Day 22 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 22: Masculinity

I don’t want to say too much about my ideas behind this illustration, as I hope it will speak for itself. And although a very complicated and intricate topic, I hope it will be interpreted in different ways by different people.

The subject I wanted to explore in this illustration is men in our society, what it means to be a man today, how we (our society) has shaped them, put pressure on them, and in many cases left them behind. Yes, there is a much greater awareness of mental health in general these days, but, when suicide is THE highest cause of death in young men, we have a HUGE problem. Granted, no one has an exact explanation for this, but my theory is quite simple: men, typically, do not talk about their feelings, emotions, and problems, any where near as much as women, if at all. The age old ‘boys don’t cry’ has gotten completely out of hand, and has left in its trail an extremely bitter taste. Then add on top decades of pressure to act a certain way, suppress a load of stuff, and ‘rise to the top’. A toxic concoction which can (sometimes) result in breakdowns, violence, and unhealthy levels of anger and aggression as well as lead to (some) men growing up to be unhappy and frankly, a bit lost.

Two great books, exploring issues of this sort are:

‘How Not To Be a Boy’, by Robert Webb and ‘The Descent of Man’ by Grayson Perry

Both books explore, analyse, and explain, these complex issues better than I could, so instead I did this….

Masculinity by Holly Sharpe 72dpi

(You can see a bigger version of this illustration here)

You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge and some of my ideas behind it here. 

And if you would like to see more of my art and illustration work you can follow my Instagram and Facebook. 

Thanks again for following my blog,



Day 15 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 15: Art makes the world a better place

I am now half way through my 30 day challenge! You can read more about my idea for setting this challenge in the first place here.

Today I have used some hand painted ink typography that I had planned to use in my illustration on day 12 or day 13 , but once I started to layer it up and compose it, I realised it wasn’t going to work and would be far too busy. But I really liked this type, so decided to use it by itself today instead!

Inky typography Holly Sharpe 72dpi

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 
– Pablo Picasso

Thanks again for following my blog!

If you want to see more of my work you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. 

twitter: @hollysharpe

Day 13 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 13: Rainbow Ruin II

I decided to do another illustration based on my visit to the ruin of St Peter’s Seminary .

Yesterday’s illustration was also inspired by this, and I wrote more about why and the ruin itself here. Rainbow Ruin II Holly Sharpe 72dpi


To create this illustration I used a combination of photographs I took, extracting colours and marks, as well as some echoes of the building itself, that I then layered up and composed. And also some inky typography which I hand painted and then layered on top.

Thanks again for following my blog.
You can follow my work on Instagram and Facebook.
twitter: @hollysharpe

Read about my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here

My first blog entry. hello. hi. hola. salut! ciao.



Alice in Wonderland typography print by Bookishly UK available here

I guess I should begin by introducing myself, some of you might be reading this because you already follow and are familiar with my artwork. Or maybe you just stumbled across this and are hopefully intrigued enough to bear with me a couple paragraphs longer…. I am an artist/illustrator (here is my website where you can see some of my work) from Edinburgh, Scotland. I now live in Glasgow where I work full time on various commissions and drawings and what not… I feel like I have done a lot in my life so far (at the ripe age of 27), that I can’t exactly summarise it right here and do not want to go down the cliché (no offence anyone) of a lot of bloggers (in my experience anyway) by saying, ‘I like tea, period dramas, long lie ins and custard creams’…. although it just so happens I do like all those things. So I will just stop there and I suppose we can get to know each other through the (hopefully) fruitful entries to follow.

I have been meaning to start a ‘written’ blog ( as supposed to my tumblr) for a while now. If nothing else, simply as a way to help collect and organise my abundance of thoughts and ideas. Some of which I have no doubt should probably never actually be exposed to the internet and therefore potentially anyone in the world…but I feel the urge to share them, so share I will! I am also secretly hoping that perhaps this blog may help inspire or motivate others who are, have been or want to be, a creative. Whether that be an artist, designer, illustrator, writer, musician etc. Hopefully *some* of my words will be relevant to any or all of the above – and of course anyone else who doesn’t fall into those categories or who simply has an interest in anything creative, or who just likes to read the words of a so called tortured artist who is permanently trying to find balance in their life! I should also probably say right now that I am not a writer, I do not claim to be, and I am quite sure I am terrible at it – hence, I draw to express my ‘words’ instead. Therefore this blog is likely to unravel itself the same way the thoughts inside my head do ie – in no specific order, often making no sense and sometimes wholly irrational. Perhaps by keeping this blog my thoughts and musings will become more organised as they won’t have to stay all muddled up inside my head. I remain hopeful.

Anyway, I hope you’ll stay around and give me a chance to say something that might make you think, smile or even laugh. Apart from art and generally anything creative, my other love is meeting new people, so please do comment, email (, tweet me, say hi on facebook, get in touch- you get the idea- would love to hear anything and everything from you!