World Mental Health Day – get The Black Dawg eBook for free !

10th October 2016 is World Mental Health Day

To mark the occasion we are giving away ‘The Black Dawg – an illustrated poem about Depression and Hope’ in its eBook format!

The offer will run until the end of October 2016 – all you need to do is click here to get in contact and we’ll email you the eBook.

Please feel free to share this offer widely and if you like the book it would be wonderful if you could please give us a positive review on GoodreadsAmazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.es and / or anywhere else you fancy.

demons, poem, illustration, mental health, black dog, book cover, the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, kickstarter

 

World Mental Health Day

  • was first celebrated on 10th October 1992 at the initiative of the global mental health organisation The World Federation for Mental Health
  • this year’s theme is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress. There’s a wonderful TED talk here by Guy Winch on that very subject
  • is a day to raise awareness of mental illness and the huge impact it has on many people’s lives worldwide

Some shocking statistics from the Mental Health Foundation – please don’t look away

  • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • 1 in 6 adults had a common mental health problem in the past week.
  • 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
  • In the UK mental health problems are responsible for the largest burden of disease – 28% of the burden, compared to 16% each for cancer and heart disease.
  • WHO states that ‘if we don’t act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally.’
  • In England, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales at present.

the black dawg, kathryn hockey, artist. illustrator, louis mcintosh, writer, poet, author, illustrated poem, depression. hope, picture book, illustration, mental health, black dog, kickstarter, snorkel, drowning, deep, dark, sea, breathe, presence, mindfulness

The Mental Health Foundation’s top 10 tips for looking after your mental health

1. Talk about your feelings

2. Exercise

3. Eat well

4. Drink sensibly

5. Keep in touch with loved ones

6. Ask for help

7. Take a break

8. Do something you’re good at

9. Accept who you are

10. Care for others

I love that whole list…

…and have found that cultivating mindfulness and taking regular exercise are particularly helpful for improving my emotional well-being.

Making the illustrations for The Black Dawg book also helped me enormously – I am much more adept at recognising and dismantling the process which starts as a single negative thought before it suddenly swells into an overwhelming landslide of undermining and vitriolic self-loathing mind-babble with accompanying anxiety and exhaustion as my psyche does battle with itself.

Eckhart Tolle’s theory about the ‘pain body’ really rings true for me; seeing the negativity as a separate entity gives me more strength to keep it in check and overcome its insidious effects in the moment it arises.

‘Coming out’ as depressive has also been liberating and strangely uplifting in that it’s enabling me to form stronger and more open connections with my friends and family and even with people I don’t know. As Brené Brown says in her funny and brilliant TED talk ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ – “connection gives meaning and purpose to our lives; it’s why we’re here.”

And we are all in this together…

Louis, who wrote The Black Dawg poem, and I strongly believe that The Black Dawg book can help people suffering from depression feel less isolated. We also hope that it will help friends and family to better understand how it feels to be depressed. And that’s why we want to share it – we think it’s a valuable resource in the armoury against mental illness.

This evening the Chicken & Frog bookshop in Brentwood, Essex are holding an auction in aid of The Young People’s Counselling Service and we’re delighted that The Black Dawg book and some signed prints of the ‘Spiralling Branches’ illustration from the book will be included.

Dr Carole Easton, chief executive of The Young Women’s Trust explains why it’s so important to build resilience in children and to prevent mental issues becoming mental illnesses in this Huffpost article ‘Young People’s Mental Health – We Must Do More

Click here if you’d like to read more about The Black Dawg project.

Take excellent care of yourself!

poem, illustration, mental health, black dog, picture book, the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, bird, sky, branches, spiraling, vulture, hope

Cushion Covers

Here are my most recent home sewing projects: making cushion covers from light cotton canvas fabric that I’d had digitally printed with my illustrations.

digital printing, cotton canvas, surface illustration, rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, soft furnishing, envelope cushion

 

This one (left) features a white on black version of my cockerel circle design.

The cushion cover has an ‘envelope’ style closure and measures 38 x 35 cm, comfortably accommodating a 40 x 40 cm cushion.
2cv, car pattern, digital printing, cotton canvas, fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, soft furnishing

 

 

The two covers on the right feature my Two-Tone 2CV design, measure 50 x 30cm and have a zip closure.

2cv, car pattern, digital printing, cotton canvas, fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, soft furnishing

 

 

 

 

Click here to contact me about prices and availability.

The Black Dawg – an illustrated poem about Depression and Hope

About a year ago my friend Louis McIntosh sent me a poem he’d written about depression and hope called ‘The Black Dawg‘.

The poem really resonated with me and I immediately agreed to Louis’ suggestion that I illustrate it with a view to publishing the finished project as a picture book.

Louis and I have now reached the stage where we’re ready to do some combined market research and promotion prior to making the project ready to print and raising funds for self-publishing on Kickstarter.

To that end we made a promotional pack comprising three double sided flyers featuring excerpts of the text and illustrations.

We targeted interested parties such as mental health charities and people with first and second hand experience of depression and compiled a mailing list of those people who said they were happy to provide feedback. We’ve just sent each person (via snail mail) a promotional pack to share with their friends, family and colleagues.

mental health, the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, promotional pack, kickstarter

The table laden with promotional flyers, stickers and envelopes ready to send

the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, promotional pack, kickstarter,

The introductory flyer (above) features the proposed book cover on one side and has an introduction to The Black Dawg poem and promo pack on the other.

(click on the images to enlarge them)

The second flyer (below) features the first double page on one side, I introduce myself on the reverse and talk about my motivation and inspiration for illustrating The Black Dawg.

the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, promotional pack, kickstarter,

Third flyer (below) features the penultimate double pages on one side; on the reverse Louis talks about his motivation and inspiration for writing The Black Dawg.

mental health, the black dawg, illustrated poem, depression, hope, louis mcintosh, poet, illustration, digital collage, promotional pack, kickstarter,

A big thank you to all those people who agreed to be on the mailing list, we really appreciate your support and are really looking forward to receiving your feedback.

The feedback we have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

If you’re not on the mailing list but would still like to send us feedback – please do! We’ll be delighted to hear from you… email us at kathryn.hockey.art@gmail.com or leave a reply below.

And please feel free to share with as many people as you’d like!

Cockerels on Canvas

Two of my latest batch of digital fabric prints…our old friend the cockerel in two sizes

illustration, rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, cushion fabric

illustration, rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, cushion fabric illustration, rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, cushion fabric

Silk Scarves

2cv, dragonfly, silk scarf, fabric, silk, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, handmade

 

I recently sewed these two scarves featuring my dragonfly and 2CV designs digitally printed on super soft silk. What luxury….

Cockerel Cushions for La Casa del Arco

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, cushions, handmade These cushions are my latest cockerel fabric creations, made with love for Blanca and Alain, my dear friends and neighbours at La Casa del Arco in Vejer de la Frontera

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, cushions, handmade

Click here to see a photo of the cushions in their new home

Cockerel Skirt

cockerel, fabric, surface illustration, digital collage

 This fabric design evolved from a stencil project I started in 2012,

cockerel, rooster, cock, stencil, acrylic paint, reclaimed wood

since when Mr Cockerel has adorned numerous hard and soft surfaces.

Last year I spent many happy hours in the Photoshop turning the original image (above) into several repeating patterns (below)

rooster, cockerel, pattern, illustration,rooster, cockerel, cock, surface illustration, pattern, repeat, fabric design

rooster, cockerel, cock, surface illustration, pattern, repeat, fabric design

rooster, cockerel, cock, surface illustration, pattern, repeat, fabric design

 the last of which got made into a baby cushion in light cotton canvas.

cockerels, roosters, cocks, cockerel fabric, pattern, textile design, baby, cushion, surface illustration

I’ve been really keen to make myself an item of cockerel clothing ever since, so I ordered custom printed fabric samples in several cottons until I was totally happy with the size and colour of the design, and then got cracking with sewing an A-line skirt.

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, a line skirt, handmade clothes

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, a line skirt, handmade clothes

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, a line skirt, handmade clothes

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, a line skirt, handmade clothes

rooster, cockerel, cock, fabric, cockerel fabric, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage, sewing, dress making, a line skirt, handmade clothes

 It’s had a very enthusiastic reception and I’m cock-a-hoop!

Cushions and Bunting

A few months ago I had some fabric samples printed with a few of my designs. I was recently inspired to make these into bunting and cushions to show alongside the digital prints on paper of the same designs which I’m currently exhibiting in the beautiful tea room Chokolata in Vejer de la Frontera.

cockerel-bunting2--kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

 

 

Here is a cockerel (which started out as a stencil on wood) being sewn with a contrasting border prior to his edges being frayed.

 

 

 

cockerel-bunting-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

 

 

Here is the finished bunting hanging at home. To see photos of the bunting at the exhibition click here

 

 

 

2cv-bunting-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

cushions-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

 

dragonfly-cushions-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web, dragonfly fabric, dragonfly illustration, textile design, surface illustration, digital collage

 

I also made bunting from the fabric sample printed with my 2CV design (which evolved from my ‘7 Days’ illustration project).

Click here to see the bunting at my exhibition.

 

 

 

Here are the cushions.

I backed my printed fabric samples with contrasting velvet, cotton and corduroy to make them go further.

 

 

 

The Dragonfly pattern also evolved from my ‘7 Days’ illustration project.

To see photos of the cushions at my art exhibition in Chokolata click here

 

 

Meerkat Family

meerkat, pencil drawing, digital collage, illustrationThis started out as a pencil drawing and was scanned into Photoshop and collaged in layers

7 Days

7 Days‘ is the title of the fifth and final assignment I completed for my illustration course with the OCA (Open College of the Arts)

The series of 7 patterns (1 for each day of the title) was inspired by a summer boating holiday on the Canal du Midi in the south of France, and also by the wonderful woodblock designs for wallpaper and fabric of Marthe Armitage, the dramatic wallpapers featured in Sherlock the TV series and the films August:Osage County and American Hustle.

The title page shows the location:

digital collage, map of France, canal du midi

I chose 7 themes from the trip and made a motif for each, which I then multiplied to make a pattern:

Day of the 2CV

2CV, digital collage, pattern, car, illustrationDay of the Locks

Canal du Midi, lock, canal boat, digital collage, pattern

Day of the Sunflower

Sunflowers, digital collage, pattern

Day of the Plane Tree

Plane tree, digital collage, illustration, pattern

Day of Patisserie

Patisserie, cake, digital collage, illustration

Day of the Dragonfly

dragonflies, dragonfly, digital collage, pattern, illustration

Day of the Grapevine

grapevine, vinyard, grapevines, digital collage, illustration

 My ultimate aim is to reproduce some if not all of these patterns on wallpaper, fabric and other surfaces.

The method was pretty much the same for each pattern; here’s an outline:

  1. Research photos and sketches made on the spot
  2. Preliminary sketches from the initial research images
  3. Pencil or pen drawing from the sketches
  4. Drawing scanned to Photoshop where the line work was cleaned (by adjusting brightness/contrast, duplicating with the layer blend mode set to multiply and using the eraser tool) and cut out
  5. Colours and textures added in Photoshop layers using scanned handmade collages and marbling, bought papers, flat and graduated digital Photoshop colours and textured colours in Corel Painter12
  6. Duplication of the coloured single unit
  7. Adding a background of flat digital colour or scanned paper
  8. Adding texture to the background

For those who are interested in seeing  the production method for each image in more detail I’ve added them below:

Title page

For the background I made a map of Europe by tracing the outline in pencil onto squared paper

traced-europe-map-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator

which I then scanned to Photoshop and inverted

I then collaged the map in Photoshop layers with some bought paper

and marbling I had made using oil paints

and a French flag which I found through an internet search

I distorted the map with the free transform tool and applied my inverted outline of a plane tree and grapevine pattern (methods below), adjusting the layer blending modes, tone, saturation, curves and levels in Photoshop.

I printed the text ‘7 Days a journey in patterns’ from Photoshop , traced it in pencil and scanned the tracing back into Photoshop where I coloured / inverted it


I wanted to show the location of the Canal du Midi, so next I made a collage of another map of France I found through an internet search, applying torn fragments from a French road atlas

working over it in water soluble green crayon and a wash of acrylic paint

before applying a crackle glaze and white acrylic paint to highlight the cracks and scanning it into Photoshop

I traced the outline of the canal in Corel Painter layers from this map I found on the internet and applied it to my cropped collaged map in Photoshop, adjusting the tone and saturation, adding text to mark Toulouse and Sete (the towns at either end of the canal), and creating a border using the brush tool and a scan of aged paper in layers.

I had a practice run at labeling France on a print out my map of Europe (to which I’d applied a crackle glaze and white acrylic paint) with collage and biro

I cut out the collaged label of the lower left version in Photoshop and applied it over my background, including a smaller duplication of the ‘flagged’ France and a smaller duplication with reduced opacity of the Canal du Midi map over the larger ‘flagged’ France map

Finally, in Photoshop, I adjusted the tone and saturation of the background to improve the contrast, added and coloured a boat from the locks pattern (see below) labelled the Canal du Midi on the larger map insert and added an inverted outline of the 2CV drawing (see below).

Patterns:

2CV

Research photo taken in France, I also referred to a photo I found on the internet

Pen drawing

Scanned to Photoshop, line work cleaned and cut out

Coloured in Photoshop

2CV, car, digital collage, illustration

Curves adjusted, image duplicated and scanned paper added in Photoshop layers for background texture

2CV, pattern, car, digital collage, illustration 2CV, car, pattern, digital collage, illustration

Tone adjusted to achieve different coloured versions

Locks

3 sketches made on site to show how the canal boats go ‘up and down hill’ via the lock system

1 of many, many photos I took of the boat in a lock

A series of sketches I made to work out how to show how boats move up and down stream through the lock mechanism in ‘3D’

I traced the final sketch, made a pen drawing and scanned it to Photoshop in 2 parts

The line work is cleaned, duplicated, aligned and cut out in Photoshop

Outline duplicated in Photoshop layers on a scanned paper background with stripes added with the brush tool

Canal locks, digital collage, illustration

Collage and colour applied to the line work in Photoshop layers: leaves with the collaged map of France (see above); water with the brush tool; locks with the photo of concrete shown below

Locks, canal, canal du midi, lock diagram, digital collage, illustration

Finally the single unit is duplicated and stripes of scanned blue paper are added in Photoshop layers. I also added a final outline layer over the top to improve definition. The repeated unit is reminiscent of the form of Tibetan thangka art

Sunflowers

Research photos taken on the spot

Rough sketches for possible pattern layouts, I wanted to show the sunflowers rotating, as if towards the sun

Pencil drawings

Sunflower1-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

Drawings scanned to Photoshop, line work cleaned, trimmed and cut out

Sunflower-3-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator--web

Pattern trials made by duplicating layers in Photoshop

Sunflowers coloured in Photoshop layers: yellow centres and green parts collaged with different tonal versions of the France collage map (see above); petals with flat and graduated digital colour

Collaged sunflowers duplicated to form single unit of repeat

Single unit duplicated and flipped vertically

Sunflower-blue-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

Colour and pattern trials

Sunflower-blue-collage1-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

I finally settled on a blue background, to represent the summer sky, adding texture to it via a scanned canvas

Plane Tree

Planted between 1681-1810, plane trees line long lengths of the Canal du Midi and are dying because of a fungus but I decided not to portray the dying trees in favour of ‘aesthetic delectation’.

Sketch made on site

plane-tree-photo-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

1 of many research photos taken on site, I also referred to this Natural History Museum photo

Plane-tree-pattern-sketch2kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

Rough sketches to work out a single repeating unit

Pen drawing of the single unit

Single unit duplicated in Photoshop layers

Pattern line work inverted

Yellow tonal version of my collaged map of France added as a background to the inverted cut out line work. It overpowered the pattern which lacks definition

I redrew the single unit in pencil, adding more detail

Drawing scanned to Photoshop, line work cleaned and cut out

Plane-Tree-collage-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustrator-web

Collaged in Photoshop layers with my France collage map

Line work inverted and tone of collage adjusted, I love these autumnal shades but my pattern needed to be summery green

Layer effects applied to inverted line work

The version I decided to repeat

Pattern variations

Patisserie

Research photos

Pen drawings made from photos

Drawings scanned to Photoshop, line work cut out, inverted, duplicated and coloured in Photoshop and Corel Painter12

Coloured cakes duplicated to make a pattern

cakes, patisserie, digital collage, illustration

 Inverted line work introduced to background to add depth, subtle granular texture added

cakes, patisserie, digital collage, illustration

Closer crop

Dragonfly

Research photo

Partial pen drawing

Drawing scanned to Photoshop, cleaned, part duplicated and flipped horizontally

Playing with tone and saturation settings

Line work inverted

Playing with tone and saturation settings for the inverted version

Inverted line work multiplied

Line work on a scanned paper background

Multiplied

A4 crop

Grapevine

Research photos

Preliminary sketches from photos

Pen drawing

Scanned and duplicated

The single unit was collaged in Photoshop layers with the following material:

marbling I made with oil paints

scanned to Photoshop and tone/saturation adjusted for the grapes

my collaged France map for the vine leaves

textured paper for the ground

textured paper for the vine trunks

The duplicated collage

A closer crop