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Product photography © Olivia Hemingway, all other content © Jo Blaker, 2018

Studio 12, Globe Art Studios, Carr Lane, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5AG

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Green Time Collection - illustration process

People are often curious about the way my illustrations are made so I thought I'd share a bit of an insight into how I produced my Green Time collection.

These designs all start with the observations I make in my day to day life of the seasons unfolding around me. No matter how often & closely you look, I believe nature will always find a way to surprise you. Year on year I feel I see more, notice more & marvel even more at the abundance of our biodiversity. Thats really what each design in this collection aims to do - to celebrate the plethora of forms & phenomena that occur in each season.

The first stage is a list of all the aspects I think are distinct & quintessentially associated with that season or theme. This is followed by a loose pencil sketch to explore ideas for a general composition. Then I draw the design to scale, adding, taking away, &/or moving elements around until the design feels to flow & the forms harmonise.

Then I crack open the ink & enjoy loosing myself whilst I create a layer of ink silhouettes. I aim for a range of tones, to capture the lovely fluid nature of ink. I don't attempt to control this stage too much, I let the ink work its magic. Then I work with pencil, on tracing paper to create a separate layer of pencil line work.

I work digitally to bring these layers together & add colour. This is a process I'm still exploring so it takes me a while & its very easy to get lost at this stage as you can switch things around endlessly! Its been a real pleasure to bring this collection together & let this work evolve. Loving possibility as I do I have other ways in which I'd like to continue developing this work - not to mention new themes & some specific habitat & location focused designs I would love to try! With any luck (& a bit of time) this is a collection that will keep on growing.