April / May Update

Sea hare (Aplysia punctata)

In my Easter update I mentioned that April had, up to then, been a slow month. Indeed it had as I managed just a dozen paintings.

In contrast, however, May has been a much busier month as I worked on a few bird paintings, a rockpooling project, and product designs for my Zazzle store.

Watercolours

In the past two months I painted 25 birds, twelve completed in April and 13 in May. In the April group are a set of three that were requested. The subject, specifically, was left to me so I chose a set that I felt would look together – Hornbills:

The birds painted in May were, mostly, repeat subjects to replace ones painted in the past.

And a sample of news bird paintings:

Rockpooling project

The paintings made for this project, in support of Scilly Rockpool Safaris, are illustrations of the species found in the rockpools on the Scilly Isles. My daughter, her husband and, principally, my grandchildren (especially Orkney who can be seen doing his stuff on their website homepage), operate the safaris which is aimed at educating visitors to the islands about wildlife. I have visited once (for their beach wedding) and was amazed at how much wildlife exists on the small isles.

So far I have painted over 40 illustrations and have another 10 or so to do this month.

The Sea Hare (at the head of this post) is one of the sea slug species that have been completed. The examples are shown below.

In addition to these illustrations, a few of which were made a year ago, I have prepared some colouring pages for the visitors to take home.

Product design

I now have 325 products on sale via my Zazzle store, Alan Skyrme Design Studio, with about 20 new products added per week. I had mentally set a target but wasn’t sure if it was achievable. Practical experience helped so I now do 3 per day rather than more, or fewer, to instil some discipline.

There is always a temptation to do more but I need the discipline to ensure I can plan ahead without disrupting my workflow.

The Zazzle Store is divided into Collections. I have 11 collections at this time, though will expand to a maximum of 15 over time. The collections are:

  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Paper plates, napkins and party stuff
  • Ceramic coffee/tea/soup mugs
  • Wall art
  • T-shirts
  • Home Products (throw pillows etc)
  • Practical Products (tote bags etc)
  • Home and Office (mouse-pads, stationery etc)
  • Vegan/vegetarian inspired products
  • Seasonal gifts, calendars and cards
  • Bird, animal and nature inspired products

The products can be regarded as a bit expensive in comparison to other outlets BUT, they are all customisable so buyers can use my designs to create other products, or add narrative to personalise products, AND Zazzle often provides store-wide discounts – some of which are very good, so well worth visiting regularly to check for bargains.

Thanks for following. Feel free to buy my products!!!

I’m a mug for a mug!

Some of the 42 mugs on offer

My last post should have been an update on my paintings created in April but, as I often find, admin and other tasks get in the way of publishing. So, as I had not done much painting in April I shall combine the two months in an update for May – next week.

The subject today: Mugs!

I have 42 mug designs on offer. There is a 20% discount on all products at the moment so a great time to take advantage.

I have a personal collection of mugs, that I use, that I have built up over many years. It’s a fun and colourful collection.

The designs I have on offer, growing daily, has something for everyone (almost!) but the objective is to use them for bringing coffee, tea or soup! Great gifts or for your own use.

Have a look. Be tempted!

Thanks for following

Alan Skyrme Design Studio

Birds’ Promotion

My ETSY Store, Pipira Rosa, is offering a promotion of 15% on purchases of 3 downloadable paintings that can be printed at home.

Use the promotion coupon when checking out your favourite bird painting – or as a gift for someone special. (Mothers Day?)

The offer applies to any product that is is store from 01MAY22 to the end of the year.

Thanks for following

Z Pro

I received a nice little bonus, this month, in the form of a tag on my Zazzle Store. It is given for achieving sales commission over $100. This has taken over a year to achieve, with almost 300 products sold with my designs on them.

In total I have about 220 products on sale. I did have that number on sale last year but I had a bit of a rationalisation exercise in January, dropping to about 170 products, but have since built up some new additions and am adding more each week.

I plan to increase that number to 300 by the end of the year but may even exceed that if all goes well.

Zazzle seems to be quite popular in USA and I even saw a delivery package on an Amazon Prime series recently!

The nice thing about Zazzl;e is that products can be personalised, which is great for creating gift. Alternatively just buy a designed product (one of mine!!) as is.

The other nice thing is that Zazzle has regular discounts, some quite generous, though that means I get less commission, but that’s business.

Become a Zazzle member, download the app, and follow me (Alan Skyrme Design Studio), and if there are any specific product requests let me know and I will create a tailored design to your specification – no extra cost!

How to buy

While I have built up, thankfully, a modest following on this blog, on Instagram and other social media, with buyers (thank you!) in UK, USA, Brazil, Italy and Asia, it was suggested to me that I should provide quick links to my sales outlets to make them more easily accessible. So here they are and I shall re-publish the list every once in a while together with latest news..

Photography:

My Alamy portfolio

These are Travel, Nature, and Food images that I have on sale. I have not added images in the past two years owing to Covid19 travel restrictions but I expect to add a few hundred images over the next few month so please return regularly to see what is on offer.

My images on PicFair

While I also use my PicFair portfolio for Travel, Nature and Food images I decided to create images that may have appeal for buyers of wall-art though, this portfolio too, will be expanded this year.

Paintings:

Saatchi Online

On this site I have a growing number of watercolour bird paintings on sale, in addition to which I show additional acrylic works or other watercolours that are not on sale (or were sold privately). I decided not to sell prints of these paintings as I feel it undermines the value of the original work as unique items.

Pipira Rosa

This is one of my two ETSY stores. The products on sale here are downloadable versions of some of my watercolour bird paintings that are licensed for printing at home.

Festive Coquette

This is my other ETSY store but I stopped selling on this platform at the end of 2019 owing, initially, to emergency travel and, later, because of the Covid19 pandemic which prevented me from fulfilling sales. I hope to have this store back on line later this year.

Product Design:

Alan Skyrme Design Studio

When I am not painting, taking photographs or writing I create designs for application to products. These are sold through Zazzle.

The products that I specialise in include tee-shirts, mugs, cushions, ceramic tiles and stationery items. Zazzle allows buyers to customise products on sale using my designs.

Feel free to visit (and buy from!!) these sites. I produce new paintings and designs every day, uploaded to the appropriate store on a weekly or monthly basis, so the number of items is constantly growing.

Thanks for following

Alan

Mothers Day (USA)

Some would say that Mothers Day should be celebrated every day. The official Mothers Day is coming soon. Mark the day:

8th May, 2022

It is interesting to note that this celebration has different dates in USA and UK. The British day, known as Mothering Sunday, is linked to Easter and thus the date varies each year.

This year it was on 27th March.

But, we can celebrate our Mothers at any time, so why not consider a gift from the Alan Skyrme Design Studio Collection!

Thanks for following

Quiet April

Purple Sunbird

Easter holiday and midway through April. Time flues! I have not done much painting but have been busy with my design work.

The designs have, mostly, been in the form of new Sicilian style ceramic tiles that I sell through Zazzle and I shall continue my focus on this after the Easter break.

I am planning a trip to Sicily in May as my mother has had significant back problems in the last two weeks, having fractured a couple of vertebra a couple of years ago. She is 94 and a tough character but needs support. My brother will be there for a while before I can get there .,. travel is still difficult despite Covid19 seemingly improving.

While I am based in Sicily I shall continue to paint, design and photograph but at some stage will also visit my daughters and grandchikdren in Paris and UK. I hope to buy some paint and paper stock while there.

Watercolours

The only paintings completed so far this month are the Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) (above).
From a photo I took during my days (3 years) in India, these were common birds especially in the Botanical Gardens, Gachibowli, Hyderabad a short walk from where I lived. They share many traits with the hummingbirds of the Americas and can sometimes be seen hovering when collecting nectar.

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus)
Quite a common bird in India where I saw several, including the odd one mobbing other birds, presumably in competition for food.

Both watercolour painting on A4 paper
Prints and original on sale.

Thanks for following. Happy Easter