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Bonbi Fruits of the Forest Blog

Creative Conversations!

I was recently interviewed by fellow artist and illustrator, Melanie Chadwick who has recently started a new series on her Vlog called Creative Conversations...I am her first interviewee!

Bonbi Forest Creative ConversationsShe came to my studio in Cornwall and we chatted about inspiration, how I started my Bonbi life and how I work now.

Check it out HERE and while you are there have a look at the rest of Mel's charming vlog for insight into the daily life of a freelance illustrator!

I hope you enjoy it!

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Mollie Makes!

I am DELIGHTED to have my illustration in this months Mollie Makes Magazine! The amazing Mollie team also featured my book in the news section, put my face on the contributors page and let me have my pony pins in the shopping guide...what a treat!

Mollie Makes 'Make it Better' illustration

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IT'S OUT!

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered my book and entered the giveaway last week. The winner was Addie Beckwith who entered via Instagram...Congratulations to you, your prize is on it's way!

SO! The date has finally come where I can say: MY BOOK IS OUT TODAY!

I started writing it a year ago and the 7th September 2017 seemed like such a long way off but now it's here and it's brilliant to finally be able to say I have a book out...I am very excited about it!

Little did I know that when I started drawing with Sharpies about 18 months ago that I would be writing a book about the brilliant world of marker pens...I have a lot to thank these little sticks of colourful delight for!Creative marker Art - Out Today!

Markers are my go to medium these days, they are so convenient which is handy when trying to juggle a desk full computer stuff, notes everywhere and art materials. I often like to draw of an evening from the sofa too meaning I get to spend more time with my beau rather than being sat at a desk and pens ain't gonna spill on the throw or need washing out when I need to change colour! 

If you are looking to try out this medium, need some creativity prompts and art exercise tips or even just want to get creative with the kids, this could be just the book for you...You can order (so nice to drop the 'pre' from that! it by following THIS LINK which will take you to more links galore so you can find the right place to order for your country.

I f you have the book please do share any pictures and artwork you make with it with me on Instagram or Facebook, I would love to see them!!

 

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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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