Introducing Amateur Photographer, Devon Louise

Over the past 3 months I have been attending Teesside University’s ‘Introduction to Photography’ Course, an online learning experience with weekly classes. Before this course, I’ve loved capturing vistas and landscapes with my phone; especially holiday highlights and views from hilltops – I mean who doesn’t? I really thought that the more I captured, the better. Particularly greenery and red bricks against sunny blue skies. The contrast of architecture and nature never fails to capture my attention.

Here’s some examples from the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Whitby Harbour, and The British Museum in London:

However, as I expand my Marketing portfolio I realise that photography is an essential skill that I’m missing – and I can’t exactly help a small business take great shots with just my phone! So, where better to begin than with an online course and a borrowed high-end camera!

At the beginning, as if by some strange self-imposed pressure, I was stressing about capturing something striking or once in a life time. When looking at the work of professional photographers the results always seem to be unique and impactful, a shot they were lucky to get. However, if this course has taught me anything, it’s the value of noticing the mundane.

Following a few hiccups and a day of landscape shots that were all out of focus, I soon noticed that when I’m equipped with a high quality camera I find myself leaning in to capture the intimate details, instead of zooming out to get the wider picture. Slowly, I’ve found comfort in focusing on garden plants during the changing seasons, twisting my body to snap birds on the feeders, and posing houseplants in ‘the perfect lighting’.

Now, I’ve started to view the outdoors as an opportunity for exploration through the lens of a camera. I’m considering composition and colour with every view. When I watch small animals, like squirrels hanging upside down, I imagine how that would translate to the screen – what details would be stored in a single snap.

I’ve camped out at the back windows of my house just to spot Cyril the squirrel and hidden behind bushes to pinch a shot of a Blue Tit, Robins, and Great Tits (and hopefully some day soon a Bull Finch). Truly, this has been an exercise in how still and silent I can remain.

Though, my favourite subject has to be flowers. Possibly because they can’t run or fly away. But as we move into Spring, the vivid colours blooming around me are too beautiful to ignore. I love to focus on the wrinkling of petals, the blending of yellows and pinks, and the strength hardy garden plants.

Alongside my flower photography, I’m working on movement shots involving waterfalls and fountains – using a quicker shutter speed to pause the water mid-air. There’s still a little bit of blur in my final images, but with practice I should get better!

As the course comes to an end, I hope to continue developing my photography skills as a hobby: experimenting with settings, exploring new environments, and trying out portraiture. I will soon be entering the world of full-time employment where my skills are not yet needed, however as I get better I hope I can take on a few professional gigs just for fun.

Plus, I have plans to spend a full day capturing Lancaster when I return, so look forward to those shots! I know I only just published a post saying goodbye to the tiny city, but, I’ve been offered a job in Digital Marketing at my Alma Mater, the University of Cumbria. And I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to move back to a place I consider home and work for a University I truly adore.

I’m excited to return to Lancaster, especially so soon after leaving and believing I would never be able to.

If you’d like to join me on my photography journey, feel free to follow me over on Instagram! Or, stay tuned here where I’ll post new shots occasionally.

Lancaster Arts: Marketing Internship

This Spring and Summer term, I’ll be joining the team at Lancaster Arts for an internship in Marketing!

My job will involve helping students become more connected with the arts, creativity, and their community through artistic projects hosted by Lancaster Arts. I’ll be posting on their social media, making posters, writing blogs, and generally creating fun creative content around upcoming projects, online and on campus.

Lancaster Arts is all about:

the questioning of what constitutes the artistic, the social, the political and the personal

Something I, as a sociology and literature student, am very passionate about. Every project of theirs is different and unique, using place, space, and community in inventive ways that I want to see more of in mainstream art, performances, and music.

I’m hoping that this internship will not only help me maintain my Marketing skills, but improve and encourage creative thinking, build artistic connections, and help me move away from the formulaic agency Marketing I had become accustomed with.

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8 Artists to Follow on Instagram

*Warning: I did not optimise any of these images, so please be patient with the art loading*

Over a year ago, I put together a list of Artists to Follow Online. This list featured 6 amazing artist whose work had touched and inspired me. It was a list featuring beauty and talent from people whose work I wish I could afford.

Now, I present a new list: Artists to Follow on Instagram. Funnily enough, this list features females only. Unintentional as it is, I feel like with the revelation of my sexuality and heightened awareness of feminine issues, it only makes sense that my taste in art would gravitate towards the works of women.

So without further ado, here’s 8 artists you should be following on Instagram.

Sacrée Frangine

Instagram | Etsy

First on our list is Sacrée Frangine. A creative duo of artistic directors and illustrators, Celia and Aline have been partners in graphic design since 2016.

The work of the Frangines is inspired by portraits, still life and feminine themes that explore the beauty of simple things and everyday life.

Celia and Aline

Their work focuses on minimalist compositions that portray a harmony between shapes and colours. Some of my favourite work features bold, coloured areas, silhouettes, and a mix of yellow and burnt orange.

With a portfolio comprised of abstract and figurative pieces, their work emits positive, calm vibes.

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6 Artists to Follow Online

Recently, I’ve made an effort to fill every part of my life with the things that make me happy. As a huge lover of art living with Fine Art students, there’s a constant channel of sharing the work of those we love.

Now, instead of my social feed being filled with how the world is falling apart (although some days that inescapable), it’s brightened by the art of skilled individuals who all manage to find beauty in this world and use that to create. Here’s a list of artists who will brighten up your feed, while imbuing you with a sense of hope and passion.

Jessica Andersdotter

Jessica Andersdotter is an abstract digital artist who takes inspiration from photography and other artists to develop her own unique style. She’s  constantly experimenting with Photoshop and photography to develop new works, which she shares online all the time. Her portfolio contains a wide variety of digital art, from edited floral compositions, to abstract waves of colour. One of my favourite pieces is Talia (left) in a series of works with human names.

Jessica often shares the work of other artists, those she takes inspiration from and those who she simply loves – either on her blog or on social media. Andersdotter frequently talks about her creative process, allowing her audience to experience what goes on behind the computer/in her mind. By following her, you get a personal insight into the life on an artist.

Twitter | Instagram| Website

Melissa McCracken

Melissa McCracken is an American artist with Synesthesia who paints music. By using a mix of oils and acrylics, McCracken creates a visual representation of the songs she is listening to, sharing with the world how she experiences music.  

In an interview with MyModernMet in 2017, McCracken said “the most wonderful ‘brain malfunction’ of all is seeing the music I hear. It flows in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if it were a vital and intentional element of each song.” McCracken’s art is best experienced alongside the songs which have inspired them.

Choosing a favourite of Melissa’s works is difficult as each painting resonates on a new level. ​ Though, that being said, “What Was It You Said About Luck?” stands out with it’s delicate purples, pinks, and yellows merging together like smoke into clouds. 

Instagram | Website

Viv Tanner

Viv Tanner is a Swiss Freelance Artist and Illustrator, specialising in 2D Animation. Primarily sharing work on her social media accounts, Viv has a unique 2D art style that appears simple at first glance, but incorporates complex colour grading that creates a visually stunning experience. 

Currently, Viv is developing content for her online collaborative comic, Heart of Gold, with Eli Baum. Some of Viv’s Instagram portfolio includes fanart for Netflix’s Stranger Things and Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Humanhowever, the majority of content is original.

Gris is a stunning 2D platformer currently in development [set for release on Nintendo Switch and PC this December]. While not working on the game directly, Viv created a piece (left) for #indiegzine. This piece is perfect at presenting Viv’s use of a mellow colour palette in her digital art.

Twitter | Instagram | Website

Leonid Afremov

‘The End of Patience’ is perhaps one of the most beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever seen. Incorporating the entire rainbow, Leonid creates a rainy autumnal scene; umbrella up, a lady walks away from a park bench, where she has seemingly sat for a while. 

Afremov is a cheat entry as he doesn’t actually have social media, that’s just where I found his work. He’s a Russian-Israeli modern impressionistic artist who works primarily with a palette knife and oils. One can only imagine the textures on the canvas. 

His work is free from cultural influence in that there are no hidden meanings or political agendas, just art that reflects his personal experiences and emotions.


Scott Naismith

Scott Naismith is an artist I found though Instagram’s explore page. I saved his painting of Ben Tianavaig, Skye (left) and completely forgot about it! Thankfully I rediscovered this painting in my saves and began following him properly. 

Naismith, like Afremov, uses vivid colours. However, Naismith adopts a vigorous application method to represent the fast changing light conditions of the Scottish landscape. He focuses on the sky, presenting hope and optimism through the skies transition from dark to light.

Simply put, his work leaves me in awe. And, if you look in your local T K Maxx, you may even be able to find some of his pieces for a good price!

Instagram | Twitter| Website

Georgina Harris

As mentioned above, I live with two Fine Arts students, which makes for quite a creative household. And, thankfully, Georgina was more than happy to be featured in this post.

When talking about her work, Georgina said she loves “working with vivid colour and big brushstrokes to describe an experience. Like the experience of being in a vast forest, or in a small room with someone, or just the sensation of hands touching.”

Left, we have one of my favourite pieces of Georgina’s. I adore the intimacy of the piece and how all the fleshy tones meld together. All her paintings seem to create an intimate atmosphere (even her landscape works) and present her connection to the subject. When discussing her work, she said she aims to “create…a narrative that captures these experiences in their essence.”

Instagram | Website

Check out all these amazing artists and share your favourite artists below! Filling social media with such beautiful things has improved the time I spend online. I completely recommend adding beauty to everywhere you can.