This year was my first birthday as a self employed, freelance illustrator and thus a lot of my gifts and presents were based on my new job. This is the best time to have a birthday because who doesn't love being given things they want but can't afford to pay for? Roll on Christmas.... *disclaimer, I also received other things but it's hard to work christmas wine glasses and a a bunch of disney DVDS into a post about work.
1. New Tools.
I am a huge fan of new materials and trying new ways of working with new stock so receiving this little package was massively exciting. You can't go wrong with a Staedtler pack of pencils and these pens are super classy looking and don't photograph half bad either. Find similar here and here.
2. Reference Books.
I have been after these typography books for a LONG time and I was pretty darn happy to eventually get my hands on them. Typography is not my strong point by any means and I am super keen to work on some handwritten designs. Also this facial expressions book I can already tell is going to be a god send to coming up with more original and exciting artwork. Buy these books on Amazon here, here and here.
3. Mini Stationary.
This lovely lot was sent to me by a school friend who never forgets my birthday and never forgets to send me something adorable (last year it was a fluffy hood that looks like a fox). This year she sent me this set of mini notebooks (the I love lists one is going to be put to use immediately) and this set of sticky notes to keep my business organised. She also sent me a set of rubbers and a magic pencil which we're trying to find a legitimate reason to use in every piece of my artwork, but ya know, baby steps. Treat yourself to these mini beauties here and here.
4. Oliver and Patch.
I mean really, what 23rd birthday is it if you don't receive a children' book? My kids book collection is extensive to say the least and this was an adorable little addition. I won't spoil the story but buy it for your child, or grown up child on Amazon here.
My iPhone is half my business. It would probably class as my business partner. It should probably get half my profits. I blog on it, take business calls on it, email on it, do all my social media upkeep on it, photograph on it, keep my website updated off it...I basically use it all day every day for the upkeep of my job and the day to day running of my business. This means my phone is charged about 3 times a day. I know, I know, that's dreadful. It's nothing to do with the quality of the battery life, I know everyone has a downer on iPhone battery but generally, I just use it so much it plain doesn't last. This is fine when I'm at home, at my desk with 273239573 chargers and an extension lead to hand. It is not fine when I'm out and about and my content still needs to go up, I still need to answer emails and I still need to edit my promo photos. I have done the whole power dock thing which is all well and good but sometimes, just sometimes, you don't want to be walking around with a wire hanging out. Oo er. So this led to some seriously cute gadgetry being gifted my way with this portable stand and this charging phone case, both of which I love, both of which I am taking away with me next week and both of which I think will cure my need for on the go power for my business partner. Thank you techno wizards. Find both on Amazon here and here.
6. Blogging Books.
Since I've been blogging more and more and it's taking off a bit and more and more people are reading my content, my love and need for anything to do with the industry is getting more and more addictive. Although this book on blog topics for every day of the year might be bit of a cheat sheet (but come on, we all google blog topics when we're running a bit low on ideas), it's this blogging planner than made my heart sing all the matte white pinterest worthy happy notes. With a page for every day for the next year, with motivational quotes to start each month, calendars and stat trackers, all set in a crisp white hardback book with beaut typography, I fell in love and all my blogging dreams came true. My content ideas have never looked so stylish. Buy the 365 ideas book on Amazon here and create your own blog planner here.
And last for good reason (save the best till last and all that), I opened a parcel from my best pal and fellow Glyndwr graduate and illustrator, Jonny MG. I was met (along with two hilarious cards) with this framed portrait of me, based on a Facebook profile picture and I am IN LOVE. I knew he was good, I sat next to him for 3 years of university, but this picture is so uncanny, so clever and so lifelike, I was amazed. My family were in awe, people on social media were in awe and it is taking pride of place in my new office/studio space. Jonny is currently taking on commissions and work ready for christmas so check him out and order something, it is seriously worth it!
Thank you to everyone who bought me something, sent me a card, posted me something, wrote me on social media, text or phoned me on my birthday, you're all absolute dreams.