Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Launching my new collection

Posted on: October 11th, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

A new collection from illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

I delighted to announce the launch of my magical new collection which will be happening online and in person at:

The Witches, Fairies and Hippies Fair

Sunday the 29th of October 2017

11am – 4pm

West Totton Community Centre, Hazel Farm Road, Southampton, SO40 8WU

Check out their event page here for all the info.

There’s a £2 entry fee and a fab raffle with loads of other wonderful stalls.

Come along and find the Sam Draws Things stand for illustrated goodies like cards, prints and original artwork as well as some gorgeous new gift ideas.

I’m busy working away on things to sell, including a range of things inspired by the Comfort Fairy 🙂

The Comfort Fairy by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

There will also be a collection of unicorns ready to find their new homes, and this will be the first time they will be out in public. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait.

Drawing on unicorns - by illustrator Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The new collection will be available in my online shop too, but this is a great chance to see things up close and fall in love, so pop along and say hello 🙂

You can see my page for the launch on Facebook here.

Save

The Award Winning Ethical Carnivore :)

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

I am so excited that the wonderful Louise Gray has won TWO Guild of Food Writers Awards for ‘The Ethical Carnivore: My Year of Killing to Eat‘!

Her brilliant and fearless exploration of the meat industry and alternatives won the Food Book Award and the Investigative & Campaigning Food Work Award.  I am so proud to have illustrated this thought provoking book and to have had a really inspiring wild camping trip with Louise where we chatted about some of the issues she was uncovering.

Rabbit on a bookeshelf by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The book has unsurprisingly caused a real stir – with brilliant reviews and a lot of media coverage including The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Daily Mail and The Spectator.

Go Louise! 😀

 

Save

Ponderings: Fairies and why Neil Gaiman is my favourite nature writer

Posted on: February 20th, 2017 by samdrawsthings 1 Comment

ponderings banner by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

After I left my job in the conservation sector to go freelance as an illustrator, I experienced a magical reawakening in how I thought about the natural world.

I was often a bit of a square peg in a round hole in my old job, but I very much saw that as my super power.  With a background in arts and communication, I was able to bring a creative twist to my work, to meetings, to project ideas and publications, which lead to some wonderful cross-pollination between science and art.  Even so, there was still a necessity to think scientifically.  To do my best to communicate in a technical, formal way and operate within the framework of the rational.  And I didn’t realise quite how much I’d been doing that until I went back to my arty roots.

Not long after leaving, I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I loved Stardust and Neverwhere and Good Omens, so was already a fan.  But reading his weaving of the English landscape in this book, I fell in love with his writing all over again and realised something I’d been missing for a while…

“Hazels lined the side of the meadow.  I picked a handful of the green nuts, put them in my pocket.

The pond is next, I thought.  I just have to go around this shed, and I’ll see it.

… The pond was smaller than I remembered.  There was a little wooden shed on the far side, and by the path, an ancient, heavy wood-and-metal bench. The peeling wooden slats had been painted green a few years ago.  I sat on the bench and stared at the reflection of the sky in the water, at the scum of duckweed at the edges, and the half-dozen lily pads.  Every now and again I tossed a hazelnut into the middle of the pond, the pond that Lettie Hempstock had called…

It wasn’t the sea, was it?”

I have quite a collection of nature books of different kinds (especially from second hand bookshops, I’ve had to stop going in them until we get more bookshelves) and I’m a nature junky, needing a regular fix of the outdoors, of flowers, moss, mud and animals, which obviously I’d been getting from conservation.  I get it vicariously too from reading about people meeting seals, badgers, hedgehogs etc and exploring wild and wonderful places.

But part of my love comes from the way our wild places resonate with the echoes of our fairy tales and myths, something that’s generally missing from the more scientific observation style of writing and the conservationist way of looking at nature.  And it wasn’t until reading this book that I saw the connection between the nature books on my shelves and the fantasy ones.

“I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than than that. They just were.
Adult stories never made sense, and they were slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood. Why didn’t adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?”

Here was Gaiman, leading me down lanes fringed with foxgloves to meet witches and and dive into magical ponds, and suddenly my heart was singing.  This. THIS. THIS!  He sees it too!  That overlaying of the mystical on top of the physical.  One of the intangible parts of our natural heritage that lives in stories and songs.  His writing conjures with the magic of the English countryside so beautifully; it’s more than just a backdrop.  The wild woods where you have to beware of talking wolves who might lead you astray. Mermaids singing off the Cornish coast and selkies swimming around Scottish islands…I know now that I am passionate about conservation because I want to save wild places for the creatures that call them home.  Including the fairies. And although I’ve suggested some pretty out-there stuff in meetings, that’s not something I’ve really confessed before.

Our wildlife is seriously magical.

And I don’t really see that as being separate from the science… science is just… kind of another word for magic in my head.  It’s a way of trying to explain and categorise the beautiful and mind-blowing things that are around us, which we can never quite fully capture or exactly understand how they work.  And that’s awesome; our trying doesn’t make them less magical and the mysteries that still elude us just engage my heart even more.

Every year, thousands of toads retread their migration paths back to their breeding ponds, and no one really knows how they do it.  The life cycles of newts, frogs and toads are incredible mini fairy stories in themselves.  Slow-worms look like Egyptian snake bracelets that have crawled away in search of a better, more private life.  Dragonflies are spectacularly odd and we even have something called a fairy shrimp…

But talking about nature and magic feels a bit… embarrassing.  If the conservation sector has been cautious to use the word Love (which it has been) magic is even more taboo.  Childish.  Irrational.  But there is a really lovely historical link between nature and magic – like The Flower Fairies with those gorgeous, accurate botanical illustrations and the way that Brian Froud’s fairy books echo a natural history guide to cheeky, impish creatures.  I think it can be another way to engage people’s hearts in conserving our wild places and animals.   And I have been following the Fairy Land Trust for a while for precisely that reason.  Because actually… as children, we so often have it right…

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

And the conservation sector knows this too, hence the big move to get more people enjoying a Natural Childhood.  It was when I was little that my love affair with nature began.  It’s never left me, its just changed shape a couple of times and grown up a bit.

Our fairytale places need us to fight for them.  Our weird and wonderful wildlife needs us to protect and champion to save their lives and their homes.  And by saving them, we give more space to magic.

So, it’s a couple of years since leaving rediscovering the mystical, and I’ve finally been drawing some fairies and allowing myself to connect with it again.  I shared a load of fairies over on my Instagram and Facebook and created a Snow Fairy Christmas Card…

Snow Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

The Snow Fairy

The Self Love Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️The self love fairy ⭐️ it’s not about being more this or less that, about giving anything in particular up or starting something else. She reminds us to ask in each moment “what would I do now if I loved myself?” And it’s not about being selfish, for no one benefits if we hurt others or take just for ourselves without thinking of tomorrow. The self love fairy gives you permission to be gentle with yourself, to worship your own body, to go at your own pace, to ask for what you need.

The Kindness Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the kindness fairy ⭐️ this benevolent pixie may be little, but he is surprisingly powerful. He presides over both simple acts and grand gestures. He can be a bit tricksy – but never cruel. He might call on you to be firm one day to help another, to look further down the road than one action, to ask rather than assume what someone else needs. He can be found weaving magic over a cup of tea, helping to wrap gifts, smiling at self sacrifice, giggling over pleasant surprises and whooping at random anonymous acts of sweetness.

The Comfort Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the comfort fairy⭐️ a warm and furry winged spaniel. Snoozing in flight as he bears a thermos flask full of hot chocolate. This snuggling being rules blankets, naps, sofas and cushions and protects all hibernating creatures.

The Mirror Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️the mirror fairy⭐️ oh this sprite is a tricksy fellow. He can appear at times when we find the behaviour of other people challenging. He shines that sparkly mirror and asks us to look at ourselves, check our own imperfections, looking at where we might have room to grow. But he can also pop up when we bask in the radiant brightness of others to say “don’t forget, you glow too…”

The Intention Fairy by Sam Goodlet - www.samdrawsthings.com

⭐️intention fairy⭐️ bound to Lady Luna, this hare-y fairy supports us in the new moon as we set intentions, sits with us as we bear the intensity of the full moon and whatever that may bring, and rests as that light wanes again and our world are renewed. He reminds us how powerful we can choose to be, how awesome we are at manifesting, and how a bit of conscious choosing goes a long way…

There are quite a few more fairies, but this has become a bit of a long post so I will save them for the next one!

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Fairies, crystals and Slow-Worms…

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

One of the really lovely projects that I started working on at the end of 2014 is a collaboration with crystal lover and jewellery maker Anu Loves.   Another Etsy user, Vicki (who owns Anu Loves) creates jewellery using crystals and clay, and also sells individual crystals and other magical things.

We are working together on The Enchanted Collection, starting with a Fairy Crystal Pack.  Each pack is themed around a mythical character, and comes in a cotton pouch filled with pretty crystals.  We are planning a Gnome, Nymph, Pixie, and a range of other packs to come soon.

We started with Navaah the Fairy, who was inspired by my best friend growing up – we spent many happy hours in the garden together imagining we were flower fairies… Navaah is standing on a mushroom in the woods with her Slow-Worm familiar.

 

Navaah the Fairy by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

I’m having lots of fun drawing each character, which is then printed on the front of the pouch filled with pretty crystals.  The artwork also appears on a postcard, which has information about the crystals and a bit of a story of the character.  I’ve also provided some little sketches of the different stones for the back of the card.

Postcard from Anu Loves enchanted collection illustrated by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

I’m really excited about the project – not only is it just really amazing to spend my day drawing fairies and gnomes and things, but it’s been really lovely working in some natural history information and illustrations too.  Each of the characters has a particular native wild creature as their familiar and is connected to particular plants and habitats.  The artwork also looks really sweet printed on the little pouch!

You can find the Crystal Fairy Pack on Etsy here.

Anu Loves Fairy Pack available on Etsy

Links

Dive Down

Follow Sam

Share the love