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.
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...
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.
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!
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' 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...
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.
Both posters are sized at A3 for easy framing and the little pin is 35mm. See the posters HERE and the pin HERE!
Pin badges seem to be having a bit of a renaissance at the moment and I have jumped on the bandwagon with a couple of Bonbi pin designs!
Be Brave has been one of my most popular pendant designs and after a few requests I have turned it into a pin too. It is slightly smaller than it’s pendant cousin but is available in the same gold or silver plate and is another little reminder that in times of self doubt, to take heed of your inner Lionheart…I also have some Personalised Pony Pins! These guys are already proving to be a hit. They are available as they are in pink or blue and in gold or silver plate or you can have an initial hand stamped in the heart on the pony’s bottom! Too cute.All are available for £8 and with free shipping (Unless you buy something else from the shop too, then normal shipping applies) Head to the brand new Badges section of the shop to see more!
They are in the shop! The new jewellery pieces I have been working on went live in the shop last week, a little treat for that person who’ll be with you forever and a day or someone who is the brightest star in your sky…
I mentioned before that these new pieces were inspired by the inscriptions on 15th Century Poesy Rings, of which I picked two of my favourites and had them printed onto Maple veneered wooden charms with fronds of leaves and tiny stars. Each phrase is available as a necklace or a bracelet and you can choose to have two personalised hand stamped initial charms added to the chains too, cute eh?
It’s kind of timed to be for Valentines (I like a bit of romance) but as always I don’t like the idea of limiting the appeal of love tokens to just that of romantic love, so think of these as gifts for other special women in your life too, maybe a sister, mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother or your bestest friend in the world too perhaps?
Stars are never far from my mind it seems, stars, flowers, horses and trees tend to be my go-to when I am not sure what to draw next. It’s a good job these are my favourite things to draw and look at (caveat: aside from my family of course!) and once again little stars have found their way into my work…
I came across a very cute phrase while researching my latest Valentines designs last year: “No Star to me as Bright as Thee” which comes from the tradition of the Poesy Ring. I’d never heard of these before but stumbled across them while researching traditional love tokens and I absolutely adore the idea of them. They were popular in the 15th – 17th centuries in England and France and are finger rings given to show love and regard with a short inscription inside the band.
Some of the phrases are very sweet and some of them that were probably very sincere 500 years ago are pretty funny now: ” I am your lot refuse me not” and “I like my choyse”
I’ve repurposed a couple of my favourite of these phrases in my new Valentines jewellery which will be available soon…here’s a little taster!
I collaborated with Jane Warren of The Lampshade Loft to bring you these and I am so happy with the outcome. Her attention to detail and neatness is amazing and they look so good! They are a classic drum style in a size which suits table and floor lamps as well as ceiling lamps in smaller rooms or hallways and I hand printed each one with a gradient ombré effect in colours reminiscent of a low summers sunset or lights glowing on the horizon on a summers night…They are available in two designs, our paint spots design and a new bouquet botanical design (look out for that one on more pieces this summer too)
They are very limited edition and I only have a handful available, so if you have a lamp in need of some colour and pattern head THIS WAY and you might find a shade to suit!
There’s a new collection in the shop! I’ve had a bit of an obsession with pineapples lately, I think they have been my craving during this pregnancy – juicy, sweet and oh so tasty! They look so good too so I’ve been painting them and making prints from them and thus, the new collection…
There is a new scarf design available in two colours, a t-shirt (I’ve not made a t-shirt design in forever!) a brand new locket, a card and a print…these pineapples have gone onto everything. The fabric prints have been printed in a shimmering gold which gives them a bit of a 70’s golden pineapple vibe and the locket is teamed with a vintage golden ball and glitter perspex mini disc furthering the look.
If you have been following goings on over on the Bonbi Forest Instagram or Facebook feeds you may well have seen that there has been some rumblings and mutterings of new enamel pieces in the works…Well, they are now here and available to buy in the shop!
‘Be Brave’ and ‘Know Thyself’ are designed to be for those at the start of something new, or about to take a leap into the unknown. They are kind of like a modern talisman to remind the wearer of their inner Lionheart and to stay true to yourself no matter what comes your way. They can be personalised too making them great gifts for milestone birthdays or exam, ‘see you soon’ and good luck presents…To make them extra special you can also add a little initial charm, a Swarovski Crystal birthstone or both!
I like the idea of having the courage to follow your heart and creating your own luck so these have been a dear design to make for me, I hope you like them too! See them in the jewellery section of the shop…
I have been adding some original artwork to the shop this week. These pieces aren’t brand new as I made most of them in the last couple of years, but I have been meaning to get them up for sale for a while. They have been enjoyed around our house and I will be sad to see them go but I need to make space for more pieces that are coming through!
These Mirrors are the oldest of the new pieces (does that make sense?!) I made them a while ago and LOVE them and really want to make more. They have proved to be a beast to photograph though which is why I have been sitting on them for so long!! How do you photograph an etched mirror without being in the picture yourself and showing all of the detail clearly? Lots of it is reflected in the mirror backing so unless you picture it head on the design comes out all doubled up, which is super pretty in real life but doesn’t look so good in the pictures…anyway, I have done my best which doesn’t really do them justice but I could hide them away no longer! They can all be seen in the shop HERE.
Among the new painted pieces are the sketches I made for the three limited edition horse screen prints that I have for sale. I painted them in gouache to work out the layout and colours for the screen prints, which areas would need to be solid colours and which I would have to render in halftone for the prints. It was also a good excuse to get the paints out and step away from the computer for a bit and I think they stand up nicely on their own as individual paintings. I hope you like them as much as I do.
I have also added the two paintings I made for last years Girls Who Draw Postcard Book which are really detailed little paintings on paper. All of the spots and dots and details of the seahorse and octopus made them interesting subjects for sure…and painting underwater plant life, OH! So much fun. These cuties and the rest of the paintings can also be seen in more detail in the originals section of the shop!
There is a new mini collection in the shop – Of the Sky. I am endlessly drawn to that great, infinite, ever changing expanse above us. Light or dark, day or night, still or angry it’s a wonderful source of inspiration and the new collection is another small reflection of that.
Tiny raw brass stars, moons and lightning bolts have been paired with unusual matte black and shimmering pearl white perspex geometric triangles and diamond shapes to make up the collection. Each piece is designed to be small, lightweight and easy to wear. A little bit of the sky’s wonder for everyday wherever you may go…