Above: Geometric Patchwork Backpack

This year, I decided to take part in the wonderful Make Art That Sells Bootcamp. For those not in the know, this is a 5 month course set up by art agent, Lilla Rogers. Each month a brief is set and students create artwork for their portfolios in direct response to this brief. It’s challenging, exciting and a real learning curve. I took part in the Bootcamp 2 years ago, and it was a fantastic experience where my work rapidly developed, and resulted in commissions for me.

So, in 2017, I decided to give it another go, and we have just come to the end of our March brief which was to design an abstract pattern for a backpack.

Designing abstracts can be quite difficult when your work is very illustrative and decorative. Using my reference sketches, and photos I was eventually able to come up with some simple icons and shapes that could be connected together to create my pattern. It’s a youthful, playful print which I am quite happy with.Abstract geometric pattern for a backpack designed for Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp


At the end of each month, I am going to write myself some small goals for the following month. I recently joined an accountability group with a few other illustrators and designers. We share goals both short and long term, and will catch up with each other to see how things are going. It’s a great way to remain focused and feel both supported and motivated.

April Goals:

  1. Blog at least twice per month to look at what work I am doing, commissions, or coursework.
  2. Design greeting cards for upcoming occasions and holidays.
  3. Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp for April.
  4. Add more prints to my online shop.
  5. show new work to clients.
  6. Send a newsletter out.
  7. Go to the British Museum
  8. Visit art exhibitions in London.
  9. Draw daily in my sketchbook.

With every new year, we habitually make plans and decisions to improve upon or change our lives. I decided to not make any significant resolutions for 2017 except to try and feel less anxious about life, and to be a little bit more adventurous. Using my sketchbook as way to destress each day seemed like a simple idea so in early January I found a small sketchbook, and have given myself about 30 minutes each day to draw something.

There are many contemporary artists and illustrators who swear by daily sketchbook keeping. Ohn Mar Win has recently launched a Skillshare class on keeping a sketchbook everyday, and testifies to how much her art and confidence has grown on the two years since she started.

Jennifer Orkin Lewis (aka August Wren) published her much anticipated book last year called Draw Everyday, Draw Everyway, and as simple as it sounds, the book encourages you to draw from the theme prompts and to explore various mediums at the same time. A little practice each day can have an enormous effect on the quality of your art in the long run.

With this in mind, I took on the challenge, however without the challenge part. I didn’t want to feel pressurised into sharing my sketchbook work daily. It needs to be carefree and most of all relaxing to help cope with the everyday stresses of life.

My daily sketchbook practice allows me to explore simple themes and think about shapes in a new way. I am enjoying exploring geometrics and florals with a fresh eye, and using the spread of the page to create interesting and dynamic compositions.

I am hoping that with daily sketchbook practice, my illustration and surface pattern design work may develop along new lines, and with continued use of the sketchbook, eventually a long lasting habit with emerge that will influence and enhance my art for the better.

Daily sketchbook practice and drawing by Alice Potter Illustration

Daily sketchbook practice and drawing by Alice Potter Illustration

Daily sketchbook practice and drawing by Alice Potter Illustration

Daily sketchbook practice and drawing by Alice Potter Illustration

Daily sketchbook practice and drawing by Alice Potter Illustration

When the Design Museum announced a few years ago that they would be moving to Kensington I was so happy. It’s previous location was a pain to get to and was far too small to do their collection justice. Also, you had to pay to get in just to look at the general collection which was not the best start to a visit.

The Commonwealth Institute in Kensington has been a wonderful but essentially, redundant building for decades. Previously, it’s purpose was to display wonderful objects from the Commonwealth countries around the globe. I have very vague memories of visiting it when I was a child, but since it’s closure, we have only been able to admire the wonderfully unusual architecture as we whizz by down the high street on the bus.

The Design Museums take over of the building is a real masterpiece. Designed by architect John Pawson, it’s a gloriously spacious building which leads you gently up and around it’s space. The various details are really noticeable. One of my favourite features were the cork triangle tiles. Triangles and geometry are a theme seen throughout the interior which I really enjoyed.

With the new space, they have been able to display their permanent collection in a really engaging display. Walking around the exhibition you experience design from transport, medicine, home decor, fashion and technology through the decades. It was fascinating.

For those that like beautiful objects for the home or need ideas for gifts, the Design Museum now has two shops. One is located closer to the high street and is independent to the museum itself, whilst the other is located just inside the main entrance to the museum. I have found the shop to be a great place for buying presents.

Find out more about the Design Museum and what’s on show by clicking HERE.

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

The Design Museum London Review by Alice Potter Illustration

I recently brought myself a small box of Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache as I have been itching to try out painting with these for a while. Acrylic and watercolour have never felt good to me. They make me feel uncomfortable and lacking in skill, so when I painted the Blue Vase, I was so happy with how it all felt. I like the feel of the paint on paper and how it reflects my digital work. How you can layer up colours and details on top of each other. There are so many possibilities to explore my illustration work through the medium of paint.

When I was studying at university I remember trying to use paint as a way to explore my artwork, but always ended up gravitating to the computer where I felt less pressure. Painting has so much history behind it, and sometimes it feels like all of my contemporaries can paint well. Instead, I’m going to give myself room to explore and play and learn and not to expect anything from painting with gouache.

Painting the blue vase with flowers was an experiment in imagination. I used no source material and just created shapes that felt right to fill the page. I think it could be nice to try painting flowers from source and this may be something I try in the future.


In this post you can see an A3 painting of some kitchen spices. I chose really vintage colours in pinks and greens, and added lines and details that reflected my sketchbook work. I enjoyed the layout of this piece and the possible applications of this artwork. You can see that if you click HERE.

It’s currently available in my art licensing portfolio. If you are interested in any of my art, please get in TOUCH.

Blue Vase, Gouache Painting, gouache illustration, painting, vase of flowers, blue

My DIY Mini Makes challenge is still growing strong. I just finished week 2 and made two really cute air dry clay pieces.

It’s all a bit of trial and error, but I am trying to have low expectations on how things turn out. However, this week, this didn’t really apply as a pinch pot mug I made up went spectacularly wrong during the decorating stage, it had to just go in the bin.

I replaced it with a pyramid ring holder which I decorated with black ink stripes and a gold tip. It’s so far my favourite, but with 10 weeks still to go, that could easily change.

Other makes include a small vase for my air plant in navy blue with white splatters and a small blue bowl with black spots inside.

I’m hoping I can build on some ideas I have, but some I feel may be too complicated with such simple clay.

Follow along on Instagram to see them first with #AlicesMiniMakes

Mini MAke_02b_Alice Potter_2016




I focus on making small objects such as bowls and ring dishes. To decorate, I tend to use acrylics as they sit on the dry clay quite well. My favourite paint is Golden Acrylics gold. It’s like painting with liquid gold leaf. You can see it on the ring holder below.




After these air dry clay makes, I didn’t manage to continue with my challenge. I think this is a reflection on my nature where I can remain focused on challenges like these for a few weeks, but always get distracted quite quickly. As an example, I have tried to dip my toe in various Instagram challenges like daily drawing, and I always get so far before I want to do something else. This is definitely something I want to work on in 2017.

Today, I wanted to share my intentions for the next 12 weeks with my Mini Makes. My plan or manifesto, if you like.

I have been so inspired by all those taking part in the 100 days of project, but I wanted to do something that wasn’t daily and that had a more relaxed feel to it. I also wanted it to be a skill or material I have no experience with, so that by the end I may (or may not) be better.

That’s why, starting from the week of the 25th April, I am going to start a 12 week challenge where twice a week I make a mini object out of air dry clay. It’s a material I have recently come across but have little experience with, so it will be a time for learning and experimentation.

I have set myself a few parameters to keep it consistent which I will list below:

  1. I will make 2 air dry clay objects each week for 12 weeks (except the week I may be away, in which case, I will prep before)
  2. The maximum height will be 4″
  3. The maximum diameter will be up to 5″
  4. I will decorate each with a unique pattern
  5. Each ‘mini make’ will be documented weekly and put onto this blog and other social media channels
  6. At the end I will document all 24 (hopefully) in a beautiful final photoshoot. 

I have popped some of my main inspirations below which can be linked back via my ceramics page on Pinterest.

Follow along on Instagram with the #Alice’sMiniMakes.

Leah Jackson Ceramics



L’atelier des Garcons

Recently, I was lucky enough to be asked to work once again with the team at Bulletin Magazine on an internal editorial illustration. Last year I did a typographic cover for the magazine, which was my first cover art, and my overall experience with the team at the publishers, has led me to love the creative freedom they give their artists.

Below is my editorial spread for the article on therapists using Skype to offer one-one sessions with school students.

I wanted my illustration to convey the privacy of the sessions but also the remoteness of doing therapy via the internet. To convey this I used the image of a desk in an office with the computer screen showing the start of a session between a child and their therapist.

You can see below some rough sketches that were sent along to the client before I started on the computer. These are more rough than I normally would do, and I would generally tend to do roughs on the computer in line. You can see the theme beginning here in the roughs, and the client decided upon the bottom version which was my top choice.

Editorial Illustration for Bulletin magazine - rough illustration

Bulletin Magazine March 2016 edition

This is the final version in print in the March 2016 edition over a centre fold spread. I’m really happy with the simple colour scheme and overall effect of the finished illustration. Coming up with a solution to the subject matter was a challenge but I think I achieved a response that was both bold and sensitive to the theme.

Bulletin Magazine Internal Editorial Illustration by London based Illustrator Alice Potter

Bulletin Magazine Internal Editorial Illustration by London based Illustrator Alice Potter

It’s a real pleasure to work with clients who give creative freedom to their artists, and I hope to have the opportunity to work with the team at Bulletin again.

If you like this editorial piece and would like something similar, then please get in touch HERE.

I love pinning DIY projects onto my pinterest board, and although I don’t always have the time to do craft projects, I love knowing that I only have to look at this one board for a whole bunch of inspiration. Weekends are great for trying new things out, so I have compiled my top 5 DIY’s from my board, which you can try in your own free time.

1.DIY Grid Planters – I actually did something quite similar last year and it was so effective. These ones are by Homey Oh My.

DIY Grid Planters

2.DIY Marquee Letters – These are so cool! From Love grows Wild.

DIY Marquee Letters

3.DIY Temporary Tattoo Ornaments –  The Crafted Life’s DIY is so dreamy. I still want to do this for Christmas.

DIY Tattoo Ornaments

4.DIY Stacking House Blocks – I like these because they appeal to my illustrative nature. I imagine designing a whole town in my style one day. I just need to find some wooden blocks. From Mer Mag.

DIY Stacking House Blocks

5.DIY Yarn Wall Hanging – i Spy DIY’s Wall hanging is the simplest project, and yet so beautiful. I think I would pick some neutral colours to work with.

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

Here is my second instalment of sharing my sketchbook spreads. This week, I took inspiration from the page of teacups I did as part of the Creative Bug Daily Drawing Challenge. The designs were screaming greeting card designs, which I did in one day. The next day I had sold half of the collection.

It goes to show that drawing leads to ideas, which then leads to opportunities and it’s made me feel positive about my work in this new year.

Here are a few pages for you to enjoy this week:

sketchbook spread - Alice Potter illustration Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 16.01.12 Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 16.01.25

As promised, I am starting as I intend to go on this year, by posting my sketchbook spreads. Drawing in my sketchbook has only recently become a thing for me. Before, I used to dive into digital work with barely a rough. You can read about my drawing story HERE.

It’s really satisfying completing a whole spread of a book with icons, using ink and brush pens to really finish the piece. I have even managed to turn one or two spreads into finished pieces of artwork.

My aim is to have these pages as reference pages too, for future work.

I’m also currently taking the Daily Drawing Challenge on Creativebug, run by Lisa Congden. There is a theme every day, accompanied by a bite size video, and it offers you a chance to draw an object in many different ways. It’s a great warm up exercise and you can follow along HERE.

I’ll post more next month.

DDC_01_AlicePotter Flowers Spread_Alice Potter

Paisley Spread_Alice Potter

Leaves Spread_Alice Potter

Leaves Alice Potter