This sexy lady is going to be for sale as a print at the Car Free Day fair on Main Street Vancouver this month! If you can't wait until then, click here to head over to my Society6 page where you can get her as an art print, an iPhone cover or a pillow to cuddle up to...
So recently I've been drawing a lot of cute little foxes and wolves in some pretty classy outfits, after I received so many compliments for my vintage fox cards at christmas. I wanted to do some in a more modern style and attire, and in all honesty got completely addicted. They are freakin' adorable, and so much fun to draw that I find myself surrounded by the little buggers.
And for the longest time now I've wanted to draw something that reflected my love of those smoulderingly attractive avengers, but wasn't sure what the best way was to capture both them and my style. I mean there are thousands of illustrations of the avengers all over the place, and in classic seth style, I didn't want to be like the rest of them, darling.
That's when it hit me - somewhere between the foxes, the fashion, and the fabulous body of Chris Evans... wait, I got distracted there for a second... ah, yes. I decided it would be amazingly brilliant and fun to combine my love of the foxes and the love of the... well, foxes. Those sexy avengers were almost crying out to become fashionable and furry!
There are loads of cool little details in each one that relates to the character, which was one of my favourite parts of designing and drawing them - take a look and see if you can spot them, and when you fall in love with your favourite one head over to my Society6 page and get them on a mug!
I actually drew Black Widow twice, the first time I went a little too black and ended up with this freaky, kinky vampire looking thing, which didn't feel right. So once I get done with the boys I went back to her, and gave her a more casual outfit with a touch of blue and polkadot tights to tone down the black. I love that she has a spider-man shirt on, y'know, 'cos she's black widow... too cute.
With Hawkeye it's easy to get too arrow-heavy in his theme, so I just went for a simple shirt design, biker-look jacket and boots, and the Target bag as a (in my opinion) hilarious nod to his character.
More of a wolf really, but I didn't want to split hairs. This guy had to be super cool, and because of his mask I wanted to cover up his face a little, hence shades. I love his letterman jacket, with his colour scheme it seemed like the only sensible option. His arc reactor tshirt underneath, and converse all stars, obviously, because he's so hip and cool.
I wanted to steer clear of the classic american flag tshirt here and go for something more subtle - it would have been easy to put stars and stripes on everything he was wearing, like the 4th of July threw up on him... but that wouldn't have been very in keeping with his character, so I found this adorable shirt and paired it with big red stompers as a nod to his original design.
The newspaper was a happy accident too, I wanted them all to be doing everyday things, and it wasn't until I wrote the caption underneath that I realized how on point that was for Captain America...
The hulk is only one side of this character's personality, and as Bruce doesn't have a very iconic wardrobe, I thought this was the best way to combine the two - keeping it casual with his harem yoga pants and buddha beads, and yet intellectual with those slick bifocals.
Obviously Thor would be mega metal in his look, and the sleeveless tank was a good way to incorporate the cape into his outfit without, y'know, an actual cape. The tattoos were great fun, I put subtle references to his family, Loki, Viking culture and Jane in there, and then Mjölnir is there on his other arm too. For some reason I didn't like him with a tail, maybe it's not metal enough to have a tail.
So I've been wanting to create some fun social media icons for a while, I've noticed that a lot of the ones available are a little bland and samey. I appreciate that a lot of bloggers want to have nice, clean professional icons for their sites, but if you like my work and wanted to add something with a bit more character to your site I have just the thing for you.
If you're like me and love a good cup of tea in your special took-me-ages-to-find-the-right-one mug, then you'll love these icons. Inspired by that love, I give you the tea icons: six social media icons shaped like your favourite drinking receptacle.
Each mug follows the colour scheme of it's specified media channel, and has the first initial across the front too. As you can see by my own twitter and bloglovin' icons to the right, I love the flavour of something different, and something awesome that people visiting your site will remember. I want to spread some fun and interesting visuals as far as I can!
You can right click the images and hit 'save as' to save them to your computer or click here to download the whole set as a zipped file.
Please remember that these are all my own artwork, and are not allowed to be sold or claimed as yours. They're for personal use only. Share with your friends and don't forget to leave a comment with your URL if you use them.
If you really like them and want more or you'd like your own set of personalized icons, get in touch!
Things are always changing and evolving, and one of the most important lessons I've learned the hard way is that nothing just happens. Everything that is worth it takes a long time and a lot of dedication to get right, and nothing illustrates that to me more than my brand.
It's taken a lot of trial and error to discover myself and my talents, and things have changed so much since I first started out. At first I was embarrassed by my constant changing this and that, updating the look of my website and going in circles with my art. For some reason I told myself that I have to get it right first try, and if I don't I'm a failure. Curse your failings, you miserable worm! You are no artist, but a fraud! A scammer! A buffoon! Well, maybe that last one is a little more accurate, but now i realize that these kinds of mistakes and changes are exactly what is supposed to happen.
Humans have very weird and wonderful ways of doing things, and one of the more notable evolutionary traits we try and avoid is learning through mistakes. A lot of the time we try and cover up our mistakes, as they seem to us to be something we should be ashamed of, or that we should feel bad for doing things wrong. This is a complete fabrication, a lie we tell ourselves to make us feel bad. Boy, do we love to beat ourselves up for stuff. That imaginary council in our head whom we seek comfort from will always chastise us and tell us that making mistakes is not allowed. Shame on us, for getting it wrong!
I listened to that council for a long time and beat myself up for a lot of the things that didn't quite turn out right. Then I had one of those light bulb moments where clarity hits you with the force of an oncoming truck, after trying so hard to get your attention. The light bulb spoke to me in almost child-like defiance - "Why is it bad to be wrong, when you didn't know it was wrong before you started?" - BOOM. Epiphany.
When we start out on these adventures, trials and day to day activities that fill our lives, we have no idea how they will turn out beforehand. No magic 8 ball can explain to us that this is a bad idea, the wrong decision, or a horribly poor investment. Nope, all we have is a little courage, a small hope, and a desire to try something out. And these things are in such short supply, that the slightest misdirection can drain them from the tank, and leave us stranded in uncertainty. It's a horrible place where the only thing to do is whittle yourself a mask of false assurance to hide behind, or perhaps play solitaire.
So when this spark of rebellious boldness hit me while I was busy cowering in self pity halfway through a tub of Rocky Road, it was like a lifeline straight to the confidence highway.
We learn the best lessons through our mistakes. Trial and error. We are built to figure things out through practical exploration, and rather than chastise ourselves for doing it wrong, we should congratulate ourselves for trying it out. The greatest hurdle I always have to overcome when trying a new idea is the fear of getting it wrong. And that council tell me "Well Seth, you should be terrified of the consequences of this not turning out. Look at how bad things would be if this were to go sideways! Best leave it alone and never even try. Yup, sounds like that's what you should definitely do."
Well, what are those consequences, when you really think about? Most of the time, it's a little energy, time, materials used, then you're right back to the start. It's just a predisposition for our minds to create fear, which creates caution. And this is a good thing. Caution is good, and can often save us from something really, really stupid. But if we can find the courage and confidence to try out new ideas, get things wrong, and try again, then not only will we have the power to become superheroes, but we'll also exercise and tone that inner instinct to guide us, rather than terrorize us.
For me, that inner instinct is helping me build a brand and work my way into becoming the professional I've always wanted to be. So yes, my website will change dramatically, my artwork will evolve and mistakes will always be made. And I am happy with this, as long as I can learn a lesson and mark a place on the map that points me in the right direction. But what will it mean for you? Trying a new hobby, talking to a stranger, taking over a small country? Trust me, when you stop telling yourself off and being afraid to make mistakes, the lessons you learn are invaluable.
So if you notice that every time you visit my site or see my work is a little bit different, it's because I'm learning, growing, and trying things out. And you should do it too.
*Thanks to feainne-stock for the image
Normally I try not to attract a lot of attention to myself on my birthday. I'm not sure why but it makes me quite uncomfortable, and I dread asking people to do things in case they say no and I have to curl up in a ball for two weeks dealing with the rejection. But this year my mum really wanted to do something special, so Pete and I flew over to New York City to meet her, her husband and my grandparents for a week's vacationing in the big city. This was the third time I'd been, and forth at least for Pete, but mum had never been before, so we took the lot of them around the usual sights and did most of the things every visitor has on their list. We only missed off a few things, due to fatigue on my nan's part and thanks to a spot of snow. Frenzied on the media to be the biggest blizzard New York has seen in a good long while, it turned out to be just a bucketed flurry, and didn't cause too many problems for us. But boy, was it cold - took my face about three days to not feel like sandpaper again. Lesson learned, if you're heading out into the East Coast winds, cover any and all bare skin completely...
New York isn't really our usual choice for destination - too showy, too loud, and too full of idiots. But it is definitely interesting to be there, and there's so much to take in you almost get drunk on eye candy. My favourite part is always the architecture, particularly the older buildings. So much detail and craftsmanship went into those buildings, in a time when you couldn't exactly bust out your dremmel or your black and decker. Being so ornate and stunningly decorative, and yet dwarfed by hideously bland skyscrapers from the modern age. They feel so forgotten and everyday tucked away down side streets and behind signs for Rite-Aid. But that's progress, apparently...
The first day we arrived was so clear and crisp, a beautiful day and perfect for seeing the city. So we raced up to the Top of the Rock in order to take full advantage of the weather at its best. Our timing was actually perfect, because we got to see the sun set and the lights come on.
Tip: going to the top of the Empire State building is ok, but you can't see the most iconic building in the city, because you're on top of it. Go to the Top of the Rock instead, around an hour or so before sunset. There are three floors so it's less crowded and you can stay up there as long as you like, so you can catch the daytime and the nighttime scene, including the Empire State.
My nan struggles to keep up these days thanks to Parkinsons, so to alleviate her from a whole lot of walking around a very chilly city we opted for one of the bus top tours of Downtown. On previous visits we've traveled around on foot or using the subway, which is much better for our health and our wallets. But they're pretty good, and you can see all the things you need to in a much shorter space of time. I'm sorry Gray Line, I'm afraid I didn't plug in the free headphones you gave me to listen to the tour guide. But I had a lovely time regardless, and I'm sure any useful or otherwise information that I missed out on will not damage me too much.
Tip: The Grey Line service is the longest running and so in our opinion the best service to use for bus top sightseeing. They have more buses and you can catch either red or blue, which is handy when you're waiting in the cold. Try and sit at the very back because there is a gap in the plexiglass that covers you, so it's better for taking clear photographs if you stick your camera out.
We got off at the harbour and headed out to Ellis Island to go see the museum about Immigration. For those of you who, like me, were previously unaware of Ellis Island and its significance, it was where the immigrants first landed when the arrived in New York. Here they would be processed and given the thumbs up or thumbs down. The building has since been converted into a museum that documents immigration as far back as the 1500s. It's definitely an eye opener - the things we used to do to each other, it's a wonder there were any of us left to carry on the species... It's nice to be reminded that despite all the terrible things that still happen in this world, despicable acts of barbarous torture are at an all time low for the human race. Great work, everyone!
Tip: Ellis Island closes fairly early, and the last boat back to Manhattan is around 5.15pm. The same boat goes to Ellis Island and Liberty Island - where the statue of Liberty is. It can get pretty hectic up there though, and the boat definitely leans to one side as it goes past. If you prefer things a little quieter and stories of human suffering and depravity are not your thing, take a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry across and come straight back. You'll get a view of the Statue of Liberty - although further away than the Ellis Island boat - and a really great sight of the Manhattan skyline.
Monday is the big day - We sleep in a bit extra that morning, and I spend a little time opening the cards I brought with me from other family members. Mum and co came to the room with a bunch of flowers and some more goodies - the best of which were amazing fox shaped salt and pepper shakers and a couple fox and wolf head bowls ( actually egg cups, but I hate eggs... yes, I know they're good for me. It's so inconvenient to dislike them, believe me) from Quail Ceramics and some much needed thermal long johns from nan.
Mum had asked me in advance what I wanted to do for the day, and the answer was easy - something very low key, but that I really enjoy. If I were to pick a time in my life when I have been at my happiest, it would be layering the jam on thick atop a heavy mountain of clotted cream on a warm scone, enjoying a steaming pot of earl grey tea. With milk in it, etiquette be damned. So that's what we did - Afternoon tea at the Ritz- Carlton, on the corner of Central Park. By that time the snow was really carving through the city, but from our cosy nest of cakes, cups and a little champagne we happily watched the world go by in a gorgeous flurry of white.
The last part of my already wonderful and decadent birthday was a final present from my family - tickets to see Jersey Boys, a show I have been wanting to see for a long time. It was a lot of fun, and really gets you dancing in your seat. Just watch out for ignorant assholes who think that in the 24 hours they have been granted in a day, 15 minutes into the show is the right time to open up their blackberry and check their emails. Well, let's face it, smart decisions are not something you can really expect from someone who owns a blackberry...
Our final day started early - Mum and the rest of the family had to leave for their flight at 4am, so it was a teary farewell at the crack of before dawn. Our flight wasn't until the late evening, so after a little bit longer in bed we headed out to enjoy one last day in the city. Walking right down Broadway we visited my favourite building, the Flatiron. There's a great little shop nearby called Fishs Eddys that sells amazing ceramics and glassware, be sure to check it out if you're nearby.
New York City is definitely a weird and wonderful place. Despite not having enough time to get off the beaten track a bit more and find out a few secret gems, we had a really great time just soaking up the atmosphere of the place. It really is alive with a buzz that never really feels at rest. After a while it exhausts me, and I could never be there for more than a week or so at a time. Too busy, too lively and too big. I like the quiet life too much. That said, it is a bit addictive and you can't help but get swept up in it. Kind of like when you're at Disneyland - Everything seems so bizarre and larger than life, and it's all good fun but you'd go insane if you lived there.
No doubt we'll find ourselves back there one day, and maybe we can learn of a few new things to see and do that are a little more out of the ordinary. But for now I'm happy to be back in my own bed, in our quiet apartment next to the sea. On the West Coast, where it's much, much warmer.
Happy new year! It's bright, it's shiny, and it's only just beginning. I hope everyone had an amazing time over the festive period - we went over to the sunshine coast for a very relaxing and uncharacteristically chilled christmas at a beautiful cottage by the sea. Log fires, walks on the beach, hot tub drinks, and most importantly peace and quiet. It was just what we both needed after a really busy year, and cooking christmas dinner for two instead of six is really easy!
Some of you may have noticed that in 2014 I did not post a single blog entry. This was because I decided to really take some time out and away from my brand and my art, and give everything a little breathing room. I had originally planned on writing a few posts just to keep things fresh, but just before my birthday in January, a very dear childhood friend passed away in England, and it really took the wind out of me. I realized that I was spending too much negative energy on this area of my life, and it was bringing me down. Life is short! and I want to spend every second of it happy with myself, my work, and people around me.
So I ignored my blog completely, spent that energy and time with friends and on personal projects. I changed my priorities and direction, and found some amazing inspiration in the weirdest places. Taking time out is really important to rejuvenating yourself, and that is exactly how I feel; fresh and brimming with new ideas.
My talented friend Paula told me in September that she was thinking of doing the Make It Vancouver craft fair, and I decided that I was maybe ready to get back into the swing of things. I applied, got in, and had an amazing show. I'm so glad I took the chance! I got so much great feedback from everyone, and sold a lot of pieces of original art and illustrations to a lot of wonderful people. Nothing has inspired me as much as that show, so I wanted to say a massive explosion of thank yous to everyone that came and supported all the talented Makers and Creators of Vancouver. Thanks to you, I have a fire starting within me again, and the courage to pursue what I love, and there is nothing more valuable to me in this world. Thank you.
So here's the exciting bit - what are all these brill new ideas and plans I have for the upcoming year? Well, here's a copy of my rough notes to give you some insights on what to look forward to....
More illustrations -
keep your eyes peeled for more of the good stuff, I just discovered Downton Abbey and it's lovable characters...
Prints of my illustrations -
prints will finally be available in my online shop, so if there's something you especially love, now's the time to say so
Painted plaques -
the painted wooden plaques I sold at the craft fair before christmas will be available in the shop also, and commissions will also be available - stay tuned
Digital art downloads -
more of the freebies, including blog icons, banners, badges, and some printable things too
necklaces have had a makeover, and traveled down a fun and exciting path to bring you a lot more variety
Collage originals and prints -
for those of you who loved my harbour village collages, more are on the way, as originals and as prints
Along with more blog posts, instagram updates, useful tips and tricks, and of course any personal commissioned pieces that you'd like are of course available as always. So stay in touch, and be sure to check in on all the new things happening. And enjoy your brand spanking new year!
Holy holly wreath, time certainly flies when you're having fun. Or when you're insanely busy. It was nice to spend most of November getting ready for christmas, I made all of our christmas decorations in time for me to leave for England at the beginning of December. We had to put the tree up a fair few weeks early so I could enjoy it before I left, but it was definitely worth it. I really fell in love with decorating this year, and most of ours are hand made so it was nice to spend time making things just for us.
One of my favourites this year are my reindeer constellations. I just love the moon and stars, and I drew these little designs originally for a few pebbles I had in a bowl. I started out with the heads as that was all that would fit on the stones, and doodled those with a white gel pen. The star details I added after with a little turquoise paint...
Afterwards I thought it'd be nice to have the full constellations, it was kind of fun figuring out the heads. But Pete told me I was drawing too many connections between the stars, so after a few attempts I got the hang of it with Dasher, and went through all eight.
I got some lovely navy blue card and silvery embroidery thread, and made a 4" x 6" card for each reindeer. They came out really nice, I'm really pleased with them. Hung up all together on the wall they're the perfect addition to our christmas line-up of decorations this year.
I resized my drawings and printed them out at the 4" x 6" size. I cut the card to the same size and lined them up, using a bulldog clip to hold the image in place. Using a pin tool I punched holes through the stars, so that when I removed the print out I could easily see where to thread.
Using a needle I pulled the embroidery thread through the holes, using the drawings as reference. I used a back stitch to keep the thread in place, doing the first stitch as normal then going backwards. The back looked a little bit crazy, but the front design worked nicely.
To add a little extra I added little stars with a silver pen around the thread, and a hand stamped name tag for each reindeer.
I made stencils for each of the eight reindeers, if you'd like to make some constellations feel free to download and use them. They're zipped files so you'll need to unzip them after download, the left is all the reindeer individually, the right are 3 printable pages containing them all and cutting border.
They make great hanging decorations, but if you fancy it they make nice christmas cards too, just glue them onto the front of a folded piece of card to hide the back. Enjoy!