Wednesday, 12 February 2014

“Loving Life”

"Being single and at ‘settling down age’ in 2014 is harder than being a spinster in the 1800s." – Me, just now.
Seeing as it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I’m feeling, I dunno, verbose, and possibly overly candid, I figured it’d be apt to write a wee something about Love. What is Love? First put to us by Haddaway in the early 90’s eurodance hit and I’m sure, encouraged many a dance floor devotee to contemplate the true meaning behind the word, the feeling, and indeed, the myth(?)
Well, I don’t know what love is exactly, but I’m pretty sure I know what it isn’t. Firstly, I should explain my background. I’m 27, female, single (about 9 months) and not in Love. I don’t know why I keep writing Love with a capital ‘L’ as if it’s Allah or Paris or Something Important but I suppose the word has such gravitas as (probs) our most powerful emotion, that I subconsciously felt it warranted an uppercase. Whatever, so I know what Love isn’t, and it isn’t Tinder.
So if you’re aged between 11 and 65 chances are you’ve heard of Tinder (it’s a brand so the ‘T’ is legit) but basically it’s a chat-roulette/grindr type plenty of fish mash-up that at first seems like tons of fun, but after about, I dunno, 15 minutes of piss poor matches or continuous swiping left, you realise SHIT, I’ve actually vetted everyone in my age range within a 50 mile radius of me and there is no one I want to date. No one using this app at least (which is everyone. Seriously, there are guys on there using their wedding photo as their profile picture). If by chance you do spot a hotty, and said hotty spots you, and you both give each other a mutual green heart, there’s a chance that one of you will strike up conversation. 9/10 times this person is a) boring, b) just horny or c) mental. The other 10% of the time, the person is actually half decent and maybe interesting and in the words of Paddy McGuiness; ‘‘you’ve got yerself a daaaaaate!”
Such is a single person’s angle on love in 2014. Without wanting to sound morose or heaven forbid, tragic, being single in your mid (late?) 20’s is probably simultaneously the best and worst time to be on your own.
I’ve written before about how you are your own boss, no one else will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself, etc. etc. As much for my own cathartic release as advice for anybody in particular, but when you are this age, and you are finding your way, and you’re making mistakes left right and centre, would it not be easier to do that whilst having the unconditional love and support from a partner? One of the most comforting things about being in a relationship and being in love is the knowledge that the other person doesn’t have to be there. Y’know, he’s not yer Mam, or your pals, who have to listen and support you out of deep-rooted loyalty, he could get lost whenever he likes but he doesn’t, cos he loves you. He’s got your back. And plus, he’s hot n that.
Similarly, I sometimes think about friends of mine who are a similar age to me and they’re in long term relationships, or married, even starting families and I wonder if they don’t feel like they’re missing out on something. Being single for a substantial amount of time is kind of character building. Because for all the worries and traumas and stresses you go through in your 20’s, doing it by yourself is super rewarding. I know a lot of people would say that your teens and high school years are the scariest, but personally, I had a hoot when I was that age. I didn’t think it was scary at all, but then, I had a parental safety net of sorts. By that, I mean there was always milk in the fridge, I got lifts into town…etc etc (thanks Mum and Dad!)
So I guess what I’m wondering is, why do we (as a species) feel the need to achieve Love? And to achieve it possibly several times, preferably in a totally natural (non-Tinder) way.
It’s always one of the first things my Grandma asks me when I see her “have you got a special boy?” to which I (usually) have to say “ nahh, G-unit, you know I’m focusing on my career just now” as if I can only have one or the other? Or as if I have to give a reason why I’m not In Love right this second. Why is that?
It’s the same when you see friends you haven’t caught up with in a while; you obviously ask about each other’s love lives, unless the other person is in a steadfast, boring relationship with a really dull person which you don’t want to hear about, in which case you talk about mutual acquaintances or The Wire. Oh, or unless they’re deep in smushy love and they can’t stop cooing, then you talk about someone you know who died. Tends to shut them up.
Sooooo in answer to your question…what? I’ve lost my train of thought. I’m concerned that this is coming across as some kind of Bridget Jones-esque monologue about the trials and tribulations of singledom, which was never the intention. But nonetheless, I think the reason why excuses are given for being single is because you automatically think people are judging you when you’re not a part of a pair. Like you’re trying super hard to find someone but actually you must just be unlovable. Maybe you have a really nasty, semi-permanent rash or terrible hygiene habits or you exclusively eat broccoli; who the hell knows, you single freak!
In reality, Tinder ain’t trying, it’s just a game. And it certainly isn’t going to find me love any time soon, not that I even know what it is anyway, or if I even want it.
Troubling, even Forrest Gump knew what Love is.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Papercut Commissions

Benjamin & Hannah
 To celebrate their 1st Wedding Anniversary (paper theme!) I was commissioned to create this papercut.
They wanted to incorporate their names and their sons' plus an image of the bride's engagement ring. There's also details of their wedding venue and reception which featured some amazing tipis, plus their two cats, Lola and Rosie!

Natalie & Robert
For their wedding day, bridesmaid Sam commissioned this as a gift.
The couple live in London but are originally from Liverpool, they love Ibiza and music so these themes were incorporated.

1st Anniversary
This piece was commissioned as a gift from a wife to her husband. Their ceremony was held in a house near a deer park where there were parakeets (sounds amazing!) and the lyrics are from one of their favourite songs

If your interested in commissioning a papercut get in touch for a price list:

Saturday, 16 February 2013

London Fashion Week

Last year I collaborated with MA Fashion student Antonia Lloyd to create a print for her menswear collection. You can see a shot of the full collection above and below are some snaps of the collection being shown at London Fashion Week.

I love the backpacks the most!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello everywan!
I'm still here, despite a Christmas marathon (parties n food, not running, duh) and then a bout of New Year flu I am still churning out some work so that this blog doesn't look too lonely!

This is a paper cut commission that was given as a sorrrrt of engagement present by Richard's daughter. A lovely sentiment I'm sure you'll agree. The quote is Stevie Wonder as apparently the happy couple are big fans. So charming and a lovely project to work on, I always love a paper cut project!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Other goings on

Made a wee invite for my parent's annual carolling shindig... if you can read the number there through the insta-blur please don't prank call my Mum, she'll get upset...

Some cupcakes being made recently. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012


You may have seen this before as a work in progress from a couple of years ago. This parrot pattern got an update recently for a menswear fashion project, I look forward to seeing the finished results in the next few weeks! I'll be sure to share them with you lot too.

Monday, 13 August 2012


Just a glimpse of a new wallpaper design I'm working on. I dunno, this one's sort of doing my head in, I can't get the repeat right and I used a really terrible scan of the original painting so no doubt I'll have to do it all over again!
  I'm still not done ranting by the way, that vent the other week felt gooood. I might do it again some time! This time it'll be about how knuckling down and doing your own work in your spare time IS worth missing the Olympics, and the Edinburgh Festival, and the whole summer. Whatever. You'll see.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Blah Blah Blah.

How to get over yourself. 

Ramblings of a introvert. I graduated 3 years ago, and I only just realised.

There’s something about being a creative person that feels altogether exciting, passionate, and exhilarating as well as simultaneously petrifying, crushing, and completely demotivating.
I find myself up at 3am thinking and scribbling about ideas for projects that don’t even exist.  At the same time, the thing I’m supposed to be working on is sitting in a corner gathering dust, each day pushing it ever closer to the deadline and with no real solution in sight.
When I was in college, these things often resolved themselves in a way that I couldn’t possibly accept now; I’d hand in something half baked. It’s not that I hadn’t worked hard on it, but if you get creative block and a deadline is looming, you often don’t have much choice but to turn in something you’re not entirely satisfied with. Admittedly your skills at that level probably don’t match your vision, making the very thought of even trying to execute certain ideas paralysing, but I suppose that’s where college should be viewed as practice for real life briefs, as opposed to 4 years of solely honing your craft. Of course, you’ll get better at photoshop or whatever but then in that amount of time, who wouldn’t? The real value of going to art school is 4 years of practice briefs. So much time with nothing to do but inspire yourself and use the facilities available to you whilst you can. You get to test yourself, challenge your ideals, lay down your own personal design principles, decide what you want to say, all the while without any real responsibility to anyone other than yourself.
Now though, as a professional, a paid designer/maker/artist, if you get stuck, you’re screwed. The panic sets in. These days, if I feel myself in a creative rut, I have to either go to sleep, get drunk, or do something entirely different for about 24 hours until hopefully, inspiration finds me. Sometimes things get left for weeks until I find a reason to go back to it. Others are left by the wayside for longer, others are binned entirely. Perfectionism is not a quality I see in myself; I'm happy to try stuff out, see how it goes, and if I don't like it, that's OK. It's when there's the pressure of a client thrown in the mix that all of the sudden nothing's good enough.
This is the other benefit of being in college: mistakes are sort of a given. You’re learning, everyone’s new at this, you’re not supposed to get it all right first time. I remember for one of my first briefs at art school, I printed my entire collection on this cheap, calico material because I thought to myself, well, it’s not like I’ll use them for anything, it’s just one brief, why spend a load of money on expensive fabric? No, Stephanie, you will not use them at all because they are printed on shit fabric, see? Don’t make that mistake again. Don’t be afraid to invest in your own ideas, no one else will do it for you.  If you give some sort of half arsed presentation of the idea you’ve been working on for the best part of a month, it’s literally there for all to see. It’s a visual medium, no amount of explaining away what you would do if you had more time/money/motivation will convince anybody of your talent. All that counts is what’s physically in front of you.

For some reason I had a really hard time coming to terms with that; letting myself experiment at college was a huge effort. I got better at it eventually, and now I relish the ideas and research stage; it’s the fun part before the hours of layouts and repeats, testing and prototyping come in. But still, I have to remind myself that initial sketching, pursuing multiple ideas at once and narrowing down the field later on is OK. It’s not a waste of my time, it’s how you come up with the best possible outcome and solution to your brief. Show your workings, don’t scrap them, save it for something else. Don’t expect the first draft to be the final draft, ever! You’ll probably never be that good. 

Most of all, don’t be afraid of critique. Publish your work, learn from your peers, accept criticism and develop, keep moving, never stop creating. Sure, there’s people out there you think of as way more talented, so much so you feel like giving up and going back to waitressing, but that’s not what you really want. The fear is what should keep you motivated to succeed, to keep up with everyone else and not get left behind. I find I am most inspired by those who are confidant enough to try their hand at anything and everything, using their talents and expert knowledge of one medium to influence and affect another, often with the most interesting results.

And I know what you’re thinking... no, I’m not a writer. And yes, other people have written things in a similar vein to this. But I can speak English, and I wrote this, and you read it. So now that’s something else I once tried. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Oh so another thing

Yeah apart from all that music chat, I did actually make some new cards today. They're designed for those lesser-celebrated birthdays.... Or whichever age you want, y'know. Just ask.

I like a music post I do

I've been doing a lot of card packing and other generally repetitive tasks to ready myself for next weeks Leith Gala Festival. I sort of enjoy these monotonous tasks because it means I can take time to listen to some new music. I dunno about you but when I'm trying to be creative or do anything that demands some attention, I can't let myself be too distracted by unfamiliar music in my earholes.

So, here's some recommendations. Click on the images for info
The artwork is particularly misleading, I feel. He's the guy from Tunng. I guess that ought to help.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Here. Fiona found a link on Frankie where you can stream this without the annoying spotify
I never got into these guys first time around but I enjoyed giving this a listen.

My new favourite album. I knew it was going to be good.
Alt-J∆   - An Awesome Wave.
Yeah just listen, ok? Ignore all the hipstery pretension for a second.

 I have only listened to this once, but I liked it so far.

This isn't the Beach House album cover but the actual cover of Bloom is pretty boring so I used this instead. I considered myself to be a die hard Beach house fan but I dunno if this album maybe bored me a little..... Arrrgh, I don't know, it's still beautifully made, but, maybe, perhaps, all their albums are a bit samey.... I may regret this once I give it the customary 4 listens.....

I'm gonna do another of these soon....there's been a ton of music released recently. Hope this helps if you are in a musical rut, hate when that happens.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Etsy Listings

There's some other new things in the shop if you care to have a gander.

More New Things: Cards

I made some more hand-cut cards.
I can do custom designs for specific birthdays too, just ask!

Available on Etsy real soon

Oh and I have a facebook page now. Did I tell you that?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Oh Yeah, I can screen print.

If you follow me on that thing twittor, or indeed Instergramme, you'll know that this weekend just gone, I had the pleasure of hanging out at Lynsey Jean Henderson Studios to do some screen printing. (at last I managed to organise myself) It felt soooo good to be back printing, it had been over a year since I touched a squeegee. Not good.

Anyway, I've revamped some past designs with this hand dyed element, lovingly stained in my kitchen, along with my hands. I also added a couple more designs. There's cushions, vest tops, tote bags, all 100% cotton. Plus I printed up some fabric to make into purses and other things.

I've done relatively short runs of these designs to see how they go down at the Leith Festival next month. The more popular ones will get a second outing perhaps and then a stint on Etsy so please let me know if you'd like one! I'll tell you boring stuff like prices another time.

Oh, and go check out Lynsey's work and studio, she's a super talented, well equipped lady!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sketch Book and other ramblings.

It's that time again where I show you some unfinished stuff. This afternoon I took a fancy to this pinky/blue/green colour palette and came up with a few different textures and patterns.
The rhino below is intended for something. I'll tell you what it is some other time.

It's pretty late, hence the dark photos. Hopefully I'll get this scanner working soon then I can start editing properly! I have some events coming up and some work to share soooooon I promise!

If you follow me on twitter, or know me in real life, you'll already be aware that I ramble on about whatever I've been listening to recently quite a lot. If you're interested, here's some records that have taken my fancy of late.

First, Django Django - Django Django, who I'm pretty sure have some real relationship to the Beta Band, but I can't remember what. Anyhow, you can tell. And I like it. Added bonus; they met at Edinburgh College of Art, and they're definitely not a jazz trio. Not that that would be a bad thing.

Next, Loch Lomond - Little Me Will Start A Storm. A band introduced to me by a friend who was supporting their final gig of their European tour earlier this month. I am hooked. Seeing them live was pretty breathtaking.  Extra info; they're not from Scotland, but Portland.

Finally, School of Seven Bells - Ghostory. I can't remember how I came across this band, what with and spotify, 6music, and whatever else, I'm aways stumbling across things that are either brand new or years old and not particularly paying attention to where it came from. Anyway I'm not gonna lie, I liked the album cover. It's very poppy/synthy/dreamy and well worth a listen.

See my or my twitter for other updates. I still want to do a run down of my top 10 albums of 2011 (see here and here for 2010) but 2012 is running away with me already.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


I'm being quiet again lately, everything is just so busy at Anthro! Will get some of my work up soon but at the minute I can only share some sketches that I've been doing to practice figure drawing. I'm never that confidant in my abilities at portraits so I guess it's something I can work on!
These are some friends who I never get to see in the same room anymore. I miss college days sometimes!