Category Archives: Inspiration

// designosaur collaboration out now!

Meow! If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you’ll know that yesterday me and designosaur released our little limited edition collaboration we’ve been working on!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe result of our collab is two bags which are kind of insane but I love them. As they might not be what you were expecting from us, I thought I’d share some of the inspiration and process behind them…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo about a year ago it was first suggested between us that we should get together to make something; but we wanted to make something a little different. designosaur are known of course for being laser cut jewellery designers (check out their shop here) and I am known for making things with cats on. We wanted to incorporate both of these things but also mix it up a bit. The idea was to make a clutch bag that incorporated laser cut elements, and that’s how it began.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next part took a loooooong time. Not because we are lazy, but actually the opposite! We are both super busy all of the time with our etsy shops and other jobs, and craft fairs, and Christmas and pop-up shops and the Brighton Etsy team that a million things got in the way! We had a joint Pinterest board that we would pin inspiration to, but apart from that it took several months to get ideas onto paper for what we would actually make. So what were our inspirations? It’s amazing really because we both have pretty similar taste. We both love the 90s, pastel colours, clear acrylic, emojis, fast food, faux fur, glitter… the list goes on. We also knew of course we HAD to include CATS and DINOSAURS!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEverything started coming together and I made lots and lots of illustrations that I then turned into fabric. We chose a sweet pastelly-mint-teal with white illustrations for a cotton lining which features in all the bags, and a purple colour-pop faux suede for the purses. We knew we also wanted a fun faux fur in a pastel colour, so found this amazing luxury long-pile fabric which is so soft and lovely for the clutch bag. Karli and Jaq then turned my illustrations into acrylic charms (I don’t know how they do it! Magic!) in sweet clear pastel shades with etched details, and I got to sewing! The main thing that you need to know about this is that my flat is now covered in a layer of pastel pink fur from cutting into the fabric. It’s nice but not when it gets in your mouth/guts.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach clutch bag has 14 laser cut and etched acrylic charms! 13 of them are individually hand sewn into the fur, and then one is on the zipper. As you can see all of our favourite things feature… cats, dinosaurs, burgers, bones, pizza, aliens, little angry faces. I love them! I also convinced designosaur to make this ring from the bone illustration. It doesn’t really fit with I like CATS or probs designosaur but I don’t care cos I LOVE it. I’ve worn mine pretty constantly since I got it.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other fun thing about this collab is that all orders come with a free sheet of stickers we designed to go with the collection!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo there’s the story! And I’d love to know what you think! Maybe it wasn’t what you were expecting but I hope you’ll still love them ! Everything is super limited edition, and you’ll find them both in my shop here and designosaur‘s here.

YAY!

Toby =^._.^=

// 365 Drawings of cats – Week 14!

Hiya! Hopefully you’re not getting too bored of my drawings cos here are some more! I’m sure sometime soon I’ll have something different to blog about, but in the meantime I don’t mind just sharing my little thoughts with you…

I hope you all enjoyed Karli’s analysis last week… I think she knows me pretty well. Merry Christmas!

5th April
Week14_1It was Easter so obviously I had to add bunnies! Except I got carried away with the buns and ALMOST forgot to add cats. And then my cats looked like buns and my buns looked like cats.

6th April
Week14_2Happy Gloopy Day! Yeah so I decided to limit my gloopy drawings to one a week, so here is this week’s! Ooh look at that lovely blue. That was an accident.

7th April
Week14_3I guess I thought I’d been doing too much painting so I thought I’d go back to the pencil. This stated as a desk doodle. I also got an email that started ‘Hi kitten’ which I thought was the absolute cutest.

8th April
Week14_4Dreaming about Disneyland is the only thing that gets me through this damn life. Have fun or fuck off.

9th April
Week14_5Don’t want to sound like an emo but this is probably the worst I’ve ever done and if I could go back in time and do it over I WOULD. Nah, no regrets. Except some. This.

10th April
Week14_6I JUST REALLY LOVE THE MUPPETS.

11th April
Week14_7This was done at 8am at the start of a looong train journey but I don’t know why I’m making excuses cos actually I really like this one. Someone said it looks like lemons but I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you very much.

Follow me on Instagram to see my drawings daily.

365 Drawings of cats – Week 12

Meeeeeow! Here’s our weekly look back at my daily drawings!

March 22nd
Week12_1OK so don’t read me for my bad drawings right now, the left hand side is just a self portrait of what I think I look like and then the actual truth. #ImGross

23rd
Week12_2I’d been working on some of my new things so I had my paints out, yay! I super love this colour combo. I’m leaving this as a note to myself. I often find my drawings that spread across both pages create much more of a impact too – that’s another note to future me.

24th March
Week12_3These pages are two of my favourites so far… I have these old gloopy paints I’m trying to use up which I literally just squeezed out of the tube onto the page spontaniously and then formed the painting from there, adding the details later.

25th March
Week12_4GLOOP! More gloopy paint cos after the day before I thought I was onto a good thing. IDK but I WILL be coming back to it (and not just cos I still have all this old paint).

26th March
Week12_5NEW BOOK! Yup, I’m onto my 6th book! I doodled an ice cream cat on a napkin the day before and made a note to myself to draw it the next day. pop!

27th March
Week12_6This past weekend I was visiting Bristol for the Etsy Captain’s Summit, so this is a lovely little train drawing while the sun was shining. It didn’t shine much for the rest of the weekend though, did it?

28th March
Week12_7I was super happy cos Bristol has a Cass Art! (WHY ISN’T THERE ONE IN BRIGHTON?). I didn’t realise there was gonna be one else I would have had a list of things to buy, but I did treat myself to a little travel half pan tin and my favourite thing about it is the fold-up paintbrush. It was a busy weekend but I did manage to test them out and here’s what happened. FUN!

In other news! I have new things in my etsy shop! Go have a look!

// 365 Days of Cats – Week 9

Meow! It’s a couple of days late but here’s a look back at the week’s daily drawings!
Last week I was viciously slammed (not really) by one of my regular blog readers at my seeming lack of enthusiasm for some of my drawings, which got me thinking a little about some of the pros and cons of the project. While I love the fact that it forces me to create something every day, sometimes on the days where inspiration doesn’t hit me in the face it can feel a bit forced, which means I end up resenting what I’ve created which means sometimes there’s not much to say. I’m thinking this is something I will work on through the year, but in the meantime I’ll try my best to keep it positive!

Now! Back to our scheduled programming!

1st March
Week9_1Now that I don’t have to work on Sundays I get to do things like watch Sunday morning cooking shows. I can’t remember which one was on but they were foraging for herbs and they had a really sharp knife. I really like sharp knives so it was in my head to draw one and that is the first thing I drew. The book is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. 

2nd March
Week9_2
Most of the time when I do my daily drawings I don’t have time to get my proper paints out so I use these basic Reeve’s watercolours most of the time. The colours are super limiting so it’s always nice to try out shape and pattern with them as an under-image for the cats on top!

3rd March
Week9_3

Not gonna lie, this is probably one of my favourite drawings to do so far. Swearing is as fun as drawing cats. Also I think I’ve mentioned before my anti-inspirational-quote mentality…

4th March
Week9_4A bit of a doodly day but I was glad to find my pack of felt tip pens I’d forgotten about!

5th March
Week9_5Just a bit of my delayed teen angst coming through.

6th March
Week9_6Cats like sitting and watching you through the grass and then at night they all meet up and talk about all the dumb things they saw you do throughout the day. Cats are better than you and they know it. That’s why all cats are creeps and I love them.

7th March
Week9_7I guess I had this word in my head from the day before but also I think this thought at least once a day. Everything is creepy. The internet is creepy. Now turn off your computer and go outside and play.

// BtnEtsy Blog hop!

Etsyteam

You may remember that last year I took part in a blog hop, where I answered three questions and then nominated three more people to answer the same via their blogs. Well that was lots of fun so I was happy to be nominated again (this time by designosaur) for a new hop, this time one created by and for the Brighton Etsy Team (of which I am a leader, yay!) SO! Here are some questions I’ve tried to answer for you…

1. What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop?
I opened my first etsy shop back in 2009 when I was an art student making weird knitted things. It didn’t really go to plan and when I didn’t sell anything I didn’t renew my listings and forgot the shop existed. Three years later in 2012 I had graduated and moved to Brighton, needing an outlet for my creativity and having met some awesome people like DB Illustrations, I started again! There was more weird knitting, but thankfully that’s gone now. Also thankfully people now actually buy my things!

kale

2. We’re looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy Team this month, can you share one of your goals for the next six months?
My main goal is to get more seasonally organised in advance. I want to be ready for everything around 3 months before they happen… so far I’m a little behind as Mother’s Day is less than a month away and my card is yet to be listed in my shop (it’s coming really soon!), but Mothers Day in the USA isn’t until May so I’m ahead somewhere! Just as long as I have my Christmas prep started in July I’ll be happy! (No jokes…)

Littlebirdy

3. What are you working on at the moment? 
I have three collaborations in the works with designosaur (which we started back last June… it’s almost ready though!), porcelain artist Little Birdy and animal hood grand masters Merrimaking (they were making the hoods before anyone else dontchaknow). They’ll all be released in the next month or so and then I’m focusing on new things! New designs, new products. I’ve also been doing a lot of drawing and painting so hoping to get more original works for sale.

broochy

4. If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own craft business one piece of advice, what would you say?
Don’t expect everything to happen at once, it takes a bit of work to get started. Make sure you’re actually selling good things people want to buy. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t make your first etsy sale within an hour. Think big! And don’t be a copycat.

Hope you enjoyed reading this mini interview, I now have to nominate some more people from the Brighton Etsy Team. First up I would like to choose illustrator extraordinaire Cheska of Mooshpie, Secondly I nominate Lucy of Peas and Needles who I don’t know personally but I found through the BtnEtsy blogroll (she has the most beautiful blog! blog envy!). Finally I choose clothesmaking duo Emperor’s New Clothes. Answer the questions above and nominate three more people to join in!

Thanks again to designosaur for nominating me 🙂
xoxo

// 365 Drawings of cats – Week 3

Meow! Did that week go past super fast for everyone else too? Here’s a look back at the third week of my #Tobydrawscats365 project!

18th January
Week3_1I was at work so this was a quick one. My main thinking was to make it WEIRD. Next time I might make it weirder.

19th January
Week3_2

I’d been listening to FKA twigs, the right hand page is kind of a doodle of her. The left hand side was kind of a continuation from the day before, long hair creeps. When I have more time I want to expand on this idea a bit more.

20th January
Week3_3

So for a couple of really great days this week we thought we’d seen the end of Page 3. No such step forward yet, but stop by here and sign the petition and let’s try to make the change happen.

21st January
Week3_4

22nd January
Week3_5

After the rain, the side of the cliff felt smooth as glass. Slowly, little by little, the house began to slide towards the edge. The sea licked the rocks, it wanted to taste the bricks.
The cat reached out, extending his colossal limbs to wrap around the foundations.
The moon watched on, uncaring.

23rd January
Week3_6

24th January
Week3_7

Saturday was the first day of lovely sunshine that I got to enjoy! I took this while walking the dog. Also I have tickets to see First Aid Kit! I was content.

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Follow my daily drawings over on Instagram; don’t forget to follow the hashtag #tobydrawscats365

// 365 drawings of cats – Week 1

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, last year I started a journal of daily drawings which I would post to Instagram. When I first started in September it was really just a way of getting ideas out of my head and making sure I was doing something creative each day; but with the start of the New Year I decided to make it a THING, with the aim of making a drawing a day for the whole 365 days of 2015. Each week I’m going to do a round up of the last 7 days drawings, giving each a bit more of an explanation behind the drawing. SO! If you’re ready, here is the first week (and a bit) of drawings!

1st January
IMG_0725The first day of the year is all about resolutions! These are mine for the year. I’m not even joking. The matchbook I took from my Grandma Pam’s house.

2nd January
IMG_0726I really liked those chubby cats that I’d drawn the day before, so I thought I’d draw a little gang of them. You can probably expect to see a lot more of them this year as part of I like CATS. At the time of drawing this I had my baby neice with me, so I thought I’d start teaching her about colours, which is why there’s a rainbow explosion on the right hand side.

3rd January
IMG_0727It’s those chubby cats again! I wanted to try them out using my felt tip pens. I was loving the right hand page and then I decided to add those balloons and then I hated it. The right hand page is just because all fruits are friends with cats.

4th January
IMG_0728I was at work when I drew this, and I only had a few colours in my pencil case. The cat on the right is a sea siren waiting to eat the hearts of lost sailors (obviously). I also had Lemongrab on my mind, and being a big fan of bootleg cartoons I thought I would add him in too.

5th January
IMG_0729We had a power cut ALL day on monday, it was super annoying. I always love drawing cats with buildings, it’s a bit of a default when I can’t think of something else at that moment. I also love creating little living environments, I guess the image on the right is a bit of a self portrait of me age 19 (note the Sonic Youth CD, diary and books).

6th January
IMG_0730During the power cut our only entertainment was DVDs on the laptop (until the battery ran out), and we ended up watching many hours of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. If you didn’t already know, Salem is my favourite celebrity cat, so any chance to draw him I’ll take. I’m thinking of making a print of him, I love this quote of his!

7th January
IMG_0731A whole week of drawings! Maybe I even surprised myself. Back when I was ‘studying’ Fine Art at university I used to draw a LOT of skulls. I also collected them and knitted them and made masks of them and loads of other things. Now I draw cats, but it’s nice to go back every now and again.

8th January
IMG_0732This was a BRAIN BLOCK day.

9th January
IMG_0733This is a true story, I kill all the plans. This week I killed my tomato plan that I’d been lovingly growing for almost 3 years. Last year it gave me six tomatoes, and all I gave it was death. I’m the worst. Once I had a cactus and my cat Squiffy bit a chunk off it.

10th January
IMG_0734More plants. Always inspired by things like knives and scissors. I realise it looks like the top cat is going to snip the bottom one but that’s not really whats going on. I always love a contrastb though, a mix of cute and violent. Sharp and fuzzy. snip snip snip.

See you again next Sunday for a round up of the coming week! I honestly have no idea what you’ll see. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Instagram to see the drawings daily. Also check out the hashtag #Tobydrawscats365