Illustrating for Key To The Cure at Saks & Fifth

I was so honored and thankful to be a part of Key To The Cure 2016 last week. It was such a pleasure to work with the lovely people at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and the fabulous hosts Saks & Fifth at Sarasota UTC mall. The event raised funds to create grants and assistance for female cancer patients, providing support and practical solutions for those in need. 

Me & my lady in pink. 

Me & my lady in pink. 

All set up & ready to go. 

All set up & ready to go. 

Ready, set, paint

Ready, set, paint

First portrait of the night. 

First portrait of the night. 

Loved meeting this lovely lady from Blow La La.

Loved meeting this lovely lady from Blow La La.

#1 husband.  

#1 husband.  

My tip top team, the fabulous Beverley & darling husband.  

My tip top team, the fabulous Beverley & darling husband.  

More photos of illustrations created for the event to follow.
 

If you are planning an event and interested in working together, do say hello, I would love to hear your ideas aimee@aimeesicora.com

The art of relaxing

Living in Sarasota, Florida gives plenty of opportunity to master the art of relaxation! 

A recent trip to the fabulous ALoft Hotel roof top pool made for good inspiration for a little illustration.  

Chill-ax - To calm down and relax.  

Chill-ax - To calm down and relax.  

Beaches, pools, parks, bike rides, eating delicious food, walking my dog, binge watching chick flicks on Netflix, drinking red wine ... These are a few of my favorite ways to unwind and relax. With two days to the weekend, how do you plan on letting your hair down? 

Sketchbook diary - people

I needed a little sketch book inspiration so I flipped open a magazine which just happened to be the New York Times Style Guide, set my Pandora station to French Cafe radio and got to work. 

Meet Amanda and Julie.  

Meet Amanda and Julie.  

Here's the original inspiration that I took from the magazine.  

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I choose some people out of the photo and created little doodle characters and gave them an imaginary job title.  

Creativity at it's best meet Fashion Icon - Iris Apfel

American business woman, interior designer and fashion icon, Iris Apfel.

My sketch in progress of Iris Apfel.

My sketch in progress of Iris Apfel.

Have you heard of Iris Apfel? if you have then you will already be aware of her out of the box creative style and fabulousness! If you have no idea who she is then you are missing out, this lady is inspirational!
At 94 years old, you can sure learn a thing or two from this lady.

I find Iris's approach to style so refreshing, she doesn't follow trends, she doesn't care what others think, she marches to the beat of her own drum and has a lot of fun in the process.

If you're curious to find out more about this wonderfully talented lady then there is a great documentary on her called Iris (click the link to find out more and watch the trailer) and it's on Netflix! Iris has lead a fascinating life full of exotic travel, she was married to her darling husband Carl for 67 years, she has worked on all kinds of projects including restoration work at the White House and has had her personal collection of clothing, accessories and exquisite fabrics showcased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New beginnings

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I found this gem of an image @laracaseyshop 's Instagram account. I admit to being a terrible blogger but today is a new day and I am vowing to 'start today,' so cheers to today and all that it holds and look forward to lots more blogging from me in the future. 

DIY project- painted fabric

I've decided to start adding more to my blog than just illustration work so today's post highlights some painting of a different nature. I picked up a chair from a garage sale a few months ago, I really liked the shape of the chair but the fabric was pretty stained. Originally I thought I would reupholster the chair but then I saw a few chairs on pinterest that had been redone by painting the fabric, so I thought I would give it a try. 

I used flat latex paint that I got from home depot, I chose the color 'garbanzo paste' from the BEHR collection, I bought a sample size and that was plenty to finish this chair. I also bought Martha Stewart fabric medium, I found this at a craft store. It was a pretty simple project but was quite time consuming. You take 2 parts paint and mix it with 1 part fabric medium, I sprayed the fabric with water before each coat of paint this really helped to keep the paint thin and made for smooth application. I applied the paint mixture with a foam brush, it took 4 coats of the paint mixture, you must of course let each coat dry before applying the next. 

I taped off all of the surrounding wood with painters tape and used a drop-cloth on the floor to protect the floor from paint. 

I was pleased with the final result, the fabric definitely feels like it has been painted but it is still flexible and comfortable to sit on. I wouldn't advise fabric painting a piece of furniture that you sit in all the time but for a decorative piece that is used occasionally it is a pretty great way to make a transformation.

I'm not entirely sure if I am finished with this project, I'm still deciding whether or not to paint a white pattern on top of the yellow, I'll keep you posted if I decide to take the plunge. 
I would love to hear if you are planning any upcoming DIY projects yourself. 
Thanks for stopping by!



 

Getting around- moped adventures!

I always love working on personal commissioned projects, they are all so different and meaningful to the recipient. Last month I worked on two projects of a very similar nature, coincidentally they both involved a moped! 

This illustration was created for some dear friends, it was created using a photograph of them arriving at their own wedding on their moped!

This illustration was commissioned as a wedding gift from the sister of the bride. She wanted to capture the adventures nature of her sister and new brother in-law, to incorporate his love of surfing and her sister's favorite saying 'Pura Vida.'

If you are interested in commissioning a piece of you own please email aimee@aimeesicora.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook diaries - Fatima

This is Fatima,and this little illustration is my tribute to her. I was introduced to her and the phenomenal work that she does through Humans of New York This lady constantly risks her life in her plight to end bonded labor in Pakistan. Reading her story was both heartbreaking and breathtakingly inspiring! You can find out more about Fatima's amazing story and can still donate Here. 

I love how the internet allows us to interact with each other, because Humans of New York highlighted Fatima's story and allowed us to donate funds to help, over 2 million dollars was raised in 10 days!

By posting my illustration on my  Instagram and facebook  accounts I was really blown away by the kind comments and love that was shared by people all over the globe, especially from the lovely people in Pakistan.

It really is wonderful how we can all connect through the internet and be apart of one big community! 

Thanks for stopping by. 

 

 

Inspiration at the Botanical Gardens

In a recent online class that I took, something the teacher said really struck a cord for me. She said "if you are looking for inspiration, go and find it." She talked about how easy it is to hop on the internet and type whatever you are looking for into the google bar but how sometimes you need a reminder to go out there (in the real world) and get inspired. 

I took her advice, I headed to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, Florida) in search of pattern, and there I found it in abundance. Sometimes you can forget to really pay attention to what is in-front of you but my little outing has since awakened my senses and I feel refreshed to be finding inspiration everywhere!

Not only did I find pattern but as I sat on a bench sketching some large palm leaves the scene before me sparked an idea for an illustration. 


Now I plan to get out of my studio more often and take these little field trips to keep it fresh!

Back in the homeland

I have lived in the USA for over six years now, the more that I travel and move around I realize that one can have many 'homes' but going home to the UK, that's still in a league of it's own. 

If you have never been to the UK then i'm sure you have heard of England, and Scotland, and Ireland... but it surprises me still that many have no idea about Wales. 

Let me introduce you...

Here she is: rolling hills, rugged coastline, millions of sheep, and more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. 

This is Southerndown beach, a few miles from the house I grew up in. 

The seaside town of Tenby, in West Wales.

Exploration on Tenby beach.

Hubby on the beach. 

Viaduct at Shropshire Union Canal.

Just before we were flew home we stopped off in Bampton, the village where they filmed Downton Abbey. 

Hopefully you enjoyed a glimpse of Wales, and hopefully I have inspired you to go one day, or at least go on a little adventure of your own sometime soon!

Thanks for stopping by.

For the love of books

This has been one of my favorite personal pieces to work on. The illustration was inspired by the realization that one day books, actual paper books that you put on a bookshelf, and magazines with paper pages that you cherish your collection of ... might become a thing of the past. I love technology, but I must admit I am a tactile person and every time I get an email from one of my beloved magazine subscriptions asking me if I want to switch to the digital version I want to scream NO!

For the love of books

Hopefully there are more of you page turning lovers out there, who when it comes to time to it, will proudly wear a t-shirt saying "save the books" But lets hope that's no time too soon.  

See how the illustration came together...

Thanks for stopping by!

Palm trees and Lilly Pulitzer

Lately I have really been realizing how fortunate I am to live in Sarasota Florida, I am surrounded by water and sunshine, lush tropical plants and towering palm trees.This illustration was inspired by that whole summery tropical wave I am feeling at the moment!

 

The pattern on the jumpsuit was inspired by a Lilly Pulitzer swatch that I saw on Instagram. Focusing on pattern has definitely given me the bug to start producing some of my own repeat patterns, so watch this space...

 

I tend to leave the backgrounds surrounding my illustrations blank but I'm pleased that I added the palm tree silhouettes on this one!

Of course as my illustration came to life on paper, so did the character... so let me introduce you. Fiona may look a little intimidating at first glance, with her endless legs, her perfect tan and bouncy hair, but don't let her gorgeous looks deceive you. Fiona is beautiful inside and out, she has a heart of gold! It may surprise you to know that she is a biochemist, she is passionate about her career and is rapidly gaining respect as a professional in her field.  

 

This art print is now available for purchase in my Etsy Shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/230170420/fashion-illustration-summer-print-floral

Ice-cream is always a good idea

The Inspiration for my art work comes from many places and lately one of those places is Instagram! My favorite insta feed is that of fashion blogger Julia Engel, it is impossible to not be inspired by her gorgeous photos from all around the world full of color and beautiful clothing and accessories - she also seems like a genuinely lovely person!

One of her recent ig posts was of her and a friend eating ice-cream, as soon as I saw it I knew I had to paint it. 


I love the happy summery vibe that this picture gives off, I also love the idea of eating ice-cream with one of your best girlfriends... because ice-cream is always a good idea!

I would love to hear what is inspiring you at the moment? 

You can follow Julia Engel on instagram @juliaengel or check out her website www.galmeetsglam.com

*This art print is currently available in my etsy shop

Florence the flamingo

Taking inspiration from my surroundings led me to create this illustration, this illustration is the first in my floridian series, so keep your eyes peeled for more floridian pieces- coming soon!

A trip to a local animal park 'Jungle Gardens' got me up close and personal with some flamingos. It would be hard to not be inspired by these inquisitive quirky birds! their personalities flew right off of their pink feathers and onto my sketchbook page. 

After bringing Florence the flamingo to life on paper it was obvious that she needed a friend... Charlotte and Florence  became fast friends, they quickly realized that they had something in common- long legs! and they particularly enjoy the fact that they can shop twice as fast as everyone else, which makes shopping the sales very productive! 

You can purchase a print of Florence and Charlotte from my ETSY shop. The print is perfect for adding a dash of whimsy to your home or office and if you are looking for a unique gift for a friend, then look no further! 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/226711034/flamingo-art-fashion-illustration

I hope that you enjoyed seeing Florence and Charlotte come to life on paper. Thanks for stopping by! 



work in progress

Hello,

I thought I would share a little on my process, how I go from start to finish on a personal illustration project. 

This illustration was created so that I could add new inventory to my art prints available for purchase. 

I usually have some source of inspiration, and with my fashion background that inspiration usually comes from clothing. Sometimes I will create purely from my imagination but the illustration that I am going to share the process on stared with some inspiration. 

I was at my doctors office last month and I saw this little clip in People Magazine with some of Michael Kors fabulous designs. I was instantly drawn to the bold colors and print, I often stick with softer colors and the most pattern I venture with is usually stripes and polka dot so I saw this as a great idea to try something new. 

 

When I was ready to start creating I pulled up the Michael Kors image that I had snapped on my phone and kept that handy to refer back to. Then I flicked through Elle magazine and found a pose with two people in it that could give me a starting point for sketching.

 

I always start with an oval for the head and then work my way down, the last thing I usually draw is the face. 

The sketching part usually takes me a long time because I am a bit of a perfectionist and keep my work quite tight, loosing up is something I really need to work on!

When it comes to adding paint I use a watercolor note pad to test my colors on before applying to my actual illustration. I mix my skin color first and then start applying it to all areas where skin will be shown. (tip when testing colors I always wait to see how it looks when it is dry as i can be quite different from when you first apply it.)

After painting in the skin I applied some masking fluid (you apply this to areas that you do not want your paint to go.) 

When the paint around the masking fluid is dry I rub off the masking fluid with my finger, and continue working on adding paint to the illustration. 

Little by little my illustration begins to come to life as I add little details. 

Here are the pretty finished ladies all ready for a fabulous evening filled with cocktails and dancing. You can find a print of the illustration for sale here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/223835351/bright-flower-fashion-illustration-art? 

I hope that you enjoyed having a little insight into my process! 
 

 

 

 

 

Snail mail

Opening the mail box can often be a far from exciting chore, a pile of bills, junk mail, coupons to stores you've never heard of, the sight of a magazine might raise your expectations until you realize it's one that you wanted to unsubscribe from and they renewed your subscription before you got around to canceling it.  But occasionally, you get something special... A handwritten address catches your eye amongst a sea of typeface and that's the moment you know- you've got snail mail! 

Emails are great, so is social media but a handwritten note, if you ask me- it's on another level. So grab yourself some cute stationary and put pen to paper and send a little note to someone and brighten up their mail box. 

Here's a piece of snail mail that is all ready to get shipped out, complete with some washi tape and one of my illustrated stickers (coming to the ETSY shop soon!)

Here's a piece of snail mail that is all ready to get shipped out, complete with some washi tape and one of my illustrated stickers (coming to the ETSY shop soon!)