Currently studying BA Hons Fine Art and Illustration at the University of Lincoln.

One of only a few Universities that offer joint honours courses, I combine skills I learn as an illustrator with fine art practice and vice versa. We have a beautifully located studio at the top of Steep Hill where The Red Arrows fly past the window!


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Still busy at it, I spent all day Thursday making another proposal for another possibility, and researching available studios in Lincoln. The trouble is, they cost money, so I applied for a graphic design job, but in reality it was a knee jerk reaction to the notion that all single parents should be working. I don't know where that came from, probably the Daily Mail or some such rubbish…

So, anyway, I recently received feedback from my Degree Show.

It says that the comic is the strongest part (yay!) but it seems as though there's something missing… I like that!

Morten Harket, Pal Waaktaar Savoy and Magne Furuholmen were supposed to be there, but unfortunately they couldn't make it, so that's where that comes from…..


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I have been busy exhibiting my illustration work at New Designers in London, which received positive responses, especially for our University in particular out of the many Illustration graduates that exhibited there.

I have now finished building my website – www.helendblackbird.co.uk

where there are pages for fine art work and Illustration….

I have a new proposal for a new series of dolls that I wish to make. I need to source funding for this project, and if anyone would like to know what it involves, it is on the [email protected]

http://www.helendblackbird.co.uk/Fine_Art.html

Aside from that, I've been looking for any opportunities I can get as an artist and/or illustrator, but it seems that everything involves investing money that I just don't have. I regard myself as a producer, NOT a consumer, and will not pay to join any artist's groups until I get paid / funding for what I do.

I need to be earning money for my work – I do not have parents to go home to, I have bills to pay and kids to feed….. and it's been over a month since I finished University and so far I've not had any luck :-(


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Thankyou to Andrew Bryant for your article in this month's a-n. The thoughts about the perceived crisis in art education is interesting, and not a subject that has completely escaped our thoughts, it's just that with all the lectures, dissertations, lack of enough time to actually be in the studio and produce work, I doubt many students have the time to really engage in that debate, and when we have glimpsed it, it exists somewhere in our peripheral vision, something that when you actually try to look at, it disappears.

Now I'm not sure how long this blog will carry on for, as I suspect it may transfer over to the artists_talking section in time….

I'm supposed to be building a website, but I'm battling against a sense of sadness that sometimes overwhelms me – no one told me that finishing University would be quite so depressing!


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This week the kids have gone back to school, and I finished my proposal and reluctantly posted it yesterday in a deluge of rain. I've since been feeling very, very nervous in anticipation of the outcome.

I've started to keep a visual diary again, and felt inspired until yesterday's deluge of rain, which effectively destroyed my enthusiasm to do anything at all.

I gave up solving the earlier mystery; it remains a mystery, even though I've been in to Uni to invigilate the show and find out information for New Designers. The Illustration Degree Show has now finished, so I will have to take down my work for that, and start preparing stuff for New Designers, so even though I've finished, I'm still going in to do work!!

Rather bemused that I don't appear to have received a copy of a-n lately…..


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