Commissioning an artwork

Hello everyone! I thought for this blog post, I’d write a little bit about commissions, and what that process is like when someone commissions an artwork from me. For example, my friend Julia wanted to create a birthday present for her husband John, of him flying in his glider. So I’m going to take you through the steps of that image.


The first step is to talk about what the client would like in the image. Is it a present for someone else? Which people would they like in there, what kind of poses? If the client isn’t entirely sure, then that’s fine, and we can work on developing ideas together. At this stage I also gather together some reference images, photos of people/places/items that the client would like to include in the image. So here are some of the reference images Julia gave me.

Rough draft/sketch

The next step is to put together a rough sketch of what the final image might look like. Sometimes I’ll do a few different sketches for different compositions/ideas. Or if the client has a clear idea for the image already, then I’ll start from there. 

After getting feedback from this first sketch, I’ll make changes, and clean up the lines a bit. For example, in this project Julia asked me to add in the bird, after seeing the first sketch.

First draft with colour

Then comes the first draft with colour. This is my favourite part, because it feels like everything is coming together.

After this stage we a made a couple more tweaks, including adjusting John’s hair and adding in the ground. One of the great benefits of working digitally is that it’s very easy to go back and change things around. When I’m working with traditional media it’s not as easy. 

Final Image

The last change we made was adjusting the colour of the sky a little bit, and then we were all done!

At the end of the day, my main goal is to ensure that clients are happy with their images. After all they’re going to look at it a lot more than I will, so I want to make sure they get a lot of chances to give feedback, and that the finished product feels right to them. 

So if you’ve got an idea for a birthday present, or if you’ve got a great idea for yourself, send me a message! I’m currently available for commissions, and I’d love to hear from you!

Goals for 2019

Hello everyone! I hope 2019 has started well for you! I’ve had a great start to the year, taking a bit of time off to relax and head down to the beach. I’ve also added a lot of new items to my store, with birthday cards, bookmarks, stickers and postcards now available! 

It’s always exciting to start off a brand new year, even though I know it’s just an arbitrary point in our planets journey around the sun. I really enjoy getting into the mindset of starting afresh and thinking what I’d like to achieve, and setting goals for the year.

Some of my goals for 2019 are:

Learning new skills

I’m keen to learn more skills, particularly skills in graphic design. I think this’ll help create more job opportunities for me, and it’s always good to continue learning and growing. 

Illustration Friday

This year I want to make sure I do this challenge every week. I want to get into the habit of regularly creating my own pieces of work, rather than getting caught up in only making artworks for other people. I think this’ll help expand my portfolio and develop my personal style.


I’d really love to do more books this year, since that’s the area of illustration I’m most interested in. I’d like to create my own interpretations of classic fairy tales and stories to release. I’m not entirely sure yet how I’m going to approach it, but I’ve got lots of ideas.

I’m really excited to work on these goals (and a few others I want to keep under wraps for now) and see how the year turns out!

My Favourite 9 (of 2018)

2018 has been a really interesting year. It was my first year working as a freelancer, which has been both exciting and terrifying at times. I feel like I’ve learned a lot throughout this year, especially about the industry, and different ways to promote myself. There have been a lot of uncomfortable moments, but when I look back at how I started the year, I do have a lot more confidence. Which is a good thing, even if I still have moments of doubt. I can see how my style and skill has developed over the year, and it’s a good reminder to only judge myself based on what I used to produce, and to not compare myself to other artists.

I know a lot of people do their #bestnine on instagram, but I never seem to like the ones that instagram picks out for me! So here are my ‘favourite’ nine images, featuring some of the memorable moments of the year for me.

Images from the top left, reading left to right

  • The calendar! This was a project I’d been meaning to finish for months, but always left it on the back burner. I’m so glad I finished it (even if it was a bit late to pull together for 2019!)
  • A Grand Adventure, the story of Sammy and Gia - Being asked to do the book illustrations for a wedding proposal was a very special project.
  • Exhibiting at Pg.2 cafe in Richmond.
  • Baby Days book! - my favourite picture from the book
  • Baby Days book! And my face!
  • #inktober2018! It was definitely a challenge to finish, but I completed the challenge for the first time!
  • This one was an entry for a competition. I just really dug working at an itty bitty size.
  • Christmas cards
  • Toucan! Another project that I’d had on the back burner for ages but was glad to finish… (sensing a theme here)
  • One of the things I’m most proud of this year, was that I began receiving commissions from people I didn’t know. While I love my family and friends, (and I am so grateful for your support!) there is something really affirming about being commissioned by people who are contacting you solely based on your artworks, without knowing you personally. It has been a big confidence boost, and such a great experience to work with people on new and exciting projects.

    I have a few new plans for next year, though I’m not quite ready to talk about them yet. Mainly, I’m excited to keep doing freelance work, and to use everything I’ve learned to continue improving, and developing my art practice. 

    See you all next year!

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