Friday, 1 May 2015

National Stationery Week 27th April - 3rd May 2015

In celebration of National Stationery Week, I am re-posting a blog post from a little while back, on the importance of traditional means of communication. In case you didn't know, the national event is on until the 3rd of May. Why not send a letter, card or postcard using traditional 'snail mail' instead of a text or tweet?

Here is a sneak peek at one of my latest card designs available at the Fi&Me shop


Last Saturday morning a postcard addressed to my 2 year daughter fluttered onto our door mat. It was from her Aunty and Uncle (or Aunty and Ankle as she calls them!) How exciting!

Although not addressed to me, this card was right up my street – the star of the postcard being a teddy bear in various locations around Cornwall (check out my Monkey Tour blog post). This image whisked me back to my childhood, remembering that Lucy always used to like sending these kinds of postcards to her school friends.

During her holiday, Lucy and I have been in regular text-message contact, but what could have been said in a text message was lovingly and carefully written onto paper instead and this is what is so important.

What’s more, it gave my daughter an exciting surprise. It was probably only the 3rd piece of mail addressed solely to her. She has had an introduction to the importance of written social communication!

I hoard my old cards, postcards and letters, because they are so special to me and this is why I began creating my own greetings cards originally.
It is also why at Fi & Me we choose to leave our greetings cards blank inside because quite frankly, the more white space the better, think how much (or how little) you could say? It’s up to you and that’s the beauty.

Having said that, I am not against verse in cards at all. Many greetings card manufacturers and designers choose to include verse, because sometimes you just don’t have time to spend penning a mini work of Shakespeare in a 125mm x 125mm space! Sometimes you just can’t find the right words to say and that’s what’s great about buying a card where someone has already taken the time to do it for you.

An interesting resource that is available in association with the Greeting Card Association (GCA) is a project they have set up in conjunction with the Royal Mail. Worth checking out, especially if you are a teacher. It’s designed for 5 – 11 year olds and encourages key English skills, nurtures knowledge of other beliefs and cultures and compliments the art and design curriculum.

And this brilliant timeline illustrates just how important cards are for ‘communicating knowledge over distance or time.’

In conclusion, in whatever form they come in, I think greetings cards are like chicken soup, good for the soul!

For more images you can visit my website

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Fabby Doodle Drawing Workshops

This is just a really quick post to let you know about my business Fabby Doodle where I run art, craft and drawing workshops.
I have spruced up the website so just wanted to post the link on here.

As always I welcome constructive feedback, and would also love to know if there's anything I can help you with drawing-wise :)

Have a great day,

Fi x

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Fall In Love With Your Process...

I'm in the really early stages of creating a new body of work and thought I'd share a glimpse at what I'm doing. I'm not sure which direction I'm going in with these yet but having fun creating and approaching my work from a slightly different angle.

There I was busily drawing cats ( because it just felt right) and all of a sudden these little faces started appearing.
They are inspired by my children Charlotte and Fern. I'm also returning to pencil (I had sort if forgotten about pencil but I think I'm falling in love again) and really enjoying it!
It's the small things folks...the small things! ;)
Hope you like this little sneak peek and I'll update the blog with my progress as it happens.

Have a lovely day :)

Fi x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Find The Essence!

Cute cat brooch by Lucy for fi&me

"Rooted in drawing is the desire to create..."

If, like me, you are on a creative journey, you might want to ponder this question? Is being creative essentially about finding the essence of what you love to do?
For me the drive to create has always been found in drawing.
Whatever medium I use to craft and create this is where I always return. For the most part, it feels like home. But it can feel, on occasion, a slightly scary place because it is exposing. What if I'm found out?  That my human characters aren't perfectly figurative, that proportions might be out? That really I'm not THAT good!
Aaargh! See how quickly self-doubt can escalate! Ha! (Quickly beats those 'mind monkeys' off with a stick!)

I truly believe that practicing, and more importantly, enjoying the process of honing a skill is the key to being successful at it, regardless of the end result.
When Lucy and I started to attend craft fairs with our vintage inspired business Fi&Me we were exploring how far we could take our creativity. We were having fun and using a whole cohort of techniques that we had been taught over the years from various wonderful people in our lives, family members, teachers and crafts people whose work we admire.
 It was fun! For example, I love to make soft toys based on my designs and inspired by mid-century design. I learnt to crochet, make basic origami and stitch felt embroideries of my Babushka Doll illustrations. But gradually over the 5 years that our little collective has existed we always came back to one thing...drawing.
Rooted in drawing is the desire to create. On a personal level drawing helps me test out my design idea before I commit. This can apply to all art forms, not just art and craft. Last week, for example, I happened to turn on the TV to see Andrew Marr (himself an accomplished draftsman) interviewing  Sir Anthony Sher. It was fascinating to hear him talk about how he uses drawing when developing a character, in drawing he discovers more about them;
 “I do portaits,” actor Sir Antony Sher told the BBC’s Andrew Marr. “I often find that I’m discovering how a character feels by drawing them.”
If I had to choose one aspect of my practice and I could only do that forever, it would be drawing. No contest. But why choose? Drawing has the power to enhance many inter-related art forms.
What is your favourite medium? It might be needle point or collage, or water colour might be the easiest thing to warm up with and get your creative juices flowing?
 I think a lot of what puts people off is that the image they may see and want to create is at odds with what spills out onto the paper with the first doodles/paint sketches.
Learning to be ok with this is the key I believe. Believe it or not, quite often what I think I will draw and what I actually draw are very different but I've learnt to be ok with that and then all of a sudden you might find you have created your own style anyway!
:) x