30th October, 2015
This month I've finally got round to the important business of a sending out a promotional mailshot - as in real postcards, not an email. Yes, this is more hassle and cost than an email, you have to design them, print them and write them - not to mention trogging down to the post office to fork out x amounts of cash to actually send them but I believe the benefits are greater than just sending an email.
The reasons I've sent actual physical cards are really down to my feeling that they are less likely to be forgotten, filed into a digital folder and hidden away - after all if you receive something with a nice picture on it through the post what do you do with it - you pin it up next to your desk where you can see it don't you ?
I'm embarrassed to say I have multiple digital folders with 'important' emails I filed for a later date. Guess what, I always forget about them and I don't want my lovely cards going the same way.
Also it's just too easy to send an email and easy = looking like you're not putting much effort in. I don't want to look like I'm the sort of person who doesn't put in enough effort - certainly not in front of any Art Directors who may be looking for someone to design them a lovely illustrated map.
Of course I could be completely off the mark and as my cards arrive at offices around the country people will be reeling with shock at my lack of respect for trees, but hopefully not. Fingers crossed my postcards will be pinned up & admired and next time a project comes up that needs a cool, quirky hand-drawn map my card will be a reminder that I'm ready & waiting.
As we get closer to the end of the year I've been trying to spend as much time out and about at the weekends before the weather gets so horrible that I'm forced to go into hibernation mode until spring. The leaves and autumn flowers are beautiful at the moment so I've been up at The Vyne, North Hampshire taking pictures, sniffing in the autumn air and admiring some of the decorations they have ready for the Halloween weekend.
As part of inspiration gathering for my ongoing work with the Canal & River Trust I've also been down on the local Basingstoke Canal at Odiham a few times this autumn - both on a boat and on foot. We hired a row boat from Galleon Marine for the afternoon - it was great, we even saw an adder swimming across the canal and amazingly none of the children fell in.
29th September, 2015
After coming across this article about selling at Christmas by The Design Trust and with only 86 shopping days left until Christmas (and counting) and orders already popping into my in tray I've decided to launch my Christmas 2015 cards. There are 4 complementary card designs (two of which can be seen below) all featuring a digital print of an original hand drawn illustration by me.
The cards are all made using a thick 340gsm, sustainably sourced paper stock with a light satin coating on the outside. The inside is left uncoated, making it easier for you to write your own message.
All four designs are now available to buy through my online shop. Each card comes with it's own brown recycled envelope, both cellophane wrapped and can be purchased individually for that special person or as part of a set.
Also this month I've been busy updating my popular Illustrated map of Cornwall print inspired by the warm sunny days we've been having. This is now available again through my shop as a signed print and can either be purchased unmounted or mounted and backed, ready to frame. A perfect gift for surfing beach lovers of Cornwall's beautiful coastline or as a memento of happy times on holiday.
After my retail flurry, it's now back to business as usual, working on some new & existing client commissions.
3rd September, 2015
The end of summer is almost upon us - the end of the school summer holidays anyway, but hopefully there will still be a few warm days before it's time to light the fire and settle down with a blanket.
August has been a good month & I'm very proud and happy to announce that my Illustrated map of Southwold & Walberwick is now available to buy at the Serena Hall Gallery in Southwold.
The signed, limited edition print is B4 in size (250mm x 353mm) and comes backed and mounted so it's all ready to frame. Please pop down there for a peek if you get a chance and to browse all the other lovely things on offer.
We managed to fit in a last minute (and slightly damp) break on the Isle of Wight before the end of the school holidays. The beaches on the south coast near Compton Bay are beautiful and full of inspiration.
I can also recommend visiting the Botantic Gardens at Ventnor, they're warm and sheltered with easy access to Steephill Cove and the coastal path.
Meanwhile, work continues on the new visitor maps I'm designing for the Port Lympne Animal Reserve in Kent & I hope to be able to share the finished designs soon.
3rd August, 2015
The summer holidays are upon us and I'm now back home recovering from a great, but slightly soggy camping trip to Dorset. We had a great time fossil hunting on Charmouth beach. Lots of little fossils were found and occasionally the sun even came out.
A visit was also made to the fantastic Town Mill in Lyme Regis. It's a working watermill as well as a home for some wonderful artisanal business, an art gallery, cafe, cheesemonger and much more. It's well worth a visit if you're in Lyme Regis.
Dorset is a beautiful part of the country with a rich history as well as being a wonderful area for gaining inspiration and I'm now well underway in producing an illustrated map of Lyme Regis which will be available later in the year.
Now we're back I've added a new range of cards to my online shop. They have a decidedly English tea & cake type theme and can be used for lots of occasions from celebrating exam success to commiserating sad events to just saying hello.
As usual each card is made using lovely thick 340gsm, sustainably sourced paper stock with a light satin coating on the outside and feature prints of original hand-drawn illustrations by yours truly. The colours are subtle and muted with a slight texture to give a lovely vintage feel.
The whole range - a modest 3 can be bought from my online shop where there are also lots of other lovely hand-drawn cards and maps to choose from.
10th July, 2015
I've been busy over the past couple of months producing the illustrated maps for the new Canal & River Trust Maplets. It's been a wonderful project and I've really enjoyed designing the maps & working with Dick Vincent, the London Towpath Ranger. I also had a great day visiting the Canal & River Trust Offices down on the Isle of Dogs so we could look through the designs & I even got to meet their resident artist, Emma McNally.
The maplets are being printed and should be available at the end of July. I can't wait to see one and I'm looking forward to hopefully working with the Canal & River Trust again soon.
5th July, 2015
I've finally got round to opening a (so far) modest sized shop on Folksy (often called the 'UK Etsy' - where I also have a shop) so I can make available all the designs I do in-between commissions as well as offering a customised location map service for wedding maps, new house maps etc
You can check it out here: https://folksy.com/shops/BekCruddaceDesign