Merry Everything!

A long time dream has been doing a Christmas book, and it is now complete! A new book with Windy Hollow called Merry Everything is being released in October, and it was so fun to work on. Tania McCartney wrote a beautiful book and it was so fun drawing animals in Christmassy action around the world.

Tania made this lovely animation with all the art from the book, and details on the book launch are below.

Merry Everything Book Launch poster smallest

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If Baby Could Talk

It’s the first day of Spring, and the release day for If Baby Could Talk, my new book written by Michael Wagner and published by Windy Hollow. It was super fun to work on as my baby was just the right age to model for me for this book, and was learning to walk as I was painting walking babies… hurrah!

If you are at a loose end tomorrow, we are launching this book at The Little Bookroom at 3pm, with champagne, cupcakes, balloons and hurrahs!

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New Covers!

My poor bloggy has been a bit neglected, but not through me not having anything to write. IT’S BEEN A MANIC FEW MONTHS! But in a good way (although many colds and flus – not so good too).

However… Two new book covers have been released, with the books coming out with Windy Hollow both in September!

First of all is If Baby Could Talk, written by the wonderful Michael Wagner. I’m so excited about this book, it was just so fun and easy to work on, and can’t wait to see it in person. Windy Hollow shared this sneak peek….19905369_1306276566116469_3862770035840146537_n

And following that in late September will be my first Christmas book, with my dear pal and colleague (having now worked on three books together!), Tania McCartney. I didn’t realise until now how the covers are similar colours! But the content is quite different, this one all about animals rather than kiddos, and it’s a really fun concept Tania created.

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I am just sooooo happy that I have been able to keep creating kids books… A dream I’ve had since I was a kid. Looking forward to sharing these in more detail soon. x

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Hullo!

Oh my poor bloggy, I used to write on you so much, but now you’ve been replaced by my daily Instagram postings! Some of the recent posts… new book characters, more and more birds, art gifts from friends and more. If you are on there, come say hello – I’m @jessesmess xx

OH and today, after an intense few months, I finished my artwork for an upcoming book with Windy Hollow, written by Tania McCartney. Joyful day! Cover to go, and then the champagne shall be drunk… Above, a little scene from within.

Birds on Many It’s 

I’ve been a bit quiet here, but flat out elsewhere with many illustration projects on. For a little stress release I started painting birds, and selling them cheap on Instagram. They’ve taken flight! There’s been a wonderful response to them and I’ve loved seeing them reappear in people’s houses, like this guy who went to photographer Penny Lane…  

 I’m on insta under @jessesmess so if you want to see the collection so far and for the next couple of months, come say hi x

A Quote to Live By

This year as part of a wonderful group I’m involved with we decided to find a quote for our studio wall and create an artwork based on it. I’m interested in finding out my purpose with drawing, find out why I’m here, and what energizes me to keep going. I found this quote by Susan Sontag,

“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.” Susan Sontag

Here is my artwork, which I’ve also made into a giclee print for anyone else that would like it for their wall too….quotejessracklyeft

By coincidence while I was posting this, I’ve been listening to this inspiring podcast by Andy Pizza: http://www.creativepeptalk.com/episodes/2017/1/12/116-unlock-your-true-potential – have a listen on your next art making session to get revved up for the year.

The Portfolio Project… And my 2017 plans.

Over on Instagram, I’ve joined some wonderful artists in a Christmas celebration and been drawing away some themes for the month, from puddings to pine trees. (Check out @the_portfolio_project).

Our last theme was polar bear, and I create this process video as a reminder to myself on my plans for next year… yes, there are the creative ones, family ones and health but also to tread a little lighter on the earth. There’s terrible politics at work, but I’m going to do my small bit to try and lower my own usage of our planet’s finite resources. Suggestions from coolantartica.com include:

It’s about cutting power use and consumption generally – not so simple in a world where consumption is often admired and sometimes envied and where power use can make life more convenient or more interesting.

As a rule of thumb though anything you can do to use less energy and buy locally produced items of quality rather than cheap and cheerful in quantity will help. There are many guides as to what to do, some very effective, others less so, the most effective are:

  • Get a less polluting car and use it less often.

  • Get more efficient refrigeration – fridges and freezers are on 24/7/365 and as a result use the most energy of any domestic appliance.

  • Reduce the amount of heating your house or office needs, use insulation, stop draughts, turn the thermostat down 1 degree.

  • Reduce water heating requirements, takes showers not baths, take normal showers, not power-showers, get a more efficient washing machine.

  • Get low energy light bulbs and turn them off when not needed.

  • Fly less or not at all.

So my big resolution for next year is to do my own small steps to do as much as I can above.

In the mean time, a big Merry Xmas from me – thank you for reading and supporting my work this year. I’m looking forward to a break now and starting the new year refreshed and ready for a big year of work and play. x

Erstwilder Summer Tiki

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-12-50-05-pmI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Designing for Erstwilder is one of the best jobs in the world! They’ve just launched my new range of Tiki designs – pineapples and toucans, super fun and I’m enjoying wearing something that was a sketch to a digital file to a resin brooch so much!screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-11-42-40-am