A beer book, tea towel, a map of Japan and more

I thought I'd post a quick update on lots of the work I've been doing recently.

Many of these projects aren't fully published yet so I've cropped previews and a bit about each one below. The last few months have consisted of maps for tourism, a beer guide to Indianapolis, more beer map work for a book coming next year, exhibiting at Top Drawer, an exhibition at the Bottle Shop in my home town Margate, sweatshirt designs for Chinese brand Lane Crawford and other little projects- It's been a very busy time!

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Travel and engagement map of Japan - names removed as it's a personal project.

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Crops from an upcoming craft beer book I've been working on - more information and full maps will be published early 2018.

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A new tea towel design for Naiise - a design shop based in Singapore who are expanding soon to London

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Part of a map for Visit Merano - more maps and info for this coming soon with the full launch

Thanks for looking! Alex.

How to Set Up Your Home Office for Optimal Creativity

Working from home has some obvious pros and cons. On the one hand, you can get to work straight away and stay as late as you like. On the other hand, finding the motivation to sit down and actually work can be difficult. For illustrators and designers, your work area needs to foster creativity. Being a freelancer requires organisation, so by taking the time to set up your workspace in the right way, you can ensure you always get the most out of your time spent at your desk.

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Separate Your Work and Leisure Area

While working from home allows you to integrate your work and life, this can be disastrous for productivity. When in the office, your body needs to know that this is a time for work. Trying to work from your bed may be tempting, but as this is a place of relaxation, your brain won’t be in the right frame of mind, which may also disrupt sleep. A relaxed mind will struggle to come up with creative designs.

Ideally, you should have an entire room dedicated to work. This is a room for just you and business partners, not friends or family. You could even go a step further and have a separate work computer and phone that are not connected to games, films or social media.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. If you need your phone to work, make sure you logout of personal social media and messaging accounts. You may be able to block all irrelevant websites. For instance, you may only wish to have access to the website you are illustrating for or any other pages from which you are earning income, such as relevant paid survey sites. This ensures that there is nothing distracting you from the task at hand.

Making It a Nice Place to Work

One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that you can design it to your tastes. Your office should have plenty of light, preferably natural, to keep you feeling alert. A pleasant view, particularly overlooking nature, will encourage creativity and activate a visual mindset for design and illustration. Looking out of the window reduces the strain on eyes occurring from staring at a screen, so it’ll stop you feeling tired.

Your office should be clean because clutter demands attention from the brain, leading to fatigue. The more minimalist your office space, the more you can concentrate on design. Find a room that is quiet and put on some relaxing music or background noises that are not distracting. Finally, make sure that you are comfortable. The temperature should be perfect and your chair should provide adequate back support.

Illustrating from home offers enormous freedom, but it is up to you to make your space conducive to productivity and creativity. By creating a clear space for work, that is separate to your leisure space, you can set up your office in a way that allows concentration and creativity to flourish.

Contributed by Lucy Wyndham

Maps and Stuff at the Bottle Shop: Margate

I'll be showing lots of recent retail and commercial work next week at the Bottle Shop in Margate. Click the poster below for more details on the Facebook event.

I've been busy in my studio for a long time now working on commissions over the internet, and thought it's about time I did a more of a public thing!

This exhibition will feature lots of my recent work of maps and work for magazines, with most of them available to buy signed, numbered and framed or unframed.

There will also be work from my new product range including prints, cards, notebooks and wrapping paper.

New beer themed print FREE to the first 20 guests on the night.

Any locals reading this I hope you can make it!