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Welcome to the Circus of Illustration's inspirational art blog!

Check back daily for new illustrators.
If you’re in Bedford Town tomorrow morning come along to the Bedpop shop and join the Circus of Illustration in some easter craft activities from 11am-1pm. Eggsplore Bedford are also running an egg hunt that will send you all over town on the hunt for goodies. Check out their facebook page here for more details.
£3 per participant for the Egg Hunt and £1 for Circus crafts.Hope to see you there! 

If you’re in Bedford Town tomorrow morning come along to the Bedpop shop and join the Circus of Illustration in some easter craft activities from 11am-1pm. Eggsplore Bedford are also running an egg hunt that will send you all over town on the hunt for goodies. Check out their facebook page here for more details.

£3 per participant for the Egg Hunt and £1 for Circus crafts.

Hope to see you there! 

— 5 months ago with 5 notes
#Circus of Illustration  #workshop  #easter  #easter bunting  #bunny  #chick  #easter egg  #crafts 

It’s time for our March Drink & Draw! Tuesday 25th March at the Three Cups, Newnham Street, Bedford.

Get in touch with your inner character designer with our character generator game. Pick three descriptions at random and put them together to create crazy and colourful characters. The combinations are endless!

Check out the ones we did at the Culture Network a few weeks back…

— 6 months ago with 2 notes
#Circus of Illustration  #drink and draw  #character design  #Community Arts  #Bedfordshire 
Join us for our Halloween Special! Doodle on the flesh of humans and feast on the flesh of..um.. cake.

Join us for our Halloween Special! Doodle on the flesh of humans and feast on the flesh of..um.. cake.

— 11 months ago

Wowsers. Last night, the Castle Quay in Bedford was the place to be! TedX Bedford’s reunion drinks, a pop-up cycle cinema in the castle ruins and of course The Circus of Illustrations August Drink & Draw! This month we were doodling our very own deck of playing cards. Not to shabby a result considering it got dark about an hour in and most of these were drawn by phone light.

If you missed out, not to worry we have Drink & Draws every month and if you can’t wait till then, the Circus have a spot at Creative Bedfordshire next Thursday. The theme is Together is Better so we will be telling you all about what we’ve achieved as a group as well as doing some fun drawing games to get everyone in the creative mood. 7pm at the Ent Shed on Castle Road.


See you there! 

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#Circus of Illustration  #bedfordshireillustrators  #bedford  #playing cards  #doodle  #drink and draw  #creative bedfordshire 
'On the Water'
As if the lure of that Dave the Mayor foldee wasn’t enough, BedPop is also the launch of our second zine ‘On the Water.’ If you were a fan of 'In the Woods' you’d be crazy to miss out on the chance to grab this new issue. This time we’re showcasing the talents of 19 fabulous artists and illustrators and, as before, all issues are hand numbered and limited to a run of only 50! Come on down and grab one while you can :)

'On the Water'

As if the lure of that Dave the Mayor foldee wasn’t enough, BedPop is also the launch of our second zine ‘On the Water.’ If you were a fan of 'In the Woods' you’d be crazy to miss out on the chance to grab this new issue. This time we’re showcasing the talents of 19 fabulous artists and illustrators and, as before, all issues are hand numbered and limited to a run of only 50! 

Come on down and grab one while you can :)

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#Circus of Illustration  #zine  #bedfordshireillustrators  #bedpop 

Hello Circus fans. 

This Saturday is BedPop at Bedfords Tourist Information Centre and some of our Circus members have been very busy recently designing some fabulous Bedford themed Foldee’s to sell. We’ve got Ettiene Stott, Alastair Cook, James Wyatt, King Offa, Falkes de Breauté and even one of Dave the Mayor! So if you fancy getting your hands on one of these beauties then come along from 9.30-4.30 and get one while you can!

AND if you fancy having a go at designing one yourself, then join us between 2 and 4 for our Foldee making workshop. It’s totally free so bring the kids (or just yourself if, like us, you’re a big kid at heart) and let’s get doodling! 

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#Circus of Illustration  #Bedfordshire  #bedfordshireillustrators  #papercraft  #workshop 
Scarlett Interviews Michelle Allberrey

Michelle Allberrey won our competition to design our Facebook cover picture for June with a beautiful papercut illustration. We wanted to know more about this illustrator who ‘draws with scissors’ so Scarlett set her some questions..

Tell us about Michelle, how did you get into illustration?

Hello! Well, I’ve been mad about paper ever since I was little, I was obsessed with those dress-up paper dollies and making my own little pictures with flaps and pop-ups and whatnot. When it came to University time, it was a choice between studying English or Art, and at the time I thought I’d like to be an Art teacher so I convinced my Mum and Dad that there would be a job at the end of it. However; I had so much fun having the freedom to develop my work and got so much encouragement from my lovely tutors that by the end of Uni I really fancied being a freelance illustrator! I did start a teaching course, but my heart wasn’t really in it anymore, so I left, which is a shame, but I’m glad that I did because it’s obviously not the sort of job you can do half-heartedly.


I have a (quite random) full-time job as a laboratory assistant at Bedford Hospital, which is really interesting, even though I’m in no way a Science person! It has enabled me to buy a lovely house with my partner Jason.  So I kind of do the illustration in my spare time, and have spent quite a long time trying to perfect my technique to get a consistent style that I am happy with.


image


You have an illustration in the brilliant Gemma Correll’s book ‘What I Wore Today’, are there any other illustrators you admire, or would like to work with?

I have indeed, I was so excited about that! I love every picture that Gemma Correll draws, her drawings never fail to make me smile! I admire lots of other illustrators as well (to the point of intense jealousy), including Rob Ryan, Anke Weckmann, LeeMay Foster-Wilson (Bonbi Forest) and Kate Slater. Oh, and Lauren Child! My all-time favourites though are Janet and Alan Ahlberg! (The Jolly Postman is quite simply genius).

image

As a papercut/collage illustrator (is that a good way to describe you?) I can imagine your workspace gets very messy! What’s an average working day for you?

Haha, you imagine correctly! Yes, that is one of the downsides to collage, it makes such a bloomin’ mess! I start off by making a cup of tea and having breakfast (chocolate Digestive biscuits) and sit down to sketch my ideas to get an idea of composition. Then, with a rough idea in my head of the sort of colours I am going to need, I start sifting through my filing cabinet of papers (organised into different colours). I also have lots of magazines to hand as well, especially when I want more photographic textures like hair or trees. I sometimes also use watercolour paint to paint my own paper (especially for skin, as it gives a warmer, more tonal feel than a solid flesh-coloured paper does).  I start cutting the main shape of what I’m illustrating, so if it’s a face, I will start with the face shape, glue it down on some smooth white cartridge paper, and cut out and add the features. For eyes, and sometimes clothing, I use a black pen to add extra detail.

image


I rarely draw shapes onto the paper before I cut things out, because it feels more natural to me to ‘draw’ with my scissors. I also quite like the slightly imperfect feel this gives to my pictures. When I’m finished, I scan my picture and edit the contrast in Photoshop using the ‘levels’ tool and I sometimes tidy up any unwanted marks using the ‘clone’ tool. I’m pretty bad with Photoshop, so I’m probably not using it to its’ full potential!

What are you working on at the moment?

Well, my ongoing project (which has been ongoing for yonks) is to re-illustrate a short children’s story that I wrote and illustrated at college. I really like the idea of it, and it’s got a fun rhyming pattern, but it desperately needs re-illustrating. You know how you look back at artwork you did ages ago and you’re like, ‘what was I thinking?!’. When I’ve done some good example artwork for it I want to send it out along with the written text to some children’s book publishers, and see if anyone likes it. I hope that they do!


I have to mention your awesome version of the Florence & The Machine album cover, it’s gorgeous!! How long did it take you?

image

Awww thankyou! I think it took me about 10 hours…the background was really hard because I couldn’t really tell what was going on in the original image as it was so dark! I do love illustrating famous iconic images or characters, it’s so fun! Especially because my style is quite playful and immature and I like the twist it gives to certain well-known images, like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa for example! My version is so silly, but I think that’s why it works, it’s such a contrast to the original!


Tell us an interesting fact about you.

Oh dear, I’m not a very interesting person! I suppose I can tell you my war story of how I had Scoliosis (curvature of the spine). I had an operation when I was 17, and now have a very impressive scar down the right side of my torso. It looks like a shark bite, let’s pretend it is, that’s more exciting! I actually illustrated this little event for my final major project at Uni, I should put my illustrations up on my blog sometime…

Tea or coffee?

Tea please! Although I do love the smell of coffee, mmmmm…Tea for drinking, coffee for sniffing, then!

image

..and lastly, will you be coming to our next Drink & Draw meet up?

Yes, I think I will, thank you for inviting me! Although you will all be far better than me at drawing, so promise not to laugh!

- - - - - - - 

You can view more of Michelle’s work on her gorgeous website : http://www.smallberrey.com/

Michelle’s illustration will be up on our Facebook Page for the whole of June. To submit your work for our July cover picture email us and see our Facebook Page for details.

— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#Illustration  #illustrator  #interview  #paper collage  #papercut  #paper  #Circus of Illustration  #bedfordshire  #small berrey  #michele allberrey 

Great turnout at our Dinosaur Drink & Draw this week, awesome doodling action.

See you all again for the next Drink & Draw, last week of June.

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#drink and draw  #doodling  #Circus of Illustration  #circus  #Bedfordshire  #bedford  #three cups  #dinosaurs  #Illustration 

We’ve been crafting some dinosaurs ready for the drink & draw next week, just like Jurassic Park - but better behaved (fingers crossed.)

— 1 year ago with 6 notes
#dinosaurs  #drink and draw  #Bedfordshire  #illustrators  #Circus of Illustration  #cardboard 
DRINK & DRAWHowdy Campers, it’s time for another fabulous Drink and Draw. This months theme, Jurassic Lark! We’ll be doodling dinosaurs on dinosaurs and discussing some exciting opportunities for Bed Pop in July. Join us to find out more. Tuesday the 28th May, 7.00pm at the Three Cups in Bedford.

DRINK & DRAW

Howdy Campers, it’s time for another fabulous Drink and Draw. This months theme, Jurassic Lark! 

We’ll be doodling dinosaurs on dinosaurs and discussing some exciting opportunities for Bed Pop in July. Join us to find out more. 

Tuesday the 28th May, 7.00pm at the Three Cups in Bedford.

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#drink and draw  #dinosaurs  #circus of illustration  #bedford 
We released our first zine this week featuring illustrations from 13 Bedfordshire illustrators working with the theme ‘In the Woods.’ Each illustrator chose a piece of text, be it a song, poem, comic or excerpt from a book and illustrated it in their own varied styles. You can view the zine here and download it for yourself. There will be printed copies available at out next Drink & Draw, 18.04.13, details can be found on the blog.

We released our first zine this week featuring illustrations from 13 Bedfordshire illustrators working with the theme ‘In the Woods.’ Each illustrator chose a piece of text, be it a song, poem, comic or excerpt from a book and illustrated it in their own varied styles. 
You can view the zine here and download it for yourself. There will be printed copies available at out next Drink & Draw, 18.04.13, details can be found on the blog.

— 1 year ago with 1 note
Join us for a very special Drink & Draw this month with Ouse Muse.18.04.13

Join us for a very special Drink & Draw this month with Ouse Muse.
18.04.13

— 1 year ago with 1 note
Flipping good flip books

During our Easter Drink & Draw we made flip books and then filmed them using phone app Jittergram. Take a look at what we created…

(Might take a few seconds to start playing)

Scarlett’s Scarlett's Flip Book

Marisa’s Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Click the links to view the others.

Onorio’s  http://tinypic.com/r/11j5f1j/6

http://tinypic.com/r/1errxs/6

Kristina’s  http://tinypic.com/r/2sbogzt/6

Ben’s  http://tinypic.com/r/21kfinc/6

Hayley’s http://tinypic.com/r/291kq35/6

New members

http://tinypic.com/r/eipcsi/6

http://tinypic.com/r/34rhi03/6

— 1 year ago with 1 note
Join us for our March Drink & Draw where we will be making flip books along with our usual scribbles and sketches. There will also be an easter lucky doodle dip to contribute to. See you there!

Join us for our March Drink & Draw where we will be making flip books along with our usual scribbles and sketches. There will also be an easter lucky doodle dip to contribute to. See you there!

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
We will be documenting in sketch, Bedford’s latest mini commission, as part of BCA’s Almanac festival. Join us and be part of the event!
Below is pinched straight from their website:
Ground Floor Coffee, Kings House, Ampthill RoadSaturday 23rd February 3 – 5pmFree
See one of the biggest cakes ever and then eat it! As one of our ‘mini commissions’, local artist Kezia Ruth is asking you to help us to create the town’s largest cake, inspired by your own local stories, and the Duchess of Bedford, creator of Afternoon Tea.

We will be documenting in sketch, Bedford’s latest mini commission, as part of BCA’s Almanac festival. Join us and be part of the event!

Below is pinched straight from their website:

Ground Floor Coffee, Kings House, Ampthill Road
Saturday 23rd February 3 – 5pm
Free

See one of the biggest cakes ever and then eat it! As one of our ‘mini commissions’, local artist Kezia Ruth is asking you to help us to create the town’s largest cake, inspired by your own local stories, and the Duchess of Bedford, creator of Afternoon Tea.

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#sketching  #bedford  #mini commission  #BCA  #cake