Emma Russell

Emma Russell's illustration blog

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March meet the maker day 15 to day 20

Some more from the March Meet the Maker instagram challenge.

Day 15 – work clothes.

Studio “uniform” and my client meeting uniform. In the studio it’s all layers and comfort so for meetings I relish the chance to wear my “outside” clothes and tend towards one of my favourite skirts & colourful shoes, dressed down with a plain top. This is interspersed at regular intervals with muddy dog walking clobber! I dream of being Katharine Hepburn but I’m often more Worzel Gummidge!


Day 16 – Time to relax

Time to relax by getting near some trees and sky, preferably with the dog. If there’s no time for the forest or the marshes then the park is lovely, especially as spring is making everything shine, look at this willow. Despite it being years since i moved from Devon, I still miss the sea and Dartmoor, but forest, marsh and river cover the gap! If not trotting about outside i relax with cake, naps, books, pubs and, my guilty secret, *whispers* tv & radio detective dramas (don’t tell anyone)

Day 17 – Feedback

I think this is my favourite bit of client feedback ever. These words were emailed with three exclamation marks and I’m sure a twinkle in the eye. I’m protecting the client’s anonymity!


Day 18 – Hyperlapse

Here’s a link to the video:  www.instagram.com/p/BRySXhAgxn7

An app for timelapse or slow mo video. Today I’m working on something that i can’t share yet so i filmed my tea break instead… In heroic slow motion! That’s right, I’m drinking that tea and eating that cake so you don’t have to.


Day 19 – Helper

My helper is Holly dog. She tries not to let studio work get in the way of her important sleep research. Greyhounds are perfect studio pets, a very peaceful presence, they love to kip and be near their humans. She has an important job, making sure i leave my desk for a walk twice a day and for lunch!


Day 20 – Sketchbook.

Link to the video: https://www.instagram.com/p/BR3aixRg01h

I use basic A4 kraft-backed sketchbooks each dated with start&finish on the front. It’s not pretty. They’re not for human consumption! They’re for initial sketches, thinking, planning, notes, so i don’t spend time on them looking in any way finished or “nice”. Everything starts in one of these. It may go off to be developed in a layout pad or on individual sheets of paper, but this is thinking space. This is my most recent sketchbook.

March meet the maker – Day 14


Day14 #marchmeetthemaker is Creative Friends.
What a talented lot my friends are. They wow me all the time with their energy & achievements.  I’m so lucky to know artists, musicians, editors, directors, designers & makers… but today I’ve chosen an innovator; a creative businesswoman who is enabling makers to shine and flourish too. My dear friend Wendy runs www.thefoodmarket.com an online marketplace for natural food sold by independent makers. Like Etsy for nosh! Go give them a look it’s wall-to-wall food porn, plus recipes & special offers. Wendy is a power house (or crazy!) she started her business around the same time she had her first baby, he’s now walking and her business is up on its feet too. She’s funny, energetic, genuine and one of the nicest people I know. She’s doing a big crowd funder at the moment so you could even invest in her business (find link on homepage of www.thefoodmarket.com ) Pics are of a product, a recipe, her logo and of her as one of my bridesmaids playing with flowers (she’s going to kill me for that one haha)

Meet the Maker day 13

Day 13 #marchmeetthemaker is photography OK confession up front – product photography is a weak spot for me! Taking photos of little things that fit in a little folding soft box I have is fine. But larger things like these bags, or prints i find tricky. Especially framed prints… the reflections!

Meet the Maker day 11

Day 11 #marchmeetthemaker is post. I like sending out orders – an excuse for tissue paper, stickers, perhaps a little pretty twine if the package is big enough! I often draw the growling bunny on the parcel paper or colourful padded bag to keep an eye on things!

“Why I bought my daughter heroin” for BBC magazine

Some editorial illustrations for the BBC, illustrating a sad and amazing story of a family struggling to help their daughter cope with a drug addiction. You can read it here.

I made one lead illustration:

And six smaller illustrations to be spread throughout the story:



The initial brief for the main image was to illustrate the scene when the mother, in desperation, drives her daughter to buy drugs, but the focus changed slightly and it became the daughter suffering in withdrawal and the mother trying to soothe her. It made for a more simple image. It also needed to be clear enough to be easily understood when reduced down as a promotion on the main BBC News page. I wanted to make the best use of the “widescreen” landscape canvas, so standing figures or figures seated upright on a chair or bed wouldn’t work. The most effective option seemed to be for them to be seated on the ground. I made a pieta-like composition to both utilise the width of the layout and because the reflection of mother grieving over a child that it carries fitted well.

Meet the maker day 10

Day 10 is Recommend a Maker.

I couldn’t choose so I went with 3! L – R: @_mebyammagyan_ Amma makes beautiful bags. Handbag in top photo is6yrs old & still my favourite. Bottom pic 1on my wishlist from her shop. @theflowerbird Sarah is a remarkable florist. The top is my wedding bouquet, the bottom pic nicked from her feed. Her work makes me happy. @nickydeeleystudio is an awe-inspiring artist, she makes beasts and mythologies, both photos hers.



March meet the maker

I’m doing the Instagram challenge “Meet the Maker” this month. It was invented by Joanne Hawker as a way to tell the story of your designer maker business. It’s so much fun seeing everyone’s workplaces, process and faces!

Day 1 – You

Day 2 – Favourite to make

Day 3 – Workspace


Day 4 – Tools

Day 5 – Boomerang

I’m not sure how to place a Boomerang so here’s a link to it!

Day 6 – Raw materials

Day 7 – How it’s made

Day 8 – Where

Day 9 – Work in progress



Meringue Girls Flavour Cards

A little bit of design for a change. Two layouts and illustrations of meringue colours for the Meringue Girls flavour cards. These go inside each beautiful crate of their meringues like the menu cards in boxes of chocolates.