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.
so, ok. I lied about blogging once a week. things have been a little hectic lately. I got a new job working at a call centre, I also just haven't really felt the want or need to design anything lately. still adjusting to life at home after four years of university, Aswell with the fact that I'm no longer wanting to stay in education. so, sadly I just haven't really done any design stuff..... until last night.
my partner is a gamer, like most folk. he has decided to make a twitch account and for people who don't know what twitch is:
twitch is basically an website/app that you can go onto and watch live streams of people playing a plethora of different games. if you find you like watching a certain player you can follow them and even donate money to them. as far as I'm aware some players are so popular that they actually are able to live off the donations.
Every little gamers dream right?
(I really hope I got all that info right or I'm in trouble..... I'm totally not a gamer)
sooooooooo, my partner asked me to design and create his profile picture, cover photo and any buttons that he has on his profile. Now, anyone who knows my partner, knows he's uppsessed with cats...... see where I'm going with this?
I actually had so much fun doing this.
I have managed to get his profile picture finished, I am currently working on getting his cover photo finished, here is a few of my enitial drawings
it's been a long time since I've last drawn but you get the idea, just imagine it all......waaaaayyyy less scary than my sketches.
so all the little drawings were my ideas for the profile picture. As (I.probably should have mentioned earlier) My partners name on twitch is
he also sleeps more than most humans... so the idea was basically to make him into a cat, he loves both his cats which are both pure white.
I think I have an image on my site, that i did a few years ago. A game of thrones style portrait. It's of my partner sitting on the iron throne with his two white dare-cats on either side of him.
I'm currently on my phone writing this blog (first time ever) so I don't have the image on my phone to upload, on here. if your interested. it should be on my commissions page.
here's an image however of my partner with one of his cats
(hopefully I won't get murdered for putting it up)
isn't he sooooooooo cute!
talking about the cat here guys... :P
so I based his cat on him, I however didn't include the beard. I sort of felt that the cat it's self had enough fur, never mind the beard.
So here's the finished product, I am actually so pleased with this, I now just have to get the cover photo done and then the buttons that will go on his Twitch account
That's all from me today :)
Today, I started to experiment with the projector I borrowed from uni. I have to admit, it is a little more difficult that I had first thought. Although I did take a few experimental images:
So I randomly got the first image from the internet. I then projected it and.... sat in front of it. Such a science.... I look very impressed, due to not really knowing how the images were going to look, and also being blinded. I then started to experiment with the bar code images again, however, I found this more challenging as I didn't have a big enough image, then it was too small, then not in the first place, then I couldn't get my camera in the right place. it was a pain in the butt. So here are some of my images from that side of the experiment.
As you can see, these definitely need major improvement. I also reworked my existing illustration characters for the deck of cards project:
I have also been sketching out my other monsters, although they still need some work. Anyways, that's all from me today, Hopefully a lot more to show tomorrow.
Today has been a productive day! So I got talking to my tutors and I was surprised to find, that actually they preferred my first design that I gave them. They also looked at my coca-cola image and we all agreed, to take out the writing at the top as the image is stronger in it's self the way it is. I also let them have a look at the bar-code images, they didn't even know it was me! We also came up with more ideas for two other designs. So Because the ViewBug challenge is due. I will have to just add one of the bar-code images for my second image.
Although, I am very glad that my tutors really liked what I had done and want me to expand on it. So much so that they want me to use projectors and project images onto the face. So I now have the loan of a projector. Very excited! I have wanted to experiment with using a projector for ages, so I am really looking forward to this.
I also got started on my illustrations. I now have a completed suit, although there are still some changes I want to make to them. Here is where I have gotten up to so far with them, this being the Clubb suit:
I have to admit, I don't think they all look like they belong to each other. As with the ghost, she is very detailed and there is a lot to her. The Robot and Alien, not so much. So I printed these two images out and drew directly on top of them as an experiment:
I think doing this has defiantly improved how they look and the changes I will make later on. I think that this also makes them look more gruesome. ore monster like and even possibly more graphic.
Short blog today, so that's all from me.
So my video is finally up, however this isn't my official video. All I have to change however is the music. Which I will fix tomorrow. I am proud of my video, although I'm unsure about showing it at the end of year show.
I also got my images done for the ViewBug challenge, you have already seen the Coca-Cola image I made. I decided to continue on with one of my other ideas with the bar-code. I wasn't too sure but I thought it was worth a shot to see how it would at least look:
These are my four finals, while designing these, I tried to dehumanize myself. As you can see I tried to remove facial features. In one case I completely covered the face. I purposely made it so you can see some of the facial features through the bar-codes. I am still trying to tie this challenge in with my main project work of happiness and consumerism. Although I still plan to do my posters of my student finance. I plan to start them tomorrow as well as my deck of cards. I have been doing some more sketches. These characters are for robots and aliens:
As you can see, my sketches aren't fantastic. Soooooo I did some research also see below:
As you can see I really wasn't too sure on what I'm doing. Although now I have a better Idea, I'm hoping to again get started on my deck of cads project tomorrow also. So that's all from me for today.
Aaaaaahhhh!!!!! so my video is nearly finished! Putting the finishing touches on it tomorrow. So happy. Just hope it's good enough to actually show people. I have also been working more on my deck of cards project. I have finally assigned all my monsters to each suit and almost completed my werewolf:
There is still a few more changes I'd like to make. For example I don't like the hands or the shorts. There is also a few bits that need fixed, but apart from that I am surprised at how well it looks. I was also thinking if I should incorporate the suit within the character, like I did with the cupcakes. For example the werewolf here is part of the Diamond suit. So like some dogs would have, I might put a little white diamond shape of fluff on the chest.
When It comes to the Unique photography ViewBug challenge, I am still to find a nasty fact about Coca-Cola to attach to the bottom of the photograph. I will more than likely do this when I post this blog.
I have also sketched out some idea for posters for the student financial help. I just haven't gotten around to start drawing them up in Illustrator. I might actually show these at the end of year show, instead of my video, if the video is too amateur looking rather than professional. I have also been thinking more and more about the end of year show, although I already handed in my draft of what I might do:
As you can see, my Coca-Cola portrait on one wall and my cupcakes on the other. I am beginning to toy with a different Idea though, I might get a few ceramic piggy banks and put them around my exhibition. Depending on how many I can get, if I can sell them at the end of year show that would be amazing. I might even donate the money to the New Blood people. Depends how broke I am by that time.
So I just quickly had a little look at cheap piggy banks on ebay, they are all roughly the same price. I at the moment, if I am going to go with this idea. I really like the chalk board piggy banks, the first piggy bank above.
That's it from me today. hopefully more to show tomorrow.
Today I pretty much wasted it by going from website to website, trying to find a company that would print my cupcake deck of cards, for cheap. It was unbelievably tedious as I had to make very quick designs of just the numbered symbols for each suit, Most websites were very slow with the uploads, they wouldn't let me edit the images to the way I wanted them displayed on the cards, Some websites stopped uploading my designs after a particular number. I was pretty much like 4 hrs of trying to get the right company to print these. I finally got it sorted. Although for one pack of cards it'll cost me roughly £15. Which sucks, although I think it will be worth it.
I also have been trying to write my blurb, which will be the little bit of information that will go beside my work at the end of year show. To be honest, this week has been a complete nightmare. Just so much stuff to do and next thing I know a week has past, and the work I have done is not as much as I had hoped to have done.
I have been looking at the whole planner for the end of year show, even looking at people from the past years, and I hate this feeling I have. I honestly don't feel like any of my work is good enough, the work I have done in my side projects I feel more confident to show than my main project. Even looking through it all, I can see exactly where I have gotten lost. I had originally wanted to do really mad, in your face posters showing consumerism. I am now doing student financial advice. Making a video, I honestly don't feel that comfortable about. I just really really lost.
So looking at the wall planners and everyone else's displays from the past years, I have decided to continue on with the video, and see how it is at the end, maybe Ill surprise myself and it'll be the most amazing thing. Although I have also decided to create posters, which was my original idea in the first place, many tutors have more or less talked me out of it. Saying in the usual nicest possible way, that they didn't think that it was the best Idea. I just feel like I'm drowning. So screw this, I am going to do what I want to do. If it ends up looking shit, at least it'll be my colourful shit and stuff I feel comfortable showing.
I also went back and re-edited my Coca-Cola portrait. I am actually really happy with it and have decided it will be my piece for submitted to the ViewBug unique portrait challenge.
This is very simple, although I find it very effective and I think it really stands out. I am happy to upload this for the ViewBug Challenge, I plan to do a few more tweaks to this image, such as having a fact about Coca-Cola on the image, and even fixing the hair a little bit. I also finally got round to testing my line drawing skills, to make a ghost in Illustrator:
I am actually so happy with this, I want to fix the eyes a little more. But minus that I am really happy with this. One down, 11 more to go.
That's all from me today, I am going to do a few sketches for posters for students on financial advice. But the way that I want them to be. I am even slightly playing with
Today I didn't get a much done as I wanted to. Although I am starting to make progress with my main project and starting to get my third and possibly final re-designing of the deck of cards done. Below is a quick sketch I did for one of my characters of monsters, my ghost.
I think it looks very Tim Burton like, So I thought it would be pretty interesting to make all of my character stick in with this theme
Here is some characters from Tim Burton's movies for inspiration.
I have also been sorting out the information that is going into my video. It is a lot more categorized, which is good. Tomorrow I am planning on just working on my video. I also have to re-write my little blurb that will go beside my work at the end of year show. Things are getting really hectic, I am hoping to also purchase my new business card tomorrow..... hopefully, I have asked a good few more people their opinions on which business card designs I should get. I have had a bit of a unanimous decision on which design to go for. I am still waiting on people to get back to me, but I think I might just go for it. Means they will be here before the end of year show.
That's all from me today,hopefully more things to show tomorrow
Today has been a pretty productive day, I managed to get a lot done despite being pretty ill today. I have finally started to design banners and layouts for my main project.
The poorly photographed image on the left was my original concept idea. I then finally put this into illustrator and created the image on the right. This has even developed further, as I realized the pound sterling sign, the euro and the dollar sign didn't really go together. Especially as my project is aimed at universities within the UK. So I went back in and made them all sterling pound signs, I then began to play about a little with the design as, I felt everything was sort of floating in space. So I added shadows, banners and back ground colours to see how this would look
Here are my mini experiments above, I do really like them a lot, although I have definitely decided against the green background. I was thinking a long the lines of the little piggy bank being free and running around. It doesn't look like that at all in my mind. I then began to look at the white and blue banners. I wasn't even too sure why I had three pound coins on display, so I went back in again and changed the display a little.
So as you can see my piggy bank is trying to be a horse, ready to charge into battle. Well that's what I get from it's pose, which I really like to be honest. So as you can see I have made it look as though the coins are going into the piggy bank, or flying out of it, whichever way people see it. I'm pretty happy with it, although I do realize how cartoon like it does look. I'm worried it may look even too childish. So I started to finally get started on making a website. I used Weebly as my website generator. I have to admit, when trying to make a website for a specific thing, weebly sucks. I was on here for about 3 hours playing around with themes, trying to get things to work, change menus, messing around with the HTML codes (which I know very little about). I have to admit, for the amount of work I was trying to accomplish today with the website, it really didn't happen. So now I am currently struggling with the idea of wither, just creating what I want the website to look like on paper rather than actually make the website, or go to a different website developer and try again. I am going to have a break from it for now, here is the home page however:
Currently it's very bland looking, there is a lot of restrictions within the themes which makes it difficult if you don't know HTML code. I have been trying, and I don't easy give up on things. I think I just need to shower my brain over it and think what else I can do. I also added my little protest character, he was a lot bigger but again on weebly, I found that once I got it to a way I liked it. As soon as I saved it, He was twice as big and took up all the space of the text.
Here is all my sketch books where I also seem to brain dump all of my thoughts and feeling over my project:
So these are just the pages I have done in my sketch books today. Tomorrow, as I said I am going to be just concentrating on my Cards project to try and get the entire suit finished tomorrow, and possibly even start another suit, I would love to say Ill have the whole set done by tomorrow, but there are a lot of design issues that do come up, like I've seen today with the website, so we will see how that goes.
I am also hoping to get some of my ViewBug projects started on Thursday, mainly if the weather is nice so I can get some underwater photography.... in fact even just to have the water to be calm, that might help me out more.
That's all from me today.
I didn't get to post yesterday due to feeling so ill. I didn't manage to get any work done yesterday.
Still feeling crappy today. however I was actually finally able to do some work. Not a great amount but still a fair bit. I finished my Queen of Spades card, I am now currently working on the jack of spades.
I also skipped a little bit a head and have started to design the newest deck of cards design, Cup cakes
As you can see, I'm just on the concept of ideas, I plan to go ahead into illustrator and see what designs work better than others. I also have been toying with the idea of giving the cupcakes a bit of a horror/ monster feeling to them, I am as yet unsure. As I feel that the monsters could again be another design of a deck of cards on their own. I am hoping to be well enough to go to uni tomorrow, being ill is getting boring and I am dying to get my teeth stuck into my work again. That's all from me today, hopefully more to share and see tomorrow.
I am an artist from Northern Ireland, I specialize in Photography and Graphic Design. Please follow me on