Amelia’s Magazine | The Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
I am super excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today! Make sure you grab an EARLY BIRD BARGAIN

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative colouring book for adults, featuring the work of 40 artists from all over the world. If you are hunting for an unusual, beautiful, high quality colouring book that stands out in the crowd then this is the one for you! It would make an ideal Christmas present

Alex Mcginn
Double page spread by Alex McGinn.

Eleanor Percival
Double page spread by Eleanor Percival.

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion was put together through an open brief and each artist has contributed a double page – with a full colour left page on the left, and a complementary black line image on the right to colour in. This limited edition book will be printed on gorgeous thick paper and bound using the lay flat binding process ensuring that it is a delight to colour in. 

Nanna Prierler
I am already colouring in the pages! Here’s one by Nanna Prierler.

Steph Moulden
And another by Steph Moulden.

I have released some early back issues (1,2,3 and 4) as rewards to help raise funds and there are some fabulous Early Bird bargains that are sure to be snapped up fast, so please do visit the campaign page to view a short video featuring a mock up of the book… I hope you enjoy the little surprise at the end!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alex McGinn, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Back issues, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Early Bird, ,Eleanor Percival, ,Kickstarter, ,Launch, ,Nanna Prierler, ,Steph Moulden

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pick Me Up 2016: A Round Up of My Favourite Finds

aart-jan-venema-pick-me-up-3
Pick Me Up 2016 took place earlier this year, and although I shared my best picks of the show on instagram I never got around to posting anything on Amelia’s Magazine. So here, a mere half year down the line, are my favourite finds. Enjoy!

marie-jacotey-pick-me-up
Marie Jacotey is a French artist exploring what it means to be a girl.

george-douglas-pick-me-up
George Douglas works in a pop art collage style. He is based in Scotland.

camilla-perkins-pick-me-up-1
camilla-perkins-pick-me-up-2
camilla-perkins-pick-me-up
I love the folk art influenced pictures depicting jaunty “sapeurs” by Brighton based Camilla Perkins.

alice-bowsher-pick-me-up
Beautiful, simple, evocative ink paintings by Alice Bowsher.

jack-sachs-pick-me-up
Fantastical bright new work by Jack Sachs takes a look at our anatomy.

aart-jan-venema-pick-me-up
aart-jan-venema-pick-me-up-1
aart-jan-venema-pick-me-up-2
I really loved detailed paintings by Aart-Jan Venema, who lives in The Hague, Netherlands.

julian-glander-pick-me-up
Lenticular madness from Julian Glander, eye popping colours and surreal arrangements.

charlotte-mei-pick-me-up
Please excuse the glare on this fab painting of pottery by Charlotte Mei (always a favourite).

isabel-helen-pick-me-up
Isabel & Helen is a creative partnership specialising in set design and interactive installations.

eliza-tulip-anorak-mag-new-designers
Eliza Tulip created this image for Anorak Magazine, always a great place to check out illustration talent.

peso-press-pick-me-up
A beautiful stand from Peso Press.

mr-penfold-pick-me-up
Mr Penfold for Grey Jam Press.

liam-barrett-mr-punch
Cuckoo’s Nest was a collaborative exhibition between Beach London and The Museum of British Folklore, featuring specially created work by a number of well known artists alongside pieces from the museum’s collections. Above is a Mr Punch cutout doll by Liam Barrett.

fireworks-poster
I love this vintage fireworks poster.

alec-doherty-pick-me-up
This piece by Alec Doherty was inspired by the tradition of Haxey Hood.

guarab-thakali-pick-me-up
Longsword dancing by Gaurab Thakali.

rob-flowers-longsword-dancing
More Longsword Dancing by Rob Flowers.

studio-muti-pick-me-up
Love the detail in this piece by Studio Muti, a creative studio in Cape Town, South Africa.

beermats-pick-me-up
Artist beer mat designs.

megamunden-pick-me-up
The artist known as Megamunden is based in Brighton – creating tattoo inspired artworks such as this. He is perhaps best known for his awesome tattoo inspired colouring book.

clay-collective-pick-me-up
clay-collective-pick-me-up-colourbox-studio
Lovely ceramics from the Clay Collective, who share a studio space in Hackney Downs Studios, East London. I love the direction Joe Rogers (who formerly created illustrations for Amelia’s Magazine) has taken with his stunning ceramics under the name Colourbox.

sophie-alda-pick-me-up
These are by Clay Collective founding member Sophie Alda.

emily-rand-pick-me-up
emily-rand-hato-press
This is one of a series of conceptual children’s books by Emily Rand, published by Hato Press.

jack-taylor-pick-me-up
Lovely work by Jack Taylor. Two by Four is an artist book featuring a colourful house construction, also published by Hato Press.

yes-by-daisy-emerson-at-best
Yes! hand painted sign by Daisy Emerson at Best.

felicity-marshall-pick-me-up
Palm trees by print and graphic designer Felicity Marshall.

claire-powell-pick-me-up
claire-powell-bananas-pick-me-up
claire-powell-cherries-pick-me-up
Fantastic work by Claire Powell, whose work features in my colouring book, Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. Love her anthropomorphised animals including cherries having a hug :)

All of these images first appeared on my instagram feed @ameliagregory – make sure you follow me there or on twitter to see my art finds first! (and in a slightly more timely manner…)

Categories ,Alec Doherty, ,Alice Bowsher, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Anorak Magazine, ,Beach London, ,Best, ,Camilla Perkins, ,Charlotte Mei, ,Claire Powell, ,Clay Collective, ,Colourbox, ,Cuckoo’s Nest, ,Daisy Emerson, ,Eliza Tulip, ,Emily Rand, ,Felicity Marshall, ,Gaurab Thakali, ,George Douglas, ,Grey Jam Press, ,Hackney Downs Studios, ,Hato Press, ,Haxey Hood, ,Isabel & Helen, ,Jack Sachs, ,Jack Taylor, ,Joe Rogers, ,Julian Glander, ,Liam Barrett, ,Marie Jacotey, ,Megamunden, ,Mr Penfold, ,Peso Press, ,Pick Me Up 2016, ,Pick Me Up London, ,review, ,Rob Flowers, ,Somerset House, ,Sophie Alda, ,Studio Muti, ,The Museum of British Folklore, ,Two by Four, ,Under the Sea

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Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing Color On! Magazine: An Interview with Mary J. Winters-Meyer

Meditations-On-Serenity Mary J Winter-Meyers
I found entrepreneurial colouring book artist and magazine publisher Mary J. Winters-Meyer when I was searching Facebook to find groups that might like to know about Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion and came across her huge Coloring Books for Adults group. Following the links led me to Color On! Magazine, her new venture that caters to the international adult colouring community, featuring exclusive downloadable artwork from colouring artists. Mary is now a full time artist thanks to her new found love of colouring: proof, if ever there was needed, that colouring is a creative endeavour. This brilliant interview explains the lure of the colouring craze, and offers a fascinating insight into the rapid growth of this creative hobby.

Your first colouring book Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! features a lot of different styles, but you seem to be particularly inspired by Celtic knot patterns and Tibetan style Mandala designs. Where does this love stem from?
I’ve been interested in different cultures and mythology for as long as I can remember. I have an entire bookshelf of mythology books – Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, etc. The Celtic and Norse mythology especially appealed to my creative side – I just find the Celtic knotwork both mesmerizing and beautiful. It may also have something to do with my love of needlecrafts, as it has similarities to the crochet and knitting that I enjoy.

My love of mandalas started when I first saw Tibetan sand mandalas. There was a demonstration at a local art gallery, where the monks came for a week to create one while people watched, and then swept it away at the end of the week. I found the idea of something so beautiful and yet impermanent both awe-inspiring, and also sad. When I got involved with coloring books, and decided to try my hand at drawing, the idea of doing work that was similar to those mandalas, but with themes derived from my other interests, appealed to me as a design that could be as intricate as the Tibetan mandalas, but in a more permanent form.

Dragons Knots Bots book-front-cover
What else inspires your art?
Science fiction, mythology, fantasy, mathematics, religion, games, nature – actually just about anything in life can inspire a design for me. Generally, though, my designs show my geeky side and love of science fiction and fantasy. Books, especially – I love the idea of creating my own interpretation, putting down on paper how my imagination completes the image created by an author’s words.

Where did you study and how did it inform the way you approach art making now?
I actually don’t have any formal art training. In fact, if you had asked me five years ago to draw something, I would have been rather vehement in my insistence that I couldn’t draw! For me, my mother was the “artist.” She attended the Chicago Art Institute, and worked in oil paints. She can take a piece of scrap paper, and in a few seconds draw someone’s likeness. To me, that was what being an artist meant – someone with the talent to create photo-realistic drawings without any effort.

But then a friend got me interested in coloring books. I enjoyed relaxing with them, putting color on paper and creating something lovely. But after I had purchased my first few coloring books, I found myself leafing through them, and not finding any designs I wanted to color. One day, while leafing through a space-themed coloring book, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could create something I wanted to color. Something fun, and geometric (since I still didn’t think I could draw) that just required a ruler and some lines on the paper. Or maybe something geeky, that wouldn’t be difficult to draw because I would have lots of reference materials from the internet. From that idea, I went out and bought a sketchpad, and the next thing I knew, I was creating art!

I was rather surprised to find that drawing wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Sure, I ended up doing a lot of erasing and trying again, but I was creating objects that could be recognized for what I meant them to be! I still remember how excited I was when I first drew a cardinal that actually looked like a cardinal, and a bear that actually looked like a bear. I kept showing my friends and family and saying things like, “Look! It’s a bear! And it actually looks like a bear!” Even now, achieving success at creating some new object or creature has that same sense of thrill for me.

I still approach art the same way I approach anything. I get online and start researching. It might be researching the topic I want to draw, or researching a new drawing technique, or even looking at dozens of images in Google Image to get a sense of the angles and perspective I want to use for a given topic. If I’m creating a mandala with a specific theme, I’ll then decide what kinds of images I want to use for that theme. I prefer to use symbols for ideas rather than concrete images.

For example, in my piece Meditations on Serenity (at the top of the blog), the theme was the TV show Firefly, where the spaceship is named Serenity. This piece was created as a birthday gift for my husband, who is a huge fan of that series. Since the show involves a future where Chinese culture had a huge influence, I created a mandala that has a lot of oriental elements. Each section of the piece represents a different character from the movie. Rather than drawing the actual characters, I drew objects to symbolize them. One of the characters loved strawberries, and often used a parasol, so I used those in her section. Another character was introduced in the first episode killing time by playing with some plastic dinosaurs, so I drew those for his section. It’s a lot of fun for me to research a show or a movie and decide what symbols to use to represent the characters involved.

Mary J Winter-Meyers portrait
When and why did you first pick up a colouring pencil to create your artwork?
When my friend introduced me to coloring, colored pencils were what she was using, so it seemed like the natural medium to use. When I started drawing, I never thought to change to another medium, and even though I now have some art quality markers, I still return to my pencils (or combine markers with pencils) when doing my own art. It’s also great because you don’t have to have any special setup to use them. All I need is my sketchpad and a small space, and I can work anywhere.

I love pencils for their versatility, and especially for the ability to erase mistakes! While you usually can’t erase colored pencils 100%, you can erase them enough that they don’t affect whatever color you use on top of them. I love that about them. I also love that I can create vibrant color with them, which many people don’t think you can do with pencils. When people first see my art, they often ask what medium I used. It’s fun to see their reactions when they learn it is colored pencils. They find it hard to believe you can get such saturated colors with pencils!

What are your favourite type of pencils to use and why?
When I first started, I was using Crayolas. They were the pencils I had purchased to use in coloring books. After my first trip to an art store, though, I quickly graduated to Prismacolors. They had a larger range of colors, and I loved how much more easily they lay down a rich layer of color. It was less aggravating to my hand and wrist! I actually gave my box of Crayolas to my nieces. I sort of regret that now, though, because I do occasionally want a pencil with a harder lead. I tried the Prismacolor Verithins and didn’t really like them. They were almost too hard. So I’ll probably go out and buy myself another box of Crayolas at some point.

nanobot-warmups Mary J Winter-Meyers
How did you get involved in the adult colouring community, and why? 
That’s a rather interesting story actually. I sort of fell into it by accident! As I previously mentioned, a friend had gotten me interested in coloring, but for me, it wasn’t a community hobby, just something I and a couple friends enjoyed doing. But then I started creating my art. I was attending art shows and science fiction conventions and not having a lot of luck selling my work. I wasn’t too worried, though – it was still something of a hobby for me rather than a career.

Then I got laid off. While I was job hunting, I decided that since I had the time, I would work at getting more sales from my art. One of the ideas in the back of my mind over the previous couple years had been doing a “geeky” coloring book from the line drawings I had saved of my various art pieces. So I started working on creating a book, and started doing research into the interest people might have in the idea. (This was before the first news articles about adult coloring, so I had no idea what kind of interest there might be.)

My research indicated a growing trend in searches for “adult coloring books” on Google. An entrepreneur group I belong to encourages people to find a “niche” topic to blog about to raise interest in your own products. So I decided to start a blog about adult coloring. My research had also shown there weren’t a lot of review sites for coloring books, so I decided to focus on that. And of course, my entrepreneur group said posting links on social media was a good idea, so I started looking at Twitter and Facebook, which led to finding several groups on Facebook devoted to adult coloring. I joined a few, before I had finished my website. I wanted to get a feel for what kinds of things the people in the groups were looking for, and what needs I might be able to meet. After joining the groups, I was enjoying the interactions with other coloring enthusiasts, so I stuck around.

Color On Magazine logo
When did you set up your website and Facebook group?
My Facebook group came first. I actually hadn’t intended to start one! My original plan was to set up my website, and point people to existing groups if they wanted to find a community. I figured that way I didn’t have to figure out all the technical aspects of starting a forum on my site. I had even selected a group for that purpose. About three days after I made that decision, the group in question announced it would be closing itself to new members, as the group admins were finding it difficult to keep up with things as the group got larger.

In the meantime, in preparation for my website launch, I had been contacting various coloring book artists to request review copies of their books. One of those artists was very helpful answering my questions about publishing my own book. When I mentioned my dilemma, she suggested I start my own Facebook group, and even offered to point her own group members to it, as her group was limited to posting only colored designs from her books. So I made an impulsive decision and started Coloring Books for Adults. I figured it was still easier than installing and managing a website forum, as I wouldn’t have to worry about technical aspects. That was in late January of this year (2015.)

My website launched a few weeks later in February, using reviews of coloring books I already owned, as most artists and publishers didn’t want to send review copies to an unknown blogger. It took over a month before I was able to get my first review copies. But as with anything, once I had a few weeks of reviews posted, it became easier. I’ll just say that I sent out a LOT of emails and Facebook messages during those first couple months! I was lucky in that a few independent artists were willing to trust an unknown, especially when I promised to link to the reviews in my group.

Mandoade-darasuum Mary J Winter-Meyers
Your Facebook group is huge and very active – how did it grow so rapidly, and what do you think sets it apart from other colouring groups online?
I often refer to the rapid growth as a combination of luck and research. When I was researching search terms in Google for my own website, I discovered that the two terms used most often by people searching for coloring books were “adult coloring books” and “coloring books for adults.” For my website, I was lucky enough to get the URL AdultColoringBooks.com and named the blog Coloring Books for Adults. It made sense to use that same name for the group, and I was lucky because that name had not yet been used for a group.

As for the rapid growth, that’s where luck played an important part. By April, when my book was released, I had about 300 members. At the time, I felt that was amazing and fantastic growth for my little group. Then the first news articles about adult coloring hit the media. Suddenly people were searching for online communities related to coloring. Overnight, my membership requests jumped from 1-2 requests a day to 10-20 requests! Then a month or so later, NBC Nightly News did a segment on the adult coloring phenomenon, and mentioned Facebook groups in the segment. While they didn’t mention my group specifically, several times in the segment they mentioned Coloring Books for Adults, so that term was primed in people’s minds. If I recall correctly, I was just about to hit 2000 members. That same night, within about 4 hours, I had over 500 membership requests, and after that my daily average increased to 100 new members a day. Thankfully, only the week before I had signed on some other admins to help with the group – I needed them!

Since the group was intended as a companion for my website, I set it up a bit differently from other groups. A lot of groups limit or ban advertising – understandable for many reasons – but since I intended to review books, and also wanted to advertise my own books, I decided not to do that. I also wanted to encourage artists to participate, as that would give me new sources for books to review. So my group was set up with a bit more leniency than most. I do have some limits – the ads have to be for products related to coloring, and once the group reached a certain size, I also limited people to only once a week so the group wasn’t flooded with ads.

We’ve also adopted a strict “no negativity” policy in the group. Coloring is a way for people to relax, to meditate, or to think of something other than the problems in their lives. Any kind of negativity, which is hard to avoid online, ruins that state of calm. So any negativity is deleted as quickly as possible. We will chat privately with people the first time they post something negative, to let them know that we discourage those types of posts. People who repeatedly post negatively are banned. It may seem harsh, but the group members appreciate that we work hard to have a community that is positive and encouraging. I also have trained my admins not to do any admonishments in public. I have many years of experience with online forums, and I’ve found that anytime you accuse someone, or warn them, or in any way “attack” them in a public forum, it just leads to escalating the negativity. But if you quietly delete the negative post, with a private message politely asking people to not do that, it most often results in an apology and a promise not to do it again.

Despite being singled out as a pastime to get away from the screen, many colorists are turning to online forums to share their art. Why do you think this has become such an important part of the process?
People love to share their hobbies, and things they’ve created, with like-minded people. I think at first, people went to online forums because they weren’t getting positive feedback from their family and friends. I’ve seen many posts from people who said their family thought they were silly, or childish, or stupid because they enjoyed coloring. I’ve also seen a huge number of initial posts from people saying they thought they were the only ones who enjoyed coloring. But online, they find communities of hundreds or thousands of other colorists who also enjoy it.

There also is a fairly large segment of people who find coloring helps them deal with various chronic conditions. It is easy for such people to feel very isolated, especially if their condition leaves them unable to get out of the house. Online communities give them a way to socialize even when they are stuck at home. And finding other people in similar situations makes them feel less isolated. In a way, I’m one of these people. I have a chronic pain condition, and coloring helps me deal with the bad days.

I think what keeps people coming back, though, is not only that encouragement, but the fact that they can interact with the artists who create the books they enjoy. People love to learn about the people behind the art they buy, and that is as true of coloring books as it is of any other artwork. The fact that so many independent artists involve themselves in the online communities is a powerful attraction.

Family-monogram Mary J Winter-Meyers
Can you tell us more about your colouring parties, they sound fun!
I tend to have colouring events, rather than parties. To me, a colouring party is like any other gathering people have in their homes, like a tea party or book club. People invite their friends over for an afternoon or evening coloring together. The hostess will let people pick designs from her collection, or everyone brings their own books and supplies for coloring.

What I do is similar, but in a more public venue, like a library or convention. While it is still a group of people gathering to colour, it’s open to everyone. In addition to having a bunch of pages printed out from my own book and magazine issues, and some basic coloring supplies, I’ll do a short presentation about coloring as adults, highlighting the therapeutic aspects or letting people know what resources are available. I’ll also give short tutorials on colored pencil techniques. And of course, offer to sell them my books or magazines! ;)

For example, this year, Dover Publications created National Coloring Book Day, to be held August 2nd each year. They encouraged people to hold coloring parties, and to color in public. My first colouring event was held at the Northbrook Public Library as part of National Coloring Book Day. Over 50 people showed up! The library received a lot of positive feedback on the event, and they have invited me back. We’re still working out dates, but I will likely have another afternoon of coloring in Northbrook, IL in February 2016. I’ll also likely have another event during next year’s National Coloring Book Day, but I haven’t decided where or when yet.

Why did you decide to start you own magazine? I understand it recently launched, which is very exciting. What can readers expect to find inside?
The magazine is sort of an extension of my blog. As the blog grew, and especially as my Facebook group became so large, I found that more and more of my time was being taken up by them. I was still job hunting, but finding it harder to drum up enthusiasm for the search. I found the blog and the group much more interesting, so I started trying to determine if there was a way to make a job out of my newfound “hobby.”

One thing I had noticed was that many of the same questions kept getting asked in the group: questions about coloring techniques, or about where to find adult coloring books, or even people asking if there was a magazine about coloring. I had also seen that several publishers were putting out “magazines,” but when I looked into them, they were really just coloring book collections that were released on a periodic schedule. Nothing I saw was being published with articles that answered the questions I was seeing in my group.

I was also seeing a LOT of independent artists in my groups, but when news articles were published about adult coloring, they kept mentioning the same “popular” artists or publishers. As an independent artist myself, I felt it would be great if I could help lesser known artists find an audience. I also love researching new things, and sharing that knowledge with others. It’s just part of my personality – learning for me is almost as necessary as breathing.

The magazine gives me a way to combine all these ideas and interests into a single product. When I mentioned the idea to a few friends, they thought it was an awesome idea, and Color On! Magazine was born. I decided to start it out as a digital publication, since publishing a print magazine has a lot of expensive start-up costs. I also knew from my group that there were a substantial number of international colorists, and I didn’t want to exclude them. Digital allows anyone with a computer and printer to access the designs published in the magazine.

Each issue of the magazine has a collection of at least 15 coloring designs from multiple artists. We always have one feature artist, who provides 5 or more exclusive designs for the magazine, and we interview the artist for one of the articles. The rest of the artists provide designs which may be exclusive, or might be from the artist’s existing publications. We never publish designs, however, that are available online as free samples. We’ve actually been very fortunate in our first few issues – most of the artists have been happy to create new designs for our readers.

In addition to the designs, we have a Coloring 101 column with basic tutorials for beginners, a Coloring 201 column with more advanced techniques, feature articles on various coloring topics, personal stories about coloring, lists of the previous month’s book reviews, lists of upcoming releases, and a humor column that might have a fun coloring activity or a humorous story.

JustAnotherRollOfTheDice Mary J Winter-Meyers
Lastly, where can fans get hold of your magazine, and what are your plans for 2016?
The magazine website is ColorOnMag.com, and the magazine’s Facebook page is ColorOnMag. You can also find us on Twitter @ColorOnMag. People new to the site can read one article for free each month without a subscription, although some articles (like the book reviews and new releases) are always available for anyone to read.

My biggest plan for the next two years is to grow the magazine to the point where I can consider this my full time career. While it is off to a promising start, the magazine has not yet reached the point of generating enough income to replace my former job. When I conceived the idea for the magazine, and considering the amount of time I was spending on coloring-related activities, my husband and I discussed if we could afford for me to stop searching for a job. It was a difficult decision for my husband and me, but he’s been very supportive of the idea. I’d like to see that support rewarded! Most small business fail within their first two years, so I figured that was a good timeframe to set to achieve my goal.

For the magazine, I’m planning on releasing “design only anthologies” – collections of the coloring designs from multiple issues, released as a printed book through Amazon. I’ve had a few inquiries from people who want a printed version, and this lets me explore that option without committing to printing a magazine every month. The first anthology is actually going to be released in early December this year, with the designs from the first 3 issues. I also want to add more video. From the start, I wanted to have videos to demonstrate the techniques from the articles in each issue, but right now I have barely enough time each month to get the issue out. But that is one of my goals for the magazine. After all, it’s a digital publication – I’d like to make use of that technology! There’s nothing quite like watching a technique demonstrated to help people learn.

I intend to continue selling my art, books and magazine at science fiction and fantasy conventions in nearby cities. I already have two conventions planned for next year where I’ll be doing a panel, or otherwise demonstrating coloring techniques.

The first, in January, is an adult ‘Relaxacon‘. This is an offshoot of the sci-fi cons. Members of that community started having “relaxacons” where they gather at a hotel for a weekend without the stress of planning or attending a lot of panels. So rather than a weekend packed with dozens of panels and lots of featured guests, relaxacons are mostly just eating good food, drinking, playing music together, or otherwise relaxing with maybe 3 or 4 panels during the weekend. The one in January, DeConPression, is held in Columbus on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. It is very definitely an Adult only con, so it’s not for everyone, but is a fun weekend for those with a raunchy sense of humor. Instead of guests of honor, the con has ‘Ghosts of Honor.’ This year, they are the convention’s founder Nick Winks, who passed away last year, and comedian Robin Williams. They’ve invited me to do an ‘Adult Coloring Panel‘ with a humorous theme. There will also likely be a coloring space set up in one of the common areas for those who just want to hang out and color. You can learn more about DeConPression here.

In August, I’ll be attending Musecon in Itasca, IL (near Chicago.) Musecon is also an offshoot from sci-fi cons. At most sci-fi cons, in addition to panels talking about your favorite books or movies, there is always a number of panels about music, writing, and other creative panels of various types. Musecon was started to feature just these creative panels. It’s a convention for makers, crafters, authors, musicians and artists, and people who want to try their hand at creating without having to commit to a large outlay in materials. Color On! Magazine will be sponsoring a coloring space, where we hope to have several coloring book artists sharing techniques, as well as small coloring projects that people can finish in an hour or so. You can learn more about the con at Musecon, although they haven’t put up next year’s information yet.

There may be other events or conventions, but those are the only ones I’ve firmed up so far. You can always learn about what’s going on with me by signing up for the magazine’s newsletter. You’ll find a form in the sidebar at Color On! Mag.

You can buy Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! on Amazon and grab a copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion on Kickstarter now.

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult coloring panel, ,Amazon, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Chicago Art Institute, ,Color On Mag, ,Color On! Magazine, ,Coloring, ,Coloring 101, ,Coloring 201, ,Coloring Books for Adults, ,Colorist, ,Colouring, ,Crayolas, ,DeConPression, ,Dover Publications, ,Dragons Knots Bots and More!, ,Facebook, ,Ghosts of Honor, ,interview, ,Itasca, ,Mandalas, ,Mary J Winters-Meyer, ,Meditations on Serenity, ,Musecon, ,National Coloring Book Day, ,Nick Winks, ,Northbrook Public Library, ,Prismacolors, ,Relaxacon, ,Robin Williams, ,Tibetan sand mandalas

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jungle Paradise by Lorna Scobie: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
The marvellous Lorna Scobie publishes her first colouring book today, but I am lucky enough to own an advance copy so I’ve had bit of time to get acquainted with her uniquely cheeky critters. Jungle Paradise has a gorgeous cover with gift-tastic green metallic highlights and lots of crisp white pages, and it is a detailed frolic through the jungle featuring numerous animals, some inspired by a call out to this popular illustrator’s fans. Amongst the landscapes of larger fauna there are pages of insects and birds, ensuring something for every animal lover. I can’t wait to get started… Lorna tells us more.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
How long did it take to create Jungle Paradise and when did you work on it?
As I work full time, I worked on Jungle Paradise in the evenings and at the weekend. Although it’s meant I’ve been kept super busy for the past few months, I have really enjoyed creating the artwork so it didn’t feel like I was coming home from work to do work, more that I was spending time doing something I love to do. We were keen for the book to publish sooner rather than later, to make sure it was out before Christmas, so the schedule was quite tight! I started working on the book around June this year and it took me a couple months to complete it.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Where did you find inspiration for the pages inside Jungle Paradise, and did you use anything specific as reference?
The book itself was inspired by my love of animals generally, as a lot of my work up to now has been animal based. I tend to work from imagination, so lots of Jungle Paradise just came straight from my head. For some of the more unusual animals, like the ocelot and some of the lizards, I referenced some of the animal books I’ve collected. As well as encyclopaedias of animals and plant life I have lots of house plants surrounding my workspace – these were a big inspiration too! At the beginning of the project I asked my Instagram and Twitter followers what their favourite jungle animals are, and tried to include as many as these as possible!

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
What materials and techniques did you use to create the illustrations for Jungle Paradise?
I stayed true to my black and white illustration style, using a black fine liner, but made it more refined and detailed for the purpose of colouring in.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Where do the motivational quotes in Jungle Paradise come from and who found them?
I worked closely with my editor to find quotes as we wanted to get across the tranquility and wonder of nature. We hope Jungle Paradise will be an escape from busy city life, and so the quotes help to inspire people to think about the natural world rather than their ever increasing to-do lists!

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
How did you get the commission for your own colouring book?
I had worked previously with the editor and the idea of doing a colouring book together was sparked by a colouring workshop I did at Pick Me Up illustration festival this year. I was already thinking of doing a characterful animal colouring book at the time, so when I was approached by Hardie Grant Books to do something in that style it seemed perfect.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Your animals are described as “cheeky” – how did this come about and what elements do you include to ensure a cheeky look?
I’ve learnt to embrace the “happy mistakes” that crop up all too regularly in my work, rather than spending too long on a drawing, or reworking things over and over again. Hopefully this gives each of my characters a bit of personality, as they aren’t in any way perfect.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Who do you hope will buy your new book?
As well as creative crowds, I hope that Jungle Paradise will also reach a new market of people who perhaps don’t see themselves as creative. Or people who would like to be creative but aren’t sure where to start. Colouring-in is for everyone, and thats what is so fab about it. No special skills are required.

Will there be another? What has the feedback been so far?
I am working on a follow-up book as feedback from Jungle Paradise has been really positive so far, which is very exciting!

I am also super happy to share the news that Lorna Scobie is featured in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. More about her contribution here

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Animal Colouring Book, ,Artist Interview, ,Christmas Present, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring Book For Adults, ,Happy mistakes, ,Hardie Grant, ,Hardie Grant Books, ,instagram, ,interview, ,jungle, ,Jungle Paradise, ,Pick Me Up, ,review, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book: Colouring Book Review and Editor Interview

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
The Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book was brought to my attention by one of the contributors to my own colouring book, Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion). Sophie Corrigan was also picked to appear in this latest offering from cult website Doodlers Anonymous, run by founder and editor Rony Tako (or OKAT) and coding supremo Hugo Seijas. The book is described as “An Extraordinary Mashup of Doodles and Drawings Begging to be Filled in with Color” and features the work of 90 artists from across the globe. Because it showcases a huge variety of illustrative styles there is something to suit everyone, and the book is highly recommended for anyone who likes the kind of colouring book that I have put together. I spoke with OKAT about colouring, doodling and juggling…

OKAT doodlers anon
Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
You’ve just released an epic colouring book that features 90 artists that was put together by open brief, what prompted you to do the book, why did you decide on the open brief and how long has it taken to put together?
I’d say just about everything we create at Doodlers Anonymous is by open call through our community. I created Doodlers Anonymous in 2008 because I wanted to bring exposure to people like myself, who love to doodle, draw and scribble. There’s no better way to do that then by letting anyone and everyone (from fresh novices to veteran illustrators) participate and potentially sit side by side on the page.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
How did you pick the artists featured in your book? I believe you have Sophie Corrigan who has also done something fab for mine! Good choice :)
Sophie’s page is great, she’s an awesome talent. Filtering the submissions down to the ones featured in the book was not easy, but it was definitely fun and rewarding to be reminded of how much great talent is out there. The team and I basically printed every submission and for the most part narrowed them down by keeping a few things in mind:
1) Is the drawing style of this artwork different and interesting?
2) Will this be fun to color in?
The other thing we had to keep in mind when filtering the submissions down from such a large open call was making sure to avoid repetition of a specific theme or style. We put a lot of effort into ensuring there’s a balance in the book, which means we sometimes had to reject a drawn submission we personally loved.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
Do you colour yourself? If so then can you tell us what kind of images you tend to prefer and what materials you work in?
I definitely love to color, especially other people’s artwork. Mostly because my personal art style is almost always made with just a black-ink pen, so I envy those artworks that are so bold and pop with color. I like using colored pencils or bright and cheap medium-tipped markers.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
How do you think the worlds of colouring and doodling intersect, and do you think there’s any snobbery involved between one or the other?
I think there’s a definite correlation between the two. For me (and I expect for many others), doodling is an exercise in doing something that’s not intended to be structured or have any specific agenda, just put your pen to the sketchbook and let your brain and creativity wander around the page. In that sense, the same goes for coloring, the beautiful artwork is laid-out before you so now you can relax, de-stress and just enjoy the process of bringing the artwork to life.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
Your website has been going for a long time now, why did you set it up in the first place and has it turned out the way you expected?
It’s crazy. I think in internet years we are considered almost pre-historic. I didn’t have many expectations at all. When our website launched it seemed doodling was such a niche activity that I figured the community would be small and stay relatively small. In fact, in the beginning we’d often get emails from people asking us what it meant to doodle. Fast-forward to 2015 and you can’t walk into a bookstore without being bombarded by doodle books. It’s great and wonderful that it’s become so popular. We love how large the community has grown and they continue to inspire us each and every day with their talents.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
What else do you do when you’re not making colouring books or managing the website and how do you split your workload so that everything gets done?
We juggle. Juggle, juggle, juggle. In my day-to-day I actually work as a creative director and designer for my clients. So you’ll typically find me either presenting or concepting a brand, logo or website project. The balance of my time goes to Doodlers Anonymous. I’ve been multitasking like this for years and I still have no clue how to split my workload so it’s anymore efficient or well-scheduled, but I tend to think that’s just how I work. Things would get boring otherwise.

Doodlers anonymous epic colouring book
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any other colouring books planned?
It’s really exciting, we have a ton of things planned for 2016. Some of them in collaboration with other brands and partners, and other things will be exclusive stuff from the Doodlers Anonymous community. Stay tuned! In regards to coloring books, well, I think they will always be part of our DNA, we’ve been making them long before they became a trend and we hope to be making long after as well.
Thanks Amelia! xoxo

Doodlers anonymous epic colouring book
My pleasure! Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book is published by Monacelli Press. It’s a wonderful book if you fancy colouring in the work of loads of different artists, buy your copy here.

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring for Adults, ,Colouring Book, ,Doodlers Anonymous, ,Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book, ,Doodles, ,Doodling, ,Epic Colouring Book, ,Hugo Seijas, ,interview, ,Monacelli Press, ,OKAT, ,Rony Tako, ,Sophie Corrigan

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Sachiko Oguri: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

SACHIKOOGURI_IHaveNeverGrownaBeard
Sachiko Oguri has contributed a surreal and colourful artork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. Here she talks about studying in the UK, her love of the half-tone technique and her interest in the stories of other cultures.

SACHIKOOGURI
What is it about the half tone technique that you find so appealing?
I have been using the half tone technique since I made one of my artworks, Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack. It is possible to use this technique to adjust the concentration of the colour and unify the look with a few colours, so in my image for the colouring book I used only 5 colours but it looks like I used a lot because of the half tone technique. That is why I like it.

SACHIKOOGURI_TheyDrivebyNight-big
What subject matter inspires your work?
My work is inspired by traditional cultures and the stories found in novels, legends and fairy tales, amazing locations, food and everyday life. I am especially interested in these daily incidents.

SACHIKOOGURI_TheUnderwearThiefpsd
SACHIKOOGURI_IAmaCat
What kind of animations do you make?
I made 2 animations in the past year. One is Flying Potato (Chips) where a man gets a mysterious potato and flies into the sky. The other is I Am a Cat, based on a famous novel by Soseki Natsume. I made an animation from the final chapter’s last scene where a cat who is a main character and a narrator in the story has some beer and gets drunk. I like to make animations that all generations can enjoy and easily understand the story, and I prefer to animate novels because when you read a novel you probably already imagine the scene; character, location and colour. I like to share my imagination of that story with the viewer, and if it becomes helpful for the viewer when he or she reads the novel, then I am glad.


SACHIKO_OGURI_double page spread
What is happening in your colouring book artwork?
In my colouring book artwork, I tried to make an image that does not have stereotypical colouring. I got inspiration from Hyakki Yako, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, a Japanese folktale. The appearance of the demons is mysterious, funny, lovely, and little bit terrible. Also, of course these demons are imaginary creatures so we do not know the detail of them; what is their form, texture and colour? I enjoyed colouring in the demons because I could decide on their colours, and I hope people who get the colouring book will enjoy colouring them in as much as I did.

SACHIKOOGURI_UrashimataroOfMyChildhood
I spotted your work at the graduate shows, can you tell us more about the tale of Urashima Taro picture that I so loved?
I am so glad you like that work! Thank you so much! Urashima Taro is one of my favorite tales from old Japan. When I was a child, my mother often told me fairy tales before sleep. My silkscreen work, Urashima Taro of My Childhood, shows my childhood memories of listening to Urashima Taro and something of my dreams. Once upon a time, there was Urashima Taro and he found a turtle that was attacked by bad children. Taro saved the turtle and the turtle invited Taro to a castle that is built under the sea. There Taro met a beautiful princess, Otohime, and he had an amazing time. After a few days Taro missed his family so he decided to go back to his home. The princess gave him a special box, the Tamatebako, and told him, “Please do not open this box until you miss everything very much.” He went back home but nobody knew him because while he spent a few days under the sea about 300 years had passed in our world above the sea. It made him so sad that he opened the box, but his old age was trapped inside the box and he aged by 300 years… I like this wonderful story because Taro saved a turtle but ultimately he lost everything.

SACHIKOOGURI_TheUpperBerth
SACHIKOOGURI_Halloween2014
Why did you decide to study in the UK and how did you chose Middlesex Uni?
Before I studied illustration I was interested in the West because the culture, lifestyle, art and design are so different from in Japan. At that time, some of my friends had already graduated from Middlesex University so they told me a lot about it. For instance they told me that the workshops and other facilities are substantial. And I really enjoyed printmaking because of the facility and fantastic technicians. Also, Middlesex has a firm curriculum content for a university, and the tutors are so nice and friendly. They always gave me a lot of good advice and information and made me excited about my work. I really enjoyed the 3 years I spent there and I feel so sad now because I am going back to Japan…

SACHIKOOGURI_kabukiza
How does it work with Little Door and the Drawn Chorus Collective?
I am a part of Little Door Collective, which is a small group of illustrator friends making zines etc. The members asked me to join after I graduated and I am going to be featured in an up and coming zine. Drawn Chorus Collective invited me to be a contributing guest artist for their alphabet book Easy As, a fully illustrated ABC book with each letter interpreted by a different artist.

SACHIKOOGURI_icekuma
When and where will your upcoming collaborative exhibition be, and what will be featured?
The exhibition for the alphabet book will (hopefully) be at the Light Eye Mind Gallery in early December. The show will feature artwork and reproductions of the spreads from the book. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund the printing in October and we’ll be selling the book through our website.

SACHIKOOGURI_TheTreasureofAbbotThomas
SACHIKOOGURI_BeardGirls
Where are you living now and what do you hope for your future career in illustration?
I am living in London now but I will go back to my home town of Tokyo in Japan this November. So, I will be a Tokyo based illustrator. In the past 3 years, I have noticed that I like illustration that looks lovely but has a strong and heavy meaning; my artwork Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack is about the first bioterrorism in the world, and I think it is successful in expressing this idea. Also, I like to make works that all generations can enjoy. I want to be an illustrator who works on these ideas and I hope I will be able to show my art not only in Japan but also in other countries!

SACHIKOOGURI_pitchergirls
It’s been fascinating to hear about the world of Sachiko Oguri. You will be able to secure your own copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion very soon when I launch my Kickstarter campaign. Stay tuned!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Drawn Chorus Collective, ,Easy As, ,Flying Potato (Chips), ,Folk Tale, ,Half tone technique, ,Hyakki Yako, ,I Am a Cat, ,Kickstarter, ,Light Eye Mind Gallery, ,Little Door Collective, ,middlesex university, ,Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, ,Sachiko Oguri, ,Soseki Natsume, ,tokyo, ,Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack, ,Urashima Taro, ,Urashima Taro of My Childhood

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Sadhna Prasad: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

MA_ProjectSpread3_SadhnaPrasad
Indian artist Sadhna Prasad contributes a vibrant page to Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, inspired by her interest in parallel worlds. Here she shares her colour rich take on life, weaving together a love of dreams, memory and fantasy.

Portrait2_SadhnaPrasad
Sadhna Prasad_colouring
What is your colouring book artwork inspired by? It’s very intriguing.
I am currently obsessing over the existence of parallel worlds and researching about how the idea of the same came about. The illustration for the Coloring Book is an experiment for this relationship between humans and spaces. It is to define the two worlds which will connect in multiple ways, depending on the person filling the colors in to finish the image.

MA_ProjectSpread2_SadhnaPrasad
How did you come to study at Camberwell, and how does a London education differ from a Mumbai education?
I had researched a lot about the Illustration courses and the course-structure at Camberwell sounded very exciting and challenging. My education in India was under-graduation hence guided constantly by professionals and I was referred to as a student. In London, I was a professional who had taken up a year to finish a particular project, experimenting along the way with the feedback of tutors. That’s the difference. I was moulded into a complete professional.

Quote2_SadhnaPrasad
Why are you so interested in memories, dreams and fantasy?
I have always believed that my work should resonate with my personality. Memories create that relatable added layer. I am way more expressive when I relate to situations and scenarios personally. Dreams and fantasy is my gateway to edit the existing world.

MA_ProjectSpread1_SadhnaPrasad
Where would you most like to create a mural and why?
I would love to create a narrative-mural at intervals from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in India. It covers the two extreme points of the country. (Kashmir-North India, Kanyakumari-South India). This is an ideal roadtrip journey across India and it would be a story for people to travel through and will also help them travel further. The mural would be spaced on the roadtrip route from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Now that I have pitched the idea, I am excited to work towards it.

MA_research1_SadhnaPrasad
Adobe_ColossalANIMALS_SadhnaPrasad
Can you tell us more about your involvement in the worlds Biggest Student Art Show?
I use Behance quite frequently to look for freelance opportunities or to follow and look at other peoples work. I stumbled upon this competition under Behance’s Job Portal and I thought I should give it a try. Everything worked out perfectly and I was chosen as one of the ten students around the world to be featured in Adobe’s Worlds Biggest Student Art show where each of us got an amazing opportunity to contribute a design piece to be painted on a wall in Brooklyn by Colossal Media. We were given a common theme – ‘to show our unique perspective of the world‘.

Adobe_Colossal_SadhnaPrasad
Why do you like entering competitions and which ones have you entered recently?
Competitions keep the adrenaline rush going for me. I love working under strict guidelines and time restrictions. Apart form that, it gives you various opportunities to travel and connect with people form all over the world who illustrate to make a change. I have recently entered two for Film Festival Official Poster Competition and I am working on one due in January for a picture book.

Quote3_SadhnaPrasad
How are you exploring animations?
I am currently experimenting with a software called Cinema 4D, to see what 3D elements I can add to my illustrations. I intend to start the experimentation with a common theme and small GIFS till I conclude in the form of an elaborate motion graphic video.

Quote1_SadhnaPrasad
What is you personal project Life’s Little Instruction Book?
I came across this tiny little book at a bookstore in India called “Life’s Little Instruction Book” and decided to pick it up. After reading all the quotes I realised the book is a confusion of emotions by the author, where he is telling you what is right and wrong. After the one year hiatus with work, I decided I would illustrate what the quotes meant to me, literally or satirically. It is the long term project with which I plan to record my work changes.

MA_research2_SadhnaPrasad
You have just been on a road trip across India, can you tell us more?
The roadtrip was one of a kind, because it was a collaboration with 15 other creatives whom I hadn’t known before. Such a surprise the trip turned out with some great collaborations on the trip, painting murals/boats while we travelled and millions of ideation for future opportunities to work together. It also gave me an opportunity to dwell further into the topic of stereotypes and spaces. Moreover it gave me time to think, reflect and meet some amazing people.

MA_Projectcover__SadhnaPrasad
Where are you based at present and why?
I am currently based in Mumbai, India, working as a freelance illustrator as well as looking for other work opportunities while connecting to the illustration community in India and elsewhere.

Portrait1_SadhnaPrasad
Artwork by Sadhna Prasad features in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion alongside 40 other artist, funding now on Kickstarter. Get your copy for Christmas!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adobe’s Worlds Biggest Student Art, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Behance, ,brooklyn, ,Cinema 4D, ,Colossal Media, ,Colouring Book, ,Film Festival Official Poster Competition, ,India, ,Indian, ,interview, ,Kanyakumari, ,Kashmir, ,Kickstarter, ,Life’s Little Instruction Book, ,Mumbai, ,Sadhna Prasad

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Simone Ludeman: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman talks about her enigmatic underwater artwork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion and her plans to launch Ochre Design, offering graphic design and illustration services.

Simone Ludeman
What have you been doing since you graduated from Westminster Uni in 2013?


Since Uni I’ve spent my time prepping my portfolio as I’m planning to approach some illustration agencies in the coming months. Alongside this I’ve been doing some freelance work, entering illustration competitions and teaching myself new software. 



Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman
Why do you find a narrative focus so engaging in your artwork?


I think the narrative ties in with my love for fantasy, surrealism and folklore. I like creating images let you imagine your own story. I have a pretty active imagination so it just a natural way for me to work.

Simone Ludeman



What is your preferred process of creation?


Process is really important to me and I’m always challenging myself to improve my technical skill as well as technique. I love hand drawn techniques with meticulous pen work combined with digital colouring.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman

Can you describe your studio space?


My studio space is my bedroom and will probably always be my bedroom! My room is filled with little collectables and is a very therapeutic and calm place to make my work. I can quite happily shut myself away for hours, listen to music and be in my comfiest clothes.

Simone Ludeman


Many of your scenes are very fantastical – what inspires these?


A lot of my inspiration comes from science, nature, folklore, fantasy, sci-fi, mythology, spiritualism, surrealism and generally anything with an unusual topic. I’ve also had dreams, which I’ve then turned into illustrations. I find creating fantastical illustrations relaxing and an escape from reality.

Simone Ludeman
What kind of feel were you aiming to create when you set out to draw your underwater scene?


I wanted to capture the detail and vibrant life you find in the ocean. I think it offers a playful scene to colour in, with lots of different patterns and hidden creatures to find. 



Simone Ludeman





Where did you find inspiration for the creatures?


The ocean is filled with so many unusual creatures. I’m fascinated by deep sea creatures in particular. They are so alien and it’s like a whole different universe down there. They have evolved to be bioluminescence which looks so beautiful in the black of the deep sea. I wanted to focus on this within my coloured page.

Simone Ludeman
You are about to launch Ochre design – can you tell us more about what services you will be offering?
Myself and my friend Callum will be launching Ochre Design in the coming months so keep your eyes peeled! We will be selling products and offering Graphic design and Illustration services. We have friends who specialise in different areas and have strengths in various platforms from graphic design, videographers, printmakers, 3d and we are hoping in the future to get people involved to offer a whole creative service along with a range of different products.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman
It’s been lovely to meet Simone Ludeman. Keep your eyes on this website for the launch of my Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion Kickstarter campaign, coming soon…

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Ochre Design, ,Simone Ludeman, ,Westminster University

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Sophie Corrigan: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Sophie Corrigan - anatomy of a fox
Illustrator Sophie Corrigan is known as @ladyaxolotl on instagram, where she has gained a huge following thanks to her images of Puggles and the like. Her super intricate artwork featuring oodles of cute critters and alluring animals will be featured in my upcoming colouring book… read on to find out more.

Sophie Corrigan
What are your favourite characters to draw and why?
I always gravitate towards drawing animals, as I’m a huge nature-lover! Any and all are really fun to draw. As a warm-up when sketching, I tend to draw canines, bears and birds, as their shapes are so simple but leave lots of room for experimenting – i.e., gangly legs, wonky eyes, and silly stances!

Sophie Corrigan - both pages small
What drew you to the theme of leaf litter for the colouring book pages?
I knew I wanted to base it upon a woodland or forest theme, as there’s lots of scope for including different creatures and floral shapes. In the past I’ve drawn woodland scenes, but I quite liked the idea of zooming in a bit this time to get a different perspective. That would allow me to draw some of the smaller critters such as squirrels and hedgehogs (which I love!), and also explore intricate details that might be found on the ground in a wood – which I thought would be great fun to colour!

Sophie Corrigan - anatomy of a hedgehog
Why have you decided to head back to college for a masters?
Since leaving Uni in 2013, I knew I wanted to go back and study on the Children’s Book Illustration MA course! My dream is still to have a children’s book published, and this is just another step towards that goal. I met a lot of inspiring people at Uni, and really felt that my work improved a lot while I was there – and I know there’s still so much to learn. There were visiting lecturers and lots of opportunities for feedback that I’ve really missed. I decided to wait a while before heading back, to build up my portfolio a bit and see if I could work as a freelance illustrator for a while. I really can’t wait to be a student again and improve my work more!

Sophie Corrigan - abeagle commission
Sophie Corrigan - sassage
How come you live in a sweet shop, who does it belong to and do you get any freebies, what is your favourite sweet and why?
I grew up in it! It’s a little corner convenience shop owned by my parents, and they’re quite known locally for their traditional sweets in jars. It was fantastic as a child (as you can imagine) as my parents weren’t at all strict, and I even got to help pick and test the stock. I still get freebies now, but growing up with it gives you a bit self-control! Plus, I pay my lovely parents rent for the privilege now. I still get excited visiting the sweet stockists. As for favourites, we sell the best fudge I’ve ever had anywhere (not biased), and I’m a huge chocolate fiend (Nestle is probably my favourite), and leftovers from Easter and Christmas are probably the best things ever.

Sophie Corrigan - ocelittle ocelot
I love your needle felted characters, how did you learn this art?
I was browsing the internet one day and a cute tiny cat caught my eye. After looking more closely, I saw that it was actually a felted ornament made by someone! I had to learn the skill for myself, it just looked so lovely. After looking up tutorials on YouTube, I found that it couldn’t be simpler – all you had to do was poke wool with a barbed needle, and magically it becomes a shape! Stitching in the little beady eyes is my favourite bit, though – that’s when the creatures sort of come to life!

Sophie Corrigan - crocodiles arent evil
Sophie Corrigan - puppy totem
What kind of Plush designs do you hope to make for christmas, any sneak peeks you can share?
It’s not for certain yet that anything will happen with them, but I’ve been designing some plush ideas for Christmas next year. Can’t give away too much about them, but they’re quirky and festive! Most of my work at the minute is in the top-secret stage, and it’s really difficult to not share details as it’s all rather exciting!!

Sophie corrigan axolotl shapeWays
I love the 3D printed axolotl, how was it made and what for?
The 3D printed axolotl I have is not only magical and adorable, but also has a little story behind it! I was contacted by 3D designer Eric Ho on Shapeways (a website that creates lots of different items through 3D printing) via Twitter, asking if I would like to collaborate with him to create a 3D printed Pugtato – which is one of my designs. I’d seen that he had the axolotl for sale, and it looked amazing, so of course I said yes to the collaboration (and ordered one of his axolotls for myself)! So, thanks to axolotls, the Pugtato is now available as a 3D printed sculpture too! It’s turned out just as magical as the axolotl, and they both now happily live together on my shelf.

Sophie Corrigan - pugtato
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with a crochet artist? Can we expect more 3D creations from you?
I was contacted by crochet artist Abigial Lim of My Backyard Monsters on Etsy. She’s based in America, but was really enthused by the idea of collaborating, and when I took a look at her work I knew it would be the perfect match, despite the distance. I could never pick up crochet myself so I was overjoyed to see the prototype of my Pugtato created perfectly by Abigail! The first order of Pugtatoes sold out in a matter of hours – I’m just waiting on the next batch to arrive, as I’ve had lots of people asking if they’re still available! I’m sure we’ll work together on more of my characters too. I really love the idea of collaborating, and have a few other exciting collaborations lined up! (Which are, again, top secret at the minute).

Sophie Corrigan - raccoon on bongos
Sophie Corrigan - cardinals
Why do you think you have attracted 10,000 followers on instagram, any tips?
I’ve been totally blown away by the support I’ve had on Instagram! I loved the setup when I first joined, and realised quite quickly people seemed to respond to my work on there really well, and my followers gradually increased over time. I just kept uploading my sketches, and my final artworks, and anything that was quite interesting to me. It’s just a perfectly simple setup, and it’s the social media site I update most often because of that. I’ve discovered so many great artists through it, and it’s such a lovely community! Since I started producing work for larger clients, and through wonderful support from sites like Ohh Deer and Redbubble, my followers just exploded. I never thought I’d get so many. I’m quite touched that people appreciate both my artwork, and photographs of hot chocolate! As for tips, I’d just say upload images that you really love, make use of hashtags, and if you’re an artist it’s always lovely to see a sketchbook!

Sophie Corrigan - dogs hallmark card
Read about more of my featured artists as they are decided! I can’t wait to share all the talent I have found through the #ameliasccc open brief (check the hashtag to see examples of all the submitted work).

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,@ladyaxolotl, ,Abigial Lim, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,axolotl, ,Children’s Book Illustration, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,etsy, ,instagram, ,interview, ,Lady Axolotl, ,My Backyard Monsters, ,Ohh Deer, ,Puggle, ,Pugtato, ,Redbubble, ,Shapeways, ,Sophie Corrigan

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Steph Moulden: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

steph moulden budgie blue
Steph Moulden has created a surreal space scene inspired by her own life activities for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. The Hereford College of Arts graduate shares her journey from graduation to professional illustrator.

steph moulden portrait
What persuaded you to pursue illustration rather than fine art?
I thought I was a fine artist for a while. I always liked to paint surreal images but would end up frustrated when trying to be photorealistic (and failing). My college tutor, who was totally brilliant, introduced me to a graphic novel by David Mack called Kabuki Dreams. It’s miles away from my own style now but it opened up a lot of new creative processes, taught me a bit about narrative and helped me link together what illustration was and could be. The same tutor also said that to not have the structure of illustration would be dangerous for my mind! Best advice I’ve ever had!

steph moulden dog over moon
What was your course at Hereford College of Arts like, and what were the best things about studying there?
Hereford College of Arts was a strange little university. Freshers nights were all about local real ale testing and picnics at the local art centre as opposed to the more traditional day glo events. But this setting made everyone who went really close from the beginning. I shared studios with animators, graphic designers and filmmakers alike. For a small place we had a great host of professional illustrators and makers come in. Mostly as requested by the students! Top lectures I can remember were by Laura Carlin, Karoline Rerrie and Dominic Owen.

steph moulden angry heads
Can you tell us about the Little Boxes Collective?
It was at HCA I met two other illustrators and we formed a collective before the first year was even up. That summer we even shared a sketchbook diary and posted it to each other week by week. We developed a way of producing 3D displays using cut out cardboard that we’d paint and draw on. Not a very typical route for illustrators to follow but it meant that Little Boxes Collective has been the gateway to some of my most loved projects that perhaps would not of been commissioned as a single artist. At the end of our degree the university asked us to create a signage system, leaflets and a huge window display advertising the 2012 Summer graduate show.

steph moulden stb bris window
steph moulden wooden dog
What did you do during your time spent living in Bristol?
My favourite Bristol project was an installation we did in the window for Start The Bus. It was a 3D ‘winter camp’ made entirely of painted cardboard and cut out characters. We all lived and worked together in Bristol selling wares for Made in Bristol Christmas Fair and creating cardboard installations for local shop windows and events. After nearly two years, I moved back to Hereford.

steph moulden pinapple
How does your day’s work reveal what is going on in your head?
I love to draw creatures or people. It’s my biggest procrastination at the desk but also a little insight into what’s going on in my mind. My fiancée will come home and look at the funny faces I’ve doodled and can work out my mood quicker than I can explain how my day has been. I also have two budgies so they appear quite frequently in sketches.

steph moulden little boxes work
steph moulden inky sketch
What is your favourite way to produce an illustration?
My over active imagination means I dream a lot and if I’ve had a good dreaming night I’ll have a good drawing day. Although I rarely use a pen or pencil. I’m most comfortable sketching with a paint brush and some cheap ink. I also love folk art acrylics, which were used in my colouring book entry. A quid a bottle and such beautiful thick colours you wouldn’t guess their value.

steph moulden double page update
What inspired your surreal space scene for my colouring book?
My colourful space scene is inspired about a few of the things I loved doing over the summer. Exploring the great outdoors, the season of garden sitting, warm days wild swimming and sadly, as a tribute, walking my dog for the last few times. My surreal universe is brightly painted and then collaged on to Photoshop. I wanted it to feel like an invite a party you wanted to go to. Admittedly, I’ve also caught the space bug brought on by the new Star Wars films…

steph moulden doone
steph moulden sign work
How have you set about finding work in your home town?
As much as I rely on Instagram, Twitter etc. to network, I have had more opportunities from selling myself face to face. I installed a blackboard wall at my place of work and covered it in hand lettering and illustrations. Another business then got me to do their blackboards and now I have a wall to design for a new shop opening for The Great British Florist.

steph moulden budgie sketch
You have only recently set up shop as a freelance illustrator with a stand alone website – why did it take you so long and how has it been going?
Moving away from the Little Boxes Collective has propelled me to take on a new identity. I feel like even though I graduated in 2012 I’m brand new to this all over again. Style never stops developing and you never stop learning. Although I have finally let myself have a website! I always put it off for fear of it looking fake but it just gave me reassurance that I can call myself a freelance illustrator. It is really good to have old contacts back again. The biggest challenge has been balancing a creative and work lifestyle. Since moving to a cheaper city I’ve made the brave decision to drastically lower my day job hours so I can properly focus on Illustration. I have a spare room studio all to myself. I want to build it up though to include a printing area. It’s a slow and steady journey it but has been rewarding already. In a month I had my first magazine commission for Fourth Trimester Magazine who are gearing up to print soon. And with the work in the running for some local businesses, it’s the first time in years I can say things are happening!

It’s been great to gain an insight into the world of Steph Moulden. Make sure you place a pledge on Kickstarter (coming soon) to grab your copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featuring her delightful work.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,David Mack, ,Dominic Owen, ,Fourth Tri Magazine, ,Fourth Trimester Magazine, ,Hand Lettering, ,Hereford College of Arts, ,illustration, ,Kabuki Dreams, ,Karoline Rerrie, ,Kickstarter, ,Laura Carlin, ,Little Boxes Collective, ,Made in Bristol Christmas Fair, ,Star Wars, ,start the bus, ,Steph Moulden, ,The Great British Florist, ,typography

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