Friday, 8 March 2013

Friday Favourite: Miss Magpie Designs

I've a fab artist to share with you today...

Miss Magpie Designs (also known as Emily Summers) creates beautiful and detailed illustrations and shares my love for animals! Another great creative I have found through twitter and facebook, Emily has let us have a peek into how her designs are created...

Describe your creative process… do you keep sketchbooks or mood boards?
I'm a rather scatty and erratic person so when it comes to planning new designs, I used to find myself scribbling down random thoughts and ideas on scrap paper; not particularly organised or visually helpful technique! I've recently got back into sketchbook work though, to try and become a little more focused and it's been so refreshingly welcome!
I have a little notebook which goes everywhere with me now and this is where my little inspirational nuggets will get stored until I'm ready to develop them.

In my sketchbook, I'll do a series of rough pencil and ink sketches to get a feel for whatever animal I happen to be working on-at the moment it's bunnies and flamingos!-and I'll plan out some colours too.
I use photos for referencing but of course try to work plenty of my own style into each illustration I do. The original pieces are watercolour pencil and acrylic ink drawings on textured paper which I then scan into my computer and turn into cute greetings cards and other fun stationery and gifts.
I take inspiration from my surroundings, my own mind and what I think is becoming popular. I like to give some consideration to the current trends but part of my mentality is to set my own trends!

What is your desk or work space like?

Oh dear! In a way, it's good that I did this interview as it meant I had to tidy up the crazy mess that was my workspace! I currently operate entirely from my bedroom, although I dream of the day when I'll have a designated studio space of my very own-I'd love a little beach-hut or summerhouse in the garden, so that I could hide away in there and get creative!

I work in two areas of my room. I have my desk where I do my digital work and also construct my products once printed, and I also have my drawing area, specifically for working on illustrations and my pet portraits. I love my drawing table as it's right in front of a lovely big window which is glorious in the sun. I can watch the birds flying around and the bunnies on the lawn!

I keep a inspiration board above my desk and cover it with little scraps of my work and pieces from other designers who inspire me. I'm running out of space though; I think I'll need a bigger one soon!

I keep a inspiration board above my desk and cover it with little scraps of my work and pieces from other designers who inspire me. I'm running out of space though; I think I'll need a bigger one soon!

What are your must-read blogs?
I used to spend a LOT of time reading blogs and hours on Pinterest, so much so that I almost never got anything properly done. So I've cut back a bit, but still have a few firm favourites:

A Beautiful Mess ( LOVE this blog! Run by two super-duper clever sisters and bursting with inspiration!

These Things ( Written by a very talented illustrator and friend, Emma Margaret Simpson.

Geninne's Art Blog ( Geninne is one of my biggest inspirations. Her blog is always filled with beautiful photos.

Rob Ryan ( Of course, the fabulous Mr Ryan who I have admired for some time now-since my early college days, I believe!

Which piece of work or item in your shop are you most pleased with?
This is tough because I genuinely love every single thing I create. I'm constantly told that I'm too self-critical but I simply will not share a piece that I'm not 100% happy with! I'm pretty sure lots of us creative types feel this way; it's only natural. 

Out of my most recent items, I'd have to say my writing set is the one that I'm most chuffed with. Snail-mail is on the decline with all the technology nowadays and I do so love getting letters in the mail, so I created this set with the hope of bringing back the written word. The theme was birds that mate for life as I designed it alongside my Valentine's range. It's cute, heart warming and I like to think there are people out there who would love to receive something like this through their letterbox!

What are your favourite shops for handmade items?
There are SO many and I don't want to keep you here too long!

I recently discovered a wonderful little shop on Etsy called Yalipaz, selling handmade felt brooches, made to look like 20s flapper girls. They are all stunning and I desperately want one-I collect brooches, so you can understand my enthusiasm! I also love Kate Broughton and Ladybird Likes

Do you have a pet? Stacie Swift Illustration is a big fan of four legged (and other!) friends so would be great to feature them too!
Our 10 year-old ball of grey fluff is Theo (or Theodore when he's in trouble!) He joined the family when we lived in New Zealand over 6 years ago and has been with us ever since. 

Emily's wonderful work can be found on her blog, facebook page and you can also snap up her designs or commission an illustration in her Etsy shop.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you Stacie for inviting me over! :-)