The Merchant – Loraine Callow Designs

So while I work out how being an artist is going to sustain me and supplement my other freelance work I’ve put up some designs at Red Bubble and Society 6. I’m very grateful and delighted to be making a few sales already and it’s great fun to my designs on products. And of course, I’ve purchased a few myself to check out the quality. Only a tiny cut of the Red Bubble and Society 6 sale price comes to me so I’m planning on the future holding a proper store of my own with products I can manage the manufacture of and I’m keen to sell some designs outright. Until then, thanks so much for your support, I appreciate it very much!

Society 6 – Loraine Callow

Red Bubble – Loraine Callow

5 January 2017 UPDATE – I purchased a beach towel from Society6 to check the quality. The towel arrived today and I have to say it’s pretty nice! It’s very big (74″ by 37″) and I guess you could also use it as a bath sheet. It’s soft polyester-microfibre with a velour finish on the print side and white cotton terry on the back. I’ve washed and dried in the sun today and it’s super soft and ready for the beach! The pattern is For the Love of Blue – Pattern 372. It’s from an original watercolour painting and I’m really happy with the the way the design and colours came out!




Instagram and Finding Your Tribe

nothing nicer anywhere 1

I’ve been on Instagram for around year, slowly feeling my way around, enjoying the company of generous people who share their work, ideas, techniques and a little bit of their lives. I’m always impressed and delighted with the daily offerings from creative folks and touched by the support and enthusiasm for my own daily offerings. I have to be disciplined with time or else I could easily spend a half a day enjoying all those gorgeous photos and not doing much else! Here are a few of my fave delighters and distractors!  jules_anson, aloisio.ricky, rachelfontenot, marylgray, zoya_art, nullsie, gracialouise.

nothing nicer anywhere 2


Make Art That Sells – Assignment Bootcamp 2016


I’m getting very excited about participating in the online Make Art That Sells Assignment Bootcamp due to start this March presented by Lilla Rogers. I’m a fan of Lilla’s book “I Just Like to Make Things” and tune into her great Periscopes each week (on replay as I’m in Australia) as well as watching every video at her site. She has wonderful, down to earth encouraging advice based on her own art career and her business being an art agent. I’m looking forward to meeting my fellow Bootcampers!


Forging a Love of Buttons

Loraine Callow Designs Vintage Buttons Red 2Loraine Callow Designs Vintage Buttons Blue 2Loraine Callow Designs Vintage Buttons Red 1Loraine Callow Designs Vintage Buttons Blue 1

Many years ago when the iconic Footscray Forges store was in the throes of divesting itself of entire departments as a precursor to shutting down, these button sample cards were going out for $1.79 a page. They seemed so beautiful to me then, I couldn’t bear the idea that they may be thrown out. Each card has 54 buttons. Some are plain, some are fancy – all are gorgeous. I imagine the store buyer would have used the sample sheets to order in buttons. Now they live in my linen cupboard. Occasionally I bring them out and savour each of these little design miracles. Here’s a few from the blue and red sheets to stay with the theme this week.

You can read more about Forges here. I still miss that store. At least I have the buttons.

A Red and Blue Festive Season

Christmas in Australia means summer and summer for my family means the beach. For me the fresh combination of red and blue and white feel more festive than the usual green and red combinations. I’m looking forward to turning some of these and other designs into products in 2016. Whatever your colour preferences I wish you sparkly, bright days and plenty of time to be creative!


Free Colouring Sheets to Print and Colour

IMG_0002 Last week I had a chance to draw up some quick colouring sheets for my little botanic garden. Loraine Callow Colouring Sheets The sheets were a great hit with kids visiting our Paint the Gardens event – they swooped on the colouring table with such energy – I was totally delighted! Some folks look down their artistic noses at the idea of colouring – as if it’s “busy work” but the sheer enjoyment of choosing and applying colours to a design holds plenty of appeal – I saw it in action. The only busyness was the sheer number of children who spent time at the table on the day!Loraine Callow Colouring 2 In some of the designs I deliberately left spaces and it was very sweet to see butterflies and beetles and birds being added – all with no direction from any grown up. It’s a lovely, easy to do, social activity, with kids chatting away while they worked at their chosen sheet. The pure happiness in all this has helped carry me through a heavy duty week of work. I’m hoping to do some colouring of my own over Easter! Best to you all.

I’ve made two of the sheets into PDFs, link below – please feel free to download and colour! The top one is is made up flowers and the second is inspired by Kniphofia (red hot pokers) growing in the gardens. Colouring 1 Loraine CallowColouring 3 Loraine Callow Download PDFs to print – Colouring 1 Loraine Callow Colouring 2 Loraine Callow

If Steinbeck Say It’s Okay, It’s Okay


John Steinbeck has been sitting in the top corner on my computer screen all through my year of mourning and into 2015, quietly keeping me company as I try new things that make me feel like a novice. Things make my brain stretch and hurt, things that make me feel old and inept, things that make me feel that I may never know how to paint again or use the fantastically elaborate and sophisticated programs that promise so much design delight.

Steinbeck has been here as learning makes me feel hopeful and clever and good for having persisted and not succumbing to fear. He’s been here, steady and wise as I’ve begun to paint and draw and design and with me as slowly the fog of sadness has lifted and the joy of being a learner has taken its place.

I’ve learned that there is peace and solace to be had in paint and pencil and pixels and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s taken a whole year to hear what Steinbeck had to say to me.

So in my imperfect hand, with ink at the end of my imperfect brush, I pay a perfect tribute to you Mr Steinbeck.

steinbeck 1



Art Materials Love 2 – Micron Pen, Koh-I-Noor Watercolours

Loraine Callow Hand lettering 3
Loraine Callow Hande lettering 1 Loraine Callow Hand Lettering 2


Here’s a A5 sized hand lettering piece I did last year for a little friend’s birthday. It’s done on 300gms/90lb rough water paper using Sakura Mircron Pen and Koh-I-Noor Brilliant Watercolour – you can see how inky and deep the colours are! They look remarkably flat and not that interesting in the pans themselves but they are very punchy on paper! I’m delighted to say my 10 year old friend was very happy with her leafy name  and has it on the door of her room. 🙂

Inky Time Lapse

I have a high need for novelty, I admit that. The time lapse capabilities of my iPad provides for my need of new tricky goodness and also gives me fresh eyes. Making these inky magnolia fruiting body sketches felt like a lot of fun. The ink is unpredictable straight out of the dropper – it’s both kind of liberating and frustrating in almost equal measure. Liberating because you don’t know what the ink will do and unnerving because it doesn’t behave the way you think it might – blowing bubbles everywhere, the ink runs out just when you find your line, fine scratchy lines appear then another splodge happens. It’s strangely wonderful and when you relax into the unpredictability it’s very freeing. The ink is Daler Rowney Acrylic Artists Ink in black – once it’s on the paper in quantity it takes a good while to dry and seems to sit on the surface of the paper beautifully. I’m thinking of buying a bunch of medical pipettes to make bigger images with more ink – I see a ink filled turkey baster in my artistic future…it’s going to get messy!   Loraine Callow 4 Loraine Callow 3