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Posts Tagged ‘365Days’

About Illustrator Sam Miller

As promised I thought I would tell you a bit about myself, so I am not a totally anonymous blogger. I am an artist and illustrator living in Edinburgh with my daughter, usually known as the Monkey!

Monkey Dancing by Sam Miller

The Monkey Dancing by Sam Miller UK

Edinburgh is a beautiful, friendly city to live in and I love it as much as my hometown of Sheffield, so it must be good! When I speak to people they tend to be surprised that I have been here for the last 20 years as I do have a bit of a hint of a Sheffield accent! #understatement

I have always wanted to be an artist, from the moment I was old enough to know you could be anything , that is all I have ever wanted to do, and still is. I trained and worked as a Theatre Designer for a few years, then travelled for a couple more, before moving to Scotland.

I then trained as an Art Therapist and worked in galleries, schools and daycentres with a range of people with physical and mental problems. This was fantastic, rewarding work and I still think about the people I worked with. I am very proud of what they achieved through art, and know how important this was for them. Unfortunately I was an NHS Cutback, so this all finished but this did push me to start doing illustration fulltime.

Apart from my daughter, my friends and family, my art is the most important thing in my life. This has been quite a hard year for personal reasons but this keeps me going and makes me very happy and positive about life.

I love what I do, each commission is special and I put as much care in it as I possibly can, I want every piece I do to be perfect. I capture the character and life of a person in every portrait, or develop images for a brand that will highlight it in the best possible way.

Illustrations for Plant 'n' Grow by Sam Miller UK.

Illustrations for the instructions for Plant ‘n’ Grow Boxes by Sam Miller UK.

Floralicious Box with Illustrations by Sam Miller UK.

Plant ‘n’ Grow Floralicious Box with illustrations by Sam Miller UK.

I am a very positive person generally but as I have said before, I am also a scaredy cat, so each time I give someone a piece of work I am nervous, but so far I have ony had fantastic responses, so I do realise this is silly, but as one of life’s worriers I am not sure that will ever change!

I am also doing a 365 days Drawing Challenge, illustrating a different person each day for a year. This can be anyone at all, me and the monkey are constantlyon the look-out for interesting people. If we don’t manage to get a photo, we both memorise as many details as possible so I can still draw them. I have 300 still to go, so do get in touch if you would like to be a part of this.

Edinburgh Fashion Week Children's Show

Edinburgh Fashion Week

Judy Murray Bra Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show

Charity Event Ed Fashion Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My aim is to spread my art further, to push myself into new situations, to become more well known and start drawing everywhere. I will be doing my first Live Illustration Event this Friday for the ‘This is Edinburgh’ Party.

My ultimate aim is to be invited to events such as the front row of fashion shows to draw the models as they pass by. I did this at Edinburgh Fashion Week this year, and I would be happy to travel to London, Milan, Paris or New York to carry on!!

So if you have an event that needs an illustrator to come and make it even more special, or would like a commission for anything do get in touch, just email sam@sammiller.co.uk

I woud also love to hear any comments, or anything about yourself so please do join in, thanks, Sam XX

 

 


How long should a Blog Post be?

Hello, I’m back with more thoughts about the old blogging business. I am finding that the more I do, the more I want to find out about the best most effective way to blog, if there is such a thing.

I was discussing with a friend at Portfolio-Oomph, how long we should make our blog posts. I have been going for short and sweet as my own attention span has massively decreased since I became a Mum. Any longer and I think my head might explode, or I will go into a panic thinking that I haven’t done the other 500 things I still have to do that day!

Plus, if I can’t focus on something for too long, I can’t expect someone else to sit down and read my rants for ages! I suppose that is how I like people to talk too, my family are not the biggest talkers so I find it quite difficult to listen to anyone who takes ages to tell you something, or get to the point. (Disclaimer here, my daughter is not in the quiet or get to the point category, but she is funny and cute so I don’t mind her going on!!)

Also sometimes I realise I can get to the point a bit too quickly and have said something I probably shouldn’t have! Anyway I realise I am going on a bit myself so will get to the point now.

44 -Frustration_small1

A standard recommendation I have found on a few blogs seems to be that a good post should be about 600 words, enough time to engage your audience but not too long to lose their interest. I find this quite a manageable length as I feel I can say what I want to, and then go back to illustrating and the rest of my life!

However, I have found lots of differing advice to this, and I found some particularly interesting advice from Joe Bunting. He gives a great breakdown of how the different length of posts affect your SEO. He explains that the shorter ones tend to get more comments, but the longer ones can get more shares and ranking on search engines. The highest ranking being the ones with 2,450 words…maybe that is not for me…yet!

Do take a look at what he says about blog post length as I found it gave me a lot to consider.

All this has also made me think about the whole blogging phenomenon. When I decided to start blogging regularly it was because I wanted to share things about my art and my life, but now I am spending more time considering how blogs work and how best to develop mine. Basically blogging about blogging! There does seem to be a huge amount of people out there doing this, at a much more impressive and qualified level than me but they are blogging about blogging!

I am hoping that the things I am learning as a beginner will be useful and interesting for other bloggers who are just starting out, and once I find my own way I do plan for the focus to definitely return to my art. But for now I am kind of enjoying the whole learning experience as it feels like a whole new world is opening up.

Right now though it’s back to the drawing board – literally. I am off to finish a couple of commissions and do my daily drawing for my 365 Days Project. Have a great day.

I would love to know any of your thoughts on anything I have written or anything really!

Look forward to hearing from you, Sam X

 

 

 


Positive Reactions!

I am soooo pleased that I have started my 365 Days Project, it has really motivated me as I know that whatever else I am doing each day, I HAVE to fit in a drawing. I have been super-efficient getting all the rest of my orders and commissions done as quick as I can, so I can do this. It kind of feels like saving the best bit of food till last each day, so it’s like having a lovely chocolate cake but without the guilt!

The only thing that has suffered so far in this whirl of activity is my housework, today was the first time EVER that I haven’t had a clean school top for my daughter to wear. I did manage to cover up my rubbishness by putting her in an old PE top, which she thought was great as she will already be half ready for PE which is this afternoon! Genius!

It has also increased my confidence, as I am usually a bit cautious and worried whenever I send out a commission to someone, until they get back to me. I know this is silly as I have not had a bad comment so far but I can’t help it. But now I am putting new work out daily so just have to do it, so far I have had a great response to everything, so – so far so good. I have also had some brilliant people to draw already and was very pleased that Magazine Entrepreneur Mike Soutar, (who you might have seen on the Aprentice), has let me draw him and shared my pic.

021_Mike_Soutar_small 021_MikeSoutar

 

 

I have also stepped inside a gorgeous shop and managed to speak, and now have another stockist Cloudberry Gifts, to sell my wares, so I am now getting their order ready.

I have also been reading a few blogs with advice about how to develop your own blog which I plan to write about next time to show what I have learnt so far. I would love to get any tips or comments you have for me. Good or bad criticism accepted…honest!

I hope it is going to be a great 365 Days this year for all of us!

Please do lso get in touch if you would like to be part of my 365 Days Project project, or if you would like to commission a piece of work for your home or business, I’d love to hear from you X

 

 

 


Drawing People – is it ok?

Hi again, I’ve come into a bit of a dilemma a few times since starting this project and wondered what your opinions are.

My 365 Days Project is a challenge I’ve set myself, to draw a new person every single day for a year, so far I am into my third week and loving it! However most of the people I am doing I have asked their permission and either taken a photo or been given one to use, and it’s all been very straight-forward.

However a couple of times I have drawn people without them knowing. Incluidng this Colourful Mystery girl. I did bump into her afterwards and she seemed quite flattered, and was very happy for me to use the picture, but did not want her photograph to be online.

003_MysteryGirl016_Margaret_small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also drawn a lady I know, with every intention of telling her, but with the speed of the internet, someone else showed her the picture first! Again she was pleased, but with hindsight I think I should have shown her first but was excited to get it out there!

Also I am doing a few celebrities and some have agreed for me to go ahead and draw them which is great, but for others again I have the dilemma. Should I wait and ask them first and maybe never get a reply, or go ahead and tell them afterwards? And if it is a drawing and they didn’t like it what then?

I have every intention of telling people if I have drawn them but is it ok to do this without asking first?

Because it is not a photograph I am taking, it is an illustration I am having a little battle with myself. I am very careful to protect the privacy of someone, and would never take a photo showing their faces without their knowledge , but is an illustration the same?

Just getting myself in an ethical twist and wonderd what you guys thought? I would love to get your opinions as basically I am a worrier and would like to know if I should be worried about this or not!!

Remember I have 365 Days to do, so if you want to be involved and are happy for me to use you and a photograph do get in touch, email pics to sam@sammiller.co.uk Thanks X