2019 is going to be great, I hope to continue to work on my forthcoming titles and have many more ideas that are just taking shape.
But I want to talk to you about a little project that I will be working on alongside my work and I have titled it the ‘5 Min Tea Break’, the idea being that every day of 2019 I will take just 5 mins of my day to draw my tea!
I absolutely love tea and drink it everyday, this is a great little warm up drawing to get me started with the added bonus that I will have a cup of tea to drink when I have finished. Some of them, like my first one of the year (shown above) will be drawing from observation and some of them will be more like my new logo (below) which will be more whimsical.
My hope is that at the end of the year I will have improved drawing from observation and turning my observational drawings into better planned out whimsical drawings. I hope that it will reduce the amount of procrastinating that I do when I sit with my sketchbook, the hardest thing to draw is usually the first thing because its hard to decide what to draw first. Once the first doodle of the day is finished the rest usually flow much easier, like stretching before you do any exercise helps you perform better.
You can follow my progress on my instagram feed where I will post to my story, unedited phone snaps each day. They won’t be perfect and sometimes they wont even be pretty but I hope you enjoy seeing them regardless.
It is day three of the Just A Card campaign and the prompt for today is community.
Working from home and being self employed can be a lonely place but I have found a community both locally and across the globe of artists and crafters who have been my friends and celebrated my successes with me and my cheerleaders when I needed to the encouragement to to continue. It would be an awfully long blog post for me to list them all so I will give you a few highlights from the fantastic comment of artists, traders and craftspeople who have made a huge impact on my life by being wonderful people.
1. Woodland Whimsy , Shana is an amazing artist who creates very unique creatures from needle felt and tiny homes from organic creatures. I am lucky enough to home a little goblin named Irving and I am luckier to call Shana my friend and part of my community despite being across the ocean.
2. Sprytewood is a magical place created by Victoria Payne, I don’t mind telling you all that I am a bit of a super fan when it comes to the Sprytes and all of the creatures in Sprytewood. Victoria has been a friend for years now through a joint love of whimsy, Victoria is a master of her craft and her art dolls are a superior quality, I own several myself and my Webblings have one each too.
3. Natasha’s Imaginarium is a beautiful selection of hand crafted gifts made by Shetland based artist Natasha Smith who has been a true friend throughout the span of my own business, she creates gorgeous gifts from polymer clay and wool. Despite never having met we have been brought together by the crafting community and I regard Natasha as a very good friend, she is always there for me night and day, good news and bad!
4. The Ivybridge Crafters is run by an amazing woman named Jenny Pearce, she runs a craft group that I have been honoured to teach on several occasions. The group is fully inclusive of everyone and is so warm and welcoming that new members feel like they have been part of the group forever. Jenny is an inspiration, she literally spreads art and craft throughout the community and is a believer in fairies too. If you are local and get a chance to go along to one of her sessions I urge you to give it a go, you will fit right in.
5. Twee Trading is a wonderful business that sells eco friendly, reusable home ware. Created by Natalie Fell who is a fantastic artist and business woman. Natalie has encouraged not just myself but many others in the community to keep going through the tough times and to celebrate all of our small victories. I met Natalie whilst running my own bricks and mortar shop where I learnt the real lesson behind the Just A Card campaign for myself. Natalie was one of the wonderful people who kept me believing in myself even after my shop closed.
6. A Quirk Of Felt, Kathleen James and I met through a Facebook group of only 100 artists from literally all around the globe, we became friends and soon realised that we lived just across the Tamar river from one another. Kathleen was kind enough to teach my how to needle felt and she is an extraordinary felter, her creations are exquisite and I had no idea how good needle felting could actually be until I saw Kathy’s artistry. If you get a chance to own one of Kathleen’s pieces you will be owning a piece of art by a master of the art form.
7. Tweet Tweet Designs by Abby is insanely skilled, there are not many crafters or artists that I have met who have been able to create something this amazing, crisp, clean and unique. I am a massive fan and lucky enough that Abby Rounding the fantastic artist is part of my community. Abby works tirelessly to make her creations beautiful and bespoke, I love giving them as gifts and receiving them too of course!
8. Oakwood Folk are a very different kind of artist, they are performance artists and they are the very best at what they do! This is a photograph of me with Oakley and Ivy at 3 wishes fairy fest a few years ago. It seems that 3 wishes has become our annual get together and despite only seeing them once a year I consider them friends and part of my community. If you get a chance to see Oakwood Folk perform then don’t miss it for anything, they will have you mesmerised and giggling in no time! If you have seen them before then see them again, the new characters are phenomenal too.
9. Sophie Adamson Tattoo Art, I don’t know Sophie very well in my personal life but I am a massive fan of her work and although you may wonder how it fits with the Just A Card campaign well you can purchase prints of some of Sophie’s work and I have heard a rumour that there may be a colouring book in the works too. Sophie works in Plymouth and has tattooed me three times, this image being one of mine. She is quite literally in my community and I recommend her to anyone who is looking for a tattoo, including my husband and best friend who have her artwork too.
10. I cannot write a list of my community without including this amazing man, Jamie Webb Photography my husband is a fantastic photographer who has built his business up from scratch from free shoots of our friends cats (which are flipping adorable) to being booked up two years in advance for the most beautiful weddings around Devon and Cornwall and often even further around the UK. He works so hard on his own business but without him I could not even hope to follow my dreams, he has helped overcome so many hurdles and I am proud to stand next to him as his wife.
Community can mean many things to many people, my community, with thanks to technology and the internet, spreads across the world. It is my lifeline when I am struggling to find the encouragement to continue. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who are immersed in the creative arts and self employment. All of these people and many more besides will be directly helped by the Just A Card campaign if more people shop with independent artists. You have the power to make them do a happy dance!
It is Just A Card week this week and I have decided to join in because it really hammers home the fact to me that I may have been able to keep my shop open if everyone who had come in and had a look would have purchased just a card I may have been more inclined to push through all of the other issues. Selling online is also a struggle for me and so many others that would really love to make a real go at our businesses, you can help, by purchasing from independent shops YOU really can make a difference.
So the task for day one is to tell you 10 things about me! Here they are, 10 things you may or may not know about me, Samantha Webb.
1. I always have an emergency Sherbet Fountain in my home somewhere. I don’t know what emergency would call for a Sherbet Fountain really but it makes me happy to know that I am never too far away from the sherbety goodness. If only I could think of a way to reuse the plastic containers; I do wish they would bring back the paper packaging.
2. Tea! Ask my three year old nephew Toby what his Aunty Sammy says and he will tell you ‘I want a cup of tea!’ It is true, there is always time for tea no matter the occasion. I am addicted to tea, milk and no sugar, thank you very much!
3. I have on more than one occasion been accused of being a North Pole Elf, now this could be because my diet is 90% sugar, or it could be because I can wrap any gift with three pieces of tape, THREE! But I like to think that it is because I am sort of a toy maker. I make artist teddy bears for my small business Moby and Puddle. I do have Santa on speed dial though, just ask the Webblings.
4. I am a born again Herbivore, at the age of 28 I decided that my favourite dinosaur, Brachiosaurus, pretty much had the right idea and I became a vegetarian. I no longer eat any meat at all. I am not overly keen on eating raw twigs like the dinos but it is hard to resist Mr Webb’s veggie chilli. And NO I do not miss bacon!!!
5. I am not ashamed to tell the world that I am a massive AFOL, and if you are unsure of what that means, it stands for Adult Fan Of Lego. I find Lego to be calming when I am feeling particularly anxious and it is fun for all the family. Even a rainy day can’t ruin the fun of Lego and my favourite sets are the Lego elves.
6. I have two children, they are my Webblings, Lilly and Harrison. My Webblings have helped me to realise that what I want most in this world is to make as many children happy as possible. I want to share my stories and my illustrations, to make my Webblings smile and to spread a little happiness throughout the world. (OK I am starting to think the Elf accusation may be justified!
7. I am a bunny slave! We have a house rabbit named Lady Peter. We never intended to have a rabbit but she came to us when we all needed a little comfort. We believed that Peter was a boy and we were very surprised to find that she was in fact a girl so we have altered her name to Lady Peter and she seems to like it. If you have never seen a bunny do a binky then please get on YouTube and watch some videos, they are guaranteed to make you smile!
8. I LOVE Christmas, I know, I know, everyone loves Christmas! BUT I REALLY LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love the magic of Christmas all year round. I draw Christmas pictures in February, write Christmas stories in June and watch Christmas movies all year round. I have a dinosaur Christmas globe that sits on my desk and I am probably wearing Christmas socks as you read this. (Maybe I have a little Elf in my ancestry.)
9. Cornlings and Glub, as of today I have self published three magical Cornlings books and have had Glub published by Little Goblins’ Books. You can read more about all of them on this website. I am hopeful that my latest book about the adventures of a young bee named Blake will be available early 2019.
10. I am hopelessly devoted to my husband, Jamie, who I has been by my side, encouraging me all the way for more than 17 years now. He is my bear and my rock and I don’t mind if that is corny. I love how he takes care of us, I really couldn’t do any of this without his help! But I do wish that he wouldn’t insist on leaving his wooly hats at friends and families houses, he is always loosing that thing!
So that is me, I hope you feel like you know me a bit more but always feel free to ask if you want to know more! Remember to shop independent, make someones day just a little bit brighter!
It is time to start thinking about those little packages wrapped up in ribbons and finished with a bow, the ones that will go under the tree or given out over the entire Christmas season.They must look beautiful of course but what is inside really is what counts. Will you choose to create your own gifts (which often end up far more expensive than you originally intend), buy online or go into town to choose gifts for your friends and loved ones?
If you do go to town please remember that you have the power and the choice of where to spend your money. I know that you know that already but have you really thought about it before? You can go into the big shops and you will need to for some of the specific items you wish to purchase. But please don’t forget those little shops, the markets and the independent shops which will sell things that you hadn’t even thought of! Shop local and support the real people in the community, it really makes a huge difference.
If you are shopping online you have so much available to you and you can find gifts for every budget but as well as getting the perfect gift you could make a real person do a happy dance! Yes, this is an actual thing amongst us crazy small businesses, when we make a sale we do a happy dance! Sites like Conscious Crafties which sell handmade gifts created by people who are gaining independence from a multitude of life’s setbacks or Etsy which is full of people just like you and me who are supporting their families from home offices or earning a little extra to put gifts under their own trees. Shopping from small businesses and directly from artists is a wonderful way to show your support to people who are carving out a career for themselves.
Money is power and no matter how much or how little you have, you have spending power, even I have a little too. So use your power wisely create something with your own two hands, buy handmade and support local this Christmas and all of 2019.
It is almost Halloween and since it is on a Wednesday this year, many of us have already had our hauntingly fun parties over the weekend, many of us have pumpkins carved and shrivelling sat on the windowsill or by the back door and there are lots of posts telling us what we should do to dispose of them.
Lots of information is going around on the big wide world of the web, telling us to leave our pumpkins out for the hedgehogs, great we all love hedgehogs and they deserve a seasonal treat too!
THEN … people said not to because the hedgehogs would get ill, they would eat so much that it would give them stomach problems and explosive diarrhoea and lets face it, nobody wants to clean up hedgehog poop from all over the garden and no body wants to make the little hoggies ill.
BUT … I have looked into it and despite rumours hedgehogs do enjoy a little pumpkin and they would have to eat an awful lot of pumpkin before it had negative effects on the digestive system. They would likely get bloated long before they get any other adverse effects. They are more likely to eat the little flies and bugs that will gather on the jack-o-lantern carcass, since this is their primary food source, than they are too gorge themselves on the pumpkin itself.
So when you have finished with your pumpkins pop them at the bottom of your gardens and let the little hoggies get as full up as they like on the festive treat, I know I will eat enough chocolate on Halloween night to make my tummy ache, it’s inevitable!
It is the 1st October today and the moment I opened my eyes my Webblings (who had probably been up at least an hour) gave me a big cuddle and said “Happy Pre Order Day!”, I guess I must have mentioned it once or twice over the last few weeks.
Poor Glub is stuck in the crane at an amusement arcade, dreaming of life outside but he has been too scared to take that leap of faith. Glub knows that he doesn’t look like the other smiley teddies that surround him and he knows that he is a little bit scary but that is all about to change when someone is brave enough to see just how friendly Glub is.
I am so excited, I have not seen a physical copy of the book myself yet but the digital files which I have approved have looked fantastic. I am hopeful that a copy will land through my letterbox any day now and I will be able to tell you all about it.
But today is preorder day, you can preorder your copy of Glub ready to receive on launch day. Released on 17th October 2018 Glub will be £6.99 and can be purchased directly from my publishers Little Goblins’ Books, from Waterstones and Amazon in the UK and from Barnes and Noble in the US.
I am still overwhelmed and amazed that my little book will be in real book shops, it is like a dream come true and I cannot wait to see what you think of this little furry guy.
This June I felt very low, I had lost my Grandpa the month before, he was my role model and my hero, I was going through a deep mourning process. A friend sent me a link to a competition, the winner would have their children’s book published. I deleted that message, I wasn’t sure I wanted to ever create anything again. Then my Nanny called me, she was doing so well, she was missing her soul mate, her husband of 60 years and her only love but she was being so brave. She inspired me and helped me to keep moving forward. This was a key moment because I knew that I had to do something big to get out of the dark place that I had gotten in to.
I searched for the Summer Sizzler competition and sent my application. I truly didn’t think I had much of a chance, I believe in Glub but despite having self published three books, I had never been brave enough to send any of my stories to a publisher before.
It was the step I needed to get out of the dark and since that day I have put more and more work into my writing future and I had put the competition to the back of my mind.
On the 5th September I received the message that I had won the competition and that Little Goblin’s Books would like to publish my story, Glub. I cried, I cried a lot of happy tears. I told my Jamie and the Webblings who were over the moon for me, we did a happy dance all four of us together. I truly am so happy that I found the strength to press send that day. I am having a lot of fun working with Little Goblin’s Books and I am overwhelmingly excited to see Glub in print and hopeful that this is the start of a brighter writing and illustrating career.
I will keep you updated on the journey, for now I am still dancing and haven’t stopped smiling since I received that email.
On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018 I was invited to read my stories to the children at the magical 3 Wishes Fairy Festival and I had an amazing time.
Surrounded by fairies, mermaids and unicorns, my Cornlings and I felt very at home. This is my fourth year at the event and the second reading my stories. It just keeps getting better. If you have children this really is the perfect wonderland for them to express their creativity and allow their imaginations to grow. As a fairy fan and as a mum I highly recommend 3 wishes for children of all ages.
Thank you so much to all of the little fairies for coming along to hear me read and to your grown ups for bring you along too. I had an incredible time and would love to do it all again next year.
The Create Your Own Cornlings colouring pages were very popular and your Cornlings all came out brilliantly, I will be loading an album of them on my Facebook page very soon so please look out for that.
A HUGE thank you to Karen Kay and her amazing team for allowing me to bring the Cornlings to the festival, they were on their very best behaviour the entire weekend.
The fairy loving, Webb family had a wonderful time. The countdown to 2019 begins now.
I am very honoured to have been asked to exhibit my Stargazersaurus prints at Ingeenium’s Creative Chicks festival on Saturday 10th March.
Ingeenium is a participatory arts charity based in London, with the aim to build immunity through creativity in libraries. The Creative Chicks exhibition is a celebration of women across the world who are participating in the arts.
My Stargazersaurus paintings have been selected to be displayed next to a whole host of other creative women’s artwork and will be part of the day long festival of workshops and fun. If you are in the area it really is not a day to be missed!