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I LOVE greeting cards! On the highstreet and even in the supermarket, there are so many great designs on offer. It’s easy to find something just right for that someone special. That’s why I was delighted when I was asked by Paperless Post to try out their site for free.

Paperless Post are an online, New York based stationery company that specialise in greeting card and invitations that can be personalised and emailed to the recipients. They have partnered with many great illustrators and designer including Jonathan Adler, Kate Spade, Rifle Paper Co, Hello Lucky, Petit Collage, Little Cube, and Red Cap Cards. That’s just a few of the great list of names I could have put here!

Let’s move onto the shopping side of things. I have a new baby coming into the family in the summer, so I thought I would find a super cute card for that.
In August, one of my best friends is getting married in Greece (I’m a bridesmaid!), so I really need a celebratory card for this occasion.
Then it’s birthdays. I need grown up ones, and a kids one for my niece who turns 5 this October!
Using the Paperless Post site is very easy. The website is clear to use, and is very pleasing on the eye.
Categories are split into the following
  1. Flyer
  2. Birthday
  3. Wedding
  4. Parties
  5. Professional
  6. Cards
Using the search bar tool was useful, as I couldn’t see any New Baby cards, only Baby Shower invitations. After searching for New Baby cards though, I was left with a delightful collection of pretty designs. Here are a few of my favourites:
Under the Wedding category I found some really cute designs that will be perfect for my bestie and her new husband.
Here’s a couple of great designs that caught my eye:
I think my favourite category of card to shop for is always kids birthday. As a children’s illustrator I am drawn naturally to fun characters so picking something for my niece will be fun. I like these LOADS!
Lastly, I just want to share some general birthday cards that are great for adults. There are quite a few really beautiful and simple designs. I picked these two as an example:
Another great thing about the site is the option to customise at every stage from the message on the back of the card, to the envelope liner, and even the stamps! LOOK AT THESE!
Hopefully, I’ll have enough coins left for Christmas cards this year.

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the AOI World Illustration Awards in London. As I walked around with my friends, I was struck by the number of simple but effective animated illustations on show and this prompted me into looking at how I could achieve something similar with little effect. My mind always buzzes when I get to see world class illustration and makes me adore the industry that I work within.

Finding this tutorial on Skillshare, I was able to learn the basic principals of using the Puppet warp tool in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018. I think this tool is only available in this version, so you will have to upgrade to try it out.

This is not a tutorial for you today, as it would be too complicated for me to explain. I just wanted to share the result of my first attempt at this simple and easy to understand form of animation. Jamie Bartlett, who teaches the class on skillshare, runs through a few different techniques too, including

  • tweening and duplication
  • frame by frame.

I hope to give these techniques a try soon too.

I used an original, old illustration from illustrator and I copied and pasted each element over into a new file in photoshop. This was convenient as I tend not to work in Photoshop for my artwork. My final animated illustration is on a very basic loop, and is a little jerky, but effective.

I have linked below my referral  link for those of you that want to try out skillshare classes like this one for a trial period.

SKILLSHARE REFERAL LINK

See the original illustration in my portfolio HERE.

Unless you follow me on twitter, I kept this a little under wraps. Towards the end of 2017 I noticed a call out by Templar Publishing for a new competition. Called the Templar Illustration Prize, the competition was open to both students and professionals.

The brief was to design a book cover and story board on the theme of dragons. I entered my piece back in March 2018, and to my great surprise I made the final 10! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through to the last 3, but the knowledge that I may just have story potential for children’s books, inside me is motivating. I honestly didn’t think my entry would ever make it as far as it did.

In honour of my time in the competition coming to an end, I thought I would share my cover design and a favourite spread with you.

Thank you Templar Publishing for the competition and support.

Read more about the competition HERE.

See my portfolio HERE.

Early sketches.

At this early point, I really thought I couldn’t continue with my submission. I found it very difficult to illustrate and design a dragon. Some of these are mortifying, but I wanted to share so you can see the process.

 

Dragon_Development-Work_02_Alice-Potter_2018Design development on the iPad Pro.

Templar Illustration Prize 2018 ShortlistFinal cover idea.

Templar Illustration Prize 2018 ShortlistInternal spread.

 

Keep the kids(and Adults) occupied with these Easter DIY Craft Projects

It’s time to try some DIY craft as it’s the Easter holidays here in the UK, which for many means two whole weeks of spending time with family and celebrating the joys of spring and new birth. I was asked by Etsy UK to come up with 5 simple DIY craft ideas that you can do with children, letting you get creative indoors, when it is likely raining out.

Feel free to use the free downloads I created, or make your own masks and flowers out of left over paper and card in your house. This is your opportunity to let your imagination run free.

Please only do crafts involving scissors with adult supervision.

Easter-DIY_Craft_Bunny-Mask_Alice Potter_Illustration

Easter Bunny Mask

A classic favourite, an Easter mask can be easily made using simple white card or even paper plates which you might have available at home. Cut out the face shape and eye holes, and attach ears with superglue. Decorate with flowers, whiskers, bows and more to make your bunny truly unique.

Spring Flower Garland

This is a really pretty craft idea, and is perfect for Spring time. You can easily make paper flowers using colourful paper or old magazines and newspapers. Make them flat or 3Dimensional, and string them together and hang along your mantle.

Easter-DIY_Craft_Spring-Flower-Garland_Alice-Potter_Illustration
Easter-DIY_Craft_Spring-Flower-Wreath_Alice-Potter_Illustration

Spring Flower Wreath

I think this is a perfect opportunity to use real flowers if possible as it’s the right time of year to celebrate all the beautiful new blooms available. If this isn’t possible though, why not use the same flowers you used for your garland and apply them to a circle of card with lots of leaf shapes to add depth. String this up and hang from a window.

Easter Egg Colouring Page

Who doesn’t like colouring in on a rainy day? Draw your own designs in black and white, or use the fun collection of eggs I have provided.

Easter Patterns

Use to make easter egg holders or decorate boxes and baskets.

Easter-DIY_Craft_Colouring-Page_Alice-Potter_Illustration

Download your free DIY Easter Crafts HERE.

View more of my illustration work HERE.

Shop illustrated gifts on my Etsy UK shop HERE.

I had the great pleasure to be commissioned by Breathe magazine to do some editorial illustrations for Issue 11.
Editorial Illustration For Issue 11 of Breathe Magazine by Alice Potter - Cover
Editorial Illustration For Issue 11 of Breathe Magazine by Alice Potter - Internal Illustrations - Food Myths Article
The feature was all about Food Myths and I supplied two illustrations for the article. Breathe magazine is a relatively new UK based wellbeing magazine with a focus on being in the moment, creativity and lifestyle. It’s a beautifully published piece and uses a lot of wonderful illustration through out.
Editorial Illustration For Issue 11 of Breathe Magazine by Alice Potter - Internal Illustration - Weighing Scales - Food
Internal illustration for Food Myths article – Weighing scales.
Editorial Illustration For Issue 11 of Breathe Magazine by Alice Potter - Internal Illustration - Detox
Internal illustration for Food Myths article – Detox Drink.
Watches by Alice Potter Illustration
Internal illustration For Time article – Watches.
I also had my watches illustration featured in the magazine a few times which was supplied via my stock agent, with whom I have a small number of illustrations that get used for various articles and magazines around the world.
See more editorial work HERE.
Contact my agents ADVOCATE ART HERE.

In early February I put a call out on Instagram Stories for your questions for a future Q&A blog post. What have you always wanted to ask an illustrator or freelancer, and you came back to me with some great questions.

Below, I have answered each question in turn, some of which overlap a little. It was a real pleasure to answer such in depth questions from you all.

James: What is the first image I remember that made me want to be an illustrator?

I actually don’t ever remember a particular moment or image that made me want to be an illustrator. I fell into the career after my studies, however, I always liked picture books growing up and my mum was an excellent artist and textile designer too.

Lea: How do you price work for clients?

This is a broad and difficult question to answer, Lea. Mostly, it comes with experience. I will also suggest joining the AOI so that you can gain access to their pricing survey which will give you a fair idea of how to price for a variety of projects in all major markets. Be aware also, that designing with an agent or studio means that you only get a certain percentage. If you are representing yourself, my suggestion is to alway price higher and be willing to negotiate a little, but NEVER undersell yourself or YOUR skills.
Q&A: Everything You Wanted To Know About My Illustration Career - Alice Potter
Michelle: Which MATS class is most useful for someone starting out as an illustrator?
For those that don’t know. Make Art That Sells is an online collection of e-courses run by US agent, Lilla Rogers. Courses available include MATS A, MATS B, Home decor, Illustrating Children’s Books, Bootcamp, and new this year a bunch of other courses including one about illustrating faces. I have taken each class once, and for beginners I suggest starting with either Bootcamp or MATS A which covers markets including fabric, home decor, children’s books, wall art and gift.
That course boosted my confidence back in 2014 when I took it, and I ended up selling one design I did via a studio, and got many jobs off of the work completed in the class too. I recommend this class to a lot of new illustrators and designers.
Besides MATS, what tips or resources would you recommend for building a portfolio from scratch?
I have a written a blog post here about key themes you should have in your portfolio if interested in art licensing.
I would also recommend looking at sites like Emily Kiddy, Patternbank and Print and Pattern and LovePrintStudio for trend insights. You can purchase well priced trend books from Emily Kiddy and on Patternbank too. I use these regularly for my work.
If going into editorial, make sure you have illustrations of people as well as objects.
Look at whats out there in magazines, books and on blogs and websites, and interpret the perpetual themes in your own way.
What is something you know now that you wish you did when starting out?
To be confident and assertive from the start. Nerves really can hold you back in life.
Q&A: Everything You Wanted To Know About My Illustration Career - Black and white drawings - Alice Potter
Hally: Have you always wanted to go into illustration and did you naturally find a style that sets you apart from other artists, or did you find that difficult?
The honest answer to this is no, Hally. I studied Textile Design in London, and despite studying this I wasn’t sure where I fitted. My work was considered more illustrative than my peers, but I didn’t really know, or see illustration as a career option. It took a few years to find my own path into the subject, and many more years after that to find a ‘style’ that suited me. However, even that changes often.
What do you enjoy most about being a freelancer and is there anything you find difficult?
I enjoy the flexibility of everyday life that working for myself brings. I can start a little later, take an afternoon off, meet a friend, or go to a museum, because I will always make up the time in my own way. Some days are harder than others, and I am particularly prone to procrastination. I find though, that the act of doing one creative thing, then inspires me to do more, and suddenly, a whole day has passed and I have been busy and completed a lot of tasks.
Ashley: What sort of income streams do I have?
This is a great question and one that I think is important to answer. As a self employed illustrator income is key. I don’t have a monthly salary and haven’t for many years. My income now comes in from many different sources which I have to keep track of.
These include:
– Shop sales – Etsy and Not On The Highstreet
– Commissions – Books, magazines and other
– Licensing deals – Greeting cards etc from my agent
– Monthly or quarterly royalties – stock images, print on demand sites etc
– Occasional face-to-face markets
– Instagram ads
In 2018 I am also considering other potential income streams including a possible online course.
Amy: How did you reach the volume of followers that you have? Are there any steps you took?
I presume, Amy, that you are enquiring about my number of social media followers, particulary in Instagram?
In November 2014, I had just over 2000 and decided to take a class by Hilary Rushford on building your Instagram. I don’t know if it was that helpful, but after implementing a few tips, I noticed a steady increase in numbers. Posting regularly, and being consistent is key too. I know that my friend, Emma Block does a workshop in London occasionally about this very subject.
When did you have a breakthrough moment in your illustration career?
One of my best and earliest big commissions was with fashion brand Ted Baker, and I consider that to be a turning point in my career. It got my name out there more, and it was great to see my art in stores worldwide. Moments like that are great, but may not happen for many years for most illustrators. You have to treat every commission you get as special, and put 100% into each job. Only put out there work which you ultimately want to do.
Is it enough to rely on illustration as a career?
YES! If you don’t undersell yourself, and you must consider leveraging your art and skills across many different markets.
Q&A: Everything You Wanted To Know About My Illustration Career - Alice Potter
Fiona: What is your experience with different illustration agents?
Kath: Agents and representation. Do you have any advice?
Kath and Fiona, I hope you don’t mind but I bundled your questions together as they were the same subject.
Broadly speaking, it’s a real challenge to find the right agent, and so many new illustrators, like me at the time, will sign with anyone who flatters them even a little. Many times, you may not be suited to the client base of the agency, or maybe there are too many artists for you to be noticed. Maybe, you should just represent yourself, learn everything you can about pricing and contracts, and be done with the idea that only illustrators with agents are the successful ones. This is simply not true. I know many, unrepresented illustrators who are incredibly successful!
I can’t say if agency representation is right for you, but don’t dive in, do some research, speak to other artists and see who their clients are.
Tenille: How did you go about getting representation? Did your agent find you or did you solicit numerous agencies?
Tenille, please read the above response to Kath and Fiona’s question about representation. In terms of finding one, I was not approached directly, and have always undertaken it myself to email agencies I admire with a submission. Always follow the website guidelines for submissions if there are any.
Lesley: Your style is really original. What has inspired you and have you always drawn this way?
My style has changes a lot over time. Getting a Wacom tablet helped me to develop my handwriting, and last year I also got and iPad Pro which has enabled me to develop my style further and also to be more efficient with my designing.
Thanks to everyone who contributed questions to this post. I really enjoyed answering them and I hope they may be of use to some of you out there.

It’s now September as I write this, remembering my wonderful 10 day French road trip in Provence and the Carmargue at the end of July. We left London on July 20th heading to Lyon on the Eurostar. It was here that our trip started with an overnight stay and the opportunity to explore the city on the Rhone river by foot.

I recommend highly a visit to the botanic gardens and a lunch time break on the river bank. On July 21st we collected our car and headed down to our first airbnb base in a small, remote village called Bras, in the Var region. It’s so small, it’s even quite hard to find on a map, but if you can find Brignoles, it’s just north-east of that.

The next day we jumped in the car and headed down the steep hillside slop from our hosts house and headed North to Barjols in search of a small waterfall called Les Calmes. It was a wonderfully peaceful few hours with us being the only people there until the arrival of a dog walker and a small family. Usually, it is a good place to swim, but unfortunately on this occasion, the water had been switched off (what! How?!) by a house at the top of the cliff. We still took the opportunity to stand underneath the waterfall as the sun glinted off the water droplets and made a wonderful rainbow. It was pretty perfect!

That same day we headed to Bauduen and then straight onto the Gorges Du Verdon which was absolutely stunning. An enormous turquoise lake that cuts through a canyon and on which you can travel down on a boat or pedalow. We hired a pedalow ourselves and journeyed through the canyon, and despite how busy it was, it was an incredible experience to be so small floating along beside the enormous cliffs.

Just near the canyon is the village of Moustiers Sainte Marie which is well known for it’s history in ceramics. It’s a beautiful hilltop village with stunning views and pretty coloured houses. There is also a small ceramic museum and plenty of shops to by some locally made ceramic gifts.

Towards the end of the day we decided to try and find our next waterfall called Sillans. After a 30 minute walk along a guided track, we were led to a viewing platform to see the 42m high waterfall collect in the turquoise clear pool below. We would have loved to swim in it.

Our last destination for this, or first full day in the car, was the village of Cotignac which was a delightful hilltop artists village. It’s a great place to sit and eat and drink through the balmy evening and to experience a real French atmosphere.

It was now time for us to head to the coast, and our first destination was Cassis, the beautiful and luxurious coastal town. It was a complete nightmare to find anywhere to park, but once that was sorted, we spent a little time on the busy beach front, before moving along the coast to a small and more secluded beach. Cassis is full of beautiful houses with glorious views of the sea and with many calanques around the coast to explore, it’s a beautiful spot.

 

Introducing the new Olive Owl collection for Trend Lab.

Very early on in 2016 I had the luck of connecting with Trend Lab, a gorgeous online manufacturer and retailer of baby bedding and nursery decor.  It was great to find that they were interested in one of my collections I had done the previous year and so a deal was made.

Roll on a year and a half later and those designs are now a whole range of baby bedding and nursery decor including a quilt and bedding set, a clock, a shelf and a storage caddy and it’s all very cute!

When you work the way I do designing flat illustrations and pattern designs, it’s often hard to imagine anything other than what they are already. Seeing my designs become a 3Dimensional reality for the first time has blown me away. It’s amazing what they have created with so little and I just love that my little Olive Owl will be gracing baby bedrooms in the US for a good long while, I hope. The collection is called Olive Owl and can be brought HERE.

This project is a great example of what a designer and manufacturer can achieve. If you manufacture gift and home ware or stationery, please get in touch with me today. I love sharing my current collections and also enjoy working to commission to create bespoke designs just for you.

Click HERE to find out more.

Olive Owl Baby Nursery Collection For Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

Olive Owl Bedding Collection For Trend Lab

Olive Owl Baby Nursery Collection For Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

Olive Owl Quilt for Trend Lab

Olive Owl Baby Nursery Collection For Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

Olive Owl Storage Caddy for Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

 

Olive Owl Storage Caddy for Trend Lab

Olive Owl Baby Nursery Collection For Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

Olive Owl Wall Clock for Trend Lab

Olive Owl Baby Nursery Collection For Trend Lab by Alice Potter Illustration

Olive Owl Wall Shelf for Trend Lab

Olive Owl Window Valance for Trend Lab by Alice Potter IllustrationOlive Owl Window Valance for Trend Lab

Original Olive Owl Illustration and Pattern Collection by Alice Potter

Original Illustration

Original Olive Owl Illustration and Pattern Collection by Alice Potter

Original Pattern

Original Olive Owl Illustration and Pattern Collection by Alice Potter

Original Coordinate

I was delighted to work once again with the wonderful team at Aceville publications to create a new stamp kit for issue 305 of Crafts Beautiful Magazine. The theme was Cats and Dogs and I was able to create a really cute collection of animal characters that were suitable for both older women and young children too.

The craft market in general is a really fun market to work within as an artist. A lot of companies are very open to new ideas and on trend designs so it can be quite exciting to get briefs like this.

I have really enjoyed seeing the final product for this project, which came out recently in all good newsagents. The stamps come with a die cut template and ink with many project ideas inside the magazine to make the most of your kit.

If you would like to work with me on a similar project for you magazine/brand/company, then please do get in touch HERE.

I am always keen to partner and build relationships with new clients and to create beautiful art for them.

Crafts Beautiful Magazine Issue 305 Cover With Free Stamp Kit Designed By Alice Potter

 

Crafts Beautiful Magazine Issue 305 Internal With Free Stamp Kit Designed By Alice Potter

Cute Projects like the above are available to make with my free stamp kit!

 

Easter as a holiday seems to have grown in popularity over the last few years. Easter eggs are available as soon as Christmas is over, and the product range is vast ranging from bunny ears to easter egg hunt kits.

This year, I wanted to design a sweet print collection aimed at children’s clothes.

It needed the following themes:

  1. Bunnies
  2. Flower
  3. Chicks
  4. Eggs
  5. Pastel colours
  6. A main print
  7. A smaller ‘ditsy print’
  8. Placement prints for t-shirts

With these points in mind I drew up some cute bunny and chick characters for my pattern design. These were worked into a main pattern repeat with flowers to add interest. The overall effect is sweet and has a sense of movement to it.

I also worked on a ditsy design with just florals on a dark background, as this has impact and contrasted well with the main print. This ditsy is also available as a one colour design on white.

Simple and cute placement prints with ‘applique’ design elements have been included to tie the collection together with the characters.

The collection is available to buy or license. Please get in touch for more details.

Cute Easter baby onesie with pastel coloured bunny and flower pattern