2018: the story so far

Well it's been an eventful year so far - quite literally! 

As well as hosting some awesome sketching events, I've (just about) managed to lead the email campaign for one of the biggest national fundraising events of the year, Sport Relief 2018!  

It's been a pretty challenging few months, but good things come if you WORK YOUR ASS OFF - and I'm so excited about the projects I've got coming up in the next few months!  

I'm also super-excited about my events schedule and working with some new venues and people, including the lovely Andrea and Martina @ 1n1 Fashion Pizza in Shoreditch! 

First up:

The Social Sketchup Spring Special

  • Wednesday 21st March @ The Doodle Bar

  • Easter Sunday @ Drink Shop & Do

The Fashion Sketchup

Thursday 19th April @ Fossgate Social

I'm teaming up with my fabulous friend Kayti Peschke of Caboodle Magazine to run a stylish sketch sesh for York Fashion Week! It's in York, obv, so one for our fellow Yorkshire lasses! :) 


I'm heading to the Ideal Home Show (random!) to run some Interiors-themed Social Sketchups on behalf of the team at Obby! 

I'll be running FREE 45 minute sessions 3-345pm on Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th, Saturday 31st and Monday 2nd April.  Should you be heading there please drop by and say hello! 


Now, back to the story so far... 

I'm not one to brag, but the events/workshops I've delivered so far this year have been pretty sweet! 

I've met and been inspired by some wonderful people who have come together to enjoy some creative fun time: people from wide range of professions, countries, backgrounds and walks of life. 

I've met designers and artists, as you'd expect, but I've also met lawyers, publishers, bankers, trainee accountants and, most recently, a super-talented foster mum who produced the most amazing artwork - despite insisting that she "can't draw a thing"!  

I've met people from Japan, China and Chile - Dulwich, Dalston and Leeds; all connecting through creativity, even when language barriers were an issue! 

Sometimes (most of the time), I can't help myself but turn into a proud Primary School teacher/mum when I'm running my workshops: it means to much to see everyone in their creative element and walk away feeling all buzzy and proud of what they've achieved! 

Here's just a snapshot of some of the awesomeness: 

Sketchup EB Spring.jpg

The Social Sketchup: Rainbow Special - 31st Jan

What better way to celebrate the end of dry January than with a sketchfest in colourful company! My personal highlight was definitely the 'Re-brand Rainbow Drops' challenge -which produced this piece of UTTER MAGIC!! 

Rainbow Drops

Sketchy Bitches: Episodes 1 & 2

Back in January, after a vote of confidence from my favourite Facebook group (In Colourful Company), I launched Sketchy Bitches: a meetup group for creative women who love to draw draw draw! 

As much as I love running The Social Sketchup and my other events, there's a lot of pressure and expectation: so it's a real treat to kick back and get stuck into the creative action!

It's been so much fun to organise and is proving really popular  - I can't believe there are already over 400 Sketchy Bitches! I'm now busy planning a full day Sketchy BItches Sketchathon in May... watch this space!  

The next Sketchy Bitches meetup is on Sunday 29th April: spaces are limited so book your tickets and get your name on the list! 

Sketchmating at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Social Sketchup began as a sketchdating night, so I was beside myself with excitement when Jenna at Dulwich Picture Gallery got in touch to see if I'd be up for running a workshop at their love-themed Gallery Late!

I anticipated a creative crowd, but this lot were something else!  I was so impressed, not only by the work they produced, but by their eagerness to get stuck in and let their imagination run wild!  Perhaps the proximity of the cocktail bar had something to do with it.. but still - great to see such creative confidence in the room! 

Sunday Sketchup @ Great Art

I was in proper 'kid in candy store' mode last Sunday, when I took over a corner of Great Art in Shoreditch to stage an all-day drop-in Sketchup!

I'd set two silly art challenges for the day, which people took to with gusto:

  1. Design a cover for the Spring issue of Sketch Appeal magazine (to win £50 worth of Great Art vouchers!)
  2. Draw 50 faces in 15 minutes

Meanwhile, I'd planned to draw 500 faces over the course of the afternoon: but I soon sacked that off and spent 5 hours chatting and watching the amazing creativity in action! 

I was blown away by all the competition entries, but after careful consideration I chose Sharon's! Sharon reckons she "can't draw", but after a bit of persuasion she got stuck in and produced this gem! She didn't strictly follow the brief (to design a Spring-themed mag cover), but I love a rebel and for someone who can't draw she's got a pretty striking style.  

Congratulations Sharon: you've won £50 worth of vouchers to spend at Great Art! :) 

  Sharon's winning cover design

Sharon's winning cover design

Thank you to all the rest who came and shared your creativity with me - and thanks to Louise @ Great Art for letting me loose upon the store!  

The Best Thing About 2017

2017 has been something of a 'rollercoaster' of a year for me on both a professional and personal level.  There have been some sky-soaring highs and some bollock-low blows, but all in all I feel very lucky and priveleged to end the year with a body that (vaguely) works, a growing creative business and a very long to-do/draw list!  I couldn't have got through it all without my incredible friends: nor some of the


From customers to creatives, I've met some incredible people this year: all of whom have inspired and influenced me in different ways.  I've also discovered a lot of amazing artists, makers and women who are BOSSING IT at doing their own thing: all of which has kept me motivated to keep building my business and making shit happen!  

So, before 2018 kicks in and I get swept up in new faces, projects and plans, I wanted to say a big YOU ARE FABULOUS to: 

Kayti Peschke

I met Kayti after stumbling upon her fab mag (Caboodle) on Instagram and can safely say that her friendship is one of the biggest and best things to come out of 2017! We had so much fun shooting my product photography back in September and I'm totally in love with our 2018 Rainbow The Shit Out of It wallplanner: which pretty much sums up her whole rainbow-faced approach to life!  If I could just figure out a way to extract some of her unfaltering goodness and positivity I bet I could make a fortune down Sainsbury's!   Love you girl xxx

 Titting around with Kayti after THE BEST EVER photoshoot! 

Titting around with Kayti after THE BEST EVER photoshoot! 

Sue Dray

I was super-excited to meet legendary Fashion Illustrator Sue at her House of Illustration masterclass back in April.  I've been a huge fan of her style for years and can safely say that she's every bit as effortlessly fabulous and chic as her illustrations are.  As well as sketching live from the FROW, I've seen Sue pop-up at some exciting events over the past few years, including drawing portraits at the premiere of the Absolutely Fabulous Movie: surely the ultimate Fashion Illustration gig!  She's an awesome tutor too: those London College of Fashion students are very lucky indeed.  

 One of Sue's amazing illustrations from her Jo Brocklehurst-inspired workshop at The House Of Illustration.  

One of Sue's amazing illustrations from her Jo Brocklehurst-inspired workshop at The House Of Illustration.  

Ilu Ros

London is bursting with incredible illustration talent and to me Ilu is one of its biggest!  I first spotted her at The House of Illustration Summer Fair back in July and I've been following / stalking her on Instagram ever since!  I basically love EVERYTHING she does and am utterly in awe of the way she captures urban scenes and cultural icons with such character and skill.  (Her Pink Ladies and Amy Winehouse rock!)   She makes it look so effortless and understated, and yet her work punches out powerful, bold statements at the same time.  Hats off! 

 One of Ilu's Pink Ladies

One of Ilu's Pink Ladies

Judy Andrews of A Spoonful of Sugar & Co

Ever since I saw the words "no one is you - that is your superpower" beautifully emblazoned across the back of my AW17 issue of Caboodle mag, I've been totally hooked on ASS (A Spoonful of Sugar!)  As well as being a hugely talented designer, its creator Judy is a TOTAL SWEETHEART who is all about spreading positivity and good vibes: vibes which people are understandably lapping right up! We were both trading at Renegade Craft Fair earlier this month and have been chatting a fair bit since - mainly about growing up in the 1990s! I'm really hoping to work with her in some way next year... watch this space! 

 Three cheers for Judy and this fab  Spoonful of Sugar & Co  necklace! I don't need it but I WANT IT SO BAD!! 

Three cheers for Judy and this fab Spoonful of Sugar & Co necklace! I don't need it but I WANT IT SO BAD!! 


Fitzygogo! (AKA Kymberly O'Carroll-Fitzpatrick) is the Aussie-born Essex-based chick turning the world RED HOT with her funky retro-inspired designs! In her own words, Fitzygogo! is all about "creating art that is wearable, usable and just nice to look at": a mission which she's absolutely NAILING.  I met her at BUST earlier this month and she's an absolute sunbeam. You gogo girl! 

  My favourite tee b y    Fitzygogo

My favourite tee by Fitzygogo

Agata Rawecka

I don't know where I'd be without this girl's Instagram feed to inspire me! Her observational and drawing skills are second to none and I love the way she captures every day scenes with such character and humour.  Despite all the best intentions and the fact that we're both based in East London, we've still not met: so a new year sketch-off is right on top of my 2018 to-do list!  

 Agata's take on the TATE Modern 

Agata's take on the TATE Modern 

Last but not least, I want to say a big thank you to all the awesome people who've stopped by my stalls or attended one of my workshops over the past year.  An especially MASSIVE SHOUT OUT to Amanda Dawson and her daughter, who I met at the Peckham Festival in September and who has been keeping me highly amused ever since!  It was so fab to see a mum and daughter take to my creative challenge with such gusto and excitement at all things pink: it's moments like that which motivate me to keep on keeping on! 

And so I go, on with the sketch show and into 2018: armed with massive bag of pencils, a gallery full of ideas and a very, very long to-do list!


In Praise of Print

I’ve been meaning to write this since the start of September, when a feature I wrote for Caboodle magazine was published.  

Yes that’s right: something I wrote has been printed and I couldn't be more chuffed!


Firstly, because the feature I wrote, The Joy of Sketch, is all about my creative ‘journey’ and my lifelong love of drawing.  I've spent over a decade writing copy for marketing campaigns, but as much as I loved writing about The Gruffalo, curriculum changes and teaching resources (!), it was so fab to write about a subject close to my heart! One of my illustrations is featured alongside it too, which is nice.  

 My illustration and article, The Joy of Sketch: as featured in  the latest edition of Caboodle . 

My illustration and article, The Joy of Sketch: as featured in the latest edition of Caboodle

Secondly, I'm chuffed because I love the magazine. There’s just something compelling and refreshing about it that makes it stand out from all the other indie mags I've read.  Yes it's packed full of gorgeous photography, ideas and fabulous things to buy: but it's the charm and warmth of its tone that sets it apart.  Caboodle is a magazine that sets out to champion independent designers, makers and creatives: something it achieves with unpretentious gusto! The passion and enthusiasm spills out across its pages: as do the inspiring and unique voices of all its contributors.   

Having met her, I can see that its Editor and founder, Kayti Peschke, is the driving force behind Caboodle's uplifting and inspiring spirit.  I was super-excited to meet and fan-girl in her face back in May.  We've kept in touch since and recently spent two awesome days at her studio, shooting all my products (and riding her dog!). This girl is made of fabulous stuff and I can't wait to work with her again in the future...

 Me and the awesome Kayti P, celebrating the end of our 2 day photoshoot

Me and the awesome Kayti P, celebrating the end of our 2 day photoshoot

 Yep, that'd be me, riding Kayti's dog!

Yep, that'd be me, riding Kayti's dog!

Thirdly, because I've always loved magazines and I'm excited to play a little part in the booming independent magazine business.  I'm also passionate about proving that print is not dead! 

As a tween and teenager I recall eagerly awaiting the publication of the next issue of Just Seventeen and More magazine: neither of which I was allowed to read but used to do regardless, via my friends and/or sister! Without the internet to amuse us, my friends and I killed a lot of time reading mags, especially in dull Chemistry lessons at school.  There was nothing better than cracking open a brand new mag and pouring over the fashion spreads to pick out what we'd buy: if only we could afford to do so, with our £5 pocket money!  

Fwoarzone! Free poster of BROS! Billy from Neighbours! Aaah magazines were so great back then... 

And it was my love of the (now defunct) Clothes Show magazine that inadvertently changed my life.  I loved that mag so much I leapt at the chance to go to the live show at the NEC, back in December 1995.   There, much to my bemusement (and the horror of some others!) I ended up being scouted by Select: a moment I've not quite lived down since! 

My first job was with Juergen Teller for Jigsaw, which only now do i realise was pretty impressive: and only now - over 20 years later - can I look at these photos and not cringe!  I went from reading Just Seventeen to featuring in it: prancing around with cardboard cut-out of Jarvis Cocker no less!

Above: A random selection of shots from Fashion Weekly, Clothes Show and Just Seventeen magazine: all now defunct - nothing to do with me, honest! Check out the hairdrying action shots!! 

The fact that these images only exist on scraps of paper torn out of magazines makes it even more special.   Anyone can post or publish anything online these days: but for your face or your writing or your artwork to be deemed worthy of printing in a magazine is, to me, an honour indeed! 

So thank you Kayti, for publishing my piece and for creating the brilliant Caboodle.

Long live print! 

Caboodle cover.jpeg

PS: I've published my first little zine! 

My Little Black and White Book features 12 of my favourite fashion sketches from over the past few years: and it's yours for just £5! 

It's a limited edition of 100 too, so might be worth something on Ebay one day!

The One With All The Pink

Disclaimer: This was written in rush and may not make much sense.  Enjoy!! 

The One With All The Pink


Having spent a lot of time making pink art, drawing on pink balloons and parading around with bright pink hair this year, I decided to set PINK as the theme for this month's weekly challenges in The Dulcimer Draws club.  


Firstly, because I love pink almost as much as I love drawing.  From custard and coffee - to stationery and sweaters: in my mind, everything is better with a splash of pink involved!

Secondly, because pink is everywhere right now: in art, fashion, interiors, hair... it seems we just can't get enough of the stuff.   And I'm no consumer psychologist or sociologist, but I'm pretty sure our huge appetite for pink is increasing directly as a result of all the shit that's been happening in the world of late.  And in light of the current political climate, it's easy to see why we're lapping up all the pink (and rainbows and colour and unicorns) we can get right now.  Of course when shit hits the fan we need to take it seriously: but we need to stay positive and throw some fun at that fan too!

 Top DD customer Eddie back in July: loving his new pink tote and  Pink Hair Don't Care screenprint ! 

Top DD customer Eddie back in July: loving his new pink tote and Pink Hair Don't Care screenprint ! 

Thinking pink

As well as reflecting on how pink has become something of global anti-depressant, all this talking and drawing and thinking about pink has led me to reflect on how my own relationship with the colour has changed over the years.  

Back at primary school, I loved nothing more than donning a pink leotard and leaping around at ballet class (I'll spare you the pictures).  I also owned several pairs of cycling shorts with neon pink stripes down the side (it was the 80s) and an AWESOME pink patterned hoody from Tammy Girl that I regularly refused to remove for washing.  

But then something happened: puberty, grunge, the 90s and then my twenties.  I turned my back on pink and embraced the black and grey.  I was never a 'girly girl' so it just didn't seem to fit with my style back then: when pink was mainly for Barbie, Miss Piggy, Emma Bunton, page 3 models and porn stars.  It was definitely one for the girls too, especially where I grew up: an insular northern town where eyebrows would most certainly be raised if a man so much as dared to wear a pink shirt - even if it was Ralph Lauren (these things mattered). 

Fast forward to now and pink is enjoying a resurgence and being reclaimed and proclaimed as a colour synonymous with both femininity and feminism; a colour that conjures eccentricity and extroversion; a bold, statement colour that screams confidence and creativity.  The "pink hair don't care" hashtag and trend says it all: yes my hair is pink and no I don't give a fuck what you think of it.  At last,  the fluffy pink stereotypes are being subverted.

To me, pink represents freedom to be who I want to be - to dye my hair pink and wear a pink hoody without thinking twice about being judged.  And maybe people do judge me: maybe it all screams mid-30s crisis, but the point is I DON'T CARE - and neither should you!  Man, woman, zebra...: if you want to go pink: GO PINK! 

 Me, getting by pinked by  Jeremy The Hairstylist  at   Pimps & Pinups   back in June.   

Me, getting by pinked by Jeremy The Hairstylist at Pimps & Pinups back in June.   

And on that note, I'm off to draw a flamingo drinking a pink cocktail out of a pink pineapple, reclining on a pink lilo, floating on a pool of pink custard, surrounded by pink candy floss trees, on a pink island, in the pink sunshine.... 


Fancy getting creative and getting your pink on in the first of my weekly challenges? 



Birthday Balloonery

Hurrah for August! Time for for fun in the (intermittent) sun, eating ice cream and the best thing of all: 


I'm well known for milking my birthday into a week of celebrations: why have one 'special day' when you can have several?! 

The older I get (36!) the less I care, so this year - as most of my friends were busy at work - I decided to challenge myself and do something a bit brave and foolish.  Apprentice-style, I took to the streets wearing ALL MY BADGES and put my selling skills to the test: attempting to flog them to unwitting strangers for £1 a pop. Suffice to say, it was all a bit embarrassing and I only managed to sell 2 badges: but I did raise a few smiles and odd looks along the way!

"It's my birthday! Wanna buy a badge?!"

Let's hear it for BALLOONS! 

In recent years, whenever I meet up or go for dinner with friends, I've gotten into the habit of insisting that we draw each other on balloons - much to their delight I'm sure! In fact, I always carry around a stash of Sharpies and balloons in my bag - just in case the mood and moment strikes. It's one of the simplest, silliest ways to get creative on the go and I always include a round of balloon art to break the ice and inject some fun into The Social Sketchup.  

top 3 reasons why I love balloons: 

1) From elaborate papier mache monsters to silly speed-portraits: balloons are a great tool for making amazing art! 

2) They're handy for impromptu photoshoots with friends! Take a look at some of the random balloon modelling I've done with my friend, photographer and artist Gold Soup over the past few years.  

3) They make me money! My "99 Red Balloons" greetings card is my best-seller by far: followed closely by Dave! My balloon badges have also been a hit on my stall at Spitalfields over the past few weeks.   The A3 "99 Red Balloons" print is available to buy online NOW: the cards etc. will be bursting onto my store very soon! 

Another on point card

If anyone can trump Dave and my red balloonies, it's Gold Soup and his amazing birthday cards! He never fails to amaze me with a wondrous, photoshopped delight, and he surpassed himself this year with these (Dulcie) Ballpoint pens! Whatever next... 

Birthday Orrsomeness

As well as titting around trying to sell badges to strangers, I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Royal Academy summer exhibition on my birthday.  This year's gem, in my biased opinion: Picasso's Busy Day by the orrsome Chris Orr! 

And speaking of Orrsomeness, check out the delicious marshmallow treats my best friend Emily Orr shipped over to me in the post! I took great delight in eating my own head :) thanks again Em! XXX


Right, enough of the celebrations... time to get back to all the work work work and the draw draw draw! Happy August everyone! 

Secret Scribbles

I draw A LOT, so there are plenty of sketches that you don't / won't see on Instagram.  So, in the spirit of oversharing (and tidying the room up!), I thought I'd sort out and share a few of my favourite 'secret scribbles' with you! 

It's not often I sort through or revisit the work I've done: once complete, I prefer just to dump it to one side and start on the next thing.  My focus and interest is only ever in the process of sketching, rather than the end result: and like so many of us, I tend to focus on what I've still to do - rather than on my achievements.   

But, as well as the obvious benefits (cleaner room!), it really does help to reflect and revisit things sometimes: there's always something new to be found or felt when you revisit your artwork or that of others: even in those iconic masterpieces you've seen hundreds of times.   Especially as I draw a lot of portraits, revisiting my sketches always feels a bit like meeting up with new friends: familiar and friendly but still with much to be discovered and enjoyed! 

Looking back, it would seem my style is all over the place! Also, it turns out that a lot of the sketches I sacked off half way through or dumped into the 'gone wrong' / weird pile aren't so bad after all.  In fact, just as I do my friends, I really rather love them! :)  

Here are a few of my favourites...

AW17 Couture Fashion Week

Just thought I'd share a few of my drawings from AW17 Couture Fashion Week: mostly quick morning sketches in my new favourite (Claire Fontaine Kraft) sketchpad.  Enjoy! 



Friday Face-off

Happy Friday! 

Just thought I'd share a few of the faces that have made me smile over the past week or so... and to set you a fun creative challenge for the weekend! 

Collage Club quickies

The Collage Club at Lunar HQ last week was something of a “no pens shocker” to the system!  I’m not much of a ‘collager’ (collagist?!) so it was good to get out of my comfort zone and throw some shapes on the page in a different way.   And, as ever, it’s always good to see different people’s creative responses to the same prompt: just take a look at the variety of the images produced in the 3 minute portrait challenge!

Happy hippies & new sketchmates

From Bolton to China, we were an international bunch at Wednesday’s Social Sketchup: united by our creativity and curiosity to experience the joy of group sketch! It was my first event at The Doodle Bar and it’s a really fab (if hard to find) venue: replete with chalkboard walls upon which customers are welcome to doodle as they drink. 

As well as a MASSIVE discoball on the wall, we produced some awesome collaborative artwork together: including the happy hippies we created in a game of exquisite corpse!

My next Social Sketchup is at Drink Shop & Do next Wednesday 19th: get your tickets here

New BFF @ the Crisis Cafe


The Crisis Café in Shoreditch is my new favourite lunch spot – not least because of this flame-haired lady! The food is cheap, fabulous and all proceeds go to Crisis, who work tirelessly and brilliantly to tackle homelessness. If you live or work in the area, GO THERE!  

As you can see, the staff also have incredible taste in screenprints! Speaking of which...

It’s only taken me 4 weeks, but my Pink Hair Don’t Care and Conehead screenprints are finally available to buy online!  They went down a storm at the Illustrator’s Fair last week – so grab yours while you can!

Friday challenge!  

It’s been quite hard to keep up this time, but I’ve been dipping in and out of the Couture Fashion Week show reports and doing the odd sketch here and there! Here’s a quickie I did of the Galia Lahav show

And now that I’ve shown you mine, I challenge you to show me yours!

I’d love to see your interpretation of the same image, so if you fancy getting creative and can steal some sketchy time this weekend: draw it and show me the results! (Tag me on Instagram or post on my Facebook page!)




“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
Diane Von Furstenberg

Hello JULY

This month I shall mainly be: 


House of Illustration Summer Fair

Come check out my print and product collection! (And buy something!)  

The House of Illustration summer fair in 2014 is what inspired and propelled me on my 'creative journey', so I'm mega-excited to be selling my wares there on Sunday 9th!  I launched my first ever product and print collection at their Christmas fair in 2015 and can't wait to meet and greet all the crowds - and reveal some of my latest work! 

If you're in London and fancy a lovely day out, browsing and buying some fabulous art from 150 of London's finest illustrators, designers and makers (including me!) - come along! 

I'll be the one with ALL THE PINK!  And balloons. And FREE SWEETS!   .  


July events


3 workshops coming up this month, including a new Fashion Sketchup @ Saucer & Spritz!  

Read more


My new DD tops & tees!

I'm busy screenprinting and shooting a new collection of summer tops and tees: watch this space! 



It's couture fashion week sweeties! COUTURE FASHION WEEK SWEETIES! 

Couture fashion week kicks off today in Paris, so it goes without saying that I'll be doing a fair bit of sketchbooking! I'm still a little bit obsessed with drawing Chanel's AW16 couture collection (see above) and can't wait to see the latest... 



In the hope they have the same effect on you, here are 5 things that made me smile this week: 


It’s been a scorching week in London and I’ve been sweating away screenprinting at The Print Club, producing this rather apt Conehead among other things!

I joined Print Club a few weeks back and it’s all been something of an experiment - as is all my art tbh! It’s a much messier and slower process than I imagined, but I’ve loved scrubbing, exposing and inking myself in ways I never knew possible. It’s always great to learn a new skill and there are so many exciting possibilities with this printing method that I can see it becoming a huge part of my work….

*Note to the feeble: screenprinting requires a hell of a lot of upper body strength – and/or someone with it closeby (cheers to Pavel and the guys @ Print Club for helping me to, er, pull!)


What do you get when you cross some illustrations of dolls, some others of balloons and 10 minutes messing around on Photoshop? My new blow-up dolls! Not sure where I’m going with it but I feel it might be somewhere…

This dress

My week started off on a pretty shit note to say the least: but I was much cheered up and on by this dress.  Life sucks sometimes: but more dresses like this the merrier.



@ Caboodle Magazine

Another thing that made me smile: Caboodle magazine and the lady at the helm of it.  I’m busy writing a feature for the forthcoming issue and very excited to be heading up north to shoot with Kayti next month.  She’s one of those incredible, multi-talented, creative tornados that you just can’t help but want to be like/hug/bottle up and serve to the world!  #girlcrush ? Absolutely!


The Fashion Sketchup

The flyers have arrived and ticket sales are ON for my brand-new fashion art workshop at Saucer & Spritz!

Somewhat hidden away up at the top of OASIS store on Tottenham Court Road, S&S is a real gem of a place and the perfect setting for an afternoon of fun fashion sketching with yours truly!

As they serve up pink scones, unicorn toast and other fabulous things, I’ll be serving up 2 hours of fashion-inspired drawing, colouring and creative challenges!   I’m also going to get people working in teams to complete a special Project Runway-style challenge, in which stylists from each team will get to roam the store to select an outfit for their team model, who will then pose for the rest of the group to draw at the end.    


Last but not least, I can't write a list of fabulous things about this week without mentioning my FRIENDS!  I couldn’t have got through this week without them: especially this lunatic pair, ‘modelling’ their new custom-made Dulcimer Draws tees!

Tried & Tested: June

I spend a lot of time (and a fair bit of money!) testing out new art materials each month, so I thought I'd start reviewing and sharing some of my best finds right here on my blog.  

Here are my top finds for June: 

Flying Tiger Coloured Pencils

24 Shades of YEY! 

At £4 for 24 these pencils are incredible value and surprisingly decent quality.  In fact, when I used them at a workshop a few weeks back at least three people asked where I got them! Cheap pencils tend to be scratchy and produce a rather anaemic effect: but - without too much pressure - these produced a really impressive depth of colour.  

So, can you tell which of these sketches (of the same Vivienne Westwood AW17 look) I created using the £4 Tigers - and which one using my posho Prisma pencils? 

The one on the right? Correct! And I think I prefer it out of the two.   And just to prove my point about how good these pencils are, here are a couple more faces: 

Flying Tiger Watercolours

Chic on the cheap? 

I wanted to incorporate some painting into one of my workshops but needed to find something affordable to use: so I picked up this £4 Watercolour set to roadtest ahead of the event.  (Well no-one wants to host a party and serve up the watercolour equivalent of Lambrini, do they?!)  Whilst the depth of colour they produced isn’t great and they’ve got a slightly grainy and chalky texture, they definitely do the job if you just to have a bit of a creative play around. 

Just so you can see, here's how they compare and contrast with my Windsor & Newtons (on the left): 

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

Caran D'Ache Chunky Watercolour Pencils

The bigger the better? 

These chunky watercolour pencils turned out to be one of my best accidental, 'went in for something else' buys ever.  I have a tendency to work in mono and use a lot of thick black lines in my illustrations, so it was great to challenge myself to produce something using just a single colour: to play with all the different textures and effects I could create with just one of these pencils.  

They create a much denser finish than lots of other watercolour pencils I've tried, which can often be quite chalky and pale.  At £2.50 each they're not cheap, but they'll definitely last longer than my Tombows and - as illustrated - you only need a couple to create some vivid new work!





Despite the obvious shit bit, here are 5 fabulous things that happened to me this week: 

1) My portrait of the lovely Emma Gannon hit the big (and small) screen in a major Microsoft ad campaign! Although they seem to have doodled with the original a bit, I'm still pretty proud that one of my random early-morning sketches is getting its 5 microseconds of fame!   

Emma G


2) I learnt to screenprint on paper and pulled these 5 fabulous Flashdancers: all up for grabs on my shop! It's always great to learn a new skill and to fully understand the process.and potential of these things.  Although obviously time-consuming, it's so versatile and I can't wait to get back in the studio and experiment some more.


3) I had a very lovely meeting with Lunar HQ: an amazing 'co-working creative studio and pop-up shop' just up the road from the equally amazing goats (at Hackney City Farm).  Can't wait to go to Collage Club there in July! 

4) I saw My Life As A Courgette.  By that I mean the film - not me having some sort of existential courgette-based crisis! It's a a beautiful story and visually stunning - packed with amazing illustrations!  Highly recommend it.  

5) I discovered Unicorn toast! (How did I not know this was a thing?!) 

Hello JUNE

This month I shall mainly be: 


Balenciaga: Throwing Shapes 

New print collection out now

I'm excited to reveal my new collection of Balenciaga illustrations: created to mark the opening of the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition at the V&A.  

Rather than focus on early day Balenciaga silhouettes, I wanted to create something fresh and focused on some of the recent collections. And Picasso has been such a huge influence throughout my creative life that it seemed fitting and instinctive to weave it into this project: to create illustrations that fuse the styles of both of these iconic Spanish masters.
The resulting illustrations are quite a departure from my usual style, but I'm loving them: and I hope you do too! It’s been hugely liberating, surprising and exciting to work on: so I suspect more fashion + art mashups on the horizon…


June events  



I'm heading to two brand-new venues and launching a new body image workshop this month! Check me out.  



Pink hair don't care

I’m hoping to get to Bleach London for a permanent pinking this month!  For now, I shall suffice with this spray-on Cotton Candy.  



It goes without saying that I'll be heading to: 

I'm also hoping to make it to Frida Wannerberger's Fashion Illustration and bookbinding workshop on June 17th.  I adore Frida's work and it's a fab opportunity to learn from a master of the craft: so fingers crossed  I'll be there! 



Getting cosy and creative with Caboodle!

I'm writing a feature on 'the joy of sketch' and heading up north to talk colouring and collabs with the adorable Editor of Caboodle, Kayti Peschke.



Watch this space! 





On colouring and creativity

I write this as I sit on a train, heading to visit a hugely talented and creative friend of mine: someone who has been a huge source of inspiration and support throughout my creative ‘journey’.  She’s a modest girl, so I won’t mention her name: I’ll just say it rhymes with Wemma. Anyway, I digress.  

I write this as I sit on a train where, 10 minutes earlier, a girl in her mid twenties plonks herself down beside me, whips out her iphone and sticks her headphones on.  My heart sinks and I think: great, another digital zombie who’s going to sit scrolling, ‘socialising' and distracting me as I try to work throughout my journey.    But then something brilliant happens: she puts her phone to one side and whips out a colouring book and a set of coloured pencils.  My heart leaps.

I’m busy working on a new colouring book so can’t help but take the opportunity to do a bit of research.  I ask her: what is it about colouring in that you enjoy? Is it the satisfaction of colouring within the neat lines? Or is it just the sheer joy of putting pencil to paper and creating something colourful and wonderful: the satisfaction of completing and customising an image based on whatever mood strikes you? It’s the latter, she answers.  

I’m not a regular consumer of colouring books: I prefer to sketch and create things from scratch.  But anything that gets people to down their digital tools and put pencils to paper gets my vote! Colouring has become so mainstream and popular that it's not uncommon to find at least 5 different colouring mags on the shelves of Sainsbury's.  And, in a world so replete with digital distractions and stressors, it's easy to see why.  The simple art of colouring-in is meditative, restorative and - best of all - doesn't require wifi.  Colouring, drawing, sketching: it all quietens the mind and forces you to focus:  and there’s nothing more gratifying than the feeling you get when you complete a work: regardless of how 'good' you feel it is.  It's done, you did it: you brought it to life on the page in a way that only you could and can. 

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.
— Al Hirschfeld

I’m all about making art and drawing accessible to all: especially those who say they “can’t draw” (there’s no such thing!).  I use a combination of both colouring and sketching activities at The Social Sketchup workshops I run, and I’ll be doing the same in my new book too.

My book will be out in the summer: meanwhile, here’s a FREE COLOURING SHEET for you to be getting on with!  It would be fab to see your colourful hat designs on Instagram - #dulcimerdraws !  If you're stuck for inspiration, take a look at some of these fabulous designs created at a recent Social Sketchup!    

Game + Sketch = Match?

They came.  They sketched.  But did any of them meet their match?

Well, as Cilla would say, "I won't be buying a hat"!

But the crowd at Tuesday night's Sketch Appeal seemed to have a great time nonetheless: getting up close and creative to test their connection and 'sketchual chemistry'! 

As well as drawing ALL THE FACES and producing some beautiful balloon art, they worked together to create an amazing set of undateables / "Tinder dates from hell".  

I also took the opportunity to crowdsource some creative ideas for a commission I've recently been given.  My good friend Joanna has asked me to design her wedding invite and (for once) I'm a bit stuck for ideas: so I asked people to pair up and design her one instead!

She knew nothing of my cunning plan...until I called her on FaceTime and asked her to pick a winner that is! She was so impressed and touched by what people created that I think she shed ACTUAL TEARS.  

So, although Sketch Appeal didn't generate any new matches on this occasion: it did generate some fab new artwork, chat and connections - and made one bride to be very happy indeed! 

The next edition of Sketch Appeal is on Wednesday 7th June @ The Doodle Bar.  So if you're single and up for a fun and fast-paced night of casual sketch...come join the fun!




Oops I bought an IPad
— Me

After being seduced by the (rather attractive) salesman at Apple, a couple of weeks ago I buckled and bought myself an IPadPro! 

It seemed like such a great idea at the time, but I've gotta say I'm finding it hard to set my usual sketching tools aside and pick up something digital to draw with.  The work I've produced so far is patchy to say the least!  But I love an experiment and I'm determined to improve and love it (as much as I loved that sales guy): hence I've started a


Watch this space to see how I get on and at the end of each week.  Practice makes 'perfect' and all that... 

IPadPro Challenge