October 2018 Drawing Challenges Review- The End is Near…

This month I have been taking part in a multitude of drawing challenges. Namely the following Instagram drawing challenges for October 2018:





For those unfamiliar the challenges consist of prompts created by a variety of instagram artists of varying instafame (I think it’s fair to say that) from Inktober being the daddy of them all to #superradhalloweenchallenge seeming a shiny new and fun development.

Self styled cool kid Craig Gleason is responsible for The Season of the Bad Guys Club and every artist’s biggest girl crush Mab Graves brings the tour de force that is #mabsdrawlloween challenge. The aim is that you take a prompt for everyday of the month October and create an illustration for it that you post on your instagram using the hashtag.

It seems fitting that in the final days of this year’s challenge (also my first!) that I reflect on the last month’s work.

And the winner is…

Mab’s Drawlloween Club was the winner for me and I completed Mab’s prompts on the vast majority of the days. It’s not just that her prompts appealed to me  but also that seeing the variety of ways she responded to the prompts (yes I know that she wrote them!) was totally inspiring. Seeing her drawings, felt creations, photography and dolls blew me away and made me want to push myself too. I have also always been someone who feels an intense desire to make things out of EVERYTHING. Paper, digital, clay, textiles and even stuff destined for the bin. Mab inspired me to feature a few knitted, diorama and sculpted pieces throughout the challenges as well as pen drawings and digital art.

New challenges

Unfortunately what I also discovered was that Inktober does not seem to be for me. I only ever covered it a couple of days. In the context of the others it was just harder to get excited about. Who wants to draw something ‘tranquil’ or ‘flowing’ when there’s another prompt next door with Yokai or Cryptids? I know which one I’m going to do. But then this in itself gets me thinking for next year. Often I find myself someone who finds staying in their comfort zone the most uncomfortable thing to do. I feel like I’m taking the easy way or not challenging myself enough.

Ultimately, isn’t it most useful as a freelance illustrator to encourage ourselves to practice gleaning creativity from a prompt (or brief) that might not immediately inspire us? I for one seem to be deciding too quickly and could that mean I am missing out on inspiration and opportunities that are there, just hidden a little deeper? Part of it was also my own intention to focus on improving my digital skills which I really think I did ( check out my instagram and decide for yourself!)

It’s a commitment

One overwhelming thing that I found was that the challenges were addictive and invigorating! I had read and heard that the challenges are exhausting, as if this is some necessary evil to progress. However, despite hitting some brick walls along the way in terms of approaching prompts I always found that inspiration came and I delivered something each day. Some days I even managed to cover up to 3 prompts (and I cannot begin to tell you what a busy month it was for me outside of these challenges too, when you’re truly excited and inspired by something you can always make some time and energy for it). I would definitely recommend doing at least one of these challenges to any artist in 2019 as a way to find new artists as well as a way to practice and hone your own style too.






Witches in the Woods: Film Poster Designs for Whirlow Hall Farm Trust

I absolutely adore designing film and event posters. I’d say it is one of my top things as an illustrator I love to do. Ask me to provide an illustration for a horror film event and you may even hear me attempt to suppress a squeal of joy.  So it was pretty awesome when I got the opportunity to design two posters for some Halloween film screenings at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield.

Now, I am not talking about enjoying designing a poster that is scary. Just a poster for a genre that features all the things I love to draw. Dark woods, nefarious characters, spirits, ghosts, monsters, ghouls and goblins, yetis, vampires…. I’m guessing you’ve got the point.

But why not scary?

It’s a deliberate choice not to draw them scary, even for adults only events. Firstly, a practical one. Is it ever really a good idea to draw a poster that is genuinely scary? Think about who will see it and where it goes. If you know it’s going to be printed onto a flyer that could potentially end up in cafes, shops and libraries then I’d say absolutely not. Yes we are in the business of representing something through our art, but would any of us feel very good about spooking out some poor kiddywinks who stumble up on our designs and nightmares ensue? It’s not just kids either. It runs the risk of putting people off your event and just a few comments to the event organiser from people who really don’t like being freaked out and there’s a good chance they won’t ask for your help again.

The main reason though is that it just isn’t me. I love the supernatural, dark and creepy but everything I do has a bright and playful happy edge to it too. It might sound contradictory but I’d like to think that those who look at my designs, and particular the posters I have done here for Whirlow Hall Farm’s upcoming immersive woodland cinema events, will agree that my work exhibits both of these things. I think it just goes to show that having your event scare people’s socks off is enough in itself without your marketing trying to do the same too.

Whirlow Hall Farm Halloween Cinema Event Film Poster Illustration Commission for “The Blair Witch Project” and “The Witch”
Whirlow Hall Farm Halloween Cinema Event Film Poster Illustration Commission for “Mary and the WItch’s Flower” childrens film screening

Upcoming Events- Sheffield Craft and Art Market Appearances 2018


Below are details of upcoming fairs and art markets I will be hosting a stall at across Sheffield over October, November and December 2018. I am planning to add more outings over these months and will update the Events section if the website as I do.

October 2018

26th- Eagle Works Launch, Little Kelham, Sheffield


November 2018

17th- Art is Quay, Dorothy Pax Bar, Sheffield

24th & 25th- Whirlow Hall Farm Christmas Fayre, Whirlow, S11 9QF


December 2018

8th- Heeley City Farm, Heeley S2


I’ll have some new prints and ceramics at these events, so pop by to have a look at something new and say hello!


Looking for something in particular? Drop me a message on my contact form or find me on Instagram and let me know! I can make sure to bring it along especially and maybe even keep one aside for you.


If you want something, don’t be afraid to ask! I will keep my commissions ughout the Christmas Perios, but remember my processing time for bespoke orders can be up to 3 weeks so I recommend ordering before November 16th to be guaranteed your custom piece in time for Christmas!


It’s,  my ceramics won’t be available for purchase on,one or mail delivery so if you want to grab one of my ceramic pieces come and find me at one of my fair dates 😊