Saturday, 28 April 2012


My pre-moving house vision of being without an internet connection at home, was akin to a trip to the desert with no water...I found out that it's more like going on a well organised camping holiday. It can be very comfortable with lots of fun things to do to keep you occupied, but it's not the same as home...with an internet connection. 

Crappy analogies aside, I've been super productive without an internet connection, albeit a bit random, I'll post up a few of my illustrations and creations, some are still percolating away but I don't mind exposing my process of the last 6 weeks of creative juice that filled my web-less time: 

Aesop fables are well renowned for telling simple truths and teaching morals in poetic metaphors. Many artists have used Aesop's symbolism, his fables use objects or animals to represent ideas other than itself, in clever and illuminating ways. 

My recent interpretation of Aesop Fables was inspired by textile patterns, pop art and breaking things down geometrically. I would love to make these out of fabric in a gaudy and fun quilt for a kids bedroom wall or throw. 

Tortoise and the Hare:

The Rooster and the Jewel:  

Other Aesop fables I enjoy and may illustrate: 

The Wolf and the Crane
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The North Wind and the Sun


Sunday, 4 March 2012

After Party Shannonigans...

Being a rambunctious child, if my mum couldn't hear me in the next room this was a sure sign mini-Shannon was up to no good...nothing much has changed really, you can take my absent blogging to mean I may have enjoyed the silly season a bit too much. 

This tea-towel design is inspired by the 'after party' treasures and clean up that ensued over the past little while.  


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Design direction...

I'm amidst a new year cleaning frenzy around the house, in the wardrobe and through the hard-drive.

It's interesting to look back and see some of the designs from 2011 that didn't make the cut for our next season of tea-towel designs over at 'Fringe Club'.

As well as the designs below there's still plenty of sketches that might make this blog one day, these are the designs I've taken the time to colour.

I would call these style plays, as opposed to finished illustrations, it's a way to work through ideas to find the right look and feel for the season. They might evolve into future designs or series.

This first one is a sort of hipster sailor style, the type 'sink or swim' is not in the banner yet.
I was trying to mesh a teeshirt style into tea-towels. I'm not sure it worked, but a pretty boy is always welcome in the kitchen.

Here's a couple of quick mock ups if we were headed in a more 'commercial' direction, they're cute and witty, but I prefer to hand illustrate all our designs as they are much more desirable and unique that way.

Having a textile print back-ground I adore repeat patterns, this is a little play with illustrated martini's in fluoro colours. This was simple quick and fun, we'll continue working with this style to see what comes out.

This lady still might evolve into a future series, I enjoy the almost scandinavian flat design that incorporates pretty pattern and our 'Tradition with a twist' signature. There are a few variation designs in this style that might turn it into a winner.



Saturday, 24 December 2011

YO HO HO and a teeshirt or two!

I've been asked a few times to turn my illustrations into teeshirt prints, which to me is the HIGHEST possible compliment. I've run a few teeshirt labels and people are very discerning about what they put on their person.

As much as I adore designing tees, screen printing and the entire cut and sew process, competition is fierce and getting your art onto wearable stuff can be complex, expensive and a bit of a headache. Hence why businesses like Zazzle, Redbubble, Moo and Threadless are totally booming...they do all the hard work for you.

Some of my recent popular illustrations have been of cute hipster boys, I enjoy turning them into bike riding pirates or alcoholic werewolves. So I've submitted these to threadless to see how they go.

If you like them and want to help me get them printed onto tees, please click these links and vote for them! They get pulled down if no one clicks...I'll even take a pity click!

YO Ho Ho print

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I have been involved in the fashion industry for over 7 years, so have picked up a few tricks along the way. What most fashion designers don't tell you is that it's really bloody hard to make clothes. 
Fashion from design to production, is very labour intensive and there are a lot of things one must know to end up with a decent garment. So generally designers specialise in what they enjoy and hire talented people to do the rest.

I'm advanced in things like textiles and print design as well as complex screen printing. I'm confident on a cutting table at production time and know my way around basic pattern making. However I've always been dubious (shit scared) around a sewing machine. 

My first introduction to sewing was in an industrial production house with french trained vietnamese makers who could whip up a tailored shirt in under 4 minutes. Very intimidating to a beginner, considering the industrial machines are so powerful not even a finger getting in the way will stop them sewing right on. 

I overcame this fear when I turned 30 earlier this year and requested from the family a brand new machine for my birthday, Hooray! I also have the safety net of a very talented bestie who sews like she was born with a bobbin in her hand. 

So this is less of a 'how to' and more of a 'wholly shit if I can do it so can you'. Be warned traditionalist  or perfectionist, this beau-tie creation step by step might make you scoff and throw something. But if you're o.k with mis-matched cottons, cutting on the floor and the occasional spot of spilt vodka soda, then here's how to make the cutest bow-ties for your beau: 

Start with a perfectly good bow-tie: 

Take your favourite new friendly un-picker: 
Kill it! Kill it DEAD! Seriously though, dissecting stuff and remaking it is a good way to practice. 
Don't be a nerd and create a pattern, that's a waste of cardboard and vodka time. Lazily pin the pieces to some neato spotlight sale fabric:
Be extra lazy and fold your fabric layers over when you cut the big bow bit to make double bows so you can have a double bow layer thing with potential for colour clashing, for added preppy chic.
One thing that is annoying but important, your grain lines must go in the right direction, this is a good habit so always check your 'selvedge' or the 'edge of your fabric' runs in the same direction as the grain line on your pattern piece. 
Now sew some shit! Make little pillows with the opening in the middle on one side. I put 'facing' on the bow bits to reinforce them as the gingham is kinda thin.
Turn your little pillows inside out and iron them too (I know ironing is the devil's work). 
Create little tubes like mum showed you, with the pin and feeding it through and it's kinda frustrating if you're a fumble fingers so here's where the Vodka comes in.
Remember your 'pattern' showed you how to make the pillows look like bows, aww!
Add your little middle bit, as well as the long strappy bit, note the contrasting cotton; sign of a lazy sewer
Add some elastic on the edges and bow-tie hook and eye
Look at the cuteness! Kanye would totes wear this!
I call this one Ralph Wiggam: 
And this one is Milhouse: 
 And this one is Martin Prince: 


Saturday, 10 September 2011

What is this 'Hipster'?

We've all heard of this sub-culture 'Hipsters' but how do we know what one is? 

I like the definition found in 'The Hipster Handbook' by Robert Lanham

"Typically a Hipster can be identified by vintage or thrift-store bought clothing, a taste for obscure or underground music, a penchant for irony and an elitist attitude."

I was quite indifferent to the whole 'Hipster' scene until I decided to work out what one was, I was a bit shocked to learn I'm about 238% Hipster...

These are the signs to look for if you want to admit to being a Hipster:

- If you immediately think, 'I'm not a Hipster!' then you're probably at least 5%
- You have heard of/use/love Instagram and have some obscure alter ego that posts posey shots of yourself on there regularly 

- You are a girl and like boys with facial hair, or are a boy and have facial hair. Note: boys who have no facial hair, but like boys who have facial hair, may also be considered a Hipster. Add additional points if you like facial hair so much that you were involved in a group art show called 'Beardo' and wore a crocheted beard around the opening night. 

- You like/own vintage clothing 
- You like/own tight jeans. Note: If they are SUPER tight you're most likely well on your way
- You like to wear flannelette but don't really know how to spell it...
- If you find yourself 'Pattern Clashing' and getting really good at the 'I can't be bothered' look  
- You like/own raybans or ironic eyewear including the recently memed 'thick rimmed glasses' 

- You blow dry your hair from one side 
- You sneer at people who listen to Coldplay
- If you listen to music that no one else would have heard of - add 123.56%
- Your favourite joke is 'how many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb? the number is too obscure for you to understand'. 
- You like to sit in a cafe and surf your ipad for hours
- You like public transport but prefer riding your fixed gear bicycle 
- You are a 'niche consumer' preferably purchasing from local retailers, and are totally bummed when you realise that Thomas Dux is in fact owned by Woolworths
-  You read VICE and Wallpaper magazines but are too dumb to remember to use your NGV membership card at Mag Nation for a discount
- You watch foreign films (because all your friends do) but find them depressing and would much prefer to watch something with a bit of action
- You love blogs, music blogs, art blogs, fashion blogs, you have your own blog...or two
- You love local fashion, you probably have/had/have/had/have a fashion label
- You like stuff before it was cool and often find pieces in the back of your wardrobe you designed SEASONS before everybody else did 
- You take pictures of your feet 
- You have tattoos
- You don't take yourself too seriously and often dress up in weird hats after a few drinks
- You have an artsy education, this includes the social sciences 
- You don't like to define yourself and avoid being labelled as this is too mainstream
- You illustrate pictures of things you blog about every Saturday morning: 

See my cute Hipster girl and her boyfriends:  

For more info on Hipsters see: 

- Dads are the original hipsters 
- Accidental Chinese Hipsters 
- The urban dictionary on their definition


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Here's how you do it Homie...

I used to visit my Nan and Pop in Wollongong when I was much shorter. Like most pip-squeaks I had a short attention span and became bored with most activities in 30 seconds.
My glorious Nan was forever inventing ways to entertain me, often giving up her linen cupboard or old costume jewellery so I could destroy it and glue it back together in some hideous way, which I would then receive generous praise for. 
My most memorable and fun 'crafty' moment was when my attention deficit eye (much like Mordor) roamed the living room and landed on my statuesque grandfather, quietly keeping to his cross-word puzzle. Pop used to turn his hearing aid off to cleverly cut out my ruckus. 
Pop was totally bald which inspired my little fingers to get to work on one of Nan's lace pillow-cases...I turned it in to strands of hair, tied it together and made him a gorgeous wig. Pop wore it the whole afternoon and finished his cross-word puzzle. 

I'm not generally the inventive type however I do have a knack for seeing a niche in a market (getting it to market is a whole other story), perhaps this is where it all started.  

I've had a few frivolous creative moments this week and found myself getting 'crafty' instead of the usual 'arty', but finding the art of exploration and creative relaxing a real treat! 

I've always been one for good references and inspiration. So thanks to this team of cool ladies at Honestly WTF and their tuned in ways. They basically democratise cool shit, 'you like that Proenza Schouler Rope necklace? well here's how you make one homie'...which is precisely what I did: 

Here's some crappy rope n stuff I had lying around the house:

Here's the DIY: 

Here's my finished result: 

Here's me posing: 

How did I make those cool photo frames? Well I need to mention Instagram, it's the quickest way to get inspired by all my crafty/arty mates and other randoms that I stalk, if you have an Iphone...I recommend checking this out. 

Also Red Velvet are truly the queens of 'DIY', they are helping me learn how to sew with their E-Course!