Sunday, August 31, 2008


Look what I found on-line - some of my pyjama's in REAL LIFE! The next summer ranges should be out now, so I have to get out in store and have a bit of a look!

In an attempt to give you something of interest to read, I thought I might as well chat to you in a bit more detail about my current freelance work, and the processes involved. You will find some more of my detailed ramblings on the design process here, but for now, here goes with the current stuff!

I have also taken on some more book illustration work, and have been invited to be on the panel to judge a design competition - of sorts!

I did not mean to attempt to make these posts more interesting by making them longer (which NEVER actually works!)but if you are interested in reading about any of this in more detail, then just click the link below:

I have spent the weekend finishing off x4 Baby Apparel ranges. I love doing the baby ranges because they are all about colour and graphics - my two favourite design elements! The styles don't change too much in this age range, and it's not particularly trend driven, so it suits me really well.

Unfortunately I can't share any of the files here due to copyright concerns, but I will try to describe the process a bit for you.

With this apparel business, I am usually given a design brief that documents all requirements before I even start. From this, I put together a Quote which breaks down how long I think it might take me to do each particular requirement. Some companies may prefer to work on a flat rate amount that is negotiated before the work is commenced, (which tends to be how the book publishing has worked for me) but most of the apparel businesses I work with prefer an hourly rate. Obviously I charge difference hourly rates, with the most being for the design hours (which I guess you could argue is the uniqueness that you bring to the project) and a little less for the finished art which could technically be done by anyone if you handed over the artwork.

The designs were all signed off on last week, so the weekend allowed me to put together the factory ready art. This is quite time consuming, and a little fiddly but all part of the job!

What does this involve exactly?
Well each apparel company has their own standard and methods for this, ranging from highly detailed technical specifications, to general illustrations. In the case of this company it involves 2 stages:

1 GARMENT SPECS: Each garment needs to be drawn in a front and back view, with detailed written support outlining all fabrics, and materials that would be required to make the garment, such as buttons, zips artwork etc. It also involves indicating all colours of these elements including stitch colour. Obviously each garment is given a specific number to help identify the item and to assist communication with the factories and the apparel businesses.

With the business I am currently working in, this process is quite straight forward, but when I was working full time in this industry it was a highly technical and process driven area, supported by a full QA team of garment technicians.

2 ARTWORK: Artwork is supplied at ACTUAL size where possible. Obviously for baby garments, this is easy as the art is usually quite small. All colours need to be indicated on the artwork, as well as detailed indications of what might be embroidered, printed / appliqued etc.

I usually send these off for approval too so that if I have misinterpreted anything it can be picked up before sending it off to the factory. Once I get the OK, I print 3 copies of EVERY file, burn it all to disc and send it off to the client. I am usually given several reference garments at the start of the process and these will all need to be returned as the are often sent off to the factory as support. (I could write a whole novel about how the Australian apparel industry relies too heavily on overseas garments to "design" ranges, but that will have to be a topic of discussion for another day!)

One of the main reasons that I continue to work with this client is that they DO allow me to create my own designs, and they are REALLY organised and clear about their requirements. They make the whole process so easy, which is currently the deciding factor in me taking on freelance projects now that I am working full-time. It just means that these sort of projects can be a lovely "bonus" job, rather than a required chore.

I would have to say the same of my book publishers! I have just taken on a new book in the series I have been involved with and they have asked me to come up with some brand new characters which will be pretty exciting, as I have spent a lot of time working with their existing characters in a very established series.

I have also been asked to be on the judging panel for a large National, Australian business who are running their own "in-house" competition to design their businesses Christmas card for this year. I thought it would be an interesting process and I am looking forward getting involved.

Ok - well that's it for now...but thank you for reading if you have managed to get this far!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Oh my gawd. How boring has this blog become? It's getting embarrassing. I was reading back through some of my older stuff, and it was actually interesting! I hereby pledge that I will lift my game and start sharing some interesting all of the crafty gifts I want to create, and the amazing transformation that my house is going to undergo when I finally break the white boredom that is a brand new house.....followed by all of the great little animations I want to experiment with.....and all of the life drawing that I want to do.....and......books I want to write.....and.....if only we didn't have to sleep!

Were you really interested enough to click here and see if there was more to read? Well, I am also curious to know if anyone will leave a comment when there are no pictures! (Thanks if you do!)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Well for yesterday actually! I am lucky enough to be writing this at home today as in my new "REAL" job we get a day off for our birthday! Mine fell on a weekend this year, so I got the Monday off! How cool is that!!? My husband also has the day off (well he did have work on my ACTUAL birthday, yesterday)so it's lovely just to have the day at home together today.

I celebrated over the weekend by getting my hair cut REALLY short! It was pretty long as I realised to my horror that I had not had it cut since my last birthday!Eeeek! Anyway, I love it! It's so liberating!

I was also spoiled with flowers, cards, gifts, phone calls, dinners and more! Thank you to all of my family and friends!

We also went to see this brilliant film, this great production, and am off to see this guy.....

tomorrow night, AND we are staying the night in the city! (On a "school" night!) Yeah, I know - I am VERY spoiled. I love you Raymond J. x

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Sunday, August 17, 2008


After an exhausting couple of weeks, we finally found ourselves faced with the luxury having nothing at all to do for two whole days in a row!I think it's called a WEEKEND! (....I just had to ignore my freelance stuff this weekend! I was far to tired to even think about more work!)

So where to go when you have nothing better to do with your time? IKEA of course! We finally decided it was time to get our clothes off the floor and out of boxes, and this is the fabulous combination that we came up with! Yes, that is a hole in the top of the cupboard! It's so we can just throw our shoes into it! Cool huh?...or is it kinda weird?! Oh well, WE love it!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Upstaged by 8 year olds?!

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud, and that it's only a matter of time until the big wide world discovers that I am all bluff when it comes to drawing! Well yesterday I was totally upstaged by some very talented kids! I was part of a special promo at Readings Bookstore in Lygon St Carlton yesterday, to promote some new releases in one of the book series I have been working on. I spent some time teaching the kids how to draw the characters and I was quite embarrassed by my efforts! The kids on the other hand did a fabulous job and I just love their passion and enthusiasm! They forgave me enough to still want some books signed, so I guess that's something!

Anyway, just to remind myself that I really am a "REAL" illustrator, I thought it was time I shared the next books in the other series that I have been working on!
Check them out here, if you are keen enough to want to own one! These ones are out just in time for Fathers Day, so get in early! (Two more still to come in this series!)

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Sunday, August 3, 2008


So much for blogging more often! It's been a crazy, busy week at work and at home. This coming week will probably we worse, with heaps on at work, and more freelance stuff to get through!

I also have a full weekend next weekend, including working at a tradeshow AND attending a conference for my "real" job, and on the freelance front I will be taking part in a special book store promotion to help promote one of my books!

I'm a bit excited (and scared) about it actually! Next Saturday I will running a "how to draw" session at one of Melbourne's popular bookstores to help promote the series of books I have been working on! I hope to share more about this after the event - maybe even some photos?

Chances are that it will be another week or so before my next post, so I just want to leave you with a couple of things to look at:

I have been wanting to share these graphics with you for a while - it's my favourite pyjama design so far. I think the colours got changed around a bit after I handed over the artwork, so I am not sure what the final product looked like! This lot should be out in stores by now too!

Some of you may be familiar with how gorgeous my husband is through his beautiful and cheeky comments here on my blog. Well, he has taken the plunge into this big wide world of blogging himself, and started his own blog! It's basically gardening based, and it already gives a bit of insight into how much work we need to do on ours! It's just not been on the priority list since the big move but that should change over the coming months. Anyway, if you're interested then check it out here!

Phew, what a long post! Making up for the quiet times I guess! Anyway, have a fabulous week everyone!

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