Posts in Artist Life
Look Back on 2018

It’s almost the end of the year! I hope you are all having a wonderful festive period, maybe some of you are back at work or maybe you’re off until after New Year. Either way, I hope you’ve all had some chance to sit back and relax with loved ones and indulge in a few Bailey’s! Now is the time of year where we naturally start to feel reflective and want to look back at the year and see our highs and lows. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.

I always like to sit and reflect on what’s been good and not so good in the year before the new year arrives so that I feel prepared and ready to go into 2019 with a clean slate and clear mind. It provides a great opportunity to assess why things happened, what you can do more of and what you can change in order to make the new year better for yourself. Not necessarily making resolutions or any drastic life overhauls (unless that’s your thing, in which case, go for it) but more so little changes that hindsight allows you to make.

So, in no particular order, here is my look back at 2018!

I launched two batches of space cards

This seems like such a long time ago that I didn’t even think it happened this year! I launched a range of Valentine’s cards and then they were so successful that I decided to launch another selection covering various Mother’s, Father’s day, birthdays and thank yous. The cards were a real turning point for me in regards to my business. They made more sales than my prints put together at the time and it helped to confirm to me that there was potential for a future with this business and I needed to make life/career choices to maximise that potential.

I completed two pet portrait commissions

This was a pretty big one too!  I took on my first ever paid commission, which then lead to the happy customer deciding to recommission straight away. I love drawing animals/pets and I’ve drawn a couple in the past just as gifts, but actually having someone pay me to draw their pets is such a nice feeling. I love getting intricate in the details and trying to make the dots look like fur. Like most creatives and freelancers, I always struggle with pricing. I think it’s such a hard thing for us all, not wanting to overcharge or undercharge but still wanting to put value on your work and not scare customers off. Having two paid commissions this year was a great opportunity for me to work out my pricing and reaffirm that people would be willing to spend money for my art and that this isn’t just a pipe dream.

My 1st Vegan Anniversary on April 1st

This year was my 1 year Vegan anniversary and it’ll be 2 years in April, which was a big milestone for me personally. Up until this point, I hadn’t really thought about how much Veganism had impacted my life and it hadn’t even crossed my mind to take it to my business. However, writing this now, it was this anniversary that kickstarted hours and hours of planning about how to take my business in a more Vegan and environmentally sustainable direction. I have plans of new products and designs I would love to create in 2019 in order to spread the Vegan message and further establish myself as a vegan brand. Watch out for that next year!

I celebrated my first year of small business

Again, it seems hard to believe really but I’ve not been in the small business game for very long. I celebrated my 1 year business anniversary in August this year, which is crazy. It’s hard to remember a time when Dots and Ink Pots wasn’t in my life. The first year is always the hardest and most daunting but also equally exciting. Daunting because everything is new and my gosh is it a steep learning curve! But exciting because everything is new and you absorb so much information, everything is a new opportunity and experience and it’s great to just soak it all in. As a business owner, especially a relatively new one, I am looking forward to my second year of business to reflect on how the first year went and learn from my experiences.

I left my full time day job in August

This was one of the “career/life choices” I made this year. I made the decision to leave my full time job in order to pursue a career centralising around my business. This was such a defining moment of 2018, as making such a massive career change was something I only ever dreamed about. Plus leaving a job that was so secure in order to start from the “bottom” again so to speak is quite daunting. But I am so glad that I finally, after debating a creative career for so long, took the leap to quit my job.

I started uni in September

Stemming on from leaving my job the month before, in September I started my first uni degree! In order to help further my business and be able to forge a career in the marketing side of business, I decided to start studying Digital Marketing. It was a big leap to go back to education after working full time for so long but I think it was the right decision. It’s taking a bit of getting used to and next year will require a bit more pre-planning in order to keep the business and content going all year round but I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m already learning key things that I want to implement into my business plan and strategy, so I think I made the right decision.

I completed 17 days out of 31 for Inktober

I managed to complete 17 out of 31 days of Inktober this year and even though I didn’t completely finish it, this year was the most I’ve ever done. I think deciding to do Inktober a month into starting university was probably a bad decision as I wasn’t prepare for how much work there would be, but I’m glad I gave it a go. Preparing was a key factor in how I was able to complete so many in advance so next year I’m definitely going to use my summer break to get a head start on them, so that all I have to do is post them to socials!

I launched my first range of Christmas cards

Perhaps one of the most exciting things that has happened this year was the release of my first range of Christmas cards! Not only Christmas cards but they had festive doggos on them too. I’d wanted to design some pointillism dogs for a long time but hadn’t got round to finding the perfect product, until these bad boys came along! They’ve been received so much better than I could have hoped for and that’s without that much promo. I’ll give you a heads up, the doggos will be expanding next year, onto more festive things and they want to bring their feline pals too. You heard it here first!

Overall, I think this year has been fantastic for my business and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way this year, allowing me to grow in confidence and make more strides towards the creative career I want. University is full on though, so 2019 is going to be about planning and preparing as much as I can so that I have things and content ready to go. So this Christmas break, I’m writing as many blog posts as I can for next year. Got to be prepared!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at 2018 with me and I hope you are able to find time to reflect on your year so that 2019 will be the best yours can be.

Have a great New Years, eat, drink and be merry! See you in 2019!

Elle x


Tips For Working From Home - 1 Month Update!

If any of you follow me on Instagram you will know that I recently left my full time day job in order to start Uni this month. I’ve been very vocal about how i’m finding the transition so far over on my socials, plus it’s been approximately a month so far, so I thought it would be a perfect time to tell you about how it’s been.

I left on a Thursday and had the Friday to relax and process the emotional event that was leaving a job I had worked in for 3 and a half years. Then it was the Bank Holiday weekend so I was preoccupied with that, meaning that I officially got in the swing of it on the Tuesday. I think it was a mixture of being incredibly emotional at such a big change in my life and routine and not really knowing where to start that meant that I felt weird and unproductive for at least the first week and a bit.

Going from working a full time job in the day and working on your business in the evenings and weekends to having all day to work on your business, I found quite strange. At first it was as if my brain wasn’t as motivated to do everything because it was used to having barely any time and now it had loads. So I was used to having to cram all my work in to tiny amounts of time and now that it had all of the time, it was struggling to cope. I think from speaking to other creatives that have made this leap, there is a real transitional period that people don’t really speak about. I had the assumption that I would leave my day job and would be able to go straight into working from home because when I would have days off from my full time job, I was super productive. I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be that way when you don’t have a regimented job for someone else to do.

I understand now that it was always going to take time to adjust as you are going from working for someone else and putting your business and dreams on the side burner to now being in charge of you work, your productivity and having your business centre stage. I asked on Instagram for tips for working from home and I began to try out a few to see how they would make me feel.

1. Getting dressed - People always say to make sure that you get dressed properly in order to make sure that you don’t get too comfortable and lazy with your working. I tried it for one day in jeans and a shirt and that day was more productive but I’ve switched to comfy leggings and a shirt to compromise. I found jeans were too restrictive for me to sit comfortably at my desk all day so I’m comfy on the bottom but business on top and I find that works well for me.

2. Eat away from your desk - I am very guilty of eating most of my meals at my desk as I normally watch a Youtube video or something whilst I do it. I tried eating my breakfast, lunch and snacks at my dinner table for a whole day and I did find it was actually quite helpful. I was able to designate food time with browsing my phone, which meant that I was less inclined to use my phone at my desk when I should be working. It also allowed me a clear separation between eating and working which meant I actually gave myself lunch breaks rather than the time it took me to eat and that’s it. This meant that my productivity was actually better as I had clear breaks to re-jig my focus.

3. Listen to music or podcasts
- As I said before I usually watch Youtube videos when I work and sometimes it works but I am the sort of person that puts something to watch on in the background and I find myself watching it more than working. I’ve discovered that working for yourself means finding what works best for you and doing that as much as possible. That doesn’t mean that I can’t watch programs in the background whilst I work it just means that I should limit it when I want/need to actually get work done. I have found that listening to music and podcasts works best for me when I’m writing blog posts, drawing or packing orders. There’s nothing I can get distracted by watching and it allows me to focus, be motivated or be happy depending on what I’m listening to.

4. Set achievable to do lists and write Done lists
- I found that during my first couple of days I would end the day feeling quite disappointed with myself because I hadn’t achieved all the tasks I had written down, even though I did do lots of work. So I came up with the idea of writing Done lists at the end of the day because the work day can throw up unscheduled tasks. This means you’re still busy and have been productive but because it wasn’t on your original list, it looks as though you’ve not been working, when you have. A Done list has been working well for my own motivation and self-esteem, so I think I will definitely carry it on.

5. Allow yourself to rest and lie in if needed
- When I was working full time and I had a day off it was so easy to wake up at 7am or earlier so I would have as much time as possible to work on my business. When I left my job and could have as much time as I wanted to work on the business, waking up at 7am became a lot harder. It could have been that now the sun rises later, my body clock was adjusting but I think that I punished myself for waking up at 8/9am for the first week more than I should have. I was still processing the big emotional change, was still feeling overwhelmed with it all and I should have allowed myself the flexibility without feeling as though I was failing. One day I allowed myself to sleep until 9am because my body needed it and I felt so much better and ultimately was more productive that day because I was less harsh on myself. As I am writing this (14th September) I have been waking when my boyfriend wakes up 6:30am and I have been finding it a lot easier this time round. From this, I have learnt that whilst I am more productive in the morning and I’m easily a early bird, I need to allow my body the rest that it needs. If I wake up an hour later, it’s not the end of the world. I need to work smarter rather than for longer.

6. Get some exercise in / get active
- When I began to give myself designated lunch breaks I found that going for a walk to the shop etc was such a boost to my productivity, fitness and mental space. It’s not always possible everyday to get outside, if it’s raining I find it hard to go outside if I don’t have to but I try and do some form of exercise most days. If it’s not a little walk, I like to do Yoga when I can. It pays to be a little bit active, especially if you’re working from a desk all the time. Due to this I am looking to invest in an adjustable height desk after Christmas. Being able to adjust my desk from sitting to a standing position will mean that my back and blood circulation will be better and I can mix up how active I am for different tasks.

7. Give yourself frequent breaks
- Regardless of whether or not you have an adjustable desk, making sure you take regular breaks to get up and walk around is important. It can allow your brain to refocus and the rest from screen time is beneficial. Spending long periods at my desk is something I’m guilty of and I’m trying to improve. I find I’m easily distracted if something else is messy or needs doing. For example if the dishwasher needs emptying and reloading, I’ll use that as a break incentive. Once I’ve done some work, I’ll go and do that task so it doesn’t distract me plus it means I’m up and away from my desk.

8. Use apps or extensions that block certain sites or apps that distract
- When my phone is nearby I am frequently guilty of picking it up when I hear a ping and then end up scrolling for periods of time. No one is perfect at not scrolling through their phone but I am getting better at realising when I am aimlessly scrolling and stopping myself. There are blocking apps you can get for your phone or extensions for your browser that block access to your frequently used social media sites to help improve your productivity.

9. Allow your mood to dictate what tasks you do
- I write a to do list for each day of tasks that I would like to do and I put the most time sensitive ones at the top so that I can focus on them and then allow my mood to dictate what ones I would like to do after that. I find that doing the most laborious or tedious tasks first can help your productivity as you have the more fun tasks to look forward to afterwards.

10. Find when you’re most productive and utilise that time
- As I said before I am 100% an early bird, I love getting up early as I feel so more productive in the early hours of the day, when it’s quieter. I feel like I have so much more of the day to work with and I can get so much more done. I think it stems from working late for a few years at a music venue, my sleeping patterns were so all over the place because I wouldn’t get to bed until 4am and would then sleep through the day. I don’t ever want to have to go back to that pattern so I embrace and relish in being a morning person now. Therefore I am more productive and have more energy first thing in the morning and I can lull in the afternoon. I do my most important tasks in the morning and then take it slower in the afternoon.

I am by no means saying I have all the answers and that what works for me is the only way to do things. I am writing this post to say that it’s 100% okay to have a transitional stage when you leave a full time job to work for yourself and that it will take time to work out what works for you. No one really mentions a transitional stage, especially when you’re on social media it can seem as though people have their shit together and that you’re somehow failing because you’re working at different speeds. Everyone has bad days, good days, in between days. All that matters is that you are taking each day as it comes, always trying to move forward, finding out and trying different things that work for you. It’s important that if you do have unproductive days or feel unmotivated that you allow yourself to accept them for what they are, evaluate why you’re having a bad day and look for ways to improve that in the future. All feelings are valid feelings. No one has their shit together or perfect productive days 100% of the time.

I hope that this post may have helped some of you that are just starting to work from home, been working from home for years or are just considering it. We are all winging it and all anyone can ever do is try their best each and every day.

Elle x


What I Learnt From Blogtacular 2018
20180617_105542_0001.png

Hello!
I have finally finished writing about Blogtacular 2018. Yay! So, this marked my first ever Blogtacular experience and it was definitely interesting and informative. Instead of writing the standard blog post afterwards explaining how the event went in a diary format, I'm going to share with you my takeaways from the event. Because, my goodness, I learnt A LOT! Not all of this was learnt on the day, in the two weeks since I've been able to reflect and learn from things that happened on the day as well.

1. Tiffany Han's Keynote.
This keynote was the bomb. Full of SO many inspiring, motivating and kick-ass tips and lessons. Having not heard of Tiffany or been to Blogtacular before, I was unsure of what to expect. This keynote shot my expectations out of a cannon at great speed and exploded them into the sky in a series of fireworks. Before it was even half way done, I wanted to jump up, leave the room and work on my business. 

My top 3 takeaways from the keynote were:
1. Work on whatever you find exciting. If you're bored with what you're working on, your audience is going to be bored.
2. Do the things that won't leave you alone.
3. Be in front of the evolution.

2. Insta Stories Talk by Laura Jane Williams and Carrie Santana Da Silva
This was another fab talk that was funny and informative. I had never thought about my Instagram stories that much but this talk highlighted to me how important it is to be true to yourself and your brand. Laura asked us to think of three words that describe ourselves and create content that embodies them. My three words were: Passionate, True and Kind.
It helped me to narrow down my content, narrative and my brand and it's really helped me to look at the bigger picture.

3. Overall Feelings
I was very nervous before and during the event as I had never attended a conference of that size before and imposter syndrome definitely set in. Looking back, I feel that even though it was a perfectly normal feeling, I am pretty annoyed at myself for not being more proactive in starting conversations. At the time I made excuses for myself by saying "they look deep in conversation" or  "I don't want to leer nearby or be rude." Although it's perfectly valid to feel that way, I know deep down that I could have handled those situations, I could have broke the ice but instead I stuck to people I knew and on my own. Coming away from Blogtacular has given me the oomph and drive to go to more social and networking events and be the best and most confident version of myself that I can be.

Would I go back? Yes.
Tips for next time? Make more of an effort to network. Everyone is there to connect with people. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Blogtacular experience. There is no conference next year, but there is one in 2020. I'm so excited to attend that one! I'll be three years into my business and with the reflections from this one, it should be my most confident one yet.

Elle x

Cambridge Creatives Photowalk Autumn 2017

Hello again!
I have Monday off of work again this week, yippee! So I thought it would be only fair to write a blog post with my time. I have had a super fun and creatively recharging weekend, which involved a massive trek up to Cambridge. On Saturday I attended the third Cambridge Creatives Photowalk, run by Claire from ClaireAbelleMakes and Jo from HelloSunshine

IMG_20170930_144435.jpg

I took the 8am train to London, hopped on the tube and then another train to Cambridge, all before midday. We met at a lovely pub called The Grain and Hop Store to have a chill and catch up before the walk began. This was perfect as I had been feeling pretty nervous about meeting new people for the first time and so it helped to relax me a bit! Claire and Jo had put so much effort into the extra details and gave us all our own little goody bags! This included a hand illustrated map of Cambridge and the route we were going to take, a balloon and stick so we were easily identifiable, some sweets and a few treats from Claire, Jo and SewMeSunshine. 
 

IMG_20171002_093358 (1).jpg
IMG_20170930_143155.jpg



This particular Saturday happened to be the day that the new students moved in to the Cambridge universities and so it was rather busy down the main streets! Luckily the route had changed from the one on the spring photowalk so it involved more back streets, which was lovely. If you follow anyone from Cambridge on Instagram, the chances are you've seen a post or two from Jack's Gelato. You can probably guess what they sell from the name of the shop, but we stopped by and about 50 people bombarded the shop to get their mitts on some highly recommended gelato! It did NOT disappoint. I had two scoops of sorbet (obviously) one Damson and the other Mango.

After narrowly avoiding brainfreeze, we headed towards the river, passing the beautiful architecture of Cambridge University and viewing it from The Backs. I'm looking to do more dotwork pieces of buildings and this place was filled with swoon worthy architecture. After passing numerous bridges, a great deal of boomerangs and timelapses of people punting on the river were taken. When I say a great deal, I mean it. I myself have ten from this one day!  I'm very excited to come back in the summer and actually get to have a go punting for the first time! When in Cambridge and all that!

 

IMG_20170930_145324.jpg
IMG_20170930_151058.jpg
IMG_20170930_160318.jpg

 

The Cambridge Satchel Company also lent us some of their new Autumnal satchels to wear on the walk. The mustard yellow satchel backpack was a huge hit! If you're thinking of buying one, head over to Claire's blog for a great link. 

As we neared the end of the walk we found a giant pink crochet flamingo, named Fandango, yarn-bombed to the side of a tennis court and of course had to have numerous boomerangs and photos with it. There were even confetti canons because of course there were!

After the walk had finished, some of us headed off to a foodPark Night Market event in the city. Inside and outside of a massive barn, there were various food and drink vans and live music. I had Steak and Honour's Shroom burger and fries, which was absolutely delicious, albeit a bit messy, but that's what the napkins are for right?
I amazed myself by restraining from vegan churros and had a nice pint of IPA instead. 
 

IMG_20170930_171442.jpg

All in all, I am so glad I came. It was initially very daunting as this was the first time I'd met such a big bunch of creative people since starting my business and so imposter syndrome was very much in the back of my mind. However, the creative community that attended were so lovely and most of them were feeling the same way too. The environment that Claire and Jo had created was one that was so welcoming, friendly, warm and supportive. If you haven't been to one of their photowalks, I highly recommend you do. As of yet there is no date for the next one, but stay glued to their instagrams to be the first to know when there is!

I have come away from this experience feeling a lot more confident about myself and my business and that imposter syndrome is slowly but surely being stamped out.

IMG_20171001_093506_072.jpg

Community over competition.

Elle x

Finding Inspiration

Hello folks!

Today, I'm going to talk to you about finding inspiration. The essential thing we all need to create all of our work and provide us with our best ideas. As all of us creatives know, inspiration can be an unobtainable thing sometimes, with it seemingly being just out of our grasp. Most often people wait around for inspiration to strike, which can sometimes come at the worst of times (i.e. just as you're drifting off to sleep, or when you aren't able to jot it down or work on it.) 

Now i'm no expert on how to conjure up the elusive phantom of inspiration, but I am going to share with you some ways that I have found that seem to help me when I'm stuck.

1. Listen to Music
I love music. Music to me is so powerful and has the potential to transport you to other places, make you feel every emotion on the spectrum and see things differently. Whenever I am lacking inspiration, I put on my "Inspiration Playlist" I've created on Spotify and listen to it. This playlist consists of songs that fit the vibe of the work I want to create. It mostly consists of slightly magical feeling, dark songs that take me to a place where I can feel motivated. The songs you listen to will vary obviously, depending on the type of pieces or work you want to create. I'd suggest really listening to the songs and feeling whatever it is those songs make you feel and harness that feeling to direct it into doodles or sketches. You can then turn those initial sketches into fully fledged ideas afterwards. 

          

received_10154215257782537.jpeg

2. Watch TV or Film
I don't just mean any tv (although that can also work too, as your mind is distracted) but some kind of imaginative show. For example, I like to watch The Mighty Boosh or House of Fools (If you don't know of these shows, watch them, for your own good.) The Boosh in particular is an absolute barrage of everything you thought was both possible and impossible, rolled into one show. For me, I cannot help but feel inspired after watching an episode. The possibilities are endless and no stone is left unturned. 

 

IMG_20170910_091657.jpg

3. Browse Pintrest
Now, first things first with this tip, DO NOT STEAL. I know the vast majority of people who read this blog are fellow creatives or people who generally respect art and the artists that create it. Nonetheless, there may be some people that may not see anything wrong with it and so I'm going to make it clear that I am not endorsing browsing Pintrest and replicating other people's art. Absolutely not. I mean this doesn't apply to things that are not individually copyrighted. For example, just because someone has painted an anatomical heart, does not mean you are not allowed to do one, because anatomy is not able to be copyrighted. Yet, copying distinctive changes to it, for example the same flowers and positioning of them, is. However, the world of art and creativity is full with people being inspired by other people and their art. There is nothing wrong with that, at all. As long as you're not directly copying, being so inspired by a piece of art that you feel compelled to be influenced by it in your next piece is wonderful. 
Browsing Pintrest can help me think of different subjects to use and see how others have experimented with mediums and placements and contrasts of objects.  Below is a screenshot from a Pintrest search for Dan Hillier. He is one of my favourite artists and just browsing through his artwork can really help ignite a spark in my imagination. His work is so imaginative, dark and unusual that I can't help but be inspired and in awe of his work. 

           

Hillier1.png

4. Word Generators
This usefulness of this tip will depend on what it is you need to find inspiration for. For my work, I find this really useful. Most often, I need to think of subjects for my dotwork and especially when I'm trying to think of combinations of things to make more conceptual pieces, I use random word generators. These can mostly be found online and I'll use them to come up with a list of words that might help kickstart an idea or merge some together to concoct a more complex piece. These can be a really great help to make you think of things you might not have thought about before and it can hep you experiment with different subjects. It might not lead you directly to a new piece of work but through practicing different combinations, it could give you an idea for something else.

          

wordgenerator.jpg

5. Creative Community
Again, the "DO NOT STEAL" point  from tip number 3 applies massively here. I have found that building a strong community of creatives on your preferred social media platform can help greatly when it comes to finding inspiration. You don't necessarily have to be close friends with all of them, even just following artists or other creatives that you like and admire can be really beneficial to your inspiration supply. Constantly seeing new pieces or work in progress shots from your admired artists can help kickstart an idea or subject or style that you hadn't thought of exploring before. Even if they're not posting art regularly, I find that their behind the scenes/small business posts can be equally as inspiring. Seeing their work ethic, their process and sometimes even their sketchbook/ideas can help with motivating you to improve your own.


So there we go! I hope this post can provide some inspiration on how to find inspiration! At the very least, it'll provide some insight into how I help kickstart my inspiration hunt.

Elle x

 

A Dotwork Artist's Toolbox

Hello again!

I thought for my second blog post I would talk you guys through my go to tools for creating my dotwork pieces.
The first step for me is to sketch out the piece with pencil. I know some people prefer to just dot straight on to the page freehand, but being a perfectionist by nature, I would become frustrated with myself very quickly. I once got halfway through an A3 piece of my friend's cat and started again from scratch because I had put too much black in the scruff of their white neck fur. (yes, I know, crazy!) To be fair, the second piece looked so much better and I was glad I started again.
When I first started practising dotwork, I was unsure what pens I should use, so I opted for the Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens that I already had. I started using the Fine, Medium and Small nibs and as I was just starting out with the technique, I thought that these would be ideal pens. Which they are, to some extent. The flow of ink on the PITT pens is quite fast and dense, so for me I struggled to obtain lighter and more subtle dotwork where needed. As I progressed and became more experienced in dotwork, I found that I was striving for more detail and therefore needed a finer nib and slower ink flow.

IMG_20170805_095512.jpg

 

I then discovered the Pilot DR Drawing Pens and decided to try them out, with nibs ranging from 05-01. The 05 gives a 0.5mm tip, the 03 gives a 0.4mm tip and the 01 gives a 0.28mm tip. I now use these for the bulk of most of my work, with their precision and slow ink flow, allowing for a much more precise finish.  I tend to use these pens and build up the layers of my dotwork pieces, rather than focus on one area and making it as dark as it needs to be before moving on to another.
The picture below shows the ink impressions of each of the previously mentioned pens. The first 3 pens are the Faber-Castell PITT pens in Medium, Fine and Small before moving on to the Pilot Drawing pens in 05, 03 and 01.

IMG_20170805_101001.jpg

 

For Christmas last year, my boyfriend Josh, bought me my first Electric Dotspen by Cuttlelola. It is AMAZING!!
For those of you that haven't seen or heard of this before, the premise is essentially the same as a tattoo pen, but with one nib. It comes with ink refills and you can get a few different colours at the moment. I have just purchased two, a blue and yellow set. The pen itself is a revolution. The whole premise of dotwork is repetition, which can be quite demanding on the wrist and resulting in long turnaround times for art pieces. This I do not mind, as I think the whole process and result of dotwork is beautiful. However, when it comes to dense dark patches of almost solid black ink, it can be quite tedious. This is mostly what I use the Cuttlelola Dotspen for, as it drastically reduces the amount of time spent on these areas.

IMG_20170805_100130.jpg

 

Initially, it takes a little while to get used to but once you get the hang of it, it's really useful. I'm yet to use it on the fastest of the two speeds as I'm not that brave! (It is ridiculously fast!!) I don't really use it for subtle dotwork as I find it's too vigorous for that. I guess the more experienced you are with it, the better your ability to use it for that kind of thing. My dotwork style has evolved to be focused on the detail. For example, I would much rather spend hours building up layers of ultra fine detail using low ink flow pens, than go straight in with heavy ink pens. I just feel that my work is better for it and that this detail comes through in my work.

So there you have it, my experiences with three different brands of ink pens and a little review of what I use now!
I will do a full review on the Cuttlelola Electric Dotspen soon, in order to show off this wonderful little invention.
For the meantime, I do share timelapse videos over on my Instagram page, if you wanted to check it out now and see more of my work.

See you soon.
Elle x