House Portraits

Thursday 27 December 2018

The Tale of the Christmas Log


Incase you missed it... here is a little festive tale I shared with my followers on Instagram and Facebook on Christmas Eve. For a while, I've wondered about how I can share some of the funny stories from my childhood - there are so many!

Actually drawing myself and (two of) my siblings was a first step here... the thought of drawing us was intimidating for some reason, but I'm happy with how they came out.

I drew the pictures by hand, in my sketchbook, then added colour on Autodesk Sketchbook on the iPad. It was very fun to illustrate - I hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Drawing Mums - Spot Illustrations for The Mumsition


It's been a little while since The Mumsition got published (back in June) and I hadn't yet shared some of my illustrations from it. I thought I'd also show some photos of the finished book and some of my original rough drawings to share some of the process - I always find it interesting to see those on other illustrators' blogs!

The Mumsition is written by Isabel Mohan, Katie Massie-Taylor and Sarah Hesz - the creators of Mush. If you don't know what Mush is, it's an app where mums can meet other mums. Mush also share very amusing content about parenthood on their instagram (@mushmums) too.

Their content is written with a definite sense of humour and the book was too, so I was delighted to be asked to create the spot illustrations, giving my humorous touch to lots of different mums and scenarios. It was published by Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. Search for The Mumsition on your preferred book buying place to get a copy!

There are twenty-one of my drawings in total in the book, so here are just a few...

It has always been a dream for me to illustrate books - and something I'd wanted for a very long time. I'm illustrating another book at the moment, which I'm super-excited about! So I can't wait to show you that, but actually I will, because it's not going to be published until March.

Getting back to my original point... I was therefore a very happy lady when my copies came through the post, so here are some photos of my drawings in their final habitat...

'The first six weeks - When everything is bonkers...'
Mother and Baby Yoga
About to pop!
Taking baby out for dinner
Here are some pictures of my rough drawings both in pencil - and then in ink as I started to draw the final artwork. I think it's nice to see the process sometimes, as it's a reminder of the work that goes into the finished thing before it gets seen. When you're starting out (or even after years of experience), it can be easy to forget about that part when you see lovely finished pieces on Instagram, or in a book or gallery.

Pencil roughs stage
Drawing the final artwork

Thankyou for swinging by my blog! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen that I've recently been working on a Sheffield colouring book! It officially launched last week, so I will be sharing a post about that soon, again with some photos of the process. In the mean time, you can take a look at it on my Etsy shop.

Bye for now! :)

Thursday 5 July 2018

Sheffield Creative Guild Collage Workshop

On the 22nd June, it was Sheffield Creative Guild's second birthday party - at Yellow Arch Studios in Kelham Island - and I was asked to set up a workshop activity at the same time as having my stall.

I had been thinking about this idea for a while, so it was a great excuse to materialise the idea and give me a starting point for future workshops. Keeping it related to my collection of architectural prints, I knew I wanted to make use of the brick patterns I draw, different house features I like to spot and my enthusiasm for different coloured papers.

I designed various patterns for the collage workshop, as well as printing my black line drawings on to coloured papers. I went out and took photos of bricks and drew different types of doors and windows. I brought along a section of textured papers and card too, making use of a hoard I've stored over the years of bits that were 'too nice to throw away'.

It was so nice to see the variety of styles in the way people put together the textures and images and I received some really good feedback. I was told it was a good activity for an event where people go alone - it made it easy for them to chat to people while making something. Another person said she loved how self explanatory it was - it was very free and social, with no right or wrong ways.

Here are some of the wonderfully unique results that came out of the session...

Wednesday 30 May 2018

My Sketchbook Diary, Week 21 - featuring Karen O, lollipops and broken chairs

As the last straggler bits got sold and collected from Ebay, I prepared myself for a mad month coming up. With three London trips over the next month, the first would be for All Points East festival! I loved watching LCD Soundsystem, Soulwax and taking a trip down memory lane with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was sweltering hot weather and poor Lee had to put up with me verbally expressing my exhaustion and aching feet as we walked for what felt like miles, before realising we had left the tickets behind! I insisted I needed a lolly on Sunday before we drove back from sweaty London.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

My Sketchbook Diary, Week 20 - featuring strange eating habits, unusual instruments & pink jackets!

It was royal wedding week! Ooh, I love a good royal wedding. I set up camp with my blanket on the sofa, wore red and blue and had a little party for one. We went to an uber-controversial Radio 3 gig this week at the Picturehouse Social Club. The artists handed out sheets of words to everyone in the audience and got us all to shout the words at random to take part in the art. It tickled me. I also welcomed into my life my new pink jacket! It's super bright and super cool! I will add a picture below of the moment I tried on said jacket... and you can see how cool I look.

Wednesday 16 May 2018

All the naughty foods!

I thought I would share some food illustration I've been working on recently. As you might already know, I have been drawing what I eat for a while now and I made a cookbook zine last year. I want to illustrate more food commercially, for magazines or publishing, particularly because I am so passionate about the subject. Books and magazines about food are my favourite types to read (yep, I even like to read cook books in bed). I know my black and white food drawings don't look super edible, so I'm taking some time to add more colourful dishes to my portfolio.

I've got lots of ideas for other projects I could do from this... but for now, I'll just keep it simple and say 'so here's a load of dirty food I've eaten lately'! I'll try to make my next food post a healthy one!

Tuesday 15 May 2018

My Sketchbook Diary, Week 19 - featuring failed BBQ's, bowling & Eurovision!

I had a delightfully retro bowling experience at MFA Bowl in Sheffield this week. They were playing back to back Beegees (which became quite amusing) and the machine that places the pins kept playing up. It also kept giving me extra goes for no reason! I think this made it all the more fun! I also tried - for the first time in my life - one of those machines you put 20p in and get loose sweets out! Despite the unhygienic nature of getting the bare naked sweets out of the bit where all manner of children's dirty hands have been, this also added to the excitement of the excursion.

Monday 14 May 2018

My Sketchbook Diary, Week 18 - featuring Peddler Market, Mad Men and a little bit of disco dancing!


I'm back with my sketchbook diary, I'm sorry it's been a while! As you know, I'd been renovating my old house and it was taking aaages. It was really hard splitting my time between that and getting newly full time freelancing off the ground, so in the end, I wrote off the month of April to get the house finished once and for all. It was tough, but it was probably good for me to switch off from work things and just focus on that. I'm so glad to be back to my work (full time for real, finally!) but I've got some catching up to do on here!

I've been keeping up with my sketchbook but not the blogging. So I'm going to post last weeks and then backtrack a little at a time. Despite all the grotty cleaning jobs and pain-inducing decorating (yes, really! I'm on Naproxen!) there has been some mega fun times to fill you in on! I had an amazing trip to New York, a fun weekend in Copenhagen and I'm oh so grateful for the sunshine we've had! So watch this space (well, maybe scroll backwards every now and then!) to see what's been keeping me quiet.

Thankyou so much for reading my blog. I know commenting on blogs is a bit old school but I'm an old school person really - I would love to hear what you think!

It was great to get back to a working routine this week and get ready for my first Peddler Market of the year. For anyone who doesn't know, Peddler's takes place in Kelham Island at 92 Burton Road - a big warehouse building with some outdoor bits too. They get different gorgeous food and drink stalls in and several artists/makers each month. It gets super busy and has a great atmosphere!

I was excited to show my new extended collection of Sheffield Mini Prints! Previously, the 'Kelham Collection' featured Alfred Beckett & Sons, The Chimney House, the Kelham Island Tavern and Green Lane Works. I've been working on some new prints to add to the collection, which now also features the Fat Cat Kelham, the Three Tuns, the University Arms and the much loved old Henderson's Relish Factory. You can click on the names to see them in my Etsy shop.

You'll also spot we went to Blue Moon Cafe in Sheffield. I love this down to earth cafe, they serve different vegan and veggie mains with a choice of healthy side salads, a good spot in the city centre for when you're fancying something healthy!

Lastly, we went to a lovely wedding reception where I took a spin around the dance floor with my lovely other half, Lee! He's got some really good moves.

Monday 2 April 2018

March Meet the Maker - My Best Bits


I'm sorry if you've noticed I'm a little behind with my diary posts, I've had a mad March really. I had a mega-exciting trip to New York, plus my birthday, a weekend in the Lakes and various projects going off.

I did March Meet the Maker over on Instagram this month, a challenge set by Joanne Hawker. I Was surprised what an effect it had on other things sometimes, having that extra job I had to squeeze in every day. It has left me with a few things to catch up on since my holidays, but I am glad I did it! Hopefully if you were following, you feel like you know me a little better now. If not, here are a few of my favourite posts from #marchmeetthemaker...

Day 1 - You 

I'm Josephine, an illustrator from Barnsley, living in Sheffield. My favourite food is Yorkshire puddings, I live with my super cool boyfriend Lee, I'm the youngest of 5. I love cook books, trips to the seaside and the sound of a synthesiser! I love drawing so I made it my job! I have an etsy shop and sell at markets and do different kinds of commissions for people. Nice to meet you!

Day 2 - Where

So here I am in Sheffield, where I moved less than two months ago! I’m from Barnsley, so pretty close anyway and have spent lots of time here over the last few years. I feel very at home here. I love the big creative vibe the city has and the amount of events going on (as well as the myriad of gorgeous places to eat) and I still have lots to explore, it’s all very exciting!

Day 6 - Workspace

It’s my favourite #marchmeetthemaker day - workspaces! I love seeing where other people work. Here are some shots of my new studio! I only moved in a couple of months ago, so there is still mess that needs sorting, which I craftily angled the camera away from! I try to keep my table fairly clear so I can put my drawing board out easily or use it to wrap orders. We replaced the old postage stamp sized window with this big beauty before I moved in and it’s now the best room in the house for light. I love it!

Day 8 - Flatlay

Of course, I’ve taken photos from above for my shop before, but to compose a flatlay just for the fun of it - like the super cool ones on instagram - was a new one for me. I have to confess, my other half Lee helped with the idea to make my Cantastic cookbook zine the star of the show. The Cantastic Cookbook is available on my etsy shop for £3. 

Day 9 - How it's Made

For today's post I shared a multiple of images that show a simple explanation of the screen printing process (and making of the screen). You can take a look at the Instagram post here, or follow this link to read my previous blog article on how a screen print is made. 

Day 10 - Time to Relax

Considering how busy I make myself, I think I’m pretty good at relaxing. I really enjoy most things I do! Here are some of my favourite ways to unwind... 

Food - cooking/eating/going to restaurants. I’m obsessed and 9 times out of 10 I’ll eat every last crumb.
Tea & Netflix - either cuddled up to my boyfriend or wrapped up in my blanket like a walnut whip.
Yoga - my most favourite exercise, I love it and I also love to swim!

Fresh air - I love to go for a walk and shriek with delight every time I see a squirrel or hear a rustle that might be a squirrel. 

Day 13 - Work Clothes

It was my birthday this day, so I was in a great mood. 
What I wore to work in seemed much less important than a smile!

Day 14 - Dreams and Plans

Today’s #marchmeetthemaker is all about ‘Dreams and Plans’ so I chose dreams. My other half tells me I should draw my dreams, maybe he’s trying to detract my attention from me having to tell him them when I wake up (or text him them if he’s not here). Swipe sideways to see what’s going on in the picture... Oh. Wait. Ambitions!! I’ve got a lot of those too! As well as my crazy dreams. But you do feel like you know me better now, don't you?
Day 29 - Community

I think getting involved with your local community is pretty essential when you're learning to run a business. I've learnt such a lot from members of Sheffield Sellers on Etsy and The Crafty Business Network - through meetings, fairs and on the Facebook groups. I'm finding living in Sheffield amazing for community events and opportunities to meet fellow creatives and business owners. I recently joined Sheffield Creative Guild and also discovered Creative Mornings Sheffield and looking forward to going to more! It's also good for me to make sure I'm getting out and chatting to people, now I no longer have colleagues to tell my silly stories to!

Day 30 - Tips and Advice

•Under promise, over deliver is one I've picked up from the Honest Designers podcast and has stayed in my head as a handy reminder when agreeing to work and delivering something delightful!
•'If in doubt, take it out' is something Warren, one of my tutors told me at uni when I was putting my portfolio together. I hear it back in my head often! I particularly like advice that rhymes!

•'It'll all come out in the wash' is something my Dad used to say. He was a pretty laid back dude!! It reminds me not to worry or stress about things that would be forgotten in a few weeks! (Yes, sometimes it takes me that long to do my washing. It's ok, I have lots of clothes).

So that's a wrap for March Meet the Maker. I definitely recommend doing a challenge on Instagram to show your work to more people and give yourself accountability to post every day. I'd like to think I might have time to do Inktober in October... let's wait and see! Here is a link to my Instagram, if you'd like to follow my illustration adventures!

Monday 12 March 2018

Dellow's Diary Week 10

Last week was good, a mix of work and house renovating (again...) interspersed with some lovely treaty food and outings and even a spot of adulting (check out the DIY skills...) hope you had a lovely week!

P.S. Spring is coming!

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Dellow's Diary - Week 9

This week was the ice blast that snowed me and a lot of the country into the house for days. I feel very aware at the moment of how long it's taking to finish renovating my old house... So it was nice to be 'powerless' due to the snow and stay in the studio, concentrating on my work for most of the week! I had commissions to work on so it was good to get my head down and listen to lots of podcasts, getting out for some fresh air when I needed to venture to the post office. I am massively grateful that I don't have to worry about driving in it anymore - even though working from home means I no longer get to sit and watch disney films all day because it's a 'snow day'!

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Dellow's Diary - Week 8

This week you'll see more sad faces than you're used to on my diary post - the week started with sore throat and nasty headache - but thankfully, the magical healing powers of pineapple sorted my throat out quickly!

I was feeling much better towards the end of the week and nothing puts a spring in your step more than a free slice of cake and an interesting talk on a Friday morning! It was my first time at Creative Mornings Sheffield and I was super impressed - what a fabulous event! Creative Mornings takes place all over the world, it's a 'breakfast lecture series for the creative community' and yes, they provide top drawer refreshments! And it's free!

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Dellow's Diary - Week 7

Last week was mega eventful! Not only was it Pancake Day and Valentines Day (aka. Franz Ferdinand Day) but I also got a big surprise, went to some creative networking events AND won at Scrabble! I hope you had a nice week too!

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Dellow's Diary - Week 6

Had another pleasant little week, despite the dramatic 'cold snap' we were warned of on Monday morning.

My weeks have been so full of work and decorating, I haven't had time to go out and try a new yoga class yet, since moving to Sheffield. I loved my class in Royston (Wednesday nights at 7pm, if you're local and looking!) and went to it for over four years. For now, I'm trying out Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and rather enjoying it! It's amazing how much more like myself it makes me feel. 

Finished the week with a lovely weekend of charity shop shopping, mashed potatoes and jigsaws!

Thursday 8 February 2018

Dellow's Diary Week 5

This week I went to a Speed-mateing event at Union St, organised by Girl Gang Sheffield. It was such a unique experience - over 50 ladies all in one room, getting to know each other! It was LOUD but so much fun... and I did indeed make some lovely new friends! On Sunday, my boyfriend Lee flew to Boston with work for the week, giving me some bonding time with my new crib (ie. watching gilmore girls). But before that, we fitted in some fun food, a gig and a cinema trip...

...and I hate to sound like I'm bragging, but I did also smuggle a Pizza Hut into the cinema once.

Here is a link to find out more about Girl Gang events and their next Speed-mateing session!

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Dellow's Diary! (...of an Illustrator) Week 4

It's been a bit of a mad January really, lots of nitty gritty jobs as I've been sorting out the house I moved from and organising myself at the new one. I have had some lovely new commissions come in this week, plus a new cosy sofa and nice food to brighten up the cold and busy days!

I think Porter Pizza might be my most favourite pizza on the market. #justsaying

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dellow's Diary! (...of an Illustrator) Week 3

Another pretty busy week of unpacking, settling in and work jobs! Here are some of the nice things I did, watched and ate! I hope you had a pleasant week!

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Dellow's Diary! (...of an Illustrator) Week 2

I haven't been able to fully experience the joys yet of working from home and focusing solely on my freelance business, as I have also been dealing with another life changing event - moving house! I loved my house to bits, but I'm very excited to have moved to Sheffield and be settling in to my shiny new studio!

So last week I had a mix of work days and house-sorting/packing days, interspersed with some Netflix and yoga...

Monday 8 January 2018

Dellow's Diary! (...of an Illustrator) Week 1


Hello! I'm sorry I've been quiet for a while (and I'm sorry I've said that before!) but loads of stuff has been happening... apologising for not posting lately is (after today) a thing of the past for me. The last few months of 2017 in particular were a whirlwind of busy-ness, lots of exciting stuff, but it was also exhausting and it was lovely to have a much needed break over Christmas.

I had some really exciting commissions that popped up, including illustrations for a card game and spot illustrations for a humorous non-fiction title. I can't share the artwork just yet, but have other commission work I will share soon.

For now, I'm sharing a new little project I've set for myself. As you may have seen on my Instagram or Facebook, I recently took the leap to full time freelance after working at UK Greetings for the last five years. Aside from live brief work, I knew it would do me good to get into the daily habit of drawing something about my day in my sketchbook. I might share bits as I go along on instagram, but this is more of a blog thing - I'll post a round up here every week.

So, here is my first week of Dellow's Diary! I hope you enjoy!