art progress: 

june 2014 -> dec 2016

and

march 2015 -> feb 2017

I don’t usually make direct copies of previous work, but I’m still pretty similar to my past self, so now and then I end up making a thematically similar piece. I always like it when other artists share their progress so here, have these. I’m glad I’ve stuck at it for all this time. Here’s to more improvement.

(Also now I’m going through my old files and thinking ‘oh that was a nice idea, but I could make a much better version now’ so maybe I’ll do some actual comparison pieces, who knows.)

EDIT: I was looking for an old art piece that I made and found my blog from 2012/13 and read through the whole thing. Found this in the bio, which felt remarkably appropriate:

My mother tells me that when I was just a toddler I stood under a power line and stretched my arms up as far as I could under the complete belief that I would be able to reach it. Since then I’ve grown up a bit but never stopped trying to do impossible things. To this end, I am studying pure mathematics while writing stories, and creating art, in my spare time.

I currently live in Perth, Australia with my husband and a depressing lack of pets.

Firstly: yay I have a cat now, and she is lovely and beautiful and I love her.

Secondly: I had… forgotten… that I spent like a year and a half (at least) completely convinced that I was going to be a writer?? How did I forget this??

Thirdly: Yep, believing I can do impossible things is still a thing.

Fourthly: Shout out to the people I love who keep believing in me even though I keep changing my mind about what I want to do with my life. 

Fifthly:  I think I needed an outlet while I was studying maths, living far away, and suffering from anxiety. I tried photography and writing, and they were better than not. But it was illustration that really stuck, taking me completely by surprise, and I love it.

Sixthly: There’s a part of me that looks at this pattern and is scared that one day I will find no joy in creating art. But there’s a much larger part of me that’s like lol no, you still like writing, you just like illustration a lot more. If you find something else you like that much more again, consider that a positive.

Seventhly: I made this gif for Toyin Odutola’s Art Assignment, and though the artistic skill is eh, and my hair has changed, it remains a pretty true self portrait in concept at least:

Okay that’s all I’m done now.

Art Goals 2k17

It’s always hard to think of how I want to improve, because the truth is that I want to improve at everything, constantly. But it’s useful to break down those things, to think about how I’m going to improve and here is my list:

 A sketchbook page a day

It doesn’t need to be fancy, or from my imagination. I can do studies of other people’s art, I can do figure studies from @onairvideo, I can draw something in my house, or sketch out thumbnails for an ongoing project. But everyday: draw. I’m hoping to use this to improve in drawing: people (poses, hands, expressions, clothes) and places (details, perspectives, composition).

Enrol in Schoolism courses again

I want to do at least 3 over the course of the year. I’ve done them before and seen a vast improvement, but then I started doing them with less effort put into the homework and, well, it just doesn’t work as well. My current thoughts for courses are: Painting with Light and Colour, Essentials of Realism, Storyboarding and/or Landscape Sketching.

Projects with a purpose

It’s good for me to do pieces just for fun and I create some of my best work like that. But I improve quicker when I’m forced to think creatively, forced to draw things I tend to avoid, forced to consider audience and communication. So I’m going to be doing multiple projects this year. Some short stories like The Namejs’ Ring, some editorial pieces, some branding/advertising/posters for things I like, etc. I’m going to look at the end point, ignoring my skills, and then find a way to get there.

Reflect and tweak

I’m going to set a week (maybe 3 day?) minimum time before posting my finished work. This is so that, while I am working to a clock, I’m not posting pieces without some time out to reflect and change things up. I regularly look at a piece a few days later and see how just a few things could improve it a lot. That’s for ~finished~ pieces, and presumably excluding those I do for twitter’s #colour_collective group. I also intend to do more doodles/sketches that are /for/ posting quickly and will never be fully worked through to a neat, nicely coloured piece. (Like mini comics to improve my expression/story telling, character design pages, animal studies, hand studies, studies in general…)

Also: career stuff. Get rejected:

  • go to the conference in May with a kickass portfolio
  • apply to agencies again (I did this a lot in 2015 but not 2016)
  • determine which online lists/sites are worth putting a portfolio on
  • create a list of magazines and submit to them regularly

A year of illustration. 

Rambling, analysis, and links to the pieces are below the cut.

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.


I’ve been working on my illustration all year. Like, that’s all I’ve been doing. I feel like it’s paid off. In terms of skill, not money, jeeze. Now is probably the time to point out that I can only do this because my husband works and his income supports me. February’s piece was right at the very limits of my ability. I’ve come a long way.


In January I made a lot of fan art. In February I had a tech breakthrough and also found some art communities online. In March I created five pieces/week, in order to build up a portfolio. In April I made better work. In May I was exhausted. In June I turned 25 and started illustrating a phonics book. In July I finished the phonics book. In August I took Nathan Fowkes’ composition course on Schoolism. In September I illustrated another phonics book. In October I visited Books Illustrated and they gave me advice on my portfolio. At the end of November I got two commission emails on the same weekend. Now, I’m trying to focus and rebuild my portfolio. My art is better now. I’m excited for the new year. I have new hopes and dreams and goals and vague ideas.

It’s been a good year.