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By Ruth Thorp Studio, Apr 2 2013 09:49PM

Although I have been quiet lately, I have actually had some very exciting creative weeks and am feeling hugely inspired. After spending a week in beautiful sunny Pembrokeshire with my parents in their new barn conversion, I am having to gently ease myself back into 'real life' and I'm hoping that my productivity levels will remain.

There is something magical about Pembrokeshire that just seems to spark my creativity. I always feel inspired and productive there. A walk along the beach is a sure fire way of letting my brain empty of any worries, doubts or frustrations, (feelings that I'm sure all creative people are familiar with) and in turn free up space for becoming creative again. Last week, the weather was beautiful with blue skies, sunshine, and sparkly seas, although as all of you in the UK will know, it has also been extremely cold so apart from a daily walk on newgale, we actually indulged in spending most of our time inside. I am particulalrly lucky to have such a gorgeous home to live in when I'm there which is so important for the creative soul. The large table in the kitchen located at the centre of the open plan barn is my favourite spot for working with lots of space, natural light, easy access to food and connected to everyone else in the household. So it was, that last week I started a very exciting project with my very talented sister who has written a children's story book after being inspired by one of my illustrations, and I am now in the joyful process of fully illustrating and laying out my first children's book. I can't say much more that that at the moment, but it's turning into something pretty special, and we are all very excited about it.

So thank you Pembrokeshire for freeing up my mind and to mum, dad, Luke and Sarah for inspiring me to start this new project, for all the amazing food and support and for creating such an inspiring space for me to visit. It certainly is the best holiday home anyone could wish for!

As for you guys, where do you feel creative? Is there a specific place that you feel particulalry inspired? Do you work in the same spot or mix around to have a change of environment? I'd love to know your thoughts and if you are experiencing a period of time lacking in inspiration or finding it hard to feel creative, maybe it's time for a change of scenery. How about popping out for a walk in the park, working in a local coffe shop or meeting up with other like-minded creatives to share your inspiration. And if that doesn't work, why not book a trip to beautiful Pembrokeshire, a shameless plug, but I know of another lovely creative space that is available for holiday lettings. Check it out here!

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Feb 18 2013 10:04PM

Lately I have been enjoying producing illustration work and placement prints instead of focusing only on making pattern repeats. After doing some illustration work for my Dad to go alongside some of his written work, it really gave me a boost to start exploring my signature style more and reach into areas I didn't feel as comfortable in. More on this in a later post!

I have also been reading the fantastic new book by Lilla Rogers and was particulalry interested when I came to the section about the 'Children's Picture Book Market'. This is an area I have always thought would be fun and exciting to be involved in, but I have always been wary of it, as Lilla states 'picture books are character-driven'. Well, I have always been very concious of the fact that drawing people and figures has been one of my weaknesses and so have shied away from it in the past. After reading the section in Lilla's book, however, I thought it would be a good challenge to set myself to see whether I could create some characters.

You can see my results above and if I can say so myself, I'm pretty chuffed with them as a first attempt. Things will only get better the more I practice and I feel comfortable with the fact that I am creating something that is very me! I have made a couple of compositions with the characters in 'Raindrops and Sunshine' and am planning to use the little characters below to develop some scenes or patterns. I'm pretty certain, I'll never be able to draw a perfectly proportioned, life-like figure drawing, but I'm ok with my little fun charcters with stickly legs and balls for hands and I can see my style getting stronger each day. This is a something I must remind myself of when things aren't going quite as well. In fact on the morning I produced these, I was having a very floopy day and was not feeling particularly inspired or good about my work. Turns out all it took was a couple of little hand-drawn doodles scanned in and coloured up to switch it all around!


So I have faced my artistic 'achilles' heel' and have survived! I wonder what else I can try. I've certainly inspired myself to try new things that I previously thought I wouldn't be able to do. How about you? Is there anything you have always shied away from or avoided? I'd love to hear your thoughts and why don't you give it a go too and see how you can flip your creative doubts around and make it work for you in your own style.

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Here you will find my inspirations, creations and a bit of day to day life alongside showcases of wonderful work from other like-minded talented creatives!


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