A bit of a delayed review of 2017…

2017 was such a big year for my work – I wanted to make a note for myself for some of the new illustration projects that really made my year…

  1. Birds – I loved creating little watercolours for sale on Instagram, and this lead to new things like prints and bird pins (more on those later)
  2. Books – I finished FIVE PICTURE BOOKS!! It’s pretty amazing how much I cranked out considering I only had two official days a week to work (but kind of made up hours double that – nights, naps, weekends etc)
  3. Markets – due to babies, I had a few years off markets but it was really fun and rewarding to do Finders Keepers again and meet online clients and friends face to face, and just chat and sell my work. Super fun.
  4. New opportunities – I started working with a card agent who works with overseas companies and I am going to begin a range with a UK client, who are awesome.
  5. iPad – this wasn’t exactly a project but I was nervous spending the money on one late 2016, and it has become invaluable in my work practice.
  6. Pins! I was thinking about doing one for ages, but was too nervous to invest in a run which only really works with 100 or more. But since then, I’ve done something like 8 designs and they’ve all sold out! So much fun creating new bird pin designs and sharing online, and of course wearing.
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Pin Design

Finally, While my poor little bloggy crawled to the finished line in 2017, I was busy loading all my recent projects and busy bits and bobs on INSTAGRAM – its such a happy little place for artists to share! My page is https://www.instagram.com/jessesmess/ and you can see all my latest work there. In the mean time, here was my “top nine” Insta posts for 2017. IMG_6417

Big thanks for reading, now I have to start musing on 2018…. Hmm, next blog post.

Finders Keepers

I’m excited (and nervous) that next weekend the mighty Finders Keepers is on, and I’m going to be there! I’ve been a part of this amazing market every few years (in between kids!) and to be back in their tenth anniversary year is super special.

My studio is a bomb site of artworks being prepared for the event – prints, little originals, cushions sewn by my mum, and lots of other goodies. Come find me!

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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.