Thursday, 11 September 2014

Festival No 6 // Portmeirion

Following a very busy few months, I ended my Summer of travels at Festival No. 6 at the gorgeous Portmeirion in Wales. I've visited Portmeirion a few times over the years, it's a really unique place - designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of a quirky Italian village. You might recognise it from the famous surreal show The Prisoner, where Portmeirion was used as "the village". Great place for a festival!

The festival itself was really inspiring on a number of levels. The atmosphere was magical (very much helped by the setting!): people in fancy dress, pop-up performances, delicious food, paddle-boarding and a lot of dancing. It was great to just sit out and absorb it all; a good place for people-watching and building up story ideas.

I've definitely got post-festival blues, so I threw myself into capturing the spirit of the festival in the illustration at the top of this post.  It was a good kick-start to get back into work after the break as well. I had been thinking that this illustration was in a slightly different style than my usual work - but I've just been used to illustrating with ink whilst I've been away, as I've not had much of a chance to work fully digitally. It's definitely one of my more colourful pieces, but that does really reflect the environment and what it felt like to be there. It's certainly been one of the illustrations I've enjoyed working on the most.

I managed to steal a few moments from the music to sit and sketch.  It's often quite a shock at how much more you notice when you spend some time just looking at where you are.  I made a point of remembering some of the people I saw around the festival to sketch later as characters (I'll keep you updated!) - there were just too many interesting festival-goers around to draw them all at the time.

So now, for the first time in months - I have no travel plans, but a Summerful of great memories. It really did get to the point where I was feeling frustrated at not having the time to work (is that bad?), so I'm feeling content at having the foreseeable future to focus back down on my career, and use all that inspiration I've been storing up. I'll keep you posted!

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