Crafting a business from illustration

My trusty stable of brushes.

In the second of a series of blog articles that looks at the art and craft behind my creative business, I’d like to introduce you to my favourite tools and explore the enduring appeal of handmade craft.

Two years ago, I was suddenly made redundant from my job in publishing - an all-too familiar story these days - which eventually resulted in my starting a creative business from my craft. Up until this point, I’d been working as a graphic designer (which as it turned out has proved to be rather useful in the running of my business) but having originally trained as an illustrator, I decided to rekindle my love of drawing and see where this would lead. Over the following months, as my business ideas slowly started to unfold, I dusted off my paintbrushes and began drawing again.

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Why I draw with brush and ink

I normally do a few warm up exercises before I get started on the proper work.

I draw with brush and ink; real brushes with real bristles and a pot of no-nonsense, black ink - spill this and you’ll know about it (I once tipped over a whole pot onto my desk, chair, floor and me - my striped top has never looked the same again.) The reason I wanted to share this with you, is because lately a few people have mistakenly assumed that my work is created on a computer and I thought I’d put them straight. This also made me question why, in this day and age, I still draw the way I do when there are programs, tablets and touch screens to use that would mean I’d never have to have inky fingers ever again. Surely it’d be so much easier if I just embraced technology and started drawing on the computer instead? But while there’s no shame in doing that, I personally have chosen not to. Let me tell you why and hopefully you’ll come away with a bit more of an understand of my creative process.

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