Valentines Day Illustrations + Inclusivity

Keeping up with the times as a small creative business owner. 

Do you like having a peek into behind the scenes of running a small creative business?

Well today’s your lucky day. 

The next event on the retail calendar is Valentines Day. A big one for lots, a sad one for many, and probably a whole lot of indifference from others.

Personally I’m a sucker for a bit of romance and a love story. I’m not going to deny it, I love a good rom com. There I said it. 

I also love giving and receiving small tokens of affection and love from  friends, loved ones and my man. It warms me to know that I have been on someone’s mind. 

Let’s face it, we all love to be thought of. It gives you a little feel good boosts and makes you feel loved and cared for. Of course we need to provide that for ourselves but its still good to receive it from others too. 

Who’s to say that even if you don’t have a partner or companion at this time of the year that you can’t do this for your friends and loved ones. 

As an artist and illustrator one of the goals I have in my business is to expand my greetings card designs and prints to help me build a catalogue for wholesale. This helps to diversify my income and take on a new revenue stream. It’s important as a small creative business to not solely rely on one source of income. 

It can be a rocky road when running a small business and also comes with a level of risk. By putting all your focus on one source of income you open yourself up to more risk because if anything was to happen, you don’t have another income stream to fall back on.

It’s about setting yourself up in business the right way. That’s why I not only run an illustration side of my business which focuses on paper goods, I am also a Creative Virtual Assistant. This helps me to hone in my business strategy, content marketing and creative skills to be able to offer to other businesses which need support.

Let’s shift back to the new designs that I am launching for this Valentines Day. 

I wanted to be more inclusive with my art and illustrations so decided to diversify. I have created four mandala inspired line work pieces that show appreciation for the LGBTQ+ and that love can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

It feels good that my portrait skills over the last year have come on so much that I can actually draw people. There is still a whole lot of improvement to do but It feels good to see the progress I have made. 

From someone who was never “naturally” talented with drawing when I was young and has committed and dedicated a lot to practice. I’d say I’m doing pretty well. 

And with that I’d like to introduce you to the new care cards. These don’t just need to be for valentines day. They’re a great way to show your favourite people you’re thinking of them throughout the year.

One thing that is important to me is that my designs aren’t just one time cards. I have a passion for art and creativity but also want to play my part in looking after our beautiful planet too. The sentiment of each design means that they can be used as wall art after they have served their purpose as a greetings card. Plus they are also printed on recycled cardstock and come in a compostable sleeve.


The Feminine Mysteries illustrations

Making art doesn’t just have to be about the final product, it can be a deeply meaningful and reflective journey that allows us to learn more about ourselves. Below I share how my inspiration sparked me to make body positive art.

The backstory behind the feminine mysteries illustrations. 

Today I went through my old art work and came across a draft piece I designed for a potential illustration job. It was for womens fitness community where they wanted body positive art with accompanying affirmations and uplifting quotes. 

One of my intentions this year (2021) was to learn how to paint and draw faces, portraits and the body. In particular the female body. I didn’t really understand why I wanted to draw portraits and bodies at the time but as we are over half way through the year now it is landing deeper for me. 

Body image and how we view ourselves is such a huge thing to accept for a lot of women (and i’m sure men too but I’m just talking from my experince as a woman). Body positivity can be challenging when many women objectify themselves, and as women we get objectified too. Our beautiful bodies used to lure people in to buy products. Women’s bodies are sexualised in order to sell. 

I mean it works right, but not for the right things. 

My relationship with my body and my relationship with my appearance has become more of a noticeable issue since becoming a mum. I never really knew how much some women’s body change post birth. Some spring back and some, well, absolutely don’t. 

I had never seen a diverse range of postpartum bodies so it’s been quite a journey coming to a space of body acceptance, hence me making body positive art.

Adventures at uni and not caring for my body

When I was younger I was tiny, I was a skinny winny and never thought about my size other than I was often told I was tiny. I was a size 8 at university, I partied and didn’t look after my body (or emotional wellbeing) very well and looking back at photographs JEEEEEEZE I was tiny. Almost to an unhealthy size, which I was blissfully unaware of at the time.

Seeing photos of how tiny I really was is a little confronting and it really shows how my partying impacted not just my emotional health, but my physical health too. Late nights working till 5-6am in the morning then partying on into the next day was a regular occurrence for me whilst at university. I guess it didn’t help that I was doing event’s management so actually being at events till that time in the morning I was building relationships and connecting with all sorts of people within the industry. The links I got through those connections for working at festivals were pretty incredible. But honestly, I had no understanding of my health, wellbeing and how to look after and love my body.

The effect of a nourishing relationship

Enter into my life my wonderful northern man and father to our little wildling. It’s funny how getting into a loving, connected relationship affects your safety (in a good way) and so all the date nights we had pushed my skinny winny ass to a size 10-12. 

Though it wasn’t massive in hindsight, it felt like it at the time. It  was the first time my body weight weighed heavy on me. Pun absolutely intended. 

My weight slowly increased and yet I would still buy clothes that fit my old skinny body, then would be really upset that I looked awful. I had no experience of how to dress a more curvy body and it took me a while before I found pieces of clothing that would fit my now larger body. 

Welcome the post partum body

Now moving forward to my pregnancy I started putting on even more weight. Thanks to a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones and a total lack of self control, pizza and chocolate were my loves. I’m kind of not surprised though as Jazzybean was a whopping 9.8lbs. Apparently 14lb babies run in my mans side of the family, which they didn’t tell me until after he was born.

Seeing my body postpartum was a really interesting process. I felt this immense power for what I’d just been through. Not only growing a human baby child with eye balls and everything, but also going through quite a traumatic birth ending in an emergency c section and 6 day hospital stay. 

In my recovery I go up close and personal with the silvery stretch marks that adorned my belly, boobs and thighs. I explored the new feeling of soft, wrinkly, stretched skin on my belly. The mum belly. The one that’s been stretched so much there’s no way back. 

Looking at my body I didn’t hate it, quite the opposite. I was in awe of it. The stretch marks reflected to me just how much I expanded to be able to hold and move through the extreme birth experience we had. 

A change in perspective

The great thing about becoming a mum is that you don’t really have time or energy to worry about what your body looks like because your so absorbed in new born baby life and adjusting to your new role and identity. Plonk a traumatic birth on top of that and you REALLY don’t have the energy to worry about stretched skin and silvery expansion marks. 

Fast forward 2 years into motherhood and my body has levelled into a weight its comfortable at. I have been more intentional about nourishing myself with good food, lots of fluids and a healthy concoction of apoptogenic herbs and supplements. 

My relationship with my body is of appreciation and I now feel more of a woman than I ever have with curvy hips and bigger boobs. I feel like one of the Willendorf figures, a mother goddess of fertility.

The feminine mysteries series was my exploration into accepting my new body as a mother and all that it has been through.  This is how I used my creativity to make body positive art and to support my relationship with my ever changing, squishy body.

Artist Updates // August

creative biz updates

Hello beauties,

How are you all doing? How are we all holding up during the madness that is happening out there in the world?

I thought I would start a little inside my mind series, a series to share with you a snippet into my world as a mother, artist and business owner.

How have I been? I thought I was doing pretty well for the last few months but have definitely experienced waves of down in the dumps periods. Missing baby/toddler groups and connecting with other mums and babies, missing the freedom of being able to explore and adventure on the weekends with my little family.

Overall I think I have been handling it pretty well. The last week or so I have felt in a bit of a blur, unmotivated and every time i sit down to tackle something on my never ending to do list I get all in a funk and become unsure of what to do. It’s safe to say I’m in a bit of a fog at the moment. Which is okay, I know that I will come out of it soon enough I just need some down days.

Being a stay-at-home-work-from-home-mum means that I am ALWAYS on the go. Which is funny because I’m actually really lazy, love a long lie in or just lounging around by myself. Something which has COMPLETELY changed since becoming a mother. I’m realising that its really important for me to have structure in place to know what I’m doing, where I am at etc and also for me to know when to UNPLUG!

Lets be realistic, we have all probably increased our time on social media/technology through out this pandemic as a way of connecting to people and keeping up to date with whats going on. What I have found though is that I am pretty addicted to it, which doesn’t help when my job is literally social media management, VA and graphic design work as my work is all online. It’s something I always dreamed of and I am so grateful that I have the freedom and ability to work in this way. It is also a massive reminder that it is so important to unplug and let go of it all. So much so we are planning a camping trip so that we can get in a field, sleep closer to the earth and unplug. My soul is calling out for it.

I realised when I had my shoes off the other day and was running around the fields with Jasper how grounding it is to go barefoot in nature. If you haven’t heard of earthing go check it out. Its really interesting and does wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.

Tech upgrades and exploring new styles

Recently I have had the opportunity to upgrade all my technology, which has been incredible and I am just landing in the appreciation of how much easier working is now that my tech is up to scratch and running quicker. One of my upgrades has been a graphics tablet both static and portable to allow me to easily digitise my illustrations ready for making into a range of printed products for you lovely lot.

Creatively I am in a bit of an exploration and expansion of trying out new things phase. I’m exploring new styles of art from abstracts and portraits to typography style work. I am in the process of creating a range of greetings cards & uplifting message cards which is exciting. It’s giving me the opportunity to play and explore. I’ve had moments of questioning myself that I’m not sticking to one particular style. But really, that’s not who I am. I need a bit of adventure and play to keep me stimulated and motivated. And also to me creativity is about exploring and playing.

Creating intentional space for your work

An important part of my process in working from home has been to set up a working space for myself. With my old tech I was stuck in one room of the house. I have moved my office and creative space upstairs and I have organised the space. Now everything is easily accessible which feels so effing good!

Sacred Coding- Feminine Mysteries Series by Kamala Creations

One piece of advice I have for anyone who is feeling stuck or unmotivated is to change up your space. Whether that is clearing up, reorganising and de-cluttering shifting up your space is an incredibly cleansing process to help refreshing your energy and the energy of your space. Your literally cleaning out the space by getting rid of the old and bringing in a new freshness to it. It will do wonders for your mental health and managing the daily tasks of life..!

Something that I am excited to share with you about July was that I finally launched my online art class Mandala Magic and my Inner Expansion Mandala Series which you can find here, you can also purchase them as prints or printables via my Etsy shop! It feels so good to have gathered up all that I have learnt in my process of creating mandalas and create my first online class. I feel a diverse range of classes are going to emerge through me as I am so passionate about inspiring people to pick up a pen or a paint brush and reconnect with their creative selves. It does wonders for your well-being and is an incredible way of expressing without words. Areas I am exploring at the moment as I said above with abstracts, portraits and typography as well as art journaling will all be turned into classes for your lovely selves to explore.

Updates on Motherhood

Motherhood is definitely kicking me up the arse. Its incredible the internal learning that comes from becoming a mother. Figuring out just how much I can juggle and hold down with out wobbling and buckling under the pressure. Something I am sure I will continue to try and figure out. My little Jazzybean is 14 months and oh my god what a character he is. His personality is big, cheeky, full of curiosity and is on the go from the moment his eyes open. A learning is this is that I need to create a space each day where he can learn to settle, to sit and rest. I can see that If I don’t help nurture within him the ability to stop and rest it could cause a lot of frustration within him. Which is pretty perfect, because I need to learn that too. Oh how being a mum shows you so much of yourself!

Well I feel like I am all rambled out. So that Is it for this inside my mind entry. If you are curious about my Mandala Magic Online Class or would like to get a beautiful new piece of art for your home go check out my Etsy Shop where I have a range of art prints, printables and even colouring in books! If your on part of my Heartful Art & Wellness Tribe you will receive a free printable colouring page each week!

Sending big love to you all

Feature Title

This is a feature block that you can use to highlight features.

Feature Title

This is a feature block that you can use to highlight features.

Art Process: Mixed Media Whimsical Portraits

One of the types of art I have always loved is mixed media and portraits. But honestly, I have avoided portraits for a very long time due to fear of not being good enough. Well when I found Tamara Laporte I enrolled on her free art class that you can find on her website. Which taught you how to paint portraits of these whimsical characters!! They’re colourful, bold, floaty, dreamy with big eyes and cute little details.

Continue reading