So I started 2015 with the decision to quit my day job and take freelance illustration seriously as a full-time job. It’s taken me six months to make the decision and now, I can say, I’m so glad that I did.
I have learnt so much in my first year, not only about managing my time but learning to slowly overcome my fears and value myself more.
I will do another blog post about what I’ve learnt in my first year of being a freelancer. I hope my experience will help anyone who is deciding a change of career.
I want to share with all my moments of 2015.
Thank you for your support, your comments, likes, favourites and tweets. It’s been amazing to chat to many amazing people online and aboard.
I hope I meet more amazing people and make friends in the new year.I hope 2016 will bring us all amazing adventures. Love from, June
January – March
In January, I moved into my studio in Kingston-Upon-Thames! What a way to start the year. I felt pretty nervous moving in but I settled in and came up with lots of good ideas at my white desk. I also made new friends too.
February – April
In February, I attended the Rubens exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. That sparked the blog series of illustrated exhibition reviews! I love going to exhibitions and I love talking about them.
From Rubens to Liotard, this year I have illustrated 5 artists portraits of the exhibitions!
I wanted to illustrate the titular artists’ exhibition and share my experiences at the show. There have been positive responses from readers and galleries, for this series which I aim to make even better in 2016.
Do you remember I organised a Sketchbook Scavenger Hunt as part of the Big Draw Campaign in 2014? Well, we won an award for running that workshop!
In May, StoryHands Illustration Collective; Jenny Robins and I founded together won the Runner Up prize at the Big Draw Inspiration Awards!
Look at Jenny and me, so happy to received our certificate illustrated by Quentin Blake. It was so rewarding to organise creative workshops for families and working professionals, it really rekindled a love for drawing.
I hope I will host more workshops and classes in the new year.
I celebrated my birthday in June! Yes, my birthday is in June and my name is June… No irony here! All jokes aside.
I held a stall at Hook Road Arena in Epsom, where I draw pet portrait of Moose, the British bulldog in the pouring rain. Also, I got to draw these adorable twins and their baby brother. They were fun to draw and so patient in the rain too!
July – August
This was the summer of memorable exhibitions! From Alexander McQueen at the V&A and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, this was a visual feast for the eyes.
I had so much fun creating lettering and calligraphy using a traditional signage brush. The typography looks so unique.
September – October
My husband, Robert and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding anniversary in the beautiful English countryside of Warminster. We stayed in a lovely Georgian hotel and extended our trip to visit Longleat House and Safari Park. I got up close with a penguin.
Drawing portraits at UK Plus Size Fashion Week
I had the opportunity to draw portraits at the UK Plus Size Fashion Week. This was my chance to challenge my live drawing skills at a fashion event. It was exhausting having taking no breaks from drawing!
Nevertheless, it was incredible to meet such confident and body positive ladies in one room.
Exhibiting my original Tiger and Rabbit painting at Hackney Downs Studios
I was chuffed to take part exhibiting at the House of Tigers exhibition at A Side B Side Gallery at Hackney Down Studios. I got to illustrate my favourite characters: Tiger and Rabbit again. I am incredibly fond of them both, it was lovely to see them on the walls of the gallery.
I also tried out a live streaming app, Periscope on the opening night of the exhibition, an exclusive chance to see the show no matter where you are.
November – December
The exhibition of pastel portrait artist, Liotard was the last exhibition I ‘ve reviewed this year and many people really liked the portrait I’ve done of him.
In November, I was pretty quiet on the social media because I went on a business course at the Princes Trust to brush up more skills for my business.
Volunteering for the Christmas holidays
Finally, in December, I decided to volunteer for Christmas at Crisis, a charity helping the homeless and rough sleepers. I can go on in another blog post about my experiences volunteering for the first time. To be honest, it feels amazing to give up my time to those who will cherish it.
For 12 months, the rough sleepers have been ignored. So to draw their portraits, build their confidence to seek the help they need, is the best gift for Christmas.
I saw a rough sleeper placed the portrait I drew of him, next to his sleeping bag, with the rest of his possessions.
Happy New Year June! Crisis is one of the most rewarding things I do – I get so much more than I give.
Thank you Lynda! Did you volunteer for Crisis at Christmas too? It was my first time volunteering. I’ll never forget it.
Yes – I’ve done it about 7 times, first as general volunteer then last few years in the kitchens.
Ah, we may have missed each other! I was at Outreach RS, were you nearby? I loved the kitchen volunteers, they had very deliscious cheescake.
No over in South London. Maybe we’ll cross paths next year!