Trust in YOU.

As per usual, it has been over a month since I last posted something on here. I have actually drafted a few posts, but some I am still working on, and others the timing doesn’t feel quite right, yet… I have had some intense creating time recently – which involved painting for long hours to create some new work for Breeze gallery here in Scotland. It had probably been a few months since I had painted that intensely, and it really felt like it was needed. It is such an amazing feeling to let something out that has been inside of you, and sometimes weighing you down, the whole process is quite cathartic. However, like with most creative things, and with most things that are worth doing, it also comes with some element of struggle. Struggle to not over think what you are doing, and why, trying to not question your work too much, and trying to come up against and cross this weird threshold that seems to hold you back from finishing anything at times. Thankfully I was under a nice amount of pressure – ie not too much, but it was still there – which meant I knew I had to finish them, rather than leaving them in this strange limbo where it’s as if by leaving them there you have some excuse as to why they ‘don’t work’. Maybe to some of you that made no sense at all, but I am hoping some of you creatives out there, from all creative disciplines, can relate to what I am talking about, even if I didn’t word it in the best way.

Since then, it now leaves me with a mass catch up operation. Yawn. This involves emails, making my new website (which has been ‘in progress’ for so long now it is starting to hurt >< ) , and the tedium that is photoshopping what feels like endless amounts of scans/ files so that they are ready for web/ printing. I have been wondering if I need to do a class in photoshop as it is quite possible there is a quicker way to do what I am doing… and I know I have a bad track record for inadvertently making things harder for myself. Anyway, my, longwinded, point is that because I haven’t been doing anything that creative for the last week or so, I am once again flooded, with a running commentary of words all jumbled up from everything I have thought/ learnt/ listened to / conversed about of late. It’s like I have too many to make any sense of. And they often hit me at times when I can’t actually put them down on paper, like when I am driving and listening to music, or if I am out for a walk by myself, or exercising, basically at times when my mind is allowed to wander. Which is a bit weird because I am by no means a writer, but I think perhaps because I don’t currently have a creative outlet whilst I am doing all the tedious stuff, that therefore I have to explode my creative stuff in some other way, and it has started to come out in words. Maybe because in some ways it is more instant, that’s what it feels like for me anyway, like I can off load a tonne of stuff quite quickly and it is like a weight has been lifted, or like a sense of having achieved something.

So I did start to write this to explain why I finally managed to unearth some sense and some direction to be able to hone in on a topic amongst all the other noise/ commentary in my head. And here it begins, the thing I actually sat down to write about(!) :

I came across this article the other day, an interview with none other than THE real life Erin Brockovich. Which many of you may know because of the film in 2000 where Julia Roberts played her. And if I am honest, is still one of my favourite films. It inspires me, and I love the whole idea of someone fighting against something that many would deem impossible/ insurmountable. (And even more so because the someone in this case is a woman!! *and I think women are amazing*) I also feel this is an apt moment to quote from another brilliant (!) film, also based on a true story, that I re-watched recently, ‘The Imitation Game’

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine”.

The quote below however, was the main catapult to put my thoughts into words. Mainly because, upon reflection, this concept was the main thing I learnt for myself last year, 2015. There were a few instances with my work, and decisions I had to make/ risks I chose to take in relation to my work, but also in my personal life (needless to say there is a very grey line where one starts and the other ends) where it was pointed out to me, mainly by a few of my nearest and dearest friends that I need to believe in my own decisions more, and trust in them more. I was actually taken aback when it was first said to me, even the language I was using was almost like justifying a decision in some way. I hadn’t even realised this was something I did. It was like my default, to think that someone else always knows better than me. It was also one of my great yoga teachers that made a similar point, that with some of the biggest decisions in our lives, we often turn to someone else for help, he used the example of buying a house, we entrust the help of a solicitor etc – and pay them a lot of money to do so! Now, I am not sure it is even possible to sell or buy a property without that in the UK, but if you think about it, it is a bit crazy, especially when I know many people who are so frustrated by the incapabilities of their solicitors in these instances, missing details at the start and quite basic things which then hold up the whole process, and yet we still pay them thousands to do this for us.

Erin B quote

Of course I accept and acknowledge that sometimes someone else does know best, sometimes I need someone that has the experience, or expertise or knowledge that I simply don’t have, and I hope I will be humble enough to take their advice. However I also know I still need to practice, as I’m sure many others do, to listen to myself and look back on how well I have managed so far, in a lot of aspects in my life, and usually through my own decisions, and hard work etc. So why would I stop trusting that sometimes I do know best? I can’t help but think that we live in a society where it is commonplace to assume that you do not know best and to often pay someone else or look to someone else for the answer. Perhaps we wouldn’t have many of the problems we do if more people took charge of their lives and situations, and spoke up about certain things. Rather than think just because you are young, or old, or because you don’t have this or that, or you don’t have a certain qualification, does that mean your opinion, thoughts or ideas don’t matter?

One last quote, on that note, that I saw on Instagram, so not sure who even said it, but it made me laugh, and is also very true! :

“Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too young to accomplish something.
A baby shark is still a fucking shark”

-Holly

x

http://www.hollysharpe.com
@hollysharpe

 

BE. inspired.

Sky - Holly Sharpe
‘Sky’ (sold)

Spring is here, and along with that so much light, everywhere, and a strong sense of hope. That is how I feel anyway. I love this time of year, when it feels like anything is possible and each day is getting longer – in Scotland anyway… Hopefully these words are uplifting in some way…. I wrote them on my phone on the bus after meeting a friend who was full of energy and enthusiasm and it made me light up and want to share it.

Let yourself be inspired.
Seek inspiration.
It is everywhere.
Don’t see it? Think your life is boring and the same every day?
That is your mind and the way it has been conditioned to think that life is dull, boring, and unexciting.
Open your eyes. Open your heart, and let in the thing that is always there, it longs to break free and escape the mundane.
All you have to do is change your perspective and see things differently. It all comes from your mind.
Everything you look at will change, if you change your mind.
Walk on the other side of the road.
Drive a different way to work.
Smile at someone.
Start a conversation with someone you wouldn’t usually.
Smile.
Speak like you mean it.
Act like you mean it.
Do everything with more awareness.
If you are more aware you will start to notice even small glimpses of hope, and little opportunities that you don’t even realise you usually walk straight by because you decided that you are stuck and that you don’t deserve better.
If you do even small things and start to change your mind, your heart, and see things differently, I promise you your world will start to open up. Things and people will come your way, if you believe it is possible for things to change, they will.

This is all a practice. It is about breaking long term bad mental habits, like being negative and not seeing opportunities but rather always feeling stuck and like there is no option. And instead to practice building up good mental habits, like choosing to be happy, trying to think with clarity and remember that there is always a solution. Whatever situation you feel trapped in, there will be a solution. It might not be an easy one, but, if you don’t scale the mountain, you won’t see the view….

-Holly
x

http://www.hollysharpe.com
Image from my Instagram

 

Fashion. Diaries. day 9.

D&amp;G H.Sharpe 05

Here is my latest (and slightly overdue!) fashion illustration of the INCREDIBLE D&G Alta Moda collection. Images from Vogue.com >> 

I really hope to have time to draw more from the collection..

D&amp;G H.Sharpe 01

http://www.hollysharpe.com

Fashion Diaries. day 7.

photo 1

ERD_0511

photo 4

Tried to keep things loose with this one and didn’t spend very long on it at all…it’s always easier to keep things quick and loose if I go straight in with the ink, which I did, and then added some watercolour to bring out the colour, and then finished it off with some pencil detail here and there. Although would maybe like to go back in and add some detail with pen… or will just leave it as it is and move on to another one!

I love Erdem. This is from there Fall 2015 ready-to-wear collection.

Back with more soon..,

Holly x

http://www.hollysharpe.com

Fashion Diaries. day 6.

Matthew williamson scan low res

Matthew Williamson pencil

My latest fashion diaries illustration! Did this one back in the comfort of my studio, so possibly why it feels a lot looser than the previous ones, or maybe also because the dress itself is quite floaty… I would say this is actually more my usual style anyway… however it is always nice to play around with different ways of approaching the illustrations. I quite liked it just in pencil (above) before I added ink and watercolour and some pen details (below)…

Matthew Williamson Fall 2015 ready-to-wear

Matthew Williamson close up -H.Sharpe

Matthew Williamson with colour - H.Sharpe

Hope to have more for you soon!
Holly
x
http://www.hollysharpe.com

Drawing Fashion II

McQueen photo 3

 ‘Roses de McQueen’
details here.

As you may have read in a previous post (here), in April I decided to focus on creating as many new fashion drawings/ sketches as I could, to tie in with the fashion illustration workshops which I was also doing in April. I thought this would be a good way to ensure that my skills were up to date in order to teach and encourage those coming to the workshops, but it also gave me a focus and a chance to experiment with new ways of working and play with new mediums. So that is exactly what I did! I felt like I was learning again, and was therefore able to keep things fresh, and from my point of view – exciting. So, I have now put the most successful results from my month of fashion drawings online here and you can see some of them below. I had time to make a couple of the sketches into larger scale illustrations, which I hope to do more of as I don’t feel finished with this yet, but wanted to get the ones that I had finished online to show you before things got too carried away.. Overall I learnt that my new favourite medium is quink ink! It is lovely to work with, but also a tricky one to master as every mark is irreversible… so the key is layers and layers of building up watery ink, oh so delicately and carefully… that being said, when it goes well, it is a very fluid way to work and you can work relatively quickly, so I like the immediacy of it. I used this way of working with the ‘ink shadow’ portraits which was a lovely way to experiment with bringing this sensitivity but being able to work quite quickly with the ink… I mainly focused on capturing the light and shadows, which I suppose I always do in a way, but I felt the quink ink really lent itself to this shadow-chasing approach… I also learnt, as I have many a time, that things always take longer than you think, and I was perhaps over- ambitious as to what I could achieve, and how much (good quality) work I could produce in the space of just over a month… not sure if I will ever learn in that respect!

Anyway, I hope you will like my latest series of fashion drawings, you can see them all here where they are also available to buy as originals and prints, and some of my personal favourites below.

Thanks for reading,

Holly

Ink Shadows III print 72 dpi HOLLY SHARPE

‘Ink Shadows III’  details here

INK Shadows IV 72 dpi

‘Ink Shadows IV’ 

Ink shadows V 72 dpi print HOLLY SHARPE

‘Ink Shadows V’

Drawing Fashion II 72 dpi - HOLLY SHARPE

‘Drawing Fashion II’

April print 72 dpi HOLLY SHARPE

‘April’
details here.

April II print 72 dpi HOLLY SHARPE

‘April II’

details here.

http://www.hollysharpe.com

twitter: @hollysharpe

Client work = Brodies tea packaging

Last year I was approached by Threebrand to work with them on packaging for Brodies, coffee and tea merchants from Edinburgh. I had to do a watercolour illustration – following a brief for each – for 6 different teas for their new pyramid tea collection. It was a great project to work on, and I am thrilled with the beautiful outcome. And, free tea is always a bonus when you’re a tea fiend like me!
-You can see more images of the final illustrations and final products on my Béhance portfolio here. Below is a selection of some of my favourite images from work in progress pics, final illustrations and of course the final tea packaging!

WIP Holly SharpeGreen tea wip H.Sharpe 02

Green tea with japanese cherry - H.Sharpe
Peppermint wip H.Sharpe 02

Peppermint -H.SharpeRed berry crush 02 -H.Sharpe

Earl Grey 05 - H.SharpeEnglish Breakfast - H.Sharpetrio - H.Sharpe 72


Holly

http://www.hollysharpe.com

ps – the teas are delicious!

Aston Martin launch, Edinburgh.

Aston M wip photo pencil

It may come as a relief to some of you, that this is going to be more of an image – orientated post rather than a lot of words!

As part of their official launch night towards the end of last year, I was asked by the Aston Martin garage in Edinburgh, to do a couple of illustrations involving Aston Martin, in some way. I didn’t have a lot of time to create the illustrations – which, sometimes actually works in my favour, a reasonable amount of pressure is usually a good thing for me when it comes to creating new work. At the same time, it can also go horribly wrong sometimes…

Thankfully they were really happy with both the illustrations I created. And it opened up my ideas for something I probably never would have worked on otherwise. The launch night itself was a rather swanky affair, with free flowing fancy cocktails and champagne, a four piece string quartet, teeny canapés, and of course all amidst a whole bunch of Aston Martin cars! (No I didn’t get a discount on a car as someone has asked me!)

Anyway, below are some work in progress pics, and the final image of one of the two illustrations. I have decided to split this post into two, so the scroll-situ isn’t ridiculous. The second illustration and a couple photos from the launch night are in another post here. Both the illustrations are available to buy as prints here.
You can also see a few more pics from the project on my Béhance portfolio here.

 

Aston M words 2 B&W

IMG_2476

01 wip 2 H.Sharpe

IMG_2558Close up - H.SharpeEvent 04

You can see the other illustration in the next post here.
And if you are interested to see more of my work, here’s some links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Tumblr
Etsy

Thanks for looking! – Holly

Aston Martin launch, Edinburgh. – continued –

The second illustration I created for Aston Martin, Edinburgh, last year. See more details and the first illustration in the previous post here. Below are pics of the final illustration and a few photos from the actual launch night.

Aston M 02 close up - H.Sharpe

Watercolour - close up - H.SharpeEvent 01Event 02Event 05

10847830_776051825800251_7103502113698623830_nIMG_2646Aston M in situ

Aston Martin 02 - 72 dpi H.Sharpe

Prints available here.

– Holly

http://www.hollysharpe.com