Fun A Day Exhibition

Fun Fun Fun!  

During the month of January I took part in Fun A Day, where you do something fun every day.   I wanted to explore and play with an idea with no defined outcome to see where it takes me. Adapting the ‘Five Currant Buns’ nursery rhyme as a starting point.  I went on a journey and did some sketches of bakers shops, ink drawings, illustrations, patterns and then focused on creating a range of paper cuts of local shop fronts and all cool things they sell.  I love local independent shops on the high street.  

The exhibition opens on Friday 13th April at 7pm, and is on over the Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 7pm at Gallery space, 4th floor, WASPS Studios, Meadow Mill, Dundee, DD1 5BY.   The exhibition will have an eclectic mix of projects that happened in January.

A few of the things I created during Fun A Day will be developed in the future, I can imagine a range of illustrations to a 5 Dundee Cakes in the bakers shop counting book. Doing the paper cuts allowed me to think about the positive and negative space and keep designs quite simple.  I’ve been playing with these by adding colour and texture since January.  Here are some test pieces

Some of my pieces will be for sale, please contact me directly hello@louisekirby.com or call/text 07841423335. 

For more info on the whole event check out the Fun A Day exhibition page

X Marks the Spot for Dundee Delights

TREASURE HUNT
On Tuesday 3rd April, I will be leaving visual clues on my social media, for people to find my Dundee Delights greetings cards around the city, if you would like to take part keep an eye on my Instagram, Twitter or my business Facebook page.  I would love to see where my cards end up and who finds them, so please let me know via social media or drop me an email hello@louisekirby.com

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  •   Kirbyrecipes
  •  LouiseKirbyDesign

Louise Kirby Dundee Delights greetings cards celebrate some of the delicious delicacies and iconic places in and around Dundee. Her designs have a fresh approach to the city whilst retaining the hand drawn qualities. The new collection will include Dundee Marmalade, The Wellgate Clock, V&A Dundee from the Tay Bridge, Magdalen Green Bandstand and Sunny Dundee image. Previous designs include Broughty Ferry Beach + Castle, The Dundee Penguins, Dundee cakes, Frank Gehry’s Maggies Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts and The McManus. This collection is in the World Favourite Colour of Marrs Green and sunshine yellow to capture the positive direction the city is heading.

Highlights of 2017, updates and discount and much more

I have started to look back at 2017, I’m pretty chuffed at what I have achieved!  Here are some of the highlights.  The biggest accolade of the year was representing Dundee in Puebla, Mexico.  Since Dundee is a UNECSO City of Design city my design was used to create a pedestrian crossing.  My design was inspired from my Dundee Delights collection, that includes Dundee Cake and Sunny Dundee imagery, using the worlds favourite colour of Marrs green to capture the river Tay.  The project was to highlight and improve road safety for pedestrians.  I would love to see this happen in Dundee or other places!  Great to see my artwork applied at giant scale.  It makes me wonder, what else could my artwork be applied to?  Any ideas let me know. 

On the 13th October I launched the Dundee Delights collection of greetings cards with clues on social media to find them round the city.  The collection is a range of greetings cards with positive images of Dundee for people to share.  It was great hearing where some of the cards ended up and one travelled over 4000 miles to Florida.  If you have any more stories of my work reaching other corners of the earth, please let me know.

Product Launch

  • An enamel Dundee Cake pin ideal for people who love cake, love Dundee or love Dundee cake!  

  • Dundee Penguins in Woolly hats + scarves Christmas cards.

  • Dundee Cake + Dundee Marmalade Tea Towels, which were popular as Christmas gifts.

  • Tested some hand screen prints, loved playing with the marmalade sky in the Broughty Ferry Castle one

  • You might spot my snails in The Imagineer.  A Colouring & Drawing Adventure in Support of The ARCHIE Foundation Tayside, which features the work of 50 artists you can buy the book from here

Where you can buy my work

  • I set up an online shop on Etsy for people to be able to buy the whole range of tea towels, Dundee cake enamel pin and greetings cards.  You can check it out here

  • Locally you can buy my work from The McManus Galleries shop, VisitScotland in the city square, Dundee Contemporary Arts shop and Pretty Fly in Broughty Ferry. 

You may have also spotted my black + white illustration in Goodfellow & Stevens window. The design includes V&A Dundee, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, DCA, RRS Discovery, marmalade, Dundee cakes, comics, rail bridge, thistles and a touch of tartan and of course Dundee Cake sky!

 

On the run up to Christmas I did a festive commissions for the DCA adapting my Dundee Delight image of the DCA with some festive elements and colours.

I created the Urban Quarter festive graphic that included my Dundee Cake with oversized holly, hand written logo, funky polka dots all in their branding colours to fit with their unique style.  They are lovely styish serviced apartments in the heart of Dundee, you can check them out here.
 
So with all that looking back it helps me plan for the future to know what BIG and small steps I want to take forward, here is a peek into some of my plans so far.
 In January I will be launching a 2 minute promotional video about the process of my work created by Son of the Sea Film & Video.  In February I will launch more designs for the Dundee Delights collection that will include the Dundee Marmalade and the classic Wellgate Clock.  If there is partners or collaborators you think I should be working with, stockist I should be supplying, products you would like to see my work on or commissions you would like to see me do please let me know by dropping me an email hello@louisekirby.com or via my social media  this will all feed into my future planning.
 

I would like to thank you for follow me, cheering me on, liking, commenting and sharing my social media posts, coming along to the markets and open studios or buying my products.  It all adds to keeping me motivated and allowing me to continue to do what I love.

For those of you who have got to the end of this blog here is a wee reward, please find a 15% discount for my online shop when you spend over £15, up until the end of January. Code is: BLOG2018

Link to online shop here

 

All the best for 2018!

Thanks

Louise

www.louisekirby.com

Buy local Christmas events

With Christmas approaching I’m taking part in a few events locally.  

This year for Christmas presents I am going to buy local so if you fancy supporting local businesses, designers, makers and artists I would like to invite you to these 3 events.  Each event has very different makers & local businesses so pop along and say hello!

FRIDAY 24TH NOVEMBER ( 4pm – 9pm ) + SATURDAY 25TH NOVEMBER (from 12noon – 6pm) – POP UP CHRISTMAS MARKET AT SLESSOR GARDENS – Come along and enjoy a lots of stalls from local businesses with products and tasty treats and I hear there is going to be some ice sculpture too.  I will be launching my new Dundee Marmalade tea towel at this event.  Come and say hello!

26TH NOVEMBER – WASPS CHRISTMAS SALE, 12NOON  – 5.00PM Lots of stalls from designer, makers and artists at WASPS studios plus invited guests, you can click here for more info Facebook Events Page

2ND DECEMBER –  MAKERS FOR MAGGIE’S CHRISTMAS FAIR – Looking forward to being in the Frank Gehry Maggies Dundee space for the Makers for Maggies on the 2nd December from 11am – 5pm.  There will be a Christmas market with regional makers selling design, arts and crafts, Christmas food and drink, music, a raffle and the distinct atmosphere that has made previous events so special Facebook link here

At each event I will have my Dundee Delight greetings cards, Christmas cards, Dundee Cake & Dundee Marmalade tea towels and Dundee Cake enamel pins.

I hope to see you there!  If  you can’t make these events you can also buy my work online in my shop.

WASPS Open Studios 28th & 29th October

WASPS Open Studios 2017

When: 28th & 29th October, 12noon—5pm on both days
Where: 2nd, 3rd & 4th floors Meadow Mill, West Hendersons Wynd, Dundee, DD1 5BY

I will have my new Dundee Delights cards, enamel pins and tea towels available (and hopefully some screen prints)

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Launch of new Dundee Delights collection by Louise Kirby

Dundee Delights is a new illustrated greeting cards collection by designer and illustrator Louise Kirby.  Launching on Friday 13th October by giving a fresh and positive image of the city.   Louise will place free cards around the city hoping that the finders will send them to friends and family locally and to the far corners of the globe.  Louise would love to hear of where they end up be it an Aunty in Australia who loved days at the ferry beach as a child, an old school or university friend in another city that you want to hello to, or invite your granny in Lochee for a coffee and cake.  To share where they end up either email Louise Kirby on hello@louisekirby.com or #DundeeDelights on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Louise Kirby Dundee Delights greetings cards celebrate some of the delicious delicacies and iconic places in and around Dundee.  Her designs have a fresh approach to the city whilst retaining the hand drawn qualities.  Designs include Broughty Ferry Beach + Castle, The Dundee Penguins, Dundee cakes, Frank Gehry’s Maggies Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts and The McManus.  This collection is in the World Favourite Colour of Marrs Green and sunshine yellow to capture the positive direction the city is heading.  Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design. 

The Dundee Delights collection is available to buy from her Etsy online shop, the Dundee Contemporary Art shop, Pretty Fly in Broughty Ferry and coming soon to Visit Scotland (located in the city square) and directly from Louise Kirby at the WASPS Open Studios on 28th & 29th October 2017, Makers for Maggies on 2nd December 2017.

Designs include:

Broughty Ferry Beach + Castle

Patterned sand looking over to Broughty Ferry castle with a happy sun shiny Dundee cake sky, evoking memories of days at the beach.

The Dundee Penguins

The characterful 5 bronze penguins by sculptor Angela Hunter that make people smile as they walk past and sometimes they have been known to adorn clothes and hats.

9 Dundee Cakes in the Bakers Shop –  available in sunshine yellow + marrs green

Local delicacy of the Dundee Cake, with the lovely pattern of the almonds on top.

Frank Gehry’s Maggies Centre

Maggies Centre designed by world renowned architect Frank Gehry here in the city which I believe is evidence of how good design changes peoples’ lives providing a place of calm, support, nurture and tranquility created within a purposeful space. Externally, I enjoy the shape and movement of the roof which I feel echoes the local landscape.

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Creative and cultural hub in Dundee with the curved face of different surfaces which is invites you in to the space which houses 2 cinemas, print studio, galleries and a bar and a restaurant.

The McManus

Dundee’s art gallery and museum in the fantastic gothic revival architecture, I love dramatic staircase and the detail in the architecture.  So many stories lye within this building I particularly love the ceramics, Dundee and the World exhibitions and the Tay whale.

Just A Card Day – 28th September 2017

Hello, I’d to let you know about Just a Card day, happening today Thursday 28th September 2017.  

The Just A Card campaign is to encourage everyone to support small businesses, designers, makers, independent shops + galleries to buy something small from them – just a card, or anything little – because every sale, however small, makes a BIG difference to a small business.

Sarah Hamilton started the campaign, after seeing this quote from the owners of a recently closed gallery: “If everyone who had complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card’, we’d still be open”.  You can read more about the campaign here.

I am launching my new collection of greeting cards called Dundee Delights in October so keep your eyes peeled!  You may have seen some of my other design in shops that include: Dundee Cakes, Patterned Aga, Explosion, Pheasants, Blooming Beautiful, Recipes.  And it’s nearly that season where I can mention the range of Christmas cards:  Dundee Cake with Holly, Christmas Puddings, Robins, Winter in Dundee, Winter in Broughty Ferry, Pheasants in Winter and this year look out for the Penguins in Wooly Hats.  You can see my portfolio here 

You can see my cards locally in Dundee Contemporary Arts and Pretty Fly in Broughty Ferry as well as directly from me, just drop me an email hello@louisekirby.com 

I think it’s important to say ‘hello’ and keep in touch rather than just texting or emailing.  I believe that a card really makes someone’s day and beats the bills and junk mail coming through the letterbox.  I did the illustration above to depict this!  

If you’re on social media, please Retweet and share the posts to spread the message. #justacard

When you buy just a card, from me whatever time of the year, you really are making a BIG difference.  You can follow me on twitter, Facebook or instagram.

Thanks for reading!

Loved Dundee Design Festival 2017

I’ve loved Dundee Design Festival 2017 it’s provided me with inspiration, professional development, place to work, networking and nourishment for me and my practice – just what I needed!

Here are some highlights

Pecha Kucha, with a line up of 13 interesting speakers, my favourites were Leanne Fischler and views on consumerism and the mesmerising sound of Panda Su.

Creative Dundee created a WRKSHP space for designers to work during the festival.  I used for for a couple of days which was great to be part of the whole event as well as tap into things happening.  With Make/Share round the table, I particularly liked the passion and perseverance of Steph Liddle with ceramics.  Great to hear Brian and Mark from McGinaly Bell architects on the start of the journey imaging what the West Ward Works could be in the future and Biome Collective and the creative, interactive and varied work the gaming collective get up to.

My Make/Share was about the process of creating the 12 hand printed patterned illustration wooden panels for last years Dundee Design Festival chatted about the initial conversation with Sion, mind maps, sketches, screen printing, tests, decisions I had to make including the happy accidents and many late nights to pull it off!
There was lots of things take part in, dicsuss and hear about.  Print City was amazing, I love screen printing and the giant 3d shapes really created a interesting space to walk around and loved that the community had a part to play in the creating the visuals.

I chose a blue triangle for Silent Monitors, where the colours and positions were decided by people opinions of how you felt on how your data was being used.

I ate popcorn and drumstick lollipops while watching Graphic Means film brought to the festival by D:Screening.  The documentary was on the history of graphic design production, I didn’t realise how technical it used to be, I bet folk are happy with their apple macs now, even through I’m more of a cut and paste type of person!

Discussion of Why Should we make more with the cool brand Trakke, historic and very profitable Johnstons of Elgin, Clare Cooper and designing aides for the elderly and the inspiring Fi from Make Works.  It highlighted my feeling that we are consuming too much and really should by things that you love with a quality to last or be repaired.

The building is such a great space with the real industrial feel with the exposed pipes and extractors, faded painted lines that separate area and the lovely sunshine shining streaming through the coloured windows.

This worked well with the simplicity of the bright tables legs created by Old School Fabrications showcasing the Factory Floor exhibition bringing together a collection of makers, materials and machines from Orkney to Detroit.  Great to see the links with music and design as well as technical advances of the Ninewells x DJCAD radiotherapy mask and familiar faces of Hilary Grant and her beautiful knit patterns.

There was so much more to see from family workshops, talks, demonstrations, DCA shop with exclusives from Tom Pigeon and Whimsical Lush, tours in the building and factories in the area, Mak Lab workshop, Factory Floor Exhibition, live recording of Creative Chit Chats with a range of questions – looking forward to hearing them!  Not to mention the cool opening night with delicious cocktails on the opening night! Loved the colour combination of the new branding by Sooper DD and Fleet Collective.

Well done to Sion Parkinson and the team that brought it all together!  For more info on the Dundee Design Festival 2017 follow the link.

bespoke wall hanging design commission

I wanted to share a bespoke wall hanging I did a while ago that I forgot to share.

A private client asked me to create a wall hanging for the stairs area in her home that would brighten it up.  She’d seen my work at Wasps Open Studios in Dundee and liked my style.  We discussed what she liked about it for me to create a clear brief for the project.  In particular she liked circular shapes, movement, curves, mark making and feathery grasses with a natural flow of patterns merging into each other (nothing sharp, or dense).  We then talked about colours, type of fabric and finishings.  I visited her home so I could get a feel for the space and to measured up.

I did some sketches that include different composition, colours and imagery (probably more than I needed to as I really got involved in this project – wee problem when you enjoy what you do!)   Continue reading

Commission for The Wine Press

The Wine Press 3

The Wine Press commissioned me to create artwork for their wine bar in Dundee.  I was delighted to create not one but four bespoke pieces for their interior space that would lead the eye round and add as an accent colour, imagery and joy.The Wine Press

The process involved an informal meeting with owner Patrick Rhode to discuss the brief.  This helped me to drill down exactly what he wanted.  The brief was to have a celebratory feel, be colourful, to include the colour gold and to have the latin phrase ‘in vino veritas’ which mean in wine their is truth.  We talked about where wine came from and his love for gnarly grape vines.  He send me some photos of vineyards from his business trips which I included some of the imagery in the final images.

The Wine Press drawingFrom our meeting I did lots of sketches of different compositions and imagery ideas.  I love drawing, markmaking and patterns so I created some interesting relevant images and marks and movement that would compliment the design.  Then I exposed the images onto screen.  I did colour tests, then started hand screen printing onto the wood panels.The Wine Press 1

I chose to hand screen print as I love the flatness of the colour and clear lines and textures it has without loosing the quality of the drawing.  I am very experimental and playful with the way that I screen print using lots of stencils and overprints.  I do love getting my hands dirty in the studio!

The Wine Press 2I work well to a deadlines and it was tight as I had to have it completed so it could be installed before their 1st Birthday celebrations.  And I did it !

Patrick knew of my work so trusted me to come up with something.  And he was delighted when I dropped it off – phew!

Patrick Rhode says ” Louise did a fantastic job and more than delivered on her remit.  Her work is beautiful and has brightened up the bar which is exactly what I’d expected and hoped it would do.  Oh, and she delivered on time!!!  Very professional.”

I think The Wine Press is a lovely space for an afternoon coffee, or a glass of wine or bubbly with friends and the platters are delicious!

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think when you see them.  You can follow me on Facebook or TwitterThe Wine Press 6

The Wine Press 5