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Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog

GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate the launch of my new book, Creative Marker Art and Beyond in TWO WEEKS (eek!) I am having a little giveaway for for those of you who have pre-ordered the book already or are planning to pre-order this week...Up for grabs for one lucky winner is one of my 'The Time is Now' pins, a 'Magic is Real' pendant and a journal that I illustrated full of inspiring quotes and pretty birds! 

To be in with a chance of winning this little bundle of goodies all you have to do is pre-order my book, Creative Marker Art and Beyond and send me a screen shot of your pre-order confirmation page or confirmation email by emailing it to me: info@bonbiforest.com or sending me the image in a DM via Instagram or Facebook by midnight on 29th August (one week today!) Please include your name and a contact email...

To pre-order head over HERE where there are links galore to find the best retailer for your country!

The giveaway closes a week today at midnight GMT on the 29th August and I will announce the winner here and on my social media channels on Wednesday 30th...Good luck!

One entry per person, entries sent in after the cut off time will not be counted. 

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Art Bootcamp!

I have just finished 5 months of portfolio boosting learning with the Make Art that Sells Art Bootcamp, which I was lucky enough to win a free place on! Each month the course presented a new creative theme broken down into bite sized pieces so you can create your best art work for the main assignment possible. It was such fun to do and certainly gave me some challenges...From an abstract backpack, a rose covered gardening journal, mugs with a theme of immigration, travel and hope to the more tricky self reflecting mind map and a full children's book spread (text and all!) which had to include a hummingbird in shoes and a mouse with wings...Lee Foster-Wilson Art 2017Funnily enough the children's book spread was the one I was most intimidated by, maybe because I have always felt like I have a kids book in me somewhere and this was the one I should really get right, but once I had my text thought up it flowed and I was really pleased with the outcome...new avenue perhaps?!

I can't recommend this annual course enough for those wishing to further their portfolio development or try a new avenue for the work. As well as the art development there were bonus trend boards each month and live chats with experienced art agent Lilla Rogers and her team.

I am taking another of their classes this summer, I loved it that much! If you want to find out more I encourage you to head to the Make Art that Sells website...

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100 Days of Celebimals!

If you follow me on Instagram and/ or Facebook (where I am a few days behind my posts on Instagram on this project...) you will have seen that this year for the 100 Day Project I have just completed #100daysofcelebimals !

At Christmas time when we had lots of family gatherings my cousin came to visit and she had just been to a fancy dress party where the theme was to dress as a celebrity/animal...Naturally we started to think up lots more of them and in fact, the conversation carried on for months via text between us and my husband, each time one of us thought of another silly one I put them on a list. They would pop into my head at the most random times...I thought of RENEE GAZELLWEGER just after spotting a picture of a gazelle in town, and BEATRIX OTTER while watching Peter Rabbit with my kiddos!

I just had to do something with them all and so my next 100 days theme was born...100daysofcelebimals

100 days later I have just completed the project on Instagram! 100 Celebimals all drawn with marker pen in my sketchbooks (well, 99 of them...I used myself for the last one and I'm hardly of celebrity status) Some of the drawings are better than others as I had more time to do them each day or got my hand lettering lined up properly! They were so fun to do though and I (think...) my hand lettering skills have improved slightly because of it. Of course there is the bonus that I have drawn so many animals I wouldn't even have thought to draw, or that I even knew about before (who knew about the Cuscus or the Fossa?!)

If you want to see the whole project on Instagram you can do so HERE!! (you will have to be logged in to see them all) Or you can see the "not quite finished yet" album of them over on Facebook HERE!!

I am currently thinking what to do with them...some cards or postcards perhaps. Does that sound good to you? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know!

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Creative Marker Art and Beyond!

I am very pleased and VERY excited to write this post as it is about my first book!!

I have been working on it since September last year and it is finally due for publication on September 7th this year...It is called Creative Marker Art and Beyond and is a how to guide for creative artwork and gifts using the humble marker pen. Creative Marker Art and Beyond - Cover

I have been using markers as a drawing medium seriously for about 18 months now and they have revolutionised my working practise. While I have a gorgeous studio for packing orders, making jewellery and screen printing in, my workspace at home (which is where I usually get to do my drawing when the children are tucked up asleep) is less than desirable. I found it such a faff to put my laptop away to make room for all of my paints and pencils that I just wasn't bothering very often and my artwork was suffering. I do design digitally quite a lot but I missed the analogue of paper and colour and the challenge of making something right when it's not gone to plan and you can't press 'undo'. So when a half price Sharpie offer caught my eye in WHSmith's, my life changed...Creative Marker Art and Beyond - Florals

Scroll back through this blog and you will find 2016's 100 day Challenge that I did via Instagram. I wanted to do a drawing a day using the markers I had bought and #100daysofrandomcolours was me blindly selecting 5 pens from my pencil case and seeing where the colours took me (each day for 100 days!)

Because I was drawing with markers in a hard bound sketchbook I could draw anywhere...no messy paint and water, no pencil shavings, no stylus or screens. My lap and the sofa became my happy art place and everything changed. Since markers came into my life I have been non stop drawing just about every single day, ideas have flowed, way more new stuff has actually been seen through from idea to finished piece and I got a book deal.Creative Marker Art and Beyond - Glass Project

So back to that: The book is choc full of stuff you can do with different types of marker pens and I had such fun writing it. It has creative prompts for when you just don't know what to draw, marker pen exercises to teach you how to get the most out of your markers and step-by-step projects on how to make some pretty useful stuff using your pens...as well as an ideas gallery at the back for when you've got the hang of your pens and want to take it further!

You can pre-order the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2u3H9Lw

Maybe markers will change your life too? (Oh, how I love a cheesy sign off...)Creative Marker Art and Beyond - Mandala Hoops

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Casetify...

I am very pleased to announce that I am now a Casetify artist!

If you don't already know, Casetify make very high standard phone cases that can be either customised with your Instagram or Facebook photos or bought with a ready made design from an array of brilliant illustrators and artists. The cases are available with different coloured grips  to suit your style and if you go for one of their 'New Standard' cases you can even buy different back plates to swap out when you fancy a change!

I have had a Casetify case for a long time so was delighted to be asked to join their artist team, and get my own design onto my phone in the process...I went for my bright yellow Magnolias and Camellias design below. 

This is just a small selection of cases from my growing range...you can see them all in my Casetify store HERE!Lee Foster-Wilson Casetify Cases

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Totally Magic!

Woah, April was busy! I've totally got behind on my blogging but I'm vowing to catch up!

The reason April was so busy aside from it being the Easter break (we had a trip to Wales and lots of garden days and beach plays with the little ones) was the launch of my latest Limited Edition collection 'Totally Magic' which has gone down SO WELL, I've been totally amazed. Totally Magic PinThe collection takes it's inspiration from a quote by Roald Dahl: 

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

I drew on imagery and colours from medieval tapestries and icons of magic such as unicorns, lightning bolts and smatterings of stars mixed with florals to create the collection which has little phrases about magic peppered through it.

The collection comprises the last ever Bonbi Slouch Sweater (sob!) a shiny enamel Pendant, an enamel pin badge, a signed and numbered Gicleé print and a new scarf design in two colourways...all pieces are limited edition and some have nearly sold out already, hence my amazement!Totally magic Slouch SweaterMagic is Real PendantTotally Magic Scarf - PeacockTotally Magic Print and PinTotally Magic Scarf - Blue

I love how much people love a bit of magic in their lives! You can see and shop all of the new pieces in the shop...

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The Time is Now

Ugh! So I have got a bit behind on my Insta round ups lately...for good reason though: I have been busy getting lots of new products together and the first of these are now available in the shop!The Time is Now Poster

'The Time is Now' is an idea I had a while ago and have turned it into a pin badge and poster...it's an intriguing, motivating phrase urging to seize the day! The bright blue of the poster will add a hit of colour to your room and the pin is a little reminder just to get stuff done...The Time is Now Enamel Pin

I have also had another poster of my Night Bouquet drawing made up. I have been using paint markers on coloured paper a lot recently and this is one of those pieces. I love the vibrant colours on the dark background with the little stars circling around.Night Bouquet Poster

Both posters are sized at A3 for easy framing and the little pin is 35mm. See the posters HERE and the pin HERE!

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Insta Round Up: Outdoors inspired...

This last week seems to have gone so fast...all I seem to be posting here is the weekly round ups of what I have been Instagramming! I have been working on getting the printed pieces for the new collection underway, making lots of screens and having some very long printing sessions in the studio...There is a sneaky peek of part of the new collection in this post and I will share more next week!

I have been carrying on with the #marchmeetthemaker challenge too, here's the next few days from it:

Day 6 (above): Today is all about raw materials...There is a whole world of raw materials that go into all things Bonbi, from the card I like to draw on to the hundreds of jewellery components I gather (and hoard) but the most fun to take a picture of are my screen printing inks...Yay for colour!🌈I mix them all myself using highly concentrated pigments and binders and have them stored in towering stacks of pots. Nearly all of my clothes have ink on them somewhere...

Day 7: This day was all about how it's made...There are so many processes involved in all of the things I make but one of the most satisfying is screen printing as it's so drawn out. Aside from making the actual design, colour separations have to be made then screens are stretched and coated with light sensitive diazo emulsion before being 'burned' under UV light and washed. Finally the printing can begin! This process alone takes a couple of days! The lightning bolt florals are the peek I mentioned! They are sleeve prints on the (last ever 😭) Bonbi slouch sweaters in my newest limited edition collection which launches later this month!! ✨❤️⚡️

Day 8: Today is all about 'where' (Bottom picture)...This is one of my favourite spots in the world and it's a 5 minute drive from our front door...I live in an area that other people come on holiday to, aren't I lucky?! It's one of 4 very local beaches in our corner of the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. I grew up in this area and after moving away to study in Brighton where I stayed for a few years after university finished, the draw of the homeland was too great so my boyfriend at the time (now my husband!) and I moved back. We love it and are so grateful to be able to bring our little beans up in such a special place 🌊💕

Day 9: This day was all about how it's made...I've posted lots of bits about screen printing so far so here's one about something else: Personalised pins! Here is a little pony pin being branded with someone's initial. I whack a letter stamp with a hammer, give it a wipe of gilders paste to make the letter stand out and pack it up for shipping...

Day 10: Today is the day to recommend a maker! I found it really hard to just pick one so I have tagged a bunch of really great makers who live and work in our beautiful, rugged, almost sea locked county of Cornwall...Click HERE to see the original image and tap it to see the makers I tagged. We have such a great and diverse creative community down here...

Day 11: This day was all about post! The images is of our tiny village post office and shop that all of your Bonbi orders ship though...I use the Post Office Drop and Go system which means I have a pre paid account and can literally just drop it off and leave. My postmaster is great and lets me just put my bags behind the counter without having to ever queue which has been AMAZING for time saving...they have told me though that there have been times where customers can't get into the freezers in the shop because they've had all of the Bonbi mail spread out in the tops to count it all!!Here's a few other bits and pieces I posted this week...Spring pendants for the new season, hurrah! and roll on Summer!!Here is a page from a journal I made for Compendium who are an American company specialising in inspiring stationery products, kids books and kits. It was a really lovely project to work on and I will post more about it really soon...Lastly here are a couple of bits I made inspired by the sea glass that is taking over my life! A little wooden plaque and shapes for the first part of the Make Art That Sells Art Bootcamp!

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Insta Round Up: #marchmeetthemaker

How did March get here so soon?! Not that I'm complaining, we are into my favourite time of year and the clocks go forward later this month which I am sure I am not alone in looking forward to.

All of this month I am taking part in an Instagram challenge called #marchmeetthemaker where lots of creatives respond to prompts set out by illustrator Joanne Hawker. It's a great way to meet other creative types and have a peek at their processes and working spaces!

I know not all of my followers are on Instagram so I am going to share my posts about it here in these weekly round ups...here are the first 5 days!Day 1: So this is me (the one on the left obvs, that's the youngest of my offspring, Ellis on the right) I'm Lee and I illustrate and make artwork which I screenprint onto textiles, apply to jewellery and turn into pin designs! I live in Cornwall whose beauty and colours seep into my nature inspired work...I have two children (rascals the pair of them!) am an avid beachcomber (it's more of an obsession...) and lover of horses (dressage is my thing!) A couple of random facts: I'm named after my Chinese great grandad and use my middle name of May in my professional name so that people don't presume I'm a fella when they see my name written down, and I once accidentally ruined an arcade machine game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire for hip hop act Cannibal Ox by hitting the wrong button on their machine... (Girrrl?!)

Day 2: All about a favourite thing to make! My very favourite thing to do is DRAW as all of my designs are based on my drawings and artwork...but screen printing has a huge part of my heart too, especially making new designs, figuring out colour separations and making limited colour palettes work to optimum effect. Seeing it all come to life in ink on fabric is the icing on the cake, especially when they come out as well as this 'Indian Summer' scarf print I made last year! 🌸🌅🌿(I think it came out pretty well anyway...)

Day 3: (Pictured in the quad of images below) Today is all about workspace and I work from two different places...My studio, where I do all of the screen printing and order packing and keep all of my stock is a little barn that we converted at my parents farm nearly 10 years ago (😱feeling old...) It's lovely and bright with high A frame exposed beams and lots of big work benches. I also work from the rather more cramped 'procrastination station' under the stairs in our cottage. I do all of my drawing, planning, admin and digital designing here. I usually have to pick my way through a myriad of toys strewn on the living room floor to get to it. It's not ideal but means I can work from home in the evenings when the kiddlywinks are in bed (and the living room is once again tidy!) 🎨💕

Day 4: This day is all about tools...Here are the main tools of my work (computer, scanner and heat setter aside...) My screen printing squeegee, I have three of these, two small ones and a big one which I have had for ages...I love the layers of ink in the handles! A couple of pairs of my jewellery pliers, I have snips and round nose ones too, and this very small representation of my myriad of pens...I've got hundreds!! It's a bit out of control...

Day 5: Today is dedicated to boomerangs! The little video sort, not the thing you throw of course...I have been playing with glittery paint pens this week, so much fun!!! Picture 5 is a still from my boomerang but you can see the real thing HERE!I also posted a couple of my more successful sketches, another affirmation from the team at Make Art that Sells and a fish sketch. Art bootcamp starts this week and I can't wait to get cracking!Lastly I got some new pictures of my Mama Bear pins...perfect little trinkets for sweet mama bears!

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Insta Round Up: Florals Galore!

I have quite a varied bunch of things in my Insta round up this week! I have been making lots of imagery for new things and turning some old sketches into finished pieces. I am thinking of offering some larger posters of some of them in a new series so watch this space!Among other new things on the horizon are some more Pony Pins...I have them in pink still but there will be some new colours soon. The general consensus on Instagram was for mint green and peach which I very much like the sound of.New business cards...I freshened up the business card offering with some of my more recent drawings alongside my favourites from the last batch. It's funny seeing them all together, theres a heavy emphasis on pink and red isn't there?!I also shared a mirror I drew for fun, they don't get any easier to photograph!!Lastly I made this image in response to a positive affirmation prompt from the Lilla Rogers and the team at Make Art That Sells...They offer positive affirmations every Monday for artists to illustrate and I was delighted to have this drawing featured on their Instagram account! It looks like I am mostly horses, stars, moons, lightning and florals at the moment...

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