Albeit not the most glamorous of posts or maybe even not the most interesting but in the faint hope that some of you are as nosey about people's homes and studios as I am then here is a little chat about where I do my illustrating.
As we all know (I've banged on about it enough) I have been a self employed freelance illustrator for the past couple of months and to financially support myself to set up the business, I moved out of my Wrexham home and hot footed it down to South Wales and back in with the parents.
This move has resulted in me giving up the dream (for now) of converting a spare bedroom into a beautiful white studio with a huge desk, Apple Mac desktop and a hella load of Instagram worthy and Pinterest enviable nick nacks and prints carefully adorning the shelves and walls. Instead I am back in the bedroom which I have inhabited from the day I left the humble abode of my crib in my parents room, the room which I shared with my brother for 8493879530 years, the room which has been pink to purple to blue to red and now to grown up,understated grey (the nice interior designed kind, not the horrible kind).
Somewhere around the age of 17 or 18 my grandparents moved and gifted me with a spare double bed they had going from my uncle's childhood bedroom and whilst that actual bed gave up the ghost long ago, I could never quite bring myself to convert back to a single and alas now, the majority of my bedroom is taken up with, well, the literal bed. This in itself is a massive portion of the room gone and my bedroom is actually a bit too small for a wardrobe. After hoarding my clothes and possessions in the build in wardrobes in my parents bedroom right up until I finished university and brought 7382740374037 things home with me, I now make do with what storage I have left. Therefore with all my clothes, shoes, jewellery, makeup, photo frames, bunting, books, bits I've collected and the left over rubbish from uni that I **definitely** need to keep until I have my own house again, there is not a heck of a lot of room left for ya know, my business.
That being said, I have strived and worked hard to make my desk and my workspace inspiring to me and work with what I have now. When I was a baby my uncle bought me a huge toy box with my name on and whilst it is now no longer filled with toys, it is something I will never get rid of and is now filled with all my illustration files, my portfolio and all my exhibition work. This mahoosive chest of work allows for some free space when it comes to my desk and the corner of the room I actually work in.
My desk is your bog standard B&Q corner desk which has a bunch of shelves underneath, a sliding tray and used to have a little sticky up section for CDs until my Dad sawed it off when I decided it was massively in the way (approximately 45 minutes after it was assembled). This desk was purchased when I was working on my Foundation Diploma when I was 19 and is by no means stylish but fits the purpose even for now. When I am a hugely successful and stinking rich illustrator I will buy one of them fk off huge desks which means I can have my computer on one side and actually illustrate on the other side. My desk chair is a beauuuutiful white swivel chair which I bought in Ikea a year ago which makes me feel like the Instagram dream is still in the pipeline and has arms which helps when I'm being lazy and just spinning round and round waiting for creativity to hit (of course that part isn't true, I am always lazy but there is no room to spin).
Underneath my desk is my cosy slippered feet, about a billions plugs and extension leads and all my beautiful stationary. I am a massive hoarder of pretty stationary so all my files, notebooks, wallets and stationary is kept in mis matched colourful file holders in spots and stripes and everything is plastered in Gwennan Rees Illustration business stickers to prove it is all business. All the general rubbish that you don't want to spoil your Insta posts (ink cartridges, headphones, plugs and wires) are shoved and hidden away in cute trinket boxes some of which are floral, some of which have little spacemen on which is radical. I also have my HP printer under my desk which is less pretty but is the third one I have broken in as many years so there's that.
On the left hand side of my desk stands what is actually a bedside table that I once used for makeup and socks and have now neatly converted into a mini filing cabinet. I have a horrifically nerdy passion for organisation and filing and my mini filing cabinet is so neat it is embarrassing. The top draw is reserved exclusively for all the random crap you need stationary wise like staplers, staples (naturally), post its, sellotape, ribbon, stamps, drawing pins, buttons and a bunch of foreign coins that magically appeared in there. The middle draw currently holds my stock of merchandise to sell on Etsy and all my postal things such an envelope and wrapping but I fear when I start making more money and more produce this draw won't be enough and I will need to rethink my filing system which is a headache on its own. The bottom draw of the remastered bedside table stocks my promotional merchandise, my business cards, my postcards, my stickers and everything else I use to shout out how amazing I am. Atop of the filing cabinet is a even minier filing cabinet (it's basically a purple plastic box with drawers) that I had when I was literally a child for some reason or another which I gifted to my mother when I decided I didn't want it any more and then stole back when I went lived in Wrexham. This holds a multitude of sins which is all the paperwork, receipts and rubbish that I can't be bothered to deal with and my Sims CD rom (I am so 90s).
Underneath my desk on what I can only describe as a slidey out tray I stack my lightbox, my Ipad and my Wacom drawing tablet which I wheel out and use as and when. But it is atop the desk that the Pinterest worthy photographs/actual work happens. I have owned my (purple covered) Macbook Pro since first year of university and whilst I spent my 3 years doing a degree I did a really unstudenty thing and saved 1000 squids to buy a desktop Mac (my computer of dreams). Whilst I haven't made the purchase yet (cars, business, rent sadly comes first) it is still in my mind as an imminent idea but for now the Pro suffices. I have the standard desktop favourites such as my speakers complete with Ipod Touch purchased when I was 17 which is still living, my phone, my computer stand (a godsend when avoiding overheating laptops) and pots of highlighters and pro markers. I have 37214789234 coasters for all the tea I drink, pots of pins and buttons and pencil cases, a stock of business cards, some cute floral post its.
My most prized desktop possession is my framed certificated that I won (alongside with some ££££££) when I won first place for children's book illustration awarded by the Randolph Caldecott Society and signed by their patron and one of my huge inspirations-Shirley Hughes. I also have a framed print which was bought on Not On The High Street for me by my other half when I went back to uni for finals which reads 'follow your dreams' which is always appropriate.
Not one for sticking with conventional pencil pots, a bunch of mine are actually mugs, my favourites of which are a Hobbycraft buy about 5 years ago reading 'I'd rather be sketching' and a recent Primark buy that reads 'I woke up like this' which are filled with my personalised pencils which I bought here. And finally, adding to the series of mini filing cabinets I seem to have going on, I have a teeny weeny desktop filing cabinet (also from Primark) which holds all my tiny things like my hard drive, USBs, headphones and my mouse which I never use.
I am struggling to find an end to this post after the narrative of my desk is over so letting it trail off into pictures is the way I'm going.....