Life and Art with Li Ching

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

There’s something so lovely about a hobby! It gives you direction, it gives you a better perspective of life- and it helps you enjoy yourself even more! That’s what we’re discussing on the Inspiration feature today.

Li Ching makes some beautiful artwork- and what I especially love about it is, she makes art for herself. It’s rare to find people who do things not to please others, but to make themselves happy. You can see this reflected in all her work- be it her intricate pen work, or her free watercolour style! She incorporates so much art in her life- and that’s uncommon these days. Both her work and her inspiration are priceless.

Read on to hear what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Li Ching (Lich or Leach for short) I’m 43. In my last job, I was a Gemologist based in Bangkok, Thailand. I specialised in grading and appraising coloured gems. When my family relocated back to Singapore, I became a SAHM. I’ve always loved art, but it was only this year, with more time on my hands, that I started to draw more productively again.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9(Love the koi fish!)

I love both your pen work as well as your watercolours! Do you usually practice one type of art for a long period of time, or do you alternate between different art forms regularly?

I am self taught. I’ve had no formal instruction, but because I sat for Art exams at GSCE O and A levels – I’ve had experience in everything from collage to pastels to charcoal…In the end, I keep going back to pen work. What’s new is my newfound love for watercolours!Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

What makes you happiest in your creative process?

This question is so hard! I like when a piece just grows as I work on it. I’m not the best with planning…sometimes the art develops on its own. When it works out, I’m always amazed (that I didn’t screw up). I also feel glad when people identify with what I draw. Or if they feel something when they look at it. Someone just told me my work made her feel happy. I mean, wow..that was a revelation to me. I was flattered and I was moved.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

You seem to be inspired by books and nature, from looking at your work! Can you describe in detail what inspires you as potential drawing topics?

I love books! When I was younger, I would read the classics and poetry. Now, I prefer fantasy and fairytales. I particularly enjoy A.S.Byatt and C.S.Lewis.  I don’t have very much time to read these days. You could say I’m painting from memory…

As an English-speaking Chinese in multiracial Singapore, I think I subconsciously try to compensate for my lack of “Chinese-ness” through art.  I studied under a famous Chinese artist for half a year, but my work still looked too graphic and western. I don’t fight it now! Instead, I incorporate oriental elements, symbols and rebus, into some of my pieces.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

(Some of Li’s amazing pen work- inspired by books! Bet you can guess which ones..)

What is your usual process for illustrating a piece?

I don’t have a fixed process when I draw. It’s all rather arbitrary. I decide what size of drawing I’m going to do then simply start. Even if I do a preliminary sketch, I may change my mind mid way. Sometimes I make a plan in my head. But if my gut says something, I tend to listen. I really believe that the key to painting a good piece of art, is knowing when to stop.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

How do you balance your creative pursuits as well as your regular life duties?

I’m a full time mom and a part time artist. A lot of articles talk about balance..But I feel it’s a zero sum game. You cannot have more of one without having less of the other. My kids will (usually lol) come first. I set aside my mornings and selected afternoons for myself. It’s an indulgence for me, not a career. Maybe when the kids leave for college…T-T

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

(I love how Li encourages her children too! Can you guess which one of these three is made by her daughter?)

What are some of your favourite art supplies you use?

I prefer Copic Multiliners for my pen work. I also use Copic color markers, Derwent Coloursoft and Artist color pencils.  For watercolors, I use Daler Rowney Aquafine & Artists, Winsor and Newton Professional and Schmincke Horadam. Most of my paper is Daler Rowney and Arches. While I have several Raphael Kolinsky sable brushes, the majority of my other brushes are just regular brushes.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9(Li’s lovely creative space. I love the wallpaper there! And of course, the art materials and the art too!)

What inspires you to keep illustrating?

I worked many years in HR, Internal Audit and Gemology. As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to draw seriously and I’ve never gotten the chance, not even Art lessons.  That’s why “endorsement” is really important to me. I’m elated when people, especially artists, tell me they like my work. Fundamentally, it’s insecurity, rather than narcissism. I want to believe I can, and that’s why I keep drawing.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9You have a lovely Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a little creative business?

I just had extra time on my hands and wanted to give it a go. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been very serious about it…But I’m thinking of really getting down to listing more art.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9How long have you been drawing? Just out of interest, what was the first thing you remember drawing that made an impact to you?

Oh forever! Since I could remember… 🙂 I recall being so profoundly affected by criticism that I would deliberately leave my paintings unsigned so I could deny responsibility. Once, I brought one particular piece to an established framer to be framed. This was someone who had seen thousands of paintings. When she asked me, “did you paint this?” I wanted to say “NO!”

She said, “You must sign it. It’s important you own it”. She never said if it was good or not. But just like that, she helped me understand that just like everything else, you can’t please everyone. If your work appeals to some people, great. If not, own it anyway. Here’s the artwork in particular. Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Do you have any advice for artists out there?

Don’t stop learning!

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Just for fun: what’s your favourite food, colour and flower?

Malay satay! No, I don’t have a favorite colour! It’s like asking me which note I prefer. They need to go together right? I love orchids! We’ve always had them at home, planted in pots. I especially like the small varieties.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9Thanks, Li, for sharing a little glimpse into your creativity! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria 🙂

Find Li’s work on Etsy and keep up with her art journey on Instagram.

 

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Modern Style from Maple + Mauve

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I am big fan of anyone who really adds something new to style in jewelry. Also, total respect for someone who actually dares to do something different. And that’s why I’m so happy to have on the Inspiration Series- Sera of Maple + Mauve.

I was so drawn by the bare simplicity of her work and the sheer minimalism that makes it so chic. The minimal trend has caught on, and I’m totally on board with it.

However, Sera’s work is not just the normal minimal- it stands out like pieces of art in a stream of manufactured ‘minimals’. She’s also got a sharp eye for aesthetics, and I love how that reflects in her work. My perspective on her beautiful jewelry would be : modern, unaffected, focused and rare. Read on to her what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sera Rogers and I am the owner of Maple + Mauve, a Seattle based jewelry studio specializing in concrete, wood, and ceramic wares. I started Maple + Mauve in 2012 when I decided to make minimal and architecturally inspired jewelry for myself. Then I started sharing it with the world. This little video highlights a closer and more intimate look at my making process.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I love your minimal and cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of jewelry you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Each piece is quite planned. I usually conceptualize my designs at night before I go to bed. I think my mind starts to quiet then and I can visualize my creative direction more clearly. Typically, I start with a sketch and then I will either 3D print, or cut the mold from wood, then start the casting process. Often I’ll make my designs out of paper first to get a sense of shape and scale.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business, in my opinion, is convincing yourself you can. I have gone through so many personal ups and downs throughout the process. Being part of such a talented, yet very saturated market, it can take some convincing that you belong. Whenever I feel stressed or start to second guess myself I look for personal support from friends and family. My dear friend Becky famously assures me, ‘you are lovable and capable.’ I try to repeat this to myself as much as possible. It helps me remember to be kind to myself. No one gets anywhere alone, and my friends and family are as much to credit for my success as I am.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I am probably happiest at the very beginning of the creative process, or for me, the idea-generating part. Ideas usually flow when I am most relaxed and most often when I am traveling and exploring. When you can achieve a mindset that is completely open to new ideas, regardless of what barriers you think stand in the way, creative opportunities become completely endless. This mental place is where my best work comes from.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

No two days are exactly the same. I usually wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee. Then, weather permitting, I walk around Greenlake (a lake very close to my neighborhood) with a few of my whip-smart and inspiring girlfriends. It’s important for me to get out of the studio and into the fresh Seattle air, both for my creative mind and my social needs. If I don’t make a conscious effort to do that, I can very easily go the whole day with my head down working inside and then, come nightfall, I am very grumpy. After that, a typical day involves concrete casting and clay molding, often in the morning and then again in the early evening. My afternoons are usually consumed with emailing, shipping, photography and bookkeeping. I try to stick to a fairly structured schedule, especially because my husband keeps fairly 9-5 business hours and I want to be able to spend evenings with him. If I don’t consciously make that effort, I can easily work all night.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 ConcreteTriangleEarringsBeckyBaseGreywithTanScarfWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Confidence, hard work and humility are needed to keep up with being a small business owner. Being able to admit that you don’t know everything, asking for help, and allowing yourself to be open to constructive criticism are certainly key to growing and improving. As far as enjoying running a business, being your own boss certainly has it’s advantages. A flexible work schedule is probably the best part. That, and creating work that I can call my own, and that I am proud of is incredibly gratifying. I work more than I did when I held more conventional jobs, but for me, it’s much more rewarding.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

(Love the peaceful vibes of Sera’s studio- all the greens, blues and whites!)

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would love to have a larger studio space, and an assistant!

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest and pull inspiration from the people I meet and the places I am fortunate enough to explore. I feel so grateful to live in a vibrant city that supports local artists. There is so much talent here! Alternatively, I find myself feeling inspired by old oddities. I love to go to vintage markets, consignment shops and estate sales. It’s a small thrill for me to imagine the relationship people had with certain objects before I interact with them.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

How long has jewellery making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I’ve been making this kind of jewelry since 2012, but I’ve been a maker my whole life. I thought I could make it a business when people started asking where they could purchase my designs, but I was creating and selling my work for almost 2 years before taking the leap and transitioning Maple + Mauve into to a full time career.

 Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 GlobeConcreteNecklace11

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 SquareCuffLinksJustin

 

What present would you like to receive? (For any occasion)

Probably a membership to audible.com, so I could listen to all the books on my ‘to read’ list while I work! I love to read but can’t always find the time; and there are so many mornings when I am very much in a book listening mood while I am creating. I don’t know why I haven’t just broken down and done this for myself already, I most likely will just go ahead and do so after this interview.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 WoodandConcreteNecklace1

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Any insight on your name Maple + Mauve?

I once read a story in a children’s book about William Perkin’s accidental invention of the color mauve while mixing chemicals. I liked that a beautiful color was created by chance and then went on to inspire, and in a way revolutionize fashion. I found that optimism inspiring and wanted to have the same approach with my products. I thought “mauve” seemed lonely by itself. Since I knew one of my mediums would be wood, ‘maple’ followed quite organically.

Thanks, Sera, for a glimpse into Maple + Mauve! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Sera on Instagram and on the Maple + Mauve  Website.

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Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Hello! Today on the Inspiration series, we have Charlotte Lloyd, the creative mind behind Charles of Lloyd. She creates the most colourful and quirky designs on home ware- and these vibrant patterns and tropical vibes can definitely brighten up any room! When I saw her website, I had to contact her to get some insight on her colourful process! She’s persistent and a real go-getter.

I like her distinctive pieces and more than that, I was just impressed by her whole outlook on finding inspiration, her can do attitude and her methodical routine- to create such a varied range of colours and patterns. Read on to hear what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Charlotte Lloyd; I am the founder and designer behind ‘Charles of Lloyd’, which is a London based homeware brand. I am a self-taught textiles designer. In 2012, I left a career in fashion and licensing to pursue my love for pattern. I create fun, vibrant textiles prints that aim to raise a smile and project a positive approach to design.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

A little insight on your company name ‘Charles of Lloyd’?

It’s a bit of a spin on my actual name and a nickname that had been thrown around in the past. Having a very British surname really helped to play on the formal nature of the brand name and give it a sense of heritage. It gives the impression there is a rich history as it almost sounds a bit regal, but in essence its sums up the history of my family history, journey and making.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

I love your colourful creations on cushions and bags! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of design you dream up? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Well I am on the cusp of launching my second range and while I’m still learning where my comfort zone is in the design process, I don’t think the learning ever stops. My initial range was very off the cuff and around images and subjects that at the time were of interest. There were various designs that were so well received I have put a twist on them to carry them forward into the new line.  The second range was more around  tropical summer feel, based on the time of year it was launching to hit spring/summer trade shows.

They all begin with doodles and lots of magazine clipping to make colour pallets from. While I have only just launched the second range, I already have a plan around a colour palette of primary colours for the next range. I’d say a lot of the early planning is around colour rather then print, but in the excitement it’s easy to deviate!

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

For me, I was starting a business whilst learning a trade at the same time. I had a very real gut feeling that this was something I had to explore, but had to juggle this learning along side paid work to get to a point where it felt like a real possibility – rather then an experiment. I think research is key and you should feel confident in asking as many experienced people for pointers, help and suggestions as that can save you months.

The hardest part is to keep going. It can be very testing running a business. I’d advise surrounding yourself with the positive people in your life. I also read a lot of designer interviews that inspire me to keep going on things like design files, design sponge etc. They are priceless.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

When I get samples and fabric back. It’s like Christmas when you see your design become a real tangible thing. It’s always so nerve racking as well, but that’s what makes you feel alive and kicking right? Hearing that someone likes something you have made is always a lovely feeling too. It’s those little memos that really do keep you chipping away at it. I see Charles of Lloyd as a bit of a left field brand. It’s a bit bonkers and playful, so to know there are people that relate means it’s resonating with strangers. What’s not to love about that!

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

-Wake up at 8 with a fair idea of my jobs list for the day having thought about it before bed. Scan my emails on my phone so I know of anything vital.

-Make a nice juice as we just got an exciting juicer (nerdy i know) or my boyfriend and I walk to ‘Expresso Hut’ on Chatsworth road. Best coffee going FYI!

-Mornings -10 – 1 – The days can be really varied from shooting new products for the website (to get the best morning light), fulfilling and packing orders, answering emails, giving comments on samples. Only yesterday, I got asked to look at making some bags for a wedding in LA, so my inbox often has some really fun surprise projects in store. I also just started trading on Not on the High Street so I am waiting to see how this will effect the admin element of my day.

-Have lunch around 1-2. I live just off the vibrant Chatsworth road in Hackney, so there are always great places to grab a snack or get supplies to cook at home. My boyfriend is the chef in our home so he tends to whip something fab up to keep us going as we both work from home.

-Afternoons can entail the more admin based stuff like –  revising pricing, working on the website, researching or visiting new suppliers, trade shows, shops, or visiting workshops etc.

-Generally we finish up about 6/7 and try and consciously close the door on the studio. But it’s never that simple and can often be a late one. Some days I will try and fit in a swim or a coffee with a friend to break it up.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Perseverance definitely, you need a really strong mind to keep going. There will be lots of exciting little things that lift you up but they fade. You need focus to keep pushing through to the next big milestone. Passion is essential; as without that unconditional need to do what you are doing – it will be harder to keep going. Organisation is also key. Working with people requires the ability to make your interaction with them as easy and effortless as possible. Make peoples’ lives easy by being organised.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd


Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I’ve been in London for 12 years now so I think a move to the seaside is in the works. I am also about to train as an upholsterer as an additional leg to my business. So in 2 years, I would hope to be running this arm of my practice – offering my fabrics across an array of beautiful vintage chairs and items.

 

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What inspires you the most?

My inspiration in terms of designing fabrics really comes from all over the place: from exhibitions, photographs, magazine tear outs for colour palletes, charity shops for vintage fabrics and car boot finds. Its just about being open-minded every time you leave your front door and being equipped to document it whether it’s in notes, photographs or rubbings. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Instagram but find this can be detrimental – as it can overwhelm as well.

I also absolutely dig all the amazing African church goers in East London. Every weekend, I see the most insanely beautiful fabrics and colour combinations. Head to toe pattern in every colour under the sun! It makes me feel the way I hope Charles of Lloyd makes people feel. I’d love to do a shoot one day with a selection of these women using COL fabrics. A lot of the fabric they wear is Vlisco – which is a Dutch printer with a rich history in producing these wax fabrics.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of LloydWhat tools do you work with to create your illustrations?

Various types of black ink pens, charcoal, paints and a good sketch book. I either import various marks, doodles and scans into photoshop to construct my prints in layers on screen or do some designing in Illustrator. I also do a bit of hand printing and this is mainly drawing directly onto tracing paper in individual layers, they are then exposed and built up directly onto fabrics using screen printing.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

What present would you like to receive? (any occasion!)

Hmm, that’s a tough one! I don’t generally have items or things that I get hooked on and I’m pretty practical so if it’s got a use, thats always nice. The only thing I have wanted for years is a French Bulldog but that’s one pricey present. Once thing I always always love are scented candles. I burn them daily in our home and am a big fan of wood scented smells.

Colours + Patterns with Charles of Lloyd

Thanks, Charlotte, for a little glimpse into your colourful world at Charles of Lloyd! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Charles of Lloyd on her shop and here on Instagram.

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Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

Excited to have the first fashion illustrator on Opinion9!

I adore illustration, and fashion is one field where there is just so much opportunity to depict anything, in any way you like. I saw Cate’s style on Instagram, and her crisp and consistent drawing style really appealed to me. I love the glamour in her work- and I love the fact that it’s got a lot of heart. I’m aware that you don’t really see ‘glamour’ and ‘heart’ together much – but to me,  that’s the best part of Cate’s fashion illustrations. They look beautiful and you can see that’s there’s a very thoughtful person behind them.

Read on to hear what she has to say!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Cate, and I’m a fashion illustrator. I post my projects and illustrations on my Instagram feed, @cateodson. 

What sparked your interest in fashion illustration and just art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been drawing dresses way before I even knew that “fashion illustration” was an actual thing. When I was young, I remember posing my Barbies in different outfits and drawing them in my notebooks and sketchpads. I started drawing, designing and illustrating clothes for friends and acquaintances when I was a sophomore in university, but I’ve been doing this professionally for a little over three years now.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

For me, art is everywhere – from the way the flowers on the roadside bloom to the colours of the neatly arranged shelves in my local grocery. I try to see the beauty in everything – nothing is mundane. I get a lot of motivation from art all around and I try to infuse it in my work.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

What is your general process while creating an art piece? 

First, inspiration has to strike. Even if I’m working on a project and on a due date, I have to be inspired. I have to be in a creative mindset.

Preparations (brushes, workplace, mixing paint) – I prepare my workplace basically, and that could mean anywhere, the bedroom floor, on the bed, on the dining table, in a coffee shop. But I have to make sure I have access to my supplies.

Rough sketch (pencil/paper) – Then I start a very rough sketch (mostly just lines and circles) which I then develop into a simple line art. I then lightly erase the pencil sketch and get ready to paint it.

Painting – a few brushstrokes usually do the trick. I try to not over-do it. I like the raw look of bold brushstrokes.

Drying – I let it set to dry. I usually tidy up my workspace while waiting.

Touchups – I look out for those tiny details I missed or might want to add.

Scanning and Upload – I scan it and upload it on my laptop, ready for upload or forwarding to the client and on my Instagram account.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

What keeps you motivated to draw?

Beauty. Whenever I see beautiful pictures, clothes, shoes, flowers, landscapes and what not, I get really motivated and I try to channel that motivation to produce material and art.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It varies. It can be as quick as 5 minutes, or as long as two days if it’s a big project.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

Just out of interest, what was your favourite piece of art you remember creating?

One of my favourite pieces is the painting I did of my grandmother.

 

What are some fashion trends you currently adore?

I know everyone’s wearing them, but I am currently in love with the Valentino Rockstud pumps/flats. I’m also a big fan of LBD’s – those never go out of style.

 

What would an ideal day be according to you?

An ideal day for me would be a sweater weather day with an Audrey Hepburn movie marathon playing in the background as I paint. Oh, and cookies. Freshly baked cookies have to be in that scenario somewhere. 🙂

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?

Outfit: Skinny jeans and ballet flats – it’s so convenient it’s almost lazy. The combo can go from day to night. I can wear it while shopping for supplies, going to the mall and even on a late night coffee shop hangout session with my friends. Also, I adore heels, but I can’t walk in them so flats are my default shoe choice. 😀

Flower: Peonies – they’re just so delicate and pretty. Very feminine.

 

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays? Old Hollywood. I love dramatic silhouettes and voluminous skirts. There’s something romantic and almost mysterious about it.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

I use watercolours, gouache and acrylic. I use Winsor & Newton (Cotman) Watercolour.  I’m also a fan of Sakura brushes, especially the teeny, tiny ones – those are great for painting on details. I also use Copic and Letraset Pro Markers for non-paint projects. Currently, I am on the lookout for a good eraser.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

I love the colourful vibes and intricate pen work in your work! How did you create a consistent style for your fashion illustration?

It took me years to find a style I could call my own. I experimented with different techniques before I settled on the current one. If you look through my Instagram feed, you’ll see the “evolution” of my illustration style. I used to colour in everything (I still do, sometimes, when the project requires a fully coloured croquis), until I realized that I wanted my art to look easy and approachable but retain the class and glamour I’m trying to deliver through the clothes I’m illustrating. I wanted to have a more consistent look for my models and most especially, I wanted the garments to pop.

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

When I take a step back and I feel confident with my work, when I don’t feel like I have to change or add something else and when it feels complete. It’s all about the “feel” to me. It has to feel right.

 

Fashion Illustration with Cate Odson via www.opinion9.com

Since you live in the Philippines, has the place inspired you and your art in any way?

Yes, absolutely. I love looking through Filipino history books and take inspiration from clothes crafted during the Spanish Colonial to Post-Spanish Era.

Thanks, Cate, for a glimpse into your lovely illustrated fashion work you do so well! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

..

Find Cate’s work here on Instagram.

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Inspired Art by Annie

Inspired Art by Annie Opinion9 Inspiration SeriesHello!  I’m excited to add some inspired art by Annie Mae Herring to the Inspiration series. She draws a lot of human subjects, especially celebrities- but what makes her art striking- is that they all really capture the essence of the subject.

This girl has talent! She’s also pretty up to date on popular culture, and I like how her subjects capture it (you’ve got to follow her on instagram for the details) along the way. And on the ever-changing landscape of fashion and entertainment, she captures precise moments and they hold their ground as distinctive pieces of art!

Looking at her artwork, you can see something much deeper of Annie herself there. An artist who can reveal so much in herself indirectly with her art is a rare thing. Her perseverance and grit as an artist truly reflects in her work.

Read on to her what she has to say!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Annie Mae Herring; I am 22 years old from England. I am a Fine Art Student in my last year at Norwich University. I specialize in fashion portraits and some large landscape acrylic canvases. I am fascinated in what people perceive ‘Beauty’ is and how society portrays them.

Inspired Art by Annie

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

My interest in art started from a very young age, I must have been 18 months old when I started “painting”. Colours have always fascinated my practice and me; I love how colour is found even in the dullest things. A road could be dark blue; a shadow on a face could be purple etc.

Inspired Art by Annie

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

I am always looking at other artists work to inspire my own practice, and I constantly go down to London to check out new exhibitions, my favourite place is The National Portrait Gallery. There are always new shows on which is great to see what new artists are creating.  Also by having a social media account, it motivates me to produce more art works so that my followers can see what I am up to each day, they definitely motivate me to do more!

Inspired Art by Annie

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

When creating a new piece, I like to find the image of whoever takes my artistic fancy for that day, choose a medium that I feel I need practice on, and I will usually sketch it out and work onwards from there. I love starting with the eyes, to me it’s the best bit. If you get the eyes wrong, the whole expression can be ruined. So I like to take my time with them! I hate hair. Hair makes me so depressed. SO MUCH MARKMAKING!!! Haha!

Inspired Art by Annie

What keeps you motivated to draw?

My family, friends and my Instagram followers keep me motivated, I wouldn’t be here without them (sounds corny but its really true). Also, watching films, reading fashion books/magazines. Pinterest is also a brilliant sight to get inspired. I feel I’m quite tenacious with my art; I’m always striving to out do my last piece. I recently found out that I have a famous painter in my family John Fredrick Herring, who painted Queen Victoria’s Horses and all of the Racehorses of the day. That inspired me greatly to achieve that kind of respect (in the art world).

Inspired Art by Annie

(Barbara Palvin by Annie)

Inspired Art by Annie

(A very creepy Jared Leto as Joker by Annie)

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

The time it usually takes me to complete a piece, depends solely on how motivated I feel that day. One of my flaws is that I am an incredibly impatient person, so if I don’t finish a piece in under a day, I usually never look at it again. (so many unfinished works piling up on my art table !!! )

Inspired Art by Annie

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

One of my personal favourite paintings I have ever done is one of my mother. She suffered a really horrible car accident at the age of 26, and lost her hair. There are no photographs of her as she is, so I asked her to sit for me. I feel like I really captured her uncomfortable shyness at actually being looked at for so long whilst sitting for me, but also that beautiful warmth in her eyes. It is something I will always treasure.

Inspired Art by Annie

(Annie’s beautiful drawing of her mother. Wonderful expression.)

Do you plan to pursue a career in art? Or is art just a hobby you love?

I am truly hoping to become a freelance Illustrator, or work within a company that would allow me to just be creative! It would be a dream come true. That, or a chef. Food is something I am incredibly passionate about. My family is incredibly food based; my earliest memories are of my Dad and I cooking together. Be it eating, creating dishes, experimenting with new flavours, and learning different ways of achieving tasty dishes or even illustrating it! I love to learn about food. It’s a bit like art really! Lots of practice and trial and error. I love it.

Inspired Art by Annie

(Cara Delevingne by Annie)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

A typical day for me is getting up, walking my dog Hector then I get straight into my ‘art studio’ and draw. I usually cook twice a day, I have to always be doing something otherwise I just go crazy!

Inspired Art by Annie(Edie Campbell by Annie)

Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?

My outfit staple is a black blazer. It looks so good with everything, and it’s so day to night if you add chunky wedges to the OOTD. That, or red lipstick. I think it suits everyone. If I had to be a flower, it would be a Tequila Sunrise Rose. My mum grows them in her garden, and the smell is INCREDIBLE, and I have to always smell nice (one of my weird habits). The multitude of red, pink, yellow and orange colours is just so quirky.  It’s my favourite.

Inspired Art by Annie
Inspired Art by Annie

(Also, here’s some great abstract work! I like how Annie explores different art styles as well)

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

The idea of beauty as a whole. What even is beauty! It’s all in our minds, what the wonderful but fickle fashion industry dictates to us, what society says is right is apparently the norm in our culture. Which angers me. I feel like older faces have so much more expression, depth and history. Every scar, wrinkle tells a story!  I like the idea of reproducing these glazed over faces into a different medium. They are already beautiful on film, but I have transported the medium. They are like Dorian Grey Images to me. I have captured them on paper. So they will never age and become ‘ugly’.

Inspired Art by Annie

Inspired Art by Annie

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

My favourite mediums are coloured pencil; I use Prismacolor Pencils (which are wax based so I can blend them easily to create a smoother surface), or Pastel/ Pastel Pencils. They give such a different look to any picture. When I’m painting my preferred choice is Acrylic Paint. I love Liquitex paints. They are really smooth and creamy with a good colour pigment.

Inspired Art by Annie

Inspired Art by Annie

(And here’s Cara again!)

I love the realism and the clean lines in your artwork! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make realistic and precise drawings?

It’s going to sound terribly cliché, but practice everyday. Even if it’s a scribble on a page that could turn into an awesome doodle, just go with it, and even if you feel like it didn’t work, that is good! You won’t do it in that way again. You are constantly learning in art. Also, try your hand at different mediums to see what you maybe good at.

Inspired Art by Annie

What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?

I usually hang out with my friends, family and boyfriend. They are all incredibly important to me and they inspire me a lot. I never tell them that but hey! I am now, I guess. I love going to London, it’s one of my favourite places in the world. So full of culture, smells, foods! You almost don’t have to go anywhere else in the world!

 

Inspired Art by Annie

(Cara’s on a roll!)

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art?

An artist is never fully satisfied with what they do. They always strive to make their work better than before in my opinion. Rarely do I ever say to myself that I am happy with it.  But as long as you can put your brush/pencil/whatever you use down and think” yeah, I really tried and It looks good”, to me that’s the best, haha!

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Thanks Annie, for a glimpse into your creative process! Wishing you the best ahead!

-Aaria

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You can find more of Annie on her Instagram.

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