Instagrammer of the week #038 – Illustrator Maja Säfström

Argh the cuteness that comes from Maja Säfström’s Instagram account is just crazy. Maja creates some of the sweetest little characters with some of the quirkiest (and funniest) captions. Check out her feed. You’ll adore it!

Follow Maja on Instagram and follow me too while you’re at it!

Creative conversations – Anna Blandford from Able and Game

The creative process has always intrigued me. As a writer, I rely on lots of different tools to help me stay focussed but there have been moments in the recent past that have made me doubt my ability to be creative and productive. Working solo is definitely a draw back in times like these. Without people to bounce ideas off or just engage with it can be difficult trying to move past the block. So I wrote down a list of makers who inspire me and they’ve agreed to share some insight into their creative process. I’ll be sharing a new creative conversation every Friday until December 29th so be sure to pop back in each week.

Let’s get to it shall we?

I’ve written about Able and Game lots and lots of times on the blog over the years. I’m a big fan of their funny cards. I love the illustrations and the messages – they are always quirky and unique and fun. The team behind the brand are Anna Blandford (illustrator) and her husband Gareth Meney (technical stuff behind the scenes) and judging by the followers and reviews they have on their Etsy store they make quite the team. Anna was kind enough to take some time out of her busy day to give us a quick peek into her creative world.

What’s on your desk at the moment?
A new book I have illustrated that is out later in the year, a breast pump, hand cream, phone pumping out white noise for a sleeping baby, sticky tape, our catalogue, Keep cup and drink bottle, piles of paper and mess.

When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I’ve wanted to do it since I was really young. When I was a teenager, my sister and I had a market stall at a little country market selling stationery made from handmade paper. We also sold sheep manure. I think the manure outsold the stationery.

What do you if the creativeness isn’t coming?
Push through. Write down things that are coming into my head, keep working even if what you’re doing is crap. Later when I come back to this crap work I often see a seed of an idea that I can turn into something really great.

What advice would you give to someone contemplating a creative career?
Just start. Start and then work out problems. Often you think you need to have everything all perfect before you start and I don’t think this is true, I think you need some things worked out, but you don’t need everything.

What is the hardest part about being a designer?
That being a designer is only a really small part of the whole business. You have to do so many other jobs, and be motivated to do them. Taxes are not fun, book keeping isn’t fun. To be fair I don’t actually do these things, but my partner does. I think he enjoys them more than I do though.

You can follow Able and Game on their website, their blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy.

Instagrammer of the week #036 – Elise Hurst

How amazing it must be to be able to pluck an image from your imagination and recreate it on a page? I admire artists like today’s Instagrammer Elise Hurst. She captures a world of anthropomorphic animals, fierce females and other fantastical beasts.

Follow Elise on Instagram and while you’re at it, follow me too!

A post shared by Elise Hurst (@elise.hurst) on

A post shared by Elise Hurst (@elise.hurst) on

A post shared by Elise Hurst (@elise.hurst) on

A post shared by Elise Hurst (@elise.hurst) on

Instagrammer of the week #032 – Jenny Sjodin

Jenny Sjodin is an illustrator, story teller and graphic designer from Stockholm, Sweden. I really like her graphic style. The use of different textures is such a good way to add extra dimension to a piece. She recently created images for the UNHRC, depicting the lives of refugees and they are so beautifully done, so respectful and dignified. She’s definitely someone you should follow.

Follow Jenny on Instagram and while you’re there, add me too!