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CN: Through the eyes of Toots Design

CN: Through the eyes of... is a series of blog posts written by members of the Concept North community. We wanted to see what Concept North looks like from the other side; to look at our meet-ups through the eyes of our guests and to hear their thoughts and experiences. Next up, we've got Lorna Gibson from Toots Design!

'Lorna works with traditional pencil sketches. She adds colour with coloured pencils, sometimes using touches of watercolour before she adds digital elements to her illustrations. She'll take any opportunity to work outside in the garden at home in Cheshire, England. Having spent 10 years living in the snow, Lorna still travels to the mountains whenever she can during the winter, and you'll see a lot of winter influence in her illustrations.'

I’ve now been to three concept North events and each time I’ve been, I’ve come away feeling inspired to drive forwards with more confidence.

Diving into these events solo can be quite challenging, so kicking back with a drink and listening to the panel take over is always one of my favourite parts of the evening. I find that no matter the topic, listing to the panel guests is both inspirational and comforting in equal measure. You realise that the struggles you face are shared and you come away with fresh ideas about how to overcome your challenges.

I never know what to expect from a Concept North event and that’s probably what I like the most. I go in with an open mind and no agenda and every time I’ve come away with a solid piece of advice or a connection which has moved me a step further in my creative journey.

In May, I met Karolina Barnes from Estila who kindly gave me an hour of her time by Skype following the event. I have used much of her advice in the subsequent months, all of which has been substantially beneficial. We chatted through my branding and bounced about some ideas I was mulling over. She was a fantastic sounding board for me. One of Karolina’s key suggestions was that I get some better photos, and so yet again, I drew upon the Concept North network and used Robyn Swain who had shot some beautiful photos at the Chester meet-up in May. I had a wonderful day with Robyn shooting photos, both lifestyle and product shots. I met her in her home town of Preston and we found the cosiest bar which suited my wintry illustrations. Using her photos was a huge advantage as I rebuilt my website over the summer and I’d definitely use her again in the future.

A last minute change of plan allowed me to make it to the September meet up, where I met Sam from Linear Design Studio. I really enjoyed chatting with him and was really interested in his work and he is currently helping me with a project I’m working on too. So in the past 6 months, through unexpected meetings, Concept North has made a real impact on my business. Not to mention the lovely people who I’ve not worked with, but who I have really enjoyed getting to know.

If you would like to join us, come along to our February meet-up in Chester! You can find you ticket here.

If you'd like to keep in touch with Toots Design..

website: www.tootsdesign.co.uk

instagram: @tootsdesign

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