to place over the opening in order to diffuse the light, which helps eliminate harsh shadows. You will ideally want daylight bulbs, which are bright white and not blue or yellow tinted in order to get an accurate colour reproduction. Make sure to check the 'temperature' range on the bulbs, it will tell you if you're in the warm or cool range! As for props, use whatever you have around that you like, I aim for things that suit my colour scheme and aren't too crazy amazing so as to distract from your main feature item. I just used some cute looking bits and pieces that I have on hand at my desk like washi tape, coloured pencils and copic markers - even the string I use to package orders. I considered using pencil shavings too... hey, I find them pretty! blogimages4 Set up one, and light bouncing basics! When you point a lightsource at a light coloured smooth surface, it will bounce light back. It's kind of like reflecting, except the surface isn't a perfect mirror, so a lot of the light's strength and concentration is dispersed.  Photographers use this technique to chase away unwanted shadows, and to leave a much more gentle lighting effect on a subject. For my first set up,  I thought I'd position my lights up to the ceiling, so it could bounce down off the white paint and lay gently on my work. It looked fantastic once I had the lights placed, but then I leaned over the work in order to photograph it, only to find my own self gazing back up at me!blogimages3 So what had happened? I'm pretty sure that the lights being bounced off the ceiling meant that once I leaned over my work, there was a shadow that was created against the bright light of the ceiling and the underside of my face and the phone. That's what you can see in the photo of my prints! It's a dark, shadowy Georgie looming ominously. There's also really bright patches on the plastic, because it's glossy and reflective and it's bouncing the light back up at me too strongly! It was at this point that I regretted having pre-packaged my whole current stock in order to make them look prettier. This problem would not have surfaced if I were photographing them in their natural matte paper state, but I still needed to continue so new method was in order. blogimages2 For the second set up, I positioned the lights into the corners of the room, and slightly in front of my photo-taking position. This yielded far better results as the light was bounced at a more shallow angle and from in front of me so that it illuminated the underside of my phone and face just enough to eliminate the dark shadow on my prints. It also had the added effect of minimising the bright white patches coming off the packaging, which was fantastic. Over all this set up worked far better, I'm loving how crisp and clear the prints look through their plastic sleeves. No wonky shadows, creepy reflections or unruly bright spots to be seen! Here's some snaps from the second round so you can get an idea of the improvements. These haven't been edited yet, but tomorrow I will be giving them a little touch up just to make sure the white of the paper shows up as nice and crisp as it does in real life. Flowergirls Sun and Snow will be up in my Etsy store very soon! You can get there through the link on my homepage if you want to come and check out the final products 😉 Much love, Georgie <3 20161019_204424 20161019_210350 20161019_210931 20161019_211027-copy  

Inktober Challenge 2016!

Ink, and October - They don't seem to have a lot in common. Maybe you've been wondering what is all this fuss is about? For the uninitiated, Inktober is pretty simple. For every day in October, you make a piece of art with ink and then post it online with the #Inktober tag. That amounts to 31 illustrations in 31 days, which can feel a bit daunting if you're not in a regular routine or have been keeping your art in the shadows, but hey -- that's what a challenge is for! It even comes with a handy dandy official Prompt List, just to take the hard work out of wondering what to draw every day. The actual prompts themselves can be their own challenge, and help to get you drawing topics you might have avoided. 319c74ab8d74a39e-2016promptlist Originally this whole shenanigan was started by Jake Parker; as a way to practice not just inking, but also to foster good creating habits. Duck over to Jake's page if you'd like some more tips - he even has some really juicy looking lessons on inking. It's been a while since it first popped up in 2009, and it's grown quite a following --  very popular amongst arty types of all skill levels, as you can take it easy by doing alternating days, or just when you have spare time for it as I have in the past. It's relaxing and meditative if you take it low pressure, and a super fast way to build your technical skills and train your creativity if you ramp it up a notch! I've made friends and art buddies along the way, as well as seriously improving my skills. I have a special snippet from my personal archives, here's some of my pieces from when I participated in Inktober 2014! tumblr_nepfrmsvyc1qfxyc3o10_1280 I have to say, I've come a long way in two years! Since then I've found my favourite ink and method (Kuretake Zig Black Ink 60, with a fine 000 taklon brush) I feel that there's still a long path ahead of me, and I'm curious to see how much my skills improve just from this month of inking. Maybe later down the track, I'll have to post a comparison of day 1 and 31! You can follow my progress on my Instagram channel, where I'm aiming to post a new ink drawing every day! If you've been thinking about jumping on this challenge, just go ahead and do it! I've found challenges like these to be the ultimate rut-buster for my work, and I hope it's the same for you. All it takes is a pen, some guts and a few minutes out of your day <3  

14482962_1067594570023463_181238969827065856_nInktober 2016, Day 4 - HUNGRY

Printer Hiccups and Sad Grrrl Fest

'Evening, dear friendos~ Tonight, the buzzing of my printer keeps me company. I've only had this Epson SureColour P600 for a couple of months and, well, we're in a committed relationship now. I am utterly in love; it's hardworking, vibrant, and of course have the odd spot of trouble every now and then. Mostly it all boils down to miscommunication. No, really. The only problems I've had with this printer have been wireless problems. Not even the printer's wireless -- it's my own router being a bit dodgy. Actually come to think of it, I have loaded the paper upside down once or twice.  After all, it is human to err, and the printer forgives me. Below; The horrors of wifi dropout, and the perils of 'wrong side of the paper' next to the right side!

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"whiiiirrrrr click-hummmmmm (The human made me do it.)" -- Epson SCP600, 'Eppie' I've been rather new to the whole world of printing, and this printer is my first. Prior to this year I've worked almost exclusively in digital mediums where the end goal has been digital use, a printer really seemed like some kind of great luxury priced out of reach. Honestly, it still feels like it was a budget breaker -- but I've been so used to a very teeny income that the concept of investing in myself, and my work as a business was one that I needed a lot of warming up to. Self confidence hasn't exactly been my forte, but I'm working on it! In other, perhaps more exciting breaking news, my prints are making a bit of a Market Debut this weekend at the Sad Grrrl's Fest market! I won't be there with them as the event is sold out, but I shed a little tear as I packaged up my sweet babies to go out into the big wide world. They're going to be with the most lovely art-babe Rachel Ang, alongside her latest zine (I had sneak peeks, and it looks MAD!) and a few other lovelies I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting. I thought I'd post a few snaps of my print packaging method, so you can get your own little peek into what's going out there! 14456674_10157460533780551_1035799047_oFirst, I separate the two A5 prints using a steady hand, a sharp blade and a metal ruler. The technique that works best for me is light, even strokes repeatedly down the ridge of the ruler until the blade slides freely. I use a lined cutting mat to ensure the slice is perfectly positioned -- no wonky edges around here! 14466350_10157460533570551_428792637_oI then sign the back according to the front print, with the series or print name and the year it was made. I'm sure I'll get into editioned series soon, and I have a logo paper-embosser coming in the mail! Cannot wait until it arrives <3 14466381_10157460533625551_1319386236_oPackaging time! I have some acid-free recycled cardboard backings, a finished print and an acid-free clear sleeve~ It's very important that all the elements that come into contact with the print are ph neutral, otherwise the print's integrity will be damaged and it could fade and stain. Packaged and handled with care, and this lovely print is set to outlive me! 14466247_10157460533360551_1371562381_oWrap it all up, seal it with a sticker and we're ready to go! I got my custom sticker booklet from Moo, and incidentally my business cards will be coming from there as well! I'm a sucker for their gorgeous luxe cardstock 😉

There’s strength to be found in silliness

Hey there lovely friendos <3 You know what, I have something I want to say -- It's something that has been really hard for me to work up the courage to say for... FOREVER. But you know what, I'm going to do it. It will be like daring people to say naughty words really loud in class at high school, except far less inane and significantly more empowering. I AM AN ILLUSTRATOR! Now, that might come as literally no shock at all. You must be sitting there thinking, "Why... yes. Yes, Georgie. You are an Illustrator. That's why I'm here, on your illustrator's website, looking for -- I don't know -- insights into illustration." Maybe you're not thinking that at all and you actually have a bit of insight as to where I'm going with this? Maybe you can tell I'm bad at impersonations? Either way, allow me to spin you a yarn~ Those who knew me growing up would remark without exception of what a quiet child I was. Always reading, and if not reading; drawing, and if not drawing; hiding up a tree. If not simultaneously drawing, reading and hiding at the top of said tree. Stealthily and adeptly reading novels out of my age group like some dreadfully boring ninja, I liked to challenge myself. That is, I liked to challenge myself in ways that were comfortable and familiar to me, that didn't involve a certain perceived risk.  I've always had phenomenally low self esteem, which translated to me being more comfortable at the top of a ten metre tree than on the ground and talking to someone. I could have fallen and broken any number of bones, and yet interacting with other people was the truly terrifying scenario -- for they might find out what a rubbish person I am. Far better to never meet anybody, then I'd be safe from being known! I suppose you could say I was running from a fear of judgement, and that it's a very silly and irrational thing to do. However, the whole thing about being overwhelmed by irrational fears and anxieties, is that it comes with the catch: you don't get to act rationally. I've grown so very much from that time; I graduated highschool with fantastic results, studied my passions at University and even abroad. I've learnt to interact with people and that interpersonal relationships are actually the most valuable things that a person could ever hold, I've amassed a considerable amount of skills in those times but have never had the confidence to stand up to the voice that says I'm a fraud and a failure. That's why such a silly statement means so much to me. It's an exercise in bravery. It's my sword and shield to combat my fears. It's owning my achievements, honouring my failures and choosing to use them -- not as bricks to weigh me down but as stepping stones to a brighter future. tree

Blogging with Georgie!

Hey there dear friendos! If you've followed me here from my instagram  or facebook page, thanks so much for your support, it's so good to see you again! However if you're a fresh face to these parts, it's very lovely to make your acquaintance! Welcome to the launch of  my new website; there's been a lot of baked goods, coffee and sookings poured into this (Sooks mostly sourced from my pupper who wanted to play instead) and I'm really hoping that I'll get to see you around more. I'm going to be moving into regular blogging! I feel that I've picked up lots of little tidbits along my art journey that I know a younger version of myself would wish they'd known sooner. These are the kinds of things that have helped me to improve my work, my business skills and in general, survive some of the roughest years of my life up until this point. Even more than that, literally every day that I spend working on my art and freelance business, I learn something new. I want to share my journey with you, my dear friendos, and to be that valuable resource I wish I'd had that whole time. If you want something and it's not there yet, well, I suppose it's really time to roll your sleeves up and get it done! Seeing as it's still early days, I will be blogging once a week on a Thursday. There are exciting plans in the works though, and you can expect to see a bit of me over on my youtube channel which is pretty exciting (At least, I'M excited)! At the moment there isn't a lot over there, but I will be sharing more recorded illustrations, and doing practical demonstrations of the techniques I discuss over here. My instagram account will still be updated every day, with my daily drawings and little snippets of my works, so no sweat -- you'll be kept in touch with updates! If there's any burning questions or arty things you're having trouble with -- you can send them through to me and I'll do my best to help you tackle them. So stay a while, sip a cup of tea and share your thoughts on the trials and triumphs of a life lived creatively <3 13715240_305932353087059_48371519_n
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