Isn't it just magic when you get to a certain age and your friends all of a sudden start getting married and getting pregnant? It's like there's part of you that doesn't feel old enough (when will we ever!) but then you stop and think 'oh yeah, we aren't 20 anymore!'
This magic seems to be happening to me at the moment, and far from being scary (well most of the time) I'm actually excited about it. It's like one party is over (the party where you stay up till dawn and still have energy for carrying on the fun) and the next party is starting (the one where you all stay in to watch X-factor cos the kids have to be in bed at 8pm and you're too tired from doing kid-stuff all day.) Man how the times have changed.
The other weekend, we proved our age by having such a 'party' at my friend Liam's house in Manchester. My friend of a whole decade ago, Miss Tie came down from Glasgow with her newly formed family in tow, Mister Jeffory and little miss Molly the new baby! Friends living so far away really does suck so we all decided to meet in the middle (thanks Liam!) and even my old housemate Lizzy Bee was there!
We went for a wander in Gatley where Liam lives and he was keen to show this old cafe that has seemingly stayed in a time warp from the 60's.....how cool!? It even had an old meat slicer and vintage radio on top of the rickety fridge. I do hope this place stays true like this forever.
So anyway...onto the baby cuddling! Molly is quite simply the cutest baby I have ever seen - I mean look at that hair! Apparently her hair is so thick that it even showed up on the ultrasound, and you literally cannot make it go down, it is permanently thrust in a funky little quiff!
She also has the best eyes that get permanently fixed on mysteriously nothing behind you...it's what was cracking me and Mr Phil up in this picture, and just about when I realised who she reminded me of - a Monchichi! Do you remember those?
In honour of Miss Molly's blessed arrival in our lives, I decided it was only proper that she should have her own custom baby plate!
Having known her parents for many a year I knew straight away how I'd like the composition to go - it HAD to be musical themed (I don't think I know anyone more into their music than them) I got sketching, would you like to see how I design these plates? Well I'm going to show you!
I was thinking straight away of having the family dancing around a record player so start to block out where I want the figures to go - it always starts with simple shapes so I can plot/rub out/plot/ rub out to get it just right. I like to work within the size of the plate from the beginning too...it can be a slightly restrictive shape so best to always have it in mind.
The same basic drawing gets added to on top of the sketch and I'm now starting to add more details like outfits, where the text will go and I'm starting to think about the colours I might use too.
Because I want my drawings to have a 'screen printed' feel to them, even when I don't screen print I still work in the same way. I photocopy the original sketch (always good to keep the original safe just in case) and block out where I want the colours to go. I decided for this drawing to keep it to a simple 3 colour plan - grey, mint green and pink.
Next is the good old tracing paper stage - I go over each colour layer with a trusty black fineliner, making each part of the image into a black 'blob'. After this I scan in and reform the image back together using photoshop and illustrator. Illustrator is really handy if you like to make changes later on, like change a colour or add detail.
I added a few subtle shades of the mint and pink and some texture in the background. There are also some personal hints to their life as a couple - like the Mr Brightside record sleeve, a song that was big when they were starting their life together :)
And here it is...the finished plate before it was shipped off up to Glasgow!
I think I love this design the best of any I've done yet, as they are so special to me and I (hope) think I have captured who they are quite well!
I can't wait to go up to Glasgow this weekend to see it on Miss Molly's wall :)
The Little Peach xx