Illustrated Life – March 2019 – Weekending

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Blossom by blossom spring has arrived and after Eternal Winter there’s fresh air in my life, metaphorically and literally. This March i’ve honoured what brings me joy and received so much happiness from life. Sometimes, when you most need it, the universe sends you a small but mighty boost. The month of March has been just this for me. Reassuringly i’ve discovered the world has continued to turn and still enchants me. I’ve discovered happiness can exist after tougher times and laughter can be found everywhere I turn as friendships surround me in abundance. Passion and creativity have not died in me and I feel alive to life itself, with optimistic hope. The world is full of possibility and i’m making the most of it. My life has healed and grown in ways I could never have imagined and there is light to be seen through the tangle.

Days in my studio utopia have been richly mixed, creating fashion illustrations a plenty for a whole host of client commissions and projects. As always my illustration ethos is to capture modern femininity within works of art which are original, stylish and technically exceptional. The heroines of my illustration are a tribe of beautiful women navigating the everyday existence of multi-layered contemporary living with stylish panache. I take creativity seriously because I recognise and acknowledge the life enhancing power of how good art and design can filter through and influence all areas of life. Each day bring a new modern muse on the studio’s drawing board.

The intention of my work/life blend is to mix my life with my dreams until I don’t know which is which. I spend my life chasing stories to tell when i’m old. Happily March has been totally on point in this way and given me many happy tales to tell. My time in the studio has been professionally exciting and progressive and my time out of the studio has been personally energising, spearheaded by weekends spent with a variety of friends at the coast, in the city and in the countryside.

The month started with a wonderful weekend by the beach with a group of people i’ve only recently come to know and who have fast become great people in my life. It’s often bizarre to think back to the moment when you first met people and you had no idea what a big impact they would have on you. As I journaled about in My Tribe of Mothers, Mates & Mentors friendship is one of the greatest treasures of my life so to add in yet more good people is completely joyous. There is something magical about travelling by train out of London on a dark, cold and typically wintery Friday evening and waking up to sea views, fresh air and cloudily hazy sunshine on a Saturday morning, many miles away. Never under estimate the healing power of doing not a lot. I can’t share seaside discoveries the my weekend at the beach because it was two days of simple living – long walks, good conversations and uncomplicated relaxation. A weekend in praise of slow.

The following weekend was spent in London and catching up with my gorgeous friend Lucy, a successful model turned designer and founder of Apsley bags. After toiling away in the studio for most of the day I walked several miles through the City to meet Lucy for choral evensong at St Paul’s cathedral. Having walked past St Paul’s a million times, with it’s vast dome an icon in London’s skyline, i’d never actually been inside to marvel at the awe-inspiring interior. An historic oasis of quietness and calm. Afterwards we went to Coppa, a converted bank looking up at St Paul’s, which is the perfect venue for eating, drinking and unwinding.

March’s third weekend was spent enjoying London life once more, this time in Marylebone with my fabulous American friend Ann who’s living and working in London for a time. We began by brunching for a couple of hours in Le Pain Quotidian on the high street, filling in one another on our life’s latest news and somehow we ended our brunching time having hatched a plan to go to Byron Bay in Australia together next spring to surf. Now all my latest Google searches are something Byron related! We pottered along the high street stopping by Daunts, The White Company, Sandro, Anthroplogie, J Crew and several other favourite fashion haunts where a few ‘necessary’ purchases were made. The high street was bathed in spring sunshine and *almost* felt like a Saturday in summertime.

The penultimate weekend of the month, again in London, was party time and involved several hours with friends at the award winning Roka in Canary Wharf, celebrating my sister’s upcoming wedding. Roka serves contemporary Japanese cuisine in elegant surroundings overlooking Canada square, with the backdrop of Canary wharf’s dramatic city skyline. Having spent several of my childhood years living in Hong Kong asian food is a nostalgic comfort. I can report not only is the food absolutely delicious but they do a very good bellini. Following the civilised surroundings of Roka we played a competitive round of mini golf at Swingers which I lost. The cocktails distracted me! We ended up at All Star Lanes on Brick Lane where more fun and games (and cocktails) were enjoyed.

March’s final weekend was a complete delight and like the first weekend at the beach, a welcome escape from the urban hustle and bustle. I drove to Somerset to stay with a very dear design friend who has relocated to what can only be described as picture perfect countryside. With every passing M4 mile life felt more tranquil and peaceful, the sun shone brightly and my busy life in town gave way to scenic rolling hills. I was hosted perfectly and treated to country pub lunch (think gentrified and gourmet gastronomy), a trip to Wells Cathedral and my favourite indulgence of the weekend – a jaunt to the idyllically luxurious country retreat Babington House. Lucky me!

This month hasn’t just been about weekending, there have been many enjoyable post studio weekday evenings thrown in the mix. The first stand out highlight was a Wednesday evening at Milli’s Lounge at The Ned (yet again) with a friend, chatting for hours over my default beverages of choice (a G&T and a glass of good champagne). Another was a wonderfully happy and fun evening with my brother-in-law-to-be, assisting with his wedding and honeymoon style choices at Liberty in exchange for supper at Comptoire Lebanese on Marylebone Lane. My family make full use of my former career in fashion and personal styling credentials!  Afterwards, walking through London in the late evening and along the streets i’ve walked down countless times in Marylebone, I felt wholeheartedly grateful for the month i’d experienced and the continual unexpectedness of life.

Thank you so much for following along!