Instagram Artist Sketchbook & Creative Playground

Instagram As Artist Sketchbook - Collage made using the A Beautiful Mess app - by GStC

Latest Instagrams and much improved!

In May I attended the lovely Emily Quinton’s Makelight Workshop in London. A day of learning about our cameras, how to style those perfect images you see on Instagram and just getting stuck into being creative and inspired. I’ve always been an admirer of Emily’s gorgeous flowery feed on Instagram so you could say, she has been my inspiration into taking a better photo.

I was pretty late to the party when it came to Instagram. I’ve dabbled, posted random photos of my work and family and used some downright wrong ‘vintage’ (aka yellow) filters. I couldn’t see the point for a while to be honest! However it has now become my favourite social network (sorry Twitter).

Somewhat haphazardly, I realised latterly, that I wanted to follow my creative passions and make a living from them. (Basically I’m miserable if I’m not drawing, creating, writing or thinking creatively. Just ask my husband.) But I knew that if I wanted to succeed in making a living from my art, I need to learn to take a good photo. And stop being afraid to show my work!

OK, so before I go on, here’s the thing:

  • I AM NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. I don’t think I’m particularly good at photography. It certainly doesn’t come naturally to me.
  • However I AM AN IMAGE MAKER. Light, composition, technique, styling are all principles that apply in design and illustration as well as photography.

After my day with Emily and the other lovely students at the Makelight workshop, I came home and just… thought. Thought about my own creative voice. What is it exactly I’m trying to say? I’m an artist yes, but what motivates me, what inspires me? I share some of this on my blog but sometimes I just want to capture a snippet of living my creative life…(step up Instagram)…and being a bit of a perfectionist, I wanted to show this well.

Instagram Artist Sketchbook

Instagram As Artist Sketchbook - Collage made using the A Beautiful Mess app - by GStC

Playing it Safe! First Experiments After Makelight

And so to Instagram. Using my new found photography techniques and principles, I started experimenting on the social network. Some were good, some downright awful. Paper, flowers, sketches, tape – everything became a prop to experiment with (as seen in the image above).

Instagram has very quickly become my creative playground. My digital sketchbook of things that inspire me, colours I love, pretty things I find (OK so yes, that’s usually flowers) and my work in progress. Just what a sketchbook book should be.

Instagram As Artist Sketchbook - Collage made using the ABM app

Sharing works in progress; becoming more creative.

Taking those 10 to 30 minutes everyday has become my ‘creative time’. Something I hadn’t done before. Even if I do nothing else, I take time out for ‘Instagramming’.

Using a social network means you have to have some kind of consistency. Instagram is full of such amazing artists, photographers and generally inspiring people, I feel it raises the bar, when it comes to the quality of your creative output. (There is of course a lot of rubbish too). Taking everything I’ve learnt from experimenting, reading and of course the Makelight workshop, my images (I hope!) are becoming better/braver!

Instagram Hashtags

Instagram As Artist Sketchbook - Collage made using the A Beautiful Mess app - by GStC

Some of #7Vignettes Images

The #hashtags challenges on Instagram are like little creative briefs everyday.  I love them! I recently took part in the #7vignettes challenge, run by the Interiors Addict. Something clicked for me with this challenge. Answering the prompts and committing to them daily, really enthused me and I learnt a huge amount about composing and styling within a set theme.

Other Instagram #hashtags I’m loving right now are:

  • its-my-week – various weekly themes, for example this week it is #myweekofdepth
  • #capturingcolour
  • #lovely squares
  • #theplateseries – I adore the quirkiness of this – who knew plates could be so inspiring!
  • #jj forum – I’m still getting my head around this one as there are so many. If you simply want to discover awesome photographers, follow this feed.
  • #floralfridaycompetition – run by Emily Quinton, even if you don’t take part, just use it for a weekly fix of prettiness!

My Instagram feed may not be the most consistent, pretty, professional or interesting feed. However it is my record of my thought process and I love looking back at it. Compositions and colours that worked, others that didn’t. Like I said before, just like a digital sketchbook.

Importantly after making my little compositions, they get pulled apart and destroyed. I’m not precious about them. That’s important to me. Free expression and letting go. Especially when many of my drawings are so time consuming.

Finally let’s not forget those likes, comments and follows. They are little moments of gold dust. It’s a brief moment of time, when someone is giving you a nod of recognition for your efforts. Now, who wouldn’t like that?!

I’d love to hear your suggestions for awesome Instagram accounts to follow. You can follow me on Instagram too to see some of my random moments of creativity as well as some of the behind the scenes works in progress.


PS Emily Quinton is now offering an online Makelight workshop – do check it out, you’ll be fabulously inspired!


Nature Inspired Design Part 2

Using Nature As Design Inspiration Moodboard | GStC Design & Illustration

Nature Inspired Design

Well since last week’s ‘Using Nature in Design Part 1′, I’ve discovered a whole new world of nature inspired design. It seems nature not only inspires us aesthetically. It’s helping to solve human challenges along the way too.

WARNING: This gets a bit Science-y – bear with me…

Think velcro invented by Swiss engineer and amateur mountaineer George de Mestral. After a climbing trip, he noticed burrs that clung to his clothes and decided to study them under a microscope. He discovering that they were covered in tiny hooks, which allowed them to grab onto clothes and the fur on his dog. Voila, we have the beginnings of what we now know as Velcro.

This type of innovation is known as: ‘Biomimicry’. The discipline of biomimicry takes its name from the greek words ‘bios’, meaning life and ‘mimesis’, meaning to imitate.

Biomimicry involves the study of nature’s design, mimicking these designs to solve human challenges. Janine Benyus, one of biomimicry’s pioneers defines it as, ‘innovation inspired by nature.’

Check out Design Boom’s article on Biomimicry for a really informative breakdown of it’s meaning, history and application.

Anyway back to the present and this post. This interest in all things natural has really made me evaluate further how I spend my time and my relationship with technology.

Going Au Natural

I spent last weekend in a West Sussex field, with friends, eating, dancing, drinking, playing, sleeping in a tent, resting and mainly lots of laughing. Now people who know me wouldn’t put ‘Georgie’ and ‘camping’ in the same sentence. However, I do like to prove my naysayers wrong. Can I just say I bloody enjoyed myself. My phone was off, there was no technology, just woods to roam and a campfire to chat around. Seriously I needed this step back to realise how much I needed to restore my energies. Not just the weekend break from the house, work and kids, but in nature, with basic amenities, simple food, lots of fresh air and beautiful sunshine.

Now I’m not trying to be all hokey here. It’s true. Nature is not only inspirational, beautiful, uncontrollable, unpredictable and downright incredible. It’s restorative too. Therefore I’ve made a pact with myself to switch off entirely for one day a week – Sunday probably. No tweeting, instagramming, blogging, surfing. Just me, the kids, the hubby, maybe a park, hopefully a Prosecco and fresh air. Time to just ‘be’.

For those wanting some lovely nature inspired aesthetics, this weeks design and colour moodboard is in bright pastels. Some of my favourite colours. Here’s some of the images and followed by their sources:


  1. Horse No. 0937 by Kari Hererkari herer horse. I LOVE her mix of illustration and floral photography. It’s stunning
  2. Hello-Petal-By-Rebecca-Newport-of-London-3Hello Petal Surface Design from stylist Rebecca Newport. Those cushions are on my wishlist.
  3. Spritz by YellenaSpritz by Yellena on Etsy. Her dynamic patterns are quite beautiful.
  4. Finished Fashion & Beauty | Honey Illustration | Georgie St ClairNew Flower Beauty Illustration by me, GStC. One of my more flowery portrait fashion inspired illustrations.
  5. 5. Gorgeous door knobs from Trica Ferro. I was lucky enough to be asked to sample some of these door knobs (I chose the ones pictured in the moodboard above) and they are fabulous. I have a wardrobe makeover project perfect for them. I’m just trying to find the time to complete it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this nature inspired design post. Follow me on Instagram for my nature inspired images and illustrations.

Until next time x


It’s Friday, I’m In Love with this Simple Inspirational Quote…

I’ve been spending a lot of time soul searching lately. Deciding on my path, my way forward, waiting for that ‘aha’ moment, etc etc. Then I spotted this simple inspirational quote and BAM!!! There was my aha moment, right there and then.

Simple Inspirational Quote If You're Waiting For A Sign This IS It | by Georgie St Clair , GStC Design & Illustration

Since reading this simple inspirational quote I’ve been a whole lot more motivated to just ‘get on with it’. I’m re-approaching my life and work in new ways. With a focus on my art & design rather than other grandiose schemes I had going on in the background. So thanks ‘anonymous’ for this sign!

If You’re Waiting For A Sign, This Is It!

I redesigned this inspirational quote, using the ‘Nature in Design’ colour palette, I posted this week.

What’s Your Favourite Inspiration Quote?
Leave your favourite inspirational quote in the comments box. I’d love to read them!

I’m off camping for 3 days to get some much needed head space and to have some fun in the sun (fingers crossed).

Enjoy your weekend everybody



Using Nature in Design Part 1

If you’ve seen me on Instagram, you’ll see many of my posts include some form of flora or fauna. I’ve recently joined the army of gardeners out there, re-igniting a passion for the natural world. I’d missed the beauty around me for many years whilst staring at computer screens or mobile device of some sort.

Nature in Art, Craft and Desing | GStC Design & Illustration Collaged Moodboard

I studied for an MA in digital art, so many hours were spent looking at code, algorithms, arduino boards. For me persoanlly, it was overkill and left me feeling really quite burnt out. Latterly I can’t spend too much time in front of my computer without feeling agitated. That’s why I’ve returned to painting and drawing as a means of expression. My process does of course include the digital, but it’s not the ‘be all and end all’ anymore.

Naturally I’m drawn to natural patterns and colour palettes in design right now too. (My artworks may also feature a flower of two!)

This week, instead of a just colour palette, I’m collaging a moodboard of nature in design. Things I’ve found and have been inspired by in the last week or so, by artists and designers who are also enjoying natural forms and patterns. Let’s face it, nature – it’ll never go out of fashion or get boring. There’s always something new to be discovered, even in our back gardens. Now who could fail to be inspired by that.

The artists, designer and crafters that I’ve included in my design moodboard above, are using nature in their designs in meaningful and beautiful ways:

  1. Lou Rota for Anthropologie where entomology meets pottery.
  2. I discovered Puur Anders a few moths ago via Etsy. She creates beautiful flowers from photos printed onto fabric. You must check out the Puur Anders blog, it’s beautiful and a lovely insight into her inspirations. The image in the moodboard is a collaboration with Stylist Carline van Oel and photographer Christine Bauer.
  3. Epuu Design is an Istanbul-based shop of women accessories made with high-quality venice lace. I adore this ‘Lasata’ Burgundy Red Lace Necklace.
  4. Mara Hoffman is another great artist who is collaborating with Anthropologie. Her work embodies the indoor-outdoor spirit of the season
  5. Lulie Wallace, also for Anthropologie. Bold floral motifs – Beautiful.

There was so much to include I’ll be publishing part two next week.


From the Sketchbook: New Fashion Inspired Portrait Illustrations

Fashion Inspired Portrait Illustrations

New fashion illustration sketches by Georgie St Clair Design & Illustration 1

We’re enjoying a beautiful sunny day in Brighton today. In fact they are warning about heatwaves and the like. Well, taking advantage of the beautiful light, I’ve taken my ladies outside to be photographed.

New  fashion inspired illustration sketches by Georgie St Clair Design & Illustration 2

These sketches are works in progress, now ready to be textured and coloured. There is a third lady which I’m still working on. Hopefully not too long until I can reveal all. x


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