07 June 2016

Summer Illustrations

I love this time of year - when the weather gets warm everyone seems happier. I know I am, the dog certainly is - if you need him, he can be found sunbathing on the lawn.
And other people seem happier too - sat in the parks, having lunch outside, eating ice cream...
Colours seem brighter, days are longer, bees are busier, flowers and trees are looking lush...And the sunsets are beautiful.
I really do love this time of year.

06 June 2016

Working From Home

I love working from home, surrounded by my own things and with my dog, Ted, by the desk (sometimes under it). My routine starts with walking dog as my commute to work; it gets me outside but also gives me important time to day dream and think things through. 

When I get back, make coffee, check emails and social media. If there is lots of interesting stuff to read through then my coffee goes cold, but on a dull day I sip it while I pay bills and check the news, either way, I then make a second cup.

Hot coffee at hand, I crack on with the tasks of the day - researching, sketching, scanning, colouring, talking to clients, planning new projects. Time melts away while I'm doing this. I think it is because I genuinely love what I do. If I'm sat too long without moving Ted gives me a nudge and I'll pay him some attention.

If the weather is nice or I'm feeling uninspired I might go out at lunchtime for another walk and some fresh air. Sometimes stepping away from the desk is all you need for ideas to start flowing again.

In the afternoon, I like to finish things. I don't like having unfinished images sitting around so I often try to finish them before the end of the day, or at leats get to a sensible stopping point. I then make a to-do list for the next day (I love a to-do list) and check emails and social media again to see what's new.

I then walk Ted again as my commute from work. After that, I try to only do things for me - time for fun and relaxation or personal projects. I find having that switch off point of the dog walk keeps me feeling fresh and enthusiastic about work - very important when freelancing as you don't have a boss to motivate you.

The exception to this is when I'm hooked on what I'm doing because the project is too good to stop or the deadline is looming. When this happens, I give myself an hour to unwind and then work late into the night. Which is easy to do when you have the adrenalin of the last minute push, or the thrill and excitement knowing that what you're working on is cool.

As much as I like working from home, it is great to get out and meet people - I love having a natter, I could talk to anyone! I find it so interesting hearing their stories, about the things they are working on and why they are passionate about what they do. Plus, sometimes it helps to mix things up by working in a cafe or take my sketchbook out on an adventure... but most days you'll find me, at my desk, with a mug of tea or coffee and a dog by my side, happily working and singing loudly (and badly) to Spotify.

01 March 2016

February Instagram

It has been a funny old February for me. I've found lots of old sketches and work as I've been packing up my studio ahead of the move, and I've been feeling all nostalgic and melancholy. I can't believe how many boxes of books, sketch books and prints I've already packed! It takes me twice as long to get stuff done as each thing needs to be looked at/flicked through to see if forgotten treasure is hiding.

29 February 2016

Print & Colour Motivational Quotes Available Now on Etsy

Adult colouring in seems to be everywhere right now! I dedcided to upload my finished illustrated optimism pieces to Etsy as a collection of 12 printable sheets. I certainly found them relaxing to make so hopefully you guys will get the same escape colouring them in. If you do, I'd love to see the results.

26 February 2016

Animated Zebra

This was a fun animation I did for http://www.expectzebras.com an app to help those with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and other chronic conditions to communicate their needs to others and stay in control of their condition. Its early days in the project but one I'm very happy to be involved in.

Where did the name come from?

"When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras” is a saying that means that look for the expected cause first, rather than something more out of the ordinary. However in the case of someone who is living with genetic or hidden condition its better advice to turn the phrase around, and expect the unexpected.

14 February 2016

Hand Dawn Motivation Quotes

I have been creating a series of hand drawn typography, drawing out motivational phrases and good advice. I started this project because things (out of my control) have got complicated and I was getting to the point where it seemed easier to give up and hide away feeling depressed. I didn’t want to be defeated by a bad set of circumstances so I started drawing out messages to remind myself it is not all bad and I need to keep going.

So that’s how it started, and while some things haven’t improved I do feel better in myself, more optimistic that better times are just round the corner when I get there.

So if you’re going through a tough time I can wholeheartedly recommend going back to something simple that you love doing, then do it just for the pleasure it gives you and after a while it distracts you from your problems and can lead you somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be drawing – colouring, sewing, cycling, reading, dancing to cheesy pop… whatever it is, if it helps, do it for you and do it often.

13 February 2016

When Life Gets Me Down I Pick Up a Pencil

Or a pen, paintbrush, crayon… anything I can make a mark with. Next I find some paper – my sketch book is favourite but really any old scrap will do…

And then I draw, doodle, scribble, scratch, smudge until I forget what it was that was troubling me.  Slip into a world of marks, shapes, colours and textures that become a playground, I cross over to my happy place and I feel stress slip away.

Sometimes I draw with purpose, sometimes I draw for other people, or to tell a story, other times its repetitive patterns, all nonsense, wonky, silly, or unrecognisable all together. Whatever it is, it works for me, the simple act of doing and creating something I can see brings me peace. It keeps me sane, and I’m grateful for it.

02 February 2016

January - came and went

So January has been a blur, it has not been my favourite collection of days but I'm doing my best to stay positive. Lets hope good things happen in Feb.

29 January 2016

Reviving my Inner Optimist

It has been a tough week, lots of things are up in the air, changing in a way I'm not enitirely happy with or just generally not going to plan. It has been getting me down but instead of wrapping myself in a comforting duvet and eating all the chocolate I'm finding solace in ink. It may not work for everyone but scratching away in my sketchbook doing a personal project is my escape.

I started taking positive phrases and quotes and just playing around with them on paper, but have now started scanning them in and cleaning up the smudgy bits and fingerprints. I'm really getting into it, not too sure where it's going, but its keeping me sane and more importantly helping me to look on the bright side...

Ooo that's another *scribbles 'Look on the Brightside' on the corner of a notebook*

A photo posted by Soni (@sonispeight) on

A photo posted by Soni (@sonispeight) on

A photo posted by Soni (@sonispeight) on

26 January 2016

Making decisions...

In my last post I mentioned that we're having to move, I'm very lucky that I have options but feel a little stuck as none of them give me everything I currently have. One way will probably suck in the short-term but could potentially lead to a great situation, the other would be lovely but just extends the uncertancy longer. Either feels like a gamble right now... Which way do I go?

16 January 2016

Waiting For The Stars To Align

I started the year super focused, I had a plan. A new exciting plan full of goals, deadlines and actions. I was organised. I knew exactly where I was heading when, just as I got going something, unexpected happened. The thing I didn't allow in my plan was the disruption, time and expense involved in suddenly needing to find a new home. The one thing I took for granted, my lovely bumpkin cottage, was being sold by the landlord and we have two months to clear off.

Suddenly everything is uncertain, I know I need to see this as the next adventure, a challenge, something that fate has thrown in my way to mix things up. My perfect plan was not so perfect, I had assumed I had time to be squirreled away uninterrupted in my little studio with a stupid dog.

It really does go to show there is no perfect moment where all things are optimal for success. There will always be something unexpected, a hurdle or a hiccup. It won't stop me reaching my goals, I just need to work a little harder and be a lot more flexible.

And if you are waiting for the stars to align, for that perfect moment to begin, I'd say that time waiting for a sign could be put to better use. Lets get on with it, something will happen and I'm certain it will be interesting.
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