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By Ruth Thorp Studio, Oct 25 2016 03:07PM

I had a lot of fun recently producing this illustration as my submission for the 'Sounds of the City' AOI Prize for Illustration 2017.

This illustration is a celebration of the diverse spaces within and around our cities: from the vibrant lively buzz of the urban streets and buildings; to the calm retreats of our city parks and rivers; and further afield to the incredible natural landscapes that are often seen, but not heard from the rhythmic beat and pulse of the city centre. Our cities and buildings are an ever changing composition of light and activity, which is reminiscent of the graphic equalizer lights you see on stereos. This has inspired the architecture of my imaginary ‘Stereo City’.

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Sep 28 2016 12:55PM

Well it's certainly been an eventful and exciting couple of months for me. Having left my sensible salary paying job at the end of July to have a go at being a full time self-employed illustrator and designer, I have been enjoying working on a whole range of creative projects. I have been indulging in some much needed “creative play” producing new illustrations to build my portfolio and to submit to magazines and publications as well as working on some really fantastic projects alongside my parents for some new products to be published by Raw Mixture Publishing soon. I am also excited to announce that I am now selling illustrated art prints in my etsy store and will continue to add to this as my portfolio grows. For the moment I am offering A4 prints to start testing out which designs are popular as wall art, but am hoping to also start offering larger printed pieces in the future. Head over to my etsy store to have a look.

Ruth Thorp Studio Art Prints
Ruth Thorp Studio Art Prints

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Aug 26 2016 11:15AM

Golden Sands
Golden Sands

So I've decided to start participating in Illustration Friday - thought it might be a good way to start adding some more work to my portfolio. Here is my first submission. The theme this week is 'Gold'. It's been an amazing sunny week and all I can think about is being on the beach and swimming in the sea. As I can't be there - the next best thing is to draw it! Where cool blue sea meets golden sand...

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Aug 21 2016 12:53PM

June was a really exciting month for me and my illustrations. Firstly, I had my illustration chosen to be used as the front cover for the wonderful Severine Literary Journal Issue 4 with the theme of 'Heroes'. It was the first time the journal was to be offered as a printed edition aswell as digital so it was lovely to be able to hold the finished product in my hand and see lots of other people sharing photos of receiving their own copies on twitter and instagram. Under the theme of Heroes I decided to create an illustration inspired by and for the people who are committed to protecting our oceans; preserving our forests; nurturing our lands; cleaning our air and saving our endangered species.

Secondly, I was thrilled to work closely on a really lovely project with my dad, Steve Thorp by illustrating the 3rd issue of Unpsychology Magazine - the Childhood edition. This was a really exciting project which included creating cover artwork for the print and special digital Childhood Poetry Supplement, a full colour central spread, and a collection of black and white illustrations responding to specific written pieces and quotes within the magazine. We also had a really enjoyable launch of the magazine at the wonderful Magalleria in Bath. Unpsychology magazine responds to themes of psychology, soul-making, ecology and 'wild mind'. Edited and put together by Steve Thorp, Issue 3 - the Childhood edition is full of poetry, essays and fiction from wonderful writers including Jay Griffiths , Toby Chown, Paul Feldwick, Bethany Rivers, Kate Pawsey, Tanya Shadwick, Jim Carter and Rachel McGladdery, Julia Macintosh, Penny Hay and Dave Hicks'. If you are interested in reading this issue or previous issues you can visit the Unpsychology website.

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Nov 16 2014 04:30PM

Yet again it has been a long time since my last post, so sorry for that. I thought I would write this post partly as an update on what I have been getting up to and also a post about dealing with creative stress.

Since my last post I have been keeping busy trying to get 'The Squawks' out into the world and this week I reached a major milestone by selling enough books to cover the print costs for my first edition print - so I am now officially in profit! It feels like a massive achievement, which is further enhanced by all the lovely feedback I am receiving from my lovely customers. The Squawks have been spreading their wings and can now be bought on the official Squawks site, Raw Mixture Publishing, etsy, folksy, amazon and Poppy Blue and has been featured on a number of blogs.

Bath Artisan Market
Bath Artisan Market

For the last 5 months I have also had a stall at the fantastic Bath Artisan Market, which takes place on the second Sunday of every month. Alongside The Squawks, I am selling a range of mine and my parent's products which includes cards, notebooks, books, magazines, poetry , artwork and cards. It has been a fantastic experience meeting and chatting to customers and other stallholders and I feel really lucky to be part of a lovely creative community. Links to my parent's sites can be found here: Creative Thorp and 21 Soul. My mum produces beautiful photographic artwork in Pembrokeshire, and my dad has recently published a wonderful new book called 'Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy' as well as a new magazine called 'Unpsychology'.

Now to the bit about stress. Whilst trying to keep on top of all this, I have also been working my normal job 4 days a week, which has been busy; as well as preparing for my sister's wedding by designing and making wedding invitations and graphics, creating a hen memory book and making my dress. All very exciting, but consequently, with trying to keep on top of creating new products and designs, I was beginning to feel extremely overwhelmed and stressed. Luckily I have learned to recognise the signs of when my projects and workload are manageable, and when it is all getting on top of me ie. stressing me out! In the stressed out stage, I begin to get very tearful, overly worried about everything, and slightly irrational with a short temper - not a good combo! I also try to take on even more as I don't want to feel like I have failed or am letting people down. I have come to realise, that this is unnecessary pressure that I put on myself and so have learnt to handle it better and quicker than I used to.

My first step is to realise that most of the stress is self created. When working for others, sometimes there are deadlines that you just have to keep to - this is unavoidable, and so these may need to take top priority. The work I do for myself however, is decided by me - essentially I am in control and can set the limitations, parameters and timeframe, and it is important to remind myself that if this slips, extends or changes, that's ok! And so when I start to feel like it is all too much, I just re-prioritise. I make a list. I put the unavoidable deadlines at the top and decide on the projects that I can let slip for a while. I know from experience that I will always come back and finish the projects that are really important to me, and if I don't, well then maybe that project just wasn't meant to be finished. Creativity and design is an ever changing beast and that's what makes it so enjoyable. You don't know what new opportunity may come along next and which direction it might take you, so just stay true to yourself, and if it feels right to persue it, then go for it. Also, if you want to remind yourself and feel good about what you have already achieved, when writing your list, add some things you have recently completed or just about to finish and then you can tick them off straight away! It makes you feel so much better. I also like to put my list away once I have written it, so that when I find it again in a few weeks, I surprise myself with how many items I can tick off, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. It makes you feel like you are making progress!

Sometimes, it is also good to just stop for a while. Over the past few months, although I have continued to make product, do small creative bits and pieces and continue with some marketing, I have also felt like my creative drive has dipped and felt uninspired to start any new projects. I have also been unable to finish my collaboration picture book with my sister. This is very nearly ready to go to print, but those final edits and print production tasks seem to be taking me a very long time. Why is finishing a project often the hardest bit?! So instead of stressing about this, I am just letting myself take a bit of a break and let my mind rest for a while. I have even taken up knitting this weekend - really getting the hang of it now and it's nice to feel like I am still creating and making without the pressure of it feeling like work! And I know that at some time in the near future, my creative juices will start flowing again, maybe they have already started - I've been inspired to write this blog post after all!

On a final note, I know that it is easy when working for yourself to feel like you should be filling every free minute you have with creating and making new things, but it is also important to just enjoy life. Make time for cooking, going for walks, exercise, spending time with friends and family, or just slobbing out in front of the tv. That free down time will make you more productive and happy in the long run and inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places.

So that's a little bit of an update on me. I am getting excited about Christmas and hoping to spend the next few weeks soaking up the festive atmosphere and twinkly lights!

Let me know how you feel about your creative projects. Do they ever overwhelm you? Do you feel like you put pressure on yourself to complete everything at once and then burn out? And how do you deal with your stress?

Christmas cards available in my etsy shop.

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Jun 14 2014 08:36PM

Today I made the first Squawk hand puppet to be displayed on our stall at the Dinefwr Literature Festival next week. Isn't he cool?! I'm hoping this will be the start of a little family. He still needs a name though, so I have decided to ask the people at the festival to help me name him. Come visit us if you are there. We will have lots of Squawk related and non Squawk realated loveliness!

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Jun 9 2014 09:02AM

Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy by Steve Thorp
Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy by Steve Thorp
Soul Manifestos artwork by Ruth Thorp
Soul Manifestos artwork by Ruth Thorp

There are lots of projects on the go at the moment - I am trying to keep track of it all by making lots of lists, but the lists get so long that they begin to scare me, so I end up throwing them away!

Here is one that I can nearly tick off though. My very lovely Dad has written a book which will be published in the next couple of weeks and is ready to pre-order here alongside another gorgeous large format poetry book 'Trails' which has been produced in collaboration with artist Elaine Johnson. As part of a previous project together - 'Under Blood Light' - I produced some illustrations to go alongside 5 short written pieces and I have now adapted and added to these to provide illustrations and a book cover design for 'Soul Manifestos and Pieces of Joy'. It's so exciting to start seeing my work in print as books and you will be able to purchase both of these books and 'The Squawks' (my very first picture book) at our stall at the Dinefwr Literature Festival from the 20th-22nd June.

Here is a short description of the book or find out more here

'Steve Thorp’s small, poetic essays are written against the backdrop of conflict in modern culture, politics, economics, ecology and psychology. Each piece stands alone but together the collection coalesces into a gentle, intuitive polemic that seeps into the consciousness. The small manifestos are written for wonder, wisdom, joy, love, and openness - and for the common good. They describe an alternative and grounded response to the material world, a way in which we might live our lives with depth and soul. This is a thought provoking collection and a whole-hearted approach to the crisis facing humans on earth.'

By Ruth Thorp Studio, May 5 2014 09:47PM

The Squawks
The Squawks

Oh it has been a loooooong time since my last post, but I have a very good reason! I have this week published my first ever book - written and illustrated by ME! :) I can't actually quite believe it! I never had any ambition to be a writer or published author before, and yet here I am with 200 (minus the ones I have sold in the last few days to friends and colleagues) copies of my very own book with my name on the cover! How cool is that? Check out the website here to find out more.

I am running a twitter competition to win a free copy of the book. Just RT my tweet and you will be entered with the winner being pulled out of a hat next week. (May 12th 2104 update: the happy winner was @MaryJaneDesigns - This competition is now closed)

By Ruth Thorp Studio, Jun 24 2013 12:51PM

Birds and Leaves. Copyright Ruth Thorp Studio.
Birds and Leaves. Copyright Ruth Thorp Studio.

Happy Monday everyone! Further to my previous post, which showcased one of my bird designs submitted for the Ohh Deer competition, here are the other designs that make up my 'Bird and Leaves' collection. I have recently given a number of cards to people with these designs on and they have so far gone down very well, so I am hoping to get these into my etsy shop soon as my first paper product. Hope they help to cheer up your Monday. Ive nicknamed my favourite, the yellow 'Elvis' bird. I just love his hair!

Copyright Ruth Thorp Studio.

Hello and welcome to my blog.


Here you will find my inspirations, creations and a bit of day to day life alongside showcases of wonderful work from other like-minded talented creatives!


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Copyright 2013-2015 © Ruth Thorp

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