Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pastel Trinkets

...these are a few of my favourite _P.A.S.T.E.L_ things!

Photographic evidence of my pastel obsession brought to you by the completely addictive world of instagram.

In other delicious news, feast your pastel-hungry eyes on Bei Badgirl's new piece for the JapanLA 'Kittens & Icecream' art show party! Bei does pastel-japan-cute like no other... Yes, those ARE kitten-fish! ~*squeel*~ I hope one day I can afford to commission her to design and decorate my entire house (it will be a tree-mansion with lots of fairy lights, a purikura booth and mojitos on tap!)

Photo by Bei Badgirl

I'm off to paint my nails  mint candy apple  green by essie (pictured above next to the lemon sherbert hair-bow) and daydream more about my fairy light adorned, Bei painted, tree mansion...

Tiff xx

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

i-Bandwagon: all aboard!

Finally, I have succumbed to the niggling suspicion that iPhones are awesome. Everyone creative I know has one and uses it to pump out some seriously nifty little tidbits. I have long been curious, ever since a colleague demonstrated the insane possibilities of a single drum machine app, my mind began to tick over about the many things I could achieve with such a device... world domination was certainly on the list.. but ironically now that I have an iPhone I'm too busy browsing apps for anything that demanding...

My twitter followers probably hovered over the unfollow button a few times yesterday (my first day of instagram-ing) as I flooded their feeds with an excited menagerie of anythings and everythings. My i-shutter i-finger has i-RSI!

I've started to settle down a bit today, although I did spend far too long browsing emoticon apps this morning... it's apparently very important to get juuuust the right little yellow face to represent your current mood!

Here are some snaps from yesterday's frenzy...

Tea station at our place, built by me and my bro's girlfriend babyfox

Stormy skies a'bewing on the coast... featuring my neighbour's lemon tree & passionfruit vine

Sunnier skies today ~ as much as I love city-life, I sure do enjoy the fact that this is the view when I look up from my backyard! 

Of course my iPhone case matches my nails... can't get enough of mint green! And it looks so lovely with my white iPhone!
(Pssst this shade of polish is 'mint candy apple by essie! So cute!)

Home-made pizza sesh with Babyfox and Broski

Super chuffed that the very same day I got myself all iPhoned, my custom printed fabric from spoonflower arrived in the mail! How spesh does this look... the quality is amazing, I am so impressed that my blossom design is now in fabric form and can't wait to turn it into dress pockets ;)

If anyone would like to recommend some fabulous iPhone apps for me (especially photography and music/movie making ones!) then please do leave me a comment below :)

i-Tiff xx

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just another night... revisited

I was recently contacted by a lovely lady in the UK about a commission. She really wanted something featuring M A R I G O L D  Y E L L O W, but also loved one of my existing illustrations Just Another Night... we decided on a variation of the piece for her with a marigold yellow washi paper-inspired backdrop, and some extra texture on the girl's figure ~ she was well chuffed with it! Will upload a pic once she has it set up in her home. For now... here's a sneak peak!

Tiff xx

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

cheeky bird :: chirpy love!

Here's a peak at something I'm working on tonight... a cheeky little bird. I bet he would land on your shoulder and snatch the cookie right outa your hand!

** Update ** A couple of hours later here's a little postcard design I've dubbed 'love chirp' (below), created using hand-drawn scans, Japanese washi paper and digital painting...

Wanna send it to a friend? Grab one here! :)

I also adapted this one a little for my submission to the Love is Here project, which will be an A5 black & white zine as well as exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne. Each design features the words 'I Love You' in it somewhere ... スーパーかわいいね!

Tiff xx

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I have an obsession that just won't fade...

 p.a.s.t.e.l p.i.n.k

Here's one of my fave snaps from my time in Tokyo... taken down a little alley in Shimokitazawa. I love the cute little arch window, the sweetie-pie shutters and...well.. it's a pastel pink wall... nuff said.

I think my seemingly incurable love of pastels is here to stay... Tiff xx
PS - I thought others might enjoy this pastel deliciousness too, so I submitted this shot to the Show Me Japan photo project!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday mish~mash!

This is my mama singing on stage back in the 70s. Those are my uncles on drums and guitar far left. Guitar far right was my mum's then fiance who was tragically killed a few years later. (More about that story here).

I was going through a few old pics and found a shot of some little crafty brooches I made. These days they are packed in a box at the bottom of my storage jungle (a room in my mum's house), along with some of my fave clothes, shoes and a box of assorted nail polishes. I really must get in there and begin sorting very soon! (Oh, and that book in the shot is a cocktail book by Jane Rocca and illustrated by the amazing Kat Mcleod who is a major inspiration for me!)

Here's a song I am diggin' on right now - major girl crush on Ellie Goulding. As most of you know I love to sing... although it's been a while between gigs. Every now and then I hear a voice that makes me stop and wish I could steal it for my own hehe. When I first heard her sing on record, I assumed it was heavily produced (it's amazing what technology can do as a talent-replacement these days!) but after watching a live clip of her performing, I realised that unique flutter she does with her vibrato was all her and not a hint of machine. Magnificence.... check her out! xx

PS - this is my first time posting a video ~ excited squeels all round.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Bunch of Artists I Adore ♥ 大好き ♥

As an artist I am inspired by so many things everyday - books, music, nature, other cultures (chyeah Japan!), and also other artists. Inspiration is a funny thing, because other's art can inspire something to stir within your own creative juices but your end result is something uniquely your own.

One of the illustrators that inspired a development of my style from very vector based to more hand-drawn elements was the amazing mydeadpony (raphael). When I started out, I was all about bold, clean vector lines. His work is sketchy and free with a message... and really encouraged me to experiment with mixing these clean vector lines I was creating with a bit of texture. Becoming mildly obsessed with his work a few years back really subconciously moved my work in a different direction. My work is nothing like his (I wish...!) but I can acknowledge that everything I've ever looked at, listened to, read... has all lead to my current style which will always continue to develop as I grow as a person and an artist, and my passion is fueled by different experiences. 

Another artist who I truly admire is Jessica Singh (I've seen her surname mis-spelled in more than one publication!) She is absolutely mind-blowing and I've followed her work closely for many years and seen her style develop from something pretty cool to something out of this world. Seeing an artist's style develop from phwoar to PHWOOOOAAAR in a few years is inspiration in itself ~ that we as budding illustrators might some day be rubbing shoulders with the fafis and the bei badgirls of this industry! One can dream can't they....?

'Portrait of Jo' by Jessica Singh (a more recent work)

'Mess' by Jessica Singh (an earlier work)

I also adore the work of Kat Mcleod. In fact, I think I can probably say quite confidently that she sparked my interest in taking my illustrations seriously in the very beginning. I was making little pieces in my diaries and certainly experimenting with photoshop and illustrator but most were never shared. Seeing her work for the first time was a WOW moment for me. It appeared so simple, yet so captivating. And looking at her work in more detail over the years, it is this 'illusion of simplicity' (it's really not simple at all if you look closely) that adds to her work's appeal. She is simply fabulous and she'd certainly be at "my dinner" (you know, that hypothetical question about who, dead or alive, you'd invite over for dinner if you could!) should this opportunity ever arise.

illustration for the michigirl website by Kat Mcleod

The work of Rik Lee is a no brainer. He's one of those uber talents that I just can't leave out when speaking about inspiration.

'my perfect girl' by Rik Lee

Right now I am just enjoying the journey of developing my own style. I love so many different methods, media and disciplines that I find such reward in producing something unique everytime I put pen to paper (or pen to tablet, as it sometimes happens!) I am lucky to be able to make a living (all be it a VERY modest one) from what I love to do... but I will always create first and formost for the love of it. Without the love and the hunger for self-improvement, you lose your drive and your uniqueness as a creator as well...

There are so many artists who inspire me on a daily basis, for many different reasons. Someone who fuels my creativity through our mutual love of Japanese crafty goodness, and for her extreme blogging prowess is the magnificent hello sandwich. It so happened that Miss Sandwich and I were living just a few streets away from eachother in Tokyo earlier this year, but alas we kept missing eachother in our attempts to meet up. When I finally get to return to Tokyo someday I do hope to include a catchup with her and *hopefully* even a quick interview for Trinkets & Tidbits, as she is one interesting lass indeed!

Finally I'd like to share the work of the woman who is responsible for passing down her love of art from the time I was old enough to hold a crayola (perriwinkle was my favourite!). My Mum is so talented. She used to draw all the time back in the day, but has had a big break from it. I've been encouraging her to pick up a fineliner again... finally she penned this, probably more to shut me up - but I adore it.

"Nel" by Claire Atkin

Those I've mentioned above are but a few of the creative powerhouses that have inspired me on my artistic journey so far, and I will continue to post on this subject as I do love sharing my adoration with you all!

Tiff xx

Monday, May 2, 2011

Umeko's Garden

Little Umeko loves spring in Tokyo, her favourite thing to do is stand in her garden of spindley twigs and baby mushrooms, sipping apple tea and twirling in her favourite floral dress... especially when it rains.

I will be donating a mounted print of Umeko to the Today, We Are All Japanese project - an exhibition held in Tokyo next month to raise funds for the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief efforts. Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming exhibition!

Tiff xx
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