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Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog — Inspiration

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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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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Insta Round Up: Work in Progress

I try and draw every day if I can. Even if its just a quick sketch or a little bit of work towards a larger project I will draw something. It keeps the ideas flowing and my hand in tune with my eyes...It's kind of like a muscle that needs to be kept exercised for optimum results!

I have had quite the productive week this last week with lots of successful drawing being done for the new collection as well as a few other fun pieces I made in my sketchbook! I shared a few of them over on Instagram as well as a digital snippet of some work in progress for the new collection and a little stone I made...

I hate it when things are spelled wrong and after drawing this piece late at night and then posting it the following morning, I was mortified to have it pointed out to me that I had only put one 'o' on the first 'too' I thought it looked wrong but had that blindness you get when you have looked at something for a long time! A quick patch later and here is the result. I kind of like that it isn't perfect now, because lets face it, in art it doesn't go totally right all of the time, especially with non erasable pens!

The digital work in progress snippet!

I also took my paint markers to a piece of coloured paper and I REALLY like how it came out! I'll be doing more work in this line for sure.

Lastly, of course it was Valentines Day too and a happy customer shared this sweet image from my now discontinued Lovebirds Card range. I really need to make more cards for the shop, they have always been so popular!

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100 days of random colours – weeks 5 & 6!

What is it about summer that makes life suddenly get so very BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!

I’m a bit behind updating this project on the blog, it’s day 77 in real time but here are weeks 5 & 6 for you to peruse. Some of my favourite images of the whole project so far are in these weeks…the flamingos and the sleepy deer are two!

So, on we go:

Day 29: Neon yellow, purple, peachy pink sharpie with a dark green felt pen and blue biro…Slightly jarring fruit bowl, anyone?
Day 29 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 30: Jewel toned pink and blue, a brown and a light green with black biro and we’ve got a hanging planter…I really like drawing foliage!
Day 30 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 31: A pretty combo for this one: Pink, royal blue, dark grey and golden yellow with a blue biro. I kind of like it when the biro matches a colour in the pen selection, it means I can play around with depth and detail within a colour which is always fun!
Day 31 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 32: Neon pink, Granny Smith green and dark orange sharpie, tan felt pen and black biro…I’ve been working on a commission and drawing lots of birds, I have birds on the brain, so why not another?!
Day 32 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 33: I love a bit of orange and Aqua, it’s a pretty magic combination! I made a note to myself not to try and draw tiny eyelashes with a big old Sharpie ever again…
Day 33 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 34: We are a third of the way through (or near enough)!! Such lovely orange, peach, berry pink and greens for today’s garden pattern…
Day 34 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 35: Red, dark pink, teal and green with blue biro, not the most horse coloured colours but I’ve never been one to worry about such matters as that!
Day 35 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 36: I was a bit worried when two purples and a blue appeared out if the pencil case but the tan felt pen lifted the combo and I had a bit of blue biro for details. Voila! A beach scene inspired by exploring we’d done the day before…
Day 36 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 37: This day heralded the first use of one of my new birthday sharpies (I received a new limited edition pack with several colours I don’t yet have ) a lovely grass green! Teamed with neon orange, purple, blue felt pen and red biro I drew a little golden hour sleeping deer…
Day 37 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 38: Darkest blue, brown and pink sharpie with a golden yellow felt pen and blue biro…I haven’t drawn a bouquet hand for ages so here you go!
Day 38 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 39: Neon yellow, sky blue and gold sharpies with a green felt pen and black biro, thought I’d try something a bit different for me…Still floral though, of course!
Day 39 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 40: Another golden hour scene I’m thinking this one is more of a sunrise golden hour than a sunset The horse isn’t positioned exactly where I wanted it but once I’d committed that biro there was no going back!
Day 40 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 41: Flamingos! I mean, what else could I draw with this pen selection?!
Day 41 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Day 42: A good clashy colour combo for this one: purple, green and neon orange sharpie, yellow felt pen and green biro… A bit at a loss of what to draw I had a go at copying the floral pattern on my pyjama bottoms!
Day 42 Lee May Foster-Wilson-Bonbi Forest
Phew! More week and colour combos coming soon, in the meantime you can catch up with the rest on my Instagram: @bonbiforest ! It’s going well, I’ve only missed one day so far…amazing!

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100 Days of Random Colours… Week 3

I’ve completed week three of this project already…I’m not sure how nice it is to have the passing of time documented like this, it feels like it is going by very quickly! At least I have lots of ideas brewing from these drawings and some sketchbooks filling up very fast.

Talking of which I have had a few requests for prints of these pieces and I am going to make a range of mine and your favourites available to buy as prints at the end of this project. Any feedback on which ones you like the most will be very welcome!

Day 15: Pink, lilac and black sharpie with blue felt pen and blue biro made me want to conjure some ferns!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 15 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 16: I found this combo of dark mint green, gold and purple sharpie with blue felt pen and black biro suprisingly hard to work with but I think it came good in the end.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 16 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 17: Who knows what kind of plant this is, I totally made it up…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 17 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 18: What looks like red here is actually a really dark orange (I don’t know why it photographed like this!) and teamed with ultramarine and sky blue with purple pen and black biro it made for a good colour combo, especially for this leaf pattern!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 18 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 19: I’ve been working on some birds for a commission so thought I’d get some more practise in! The pink pen took centre stage here with black biro accents on the birds and the sharpies made for a good tree…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 19 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 20: Inspired by a visit to see friends in Falmouth the day before and the amazing views from their new house.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 20 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 21: I thought I’d go for a different sort of pattern with this red, green, black and blue combo and it ended up being a bit festive!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 21 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi Forest…and that’s week three! I am already into week four, if you want to catch up with it day by day you can follow me on Instagram – @bonbiforest I was particularly pleased with today’s colourful offering of parrots! I’ll show them here in next weeks round up…

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100 Days of Random Colours… Week 2

I haven’t missed a day yet! It’s a really nice project to carry on with this one, I fit in the drawing while I have a brainless half hour after the children are in bed, watching some TV and chilling out before I start a bit more work for the evening…

Day 8: Horses, of course…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 8 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 9: I’m going to be drawing some birds for a project soon so i decided to get a bit of practise in with these pretty colours (I must retire that pink soon, it is really very worn out…)#100daysofrandomcolours Day 9 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 10: These colours were a definite departure for me but this one was FUN!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 10 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 11: The first day that the colours have been hard…Black, dark green, brown and yellow Not pretty!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 11 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 12: A hit of neon pink with dark pink and red redressed the balance after the horror show of Day 11…ahhh…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 12 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 13: We went on numerous beach trips last week so it was inevitable that the sea and it’s treasures would inspire me at some point, especially when that silver Sharpie came out of the bag!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 13 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 14: A little exercise in perspective after discovering that neon yellow is REALLY hard to work with when teamed with dark pinks and purples. It kind of looks ok here but in real life it’s a bit jarring…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 14 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestSo there’s week two, done and dusted! If you can’t wait for next week’s round up, don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram (@bonbiforest) to see each day AS IT HAPPENS. It’s pretty edge of the seat stuff…

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100 Days of Random Colours… Week 1

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen that I am taking part in this years 100 Day Project (#the100dayproject) which is a project where you are invited to think of a theme and create something along that theme every day for 100 days…I almost didn’t take part as I couldn’t think of a theme that I would want to stick with for that long, 100 days is a looong time and a lot of elaborations on one subject! Then about 10 days ago I was about to embark on one of my (almost) daily sketchbook scribbles and I decided to pick three colours at random from my pencil case, the resulting image was made with colours I wouldn’t normally choose and I really liked the challenge and process. So my idea for my own 100 day theme was decided upon right then!

Each day I am choosing three sharpies (I have a lot…), one fine point felt pen and flicking down a colour on my 4 colour bic biro and seeing where they take me…

Here are the first seven days:

Day 1: Easing in gently with some florals of course.#100daysofrandomcolours Day 1 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 2: So not my usual colour choice (no pink! No orange!) but it worked well with this little horse…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 2 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 3: Colours chosen by Ruby, which is as good as random considering she is three…can you guess what her favourite colour is?!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 3 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 4: A heavy orange and purple bias but with a touch of black biro it came good!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 4 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 5: Trying something a little darker…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 5 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 6: Though it was a beautiful sunny day these colours compelled a stormy scene…#100daysofrandomcolours Day 6 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestDay 7: Pink and purple made for another floral number!#100daysofrandomcolours Day 7 | Lee May Foster-Wilson -- Bonbi ForestIt’s not been too hard so far, the choices have been kind, but I am kind of looking forward to the sludgy colour day…Follow me on Instagram (@bonbiforest) to keep up with the daily challenge or check back here next week for the next instalment!

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It’s those horses again…

horse ears copyIt’s not really a secret that I like horses. They’ve been a big part of my life since I was very small and even now, when riding time is at it’s most precious and not very often, they are on my mind a great deal so it’s inevitable that they find their way into my drawings a lot…

I am working on some new drawings and paintings for a range of new prints, cards and screen printed goodies at the moment and there is lots of experimenting with mediums, colours and ideas going on. It’s some fun! I’ve been sharing peeks over on Instagram, here’s a few…Horse in woods Horse in progress Horse gathering Horse BW Horse bubble

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