Category Archives: Illustration

Creative SA: Miche Watkins

Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

by Rose McClement

In the spirit of moving forward with this series, I would like to introduce you to another South African artist, Miche Watkins.  Miche and I met online – how that came about I just simply can’t remember.  But you know the story, if you knock around a few online portals long and often enough, you find one another.

Creative SA: Artist Miche Watkins

Since that first time a few years ago we have kept pace with each other via Facebook largely, until Miche visited Cape Town last year, when we had the opportunity of catching up eyeball to eyeball. Although Miche relocated to the UK a few years ago to be close to her family, she lived in Cape Town for a long time. That I think was the glue that formed the bond early in our friendship, the fact that I used to post images of beautiful Mother City and she would respond with great yearning.

I’m not much of an art “knower” or a “knower of art”, but this I do know about myself… I know what art appeals to me. Over the past few years I have exposed myself to more and more artists and in doing so I have come to understand that which appeals to me and that which just goes over my head.

The question then is what is it that appeals to me about the body of work that Miche brings to the world?  It is her particular style of Pop Art-ish line drawings – she only introduces a hint of red or colour that I am simply taken with.  They are funky, contemporary, youthful and more often than not, faceless images.

Creative SA: Artist Miche Watkins

As a decorator finding something that is appealing yet not specific in terms of its image, is a very big draw. Her art can be installed into offices, hotels and residences alike – any space that can indulge a bit of contemporary funk. I see Miche’s art hanging on the walls of some trendy millennial’s apartment or in the room of an edgy teen.

She has recently introduced another element into these clean lined paintings – that of Street Art.  It’s the combination of the street art and line drawings that work for me. Take a look for yourself and you decide if this art appeals to you or not.

Creative SA: Artist Miche Watkins

In closing let me add that I have great admiration for artists who put out their work for the public to scrutinise – possibly appreciate, or possibly criticise.  They are such a brave crowd of creatives. Plus having to market their work in an already overcrowded arena and run it like a business – that takes extra commitment to the cause.

Futher, I know that Miche puts her heart and soul into her paintings as well as her business.  Hats off to her!

Creative SA: Artist Miche Watkins

Her work can be seen and purchased on the online art portal, State of the Art, as well as the bricks and mortar State of The Art Gallery in Bree Street, Cape Town – the heart of our buzzing city.

You can also follow Miche on FacebookInstagramTwitter.

10 Beautiful Freebie Printable Calendars for 2017

Happy 2017 everyone!

Hope you all had an amazing festive break.

It seems the new year is the perfect time to score some awesome freebies! I once again decided to take a good sniff around the web to see what free printable stuff I could find! I was quite spoilt for choice and decided to limit my selection to the ten gorgeous 2017 printable calendars below. Let’s kick off another year with a fresh start and a beautiful new calendar!

Let me know in the comments which calendar is your favourite!

Please follow the links below to download…

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) The beautiful calendar above designed by Kate of The Organized Dream has to be my favourite choice of all those I share today. Not only is the stunning, edgy floral watercolour design lovely to look at, you also get far more than just a 12 month calendar! Kate included an entire personal planner (daily planner, budget planner, meal planner, and more) as well as a blog planner – complete with a post calendar, stats tracker and a ton more – into the pack. What an amazing freebie! This will sure keep you organised!

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) If you are looking for a calendar with a slightly more minimal look, this pretty hand-lettered and brushstroke calendar designed by graphic designer Mariah Althoff is just for you! You can print each colour-coded month out on a A4 piece of paper and, as you can see above, the calendar would be perfect for a wall-mounted clipboard!

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Here is another happy summer calendar from Audrey of This Little Street. Just like last year, Audrey did all the pretty illustrations and artwork and her friend Jessica of Coco and Mingo did the beautiful lettering and general layout of the calendar. Don’t you just love team efforts? I adore the cute illustrations – the month of July is especially pretty!

Side note: check out Audrey’s online shop – she designs the most beautiful wallpaper and fabrics.

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Jenn of My Fabuless Life designed this lovely vintage botanical desk calendar. While each month features a different colour-coded vintage floral design, Jenn states that it looks just as stunning if printed our in monochromatic black and white.

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Another desk calendar from My Fabuless Life – Jenn is being extra generous this year! By popular request Jenn converted last year’s beautiful watercolour florals freebie calendar into a 2017 calendar. Loving this one!

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Here is another brilliant calendar pack – this one designed by Ann of On Sutton Place. This freebie not only includes a monthly calendar, but also a year-at-a-glance, a weekly planner, a weekly menu planner, AND an inspirational printable! Thanks Ann for an awesome freebie!

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) It seems I’m just a big old sucker for gorgeous watercolour florals! I simply adore this bold floral calendar designed by Andrea of The Cottage Market. I swear each month’s design is more beautiful than the next!

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Illustrator & web designer Mary of Mary Angela Designs celebrated her birthday and new design service by gifting her followers with this pretty candy-coloured geo printable calendar.

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) If you are not into all those florals, you can try this abstract watercolour desk calendar designed by Freepik. The calendar comes in a vector format which is handy for a large sized print, but fair warning, you need Adobe Illustrator to open it.

Click here to download.

10 Free Printable Calendars 2017

(above) Want something a little different for your wall? Artist and designer Sara Woodrow created this edgy wall calendar featuring some of her new and old paintings. And even though the calendar is in Swedish it is still pretty easy to decipher which month is which!

Click here to download.

Creative SA: Leila Fanner

Earlier in the month we introduced our new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.

For our third installment of the Creative SA series, we will be sharing the beautiful artworks of Leila Fanner with you.

Leila is a painter, illustrator and surface pattern designer who works from her studio in the small town of Riebeek West.

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Similar to Nicole & The Striped Flamingo, the SA creative we shared with you in our previous post, Leila has had her own part in Design Monarchy’s brand evolution. In fact, it is Leila who designed our beautiful company logo in 2012.

Since we first interviewed her four years ago, Leila has placed greater focus on her fine art works – spending much time with paint brush in hand.

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The elements that Rose and I most adore about Leila’s paintings are her bold use of vivid colours in combination with intricate pattern and detail. Her artworks often have a whimsical yet edgy feminine quality with a slight mystical feel.

Leila’s works, while rich in South African flavour, are completely unique. Her striking paintings feature a fresh interpretation on the local imagery and frequently feature South African fauna and flora. Leila also has the rare and remarkable ability to incorporate African elements into her paintings and designs without the usual “Greenmarket Square cheese”.

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Leila will be taking part in the “Summertide” group exhibition this Sunday the 4th of December at The Gallery in Riebeek Kasteel.  Also be sure to check out Leila’s Facebook page as she is currently having a studio sale.

We are also very excited to announce that Leila has gifted us with some of her goreous printed product to dole out as give-away prizes to some of our lucky blog readers. We will be posting all the give-away competition details tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Want to see more of Leila’s gorgeous artwork? Pop over to her website. Our international friends can purchase her prints and products on Society6.

You can also follow Leila Fanner on FacebookInstagramTwitter.
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