Sunday, 18 March 2018

How to Fill the Best Veggie Burger

This is important. The burger will contain, in this order, from top to bottom:

Wholemeal Bun Top
Chilli Sauce
Romaine Lettuce
Potato Waffle
Grated Carrot
Veggie Burger (preferably Mexican Bean Burger)
Chilli Sauce
Nooch (nutritional yeast)
Wholemeal Bun Bottom

You're welcome.


Friday, 16 March 2018

Three Ways to Cheat Becoming a Morning Person

If you're more of a night owl than up with the lark, you'll find mornings as difficult as I do. I prefer to stay up and potter around the house late at night before I go to bed and would rather have a three hour bank meeting discussing my past spending habits as an art student (£57 a week on kinder buenos?!) than get up an hour early to go out for a run. If, like me, you're more often than not panic-jumping out of bed 15 minutes before you absolutely have to leave the house then these tips may be for you too: 

1. Shower Prep - Put your towel on the bathroom radiator and your dressing gown and slippers by bed. When you wake up you can roll out of bed and into your cosies. The bathroom will heat up quickly when the water is turned on. Then quickly into the hot shower and then out into a warm towel. Slippers and dressing gown on again. Also, a note on hair washing - if you know that you should wash your hair in the morning, put your hair in an unrecoverable style the night before. I have a fringe. I know that if I sleep with my fringe pinned back, there is no way of getting a human-looking hairstyle the next day unless I start from scratch and wash it. My fringe will stick up or split to the sides no matter how much I straighten and pin it. I HAVE to wash it. Can you tell I've thought about this a lot? 

2. Freezer smoothies -Night potterers will be happy doing a few useful things before bed and this is a great one. As a disgustingly stereotypical twenty-something plant-based foodie I have a Nutribullet. Before I go to bed I'll shove some frozen fruit, spinach and flaxmeal in a Nutribullet cup, put the lid on and stick it in the freezer. The next morning I'll take it out, add tap water and blitz it. Grab a reusable straw and drink it at my desk. My stomach just can't handle a meal at 7.45am but if I skip breakfast I'll be a banshee by 11. Also these smoothies make me feel a lot more smug than a handful of biscuits and hula-hoops in the car (also, that's my lunch). 

3. Don't just get up on a 'round number' - If you didn't get up at 7.15 then there's no point of getting up until 7.30 right? Missed it? Sleep until 7.40. I did this. STOP IT. 7.23 is a perfectly respectable time to get up. Plus, if you've then brushed your teeth and washed your face by 7.30 you can give yourself a brownie point. 


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Three Ways to be More Productive in the Art Studio

My love for time spent in the print studio grows greater every day. I tend to be able to use the studio in the evenings or at the weekend so my time is limited and precious. I need to use it well. This requires a little preparation. 

1. Music - you'll need a medium-energy playlist that gives just the right atmosphere. Too slow and you'll be too relaxed, too fast and you'll be too pumped to concentrate. This isn't a workout. If you're sharing a studio then bring some headphones. They will signify that you're there to concentrate not to chat (sorry!) and they mean that your music will not dominate and annoy others. If you're alone you can fill the whole studio with music and really sink into it. 

2. Snacks - you need no excuse to leave early or to 'pop out for a bit'. My favourite studio snacks are air-popped popcorn, rice cakes and biscuits. These are things you can grab a handful of if you're peckish. They're dry, clean and safe to leave out and open if you're lucky enough to have the whole studio to yourself. 

3. Fit tasks between tasks - whilst something is drying, do something else - mix your next colour, doodle a new design. Most of my studio time is spent screen printing. Screen printing is a lot about preparation: sketch your design, wash a screen, dry the screen, prepare your screen films, coat the screen, dry it again, expose the screen, wash the screen, dry it AGAIN, mix your colours, tape your screen, ready your paper, register your screen, print print print. There's lots of downtime between all of these tasks and lots of drying time so I try to use it productively. You're probably paying for this studio time and even if you're not, your time is valuable so use it well. 


Friday, 2 March 2018

Chichester Art Trail 2018 - Quick, Make Something!

Once again this year I am taking part in the Chichester Art Trail and once again it's really creeping up on me. I would love to tell you that I make prints all year round and have one hundred designs in my head at all times but I'm sure you know as well as I do that life gets in the way sometimes. There are always so many other things to do. An exhibition like this gives me the deadline I need to really get stuck in to printmaking. As an added pressure, this year I am printmaking solo and therefore have to fill an entire space by myself. 

This Chichester Art Trail starts at the end of April and is an opportunity to open your studio (or your home) to the public and show what you make. This year I am sacrificing the lower floor of our house to the art trail. But here's the catch: in order to take part I have to have something to show. Which means I have to make something. Like, right now. 

Screen printing is rapidly taking over as my favourite printmaking method. I love the flat even colour. I love the way the layers build up to create the final print. I draw my screen films by hand and expose them onto silk screens. This way, I can keep the style of the print completely hand drawn and can be in complete control of the image throughout. 

The image above shows the hand drawn films that build up to create my latest work-in-progress print. The next step is to expose the four layers separately on screens, then (the hardest part) choose and mix colours and finally print the image. We're a long way from a final print but once the momentum is there this print has got legs. Updates are on their way (as soon as I've actually completed the next steps).

...and then it's just ten or so more new prints to go...

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