Oh oh oh oh everybody! Red alert! Gemma Milly, an artist and illustrator in southeast England, has taken my heart captive today. Her work is such a delight and I’m certain it will tickle you too. I’m so happy that I found her today via lovely Mary Beth on Pinterest. I adore her painterly style and colorways and well her drawing of William and Katherine kissing on the balcony and Buckingham Palace is just so charming (you can buy it here). I hope they somehow see it — I’m sure they’d love it to pieces that cute Will and Katherine.
Gemma draws her images first by hand using pen or pencil, then adds ink and watercolor, and finally she digitally enhances them to give them that final “just so” touch. I love how she uses her color outside of the lines at times. This is gorgeous. Her inspiration comes from, “The ethereal, the sensual, the female form, the exquisite and the beautiful. Her aim is to create strikingly beautiful images that please the eye and delight the senses.” I’d say she accomplishes her goal!
But she hasn’t always been an illustrator… Gemma once worked in advertising and design for six years at a traditional desk job, but like so many creative types who dream of “what if”, the atmosphere wasn’t for her and she started to wonder about her future… So she jumped ship, returned to university where she earned her Master’s in Illustration and Animation and now she is a happy freelancer.
Gemma produces prints, greetings cards, portraits and fashion illustration for her big cartel shop and for her clients and well… we’re all happier for it – but most importantly, Gemma found her calling and we all love those kinds of stories, don’t we?
Isn’t Gemma divine?
(images: gemma milly)
I always enjoy a lazy moment exploring the pages of British lifestyle brand Toast. I’m drawn to their casual images that, this season, feel very travel inspired. Must be the spirits of summer casting their magic spell on me, making me want to throw my journal and a map in a bag, slip on pretty sandals, and head for an exotic destination. The most exotic destination on my calendar is Amsterdam next week, ha ha! The three places that I’d love to visit are Australia, Japan and India. I think about them frequently and the design and culture in these places inspires me so much though they are all three so different from the other. Where do you dream of taking an extended holiday?
I imagine I’ll get to these places someday, in addition to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Poland, Bali, Korea, Scotland… too many to list for me. but for now I enjoy roaming the web for a dose of travel inspiration or some of my favorite catalogs. Toast seems to be inspired by North Africa and of European cafe life, particularly France and Italy, and perhaps a little bit of Greece too. I love the mix of stripes and solids, weaves and leathers, and swoon – shiny metallic linen which is one of the best kinds of linen for dressing up the home in a very subtle way. It’s sumptuous.
I discovered a lovely shop that just launched called Deep Dark Africa which carries only African made wares that are not of the variety that you commonly see in most African shops. These are very fresh and modern with traditional elements woven in only with a new look and lots of lovely, tactile details… I want nearly everything in this shop, there is so much texture and so many designs that are inspired by nature… Here are some of my favorites…
Many items are created for the shop through collaborations with designers and some are simply curated from local designers (like Heather Moore) and artisans based in Africa by Alexia Kondylis, who is a fashion and interior stylist. Deep Dark Africa loves handmade, fair trade and upcycled goods, as do most of us. This shop is a gorgeous – the rabbit bowls are an insta-fave of mine.
Beautiful! What do you think?
(images: deep dark africa)
Melissa Jaine is a creative blogger who lives in Australia that I recently discovered thanks to my husband and I fell in love with her blog and the way she snaps stills from music videos highlighting either what she loved about them or inserting the lyrics, laying text on top of images… Such a smart lady she is. We also love all of the same musicians from Sophie Ellis-Bextor to Natasha Bedingfield.But there’s more to love about Melissa…
She also has a thing for airports, as do I… Do you have a thing for airports? I love to arrive extra early for flights and just people watch while sipping on a soy latte. Plus airport energy is amazing. I think the best airport for “energy” is LAX. I really love the vibe there. But back to lovely Melissa. As I was exploring her blog I found out that she draws and I particularly took to liking these fashion illustrations of hers shown both above and below. They hardly look like the result of someone just playing around but they are, and that speaks volumes about her talent. If I played around there would be a blob of something unrecognizable in the center of a piece of paper. When Melissa experiments you get these lovely ladies…
My favorites from her portfolio are above because love the runway style with the simple backgrounds and typed text tape and those great patterned clothes. Totally something I’d love to see in a book or magazine.
This is a newly discovered passion of hers, drawing these ladies, and I feel that she could go really far with them and I hope that she keeps developing her concepts because they are fresh and wonderful. I love the merging of the full view runway-esque drawings with the street scapes in pencil, I’ve not seen that elsewhere and can totally imagine these designs being applied to surfaces and even as illustrations in magazines.
What do you think?
(images: melissa jaine)