I'M STILL ALIVE!
Haven't done a blog in far too long! .... 8 months apparently.
I have been pretty lazy to be honest. A lot of things going on, and not really going on. So I guess I will try my best to give you just the highlights over the last 8 months.
Back In September I discovered that my Redbubble account (my shop) seemed to be slowly picking up so traction. I have made a few more sales that I was completely unaware of. YAY people want to pay me to do arty things!!!
This gave me a bit of a kick up the arse. To try and get back into the way of things. Yes I know I sound like a broken record!
Since then I now have my own desk set up at home with everything set up and ready to go. I have been researching local artist and looking at so many things. Pinterest is a wonderfully handy tool. I have even started a new sketch book. As if I didn't have enough...
So for a bit of the boring stuff. Since moving in to my house I have been pretending to be a really good cook. I have even been baking! Even using the pears out of my own garden!
I more or less stole these from my Instagram, As you can see I have been doing a lot of baking and a lot of eating. In the last 8 months.
I have recently made a few very big decisions. I have decided to take the plunge and I have opened my own Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CraicinDesigns
At the moment I only have 1 listing. I am still working on a few other things. The listing that is currently up allows for a custom portrait or action scene. Such as previous ones I have created below.
Almost all of these little prints you have seen before but one of them is new.
So one of my good friends, will randomly call me up every so often asking for unique birthday, and engagement gifts. Usually everything he asks me for is themed. Breaking Bad, Fight Club, Jurassic Park. So just when I thought he could shock me. He asked for the above to be made.
Just to clarify what the above is. One of his friends took his girlfriend to New York and proposed to her in Central Park. He sent me a photo of the magical moment, when he popped the question. Then asked could I draw the groom-to-be as Venkman from ghost busters, and the bride-to-be as Miss Piggy from The Muppet's.....
So I did what every artist does and just created what my client asked me for. While the whole time thinking he is totally mental.I have to admit still an awful lot I am not happy with within the image. It took me a week alone to do the New York skyline and trees in Central Park.
So yes. I take completely random requests!
I have also been experimenting with a few others. Here is a little sneek peak:
none of the above is finished!
It's all just a starting point for me looking into different ways of designing posters for bands, Looking into more detailed patterns, looking into more detail of machines and devices. I am also experimenting with the idea of inspirational quotes and the idea of creating a scene or back ground that is just as powerful as the quote.
So It's all happening. Slowly, but surely. I have also been getting back into designing some wedding stationery. I currently have three brides, which is fantastic! one who continuity changes her mind. however it can sometimes be frustrating. I am getting more design trials done and these can be used for perhaps other clients down the road.
I am trying to keep a positive spin on things. That's all from me, I will try to get back into writing a blog at the end/beginning of every month.
Huge New Scary Chapter
So! Long time no post.... Whoops. So yea.... Biggest news first I suppose and then I will probably ramble as I do usually...
So for people who follow me on Instagram, you will more than likely already know. So Pete and I are officially new home owners! We are moved in and everything!
For those of you that don't have me on Instagram, here are a few images that I have posted in the last month about our adventures and moving in. Clearly I have been so busy I haven't really had time to put up many.
So first image is Pete literally picking up the keys to our new gaff. I was proper raging, as he got out of work early and I still had to stay in until 5. He at least waited for me before going to the house. 2nd image is the first neighbor we met, very nosy! we later found out that this fluffy high member of the neighbor hood watch is called buster.
3rd is just us "Getting our ducks in a row" figuring out whats what.
I have to admit the first few weeks since moving in, I still feel as though I am house sitting. I have just decided to move all my crap here and try to invoke squatting rights. I am told this is normal though. It's all still very new and strange, I am sure a few people reading this are thinking I am mental.... cheers!
I have even been getting into gardening as we have an amazing little garden here, previous owner kindly left us all her amazing plants, we have apple and pear trees. Blueberry, blackberry, gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and any other berry plant. Tomatoes and loads of herbs, still haven't gotten round to weeding everything..... It's still on the very large to do list.
Here's a couple of photos of our pear and apple trees. We have also had a few visitors of the four legged fluffy kind to our little garden........ And because I have nothing else to do with my time and we haven't yet been told what their names are. We have named them! so on the bottom right we have Toothless, the middle image is of Gandalf (because he's grey) and Charlie.... cause of the mustache.... yea...... and well you guys already know Valentino. He crawled in the back of our nephews pram and decided it was his new home.... Couldn't resist not putting him up.
So enough about my wee hoouse. Work wise, things kind of took a turn for the worst. Literally the week we were going to sign for the house, I was moved from being in house designer to dispatch... Basically the company I work for is incredibly small only 6 of us working there and basically they wanted more support for the actual printing team and basically shuffled everyone's jobs about.
From the company point of view I honestly think it was the right thing to do. It makes total sense. From my point of view, I was completely devastated.
A lot of people thought I was being a bit over dramatic about the change. I honestly cried for days after it happened, I just felt like I could finally be one of those.....
.....Who say they love their job and everyone pretty much hates....
I was finally doing a job I enjoyed, I had free rein and I actually enjoyed going to work. I even felt like a woman scorned and seriously contemplated walking out.
But being an adult and suddenly having a mortgage, mind over heart won.
Not the everything is as doom and gloom as I make it sound. I have to admit though (not that I have been doing my new role long) It really isn't all that bad. I still really miss doing design, its on my mind all the time. I am still from time to time asked to do a few things for customers design wise. We even got a big new sexy machine in work. We are now able to do spot UV and foiling.
I have even been asked to design a marketing card for the company to use, to send out and show off what we are now able to do on top of everything else. However, after today I feel like the excitement for that was short lived. Due to with my new role I don't really have to much time to do anything mind blowing. I am pretty sure my boss got too excited and ended up just stealing images off google.....
BUT! now that we have our own place I feel that I was just practicing and getting back into the way of things with using Photoshop and Illustrator. I plan to keep it going whether I am designing on commission or just doing arty farty things for myself. I may continue down the path of wedding stationery, I am not too sure.
Either way I don't plan to give it up and I feel that after leaving university and having a bit of a fall out with all things arty is finally over. I want to do it all the time, I want to get better at it and I want to keep exploring and practicing. Just doing loads of different things. So I am still getting my office sorted in me hoouse, but I am hoping by the end of this month I will have everything semi set up.
Plus now that my company has this new toy, I am hoping to maybe get new business cards done. As I very cleverly, locked myself out of my arty email address.... NIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCEEE!
so yea, I finally got a few of my designs that I did design for work. Here are a few of them. Hope you like them.
The only other piece of design I have really done lately that isn't work related was making a cheesy poster for my partner. Yesterday was our 6 year anniversary.... Scarily all grown up now and proper with having a house together. I decided to make something for the house and for him. It was a song that we were pretty into when we first met and were getting to know each other. So yea... I guess you could call it "our song". (Slightly want to throw up with all the cheesiness). Anyways here is the poster I made
So yea... that's all from me this month, here's hoping next month is as fun packed!
Happy Pancake Day! and belated valentines day!
So a hell of a lot of stuff has happened in this short little month, all good and I'd even go as far to say great things!
Yep, I said it! and it is all a little scary too.
So first of all, I got a promotion in work to starting to design some wedding stationary. I am having an absolute blast! I was a little worried about getting back into things but I have been designing a few things such as order of services, RSVP's, wedding invitations. I even have my first wedding customers. It's all very slow at the moment, the usual you get with clients.... they give you such little information on what they want. So you do your best. Then when you go back to them, they want something completely different. It's all part of the job.
Here is what I designed. The top three designs are in order, wedding day invite, RSVP, and order of service. the bottom three are basically the inside or the other side of these.
I even got a new computer with my promotion and everything!
before and after
It's so pretty!
I also had a pretty good Valentines day. If you follow me on instagram you probably already saw it. Came home and my partner just told me we were going to bake. So we made stone age Nordic bread and brownies. I have to admit the Nordic bread was my absolute favorite. So tasty! I think pete has to work on his brownie making skills though :P
As most of you probably already know, I have started to house hunt with my partner, we've even started to shop for our invisible house. Our little Ikea starter kit.
House hunting has been so stressful! but things are definitely looking up, and keeping me super busy!
That's really all from me for this month, next month my post may be a little late due to going on Holiday to none other than....
HAPPY PANCAKE DAY!!
Dinosaurs and Pumpkins
Little bit late with this months blog. I blame Halloween being way too awesome!
So I have actually been up to a lot of stuff this month, not only designing new random things, but...... yea you know what that is basically all I have been doing. So first thing, I am a huge fan of Rock n Roll Bride. and after seeing a photo from their facebook page. I decided to create something a little different.
You may or may not have seen this clue on my Instagram. (little bit of back story) I'm currently working at a printing company, we print a lot of designs for wedding stationery designers soooooooooooooo I thought I'd try my hand at it and after seeing the below picture from the Rock n Roll Bride magazine.
So you've probably guessed it by now. I made dinosaur themed wedding invitations. Now I haven't yet finished it entirely but you get the idea
SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FUN MAKING THIS!!!
So yea hoping this month I will be able to get this finished as well as a few other designs I noticed I started and just due to life I haven't managed to get back to finish. So that is my goal for this month.
So for Halloween I did a few different things.
I went to the Crumblin Road Gaol paranormal tour in Belfast. I have to say I didn't see any ghosties, but it was.... interesting, but I have to admit it made me really want to do the actual tour. The most eerie thing that happened on the tour, and also turned out to be the funniest thing. We were standing in the hanging room where they had hung 15 of the 17 men to have been executed at the Gaol (I hope I remembered my numbers right) and when the tour guide began to call upon the last man who had been executed, the whole room fell silent waiting for any noise, any chance of a sign from beyond the grave. All we could hear was an ice cream truck's cheery music about a mile away from the gaol.
Of course there was also pumpkins to be had...... many many pumpkins
I basically sat the rest of Halloween carving pumpkins and watching scary movies. Speaking of scary movies, I even went to see John Carpenter's The Fog in the Barge in Belfast last night. I had never actually seen the movie before, I though it was pretty good. I think I more enjoyed going with my mates though and the atmosphere that was carefully created.
Back to Dinosaurs!
I unfortunately I was unable to make it to a baby shower this month due to going to see Alien Ant Farm in the Empire in Belfast and pretending to be 15 again..... oops. However I was still asked to design a baby bib.... So I created a dinosaur wearing ox blood red DM boots, with the world ending and aliens coming down to save the dinosaurs........
I'm totally sane........ kinda.
Em..... I think that's really it for this month. literally a lot of dinosaur things and pumpkin carving. Hoping to keep this month just as mad, and as I said earlier hoping to slightly back track and have another look at designs I started a little while ago and just finish them off.
Also want to wish my partner another Happy Birthday :D
So guys, sorry to disappoint, I have pretty much......done nothing this month. I haven't really gotten around to designing anything. I have just been adjusting to my new job and chilling out really. I have gone to a few things at a local festival. Our open house festival. I saw the Foghorn string band all the way from Portland Oregon. I also went to see Punk in the Park, where some local punk bands played. I even got my face in the paper.... TWICE!
On the Left here is the foghorn string band. (worst photo ever) It was a really good gig, a little bit of a different genera than what I would usually listen to but they were so good to see live and really chilled people.
On the right it'a few photos from punk in the park. I went with my brother and our dogs Louis and Sophie. It was again a really good gig. the turn out was awesome and the bands were great!
And the picture that got put in my local paper.... not once.... but twice!
Other than going to the local gigs in my area I also have been doing a bit of harvesting. As well as possibly...... becoming an alcoholic
This year the birds actually got bored with plums, so we were able to harvest them. So much so that we are making our own plum cider and plum brandy.
Here is the cider doing it's thing! I will however be designing the labels for these when they are ready to be bottled and hopefully not killing anyone with alcohol poisoning.
I've also been celebrating 5 years with my partner. Ill save you all the lovey dovey stuff.So yea, this is pretty much what I've been doing this month, Also hoping to get back into the workshop to finish things off.
Heres some random cars and cats I made for my partner. and below and random cat that genuinely keeps breaking into his house.
.....we call him stevie.
A LOT HAS HAPPENED THIS MONTH!
So, where to start. Logo design for M Mahood Music is done, currently still designing flyers but I am incredibly happy with the outcome, even my client is over the moon with it! Which is the most important thing!
Hopefully my watermark isn't too over powering. But yea, this is what we came up with in the end. Very impressed it I don't say so myself ;) created using Illustrator and Photoshop.
Here's a few of the logos that I played around with, before coming to the final:
As you can see some a lot better than others. But there are many different stages that you go through when designing a logo. I had a lot of fun doing this!
My Silversmithing course, has been very off and on, as I am getting to the stage where, to be honest I don't feel like I'm learning. I have noticed there is a huge difference from being at university and doing a part time course. If you basically showed interest in learning a technique and asked tutors in university, or if it was a tutors specialism. They got super excited and were pretty much awesome with showing you how it worked.
So yea, I am getting to the point that YouTube is probably a better educator that any college or university, as well as cheaper! Which is a bit of a shame, but at the same time, it has made me hungry for knowledge! I've recently been experimenting with copper. Actually been very impressed with all the amazing colours and although I'm kind of doing it to waste time, I’m actually learning a lot from it:
The above is just little pieces I have been experimenting with. Still lots of other stuff I want to experiment with but I have to admit, even experimenting with the different colours that come from the copper. Is amazing, and all I am doing is applying heat in different areas and even experimenting by heating the metal through other pieces of metals.
It’s all still very small stuff, but I am starting to think about making sculptures, so who knows my next course could be a wielding course, or my YouTube will be full of wielding videos.
I've also been doing more patterns, I have already started my 2nd in the series. I haven't yet put these up on my red bubble, as I am wanting to have at least 3-4 different series of patterns before I do, so here's the first it all it's different variations of glory!
So that's basically what I've been up to this month, I have to admit June may be a bit slow as I am mainly just finishing off work and continuing to experiment with metal work. But I am also off to Glastonbury! So I shall also be putting up lots of pictures of that when I get back, But I think I will do my June blog before I leave for Glastonbury, we will see.
Thanks guys for stopping by, keep your eyes peeled for more pattern designs coming soon and more experiments. Please follow me on Instagram, as I am aiming to try and start posting more things on there!
So I may have accidentally left it for more than a week since my last post. I think I am going to have to set a day in which I now do my blog. I think Sunday or Monday of every week I will make it my blogging day.
So nothing much has really happened in the past week. I have been asked to be a curator on the View Bug website, However, I have to admit I was very skeptical and with good reason to be. I don't get paid, I am not an actual representative for the website, I don't get to run things or share any of my own ideas or comments on how the site could run a little easier.
Literally they have more or less asked me to just talk to more people on the website, welcome new comers and in a way just help the site to keep growing.
Have to admit I didn't feel as special anymore when I read that part of it. The website did however try their best.
Speaking on photos, I finally got around to looking at the images I had taken when the Tall Ships were here in Belfast:
I have plenty more, to be honest I just found seeing Belfast from the water more interesting than some of the boats. It was almost like a different world, I know that sounds lame.
I have also signed up for an online photography course, I think I really need to brush up on my skills within photography as since being home I have to admit apart from job hunting, I haven't actually been taking any photos of things.
Although with also saying that, I have been booked for a photography gig next month. I am to photograph a mad hatter tea party, show casing the ceramic pieces done by Megan-Rose McCully. I am really looking forward to it, however the weather has been nothing but miserable here.
I would give a little link to her website but the wee woman doesn't have one at the moment.
I am also looking back into creating some patterns, I think I have previously spoken about this I am a little unsure. I haven't yet done much although I have ideas coming out of my ears. I have just been consumed with meeting up with friends and job hunting. But fear not as I am going to kick my own arse and come up with at least one design a week. Whether or not I get the design from a sketch book into illustrator or photoshop, but at least I will be keeping my skills more active.
That's all my random ranting for this week, next post will be either Sunday or Monday ;)
Today has been a beyond stressful day. I have had problems with my phone not charging as well as stress just with trying to get all my work handed in on time. I had to go get my phone sorted out, which was a joke as I have to get it sent away and I now have a phone that I'm pretty sure is from the stone-age. Although at least it has colour I guess.
So I didn't get as much work done today as I wanted, I have been just more or less writing up things on and off and sorting out my website. As you can see the website is now a little different. As it didn't originally have a little bit about me in the side bar or the categories. So I ended up having to change theme within weebly, but because my logo is a little awkward with being a GIF. I had to edit a bit of the code so it was continue to show up as it is currently. I have to admit I am actually pretty proud of myself, as if someone had asked me six months ago to try and edit some html code, I think I would have cried.
I am starting to think that I am getting the hang of things. I definitely wouldn't say I'm a coding genius or anything at all like that. But code is starting to be come less like hieroglyphics.
Also I know as I had said yesterday I was continuing to edit my magazine cover, I ended up coming up with this:
So I come up with this, I actually really like this, there are just a few minor things I still need to sort out within the image. But I'm pretty happy with this, I purposely chose the gold writing to symbolize money, as of course I am getting at consumerism and corporations screwing over not only their workers but even the people consuming their goods.
Tomorrow, I am hoping to get a lot more done and have a lot more to show, however thats all from me today
So, So Close. Yet So Far...
Today has been such a tiring day. So today I was to put up my work for the end of year show.
I went to put my work up and then after speaking with tutors. They thought I should go back to my plan and edit it a little further, such a blow. I was hoping to have all of this done by today. So I went back to he drawing board and came up with these very similar ideas to show:
I decided to in the end go with the second image. So I then had to go and get my vinyl done. I have to admit I was very nervous about getting it done. I have never used the vinyl cutter, but thankfully I had another class mate who was just as clueless and we, I mean she. Figured most of it out. I have to admit I have been working so hard and trying to get all of my work done for hand in and then some. I was a total zombie most of today.
So with my vinyl I had originally wanted to have under my facebook image, "If you're not paying for the product, the product is you." Under the Coca-Cola portrait "Open Happiness?" I wanted to plat on words for that. Then finally for my bar-code image "Just another price tag."
Due to my Coca-Cola and Bar-code slogans being one line, after a little bit of debate, and discussion. My self and the tutors all agreed on simply shortening down the slogan. "The product is you." The plan is to finally get all of these up tomorrow for the end of year show. I have to admit after all the running about I have done today, I definitely feel more prepared for putting all the portraits and everything up tomorrow. Also excited to see how the vinyl will look.
Just a little miffed that I have left playing with the vinyl to literally the last week of university. Although I have to also admit I found that the process with vinyl is unbelievably tedious. Tomorrow will tell more however.
I also decided it was best to go a head and get another sketch book. As I plan to do a lot more editing and just in general more work. So that now brings me to having 10 sketch books to hand in next week. I am just hoping that tomorrow I will be able to really start in getting things done. I have also done a lot more of my sketch book write ups today. So I plan to finish it off hopefully tonight and then the rest of tonight I will be stuffing my face with chocolate and watching Netflix.
That's all from me today.
Today, I just went back into my magazines and even did a little advertisement stuff:
I wasn't too sure about how to cover the magazine cover with the type. To be honest I am still not too sure, I think I will have to edit this a little more. I did however print out the first image in A4 to see how it looked. I have to admit I still want all of the writing and topics around the cover to be a lot bigger. Which is strange due to while in Photoshop I didn't want to cover the face too much. I think I will have to do some additional research.
The coca-cola image I was getting pretty annoyed with the portrait I had chosen for the end of year show. The colours within it I really couldn't get it to work. It started to look like a 90's magazine cover, which isn't a big deal. But it's not the idea I am trying to convey. So I got my original portrait of the Coca-Cola portrait and put that as my magazine cover. I think this image work a lot better. I am again still not happen with my colours or fonts.
Within this sort of magazine cover, I decided to go further and put my images into bus shelter advertisement slots, buses and even billboards. So I did a bit of a mixture, although I have to admit, I prefer the bar-code image to the other portraits:
As you can see, I have been busy. I am also still trying to figure out what to say underneath the portraits. I also realized that with other awareness portraits, they have their image, slogan and then some other smaller text:
here is just one campaign, that shows what I am describing. I might even go back and try some of my other images that I took for the portraits to try and see what else I can come up with. I will hopefully have something great to hand in, which is now a week away, and I have a funny feeling it may end up with a 10th and final sketch book....
I am an artist from Northern Ireland, I specialize in Photography and Graphic Design. Please follow me on