Category Archives: Card Collection

Scotland’s Trade Fair 2016

Yahoo!  That’s me… I’ve officially booked my stand and accommodation for January’s Scotland Trade Fair – Spring 2016!!!

It was in 2008 when I did my last trade show, just before my first born arrived.  That one was in Harrogate.  In 2007 I exhibited at the trade shows in Torquay and Scotland and before that in 2006, I did the massive Spring Fair in Birmingham’s NEC.

Two little nippers later, I had a break from promotional work to concentrate on my young family and my portrait commissions.  My youngest will shortly be starting school so more time for my business once again.

I can’t say that taking part in trade shows have been up there with the most enjoyable times in my life but strangely enough I’m really looking forward to this latest venture.  My card range has grown considerably since I last exhibited and now, several years on, my confidence and knowledge in this area has grown considerably too.  I’m so proud of the products that I have so I’m really looking forward to showing them off.

I’m hoping to have a little look around Scotland’s Autumn Trade Fair later on this year.  Although I already have my stand planned out, it’s always well worth seeing what your competition is up to.  Not only that, in the past I have found that fellow traders are often very helpful and happy to share advice.

Roll on January!!!

Labradoodle Portrait

Where does the time go?  Too busy drawing portrait commissions and running photo competitions on my portrait Facebook page, that’s where!

Anyway, here I am back in the Blog world for a quick update…

Last month I ran a Labradoodle Photo Competition on my Facebook page, on the hunt for a card design to join next years new arrivals.  The competition was a huge success, mainly due to the fantastic support that I had from Doodle Trust and a number of other rescue kennels.

Winning Photo Poster - Martin Borrett  (Eric)

Martin Borrett had the winning photo of this gorgeous fella, Eric.  Labradoodles always seem to be one of those breads where the dogs are given the most brilliant names!  Anyway, I digress. Here is the portrait in progress…

Labradoodle - Stage 1 Labradoodle - Stage 2 Labradoodle Competition - Stage 3

Just over 32 hours behind the drawing board but what a result!  One of my favourite portraits to date.

Growing Pains cards and prints

Calling all Beagle fans… this weeks special offer is for you!

Facebook Growing Pains Card and Print Offer

“GROWING PAINS” (A6 Blank Greetings Card)
Order 10 cards or more and get 50% off!  (Price before discount – £1.70 each)

“GROWING PAINS” (Open Edition Print)
Order this unmounted print and get 50% off!  (Price before discount – £12.00 each)

But hurry, offer ends on Saturday 18th April.

To place an order, please send an email letting me know the quantity of cards/prints you would like along with the delivery address. I will then email you back with details of how to pay.

Contact me on…
mail@samithorpe.co.uk

Cards are sold as seen.
Postage and packing – £2.00 within the UK

Unmounted print sold without stand.
Print size – 244mm x 214mm (fits 10″ x 8″ frame)
Image size – 181mm x 144mm
Postage and packing – £3.00 within the UK

Order both cards and print/s…
Postage and packing – £4.00 within the UK

KEEPING YOUR NOSE CLEAN – A6 Blank Card

It’s been busy, busy, busy since I last had chance to write.  The January Sale commissions have been keeping me busy enough, but with urgent portrait requests on top of all of those… well,  I could do with a 10 day week!!!!

Anyway, to keep things moving on the Blog front, I’ve decided to start up a weekly treat especially for my Blog and Facebook followers.

This week I am offering a treat for all of you Friesian fans out there.

“KEEPING YOUR NOSE CLEAN” (A6 Blank Greetings Card)
Order 10 cards or more and get 50% off!

(Usual price £1.70 each)

But hurry, offer ends on Saturday 11th April.

To place an order, please send an email letting me know the quantity of cards you would like along with the delivery address. I will then email you back with details on how to pay.

Contact me on…
mail@samithorpe.co.uk

Cards are sold as seen. Postage and packing – £2.00 within the UK

Keeping Your Nose Clean - Facebook Special Offer

Wrapped In Ribbon – New Cat Card Design For 2015

Photo Competition – Cats At Play… Winner Number 2   “Wrapped In Ribbon”

Thank you to Nicki Bailey for allowing me to use this lovely photograph which captures Dotti at play.

Photo Comp Winner - Nicki Bailey - Dotti

Comp Winner - Nicki (Stage 1)  Comp Winner - Nicki (Stage 2)  Comp Winner - Nicki (Stage 3)

The photograph was perfect to copy from as I could easily see every detail in that wonderful coat of hers.  Needless to say, it took a few more hours behind the drawing board to get this little kitten onto paper.  It took about 27 hours in total but well worth the effort.

As with, “Lean On Me” and all of the other portraits that I have done specifically for my card collection, this was drawn onto an A4 sheet of medium surface cartridge paper using a mixture of 2b to 5b pencils.

Colin Leonard’s design, the final of the three winning photo’s, will follow later on in the year.  I introduce eight new designs in the Spring of each year.  Colin’s will be joined by seven other new card designs early in 2016.  That all seems like a million miles away but with the January Sale being such a success I only have just under two months to fill with portrait bookings before the Christmas commissions start flooding in.

Lean On Me – New Cat Card Design For 2015

Photo Competition – Cats At Play…  Winner Number One   “Lean On Me”

How could anyone resist such a cute image, fantastically captured by Louise Shaw.

Cat Comp Winner - Louise Shaw light

Comp Winner - Louise (Stage 1)  Comp Winner - Louise (Stage 2) Comp Winner - Louise (Stage 3)

This was a gorgeous photo to get my teeth into (or should I say, get my pencil around).  The three main textures, all very different… fur, wood and material.

Like with all of the portraits that I draw for my card and print collections, this was drawn onto an A4 sheet of medium surface cartridge paper using a mixture of 2b to 5b pencils.

New Cat Card Designs For 2015

Throughout last year I ran several photo competitions on my Facebook page, looking for new characters to join my card collection.  The amount of interest these competitions got went way beyond my expectations.  I had a huge amount of fantastic entries getting sent to me from all directions.

Photo Competition Poster - Cats at play

A special big thank you to several branches of Cats Protection who kindly let me promote my competition on their Facebook pages.

The Photo Competition – Cats At Play, ended up having three winners instead of just one.  The level of entries were so high, I could have chosen many more.

Well done to Louise Shaw, Nicki Bailey and Colin Leonard.  Your photographs are superb. Thank you.

 Cat Comp Winner - Louise Shaw light  Photo Comp Winner - Nicki Bailey - Dotti  Cat Photo Comp Winner - Colin Leonard

Horse photo competition

Way back in May this year I announced my latest photo competition.  This one was to find a new companion to join the horse card collection.

Like with all of the other photo competitions that I’ve ran on Facebook, this was another huge success.  So much so, I ended up selecting two winners…

Horse Competition Winner - Jade Storey - Tasy Horse Competition Winner - Hannah Bown - Finn

Between choosing the winning photos and drawing them, I had to squeeze in several urgent portrait commissions on top of an already busy drawing schedule, so it did take a lot longer to get to this final stage than I had originally planned but, at long last, here are the finished results…

Horse Comp Winner 1 - Stage 1 Horse Comp Winner 1 - Stage 2 Horse Competition Winner 1 - Stage 3

Horse Competition Winner 2 - Stage 1 Horse Competition Winner 2 - Stage 2 Horse Competition Winner 2 - Stage 3

Roll on January 2015 when they officially go on sale along with the 6 other new card designs.  I can’t wait to show them off!

Card Design Photo Competition

Well that’s another Facebook photo competition done and dusted.  This latest one was to find another horse image to add to the collection…

Horse Photo Competition Poster 2014

Like with all of the previous photo competitions that I have run, the amount of entries has been mind blowing.  It’s very flattering indeed that so many people want to take part.

The winning photograph (or on this occasion, the winning photographs, as it proved impossible to select just one!) will be hand drawn and reproduced as high quality A6 blank cards.  They will then be officially released on sale for the beginning of 2015.

These are the two lucky winners for this competition…

Horse Competition Winner - Jade Storey - Tasy      Horse Competition Winner - Hannah Bown - Finn

I love drawing eye’s, always have done.  I couldn’t resist Jade’s photo of Tasy and can’t wait to draw her.  All of that detail will be fantastic to get my teeth into!  Also, I haven’t got a close up, cropped design within the Horse Collection as yet, so I thought well worth giving it a go.

Hannah’s photo of Finn also stood out from the crowd.  Despite it being the typical horse head shot that you tend to see on cards and prints here, there and everywhere… there’s something in his expression that grabbed me.  Those eye’s look like they have a story to tell which is right up my street.

I had hoped to draw Tasy this week but portrait commissions come first.  I had a last minute booking request a couple of weeks ago so the card images have had to go on the back burner for a while.  Not for too long though I hope, as I still have two new cat images to find and draw before the Christmas commission rush starts which is usually sometime in August.  Could be a bit of a squeeze as I’m already fully booked with portraits up until the end of July.

Busy, busy, busy… just the way I love it!

Card Designs

“How do you find the images for your card collection?” I hear you ask.

Well, way back in 2005 I spent a several months finding volunteers to model for me… the hairy, four legged variety that is.  Luckily I have some friends who happened to have some lovely photogenic cats, dogs and horses at the time, so I didn’t have to search too far at first.

The collection was tiny in 2006, when I released the card range to potential trade customers.  Only nine different card designs in total.  Small but sweet, as they say… sweet enough, I’d hoped, to entice trade customers to stock them within their small shops, tea rooms, galleries etc.  Luckily, people were interested in selling them and in return, their customers bought them… the rest is history, as they say!

The more cards I sold, the more designs I could afford to add to the collection.  That being the case though, the trickier it became to find other models to widen the range.

Sometimes I’d be fortunate enough to get commissioned to draw a portrait which happened to suit the collection perfectly.  All the customers who I’ve asked over the years if I could use their portraits for cards have been delighted that their faithful four legged friends have been honoured in such a way… especially as they receive some of their pets cards in return.

The wildlife collection proved a tad harder to source.  Luckily, a couple of years later, I stumbled across a great couple (www.ourwildlife.co.uk) who sold their amazing photo’s of British wildlife at a country fair which I also exhibited at.  I’ve licensed their photo’s from them ever since.

Now, finding images for my cards is so much easier…

Greyhound and Lurcher Photo Competition Poster

It took almost two years, but at long last I have found the perfect use for Facebook.  I post photo competitions on there and hundreds of images come to me.  The only tough bit now, is choosing the winners!

Here’s a sneaky peep at one of next years new arrivals.  He’ll be 1 of 8 new characters joining the existing range of 53 card designs. The collection has certainly grown a bit over the years!

From photo to portrait…

Gemma Rogers - Woody and Ted - Winners poster

 

Winner - Stage 1 of 4 Winner - Stage 2 of4 Winner - Stage 3 of 4 Winner - Stage 4 of 4