When I worked as an Account Manager at The Jacky Winter Group one of my ambitions was to introduce JW to some of the extremely talented illustrators and creatives I knew from NZ, It's important to support the friend circle! Pete McDonald is a friend who is not only hilarious and highly entertaining, but is one of those artists who can basically work in any style - It could easily be believed that Pete McDonald is actually a whole room of talented creative people, illustrating vector, watercolour, pencil, ink and Photoshop - nailing all techniques and leaving the rest of us feeling highly inadequate and jealous beyond belief.
I'm not a huge Protea fan, in NZ they have a tendency to be overused in any flower arrangement when the word "native" is in use, although at least they offer some colour to an otherwise tonal brown bouquet. I did however very much enjoy drawing this Protea for the current issue of NZ Your Home and Garden magazine that is out now. Each month I have a different botanical illustration featuring a seasonal flower, and so far I am finding these illustrations to be quite the relaxing getaway from my regular client work. See my first illustration here
There is something different I want to chat with you about today, it's not as peppy as my usual - I want to know if you give thanks? I don't mean in the religious sense of giving thanks, I want to know if you are a genuinely grateful person, do you take the time to say thank you? This conversation began for me last week when speaking to an illustrator friend, (not one of those "I have this friend" moments when I try to say something incongnito) she had recently done a huge amount of work for a fashion designer (who shall remain incognito) designing a full collection of prints to appear at Sydney Fashion Week printed on said designers clothing. She had agreed to do this for the joy of creating something beautiful and helping a designer, not for any money, and since the showing the designer and collection have received much delighted feedback and praise from press and fashion fans. During our conversation at which point I was enthusiastically email high five'n her for her awesome work, she told me that she hadn't received any kind of thank you, no invite to the Fashion Week show, didn't receive any grateful contra surprise, no hand scrawled love note, not even an Instagram shoutout in any of the numerous image posts from the designer. To this I replied in capitol letters a big bold type "WTF!".
Obviously when agreeing to work on this project my friend had done so with generosity, not expecting any form of payment in return, but there is much difference between financial payment and simple acknowledgement, something that would have rewarded her a million times over in just a moment for her days of inspired work. It has got me thinking about how self absorbed we can be with our own work and lives, and has left me wondering, do we give thanks enough? I decided to look at the French Navy website for some etiquette lessons on saying thank you and came back with the following tips:
To send a thank you note:
A thank you note should be written on receipt of a present, (awesome free illustration work), hospitality or some other kindness and posted within the week. That said, better late than never is most definitely the case.
To write a thank you note:
While a thank you note should always be written from the heart, including the 4 key points as listed below will help with the format and flow of the note.
1. A greeting
2. A message of thanks
3. A mention of how useful the gift will be
4. A suggestion to see them soon
If you feel like you have been a bit slack at dishing out the gratitude and would like special "Thank You" Stationery to make it easier, check out the French Navy site for some pre-prepared options like the one below here .
I think I may have mentioned last year on my blog that I had some fresh things in the pipeline to expand on my brand. At that point I was very excitedly working towards a small capsule collection with a heavy focus on illustrated print that I was very passionate about and incredibly excited to launch. This may have been a lesson about speaking too soon as unfortunately after 6 months of working late after hours I was left high and dry when a partner pulled out. After a month feeling slightly disheartened and licking my wounds looking at much fabric (that I endeavour to use at a later date) I have decided to take all lessons I can from the situation and hope that they will manifest in to better success under different circumstances. I instead re-evaluated and decided to do something small to start while I make fresh plans, just so I am getting something out there that I can then build on.
Despite being very much a girly girl I have become slightly infatuated with good sweatshirts. It started with the Ruby Boutique Mr Destiny sweatshirt which became my go to last winter, and since then I have been slowly building my sweat collection, loving the soft fluffy insides, but still retaining my femininity teaming them with skirts or wearing feature collars underneath. This Autumn I wanted a grey marle sweat, but I wanted one with a bold graphic so I could wear it crisp with a white skirt and not sink full deep in to the dulls of winter. I couldn't find one for less than $400 (ridiculous) so I have decided to make my very first sweat, not only for me, but also making it available for you too, my very first fashion item, I am very excited!
The sweatshirt will be ready end of May, start of June, but as a special offer to my blog and social media followers I have decided to offer the first 20 pre order customers a 33% discount to say a huge thanks for helping me along my way.
Want one? Head over to my shop and PRE ORDER YOURS HERE
For those who missed my jewellery post here there is still a chance for you to purchase some fun new accessories at 30% off from Bing Bang NYC. To cash in your discount and brighten your Monday head to their site here and when you're at the checkout enter BBlovesKT to get 30% off. Monday isn't so bad after all.
One thing I really enjoy about Fashion Week is the inspired makeup that pulls collections together - I find the beauty elements just as fascinating as the clothing on show and regularly check the MAC Cosmetics Tumblr page in equal amounts to any show coverage. As a makeup wearer it is very easy to slip in to an everyday (same same) makeup routine, and nothing encourages me more to experiment with my own face and the faces of my illustrations than a fashion week behind the scenes makeup snap. The makeup artists and hair stylists deserve a shout out for their tremendous efforts and creativity, you really have to hand it to them, I don't know if I could handle a week of 4am wake ups (particularly as a MAC makeup artist who is expected to be groomed at all times).
I decided to draw this look last night as I waited for some client feedback - possibly quite a nerdy thing to admit, go and relax or do some exercise Kelly, but I found myself late night drawing away. The look from the Karla Spetic MBFWA show reminded me of my glitter filled youth, but it was the white eyeliner that was an instant standout for me as it was something I could most definitely try out at home. I've included below a little step by step colouring grid as I know some of you really love that element of my blog. Warning she looks a bit creepy if you stare at the layers too long.
Photographs thanks to MAC Tumblr
As a regular customer of Women's Health Magazine during various bursts of "I am going to get fit", it was fun to be asked by Women's Health NYC to do a little infographic in support of an article about home highlighting your hair (something that I am also very experienced in, but quite bad at). Based on photographs of one of the staff members from Women's Health, and a few selfie reference photos to get the hand angles right I decided to simplify it down so only hair, face and hands were included. This was a fun little commission and is out now in the April issue, if anyone sees my page I would love to see the illustration in situ, so please share it with me! :)