sweet oxen

Insider’s Guide to a Career in Illustration Seminar

On Tuesday I worked an early shift and then hopped on a train into London for Stacie Swift & Emma Block’s Insider’s Guide to a Career in Illustration Seminar at the very amazing SMUG in Camden Passage.

I had a lovely wander around Angel beforehand, trying to resist the temptation of the many shops, and headed over to SMUG for around 3pm. Firstly, what a lovely venue! SMUG stock some gorgeous things – from cards and stationery, to homewares, jewellery and prints.

The talk was really informative, and inspiring, and it was great to hear how Emma and Stacie have both moved forward with their respective styles of illustration and where they have been successful. It was a great boost to be reminded that with hard work, you can reach your goals – it’s possible, it’s not all a crazy dream and you can do it! I particularly wanted some advice and insight into wholesalers – how to get into stockists, how to work with them and build relationships and so on, and this was a really informative afternoon.

It was also a lovely opportunity to meet other illustrators and graphic designers, and get some feedback on my website and shop – big thanks to Stacie and Emma for organising and providing yummy Carrot Cake!


sweet oxen

A Recent Project… Bringing Together Young & Old with Envision

I was recently asked to design a 12 page booklet commemorating a community project carried out by a the students of a school in Bristol, and what a joy it was to work on!  The students had recently visited the residents of a local elderly care home, and so using photographs of the day from Camilla Adams Photography, and stories from the residents, I put together a colourful but simple design. I’m delighted to hear that everyone involved with the project is really please with the final result, which I received yesterday in the post!

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You can contact me about print projects on jennifer@sweetoxen.co.uk, and check out my new porfolio website here.



sweet oxen

Launching My New Portfolio Website

In recent weeks I’ve crossed a few important things off the list, one of which is to become a fully fledged member of the AOI – The Association of Illustrators. And boy am I glad I did – why I didn’t do this before I just don’t know – but it is such an incredibly useful resource, and such a helpful lovely bunch they are!

I have decided to set up an online portfolio of some of the work I have done over the last couple of years, wanting to keep it separate from my Sweet Oxen shop, in order to try and secure more graphic design and/or illustrative projects and commissions. When working on my own as I do, it’s really easy to get bogged down with all the inner workings of my own head, and it can be really refreshing to work on something for someone else – it is also really fun to be honest and I want to do more of it!

From print projects such as posters, flyers, booklets and business cards to interactive PDF’s – you can see it all here:




sweet oxen

A Winter Walk

A couple of weeks ago my good friend the Clockster and I went out for a brisk walk in the wintery sun near Shefford, Bedfordshire. Was lush, it was.

Dave and I had visited the nearby Black Horse pub the week before (they do a great roast!) and I had made a mental note to come back and have a look around. One of the reasons we moved out of the city was so we could get out and about for that regular dose of fresh air, it makes such a difference to me to be able to see greenery, trees, fields. London stressed me out slightly, with all it’s grey and all the people – so here are some reasons why I love the country so much.


The Sky

I just love, love, love the sky. I mean obviously you get sky everywhere, but in most cities everyone is so engrossed in their Kindle, phone or not getting run over by an errand bicycle, bus or car, that it seems nobody looks UP! Yes, it’s sky, but just look at that blue, purpley softttt-ness – coincidentally one of my favourite colours. We found these weird spiky trees, that I just think look really quite creepy to be honest (we were on what looked like a Christmas tree graveyard in all honesty..), and I have actually had a lot of fun creating this art print from ink drawings based on this very photo. Once the sun started to go down, the light changed completely and we had a lovely view of the setting sun behind some clouds in the distance. Look how much the light changed in only a few minutes! From blue to that soft gold. Aaa.




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Again, a lifetime obsession with trees. Climbing them, creating bark rubbings with wax crayons, making dens, drawing them… I just think they’re so beautiful. I remember being a slight tree-geek as a youngster, having learned how to identify different types of tree from my uncle’s vast knowledge, and I just love their structure, and how flippin’ old they can be.  Imagine when you look at a tree that it has probably been there for decades, some for even hundreds of years, way before you were born, or even your grandparents. They will have stood through world wars and who knows what else – sorta blows my miiiind.


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Moving out of London was a big move but it’s the best thing we have done. We both suit the pace here so much more AND we still get to see our fab friends from all around! Yay!