Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Illustration, Freelancing & 'Being A Part Time Moviestar' Interview in Creative Boom Magazine



Things have been a bit of a whirlwind recently, I've been zipping off to Manchester to be filmed for an IPSE promo video, I've been putting the finishing touches on a brand new book AND comic, and I've navigated the dark waters of a complete computer breakdown - all whilst buying my first home, phew! 

One of my very favourite pieces of news is about this really brilliant interview with Creative Boom Magazine. It was great to get a chance to speak about my creative (and very supportive) family on International Women's Day, as well as a few hobbies you might not expect from me. You can read the full interview here: Emmeline Pidgen Illustration on Creative Boom, and I'll let you in on the rest of the news as soon as I'm able to!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

An Engagement Card Coincidence This Valentine's Day!


With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I thought I'd share a little story and a big coincidence!

So, you may have seen my 'A Bicycle Built For Two' card flitting around, in my range as well as part of Ohh Deer's card series, which can be found stocked in the likes of The Tate, The V&A, and Urban Outfitters! 





Last year, I heard the beautiful news that my friend Rory had just announced his engagement to a lovely lady: Leyla! I haven't met Leyla yet unfortunately, as they both live in Australia! But to my surprise, a few months later, I got a message on Twitter from Leyla with a bit of a coincidence..




It's not often that I get messages that tug the heartstrings quite like that! It's such a lovely coincidence, and it's really touching to see my work brightening smiles out in the wild (even if I do accidentally know them!). 

Cycling was an important feature of their wedding, with Leyla arriving at the wedding via bicycle to symbolise the bike rides they both do each morning - so it's no wonder the bicycle card caught her sister's eye! 




















I thought with Valentine's Day coming up, it would be the perfect time to share this lovely little story with you! The 'Bicycle Built For Two' cards are available on both Ohh Deer, as well as a matte version in my Etsy store. Shop my other Valentine's Day cards.

A huge thank you to Leyla for sharing the story and these wonderful photos with me! ❤ 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Emmeline's January Print Giveaway!




It's been a while since I've hosted a giveaway on my blog, and after just realising I pipped 5000 followers on Tumblr last week, I thought it was high time I give back with a little print giveaway!

The prize

This week I'm giving away this little number from my newest series of prints! 'The Crane' is a hand-signed high quality art print on slightly textured 300gsm acid-free white watercolour paper stock. A5 size (148mm x 210mm). 

How to enter

So this will be the first giveaway I've done since having my Instagram account, so I'm going to give it  cross-platform entry - so pop over to follow the instructions on my posts on Twitter, Instagram, or leave a comment on this blog post to enter. Get your entries in by 11am February 1st (GMT) to be in with a shot!


The competition is open worldwide, and one winner will be randomly selected from all entries on Twitter, Instagram and this blog post (max one entry per person on each platform, so total 3 entries possible per person). Competition closes at 11am on February 1st (GMT). The winner will be contacted via the platform they entered on and announced on this blog on February 1st! If the winner does not respond within one week, a new winner may be picked. Remember you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook or via Bloglovin'!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cass Art's 'Be Inspired' Challenge


It's no secret that I love to switch things up and work with a variety of media in my illustrations. You'll probably most often see my digital illustration work, as that's usually what I work with for commissioned illustration, but you'll also find me using a lot of ink and watercolour behind the scenes.

Sometimes I think it's really a case of getting away from the computer and completely throwing yourself into the physical aspects of painting. Often when you're running a business, you inevitably end up spending a lot of time staring at screens, and so I like to give myself (and particularly my eyes!) a bit of a break and get a bit messy with some paint. It's relaxing, it's fun, and more than anything I find with traditional painting (and the lack of the ol' Ctrl + Z)  there's a lot more chance for mistakes to lead you to new ideas.


Cass Art invited me to take part in their 'Be Inspired' challenge, where I would be sharing what inspires me and my illustration work. They sent over some new materials for me to have a play with: a gorgeous set of Winsor & Newton watercolours, Cass Art brushes and watercolour paper, and a pot of beautifully blue ecoline liquid watercolour (all of which, as I mentioned earlier, are perfect for a media experimenter like me!).

You'll almost always find a sketchbook in my bag, and to be honest I feel a bit lost without one as I never know when an idea will suddenly spark! I particularly love sketching when I'm travelling to new places, as I find it perfect for capturing memories and atmosphere in a way that photos can't always do. 

I recently popped over to York for the weekend, and continued my series of #EmmelineOnLocation travel sketches by spending some time drawing the people of York from a lovely little Tudor pub right in the heart of the city. I love using drawings like these to feed into my inspiration for characters and stories later in my work. So you'll see in this post that a lot of my experiments with these watercolours are character-based, and so much of my work is given depth by my experiences and adventures in real life (the character below looks suspiciously a lot like Andrew).



So for these illustrations, I've been using this gorgeous Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour paint set, Ecoline liquid watercolour in shade 578, and Cass Art's sable watercolour brush set and 300gsm non-textured watercolour paper. 

The paints are lovely to use, they're creamy to mix but there's a lot of control with translucently when you're layering on the page. The colours are bright, and there's a really good selection of shades in the set (but with space for extra colours that you can snap in) - it can be a little tricky to remember which shade is which when the covers are off them (as they're much darker in solid state), so I might make a bit of a cheat sheet of colours to stick to the space in the middle. The Ecoline watercolour looks very similar to ink (which I'm used to using), but with the added benefit of a little more flexibility with blending - the colour is incredibly vibrant, and it's definitely something I'll enjoy using for linework or sky washes. The brushes are reliable, with a useful variety of sizes - I particularly appreciated the really thin brushes for detailed linework on character's faces.

I really love using the Cass Art watercolour paper, the textured version has long been a staple of my traditional illustration work as I always found it was the best quality I could find for its price. With watercolour paper, you can sometimes struggle to find sets that are weighty enough to feel professional, or pages that absorb paint well rather than feel like they're coated in some kind of plastic! Both the textured and smooth versions absorb paint beautifully, and feel really high quality at a yummy 300gsm. All I wish is that I had a never-ending supply so I wouldn't feel as bad about hammering through so many pages in a creative whirlwind!

A huge thanks to Cass Art for inviting me to be part of their challenge. It's been a great opportunity to let loose a little and get back to the play side of my career. I often find that in taking a break from the businessy side of work can spark such fresh and brilliant ideas - and in the end that's what moves you! I've loved this project, and the work that I've created within it - so expect a lot more watercolour paintings from me!

Note - As part of the BeInspired project Cass Art provided all their artists with a sample art pack for free, but as with all my features I don't leave anything out! You can always expect an honest review.