New Local Stockists

Now that my prints are available in handmade, reclaimed wooden frames, they are currently gracing the windows of a couple of chic boutique interior & gift shops locally.

First up is Story in Bray (Berkshire, UK), a lifestyle boutique in the Old Post Office building in the picturesque village of Bray. Owner, Lindy Harpham has great eye for desirable and highly individual accessories for the home and also stocks a carefully edited selection of gorgeous scarves and jewellery.

alphabet soup display  lights

Alphabet Soup in Great Missenden (Buckinghamshire, UK) is a fun and inspiring store, full of delightful gifts and treats. It stocks an eclectic mix of original art, restyled furniture, decorative home-wares and fabulous gifts and cards.

alphabet soup great missenden

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My prints are also available in a lovely gallery in Barnstaple, Devon called  Atelier who specialise in affordable British contemporary art and crafts. The owner, Tracey Benton hand picks a diverse selection of handmade crafts from independent makers across the UK.

Atelier Craft Gallery Devon

If you dont’ live near to any of these places then you can, of course, still buy The Enlightened Hound’s prints and cards online.

My Best Creative Tools

I am sometimes asked how I get my ideas for my prints. Well, I do a lot of thinking… in fact printmaking ideas are never far from my mind, especially in the initial developmental stage, when I am bit like a dog with a bone. However there are two creative tools that I just couldn’t be without.

The first is, of course my dog, Figo, who is not only great inspiration but also good company. We printmakers often lead quiet lives so it’s lovely to have a canine companion lying nearby in the studio.

Debbie Kendall and Figo in the Studio

The other important thing about him is that he needs a good long walk every day and that is when I get my best ideas or sort out solutions to problems that have been niggling me.

portuguese water dog figo

The other invaluable tool, when I am out walking and thinking is the voice recorder on my mobile phone.

voice recorder

Now I don’t have the fanciest phone in the world but the voicer recorder is perfect for getting down the thoughts I have while out and about, as you can bet that they will have been forgotton otherwise. Every now and then I sit down with my notebooks and transcribe the thoughts and ideas I have recorded so they can be actioned.

And of course, there’s few things more therapeutic that getting out into the summer countryside.

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Happy walking and thinking everyone!

Hand Lettering Project & Sketches

These last few weeks I have been participating an online project on illustration and lettering in label design run by hand-lettering guru Jon Contino through the online education website Skillshare.

So what was I hoping to get out of this course? Well, whilst I am not trying to design a label for a product, I have had in my mind a vintage label/dog tag inspired design for a new print… one based on specific dog breeds and their story…

Skillshare run project based classes in hundreds of subjects, taught online by experts in their field. Its not just art and design though… there are classes in computer technology, fashion, photography, business and writing too. This is my first time using Skillshare so I don’t know if all classes work in the same way, but for the hand lettering project Jon, our teacher, provided guidance through downloadable notes and instructional videos. We students then upload our sketches and ideas as the project progresses, for feedback.

The first thing we had to do was create a ‘mood board’ for our project… this is to help establish the tone for the project and describe the kind of style that will influence it… here is mine…

hand lettering ideas

 

Then we get down to some serious creative business….

blank sketchbook

 

Sharpened pencils at the ready and favourite pens on hand, the blank sketchbook always freaks me out a bit but once I get going that soon dissipates with frequent breaks for dog walks and, more recently, some gentle running – perfect for getting the creative juices flowing!

Feedback comes mainly from your peers who are also participating in the class. Its a great community feel and the more you get involved in both your work and looking at other student’s work, the more support and feedback you get from the other people participating in the project. Unfortunately feedback from the teacher is not very forthcoming… but there were over 450 participants in this class so I guess it isn’t realistic for teachers to comment on all of them individually… but it doesn’t really matter as the other participants, being like minded folk from design backgrounds are generous, constructive and supportive in their feedback.

Now the ideas are ticking along nicely and I have lots of sketches and ideas to refine and play with…

hand lettering and illustration sketches by Debbie Kendall

 

The project is taking shape now and I am finalizing my ideas… so far it has been fun and creatively challenging participating in the Skillshare project… I have started this design with the Portuguese Water Dog as the subject becasue this is the breed closest to my heart but I am open to ideas for which breed to do next… let me know what you would like to see and  watch this space for the new print!