Monday, 29 June 2015

meet challenge admin - Jess Racklyeft

Jess Racklyeft

1. Your name, location
Jess Racklyeft, Melbourne

2. Describe your family
Husband Matt (musican/teacher), Ivy (almost 3) and a couple of weeks off a new addition to the family (baby due early July)! And a dog-person, Winston.

3. Describe your work
A very diverse illustration career – I design cards, have started doing kids books recently, do client projects, portraits, write/edit for Illustrators Australia, occasional markets, and a lot of other random projects in between. After working in an office environment for almost ten years, and building my own illustration business over the past three – it is a dream come true right now being able to work for myself doing something I love.

4. What is your career goal?
My career goal and life goals are all combined… this means doing something I love (illustration), making a decent living, hopefully with a studio in the country (woohoo!), with time for good food, friends, family, exercise, wine and all those great things. I want to create amazing kids books primarily, but also love having lots of different projects on the go to keep learning and keep my brain sparked.

5. Describe your art background
My university studies were in mass communications, I’ve studied art direction (advertising), done short courses in oils/printmaking etc, and learnt a lot about the publishing industry after working for Lonely Planet and The Five Mile Press (in sales roles primarily!). I remember always wanting to do children’s books from age 11, but it has been a long road to get back onto that dream and over the past year I’ve finished my first 6 books – three board books and three picture books.
So basically, a very diverse and unstructured (non-arty sometimes) background, but all these experiences have definitely influenced my art making, and I continue to learn as much as I can.

6. What do you love about the Challenge?
It’s a super supportive environment, and has opened up some amazing opportunities for me. The pinnacle being my first picture book, that I am illustrating for Exisle Publishing, and beautifully written by Tania McCartney.
Jess Racklyeft - week 22 Childhood

7. Tell us something that we don’t know about you
My studio name “Jesses Mess” is embarrassingly reflective of the chaotic space I seem to create very quickly. I just had my beautiful mum spend two days helping me clean it out – but it is already sliding back to papery chaos within a week!

See more of Jess online:
Facebook page:
Instagram: Jesses Mess

*Photos by Penny Lane*

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

nicky's picks - week 24: CALENDAR

It is quite ironic that this week's theme 'Calendar' fell on my week to choose the blog picks, because I'm constantly behind time, never have enough time and always trying to fit more into my time!

I wasn't too sure what the variances of this theme would be created this week, but I was so delighted with the range of concepts, ideas and techniques..... well done Challengers!

Here are my picks for Week 24: Calendar.

Cheers, Nicky

Chris Kennett

Amanda Hunt

Aska Theillustrator
Belladonna Raudvee

Chrystal Rankin
Dee White

Cara King

Heidi Cooper

Helen McGuire

Ian McLean

Janet Murphy

Jenni Marie Webb

Jess Racklyeft

Joanne Stead

Katharine Harper

Jolanda Jarman

Lex McKay

Lisa-Marie Kerr

Lynn Tait - Grandies

Margaret Dewar

Marie Laure Fontan

Peter Papamanolis

Ramona Van Bakkum

Sally Fawcett

Sarah Ang

Sarah Hart

Sophia Tsorbaris

Vanessa Pritchard

Friday, 19 June 2015

meet challenge admin - Sophie Pittaway

Sophie Pittaway
1. Your name, location
Sophie Pittaway, Perth Western Australia

2. Describe your family
I am married with two young boys aged 8 and 5 years old
Sophie Pittaway - Week 16 Structure
3. Describe your work
I am a trained Education Assistant. I am waiting for my youngest to have more regular hours at school to get back into it.
Sophie Pittaway - Week 17 Fluffy

4. What is your career goal?
My career goal is to be involved in anything creative that makes me happy. I would love to illustrate a book and have a successful range of greeting cards on the market.
Sophie Pittaway - Week 11 Green

5. Describe your art background
I enjoyed art as a child. I felt that I was good at it but never pursued it any further once I left high school. I would create the occasional Christmas card but nothing more.
Sophie Pittaway - Week 23 Rain

6. What do you love about the Challenge?
I love that the challenge pushes me to create out of my comfort zone, trying new themes each week and to a time schedule. 
Sophie Pittaway - Week 14 Whimsy

7. Tell us something that we don't know about you
Something you may not know about me is that I was born in Belgium and can speak fluent French. I am also crazy about unusual soft toys!
Sophie Pittaway - Bonus Challenge 'Cocoon'

My new card range will be called ‘clin d’œil Illustrations’ 
I will have an Etsy store and a Society6 account in the very near future. 

You can find Sophie online:


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

tania's picks - week 23: RAIN

A joy to do the picks for RAIN week. Whimsical, visually enchanting and evocative, I was spoilt for choice! Here are the images that resonated personally with me this week. There are many more gorgeous images on the Facebook group page.

Demelsa Haughton

Hayley Atkinson

Jess Racklyeft

Joanne Stead

Karen Allen

Lisa Price

Melissa Tan

Ramona Van Bakkum

Sophie Pittaway

Fabrizia Maria Gardi

Peter Hinton

Anika, age 11

Alina Alexandra

Jane Barndon

Jolanda Jarman

Leonie Cheetham

Lisa-Marie Kerr

Nancy Liu

Mark Pitt

Mia age 13

Sally Fawcett

Sarah Hart

Vickie Stokes

Andrea Fülöp

Deborah Eyre

Joanne Stead

Patricia Ward

Rhylan, age 4