Tag Archives: designs

Paper High

I came across this company a while ago and bought some of their stunning wrapping paper. Paper High specialises in selling Fair Trade products made in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. They sell a variety of gift type products such as journals, bags, bowls, photo albums etc that you can find on their website. They even sell Elephant Dung greeting cards which sounds rather icky but are actually adorable! The design work on the products they sell are simple yet lovely, like the prints on the wrapping paper which remind me of childhood and the pretty images that are used in children books to tell a story. The wrapping papers are handmade from a native flower in Nepal and are dyed in vibrant colours. Their website photos don’t do them justice, this is what they look like without packaging in person. paper high  3paper high 1




This popular fairy tale has lots of versions and I mean lots – over 700. Cendrillon by Charles Perrault from 1697 being the most well known after Disney transformed it, what we know as the 1950 animation Cinderella. Perrault introduced the pumpkin, the fairy godmother and the glass slipper (gold in the Grimm version), the Grimm’s on the other hand present a much more sinister tale, as when they started publishing they were aiming for adult readers and scholars not children.

If you don’t know the Grimm’s Cinderella version it is certainly worth a read. Unlike Perrault’s, their Cinderella tale is as much a fable as it is a fairy tale. Their version places a strong emphasis on deception and humiliation. Good dramatically triumphs over evil, the evil doers (the step sisters) lose their eyesight so they cannot perceive good or their own wickedness, whilst Cinderella’s purity and kindness does lead her to a happy ever after. Still sounds like the Disney?…Just wait till you get to the body parts being cut off.

In respect to my design I particularly enjoyed creating it as I’m a big shoe lover, I could start a shop myself from my own wardrobe! With this one I combined small elements from the different versions, for example the shop number ’21’ connects to Cinderella’s individual fable number in the Grimms collection whilst the door signage plays to the time stamp of the fairy godmother’s magic.

You can find a bigger scale of this design in my portfolio by clicking on Fable Designs

Dear Prudence

To really get me going when coming up with ideas for designs I do mood boards and also do a lot of web and book glancing at other artist work, and if I come across something really inspirational I like to know how that artist got to that particular piece in the first place. The approach to coming up with something I find can be challenging, so in essence the creativity of creating is the hardest part of the design process but when successful it is the most rewarding!

I will regularly post about artists, designs and general stuff that I see. I love images and am inspired by so many, some of which I’m sure will play an integral part in my work.

So to start off I found a cute, funny birthday card for my mum with a bird on it – anything with birds is a winner for my mum as she mentally adopts every bird that comes into her garden; they are her other children. The card is from Dear Prudence a small company created by Laura Park. She has been commissioned by some top clients including the V&A, Urban Outfitters and East End Prints. Her drawings are naturalistic and very whimsical! A joy to look at. What drew me in are her splashes of soft colours and the way her drawings sit on the page – its as though we are seeing a small part of a larger story. This is what I am constantly thinking about when approaching my fable designs.

She has a blog and her own website where you can purchase her cards and prints, which you can find here.

Take a look.

Snippets of Inspiration

Fables/Fairy Tales/ Enchanting Stories

These playful yet serious and meaningful tales have been regurgitated into many forms, a lot of which people fail to recognize where they come from. Like with everything, often only the more well known stories stay with us yet there are so many that have been forgotten or missed. From a visual perspective what attracts me to fables are the illustrations, traditional and modern. How these narratives are pictured in a few images and the style of the illustrations themselves is what captures my interest. 

My designs are based on various fables that I feel I can recreate and simplify to relate to current society – as don’t forget when a lot of these stories were first published a very different audience was being read to.  So far I have been focusing on the Brothers Grimm fables just because there is such a huge array tales by them, some very famous one’s and some very unknown. 

When I initially start thinking about design ideas I usually do an inspiration board or mood board to help focus my ideas and really get something on paper as I am the type who gets distracted easily. I particularly find my love for other people’s work gets in the way of me starting my own sketches! Mood boards are super fun and easy way to start the foundation of a design, they project where your coming from at the beginning of a concept, and they help support you at the final stages, I often come back to them when I need to refocus. I like looking at other people’s mood boards as well, they make interesting wall art.

I usually do mood boards on a pin board, finding images and collating them until I have enough. This time I used photoshop, I'm a newbie with it for sure and I want to be able to use it more skillfully, this took a lot longer than usual to do, but was worth it!

I usually do mood boards on a pin board, finding images and collating them until I have enough. This time I used photoshop, I’m a newbie with it for sure and I want to be able to use it more skillfully, this took a lot longer than usual to do, but was worth it!


I used a couple of images from some artists and crafts people, the toad watercolour is by an artist called Daniel Mackie, you can find his blog here: http://danielmackie.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/the-frog/. I often look at his use of colour to help me think about how I want to do colour splashes in my designs and he also gets me thinking about perspective. Very fond of the Girl with the Frog umbrella print  http://www.thedmcollection.com/product/girl-with-the-frog-umbrella-card

I used the Letter E from this talented artisan who posts her work at http://thesumofallcrafts.blogspot.co.uk/.

In the bottom left corner, the black cat illustration is by Rudyard Kipling for his Just so Stories – one of the many books I grew up with and still treasure.

The central image with the glowing house is by Kay Nielsen – his interpretation of the Brothers Grimm fable Hansel and Gretel. I adore Nielsen’s illustrations! I will definitely do posts that primarily focus on his works as they are so enchanting. 

Hello and Welcome!

I am Izzy and this is my Ink blog where I will start posting some of my designs that I have been working on that I hope you will enjoy looking at! I will reveal more about what my designs are based on in my next post. For me, this blog is an opportunity to present the ‘design stuff’ that I do for fun to you fellow bloggers, readers and all art enthusiasts, which usually ends up shying away in my sketch pad and never sees the light of day again. 

The sketches I did from two to three years ago and further back...pretty sure that stuff can stay safely tucked under my wardrobe where I can never see it again.

The sketches I did from two to three years ago and further back…pretty sure that stuff can stay safely tucked under my wardrobe where I can never see it again.

I hope the designs will capture your interest and give you some comfort or joy in your day-to-day browsing of the internet. Please do leave me feedback, or questions if you have any..? I would also appreciate any relevant ideas for the content my drawings are based on as I’m always looking for inspiration!