London today, Paris tomorrow...


Case in point

✈︎ London
iPhone 6 case* • CaseApp / Glasses* • EyeBuy Direct / Ring • Audaviv / Watch • Caravelle / Jumper • Brandy Melville

There's a CaseApp for that

Hello my lovely readers - long time no see. Well, some of you may keep up to date with me on Instagram, in which case you probably see too much of me (!)...either way, many, many apologies. I got lost on the path of life (infinite brownie points to anyone who knows where that reference is from), which included detours to Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Seoul, Busan, Hong Kong and LFW. I've been working on a hundred and one things behind the scenes art-wise, design-wise AND blog-wise, so I promise the radio silence will be over soon and I'll stop being the terrible internet human I currently am...

While I'm still in the midst of sifting through all my travel photos and juggling a couple of other projects on the side, I received a little something in the post that kickstarted my excitement to write again. Recently, the lovely Swedish design company CaseApp asked me to design a phone case...and being the clumsy butterfingers I am, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm not so much irresponsible as just very unlucky when it comes to valuables, and unfortunately my phone has already been through the trauma of a cracked screen (thanks to a prematurely-closed car door) and a dunk in the toilet (back pockets, why were you ever invented?!). Safe to say, it needs all the protection it can get.

The design process

I'd just returned from my travels when the offer was posed to me, so naturally memories of summer were drifting through my mind as I thought about what I wanted to create. I didn't want to just add a pretty picture and a generic quotation; as someone who claims to be an artist of sorts, it only made sense for me to come up with my own unique case. I had many a delicious ice cream while I was away, not to mention they're a very aesthetically-pleasing treat, so I was inspired to paint a few different types in watercolour and ended up loving the result. I scanned them in, cleaned them up and arranged them into a pattern on Photoshop, and saved the resultant file.

The easy part was simply hopping onto the CaseApp website and turning it into a real, physical thing from there. I went for a matte cover as I preferred the look and feel, then repositioned my design over the case until I was happy with its placement. In just a few clicks, my order was placed, and the case was in my hands within a week.

The verdict

Needless to say, it's almost surreal to have my phone protected by something I made. Well, the awesome CaseApp people made it, but those ice creams were all hand-painted by me. All I thought was, why didn't I do this sooner? It gave me that same feeling fashion designers probably have when they wear their self-made clothes. Even though it's on a much smaller scale, it's still cool when people notice it and ask where it's from, only for me to tell them I designed it and ordered it through CaseApp. 

Long story short, I don't think this case is ever coming off. It looks so cute in my hand and among my other workspace elements, plus I'm sure the minute my phone is out in the world naked again there will be an instant K.O.! I've already knocked it off the edge of my desk twice, and so far the case has done its job - no scuffs or marks either. For those of you with devices prone to big drops and falls, there's also a special tough case for extra security. But for someone who occasionally can't hold a phone two feet off the ground like myself, the regular one is perfect.

So whether you're looking to add to your collection or in search of a personalised gift for someone special, what better than a case or skin in this digital age? Put your stamp on iPhones, iPads, iPods, Androids, laptops and more; it's almost as addictive as adding your initials on everything. And hey, Christmas is only twelve weeks away...

CaseApp were kind enough to send me my custom case as a gift. As always, all opinions remain my own!

P.S. Stay tuned on Instagram, something else related to this case may appear in the near future...


Illustrated with love

✈︎ London

Life in watercolour

I've always wanted to create beautiful fashion illustrations to rival the likes of Kerrie and Megan Hess, but figured somewhere along the way that I simply wasn't cut out for it. Especially when it comes to creating likenesses of real people, trying to do them justice seems like an impossible task that walks the fine line between being appreciative and being offensive. I doodle for fun mostly, and I've generally stayed away from portraits for fear I could never get them right. I still don't for the most part, and I end up with a dozen rejects before I'm finally happy with something, and I've got a long way to go...I won't be making a career out of watercolour illustrations anytime soon, but I'd like to think these offer a more personal thanks to some awesome internet ladies who've guided my artistic journey in some way or another.

Shini from Park & Cube

When I first discovered the ever-expanding world of blogging many years ago, Park & Cube was among the first in my reading list. From its sleek design and photography to the funny, relatable and eloquent stories that accompanied, it became a source of inspiration that I frequented throughout the years. When I realised that I wanted to pursue a creative, design-led career, Shini's blog and work took on a greater relevance that helped give me a sense of direction. Life works in funny ways, and it was actually one of Shini's tweets that connected me with The Apārtment whom I worked with on various projects in the last year. Then last Fashion Week I finally had the opportunity to meet Shini properly and talk about graphic design and the industry in general (over food, naturally). She really is a powerhouse who has built an incredibly successful brand with her life, style and interests, and I don't think any other blog is on par with the web design and coding prowess. Don't even get me started on her Snapchat stories...*insert crying with laughter emoji here*

Audrey from Frassy

Another blogger that throws me way back in time, Audrey's way with words is something else. Every outfit and adventure comes with a beautifully written story that encourages you to be smarter and think deeper. She tackles issues old and new in such a refreshing manner, I can't help but agree with everything she says. It's odd, but I find myself nodding completely in every blog post and at every Instagram caption, something I don't expect to be able to do with 99% of the people I follow. I guess, long story short, she feels like a friend I've known for a very long time, someone I could sit in a coffee shop with for hours and just talk about life. And how many people can you say that about in reality, let alone someone you only know about through the internet? Her wisdom and wit are a real backbone to many and I'm sure she has so much more to share.

Carin from Paris in Four Months

This one goes without saying, as I'm sure you can all gather why; although my love for Paris extends much further back into my memory, Carin's stunning photos of the city cemented it all the more. She is probably the single most accurate definition of "following the dream" and simply that sense of hope and wonder she instills with her Paris story is enough to make anyone want to move there and pursue their heart's desires. I shared her Instagram account in this post and I'm still a devoted follower today, because who doesn't want their feed filled with cute cafés, stunning balconies and Seine snaps? Not that that's all she photographs, of course, because her adventures there are so much more. She's incredibly talented at what she does and her work with many amazing brands is a testament to that.

Inspiration → illustration

I hope to continue this series and share more watercolour illustrations of people who inspire me, from both blogs and Instagram. They're not the best but they're a nice change from standard photos, right? I promise to improve them and keep on sharing the love. Side note, I'm off to Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong in a few days, so expect to read about all my travels soon; if you have any recommendations, do leave them below, tweet them to me or drop your suggestions on my Instagram where I'll be posting plenty of pictures from my travels...consider it a sneak peek of all the posts to come here. I may be offline for a brief moment due to internet censorship in China, but I'll be back soon with lots to share. As always, have a lovely week and thank you for reading - it means a lot!


Let's paint the town

✈︎ London

Art Night 2016

Some Saturdays are for adventure, as was this particular one two weeks ago; Art Night came to London for the first time. The concept is simple: an annual event that transforms the capital into a creative metropolis as the sun goes down. Following the very impromptu proposal to check it out by one of my very artsy friends, we took to the ICA to pick up a map and wandered along the trail of buildings and spaces that had been taken over for one night in spectacular fashion. 

We arrived at the Duke of York steps for around half seven, enjoying the "collage" of orchestra, contemporary/ballroom dancing, meandering rabbits wearing multiple face masks and male models clothed in what can only be called, "scraps" of denim. It was a weird but oddly interesting mélange of cultures and styles, inspired by Alison and Peter Smithson's House of the Future and the 1970s film Donkey Skin.

Having decided to go to this one-night-only extravaganza at the last minute, naturally we hadn't thought to book anything, so unfortunately we had to skip out on a fair few exhibitions (including one on a disused Jubilee Line platform at Charing Cross station!). That didn't stop us from following the map down Strand and turning up in Covent Garden, where we got to take part in a film project by Jennifer West. The public were invited to add their memories to rolls of 70mm film showcasing everyone's favourite movies and what made them so unforgettable. I doodled about Up, obviously taking advantage of the multitude of permanent markers at my disposal for the balloons, and left feeling satisfied that I'd somewhat contributed to the wider art world - even if only for a brief moment. With that sentiment, we dispelled our aching hunger with the conveniently close-by Shake Shack and proceeded to stroll towards Somerset House as the sky grew ever darker. 

Nightfall was the perfect backdrop for Xu Zhen's Physique of Consciousness, a video exemplifying China's emphasis - sometimes obsession - with mass exercise, health and spiritual wellbeing. It was pretty awe-inspiring watching dozens of Art Night volunteers and public participants follow Zhen's choreographed routine; stretching, prostrating and posing whilst an ambient track of single piano notes and gentle wind hummed softly in the background. If there was one word I would use to describe it perfectly, that would be "zen".

Although we weren't able to stay until the early hours as programme would advise (namely, an apt slogan of "DON'T SLEEP!"), it was such a unique experience to essentially go on an Easter Egg hunt around the city that we knew wouldn't be there tomorrow. Not only that, but the atmosphere of a cool summer evening made it all the more affecting and evocative.

And, of course, one doesn't just visit London at night without walking across Waterloo Bridge for the most incredible view. Nothing really beats an illuminated skyline.