Tag Archives | illustration

Pet Portraits

It’s no secret that the most wonderful cat in the world lives in our house. If you follow me on Instagram (or see my Instagram pics here) you will be only too familiar with #bestcat’s (Stripey’s) adventures. She is the other half of Pretty Pretty, my muse and loyal companion, never failing to give purrs and lap cuddles whenever needed.

Being the pet lover that I am I can’t resist a beautiful kitty cat illustration and I am totally in love with Sarah McNeil’s sweet little drawings. Sarah does commissions too, so you can send her a pic of your pud-tat or pooch and she will immortalise them in gouache and pencil. So lovely. I think my favourite one is the first cat portrait (it looks a little like our Stripes and I love the proteas).

You can see more of her work on Etsy or read her blog here

Sarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeilSarah McNeil

Words to end your week on

Wise words

Friday is here again and hopefully the glorious weather that Cape Town has been blessed with will hold for the next three days (long weekend for us as Alexis and I have taken Monday off too)

Regardless of what the weather is doing where you are I hope that your weekend is a peaceful and relaxing break from the hum drum.

This week’s illustrated wise words are created by Jonathan Ogden (who I have featured before) and are available here.

Happy weekend everyone.

More early Christmas shopping

September is here and we are slowly creeping closer to Christmas, so here is part two of my Christmas shopping list (see the first installment here)

All these beauties can be found on the glorious Hello Pretty website – BUT BE WARNED – this site may cause a serious case of the vapors! I keep spotting things that take my breath away – I must have them all!

Hello Pretty is constantly being updated with gorgeous new goodies, all perfect for wrapping and putting under the tree (yes, I know its early, but I am on mission to get the horrid task done before the maddening crowd).

Oh and don’t forget to stop at the Pretty Pretty shop, there are some cute stocking fillers for guys and girls

Hello PrettyHello PrettyHello PrettyHello PrettyHello PrettyHello Pretty

1. Oh Hi There Card by Happiness Is
2. Fly Away Birds Cushion Cover by handmade by me
3. Pretty Proteas Cushion Cover by handmade by me
4. Sewing Machine 2 Necklace by Bow Peep
5. Love Bird by Forgetmeknot
6. Iroko Faset Ring by dor&kie jewellery objects
7. Ceramic bokkie by Maiden Name
8. Tying the Knot Gift Card by Lauren Fowler
9. Zoo Biscuit cushion cover by Design Kist
10. Tetromino triple Pendant by dor&kie jewellery objects

Watery stares

Anne Siems’s watery, almost ghost like paintings are mysterious and intriguing. Each figure seems to stare back at you with a sad, trapped expression.

To quote Anne herself, her paintings depict: “Ideas about life and death, sensuality, sexuality, nature, experiences in the realm of dreams, psyche and spirit are my ongoing topic”. The subtle influence of the European masters and early American folk art is very evident in Anne’s work.

I love the way her whimsical characters seem to capture you in their stoney stares. Truly brilliant.

Read more about Anne Siems here.

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More info on Anne Siems.

Collage art

Lately I have been seeing more and more collage art appearing everywhere – while I like a good mashup of style, colour, technique and media, a lot of this new stuff is really quite average. Not so are the clever collage pieces being created by Paris based ( Ma + Chr ).

( Ma + Chr ) is an art and design studio founded by Mathilde Aubier and Christine Delaquaize. Their light hearted, fresh and simple approach is most evident in their Baignade & Parasol collection. Don’t you just love the colours and whimsy of the original photos used.


I couldn’t resist including their crazy cat collection (which I first spotted on Happiness is). Isn’t it silly how adding some human eyes to a really naff kitty photo never fails to entertain. I think my favourite is the last one, the shot with the very nervous looking dog. So cute!


You can see more of ( Ma + Chr ) here.
Do check out Happiness Is too, it’s full of magical goodness.

Korean Story Telling

I found these fantastic Korean children’s book covers here. Apparently the 1950s and 60s are considered to be the “golden era” in the history of Korean children’s books.
You can see more book covers here.


“They are here, walking amongst us and taking in the sights, though the odd one might bust something so keep an eye out and your camera ready.”

Check out these crazy, one off Visitant lino print illustrations by Barnaby Purdy. They are created using pages from encylopedias from 1972. I think they are flipping fantastic and may well have to get my hands on one.


You can see all of Barnaby Purdy’s Visitants here

Poster Love

I love these clever posters for the “Come with one story; leave with another” campaign for the Colsubsidio Book Exchange. They where created by Columbia advertising agency Lowe/SSP3. The idea behind the Book Exchange is pretty much like a library, once you are done reading one book, you return it and move onto the next one.

Great interpretation of the idea (and super cute too!)

Colsubsidio Book Exchange
Colsubsidio Book Exchange
Colsubsidio Book Exchange

All credits for this work can be found here

Black Apple

I would dearly love one of these gilded frames hanging in my living room. Black Apple – The art & miscellany of Emily Winfield Martin… so captivating.
Black Apple
Black Apple
Black Apple
Black Apple

Have a look at her beautiful creations on Etsy too

Black Apple
Black Apple
Black Apple
Black Apple

Thief of Hearts

On my wish list for Christmas this year is an original Trish Grantham piece, “Thief of Hearts” (hint hint Santa!)
Trish is such a talented illustrator, I have spend hours drooling over her lovely artworks. She has also done some really impressive looking gallery installations as well as murals in hotels and in stores.
Please do check out her website as well as her Etsy Store. You too will fall in love.

Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham
Trish Grantham

Free Bird

As many of you may know, I recently left the security of a full time job as Creative Director of a Cape Town based digital agency called Clickthinking. As a farewell gift to me, my team of designers had a illustration commissioned especially for me by the fabulous One Horse Town.

I was lucky enough to work on a project with the One Horse Town team while still at Clickthinking, having picked them for their amazing style, super enthusiasm and great energy.
You really should go and look at their portfolio, they are talented guys.

So, after finally deciding where I want to hang my art piece, I dashed to the tool box only to discover that my super efficient husband has packed our beloved Hilty Tool away in our new attic… damn! Never mind, as soon as I can I will bash a Hilty nail in the wall and hang my gorgeous illustration (photos to follow)

For now, here is a glimpse of the final illustration, isnt it amazing? Each little component of the drawing has such significance to me. It brings a bitter sweet tear to my eye. My design team really did understand who I was/am and the guys from One Horse Town captured it so well.

One Horse Town illustration

Posh Beasts

This past weekend, Alexis and I took a drive through the prettiest parts of Tamboerskloof and Oranjezicht. We like to take little drives around here and often dream about the day when we will live in such grandeur. This part of the Cape Town CBD is so lovely, the houses are an interesting mix of old and new with the odd dilapidated gem nestled in amongst the more palatial spots. Best of all, the wind doesn’t punish you throughout summer – its sublime.

On our most recent trip through Tamboerskloof we spotted a peacock nonchalantly wondering though a parking lot. Now, I may be somewhat oblivious of the comings and goings of the average peacock, but seeing this fine feathered dandy making his way across the tarmac did seam odd to me. Surely peacocks only reside on massive estates in the countryside, occasionally venturing into town to spend their weekend languishing in posh hotels?

To be honest I am convinced that most exotic animals lead terribly posh lives. After all, where else would the term “coats ‘n tails” come from? Don’t you think these creatures look the part (spotted in amongst them is Mr Peacock of course)? They are part of a really great collection of illustrations by Ryan from Berkley Illustration. You can see more of his work here and here. My favorites are Mr Bat and Mr Black Bear, which are yours?