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,  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 😀

 

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).  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 🙂

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?  Is it pristine??  What do you think? Absolutely not!

It’s “lived in”,  “creative”…  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

The Creative Mind…

Having a creative mind is great. It helps me see the good in things – I’ll notice a patch of blue sky on a dull day, the bright green of grass when it rains. I see shapes in the clouds (something my other half scoffs at often – not so much of a creative mind there – very logical – one of us has to be!).

The downside of a creative brain is that it’s always whirring, and it’s very difficult to slow it down! My mind is almost constantly thinking of new ideas for doodles and illustrations.

My artwork is done in stages – I draw it, then add watercolour, which has to dry….. and while it dries, I’ll draw something else…. and so it goes. I’ll normally have at least 3 on the go at one time.

But – the creative mind is also unpredictable. Sometimes I start a piece, but just can’t get the oomph to complete it, or I will have a busy spell with commissions, so I don’t get back to the personal pieces for a while. They sit there waiting for me.

Last weekend, I had a bit of clear out in the studio and found a box of those half finished pieces. It was quite exciting, looking through them – some I’d forgotten all about, some were just started, some almost complete.

Peek a Boo!
Peek a Boo!

So my challenge at the moment is to finish them all, and get them ready for sale (no good to anyone in the drawer!).

This little piggy...
This little piggy…

I’ll be posting each one on my Facebook page as I finish it so please do keep an eye out on there. And if you see one you like, just message me. (Or if you would like to commission your very own original piece, so please get in touch).

Until next time

Jac xx

So, Who exactly is Jac?

Hello Everyone!

Thinking back, it seems some time ago since I introduced me (aka Jac) to you all – and since so many more people have joined me via the various social media channels (I believe that’s the technical term?) that I thought perhaps you’d like to know more about the person behind the drawing board. If nothing else it may help you understand the madness that is Jac’s Little Welsh Studio. Here I am…

This is Jac

I do hope I haven’t frightened too many of you off! Anyway – me, what can I say. Well, my actual name is Jackie, but it’s been shortened to Jac by so many people for so long that’s what I became 🙂

I love to draw. My parents will tell you, I first started drawing when I was about 2 or 3 yrs old. And they will take great delight in telling you that if I didn’t have paper, then the walls would do (oops).

So, all through childhood I drew. All the time. And then I went to college and I studied Illustration. And then… well, I stopped. I got a “proper” job, a mortgage, a car – all the lovely things you want when you are young.

Now, I’m not so young, and about 3 years ago I picked up a pencil again and started to doodle. Then I started to doodle some more – I posted one or two pages on my personal Facebook page, and a friend suggested I set up a page just for my drawings. And Jac’s Studio was born.

Nowadays, my most favourite thing is to lock myself in my studio, surrounded by my special items (toadstool, Teddy, inspiration board), with a cup of coffee (lots of coffee) and draw.

Jac's Studio

And I am lucky – people seem to like what I do, people like you have helped grow my business.

My most favourite thing about my business is that from my happy place, I can spread happiness, with my cheerful, colourful and positive pieces. Which leads me neatly to my motto “Making the World A Happier Place – One Doodle at a Time” .

I am one girl, on a mission to spread happiness 🙂

So please – connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest.

And, if you would like to buy something I would LOVE you to visit my online ETSY shop (or you can contact me to discuss a bespoke commission piece).

I know it’s a cliché – but you all are my inspiration. Connecting with people, them telling me what they are up to, what they like, what their day has been like – it all goes in Jac’s head – and out pops a doodle (well, maybe not instantly – but ideas come from being social)!

Well – that’s enough about me (for now) – hope to see you all soon.

Till next time,

Jac xx

 

Anyone Can Draw – Yes, Really, Anyone!

I know I did say my challenge this week would be walking instead of taking the car – and I have tried. But it’s just so easy to jump in the car when it’s cold and wet (which it often is in Wales). Let’s just say, I have some work to do on that particular challenge, which I will write about that on another day 🙂

But – today is still all about happiness – another simple thing.

Making others happy.

It’s amazing how good you feel when you know that something you have said (or done) has made someone else smile. And the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that Jac’s motto is “Making the World a Happier Place, One Doodle at a time”.

I cannot explain the feeling I get when someone comments on any of my social media posts that my pictures have made them smile. It’s a bit of a cliché – but it is really a warm glow deep inside.

But that lovely comment is often followed by “I can’t draw” or “I wish I could draw”.

I’ve said this before – and I mean it. Everyone can draw. We may not all draw in the same way, but we can all do it.

Can you honestly say you know any child who has never picked up a pencil or crayon and scribbled. And that scribble gets so much praise. It’s on the fridge for all to see (even if we don’t really know what it is)

But at some point in many people’s lives, they lose confidence. The praise dwindles to nothing, they stop showing off their scribbles… they stop scribbling. And I think that is so sad 🙁

So – this week on my facebook page I did a new thing. Step by step, I showed people how to draw one of my signature bees.

Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans
Busy Buzzy Bee by Jackie Evans

And a few people have had a go – and guess what – they could draw a bee, they just needed a little guidance. Every bee will be different – but then, that’s nature.

I’m hoping a few people will share their bees with me – so I show just what is possible with a pencil.

More importantly, I’m hoping it will inspire, I hope it will make people smile. Who knows what could happen then !! (It will definitely make me smile)

If you would like to learn how to draw a bee like mine – just pop on over to my album on facebook. Take a look. Tell me what you think. JOIN IN!!

(PS – If you are not on Facebook don’t worry. I am planning to do a sheet with each stage on so I can email that – free of charge. Just send me a message through my contact page)

Let’s see if together we can create a real buzz!! (Pardon the Pun). If you have enjoyed this blog, do let people know. I aim to post every Thursday.

See you next week!

Love Jac xx

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Phew – it’s been busy these last few weeks. Lots of orders to complete – some really fun ones, which I can’t talk about yet as they are all surprises (don’t worry, I’ll share when I can!). And of course there was a lot of work getting my Etsy store open, as well as getting the website ready for you all to see. I hope you’ll agree the work was worth it.

So – this week I am planning a bit of a quieter time.  I have one or two commission on the go, and I am hoping to get some new stock items – and maybe make a start on a larger project (based on my Daily Doodles).

I also have a craft fair in June – so I need to think about what people would like to see there (crystal ball anyone!).

Mmm – so much for quiet times! The trouble is – so many ideas, so little time! If only I could doodle myself an extra day – that would be useful for all of us! Until then – I’d best stop tinkering with this blog and get on with some work. (Which of course you can follow on Facebook – do join me there if you haven’t already xx  https://www.facebook.com/JacsStudio

Magic Pencils