NHS England Event – Establishing a Youth Forum Session

05/03/2016 Great Ormond Street Hospital- London

This was another key event organised by NHS England where children and young people’s voices played a vital role. Youth Forums exist in many regions across the UK, but this event was designed to inform organisations how to create their own.

Each of the workshops were thoroughly engaging and proved to be a lot of fun to record through illustrations. The Voice of the youth forum members was crucial in informing the professionals present at the event. For more information about NHS Youth Forums click here.

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Patient Experience Network – Children and Young People Event

02/11/2015 Royal Armouries-Leeds

It was my absolute pleasure to live illustrate at the Patient Experience Network (PEN) – Children & Young Peoples Event in Leeds last November. This was my first time illustrating with the PEN in partnership with NHS England. The stories and presentations I captured were incredibly inspiring. The theme of the day was to see:-

‘What Are Children and Young People Saying About Their Experience In Care and What Are We Doing About It?’

The compassion of the delegates cemented in my mind how important the NHS is. They are really trying to listen to the voices that truly matter.

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Blast from the Past

Rediscovering art work from the past is always interesting. It makes you realise how you may of improved, but also shines a light on where your style has originated from.

I had forgotten how expressive I was with my mark making, how frequently I would combine ink and household bleach (hope there is no lasting impact to my health) and how expansive in scale my drawings seemed to be. I haven’t picked up a biro or even a pencil in close to 5 years and have swapped ink and watercolours for bold lines and sharp vectors.

The detailed element of my work has definitely remained and the smoothness of my lines have refined over time. I am not often sketchy or scratchy with my pen work, although the speed in which I draw is still pretty fast. Even though I am using programs like Illustrator more than I ever imagined, I use this mainly to colour and still employ the hand drawn feel frequently.

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Ink moleskin pages 2011 (approx) Ink and bleach couple 2006

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Illustration from 2nd Year of University 2006 Mixed Media including Bleach and Ink. Drawing of the SouthBank 2007

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Pen& Ink +felt tip and Detailed Biro combination of images 2005-2006 (Approx)

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Fineliner Pen combination of images A1 size 2005. View from the Gerkin (not that I ever went up) 2007

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“Everything I learnt in the Art Academy” 2011 Pen & Ink. Blue ink and Biro 2006

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Life Drawing (Painting, with fingers not a brush) 2006

Its great to see that some things still remain, my Love for the Southbank for a start, the enjoyment of combining images together, intricate details, architecture, people.

Reflecting on this discovery, I have a strong desire to demonstrate the range of my techniques as well as maintaining a consistent style and identity. Perhaps it could be time to get the paints out again!

 

 

Christmas Card Designs 2015

So this year the Christmas Cards fall into 3 main themes. Cats (Love Cats!) Dog’s I know (the beautiful Molly, Peanut and Poppy) and the 3 B’s- Beer, Bikes and Beards (with a slight hipster vibe) I have also created a Christmas “Icon” design as well as some Reindeers for good measure!

You can place an order by following this link http://goo.gl/forms/GCNS41Mf8U

10% of all profits will go to help Paris for Piers and the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of our colleague at Face, so although this is the latest I have created these Christmas Cards please don’t hesitate to get your orders in!

Click here if you would like to sponsor my Face colleagues on their bike ride to Paris in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust

See below for all details and designs,

Thank you

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Molly CR-03

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AQR Being Human Event

I was lucky enough to Illustrate at the Association of Qualitative Researchers conference about “Being Human” I had initially been contacted to Illustrate with DUB who were running an interactive workshop about “Psychological Hacks for Better Online Qual” but was able to stay and capture what was been discussed throughout the day.

The content of the conference was extremely inspiring and it cemented in my mind why Research and Insight is the sector I love to Illustrate in. It was a great opportunity to showcase my Live Illustration and view presentations from agencies within the Qualitative Research Industry.

Here is the outputs from the interactive session with Dub. I also created some Illustrated prompt cards as part of the stimulus.

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Here are the other Illustrations drawn at the event. I was very concerned to capture as much content as possible this is why the Illustrations are predominantly text based, however this was done in a very vibrant and expressive style. My Illustrations can have a differing amount of image content depending on the context and subject area. Each one of these smaller rectangles is A3 in size and is drawn with a combination of Sharpies and Pro markers.

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As the event continued I began to pin the Illustrations up in the breaks so that people could begin to see a record of what was presented. By the end there was a wall full of Illustrations which was very exciting.

Live Illustration is very important. It is a good source of inspiration. It can prompt idea generation, acting as a visual reminder of concepts and discussions. It is inclusive and imaginative and projects creativity. It’s a brilliant way to engage and make the content truly memorable. It is also a very exciting deliverable for the qualitative findings especially as it is so instantaneous.

I am so glad I got to showcase my Illustrations in this way and be involved in this event. Please get in touch if you would like to have your event/workshop/focus group/co creation/ seminar/ conference/etc Illustrated in this way . Big shout out to everyone that has contacted me already and a big thank you to Stephen Cribbett and Dan Stracey at Dub and the team at AQR for inviting me.

Better Faster Cheaper

I have recently done some Illustration for the Biochemical Engineering Department at UCL. I was commissioned to create a flyer/poster for an exhibition they put on titled “Better Faster Cheaper, The Art Of Biochemical Manufacturing”

I was also involved in the set up of the exhibition and created some large hand written signs that hung alongside the photography.

I was impressed by the turn out to the exhibition which was part of the PHD students public engagement project.

Poster and front cover

 

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“We Help Ambitious Brands” Large Scale Wall Mural for Human Innovation

A few months back, as one of my first Freelance assignments I had the pleasure to draw all over the walls of Human Innovation‘s offices. They have recently moved and I was happy to hear they wanted to utilise my wall painting abilities again!

THE BRIEF

This new version replaced the, “straight onto the wall” energy, with a more refined vibe, reminiscent of vintage signage. It was important that I still retained an element of playfulness and took inspiration from circus posters and hand painted signs. I looked at the features that were often used in vintage signage, for example text that followed a curved line, a variety of fonts and ornate flourishes. The statement needed to make a strong impact, whilst maintaining a grown up yet crafted feel.

THE PROCESS

I started off the process by creating an initial sketch. After scanning, vectorising and scaling I then printed it onto multiple pieces of A3 paper, joined them together and double checked the image in situ.

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Once I checked it fitted, I covered the back of the image with graphite pencil. After pinning it back up I drew over all of the details. The graphite pencil transferred onto the wall as I applied pressure. Once I took down the image, this is what remained.

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If you click through the link in this photo you will see a Time Lapse video of the first “Painted” marks I made and how I was able to use the graphite pencil as a guideline. This allowed a neat, professional edge to the work with a helping hand from Liquitex Paint Markers.

The wall was particularly shiny so did take a few coats to get it looking as neat as possible. At this point you can see that the “A” has the ideal depth of black yet the word “Consumers” is definitely waiting for its 2nd coat. Please click on this image to see the work in progress.

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At this point I added grey to the stripes. You can see that the word “Consumers”  looks much better after its second coat. You can also see that I have coloured in the ornate swirls. Click the image to see this part come to life.

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As I became more confident, I actually began to use a paintbrush along with the pens. (The pens have thick chisel tip nib, but often the paint would get clogged.) I had to be extra careful around the edges which meant it was a little more time consuming compared to my normal rate. I felt this exercise in precision, was definitely outside my comfort zone, however I was determined to get ultra professional and neat results.

There are definitely lots of cool elements of the Human Innovation’s new office and I am very happy to be part of the new look. Its a great space to work in. One of my favourite aspects is the furry friends that will often make an appearance. Molly the Basset Hound really helped celebrate the completion, although I had no idea she was going to be that heavy! Click the image to see the stripes in completion.

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RESULTS

I had a really great time painting the wall in this way. I enjoyed embracing the challenge aspect and I am really pleased with the results. Here is an image of the wall painting once finished. I had to take full advantage of the wonderfully well co ordinated outfits of these two, with their white and grey combo. It also gives an indication of the scale.

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This image also exists in a digital format. I especially like how it looks with white on black.

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I am very excited by this new “ambitious” scale I am working in and if you would like to commission me for a murals/bespoke artwork please don’t hesitate to get in touch. It’s a great addition to a workspace or office. Thank youIMG_5969

 

 

The Pursuit of Better Deliverables- Creative Studio at Cello Health Insight

This Monday I had an absolutely brilliant time drawing straight onto the wall for another large scale Illustration. On this occasion it was for Cello Health Insight. This illustration coincided with the launch of their in house “Creative Studio” I used liquid chalk pens to draw directly onto the painted blackboard.

The drawing demonstrates how they can be utilised and maps out the points in which the researchers should “Talk to the Creative Studio”

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With an excellent spot just by the kitchen, the drawing is in prime location to be viewed by many passers by throughout the day. It was a great opportunity to highlight how illustration can be incorporated into the research process and can be used to map out concepts in a vibrant and bold way.

I really enjoyed using the liquid chalk. It transferred well onto the wall with a strong contrast. I incorporated some colour to emphasise the flow of the illustration but kept the palette very limited with just yellow and blue.

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Blog Post-03Please view the video to see the Illustration in its entirety . I have really enjoying creating large scale drawings and hope it can play its part in the “The pursuit of better deliverables.” A Big shout out to the Creative Team at Cello Health Insight that allowed me to draw on their wall in this way. Thank you!

If you would like a tailor made piece of wall art for your office or work place please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

The BAMM Visual Thinkers Interview

I was recently interviewed to discuss how Research and Illustration go well together and decided the best way to answer these questions would be to draw the response. Full interview here and Live on the BAMM Visual Thinkers Website.

Whilst most of our Visual Thinking work features photography and videography to aid in the telling of our insight stories, we are equally open to the graphic arts as a potent (and, indeed, more venerable) storytelling medium. Illustration in particular is a method that has held traction within the insight industry for some time as a useful tool for depicting and encapsulating events and ideas ‘in-the-moment’. We spoke to co-creation illustrator and Visual Thinker Beci Ward to get her take on why illustration and research go so well together.

What do you think insight and illustration have in common?

For me, it’s about that shared curiosity about the world around us. As an illustrator, I find myself drawn to the details of everyday things. I have a strong desire to record how people feel and how they behave and try to capture this in the most accurate way possible.

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I think, this desire to capture helps me when I am in a room full of people at a co-creation workshop. Getting the balance between listening to what’s going on in a general sense, but also been attentive to those very insightful gems that point to something deeper. I believe the connection between illustration and research is an eye for detail on the one hand and being able to distil and communicate complex ideas on the other.

Tell us a bit more about the illustration process, what makes a good illustrator for insight?

It’s about being really bold with your drawings. You have to be able to think on your feet, jump in there and get straight to work. Confidence is the main attribute, as it enables you to capture the key ideas without second-guessing. In the fast-paced environment, you haven’t got the time to consider variations on what you are going to draw; you should have already drawn it and moved onto the next idea. With that in mind, another key attribute is to be intuitive almost instinctual with your drawing ability.

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Part of being a good researcher is how well you deal with the people you encounter. How does this apply to your role as an illustrator?

It can be quite intimidating to be drawing in front of a group of people. Some illustrators are introverted, so may find this to be a real challenge. As long as you can embrace the performative aspect of your role, you will be all right! It’s very rewarding to see people connecting with ideas, as you bring them to life in real time. This style of illustration lends itself very well to my personality; I’d rather be collaborating with others than working alone on my drawings.

What do you think are some of the specific things that illustration has to offer the insight process?

Well, a lot of the work I do is in co-creation workshops, where it really helps to be able to see how ideas have developed and trace that process back at a glance. Having someone illustrating the concepts live adds a real energy to the room and often helps people clarify their ideas or think about them in different way than when seen on paper.

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I think, where illustration differs from photography or film is that it can be more direct in capturing the ideas, moods and emotions. Whilst photographers strongly consider their shots, illustrators can document not just what they see, but the opinions and feelings of the surrounding people. Been able to observe the illustrative process is also important for the onlooker, giving it a collaborative edge.

What about outside the workshops? Do you think there is a room for illustration ‘in the field’?

I really believe there is. Documenting people as they move around the city is something I have had previous experience with. I followed a performance artist around the underground at rush hour, documenting in my sketchbook what she was doing, where she was going, how she interacted with the crowd and what people we encountered. I think, there are certain skills practiced in the workshop that could definitely be transferred into the wider world. It was an exhilarating experience, and would love to do something like that again!

30 day Art Challenge

I am finding Instagram a brilliant source of Inspiration. It connects you with creative people around the world. During the month of June I took part in the Hello Art Gallery 30 day Art Challenge. I created a new piece of work every day. This challenge was great as I was generating so much new work. Its very exciting to see what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

Here are the best from the #Hello30DayArtChallenge Bring on the next one!

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