31 March 2014

P is for Perfectionist

Recently I've been thinking about the dreaded curse of perfectionism, which seems to have been with me forever. It was definitely there at school; my reports said so. It can be frustrating, this drive to make everything Just Right, and sometimes the task seems just too daunting, which leads to the other P word - procrastination. Those two need their own portrait, drawn standing glumly hand in hand!

I usually come up against Mr P when I'm drawing or designing. That's why these days I'm trying to work fast, get it all out there and go back and nitpick later - otherwise nothing would ever get finished. This week I'm about to jump into five weeks of intense art making in illustration agent Lilla Rogers' online course 'Make Art that Sells.' With a new deadline each week, there's going to be no time for me to faff around trying to make things perfect. And that, as hard as it might be, is probably exactly what's needed. 

6 March 2014


Back to some sedate Illustration Friday silliness after a few weeks of mayhem, including a trip to Wellington for a children's book illustration workshop, International Arts Festival excitement and finally 'finishing' my printed portfolio (meaning that 'finished' really means endless fiddling and tweaking).

This week's theme of 'voice' reminded me of an earlier illustration I did based on the things my mother used to tell me. That one was about picking one's nose, this one is about the perils of sitting on cold concrete, which filled me with a nameless fear as I had no idea what piles actually were. It didn't stop me sitting on the concrete, though!

13 February 2014

My Woolly Week

Dear readers

I am having a very strange week, with a woolly head, a habit of staring vacantly into space and becoming increasingly afraid of and intimidated by my very long list of Things to be Done. I can't think of anything else to write, or even draw. I hope you are having a more focused and productive week than I am! The end.

Love, your friend the sheep.

26 January 2014


Once upon a time there was a cat who desperately wanted to go to a wedding. Happy Illustration Friday!

18 January 2014


Last week we drove 90kms up north to Tawharanui Regional Park, where we stayed in a small green bach surrounded by big green hills, what seemed like five million pukeko and a lagoon containing one giant snapper and a stingray. 

We went for a long walk through a kauri forest and fields of enormous brown cows. Went kiwi spotting at night in the dark rustling bush. Played cricket after dinner, ate blueberries and talked a lot about how much we loved being out of the hot noisy city. I also loved the comments in the visitors' book, and this poem spotted in a leaflet lying around the bach.

Our Secret Hideout (by Stephen Gilbert, aged 8)

A camping ground really close to the beach
Soft white sand, crawling to the white horses
Greeny-blue water hitting the sand hard
Flat rock is our diving place full of shrimps and crabs
Bush, behind the beach, packed with natives for your amazement
As you are sliding down the grassy hills
On cardboard, you come to a bump and fly off.
Don't tell anyone about it.

Oops, too late.

9 January 2014


First drawing of the year, for this week's Illustration Friday's theme of 'time'. We used to sing this when we were skipping at school, and in big trouble if overheard using the word 'knickers,' which was considered very rude. We were told to use 'britches' instead, for goodness sake. 

There are a few different versions of the rest of the song, but this one's my favourite:

What's the time
Half past nine
Hang your knickers on the line
When they're dry, take them in
Eat a biscuit, eat a cake
Eat your knickers by mistake 

(ps: dear readers not from British-influenced countries - knickers are undies)

25 December 2013

A Christmas Thank You

It's Christmas Eve, my favourite time of this whole mad season (made even more mad by what seems like all of New Zealand going away on summer holidays). I'd like to say a big thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read and/or follow this somewhat sporadic blog of mine. It means a lot to know I'm not just always blathering away to myself and that there are people in the world who like some of the things I create. Here's to a prolific, colourful, creative new year ahead - see you back here in 2014!

10 December 2013


Something a bit different for this week's Illustration Friday prompt of 'pattern,' and a newish addition to my portfolio (which I've been working on over the past few months). When I was a child I desperately wanted to be a fashion designer, but now I realise that it wasn't really the clothes I wanted to design, but the pictures and patterns that were on them. This year I've been teaching myself the mind-bending skill of designing repeat patterns - it's often tricky and makes me want to scream, but ultimately super satisfying when it all works out.