Studio date with Andrea Turvey

Veggies by Andrea TurveyI’ve just got back from visiting my very talented friend Andrea. We popped into her home studio and had a play with some of her lovely (& expensive) pens and I was lucky enough to have a rummage through her plans chest and got to see some of her original artwork. Sorry about the not very good photography, but how beautiful are these drawings? Andrea works for lots of different people, with regular clients such as Holland & Barret’s Healthy magazine, Tesco mag, Jamie’s mag and more. Her work is built up of layers of rich colours and stunning linework. I’m in complete awe of Andrea’s draftmanship, it is so inspiring. It’s so interesting to see original artwork and the time and effort Andrea puts into her work is quite something. Take a look at Andrea’s website to see these drawings and more in their final forms.   Beer by Andrea Turvey Biscuits by Andrea Turvey By Andrea Turvey



Currently working on…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThese days you’ll mostly find me in my studio at my desk drawing away. I’m pretty busy at the moment working on some great projects. I love being busy and often wish I could bottle the feeling so when I’m quiet I don’t stress as much. I had a couple of weeks of being in between projects while I waited for some feedback a few weeks back and even though I knew I should relax the whole time I was anxious about not working. It wasn’t even a long time without work, I knew I had work coming and I should have just enjoyed it but I think that’s the thing with freelancing you never really have time off because it can be hard to switch off. Personally I feel bad when I’m not working as I feel like I should be. Does anyone else get that? I suppose when you have the privilege of working at something you love it makes it a whole lot easier because you want to work. I’m always happiest when I’m busy and feel creatively challenged.brainstormingLast week I had a day away from my studio and Avie & I went for tea at a local place we’d never been to before, it was so cute. I had Earl grey and she had mint mojito tea (with lemongrass) yum. I wanted to get out of the same spot and do some brainstorming for a meeting later that day. It was really productive and I think sometimes stepping away from your normal surroundings can really help spark new ideas.KensingtonI went to my meeting later that day in Kensington and we discussed the project over tapas. (I tried chickpea fritters for the first time, they were amazing! I seem to have chickpeas on the brain!) I’m really excited to be working on this project. It’s a bit of an unusual one and a bit of a challenge that I’m looking forward to taking on. It involves a large scale drawing directly into a (large scale) sketchbook drawn live at an event that’s taking place next week in Munich. It will mark a few firsts for me: first time flying on a plane on my own and first time drawing live! There is a lot of preparation going on to plan the piece and my task today is to do some timed drawing to see how much I can achieve in a certain time.

I’m also in full drawing mode with the cookbook, I shared a new diary entry last week of how the project is progressing. It’s definitely in it’s most intensive drawing stage and I’ve been drawing lots of yummy foods and crafts for that.

I’m working on a magazine cover too this month. It’s the second cover I’ve worked on and it’s a really interesting subject matter, I don’t want to give away too much but I’ll be sure to share the final images once it’s finished. It’s a little funny as I realised the art director of the magazine is someone I contacted awhile ago (I had the email still stored, it was cringey looking back, but hey that’s life!) The email sent was nearly 4 years ago! Just goes to show the amount of time it can take to develop your work (…obviously there’s many other factors involved too!)

Hope you’re having a good week too! If you like listening to podcasts like me I listened to a good one the other day from ‘while she naps,’ by Abby Glassenberg where she chatted to artist Lisa Congdon and Lisa’s agent Lilla Rogers. You can listen to it here if you like. My favourite bit of the podcast was when Lilla spoke about artists starting out ‘Being a beginner is exciting.’ This struck a cord with me because when you’re a beginner you want to be an expert. It’s like when you’re younger you want to be older. It’s all about living in the present and just made me sit back and think, enjoy it…



P.S If you do listen to podcasts and know of any good ones please drop me a line below, I’m always on the lookout for more!

Roasted red pepper & chickpea salad

Roasted red pepper & chickpea saladThis is one of my favourite salad recipes. I think chickpeas are seriously underrated. Everybody loves chickpeas in houmous but it’s not so common to find a dish that features chickpeas as the star of the show in their simple chickpea form. This is another throw together type salad bar the red pepper (that you need to roast) it’s so simple to make. The ingredients for this recipe will serve 3-4 and the salad tastes best eaten fresh on the day you make it (or you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days.) If you have leftovers you could always blend the ingredients to make a red pepper houmous. Roasted red pepper & chickpea salad livelovedraw.comFor the salad you will need:

  • 400g Chickpeas (I used one can)
  • x2 Red peppers
  • x3 Spring onions, finely sliced
  • Handful chopped mint
  • Handful chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the dressing:
You could use the honey lemon vinaigrette I shared last week or just dress it with 1tbsp extra Virgin olive oil & lemon juice (from half a lemon.)

First you need to roast the red peppers until they’re charred (approximately 30 – 45minutes) once they’ve cooled peel the skin off & slice into thin strips.

In a medium bowl combine the chickpeas, spring onions, dressing & herbs. Stir in the herbs, red pepper & season to taste. And that’s it! It’s so simple!

I used some of the leftover ingredients (lemon & mint) to infuse my water.lemon and mint water You could serve this for lunch like I do or add some more protein for a dinner dish. I’m vegetarian so I don’t know what meat would go well but as an extra veggie option I think halloumi or feta would taste great with this.



Snippets from daily life

Ok so this post started as an idea of documenting a day in the life, I love reading these posts on other blogs so I wanted to give it a go myself. I really like documenting everyday moments and I thought it would be fun to look back on and remember what I was up to. I didn’t quite get enough photo’s to really share a full day so these are snippets from my day. Pics from Monday 18th August 2014. Elsie day in the lifeChristophe gets up at 7am and I set my alarm for 7:30am. This morning Elsie woke me up. I can’t be mad, it was cute. She seems to know when it’s time to get up and this morning she came in, with ball in mouth excited to see me. She’s obsessed with a new ball Avie bought for her, it combines her two loves: tennis balls and squeaky toys.Green monsterI made a green monster (from an Oh she glows recipe) I’m on a bit of a health kick this week after a naughty weekend  month. It’s almond milk, spinach, banana, almond butter, flax seeds & vanilla extract. Yum! I don’t normally drink with fancy straws but today I thought why not! After my smoothie I went to my Monday morning Pilates class. I’ve been doing it for 3 months now and I’m obsessed with it.Sketch dayI’m juggling a few projects at the moment so I’m allocating full days to spend on each one as the deadlines are within days of each other. The above sketches are some sneak peeks of the cookbook I’m working on.Red pepper & chickpea saladFor lunch I made a red pepper & chickpea salad & photographed it for the blog. I’ll be sharing the recipe next week if you’re interested, it’s really simple but one of my favourites! I managed to shoot it & eat it just before it started to rain!Walk in the woodsI took Elsie for a walk in the local woods a little later than normal as it was raining in the afternoon. The woods are beautiful and I love seeing the changing seasons of nature within them. The above photo looks a little wintry as it’s a bit overexposed but I love the blanket of leaves. Elsie loves walking in the woods, running and jumping through the trees and over branches. Walking in the woodsAvocado & balsamic on rice crackerWhen we got back from our walk I made a snack of half an avocado on a rice cracker with balsamic vinegar. I haven’t tried this combo before – it’s a new favourite. I made black bean & sweet potato enchiladas for dinner but they were somewhat less photogenic!

After cooking dinner I did some more work till about 8:30pm and then settled onto the sofa with Chris to watch a film. Just a typical day really! It was fun to try and photograph everyday moments in time but also quite challenging to remember to keep taking photo’s while also trying to work and go about day to day activities. I think I might try this again next month and challenge myself to take way more photo’s. If you’ve done a ‘day in the life’ post on your blog please share below! Thanks for looking!




Diary of illustrating a cookbook part two

Illustrating a cookbookHello! I’m back with a new diary entry, if you like you can read my entry for part one here. This month I received feedback on the four cover concepts I’d worked on. The feedback was slightly delayed due to a change of editor so I had a little gap in between. The team had made a decision on the cover they preferred out of the four. Unfortunately it was the cover I liked the least! This seems to happen a lot with me but I put full trust in the team behind producing the book – they know best what works (and what sells.) In a way I was pleased it was the concept I liked least as it gave me a challenge of improving it and making it the best I could. I was given some great feedback to work on and the task in hand was to re-sketch the cover for early the next week. I’m not sure if I mentioned the client I’m working with for this project is based in the US, I love working to a different timezone as it often feels like there’s more time (there obviously isn’t!) but it can be quite good in regard to deadlines as you have that extra bit of time to work each day if you need to work later in the day.

I decided to do some further research as the chosen cover is strongly influenced by pattern. I printed off the notes from the designer alongside a copy of the roughly sketched concept so I could make notes directly on the sketch. I sat outside because the weather was sunny (perks of working from home!) and sketched lots of new thumbnail roughs in my A2 sketchbook re-working the designs I liked best. This took the best part of a day. Afterwards I went back to my studio and using a light-box I experimented drawing directly on top of the rough sketches (a bit more neatly) and began scanning elements in and laying them out in Photoshop.

When I’m working in Photoshop I scan individual elements in to build the picture. For book covers I create a layer with the bleed on (the area that will be trimmed off) in grey and lock this layer so I know the space I have to work in. I spend a lot of time scanning in small images to build a larger picture and moving them around until I feel satisfied with the composition. I did get a bit bogged down with this stage as I was looking at the same thing for a long time, I started to lose perspective and the ability to make creative decisions. I had to take a few breaks to try and give myself some space and clarity!

Once I felt I’d made enough progress to share with the client I sent two alternative versions off for review alongside a colour experiment. At this stage I hadn’t received direction for colour but I had a bit of a play anyway. It was quite good to switch up from designing the composition to playing around with colour ways. The team had a meeting on the Monday and I got feedback on the Tuesday, super quick! They were really happy with the progress and I was given a few little tweaks adding & taking away a few elements but nothing major at all. I was also given direction on colour and some design examples that inspired the team, this was really helpful. Next job was to work on colouring the main bulk of the design, the background and type. Colouring is one of my favourite parts of the process! :) I listen to audiobooks, podcasts and sometimes I’ll have something from Netflix on in the background.

The colouring went well and I loved mixing up different combinations of colour with background  and type. I sent off 6 colour way options and was chuffed to hear that my favourite designs were also theirs. Alongside feedback on the cover I also receievd round 1 of the interior illustrations to get started on.

I’ll be getting round 2: the full list of interior artwork very soon so at the moment I’m knee deep in drawing and sketching the interior illustrations, there’s a lot to be done. It’s full steam ahead now and I’m loving it!



A year of chalet living…

ChaletI didn’t even realise until I sat down and thought about it properly, August marks a year of us living in the chalet. Time goes so quickly…Chalet a year onWe moved out of our flat at the end of July 2013. We were finding it hard to juggle paying rent and save at the same time. We were saving each month but it was definitely a slow process, it was quite tough. I was working part time as a nanny and freelancing around it. The job worked perfectly around freelancing as I worked a few hours Monday – Friday in the afternoons so I could draw in the morning, evenings and weekends. My parents sold their house (…eventually!) and because the house they wanted to buy fell through they lived for a few months in the family camper in the car park of my dad’s factory. My two brothers both separately starting renting rooms and my sister came to live in our front room whilst the search for a new Spinks home began.Chalet-gateWhen mum & dad bought the house it was a really great opportunity for Chris and I to up our saving game and move into the chalet through the gate at the bottom of the garden while we saved to buy our own home. At the time Chris didn’t drive and where we live there’s no option of not driving so for the first month or so I drove him to and from work while he sat his theory test and did an intensive driving course. I was worried for him as there was quite a lot of pressure on him to pass and when he told me did (I was in Matalan near his mum’s house) I cried! It was genuine happiness for him and also a bit of relief :)Prepping the chaletChalet main room beforeChalet after picWhen we first moved we stayed in the main house while we stripped, painted, laid new floors (thanks dad!) painted, cleaned and more painting! (You can see the transformation above.) There was also an infestation of wasps in the ceiling of our bathroom, they kept us on our toes! One day mum decided to help us by duct taping the hole that the wasps had made in the bathroom to stop them coming in – there were hundreds! As she was putting the tape on, her fingers went straight through the ceiling! Avie and I were screaming (and were pretty useless!) but she managed to tape it all up. The wasp problem was resolved eventually.Elsie loungingIt was really exciting moving into the chalet, it really is a lovely place to live and we’re very lucky and grateful for the opportunity to be here and save. (It also meant we could get a dog! I love this pic of Elsie lounging on the coffee table, as you do!)

I can’t quite believe it’s already been a year, it’s gone so quick!



100 things to do when you feel uninspired

If opportunity doesn't knock build a doorThe definition of an illustrator is: A person who draws or creates pictures for magazines, books, advertising, etc. This doesn’t leave much room for lack of inspiration. You have to be constantly ‘creating,’ and ‘drawing.’ It can be incredibly challenging to be consistently inspired and feeling creative at all times but if you work as an illustrator you have to be. The dictionary says so.

So what if you’re feeling a bit bleurgh but you’re facing a looming deadline with a serious case of creative block? How do you pick yourself up and power through?

Here are 100 ideas of things to do when you feel uninspired:

  1. Go for a walk with your camera
  2. Go to a coffee shop with a notebook and write/draw what you see.
  3. Draw five things you can see right now.
  4. Draw with the first five pencils/pens/paints/inks that you have to hand.
  5. Clean your studio/organise your workspace
  6. Clean your house
  7. Make a list
  8. Buy a new sketchbook
  9. Go to a gallery/exhibition
  10. Meet up with a friend
  11. Call a family member for a chat
  12. Create a moodboard
  13. Plan an imaginary trip to your dream destination, draw a packing list
  14. Do a drawing an hour for the whole day
  15. Draw a blind self portrait
  16. Draw your favourite meal
  17. Bake a cake and decorate it creatively
  18. Make an inspiration folder
  19. Start a scrapbook
  20. Cover an old journal
  21. Organise your photo’s
  22. Go on an evening course
  23. Go to the library
  24. Listen to a podcast
  25. Start a new hobby
  26. Research one of your idol’s
  27. Write about your passion
  28. Make a timeline of an important event in your life
  29. Document your day in drawings
  30. Document your day in photographs
  31. Read a new blog
  32. Go to the supermarket and buy a new food you’ve never tried,draw it,photograph it,eat it.
  33. Tidy your wardrobe and collect old clothes that you can use to create new clothes
  34. Sew something
  35. Make a collage
  36. Buy some magazines and rip out inspiring images
  37. Re imagine an old book by covering it and making into a new sketchbook
  38. Work in a new environment
  39. Work outside
  40. Work on a self initiated project that you’ve wanted to do for ages
  41. Make a pinterest board based on colour/pattern/composition
  42. Go to a hardware store and get some paint swatches
  43. Go charity shop shopping
  44. Go to an art shop, buy some stuff
  45. Make a list of your favourite things to do
  46. Go somewhere new
  47. Listen to a power ballad
  48. Go for a run/swim
  49. Do some yoga
  50. Create your own routine Read more

Preparing for a portfolio meeting

portfolio meetingHello! Hope your week is off to a good start…I’m working on a few new projects so mine’s been fun so far! This week I had scheduled a portfolio meeting for a potential new job on Monday but our meeting was rescheduled and we discussed the project on the phone (it sounds like a good one, it involves travel & a giant moleskin sketchbook!) I had scheduled a post about how I prepare for portfolio meetings and I thought why not share it anyway?

These are my tips for preparing for a portfolio meeting:

- Research

Make sure you know as much about your client and their company as possible. Go on their website, see who they’ve previously worked for and look at their blog for their latest work. Make a note (in a notebook, not just your phone!) of the address you’re visiting, the time/date and look at a map of the area so you can get your bearings. I always plan my train route too and make a note of the time I intend to leave. (I give myself plenty of time as I’m prone to getting lost!) One time I was meeting a client and got so lost I called Christophe and he directed me on the phone road from road of how to get there, what a lifesaver!

- Confirm your appointment

Always send an email a day or so before the meeting or earlier in the day just to make sure the meeting is still on and to confirm the time. (I learnt this one after turning up for a meeting the client had forgotten about, it happens!)- Prep your portfolioPortfolio pages Lindsey SpinksMake sure your portfolio is looking up to scratch, clean off any marks and check it’s looking in tip top condition. I have this A4 folio and I use cristal sleeves that display 18 pages of work. Depending on the client you’re meeting you may need to adjust the content of your portfolio slightly or update it with newer work to make sure you’re displaying your most applicable work for that particular client. Give yourself some extra time for this task if possible as you may need to print out new work (at home or professionally.) You could also take a sketchbook or two if this helps explain your working process/relates to the potential job.Example of promo materials- Promotional materials

During the process of prepping my portfolio I always make sure to stick in a few business cards and promotional materials at the back of my folio ready to hand out at the end of the meeting. Above is an example of some of my promo material (this is a double sided A5 postcard.)prep for portfolio meeting- Plan your outfit & organise your bag

I love planning my outfits for meetings. I like to wear something smart but also casual with some colourful jewellery or accessories.

Organising your bag: I always prep my bag the night before so when I’m ready to leave for my meeting I know I haven’t forgotten anything. Here’s what’s in my bag:

– Purse with oyster card & keys

– Phone with map/directions of meeting place & phone number of client saved

– Notebook ready for making notes during the meeting and questions that I’d like to ask the client

– Portfolio with promo materials to leave with the client

– Make up bag with plasters, hand sanitiser, deodorant & chewing gum (you never know!)

I hope this might be useful if you’re prepping for your own portfolio meeting! & if you are…good luck! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below :)



Halloumi & pomegranate summer salad recipe

Halloumi&pomegranate salad www.livelovedraw.comThis is a simple throw-together salad that is perfect for a summer lunch. The recipe serves one but the dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week & used again. I love homemade salad dressings, they’re healthier than shop bought and you know exactly what’s in them. I make this dressing a lot, you can change up the quantities to suit your taste or use white wine vinegar in replace of the lemon and omit the honey, there’s lots of variations you could try!Halloumi&pomegranate saladHere’s what you will need:-

For the honey lemon vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • black pepper & sea salt to taste

For the Salad:

  • Mixture of rocket, spinach & watercress
  • 50g pomegranate
  • 100g Halloumi
  • A few mint leaves torn

Slice the halloumi into thin strips (roughly 1 cm thickness) Heat a griddle pan on medium and add the halloumi to the pan. Allow to chargrill on one side before turning over to repeat on the other side.

Make the vinaigrette by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking together until the liquid is smooth. Season & taste.

Put the salad leaves in a bowl and dress with the vinaigrette adding a little at a time. Add the pomegranate and toss. Layer the halloumi strips on top, sprinkle over some mint and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!Halloumi&pomegranate salad recipe




Saturday in my studio

Messy studioProject life in studioI’m spending today in my studio working towards a deadline on Monday for the book project I’m working on. I’ve also got an exciting portfolio meeting on Monday that I need to prepare for. My studio looks like this at the moment. Christophe is away today playing a show (he’s a musician) so this morning I got up early and I’ve been drinking lots of coffee and listening to chilled music whilst working on my project life binder. I’ve become obsessed with it again and I love completing the layouts and seeing the text and images together with pops of colour – it’s so satisfying. It does feel a bit of a granny hobby but I love it!Lindsey Spinks Illustrations for the big egg huntI’ve also written a post about how I prepare for portfolio meetings  that I’ll share soon. I haven’t had one in awhile so I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to try and photograph a recipe today too if I have time. So much to do today but first I need to get on with work. I’ve been listening to audiobooks whilst working on this project, it’s so addictive and I like getting wrapped up in a story whilst I’m illustrating, it seems to help the process!

Hope you have a brilliant weekend whatever you’re doing!