So everything has been a little bit hectic this week! so i've been a little quieter on the social media front, i'm currently trying to get everything sorted in my new studio. It is a shared studio with three other people who specialise in different creative fields, the studio is called the directory which is a creative space for different artists to build on their career a learn new skills in the process. I also will be doing my first workshop for children next week so that is super exciting, so my space is still in the making...(very bare) I've to bring so much stuff down and just make it my own but I have the freedom to do what i like with this space and thats always great as an artist. I will keep you posted on how my space changing to really reflect me and my business but for now here's some pictures of the start, you can probably guess what my new project is also.
Elephantine Pocket looks for people who are original and unique, this is why I want to introduce you to the person who will now be the face of Elephantine Pocket and will be helping promote the products we have to offer. So let me introduce you to the fabulous cece who is in her final year of university studying applied art, I've asked her a few questions about herself and her opinions on the brand you can check them out below.
Question One: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Caitlin, it's pronounced slightly different in Irish but everyone usually calls me cece for short, I am currently in my final year studying applied arts specialising in ceramics.
Questions Two: What are your hobbies/interests?
I am a major Doctor who fan! I even have the tardis tattooed onto my leg which I adore. I also do a little modelling on the side for local hairdressers and photographers to try and build up a portfolio. My major interest at the minute is taking pictures of abandoned building around Belfast and Northern Ireland and working with these images in my work and hopefully one day my dream is to go to Chernobyl and explore the ruins.
Question Three: okay so what makes you perfect to be the face of Elephantine Pocket?
Well I am fun and quirky which reminds me of the brand so I like to think it matches my personality very well. I can bring an edge to the brand through my look to inspire others to do the same.
Question Four: so tell us a little about modelling you've did before?
I have been modelling part time for the past year which has been such a fun experience and really boosted my confidence and I get a free haircut and cool photos from it.
Question Five: How would you describe your style?
My style is a mix between urban/rock n roll chic mix, I love to be comfy with whatever I am wearing so thats a big factor in my look. My favourite pieces from my wardrobe are my graphic tee's and bomber jackets, not forgetting about my doc martens which I basically wear everyday.
Question Six: How would you promote the brand?
Well by generally wearing the products for a start and telling people the story behind each of the illustrations. Also by helping out on social media by sharing the posts and letting my friends and family know what it is I'm promoting.
Question Seven: what is your favourite product and why?
My favourite product has to the yellow and grey perfume bottle design. It is my favourite design simply because how unique it is compared to other designs i've ever seen. I especially like how the polkadot is actually another kind of perfume bottle.
Question Eight: Who do you think would wear these designs?
Definitely people who are looking for something that is different from what they have ever seen, and like to be quirky, a little like me. Really anyone who likes vintage and retro designs would love the products as it has a little story behind it.
For the second year running I have attended the ink monkey auction for mind wise. This is a charity that helps many people with mental health problem, honestly really just an amazing charity for our generation. Before the auction started we had the opportunity to have a look at all the work that had been kindly donated by local artists for the cause, so I had time to see if anything catched my eye which a lot of it did.... really shows you how talented so many people are. The night started off with Ink monkey offering different forms of entertainment which included live music and a caricature artist from inkwell cartoon & caricature, which is always an exciting experience to say the least.
Getting down to business we were all given little stars with numbers to use to bid on the artwork, which is undoubtably a very addictive thing to get involved in, takes eBay bidding to a whole new level. There was plenty of beautiful pieces to bid on from prints, paintings and even a little ceramic monkey.
We had an incredible host Marcus keeley who was also the host last year who made the whole process very entertaining, and the free wine was also an added bonus. I had my eyes on a few things from the start but one piece stood out from the rest so I was super excited to get down to bidding on that and as luck would have it I won. The piece was from an local box assemblage artist Denise's McDowell, her art was influenced by the late Joseph Cornell who I LOVE!. What attracted me to her box was her use of found object in a little vintage box which is a great influence in my own work.
My last words will be that this is a great opportunity to promote your art and have the reward that the money will go to a deserving cause, and have the frill of bidding and getting a one of piece of art for yourself.
I've decided to do my little version of meet the maker in a blog post to give you a peek about myself and my business Elephantine pocketed how it was created. I will be answering eight questions I have stumbled across online that I feel will give you the most information. okay so lets get started...
Question one: What I did before Elephantine Pocket?
So before I started Elephantine pocket I was studying a degree in fashion and textiles at ulster university school of art in Northern Ireland. I have recently graduated last summer with a first class honours (hardest year of my life) and from there i started up my own business.
Question two: What is the inspirations for my designs?
Well if anyone else has done a art project of any kind you know you need to have a theme to work on and while I was at university i never seemed to find a theme that was right for me, I never seemed to find anything that i was really passionate about. Well that was until final year and suddenly a lightbulb seemed to turn on (cliche I know). the turning point was actually designing from my own personally objects and what i collect, I'm actually a massive hoarder... so thats is that then
Question three: Why did i decide to sell my work?
I've always been interested in created products from my designs the reasons behind my designs was re working them in a modern way to give them a new lease of life that the they will always be remembered.
Question four: What helps me work?
For me personally i always work solidly for a long period of time if i have something going on in the background such as a tv series which I would binge watch constantly. i really need new tv series...
Question five: What is my studio like?
My studio is wherever I make it for a certain period of time, I'm currently an artist in residence at a local art centre where i have my own space to be to create and keep up to date with planning and organising. I do agree its good to have a space that is not in your home as it can make you a little crazy but I have also created my own home studio where I have all my materials/essentials for when I'm doing work at the weekend. I will take a few photos and do a little blog post on my studio also
Question six: What do i love about illustration
Mainly for me i love how I can change a simple object into something completely different by looking at different techniques and being able to use my own illustrative style in that. I have always been interested in drawing but finding the right balance and techniques is how I achieved to move further with my designs.
Question seven: Who do i admire?
I really admire people who have worked hard to get where they are and have a passion to keep creating new and innovative designs but in anything its easy to admire something who has passion and it inspires you to do the same.
Question eight: where do i see myself in 5 years time?
I really don't know where ill be but i would like to be going strong with my business and keep on creating new designs, but most of all just to be happy with what I am doing.
Last Saturday I participated in frock around the clock which was held in the beautiful Belfast cathedral, really a great location to have a craft fair, keep reading to see how I got on.
I found this fair a little less stressful from my first one at the fine and dandy which is simply because it wasn't my first fair, I also found that i could set up and pack up a lot quicker which saved a good bit of time and allowed me to take advantage of a quick snoop of all other stalls. What I really enjoy about doing fairs regardless if i do good or not is the experience from doing it and talking to new people and explaining the concepts about my work, it also gives me the opportunity to see how other makers set up their stalls so I can reflect back on my own. So what I would say to any aspiring maker looking to start doing craft fairs is to jump right in you will always learn something with each fair and you will never get the experience unless you do it!
After many weeks full of nerves i finally had my first market stall at the Fine and dander christmas market on december 18th. I want to say thank you to the fine and dandy market for giving me this opportunity and showing me it is not that scary, It also give me a lot of confidence in myself and my work. so heres to many more!
This is the second part of my three part how i create blog piece, today i will talk about how i incorporate photography into my artwork and how it is a vital component to how i create.
PART ONE; what do i need?
I use a combination of ace printing and photography in my collages, i use actual photographs of the images i have personally captured and print them in any local photography shop or boots. I also recommend also investing in a good quality knife for cutting around the image.
1. photograph of image
PART TWO; cutting the image
I would recommend using a cutting mat while using cutting to protect any tables underneath, while cutting i usually use sharp edges and take care with delicate parts by giving them a little more space around them.
When placing the image i tend to stick closely to the original placement in the photograph but also making sure there is enough room between the photograph and the acetone print. I use a normal prit stic for gluing the image i find it faster and easier that other glues and doesn't go through the paper or weaken it.
hope you's all enjoy this second part of the series until next week!
I want to show everybody how I create my illustrations so people can learn for themselves and be able to use it in their own work if they wish. Iwill be doing a three part blog post on these methods so keep your eyes peeled!
Part one; acetone printing
Part two; photography
Part three; illustration
STEP ONE; what do i need?
So these are my go to essentials in creating an acetone print.
1. a good quality sketchbook for the print
2. a stiff paint brush ( I got mine in a wallpaper shop for 40p)
3. a rock (anything that is heavy to cause friction, a spoon is also good)
5. a photocopy of your image that must be from a LAZER JET PRINTER! ink jet will not work
6. a trusty 0.05 liner pen (my preference)
7. last but not least acetone that you can usually get from your local beauty store e.g.; sallys
STEP TWO; The process
Place your image facing down on the paper with the blank back facing you, use your paint brush and dip it into the acetone and paint it over your image, i usually do it twice because it drys very quickly and you want to make sure you covered the area of the image. Be careful to keep pressure on the image incase it moves.
STEP THREE; a rock?
I recommend using any object that is solid and you can rub against the image quite fast, using a rock is my new method of madness but a spoon is also very good. I use the rock to press the image against the paper and rub the liquid until it drys. (will post video of process very soon dw)
STEP FOUR; The big reveal
By removing the image slowly you are making sure that the photocopy has not stuck to the paper and won't rip the paper, also you can see any area's you have missed and wish to go back and repeat the steps again.
STEP FIVE; The finished product
Now you should have a distorted transfer of your image, the better the quality of the picture, the better the image you will get, also by keeping your image simple is key to note so you can identify clearly what your image is.
hope this helps anybody who didn't understand the process!
Giving everyone a quick update on what i've been unto lately and why I haven't posted anything since graduation. After finishing university I found myself in a place where I didn't know what I wanted to do and what I should do with my degree. I knew I still wanted to create and follow on the path I was at university but without having the motivation from tutors or the knowing I had deadlines to meet I lost a lot of my motivation. Only recently after completing a business course with the Princes Trust young Enterprise course (email me if you would like details) that I started to have motivation to start my own business and be my own boss. So heres to the beginning of elephantine pocket and I hope you all enjoy what you's see.
So its coming into the last week or two before my university life is finished, and I'm wondering if I'm nervous more for my degree show or actually coming to terms with leaving education for good. The idea of having to physically and mentally support myself with out the help of university is very much daunting and i think what makes it worse is when your friends and family constantly ask what are going to do next? and that is a question i haven't answered myself. Anyway work update so my silk scarves arrived safely and I'm am over the moon with the quality and would recommend spoon flower for anyone wanting digital printing!. heres a sneak preview of the collection which funny enough is called collections.