FolioFocus "The Everyday" Showcase

Kristy de Castro

Kristy de Castro

Last week's theme in FolioFocus was The Everyday and we had a wonderfully charming trend to accompany the week's brief. Above is piece by Kristy de Castro. Her beautiful use of colour and incredible texture really make these objects something special!

Claire Morosi

Once again we have some work in process images to share. Below Claire gives a little peek at how she approached last week's class assignment.

"I usually start by brainstorming ideas that come from a first read of the brief. What usually happens is something sticks in the mind and then I go off on a tangent - quick sketch, then on to a more detailed one. Sometimes I abandon everything, sometimes I go to a different thought and see where that takes me. There are occasions when I can't keep one thought going and I get frustrated - nothing is coming together. I don't start with a moodboard although I bring ideas together and then look for a spark.

Claire Morosi 2.jpg

For this brief I was thinking about the curtains and window dressings that get left in a house and then I also thought about how beautiful old windows are... what about old room dividers and screen? gates? on to thoughts about what could be waiting to be found in an attic and the ragdoll popped into my mind. Also a while ago we bought a house that was built in about 1870 and behind all the layers of 60s wallpaper was a layer of floral paper that we think was the original wall covering - delicate roses and a lot of faun and sage colour - so that also popped into my mind. I take these ideas and doodles into photoshop and start playing around with colour and texture, size and position. I use a lot of layering in my work so this is also the bit that excites me the most - seeing what effects I can achieve by overlaying.

The work just sort of evolves. For some reason I was looking through some old design work the other day and found some typography - a series of children's rhymes like 'ibble obble blackbobble' and 'High low medium dolly rocky pepper' and I decided to try this sort of thing with the rag doll.

At some point I have to make my mind up and get on with it!

It's exhausting but extremely enjoyable."

Claire Morosi 1.jpg

Thanks for sharing, Claire!

Liv Wan

Liv wan IMG_3560.JPG

Here we a fantastic set of illustrations by Liv Wan, skilfully turned into a repeat pattern. Each element is lovingly decorated with pretty details and full to the brim with character. I would LOVE to get my hands on that apron!

live wan illustration IMG_3598.JPG

More of The Everyday from Classmates

FolioFocus Abstracts Showcase

Studio Esperluette

Studio Esperluette

Last week, FolioFocus classmates let loose and embraced abstracts (and a touch of geometrics) with some gorgeous results. 

Leah Quinn

Leah broke out her acrylic paints for the first time in a long time especially for the task!

Leah q 1.jpg

"It’s been 2 years at least since I touched my acrylics - so far only one tube had dried out 😂"

Having mixed a bunch of delicious colours and shades, she took to the canvas, creating intuitive marks and movement, pulling and moving the paint.

The end result is a collection of soft furnishing and home decor designs.

leah q.jpg

Louise Brainwood

Louise too a more geometric and structured approach. Inspired by the potteries in Cornwall and a recent trip she took to Marazion, for a fresh coastal collection.

louise brainwood.jpg

Krystal Williams

Krystal used digital tools to create here designs:

"I'll admit abstract is one of my favorite things to do. Once I choose a color pallet its easy for me to flow with the design. I used my iPad and the Procreate app for these. Included in this post is the photo I used as inspiration from my weekend in Cuba.

I added a time lapse video of my process as well. I was initially going to incorporate both designs into one, but decided they worked better as separates". 

More Abstract Gloriousness from Classmates:

FolioFocus Week 8 Round Up

This week, our FolioFocus Classmates had the task of creating some inspirational quotes with lush lettering!

Created by Uli Kilinger-Barta

Created by Uli Kilinger-Barta

Bright colour palettes and bold lettering give these motivational motifs some added zest!

Here is a selection of what our classmates created.

These inspirational iterates will be sure to put some pep in your step.

Designed by Rachel Schafer

Designed by Rachel Schafer


Want to see more from our classmates? Follow on Instagram and check back here next week.

FolioFocus Week 7 Round Up

Last week, our FolioFocus Classmates were given the task of creating illustrated recipes for They Draw and Cook - an online community which homes a massive collection of illustrated recipes from artists around the globe!

Designed by Debi Hudson

Designed by Debi Hudson

Our classmates used their knowledge of the 'food and kitchen' class theme to produce meal time pictures and recipe cards.

Bright and colourful illustrations of kitchen utensils and delicious food items were assembled to 'cook up' a world of inviting recipe ideas.Here is a selection of what they created.

Mmm, so tasty! If you happen to give any of these a try, be sure to let us know.

Thanks for stopping by!

FolioFocus Week 3 Roundup: Mum’s the word!

Last week our Spring 2018 FolioFocus classmates created amazing and adorable cards and gifting designs for Mother’s Day.

Soft & pretty Mother's Day Card Presentation By  Bénédicte B Barrett

Soft & pretty Mother's Day Card Presentation By Bénédicte B Barrett

FolioFocus: Student Gallery

Check out a preview of Week 3’s submissions below; visit the gallery to see more of the fantastic work they created:

Cute 'Llama Mama' Design By Lisa Norris

Each designer’s own perspective of Mother’s Day is diverse and distinct. Whether it's pretty florals or the cutest animals, these designs are just adorable!

To explore more talented designers and inspiring art, follow us on Instagram and don't forget to sign up to our newsletter.

Thanks for stopping by!

FolioFocus Week 1 Showcase

Last week, our popular portfolio building workshop, FolioFocus, started another round. We kicked off with Florals as a theme, complete with trend insights and inspiration to get our classmates going. WOW did they nail it! 

Here are a few of the beautiful submissions to our FolioFocus Showcase Gallery - you really must see the full gallery here FolioFocus Gallery!

Follow along and watch our classmates on our Instagram account, or join the current FolioFocus session to take part.


janine UPPERCASE.jpeg

Good morning all. I have the pleasure of announcing the winner of a one-year subscription to the fantastically inspiring UPPERCASE magazine. UPPERCASE is a quarterly print magazine inspired by craft, design and illustration. A playful exploration of creativity, an affinity for vintage ephemera, and a love of handmade are some elements common in each issue. 


We love to see your progress and experiments along the way, so the winner for the Uppercase one-year free subscription was selected from those who engaged with the last FolioFocus workshop and shared their journey and fabulous designs.

Selected at random, the winner is.....

Susse Linton

Congratulations, I adore your playful yet sophisticated designs. Thank you for taking part and sharing your work with us all. We will be in touch via email with further details asap.

Thank you also to Janine Vangool, the Uppercase magazine's publisher, editor and designer for this wonderful prize. 

FolioFocus 2017 Winner: Consultation with Brenda Manley Design!

Brenda Manley picture.png

It's winner time! 

Once again the amazing design talent in the last FolioFocus workshop was incredible. The goal of FolioFocus is to strengthen your portfolio and create a commercial body of show-stopping work, so we were thrilled to be able to offer the chance for a designer to receive a one-to-one consultation with the lovely agent, Brenda Manley. Throughout Brenda's career on both sides of the trade show table, she has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge. If you are interested in having your own one to one consultation, read on to the end of the post for details.

So without further ado, it gives me pleasure to announce the winner of the free consultation is....

Rita Ilarduya!

Congratulations Rita, I will email you and Brenda to exchange contact details so you can arrange your consulation date and time.

Consultations with Brenda Manley

If you would like to book your own one-to-one consultation with Brenda, she is available to help you with your creative career.

Complete this form (including a link to your website or work) and Brenda will get back to you: Contact Brenda

FolioFocus Week 8 Roundup!

 What a great designs this week. Keep up the good work! :)

Here are a few designs from Facebook and Instagram and our Gallery can be found here: