Rainbow Cake Illustration – Included on Amelia’s Magazine

I created an illustration in response to a brief set by Amelia Gregory of Amelia’s Magazine. The brief asked to create an illustration of a cake that would be suitable for child. Using Amelia’s Birthday Cake Inspiration Pinterest board as a starting point, I decided to illustrate a colourful rainbow cake fit for a party – with lots of layers, icing and sweets. The hand drawn style and bright, flat colours aim to create a child-friendly and fun vibe.

A range of lovely illustrations are included on Amelia’s blog post ‘Snarfle is One: Celebrating Baby, Motherhood and Work’. I’m really happy to have mine included.

Rainbow Cake by Christine Charnock

Haiku Salut Illustration – Included on Amelia’s Magazine

I created an illustration in response to a brief set by Amelia Gregory of Amelia’s Magazine. The brief asked to provide an illustration of the all-female instrumental band, Haiku Salut – using supplied photographs and the band’s music as inspiration.

Haiku Salut’s music is an interesting mix of electronica, pop, baroque, folk and more. I loved the dreamy, experimental and other-worldly sounds of their music. I wanted to reflect this by depicting the band in a dreaming, thoughtful state, with natural forms and geometric shapes being part of their dreams.

A range of brilliant illustrations are included on Amelia’s blog post ‘An interview with Haiku Salut and review of debut album Tricolore‘. I’m really thrilled to have mine included.

Haiku Salut by Christine Charnock

The Colour Pink – Included on Amelia’s Magazine

Here is my illustration for a brief about positive experiences of colour, set by Amelia Gregory of Amelia’s Magazine. Amelia asked illustrators to create an illustration in response to their favourite colour, and to write a few words and thoughts to accompany the visual.

I chose to illustrate and write about the colour pink:

The colour pink has so many beautiful and versatile shades – from vibrant and bold, to calming and subdued. In the natural world, the colour pink is present in many fascinating forms. The sky of a sunset, flora and fauna, and the flamingo bird are particularly memorable and beautiful examples. Pink always seems to create a positive, uplifting and cheerful vibe, and this is one of the reasons why I adore this colour.

A range of inspiring and beautiful imagery about colour is included on Amelia’s blog post, ‘What Does Colour Mean To You?‘.

The Colour Pink by Christine Charnock

Christmas Music Illustration – Included on Amelia’s Magazine

I created an illustration in response to a brief on the theme of Christmas Music, set by Amelia Gregory of Amelia’s Magazine.

Amelia provided links to a range of Christmas songs and asked illustrators to “explore these and come up with whatever you think is suitable – I’d love illustrations that are inspired by the tunes…” One illustration was to be created, so I created mine in response to Tracey Thorn’s ‘In the Cold, Cold Night‘.

Tracey Thorn’s ‘In the Cold, Cold Night’ has dark and mysterious undertones to it which I wanted to reflect in my illustration response. The song creates an atmosphere of longing and loneliness, and a determination to find companionship in whatever way possible.

A range of creative and beautiful illustrations are featured on Amelia’s blog post, ‘Favourite Christmas Indie Tunes for 2012: listen to the best here!‘. I’m really thrilled to have mine included.

In the Cold, Cold Night by Christine Charnock

Event Visit: Commercially Social

Commercially Social
Wednesday 28th November / 5pm – 7.30pm
Location: Sandbox, UCLan campus, 4th Floor Media Factory

I attended a really interesting event this week that gave insight into effective ways of using social media. A range of speakers gave insightful and inspiring talks that discussed their own personal experiences as well as giving a huge range of useful social media tips.

Although a huge amount of topics were covered in the event, I’ve just given a really small overview of some particular interesting points from each speaker.

Commercially Social ImageImage from the Commercially Social event page

The Speakers:

Jennifer Acuri / Entrepreneur and Founder of InnoTech Summit
Twitter: @Jennifer_Arcuri

Jennifer explained the vast importance and value of Twitter for individuals, businesses and brands. She explained that using Twitter as humanly as possible was key. People are social beings and like to interact, and the same applies through Twitter and other social platforms. Although automated tweets can be a convenience, they lack a persona and people can become switched off by this.

She stated that it was really important to engage with your audience, and replying, retweeting and making a tweet a favourite makes your followers “feel like stars”. Making your audience feel important and valued is key to social media success.

Glen Richardson / Entrepreneur and CEO of of JustBought.It
Twitter: @glen_richardson

One of the key topics that Glen discussed was the concept of ‘social proof’. The psychological power of social media is an interesting topic, and shows that like in a real environment, people can still ‘follow the crowd’ online. Humans strive to find recommendations and advice from others, and follow other opinions.

Social proof could be described as a psychological response where people repeat the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a specific situation. Glen explained that this can have both positive and negative impacts, and that we sometimes go against what we think is right, just to go along with the overall response that is taking place.

As with JustBought.It, users recommend, share and broadcast their purchases online with friends. Consequently, this excitement and recommendation can encourage others to try out a certain product or brand. This is a positive way forward for ecommerce.

Martin Brown / General Manager of Felicitas Media
Twitter: @FelicitasMedia

Martin explained how honesty and empathy is the best way forward within the social media world. He discussed how people don’t want sympathy, but somebody to understand and listen. He explained that honesty allows people to see the real person and real brand, and consequently, this approach has been successful for a range a businesses.

Thomas Power / Entrepreneur and Founder of ecademy
Twitter: @thomaspower

Thomas explained the importance of social media and discussed how directors of companies are not yet fully embracing social. He explained that for directors to see the huge benefit, employees need to show them social outcomes through statistics and numbers – something which directors may thrive from. Many online tools exist that allow users to track and monitor social gravitas and trends, and can depict areas to improve on, and to what extent an individual or business’ social reach is. Thomas believes that using such tools to view statistics will encourage more businesses and brands to start embracing social media.

Additionally, Thomas explained that it takes 5 years to learn something fully, and compared learning social media to learning a sport. He explained that you can’t immediately excel at every social media platform – you have to practice before becoming successful at it.


A really informative event that gave a massive range of hints and tips – inspiring everyone to get fully engaged with social media.

We Face Forward Exhibition

Museum/Gallery Visit:

We Face Forward / Manchester Art Gallery
2nd June – 16th September 2012

The ‘We Face Forward‘ exhibition focuses on contemporary art and creative works from West African artists. The exhibition encourages visitors to find out much more about West African culture and how it influences art, craft, photography and other creative works.

The exhibition takes place across many of Manchester’s museums and galleries, including Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Gallery and the Gallery of Costume (Platt Hall). Additional supplementary events and exhibits have also taken place at the Manchester Museum and the National Football Museum. Having a vast integration of the theme over so many galleries and museums creates vast awareness into a diverse range of work.

On visiting the exhibit in Manchester Art Gallery in August, I was particularly interested in the section showcasing photographic work. Though the exhibit included a variety of large scale installations and abstract artworks, the photography was really engaging. The photographs instantly depicted examples of life and culture in West Africa, with some imagery being particularly moving.

2 of the included photographers in particular have outstanding documentary photography work, and it is well worth seeing.

Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo

Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo was born in 1978 in Burkina Faso. He lives and works between France and West Africa.

Ouedraogo’s series titled ‘The Hell of Copper’ depicts the Aglobloshie Dump in Accra, Ghana. He explained that young Ghanians from aged 10 – 25 years would work 7 days a week to disassemble old computers to collate the copper for reselling. This process would frequently involve burning plastic and rubber components to get access to the copper – without masks or gloves. Ouedraogo’s series of photographs aims to depict the exhausting and dangerous working conditions.
The photographs are dramatic and moving. The colours seem almost desaturated, emphasising that the working area is full of danger and distressing consequences.

Actually seeing these works as a set in a gallery setting is essential viewing.

Below are just a few of the photographs.

Ouedraogo 1

Ouedraogo 2

Ouedraogo 3

Nyani Quarmyne

Nyani Quarmyne was born in 1973 in India. He now resides and works in Accra, Ghana.

Quarmyne’s work explores social and humanitarian themes and he depicts this through photography. A particularly interesting and moving set of images is that entitled “We Were Once Three Miles from the Sea“. It tells narratives of individuals and families who are losing their homes to sand and water. Quarmyne explored this distressing situation by visiting and photographing many villages near the town of Ada Foah.
Many of the families are unable to move home, and are trapped in houses that are unsafe and are at risk of disappearing completely under sand or under water.

Each photograph is highly emotive and through the strong visual narrative, the viewer is able to understand the saddening situations.

Below are a small selection of photographs.

Quarmyne 1

quarmyne 2

quarmyne 3


This exhibition provides an interesting, informative and diverse introduction to West African culture and the art that has been inspired by this. Even if contemporary abstract artworks and installations are not appealing, I’d thoroughly recommend seeing the photography section of ‘We Face Forward’. The works displayed tell moving narratives and are visually engaging.

To find out more about the exhibition, visit the We Face Forward website.

Images References

Photographs by Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo
Photographs by Nyani Quarmyne

Museo e Galleria Borghese

Museum/Gallery Visit in Rome:
Museo e Galleria Borghese / Tuesday 21st August, 2012

The Galleria Borghese is set in a wonderful location in Rome – tucked away in a park full of trees, fountains and a lake, the setting itself is an inspiration.

Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1579–1633) was a highly knowledgeable art collector of his time, and his small yet fascinating art collection clearly shows this. The gallery has 20 rooms spread across 2 floors, and includes a range of Italian Baroque and Renaissance art and sculptures. The entire collection provides a fantastic insight and introduction into this era and style of Italian art.

Iconic sculptures include works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and Antonio Canova (1757-1822). Bernini has a strong connection with the Galleria Borghese, as he was actually commissioned to create marble sculptures by Cardinal Scipione Borghese himself. Much of Bernini’s work explores metamorphosis, strength and emotion. The craft, detail and delicacy in the ‘Apollo and Daphne’ and ‘David’ sculptures are breathtaking. Amongst the paintings and the extravagance of the highly decorated walls and fresco ceilings, the sculptures remain captivating.

Apollo & Daphne Sculpture

David Sculpture

Another fascinating sculpture is ‘Pauline Bonaparte’ by Canova. This sculpture takes the main prominence in Room 1, with all visitors being amazed by the craft and skill of the sculptor. The delicacy and accuracy of the draping material is almost lifelike and tangible.

Pauline Sculpture Borghese

Artwork and paintings in the gallery include works by Raphael (1483-1520), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592) amongst many others.

A particular notable and striking piece is the painting titled ‘Lady with a Unicorn’ by Raphael. This portrait holds an element of charm, magic and mystery. It’s style is captivating and is a great example of the Renaissance style.

Raphael - Lady with a Unicorn - Borghese Gallery

‘The Boy with a Basket of Fruit’ by Caravaggio is another notable, striking painting within the gallery. Though a portrait, visitors are intrigued by the realism, colour and detail of the fruit and it’s symbolism.

Caravaggio - Boy with Basket of Fruit

Each room contains a variety of fascinating paintings and sculptures that are certainly worth viewing. The gallery requires that you book a slot and reserve tickets online or by the phone – as each visitor is allowed a 2 hour slot to browse the gallery. Although this may appear to be unusual, this method of ticketing allows you to look through the gallery in comfort and ease – without the overcrowding that can be experienced in other popular Rome museums and galleries. Bags, use of mobile phones and cameras are also disallowed in the gallery rooms, though this again allows for the art and sculpture to be appreciated in a relaxed manner.

Audioguides can be hired if desired, though the wall plaques provide the artist and artwork title, and the leaflet provides a map and an overview of the gallery and its history.

Galleria Borghese and its surrounding area is most certainly worth visiting whilst on a trip to Rome. If you only have time for one or two galleries, then this provides fantastic inspiration and an insight into Italian Baroque and Renaissance art.

Image References:

Apollo and Daphne by Bernini: http://www.galleriaborghese.it/opere/maxi/dafne.jpg

David by Bernini: http://www.galleriaborghese.it/opere/maxi/david.jpg

Pauline Bonaparte by Antonio Canova: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Pauline_Borghese.jpg

Lady with a Unicorn by Raphael: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_UJTe5I_NkI/TwbPQntw_RI/AAAAAAAADTU/5N4jRVHCl1w/s640/Lady+with+a+Unicorn.jpg

The Boy with a Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caravaggio_-_Fanciullo_con_canestro_di_frutta.jpg