Sunday, 30 August 2015


It's been around three years I've been doing my freelance thang fully now. I have a part time job for two days but the rest of the week (and a lot of the time weekend) is spent working on briefs for clients. Working from home can be difficult, there's a million distractions such as Real Housewives, Netflix and playing that new Rachel Platten 'Fight Song' on repeat. (I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO IT). These are my top tips on how to be freelance fierce at home...

1. DRESS THE PART - Above you will see me channelling my inner Melanie Griffith in 'Working Girl'. When I first started working from home I would find myself drawing away, emailing clients and haggling prices in long johns and a string vest. Now, I'm all for comfort, but as soon as you get comfortable, you get sleepy! I find if I get up and dress like I would if I was heading out to a meeting or work it helps kick my brain into working gear. You don't need your best threads, just something you'll feel work ready in.

I'm currently at home, however I'm aiming to move in the next few months. Wherever I end up, I'll need a desk area or work space and it needs to be fun. No one wants a boring desk. You're gonna be spending ALL DAY there so if you want a stuffed dinosaur teddy on your desk, damn well do it!

If you're creative, you will get a block at some point. When your brain is mush and all you want to do is, well, nothing. However make sure you surround yourself with photos, books, pictures, music, anything that you know will give you an idea. My shelves are rammed with comic books, postcard sets and other random finds. These have all come in useful at some point, even the Spiderman statue!


Every day make a new list before you leave your desk for the next morning. I have the worst memory and have to leave constant reminders of all the stuff I need to do. If so, make a reminder on your phone to remind you to make a list. You feel me?


At one point I was suffering from fairly bad pressure headaches and migraines. Then I had an eye test and got my first pair of specs and life was in HD. I was told that when you work on a computer a long time, due to the concentration your eye will not blink as many times as it should. Therefore, it will dry up and become sore, eventually leading to dizzyness and headaches. Make sure you make yourself take a break from any close up drawing/tablet/computer work every 15 minutes. Breaks are awesome and an excuse to eat Kit Kats and also your eyes need a rest. 


Power naps are the best thing ever. Around 25 minutes is the perfect amount to dirft off, feel like you've slept and then feel re-energised. You'll feel a bit groggy but then you'll eventually be fully awake being mega productive within minutes. I have a power nap pretty much every day. Ever seen me post on social media around 2pm? Hell no, I'm dreaming about being part of the X-Men, duh.


That's right. Set yourself your working hours. I find I'm really good at getting work done early in the morning and late at night. Lunch time is a no go as I'm eating and then I need a cheeky power nap. So I get up around 7-7.30, work out, shower, change, dance around with my iphone and get my working grind on around 8.30- 9am. I'll take a break at 1-2.30pm, then crack back on. On a good day, I'm done by 6pm. Most days I'm up till 11pm, sometimes 1 am getting work done depending on how much I have to finish!


Yep. That cute guy off Tinder can reply later, you got shit to do sistah! I will turn my phone on for social media posts at peak times but other than that it sits on 'Airplane Mode' for the majority of the day. Now and then I'll check my texts but other than that I know how easily distracted I am by constant instagram posts or googling fan theories on who 'A' was on Pretty Little Liars. Which, now 'A' has been revealed I've actually bought more time doing work. Cheers PLL.


Set yourself breaks in the day. 11am, 1pm, 4pm.Whenever works for you, just take 15 to leave your work room or desk.


If you get time on your break, go for a walk, run, drive. Fresh air does wonders for you!! Hell even crack open a gin and tonic. Not that I EVER do that....


Don't sit at your computer and eat. Mainly because you should be able to enjoy you food and not rush it. Take time to sit down and eat a meal, don't wolf it down, just enjoy it. Mixing break time rituals with work time just means you will never turn off. This a trick I only learned the past year!


Just don't. No e-mails. No laptop in bed. NOTHING.  Bed is your safe haven for chilling out so don't bring work to the bedroom. It just messes up your pretty little brain!


Music keeps me going all day. I will sit and listen to film scores, Tchaikovsky and Girls Aloud. Yup. I give no shits whether you judge me for that as all the random music I listen to has helped me create some stuff I'm really proud of. So if you have a ton of musical guilty pleasures, get them on a playlist.


This is something I learnt very recently. I had three commissions due within 48 hours and was running out of time. I was spending a whole morning redrawing and inking the same illustration as it just wasn't working. All I wanted to do was sit and finish reading my book. So around 12ish I gave up, threw the towel in on my bad doodles, went and sat and read my book with a tea. Around 2 I had finished the book, had lunch and fully re-energised to get this work done. I then went back to my work room and got soooooooo much work done. Moral of the story is;  if you're having a really bad off day, do what feels right for you. Don't pressure yourself to get it all done in an hour or a day as you can waste energy and materials on something you're not proud of. If you need to take a break, read a book, go shopping, watch a film. DO IT. Obviously do this in moderation!

So that's it for my freelance fierceness tips. Have any other work from home homies got any advice or tips I missed out? Leave it in the comments below!


Tuesday, 25 August 2015


'Give a girl a good lipstick and she can conquer the world'

Well, in this book I want you to buy the lipstick, wear it, work it, then send me a selfie of you wearing it...

It was around this time last year I started forming ideas for a second MAP book. I'd been asked by my publishers to think of a theme and direction for the next book in the series. I never dreamed I'd get a second book option so this was HUGE. Originally, I wanted to go down the old road of dating and relationships, however, I also have a decade of working in womens wear retail under my belt and so MAP MY STYLE (Huck & Pucker) was born. 

Well, originally it was MAP MY WARDROBE. Then MAP MY FASHION....I settled on STYLE because I wanted the book to focus on fashion but to still make the reader feel inspired afterwards. The point of MMS isn't about giving yourself a huge makeover, it's about embracing and loving yourself for who you are whilst also putting together killer outfits and utilising some spectacular Hairography on a daily basis!

The book is split into seven bad ass chapters. I will take you through a 16 piece definitive capsule wardrobe, a collection of different fashion themes and how to style them, an intense exercise on 'Style Scenarios' (WHAT will you wear to that job interview tomorrow again?!) and there's even a double page spread where you list how many shoes you own. THINK OF ALL THOSE SHOES!

My first book was a unique experience, still to this day baffles me I have a book out. I also learnt so much from it! For MMS I added more pages of quotes. Everyone loves a feel good quote right? Well this book is all about the postivity vibes y'all! I also have MORE illustrations in it. The book probably has a good 40% increase in doodles in it. I mean, I totally made that figure up off the top of my head but I'm sure it's kinda right. 

Now, I have styled so many beautiful shapes and sizes and am constantly in awe of the idea that some people have set in their fashion brain 'I.CAN'T.WEAR.THAT'. Yes you can. I will make you! I have seen many clients refuse to be styled with the options I have laid before them, and then with a cheeky wink and a dash of charm I've got them wearing a cobalt blue jumpsuit which they look AMAZING in. And then after a long baited silence looking in the mirror you hear those words ' I actually look nice in it'. YES LOVE YOU DO!

My MMS women come in all shapes and sizes. They're classy yet sassy and love the way they look! I wanted to represent as many body shapes as I could in the book. Due to certain chapters and the sequence I couldn't fit in as many figurative illustrations as I wanted, however, that's where this blog comes in! I intend to illustrate key season looks (inspired by the high street and catwalk queens) but onto my kind of MMS ladies. 

Even if you haven't picked up a copy of the book yet you can still connect with Stylers across the UK! Anytime you upload a selfie or picture of THAT brand new fedora onto Instagram? Use #MAPMYSTYLE. I like to think that in a few months readers can search that hashtag and find a huge wealth of visuals from #ootd posts to book spreads to inspirational quotes. Let's take MMS and get it social baby! I too will be uploading my own fashion looks and I'll be tagging fashion bloggers with my hashtag to share their wardrobe inspiration with you all!

Hopefully I haven't given too much away but just enough to tease you! All you need to do now is pick up a copy right? You can do that from the Huck & Pucker website HERE

Feel free to comment and ask any questions!



Monday, 24 August 2015


I haven't blogged in a lonnnng time. Not since November 2014 in fact. Yup. That long. So far 2015 has been absolutely exhausting yet AMAZING. Since around December last year I somehow landed three huge commissions over Christmas which involved me even doing work on Christmas Day. I know, I'M A LOSER. After that my work load has snowballed and increased and it's been crazy!

 In February I had my second book, 'Map My Style' published, launched a book to go alongside it and also stalked every book shop I could near to stock it! Not until recently, I've finally had time to take some time away from freelancing for a few days, sit down, poor a small gin & tonic (that's a lie, the one right here is fairly bloody huge) and update this blog!

Here's some pictures to update you all briefly. I was going to do a huge montage with a video and some amazing power ballads playing alongside it and then I just thought, 'nahhhhhhhhhh'.


In March I was asked to illustrate for #TrendsIllustrated for Manchester Arndale. This was THE biggest event I have ever done in my career and I loved every second of it! I produced a ton of different illustrations that could be customised and printed onto a t-shirt or crop top when you spent over £60 on the mall. I had such a great weekend and so many lovely bloggers turned up on the Saturday! The full lowdown is over on the #MapMyStyle book blog, here.

Image Credit @jason locke


Around the same time I was also contacted by to illustrate for their 'Style Fix' online blog. If you haven't come across yet, it's really pretty fun. I like the scrolling layout of it and how the products get displayed to catch your attention! I produced some hand painted illustrations all about BAGS. This was really pretty fun as for once I wasn't drawing figures or women....SAY WHAT GURL?!


To promote 'Map My Style' my publishing PR guru Dean contacted popular bloggers to be illustrated and get a free copy of the book or do a giveaway. All of the girls were awesome enough to do a post and IG. I loved also drawing Victoria from InTheFrow again, mainly because of the EPIC PURPLE MERMAID HAIR. A huge huge thank you to Megan, Danielle, Victoria, Jade and Tara!


One of my life long dreams is to get my illustration published in a high street fashion mag. While I class myself as an illustrator/fashion illustrator, one of my life long dreams has been to get my work into a high street fashion magazine. I was lucky enough to do some work for Glamour (and recently I've done more, update to come). I was so happy drawing these 70's styling tips!

Recently I launched a t-shirt and vest range with RockOnRubyClothing.... There is a whole post to come on that soon! You can shop the range here!

Saturday, 6 December 2014


A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be asked THE RAKISH GENT himself to illustrate a 'Look of the Week' piece. I was given a double breasted Reiss suit, JCrew shirt, Arthur Sleeps shoes and an Alice Made This lapel pin! I really enjoyed doing this illo, I also based the illustration on Taj Hayer, the mastermind behind the blog. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. It's got fantastic illustrations, great reviews and also has just started doing full on editorial content with photoshoots. Definitely one to watch for 2015!

Monday, 1 December 2014


Image - Manchester Arndale

Image - Instagram @rags_renewal 

On Thursday the 27th of November, the whole 10th floor of Manchester Arndale was transformed into blogging a beauty boudoir. I was lucky enough to be there doing live fashion illustrations of each blogger. HOLLAH! 

The #MAafterdark event is all about local Manchester fashion bloggers each being given a store within the mall to choose a dress from. They come to the event, get their hair and make up done, get drawn by me then get judged by Victoria from In The Frow (@inthefrow) to make into a top ten of Christmas party dresses. THEN all 10 dresses are put up for a vote, if you vote you can WIN a £100 gift card to spend at Manchester Arndale, which to be fair in January sales is gonna be much  needed right?


*I didn't have time to get my own photos as I was working my ass off. Please follow all these sassy ladies who I have used pics from*

Now I haven't done a live event in a few weeks but this was FANTASTIC. I drew Victoria first as she was guest judge and I'd brought in purple ink purely so I could do her luscious locks. She is also really, freaking nice. I could easily have a brew and a biscuit with the girl...



Then my aim was to draw all 25 bloggers who were invited. Unfortunately I couldn't get round everyone as the event was only two and a half hours and like the huge dumbass I am, I brought ink along, which of course, takes ages to dry! If I get to do this again, NO ink, just loads of posh fine liners. I swear. I've said that if any bloggers I DIDN'T get a chance to draw email me asap, I can do you a 5 minute illo also.


Image - INSTA - @nellyandnoopy


Image - Instagram @HAYLEIGHJM




I also brought loadsa free stuff, which was EXCLUSIVE artwork from my next book, MAP MY STYLE and also my new colour me in business cards which went down a right treat. Never forget if you're freelance, people love cool free stuff. That is gonna be my freelance mantra y'all. 

I had a really great night and it was so nice to meet all these girls and hear about their blogs and influences. Also the prosseco tasted dayum fine. On my way home, in pure fate while getting on a rail replacement bus with my resting bitch face on, I bumped into Elizabeth whom I'd drawn earlier on and we had some right good in depth banter! 

Take a look at Elizabeth's VLOG of the evening, I even make a lil' cameo: 

Also now I've made all these new local fashion blogging contacts, I'm thinking, sometime in the new year... BOOK LAUNCH FOR THIS BAD BOY...

Yep. This is the cover tease for MAP MY STYLE. Not the whole cover, just a cheeky peek. The full cover will be revealed soon and I'm going to do a post about the ideas process for this cover as there were a lot of different variations....#MapMyStyle


Sunday, 26 October 2014


I mean who doesn't?

I honestly think a beard and top knot is a winning combo. I attempted a top knot myself with an elastic band last week, however I looked less Dalston hipster and more Miley Cyrus. FAIL.


I could not have been more lucky enough than to get the fantastic opportunity to have a whole sample of MAP MY HEART in Issue 4 of HELLO MR! I am literally over the freaking moon. Ever since I first read Hello Mr #1, I knew this was something different to your normal gay lifestyle magazine. Instead of semi naked men sweating over a dumbbell, you're given thought provoking poetry, editorials, stunning photographs and illustrations and tons of ideas. I like anything where afterwards you feel like you have learnt something. Something that matters. Getting a sample (with exclusive an intro text) into this mag means that people across the globe are seeing MAP MY HEART for the first time and I have to thank Ryan Fitzgibbon for being such a star in letting me do this and working it into this issue.

Even better is that there are people instagramming their favourite photos! I love when this happens. Here's a tiny few, but if you have an issue and want to send me your pic PLEASE DO. My instagram is @domandink, tag me or DM me...

It seems there was one spread that was pretty popular. Give these lovely folks a follow @hellomr and....

Photo Credit IG; @mcqueenismypapi

                                                 Photo Credit IG @nathanielmanual

Photo Credit IG @philiplouiscalabro


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