Getting Organised – a new obsession..

I like lists. I like notebooks. I like the security of writing things down. (Especially after a major computer problem which meant a complete reset and rebuild of my PC!)

Trouble is, I write things down on anything. I have about 4 or 5 notebooks on the go, as I can never find the same one two days running. I have notes on bits of paper held in a “safe” place (probably never to be seen again..) .

I have scribbles on post it notes – some of which are stuck inside the notebooks that I cannot find…

So I decided I really had to do something about. I tried planners I had printed from the interweb thingy, a filofax (that was good for a while, but was getting expensive for all of the refills..) and just keeping a diary (which was ok, but restrictive as you had to know when you wanted to do everything)

I had heard mention of bullet journaling and seen a few cute pictures on the likes of pinterest and wondered if that would be good for me. (To be honest initially it just looked liked another excuse to doodle)

If you don’t know what a Bullet Journal is you can google it for a detailed explanation, but for me it is a place where I can record everything in ONE place. It’s paper based. (I am sure there are electronic versions, but I love my paper) and it is easy to do.

All you need is a notebook (there are some in my Etsy shop.. ;)) and pens/pencils. Some people have stickers in there. You may also want little sticky tab things to mark key pages.

You can record what you like in it (again google, you tube and Pinterest will help with ideas – but some of the common components are “future logs” – so a page for each month, each week, each day if you like (you don’t have to add them all at the start.. they can be added as you go, because of the magical index), plus pages for “collections” – for me that includes Illustration Ideas, Places I would like to Visit, Books I would like to read. Oh – and my list of where I have put things in a safe place! !

A page from my bullet journal
A good excuse for more doodles

But the key thing (for me anyway) is the index. Instead of having to flick through the book, I just look at the index and go straight there. Yep – simples,Β  yet I had not even considered it in previous notebooks πŸ˜€

I am not using mine as a diary, or to track my fitness, as I have electronic things to track those (more obsessions), but that’s the beauty of it – it’s completely flexible.

Ok –Β  so I am new to this. The novelty might wear off. But for now I am embracing the whole concept – it will be interesting to see if it makes me more organised andΒ  whether it helps me remember a few more things πŸ™‚ I am sure I will update you at some point.

Thanks once again for putting up with the waffle!

Lots of love, Jac xx

Dreams versus Reality

Hello.

It’s been a while (again). I realise my posts here can be quite eratic – To be honest I have struggled with what to say (which will shock some of you I know!), but, for various reasons, I feel I have found my voice again, so am giving it another go.

 

I thought I’d start at the beginning (always the best place I find) – Who am I?

Well, I’m Jackie (Jac), and I am an illustrator (oo sounds like a confession lol!)

 

So. An illustrator. That’s me. But what does that really mean?

 

Well in my head it means indulging my passion for drawing all day every day. Sitting at my pristine desk, in my pristine studio, surrounded by clean white furniture, Β bunting and beautiful art work.

 

The view to the side of my drawing board
The view to the side of my drawing board

But then, I always have had a creative mind πŸ˜€

 

Reality…

I don’t draw all day every day. I am a late starter. That basically means that by the time I set my heart on this path I had fallen into the conventional trap of job, house,car etc, etc.

Over the years I got used to leading a very pleasant life of a nice home, new cars, pretty shoes, dresses and eating out.

That costs money and the starving artist syereotype is not for me (and my hubby probably wouldn’t be keen either). Β Sorry – I know – many people sacrifice all for their art, and perhaps if it was just me I would do that (maybe) – but it’s really not fair to take other people with me!

 

The need to maintain this pleasant lifestyle lead to me having a full time job, as well as my illustration work.

4 days a week I travel 100 miles round trip to be an Information Manager for an emergency services organisation. (the one with the big red trucks). It’s fun, rewarding and interesting work (for those that like that kind of thing :D)

 

Every day off I get, I spend in the studio. Ish.

I also might run a duster round the house occasionally, do the odd bit if shopping, drink a lot of coffee and eat a bit of cake, washing, ironing and all sorts of other “real life” tasks – you know, those things we all really don’t like but are a necessary evil to our civilised lifestyles.

If I could, every day off, I would be in that studio from dusk till dawn (and probably longer). And some days I am πŸ™‚

I do try to draw every day though, be that working on a commission piece, something personal for my portfolio or just a very quick doodle in the sketchbook. (Those that follow me on social media will be familiar with my evening Daily Doodle slot).

Do I wish I didn’t have another job? Well, sometimes – if I am honest – sometimes I do think that. But,on the flip side, that income means I have time for the personal portfolio projects, I am not pressured into taking on every commision (like those I know my work woukd not suit so much).

It also gets me out, I work with some great people, which I would miss if it was just me and the four studio walls.

And what about that studio?Β  Is it pristine??Β  What do you think? Absolutely not!

It’s “lived in”, Β “creative”…Β  Ok a little bit messy. But you have to have a dream don’t you!

Speaking of which, my dream is to illustrate children’s books… So, its back to the drawing board for me. A dragon awaits!

 

Dragon - personal project - work in progress
Dragon – personal project – work in progress

If you would like to see more of my work (the illustration side – not the information part!), then you can find me on:

Facebook – www.Facebook.com/JacsStudio

Twitter – www.Twitter.com/JacsStudio

Instagram – www.instagram.com/Jacs.Studio

Elephants and Santa hats

Hello All πŸ™‚ Wow – this week has flown by. Jac was very busy this week, so no time for adventures out and about – but most of the time being in the studio is enough adventure for this little Teddy Bear.

Always appreciate an elephant
Always Appreciate an Elephant!

For instance, on Thursday it was Elephant Appreciation Day – and I got to meet a new friend. I do love elephants, and it’s very sad to think that people still hunt them for their beautiful ivory tusks. I hope my new friend stays safe out there.

Later in the week Jac was very excited, as she received a big box from the postman. Turns out this was new stock for her shop, featuring more of my studio friends. Some had funny hats on – Jac explained they were for Christmas and has promised I can have one soon πŸ™‚

I tried to chat to the Little Mouse – but she was very busy sewing!

The Little Sewing Mouse
A little mouse sewing something special.

Jac’s also been working on more new ideas – she says it’s important to draw every day, to keep creating. She says it helps to keep her mind active, and also helps her to relax.

Apparently humans are prone to something called stress. I don’t think it’s something Teddy Bears suffer from much– we try not to worry about things. Jac says she could learn a few things from me!

Anyway – no more news for now – but you can tell how busy it’s been. Jac says this week she will be working on Christmas orders, and new ideas for gifts. There seems to be lots of cake and food ideas in her sketchbook, so I am looking forward to what she has in mind!

So – don’t forget to keep up with my adventures with Jac on Facebook and Instagram, there is always something happening in The Little Welsh Studio. (Oh, and Jac says to remind you that there are lots of things ready to post in her Etsy shop!)

Till next week then – lots of love

Theodore.E.Bear (Ted) xx

A trip to the dentist…

Hello again everyone. Theodore E Bear here (you can call me Ted).

So – what has happened this week?

Well – Jac has been as busy as ever, she has been working on commission pieces, and has sent new designs off to be printed (she says she will share them as soon as they arrive).

In amongst that we went somewhere I haven’t been before – we had to go to the dentist.

When we arrived I was a little bit scared, as there were lots of strange noises – loud noises like a drill!

We waited in a big room with lots of other people, until a nice lady with a clip board called my name – then I had to go into a different room, (Jac came with me, I was too scared to go myself.)

Inside that room there was a man who had a mask over his face – I thought he was a doctor, but Jac explained he was the dentist. That is a special kind of doctor that helps us look after our teeth.

Ted isn't scared of the dentist anymore
Ted thought the Dentist was scary, but he was actually a very nice man.

I had to sit on a big chair – and it moved (I liked that it was fun πŸ™‚ ), then I had to open my mouth so the dentist could see inside – he even made me stick my tongue out – it felt really funny!

After that, he said my teeth were all fine – but said I maybe shouldn’t eat so many sugary cakes πŸ™

He explained that if I look after my teeth I shouldn’t have to go back for a long time, so Jac got me a toothbrush and toothpaste, and taught me how to brush my teeth properly. Now I brush my teeth every morning and also before I go to bed – for a whole two minutes.

Ted's First Toothbrush
Ted has learnt the importance of looking after his teeth

Jac says if I keep doing that it will be good as everyone will always see my nice bright smile πŸ™‚

So now it’s another new week – I wonder what adventures Jac and I will have this time? Do check back next week.

PS – if you can’t wait that long – you can follow Jac’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Oh and I have my very own board on Jac’s Pinterest page now too!

PPS – Please remember you can buy picture of me (and all Jac’s characters!) on Etsy too xx

Introducing – Theodore.E.Bear

Hello πŸ™‚

I am Theodore Edward Bear. (Ted.E.Bear or Ted for short). I live in a small town in South West Wales, home to the Little Welsh Studio.

Ted.E.Bear a character created by Jackie Evans, Illustrator
Hi – I’m Ted.E.Bear

I live with Jackie (most people call her Jac). That’s her legs in the picture (I am not a very tall bear).

Jac owns the Little Welsh Studio, and is an illustrator – which means she draws pictures for people. (You might have seen me in some of them). Sometimes she get very busy, and so doesn’t get time to update her blog as often as she would like to.

That’s where I step in. To be honest, as a Teddy Bear, I wasn’t really sure what a blog was – but Jac explained it’s a way of telling stories to people so that they can read it on their phone or computer.

I really like stories, so I offered to help out by writing the occasional tale.

I am not sure exactly what I will write, but I do love adventures. And I have lots of friends here in the studio – like Tarquin the Turtle and Doodle the Mouse, so I am sure I will be able to find something for all of you.

I plan to write my first proper story later this week – so do pop back to see what my friends and I have been up to. (I’ll ask Jac to let you all know when it’s ready, I know she uses things called Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so I am sure you will find me).

So – I’ll sign off for now – look forward to seeing you all.

Lots of Love

Theodore. E . Bear (Ted).

A new challenge. A new opportunity.

Eek – what have a done?? I am already a busy person. There are never enough hours in the day – and I just added another thing to the list!

BUT – this is good. It really is.

So – what is it??

Well… As you all know – my mission is to make the world a happier place, one doodle at a time.

It is so uplifting to know that my creations – whether that’s a quick sketch or a detailed commission – can make people smile. I feel so proud that “little old me” can bring a little happiness to the world.

And I know from feedback that sometimes those moments have happened justΒ when someone has needed it.

I also know that creating art makes me happy.

Like most people, I have low days. Like most people, I have worries.

Like soooo many people – my brain never stops. Sometimes it spins. My brain thinks about everything all at the same time. It even thinks about things that haven’t happened yet (and probably never will!)

Except when I draw.

When I draw I am in another world – my own world. (I like to think of it as being in my own little bubble).

I forget everything outside that bubble – I leave the worries behind. My breathing slows down. My shoulders relax. My brain stops whirring like a mad thing. It’s like my own method of meditation. Just me, paper, pencils and paint.

(I often forget the housework too, perhaps not such a good thing!)

Recently I have been thinking – what if I can held other people?

What if my own art skills and experience could be used, not just to make people smile – but actually help people to cope with difficult situations?

Magic Pencils
Jac wants to bring happiness to the world through her work.

And, after much consideration, I have decided to study for a diploma in Art Therapy. It’s another commitment – but one I really feel will be worth it. Invest a little time now, to benefit lots of people later.

My course materials have arrived, so I am all set. I can’t wait to get going.

I imagine you will see my progress, as I am sure I will learn things that I think will interest you too – so keep an eye out here and on all my social media channels (no escaping me lol!).

Till next time

Love Jac xx

10 Random Facts About Me (Jac, of course!)…

I have read a lot of posts recently about March being Meet the Maker month, and learned so much about other small businesses.

I missed the boat on that one, but then I thought – you allΒ know I love to draw, and you may know I like a Β cake every once in a while (Oh, OK, often!)… but I thought you might like to learn a little bit more… so here are 10 (very) random facts about me..

  1. I used to run – lots. I completed lots of 5k and 10k races – and a few half marathons, and also did the Snowdonia Marathon. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but was actually a lot of fun. (I do plan a running comeback at some point – although maybe not for a marathon just yet)

  2. I love coffee. I love coffee so much that if I was out and had to choose between coffee and wine I would most often choose coffee…

    I do love coffee..
    I do love coffee..
  3. My favourite biscuit is a jammy dodger – followed closely by a Tunnocks caramel wafer. (I am sure other brands must be available… )

  4. I spend ages looking at pictures of those pristine houses – you know, the ones with the white furniture and no clutter – but inside I know I just don’t like housework enough… (and I quite like my clutter too..)

  5. I love to read. I try to read every night before bed, but normally fall asleep after about a page… (it takes me a long time to finish a book :D)

  6. I am scared of butterflies (and moths)

  7. O yes, and spiders…

  8. I don’t have a favourite colour – I just love bright!

  9. I love shoes. In lots of colours.

  10. I don’t have any pets πŸ™ but I would love a dog. And a rabbit. O and maybe a pony. Or a donkey…. (this is why I don;t have any pets… :D)

Well – that’s me. Hello πŸ™‚

I do hope I haven’t scared anyone off lol! If not, then, until next time…

Love Jac xx

PS – don’t forget, you can catch up with Jac on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – I’d love to see you there xx

Enjoying Life
Enjoy the simple things in life

How time flies!

23rd January. What – really – already? Time really does fly when you are having fun!

So far January has been an amazing month for Jac.

Normally January is quiet, but already I have booking for commissions all the way through to December, and membership to Jac’s Colouring Club has proved to be popular. (Click here for details on that).

The Daily Doodle is another hit – the best place to see them is my Facebook page, one new doodle, every day, just for fun. In the end I’ll have 366 of them – and perhaps some will be developed into illustrations or printed items. (If you have a favourite, do let me know!)

I’m currently working on Valentine’s day items – as well as commissions for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. It will soon be time to start Mother’s Day items too!

Smile and be happy
Start every day with a smile

I have always loved drawing – andΒ now I know that my drawings can bring a smile to people’s faces, it makes it all the more special.

Ooo – I almost forgot – you can now find me on Instagram too!

Until next time then,

Love Jac xxx

Doodling – it’s catching on!

Phew – been all go this week. Since last week’s post, I opened a bee drawing β€œcompetition” (well, just a bit of fun really) on my Facebook page

This seemed to spark many people’s imagination and I had a little swarm (sorry!) of entries, which has been great fun. (The β€œcompetition” is open till 6pm Friday 12th June (UK time) so you still have time to enter!).

Then, quite by chance then I saw an interview with Chris Riddell, a successful illustrator and the new Children’s Laureate. He also wants to get the whole world drawing – Yay! AND he would like every child to have a doodle book πŸ™‚

He also suggested that one of the best things any aspiring illustrator can do is to doodle. Every day. Doodling is good for you.

Surely there can be no greater sign that Jac’s Daily Doodles must returnΒ πŸ™‚

Jac's Daily Doodles Return
Jac’s Daily Doodles Return

For those that are new – I did used to do one quick doodle every single day, but things got so busy I simply stopped doodling – which I think was a very bad thing for my own well-being. So – I will be making time and I posted the first one last night – on both FB and Twitter.

But if you are not quite ready for doodling I posted my firrst ever downloadable colouring sheet (for all ages – absolutely no upper age limit) – to my Etsy shop πŸ™‚ Only one – but many more to follow!

Until next time then – Happy Doodling (or colouring!). (Oh and I’ll be following Chris Riddell too – I’m so interested in how he inspires the children to draw!)

Love from Jac xx

PS – I did say I would walk more, and thanks to a lovely spell of weather I did. I can without doubt say that walking to town is great – walking back form town with two heavy bags of shopping, on a hot day, is not so fun BUT excellent exercise. No need for gym subscriptions – lose weight and save money. (You also buy less shopping too!)

The Best Season…

I saw my first orange leaf today. I love autumn – I find it such an inspiring time of year. All those wonderful colours – yellow, oranges and red all around. And people get wrapped up – I love looking at people in their hats and scarves – so many colours and textures.

Jac all wrapped up
Jac all wrapped up

It’s also a good excuse for comfort food – steaming hot bowls of soup, great crusty bread, hot chocolate by the fire. (well, if I had a real fire!).

Since I started the studio, I find inspiration everywhere – from a falling leaf, to a poor unfortunate soul whose umbrella has blown inside out (quite often me!)

Poor Old Ted!
Poor Old Ted!

The only draw back is the shorter days – it limits the time I can do colour work, so evenings are spent on sketches and preparation work. I have be much more organised at this time of year (not easy for me). And of course, there is the drop in temperature! It can get cold sitting by the desk all day – so you’ll often find me with two pairs of socks, big fluffy slippers, several layers and a scarf! (just wait till winter arrives). I must be quite a picture to anyone who glanced through the window. (I think the post man is used to me by now at least).

But one of the best things about autumn is thatΒ I’m working on Christmas items. I love Christmas – I really am still a big kid at heart. But Christmas is for another blog……. I’m off for a warming hot chocolate …… πŸ™‚

What can be more fun that kicking around Autumn leaves
What can be more fun that kicking around Autumn leaves