Monday, 18 July 2016

Women in Print

I was super excited to be invited to take part in the exhibition Women in Print by Jane Bowyer, illustrator, designer and all-round good egg. I'm exhibiting alongside some top-class female artists, so I feel very flattered to be asked to contribute. The launch is tonight at Rudy's Pizza Place, one of my favourite pizza joints in Manchester. It runs til the 30th of August, so get yourself down and buy some prints, all proceeds go to Manchester Women's Aid. Prints, pizza and beer, what's not to like??

Emmeline Pankhurst print

Monday, 11 July 2016

Children's Book Illustration

Since March I have been doing an online course called Make Art That Sells, with the hope of improving my portfolio for freelance illustration work. It's been really fun responding to various briefs and challenging my digital skills. I'm still not sure I have entirely found 'my style', but I will keep on drawing, filling sketchbooks and developing as an artist. This month is the last brief, after which I will be updating my website and contacting some agencies!
So far I have made a cover for a colouring book, designed a Christmas ornament and illustrated a tarot card.
Last month's brief was to draw characters for a children's book, based on vicunas. So fun!

Vicuna illustration

1920s colouring book for grown ups

The Moon tarot card

I think the colouring book assignment was my favourite, I absolutely loved drawing women's faces and hair, so I will keep on trying to improve my portrait skills. Next up is flowers and lettering, here are my sketches so far:

brush lettering

brush lettering practice

brush lettering

It's been a good opportunity to practice brush lettering, after the ace workshop I attended with Artsy Nibs. I would really recommend Joyce's classes, really fun and good value for money!

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Website is Alive!

Hurray hurray! I've just had my first order through my new website,! I'm super excited and happy that it works. I've also set up a newsletter, which I've been meaning to do for YEARS, so that's exciting for me too. As a thank you if you sign up, I'll send you a code for 20% off plus free shipping. I'd really appreciate any feedback you have on the site, too!

tiger t shirt

Thursday, 24 March 2016

I am crafting a website!

Hello! I am currently working away on a new website, wrangling with SEO, Meta titles, branding and all that jive. It's really stressful and overwhelming!

To add to my stress and overwhelm, I am taking part in Art Battle Manchester tomorrow night! It sold out in 4 hours, ohgodwhatamidoing?? I might just draw a pizza with legs. I must now return to the Internet mines. Have a lovely Easter, everybody!
pizza drawing

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Product Photography Improvement

Hello! The first post of the year! I've been working on improving my product photography, I've noticed a drop off of my online sales, which is a bit worrying, and when you're competing against so much lovely stuff online, it's a good idea to look your best!

So I've had an overhaul of my alphabet risograph prints. The old ones are taken against a white background, using lights, which I thought were great at the time, but natural light is so much better. It was fun to do a bit of styling with props too, I think the new shots have a much warmer feel to them. What do you think?

I used the Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum, I'd really recommend this book if you're keen to learn a bit more about product photography. Of course, there are loads of online guides, but I like having a book to refer to! All my prints are available online, and from my bricks and mortar shop at the Craft and Design Centre, which is also having an exciting face lift!

a is for apple alphabet print

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Work in Progress Wednesday

Inspired by my travels this summer, I decided to do a little mountain and tree design, which I've made into lino prints and screenprints.

A photo posted by Nell Smith (@iamnell) on

A photo posted by Nell Smith (@iamnell) on
I used my lovely block printing kit from Fred Aldous to make the lino cuts. If you have something you're working on and would like to share, join in with the hashtag WIPWednesday on Twitter and Instagram!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Saturday Sketchbook

sketchbook bugs

Here's a page from last night's super rough sketching times. I'm intending on making a new screenprint for the Buy Art Fair, which is rapidly approaching. Genius me thought it was in October, whoops...I've always been a big fan of shield bugs, they come in many shapes, sizes and an incredible array of shimmering colours. I've seen a few around this Summer that have captured my imagination. Here's hoping I can get the print done in time! Set up is the 23rd September, wish me luck.

A photo posted by Nell Smith (@iamnell) on
A photo posted by Nell Smith (@iamnell) on
A photo posted by Nell Smith (@iamnell) on