Projects Old and New

Collective Nouns

Jules Richman, who you might remember wrote Katya Cat last year, has this time put together a wonderful tale of Sam who finds collective nouns everywhere on a safari. I have been having such fun painting Jule’s imagination of robbing mice and hugging hippos. Here is just a sneak peek of some of those landscapes. If you would like to pre-order the book, at R100 a book, you are welcome to drop me an email (mrsbeckerling <at> gmail <dot> com), with ‘Collective Nouns’ in the subject line. Continue Reading

29th October – Thriving Sustainable Market

Arts and Crafts South Africa

On the 29th of October, I’ll be hosting a stall, along with author, writer and cat-lover Michelle Ainslie, at the Thriving Sustainable Community Market (it’s a mouthful, I know), at the Novalis Ubuntu Institute in Wynberg. Michelle will be selling second hand books from her personal collection, along with amazing ‘blind-date’ books – these are books wrapped in brown paper with a simple keyword on them. You buy them without knowing what they are, until you get home!

Art South AfricaI will be selling a collection of book-related crafts, from bookmarks, to large candles (it’s all about ‘reading’ ambiance), amongst other things. As the craft market is all about Sustainable Living, which means everything is second hand, organic, natural and home-made, I can inform you that all the bits and bobs on sale at our stall will be 99% made-up of bits and bobs in my home (with the exception of thread, that I needed to get from the beads shop), mostly left over items from my Creative Workshop I run, along with left overs from personal projects. I have even utilised space on the side of my children book illustrations I am currently working on, to make original illustrated bookmarks. Continue Reading

Creative Box: How I made the Video

Creative Boxes

Last week, my Creative Box: Colour Mug, went live on Youtube. The object was to test out the potential of making videos and to expand into this medium a little bit. That’s not to say I won’t be writing here, on the blog, but it does mean that some topics can be a little more interactive. I thought I would write up here, a little bit on how I put together the video, in case there are any other creatives/illustrators out there who want to give it a shot. Continue Reading

Social Media & Marketing for Illustrators Character

Social Media

For those of you who receive my newsletter, or follow me on social media, you might know that I am in the process of putting together an online course on Social Media & Marketing for Illustrators. The course won’t be a ‘how to create a profile on Facebook’ but more about how to tailor social media marketing for illustrators, get inspired for campaigns, and ideas on getting noticed.

I’ve finished putting together the first draft on paper but now have to translate that for video. I thought I would incorporate a character throughout the series. I have drawn up a few animals to play around with. Depending on the topic of the module, I thought I would use the character in a quick illustration.

Anyone have a favorite?

Characters roughs
Characters roughs

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Commissioned Painting for TEARS Animal Rescue

Tears Painting

Giving something back, to the awesome team at TEARS

I agreed with joy when Michelle, from TEARS Animal Rescue contacted me to ask if I could create a painting for their new Visitors Center. The very next day I drove over Ou Kaaps se Weg to inspect the new room and do my measurements. By the afternoon, I was at Builders Warehouse asking for them to cut me a board. The outlines where done by evening.

Left to Right: Myself, Dawson the dog and Michelle
Left to Right: Myself, Dawson the dog and Michelle

Michelle asked if I could complete the painting within a week, as they were having their first group of visitors on the 1st of April. As any artist will tell you, a tight deadline puts a little pressure on you. Not to mention, that I haven’t actually painted a proper painting in years. I have painted things, like my beastie pots. I have also painted illustrations, for books, but I haven’t painted a board, to be hanged up, for strangers to see. It is a different type of mind-set, also a completely different type of style. Continue Reading

5 Top March Projects

Project Header March

There is so much going on right now, I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog post on some of the projects I am working on. At a later point, I’ll do another one with updates, so that you can all join in on the progress. Don’t forget to book for the Creative Workshop in April. Also I’ll be making an appearance at The Deer Little Market (details below).


1. Katya Cat at The Deer Little Market – 20th of March 2016

Deer Market IllustrationAuthor, Julia Richman, of Katya Cat – The Bacon Chase, and I will be reading and illustrating at The Deer Little Market on Sunday the 20th March, at 2 Deer Park Drive, adjacent to Deerpark Cafe, Vredehoek, Cape Town. The market is open at 9am to 1pm. I will have to get back to you when Julia and I are presenting. There will be stalls and entertainment for little ones, as well as a magic show later in the day, so make a note in your calendar. Julia will be reading a few chapters while I illustrate the characters and we shall be handing out simple drawings for all little ones to colour in as well. There will be copies of Katya Cat for sale. Continue Reading

Making Beastie Pots

Beastie Pots

‘Someone bought one of your pots’

My Cat, Toady, with Alex
My Cat, Toady, with Alex

As far as Cape Town is concerned, it is out of season. Summer is also in full bloom, so it is isn’t the best time to plant either. Basically, my timing over-all is really, really bad. Yet, the wonderful, friendly lady at Kalk Bay Garden Shop uttered the words I have been waiting for her to say in two weeks ‘Someone bought one of your pots.’

I dashed outside and did a quick head count. There was Fred, Alfred, Werner, Alex, Sam, Lizzie, Edward…. yes, yes she was right – someone had snatched up Henry. I’ve been smiling from ear to ear! While I was there I did a little swop with some of the pots, as a few of them needed some hair-cuts since they’ve been at the Kalk Bay Garden Shop. One of the swops was with one of my favourite pots, Charles, who is now sitting on the shelf giggling to all that pass.

I thought it might be a nice idea to share with all of you, the work  that goes into making a Beastie pot. If you are interested in making one yourself, I am thinking of running a workshop later this year on it, where you can make your own. Drop me an email (mrsbeckerling(at)gmail(dot)com) if you are interested.
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Leap Puppies

It all started with a bulldog.

Bulldog on swing

This bulldog was on a swing and he was not happy. The caption was ‘I hope you are entertained hooman,’ and it made me laugh. Having grown up with bulldogs, however, I knew there was so much more potential for a bulldog to be on a swing. I could just imaging the wind blowing in on a bulldog’s jowls. I could see a green meadow in the back ground.

Which got me think about dogs and I got a surge to draw them. When thinking about what dogs to draw, I immediately thought of my own two, Brownie and Nixie, who are both rescues. We actually got Nixie only at the end of last year, from an amazing adoption service called Leaps. I wandered over to Leap’s facebook page and saw all these gorgeous dogs that needed homes. Of course, I immediately got my sketch book out.

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