Storyteller

I am a bit of daydreamer. I can quite easily become distracted by all the thoughts and ideas whizzing about in my brain. I used to get told off in school for staring out the window, quite literally, at the times when the teacher seemed to be speaking endlessly about a topic that did not interest me in the slightest.

A short attention span could be put down to my dyslexia, but I like to think it is because there are so many things I want to do, make, draw and invent. My passion for what I do is the thing that drives me to finish all of my creations. Even though dyslexia effects my numeracy and literacy I have always been encouraged to write even if you can’t spell a word properly.

I adored books and reading, and I would pretend read aloud to myself thinking up a story of my own following the pictures. Eventually, the encouragement spurred me on to write and illustrate many books throughout my childhood, which is what birthed my passion to study Illustration as a degree. Through my drawn lines I am describing what I can not put into words.

However… I would like to announce that I have written a story! one that I am pretty pleased with too.

RD front cover

Despite my love for the traditional book lay out my story will be presented in comic format. The decision for this came about when I went to Comix Creatrix: 100 women making comics, a fantastic exhibition at the House of Illustration in London.

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Inspiration flew at me from all angles after reading the HERstories and viewing a vast array of styles. After postcards, zines and gifts were purchased at the shop I knew my story would be in the format of a graphic novel. After postcards, zines and gifts were purchased at the shop I knew my story would be in the format of a graphic novel.

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I have joined a writers group, the Rewrite Bureau, which encourages me to write regularly. The group is filled with people with varied interests but we are all in the same position – in search for inspiration and motivation with our writing projects. The first draft of my story has been passed around friends and the other members of the writers group to gain valuable feedback and assistance with editing.

My story has been written simply, sentence by sentence, sometimes split into sections so that I can add ‘directions’ for myself. These prompts help me to plan out the images, a stage in the process I am very much enjoying. It is helping me to properly visualise exactly how the story will flow.

The story is based on the first example rag doll I created for an exciting project I have been involved in recently.

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The project is a rag doll trail as part of Lichfield Festival, happening from July 1st to July 10th. More about my work on this project will be explained in the next blog but for now, if you can, go check the festival out!

http://www.lichfieldfestival.org/

The rag doll concept for my story presented itself so vividly in my mind. I saw the whole thing mapped out before any words were formed.

Ever since the end of my studies on the Illustration degree I have wanted to have a book published, I am determined to make this happen with this story – A Rag Doll Fairytale.

Marching On

This month has been all about celebrating women and the power they hold. Since my childhood a huge inspiration of mine has been a character known as Buffy the vampire slayer. The whole show sum’s up feminism perfectly, for me anyway.

The concept demonstrates hidden strength, sometimes a strength that may not be realised.This show helped me through many difficult times growing up and still does during adulthood. The characters have become like old friends who I revisit whenever I re-watch it.

The time has come again when I aim to fire episode after episode into my eyes, not for seeking comfort. But to act as a distraction whilst I make exemplars (teacher word for example). Strips of fabric, rag dolls, zines, sewing and lesson planning are just some of the prep work that need to be done for the next few months…Buffy marathon it is then.

This is one of the reason’s why I love being an artist though guilty pleasure ‘TV watching’ can be easily done when creating. (This mostly only works when it is a show previously seen and concentration is not mandatory).

My big 30th birthday gift was a 2 day corset course. A dream of mine is learning to work with more delicate fabric’s and difficult patterns. Why Corsetry? because I would love to eventually create couture clothing.

I discovered that once understood, corsets are a lot easier to make than what I previously expected. My dyslexic brain had been daunted by consuming so much information in just those 2 days. During the course I met many other students who were more experienced in dress making but I am proud to say that I managed to produce a finished corset by the end of the 2nd day. corset 6

I think I may have made a few errors which may or may not be obvious, but I am keen to get started on making more to perfect this new skill. Future idea’s of embroidered and screen printed/fabric painted corset designs will have to wait… for now.

The 8th march was international women’s day. IWD Face

I had been commissioned back in November by women’s day derby festival committee, to run a bunting workshop. Themed around the suffragette colours and images of female empowerment, I designed stencils ready to demonstrate a simple stencil printing technique. IWD derby

I was very impressed with the prints that were produced, they were all inspiring. Here are a few of my favourites. IWD bunting favs.jpg

After an additional workshop to print the last of the bunting squares last month, the time had come to sew it all together. I did not realise how long it would take to sew it all. I have learnt from my mistakes though, having had approx 20 meters of bunting in the biggest tangle…never again (#firstworldproblems)

The results of the finished bunting hung up at the festival were amazing.IWD fest  I felt very proud to have facilitated decoration that is both beautiful and empowering. Although march is drawing to a close it is important to note that is has been women’s history month. A time for recognising and remembering inspirational women throughout #HERstory.

I have created a zine detailing 3 female artists who inspire me and my work. I strongly feel it is very important to recognise women who contribute to the art world and incorporating this into education is a necessity. As is teaching art as part of the curriculum, but that subject is for another blog post.  Pictured is the exemplar for two #HERstory zine workshop’s I had run earlier this month.12718394_1012336132180185_2807574299606816858_n