Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Open Brief: Submissions Part 1

Chantelle Bell
I was thrilled to receive over 40 submissions for my Valentines Open Brief, nine of which were chosen by East End Prints to appear in their True Romance exhibition, open now (full listing here). Here is my first round up of the other submissions with text by the artists and links to their websites – I’m sure you will agree there are some stunning images here.

Chantelle Bell (above)
I heard this quote in a Twilight film and found it really sweet, no matter how cheesy it is. I think that the time we spend with our loved ones isn’t what is important, however what happens during this time is. We don’t have limitless lifespans, unlike some film characters, so we can only offer what we have, with the promise that if we had more, we would spend it with the one we love. I created this paper cut illustration with bright colours to keep it cheerful and drew the text with a fine liner before gluing it all down. The love hearts continue off the page to signify the infinite aspect of love. However childish or naive it may seem to believe love can last, there are the hopeful few who do, and these are the few who keep the hope alive.

owlpussycat print
Eugenia Tsimiklis
The Owl and the Pussycat: The poem is about an unlikely union between owl and pussy cat. It speaks of their complete devotion to one another and willingness to sail away together towards adventures unknown. The poem suggests the couple sacrifice their most worldly possessions to escape together and concludes as they dance by the light of the moon hand in hand. It’s a nursery rhyme with romantic sentiment, and I wanted the illustration to reflect this with a stark yet organic feel. I wanted the illustration to have a fluid quality with its linear linework and limited palette.

Faye West
I love the concept of alternative film posters. And a lot of my illustrative influences come from cult film poster artists such as Robert McGinnis. I wanted to depict romance via the classic film Pretty Woman (1990) and it’s more modern use of romantic language. We like our romances with a certain edge these days, and this is a film that is close to the hearts of many generations, not only because it stands the test of time, but also because it’s such a colourful representation of it’s era. I think this iconic film deserves referencing in fashion and art for future generations to come. And for me, is the ultimate romantic film.

for walls
For Walls
A print inspired by the Valentine’s Day tradition of giving flowers. I like to capture little domestic scenes in my prints, and these flowers are somehow in keeping with this. The print is designed to be celebratory and noisy, so I’ve included some process colours (and clashing colours) to really make it pop! The print is designed in Illustrator, and is made by creating lots of individual shapes to build up the image, then overlaying the outlines so the structure is visible. I like to show off the digital elements and background of a composition in a lot of my work. I’ve also played with transparency to add a bit of extra depth.

Hello Dodo
Here at hello DODO we love creating simple graphic tricks that make people smile. We are a husband and wife team and are self-taught screen printers based in Brighton, designing and printing from our home studio. Over the years we’ve been hugely influenced by design legends such as Alan Fletcher & Milton Glaser and their witty eye for creating fun, timeless designs. This particular design was actually born when we sent Milton Glaser himself a little Christmas greeting with our own adaptation of his timeless ‘I heart NY’ design including this little bearded guy. Milton’s response is still one of our most treasured things and continues to encourage and inspire us:  
Thank you for your greeting, it is by far the best and cleverest adaptation of my time-worn logo and a Merry Christmas to you as well. Milton

Jenny Kadis
After graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University with a First Class (Hons), Jenny has developed a quirky and unique style based upon her pencil drawings which she combines with bold acrylic paint markings and collage.

jenny robins - VALENTINES ART
Jenny Robins
This is a re-working of a collage piece I did a few years ago, that’s where the text is from. I have hand rendered the found text in this version, but evoke the cut and paste aesthetic by keeping it in irregular boxes. The imagery is inspired by classic romance movies like those ones with Fred Astaire, Katherine Hepburn, suits, dresses, dancing dancing dancing and oh so meaningful glances. I painted everything first and just suggested some tones before adding the outline at the end, I like to do this with watercolour and ink as it keeps a sense of fluidity and motion in the work and it doesn’t get too exact or cartoony. The serendipity which led to the original wording was perfect, and I like how it adds a second reading to the picture as the cynical aside both laughs at the romance of the image and to some extent grounds it, as these onomatopoeic breathy words remind us of the physicality of love – heart racing, palms sweating etc. and certainly of dancing too. 

Karina Jarv
Karina Jarv
I’ve always loved this film – How to Steal a Million. Since I was a child I always thought this is the best way to start a relationship. Hah, of course I do not think so now. But I think Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole were such a great and beautiful couple. The ARE such a great and beautiful couple even after almost 50 years later. And when I feel myself sad in some cold winter evening I adore to watch this film seating in my chair with a cup of my Earl Grey.

Lorna Scobie
My illustration, entitled ‘I smelt you from across the park’ is about True Love. Although the scene centres around two dogs who have found romance in a busy park, it also shows love in other forms. A man reads his favourite newspaper, a group of friends share a picnic, and a dog chases deer despite the wishes of his owner (Fentooooonnn!). Rather than planning an image before I start, I paint as ideas come into my head, which I hope makes the illustration feel more alive. My inspiration for this drawing came from a walk in St James’s Park in London last weekend, where I noticed that everyone seemed to be having a really, really good time. I don’t think love is limited to the feeling felt between two people, and this is what I hope to show in this illustration.

When I started thinking of a Valentine’s day illustration I immediately decided to base it around a heart image. But I didn’t want this heart to be a conventional one. Then for no particular reason I remembered how I had noticed in the past that two question marks facing each other look very much like a heart.That was it! That would be my idea for the Valentine’s illustration. Everyone’s familiar with the feeling of wondering whether a person you love/like/fancy has some feelings for you too. Well a question mark can easily be a symbol of that feeling. The characters in the illustration aren’t human for two reasons. Mainly because animal characters are sometimes more fun and secondly as a small tribute to one my most favourite romantic movie scenes: the candlelight dinner from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. When it comes to the technical details now the illustration has been hand drawn with water colours and scanned. Hope you like the result.

Rosie Bowery
Rosie Bowery
This piece was inspired by a love of Eastern European Folk Art- it’s colours, patterns and forms. My process is rooted in the tactile, my love of drawing and painting.

Sarah Underwood
More recently my work is based upon a love of nature, and constant observational drawing, an environment in which I can explore narrative and new techniques in my artistic practices. I use both traditional drawing skills and a digital environment to create my final pieces. This piece was inspired by my early teenage obsession with the 1960′s, and the music, illustrations and clothes from that era. Particularly, The Beatles and The Yellow Submarine, my favourite film at the time

Suzanne Walker
Susie La Fou
My work is a combination of pencil drawing / water colour / and digital art.  
The inspiration behind my work, is how two hearts find each other and fall in love in a seemingly random way. With so many hearts around us – i think its amazing that somehow we manage to seek out the one thats right for us. 

Victoria Wright Valentines art
Victoria Wright
This quote is based on a line from Baz Lurhman’s film version of ‘The Great Gatsby’, spoken by Daisy to Jay Gatsby “I wish I’d done everything on earth with you”.  It was apparently a line taken from a letter that Zelda Fitzgerald had written to her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald (the books’ author). It’s so romantic but has an element of sadness in the context of the story so I altered it to the slightly more hopeful phrase “Lets do everything on earth together”.  I wanted to create a simple image to encapsulate the idea of the scope and expanse of love, and the idea of hope and adventure.
My work always begins in a sketchbook. In this case the typography is hand painted and digitally coloured and the imagery began as a cut paper collage, which I have manipulated and layered digitally with different textures. I love reading classic fiction, and I am inspired by bold simple shapes and patterns. happy colours and the fun and excitement in the world all around me.

More to come in Part 2 tomorrow!

Categories ,Chantelle Bell, ,East End Prints, ,Eugenia Tsimiklis, ,Faye West, ,For Walls, ,Hello Dodo, ,Jenny Kadis, ,Jenny Robins, ,Karina Jarv, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Netina, ,Pretty Woman, ,Rosie Bowery, ,Sarah Underwood, ,Susie La Fou, ,The Owl and the Pussycat, ,True Romance, ,twilight, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Valentines, ,Valentines Open Brief, ,Victoria Wright

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Open Brief: Submissions Part 2

REALITY_BITES_Eugenia Tsmilkis
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us! Here are the rest of the submissions for my Valentines Open Brief, see more here, and see the ones which were chosen by East End Prints to appear in their True Romance exhibition here. I hope you’ll all be feeling the lurve this weekend.

Eugenia Tsimiklis (above)
Reality Bites: This film has significance for me as a romantic comedy because it encapsulated awkward post-university faltering relationships. It’s a movie about connecting with people, being emotionally vulnerable and a search for identity, and opportunity during economic recession. Reality Bites is the archetypal slacker romantic comedy and is concerned with not being a “sell out” and choosing integrity over financial gains and choosing the slacker penniless hot musician Ethan Hawke over the earnest suited TV executive, Ben Stiller. Stylistically, I love Reality Bites, because Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder are the ultimate nineties pin ups, wearing grunge thrift store clothes and hanging out in dirty bars, driving beat up old cars, working in jobs they hate and smoking cigarettes and feeling misunderstood.
I drew this based on the movie poster but I wanted it to have more of a comic feel. I drew it in pencil and added Indian ink, and a splash of red. I like the starkness of a limited palette and black and white poster art.

Valentines Art_Alison Day
Alison Day Designs
The inspiration for my Valentines Art illustration came to me one evening by chance. I have worked for many years as editor and designer of an expatriate magazine in the Netherlands. In 2013, I decided that it was time to take the plunge and put all my energies into my business: Alison Day Designs. I am inspired by imagery and the world around me, and I enjoy working in my garden studio on personal design and illustration projects.

Florence Zealey
Florence Zealey
My piece is inspired by the french film, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain – probably one of my all time favourites. The line “Even artichokes have hearts” immediately sprung to my mind when first approaching the design, appearing within the scene where Amelie confronts the bully of a greengrocer. Although not seemingly the most romantic line, or scene, within the film, I thought that it perfectly captured the charm and romance of the story without being too obvious. The film is simplistic, lighthearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously, so I have tried to keep that theme within my own work. I originally drew out the artichoke and the title by hand and then decided to progress with the design digitally. I have always admired simplistic and graphic posters, such as the work by Saul Bass, and have recently tried to bring this approach back to my own work. There is something incredibly difficult about keeping a design so simple and making it still look good whilst still having a clear meaning. 

Helen Dodsworth
I’ve never been keen on romantic/soppy declarations and find it all a bit naff to be honest. My friend was eating some love hearts and I noticed that one of them had MINE stamped on it. This struck me as a little too possessive and controlling for my liking, and left me with an image of a little cartoon love heart being told off for being a little too keen. I sketched out a few rough drawings until I had it looking the way I wanted it, then scanned my favourite sketch into Photoshop, blew it up to the right size (as I naturally sketch quite small), then polished it up and added colour in Photoshop, using a photo of love hearts I found online for colour reference.

Holly Farmer
This illustration is a mixed media piece that was originally inspired by the Russian artist duo – The Popovy Sisters and their beautiful artist dolls. I wanted to portray a sense of fragility and melancholy through the form of a slim, breakable doll. Although she has a dolls body, I feel I captured something hauntingly human about her expression and mood. I painted the girl using watercolours in an impasto method by mixing white acrylic paint to the colours. I also hand painted each individual moth in watercolour. Originally during my planning of this work I painted two girls facing each other in a romantic or sisterly way. I wanted to express the way love is universal and mostly, indiscriminate. I erased the second girl and instead drew two red flowers in a vase to simply suggest a romantic aura. I feel I captured the theme of love in a subtle way.

joanna long
Joanna Long
Love is all around, sometimes you just have to look a little bit harder to see it!

laura barrett
Laura Barrett
The design I’ve created is inspired by traditional folk art and takes inspiration from nature. I’ve always been drawn to folk and fairy tales, which is something that runs through most of my work and the illustrations I choose to create. This design is based on floral folk art, in particular ‘Scherenschnitte’, the German art of creating intricate cut paper designs. These need to be designed in a way that every piece is connected so that the whole design is held together- I like this idea of everything being connected, which seems appropriate for such a romantic theme. 

myfanwy tristram
Myfanwy Tristram
Although I work a lot with inks, and prize them for their vibrancy, this piece is super-saturated in colour even by my standards. When I thought of love, I wanted to show it bursting out all over, with flowers springing up spontaneously, trumpets playing triumphant fanfares, and everything – seed heads, rainbows, hearts and flowers – just exploding with the sheer exhilaration of it all.
In retrospect, I suspect the colour theme is influenced by a childhood exposure to Sesame Street and Seventies cartoons, where pink, purple and orange could, and did, co-exist in harmony. For those who didn’t grow up in that decade, I apologise, and hope that your retinas recover soon.
I sketched this piece out in pencil initially, which allowed for some crazy sweeping lines, then coloured it, via a lightbox, onto a new page. It’s barely touched up in Photoshop, hence the uneveness in some of the colouration – hopefully all adding to the general feeling of being swept up in the moment of irrepressible, undeniable, exuberant love.

Rich banks queen of hearts
Rich Banks
Queen of Hearts was created using Staedtdler Fine Liners and Uni Posca marker pens. It is the next in a series of illustrations I am producing on playing cards. 

Sarah Stendel
Sarah Stendel
My inspiration was one of the most romantic movies of all that I know: An Affair to Remember starring lovely Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant as Terry and Nickie, who gently fall in love with each other during their trip on a ferry. Although both are actually involved with someone else, after their journeythey decide  to leave each others’ partners and meet in 6 months time on top of the Empire State Building in New York. After watching the movie again and making some sketches and notes during the film, I started painting a remake of the movieposter. I went for an old poster format, like some french theatres (particularly Folies-Bergère) or events used to have around the 20s/30s. And some british illustrative posters of the 50 inspired me as well.

Scott Mason
Illustrated film posters from past romance movies inspired this illustration, with those a single image had to depict a story and intrigue viewers to come and watch the film, so I wanted to include just enough to entice the viewers imagination and curiosity and let their mind run wild with creating a story, situation and relationship for these two. This image started off with a couple of quick layout sketches to try and plan out the colours, but that all went out the window when I started the actual drawing and just coloured it in what I felt looked decent and worked. I wanted the image to have an almost screen printed retro feel to it with the flat bold colours, clashing just enough to get your attention but hopefully not so much you need to pop on a pair of sunglasses mid winter.  

Vicky Bentham-Green
Vicky Bentham-Green
My two greatest passions in Art are line and colour; I grew up on Dartmoor surrounded by a dramatic landscape and hardy livestock and would go out with a sketchbook to draw – I liked the challenge of capturing the ‘essence’ of the animals and the scenery. At secondary school my art teacher recommended I attend life-drawing classes. I enjoyed being able to draw the full human form but found I missed portraying movement. I love location drawing, sketching people going about their business and creating ‘characters’ in just a few lines.
I chose the tale of the Frog Prince as my female figures tend to have a whimsical air and my animals a personality of their own; so when brought together I felt they represented well the ridiculous and yet wonderful sentiment of the tale.
I start my illustrations by drawing subjects from reference or moving image, sometimes I will capture a subject in one drawing, another time it will take dozens of attempts, but I will know when an image is the right one; it feels like a type of magic! I then work over the drawings, and create textured backgrounds, using watercolour or watercolour pencil.

Will Broomfield
Will Broomfield
The valentines theme took me straight towards a heart so I started with a basic outline, white on black. I wanted to make this piece unique with randomness, simply because you never know who you might fall in love with, it’s random. Having added colour to the individual heart, I thought it looked bare by itself, therefore I used the same illustration without colour with different opacity which created a heart series which I think has worked well.

Categories ,2015, ,Alison Day Designs, ,An Affair to Remember, ,art, ,East End Prints, ,Eugenia Tsimiklis, ,Florence Zealey, ,Helen Dodsworth, ,Holly Farmer, ,illustration, ,Joanna Long, ,Laura Barrett, ,Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, ,Love, ,Myfanwy Tristram, ,Open brief, ,Queen of Hearts, ,Reality Bites, ,Rich Banks, ,Romance, ,Sarah Stendel, ,Scott Mason, ,True Romance, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Valentines Open Brief, ,Vicky Bentham-Green, ,Will Broomfield

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