So last Friday was the long-awaited launch of Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration. I woke early to explore galleries with my mum. It certainly got me in the mood but the reality that I would soon be illustrating live at the launch kicked in.
I arrived at Bethnal Green Station and set off down Bethnal Green Road. Having never been outside of the centre of London when visiting, this was a bit of a shock to the system. Convinced I was going the wrong way, I jumped on a bus only to hear the announcer mention 'Brick Lane'. I knew I was in the right place and just opposite was the massive 123 Bethnal Green Road building (very handy if you have no idea where you're going).
I entered the hectic shop and knew I was in right place. I met Amelia herself, looking stunning in a Beautiful Soul cape, Joanna Cave earrings and Nina Dolcetti shoes. Matt Bramford was also there to greet me; he was very smiley and sweet, if not a little chaotic (understatement!) He had sent Rachel de Ste. Croix and Joanna Faria to grab a coffee whilst everyone frantically got the place in perfect order for the opening. Luckily I caught them just before they were leaving and went along. They were very lovely and instantly calmed my nerves (in that they were nervous to be live illustrating too). We headed back soon after and found people still running around. It was then that we met Antonia Parker, Michelle Urvall Nyrén, Naomi Law, Andrea Peterson, Jenny Robins and Zarina Liew. It was so fantastic to meet these other illustrators I had talked to and admired through twitter.
|Jenny Robins and Joana Faria drawing away.|
I was amazed by how quickly the afternoon tea party filled up, brimming with wonderful industry professionals. The tea shop looked beautiful, stacked with pukka tea, with scones and a fantastic cake made by Lily Vanilli. I had three cups of tea throughout the afternoon, and they were delicious!
I really enjoyed networking with journalists and producing illustrations (not my best, but fear not they have been suitably rendered at home!) I met the editor and art director of Digital Arts magazine. They were really friendly and we talked for some time about university, illustration and breaking into the world of freelance.
After grabbing a cheap and cheerful bagel down Brick Lane, we returned to change and prepare for the evening party. I found my mum and boyfriend in the Scout Hut (who both loved the people, the dancing and the excitement of the night.) They had spent the time I'd been illustrating exploring London together; very sweet! Once again it soon became packed out. The night had such a great atmosphere; everybody was friendly and approachable and it was a delight to meet so many people from twitter. I met wonderful illustrators such as Lesley Barnes (instantly recognisable thanks to her fab cape!), Natsuki Otani, Faye West, June Chanpoomidole, Jo Chung, Erica Sharp, Krister Selin, Kat Tromans, Gareth A Hopkins, Dee Andrews and many more. They're all so fabulous, so glad I got to meet them! I also met the lovely Hels Martin and her boyfriend Charlie (Curls), who i'd had the pleasure of illustrating last year, It was lovely to finally meet her after working with her on so many articles, I only wish i'd got a photo! It was also lovely to meet Emily of Handmade by Emily, who wrote this lovely feature on my last year.
One of the biggest highlights for me was meeting Avril Kelly, someone I talk to so often via twitter. I spent a lot of the evening with her and we walked her back to her creepy little bedsit after the party. I think my mum wanted to adopt her, she was incredibly lovely! Also, meeting fellow Tea and Crayon member, Rachel Lewis later in the evening was amazing. The first meet up and definitely not the last for us!
|Myself and Dee Andrews|
|Myself, Kat Tromans and Krister Selin|
|Me and my lovely boyfriend|
|The very sweet Lesley Barnes|
|My mum and boyfriend:)|
I loved watching 6 Day Riot perform and The Pipettes were fantastic party DJs! Of course the flowing alcohol; Vodka O and Adnams beer (I think these are perhaps to blame for my mother and boyfriend's extra giddiness!) went down very well too. This all made for the most amazing party I could imagine. It was certainly one I will not be forgetting anytime soon!