2016 in Review

2016 was quite a year for me, not least because it was the year I got married. It was also a great year for me career-wise, and I can’t believe how many exciting opportunities I have had in the last 12 months.
If you’re interested you can read all about my wedding here and my honeymoon in Mexico. We’ve been married nearly 8 months now and I have to say married life is definitely suiting me. We absolutely loved going to Tulum for our honeymoon and this year we are heading back to Latin America to spend a couple of weeks in Peru.
tulum mexico guideMy most exciting job of last year was being invited to the Château de Stylist in the Loire Valley. I was invited along with other bloggers and influencers to spend two days with the Stylist team in the incredible Château Jalesnes learning how to bring a bit of French chic to our lives. It was so exciting to be able to travel with my work and paint on location and I met so many wonderful women. A photo of me even ended up in the magazine.emma block chateau de stylist painting13781949_10153980002229620_8858592884861478338_nchateau de stylistThis year saw me doing lots of live illustration at events, working with clients including Oasis, Jigsaw, Reiss, We Built This City and The Global Gift Gala. It was really exciting to become a part of the Live Illustration London Collective this year. I love working with Willa and Niki, and we’ve got lots more exciting events coming up in 2017.emma block live illustration
IMG_0164This year I also did a lot of workshops and I taught hundreds of students how to brush letter and paint with water colours. For the last few year I have been teaching with Quill, but this year I will be teaching my own workshops independently. You can find out about my upcoming workshops here.
paintingBeing able to work with brands as both an illustrator and a digital influencer has been a really exciting development of my career, I’m particularly proud of the lovely campaign I worked on with P&O ferries.
P and O Ferries competition emma block
I’ve done an awful lot of different things this yea but the core of my work would always be illustration comissions. This year I worked on several book covers, greetings cards, many pieces for magazines and some packaging design. emma-block-illustration-1
IMG_6401This year also saw the release of a project with Hand in Hand Soap. We have been working on this packaging design together for over a year so it was very exciting to see it released, and to be sold in such a big store.hand in hand soapseville-2I am still struggling with my repetitive strain injury and I’ve come to the realisation that I am probably a workaholic. There’s nothing wrong with loving work and being motivated, but if stopping working for a couple of days makes you feel sad and anxious there is probably a bit of an issue there. Having a better work-life balance is something I’m going to try to address in the new year.
I’m really excited about what the new year has in store for me. I’ve got some lovely jobs booked in for January, including two book covers and a trip to Berlin to do some live illustration. I’ve also got a exciting personal project planned and I am planning to completely redo my website. As well as as looking after myself a bit more in the new year, my goals are to travel lots, learn some new skills (basic video editing and sign writing) and keep being open to new possibilities and opportunities.emma-block-window-art


7 thoughts on “2016 in Review

  1. Hi Emma!
    I loved reading your review of 2016, thanks for sharing the highlights of your year with us and congratulations on your successes. I hope 2017 is an even better year!
    You talked about working with brands “as both an illustrator and a digital influencer” and I was wondering if you were planning on writing a blog post about this (for example, were you contacted by the brands you worked with or did you contact them? What did the work entail? The lessons you learnt, etc.). Or maybe you have already written something on the subject?
    Anhow, all the best to you! x

  2. I love your Hand In Hand soap packaging! I’ve been looking for months for that type of packaging for my handmade soaps! Can you design wrapping paper for me or recommend someone? Thanks!

  3. I love your illustrations!! ❤ I was just wondering if you're gonna have any like "art classes" or live portraits or anything in march or april? I'm from Sweden and I'm planning to go to London for a week or so then… so that's why I'm wondering haha! 🙂

  4. I love your work with Hand and Hand, your style works beautifully for soap packaging, totally whimsical and the sort of soap you leave for the guest bedroom only 😀

    I have also been plagued with RSI due to way way too much working. Rest helped a bit but it would flare up again almost instantly the second I wanted to ‘get lots done’. I have largely resolved my RSI now though by a few incredibly simple things that have made a big difference.

    I bought an ergonomic keyboard (curved). It’s easy to presume the RSI comes from all the drawing (or painting in you case) but I do write a lot of emails also plus blogging and marketing and what not, and I realised that the unnatural angle and all the typing was also having an effect. If you’re working hard, a massive amount of that is on a computer expect.

    I raised my wrist. When using a mouse I always have my wrist raised, I believe this had the biggest impact.

    I do not use a track pad. Again the unnatural angle of you wrist to the track pad on a laptop can keep the RSI going. The only way I noticed this is by having RSI in the first place and then when I would try and use a track pad it would start to hurt very quickly compared to how long it would take to start hurting when using a mouse with my wrist raised up.

    My RSI is now minor and I suspect is gradually improving day by day and may one day be completely gone. About six months ago it got to the point when I was struggling to lift a pan off the stove with my bad wrist and my 12 year old son beat me at an arm wrestle! … not a good point to get to.

    Sorry to waffle! (I wonder how I got that RSI eh), but I know what it’s like to not be able to complete things you want to complete because of a screaming wrist, hope my tips contain things you haven’t tried so far and you get some improvement.

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