How I experienced the life of a model, with Gudrun Sjoden

I haven’t exactly been blessed with the looks of a model, so no-one was more surprised than me to receive an offer to be photographed for a fashion catalogue. In fact, my first reaction may have been a snort.

But it all makes sense when you find out that the invitation came from Gudrun Sjoden. They regularly photograph their clothes on models who are “non-industry standard” — older, more characterful or larger than most brands would touch with a bargepole. (Makes perfect sense to me: their clothes are made for all ages and spread across a massive range of sizes, so why not reflect customers’ own looks?)

In this case, the shoot was to feature ‘friends of Gudrun’: bloggers, artists, novelists and other creative types. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with some events in Gudrun’s London store, and that’s what put me on the early plane to Stockholm for two of the most pleasurable days I’ve had in a long time!

Drawing this sketch diary allowed me to relive the whole 36 hours, bringing back all the enjoyment again. Massive thanks to Gudrun Sjoden for such a fun trip, and wonderful memories. Oh and by the way, the friend D you see in these pictures is http://www.ivyarch.co.uk. Visit her blog to see the amazing clothes she makes!

Click on any of the images to see them larger.

Stockholm Diary p1 Myfanwy Tristram

Stockholm Diary p2 Myfanwy Tristram

Stockholm Diary p3 Myfanwy Tristram

Stockholm Diary p4 Myfanwy Tristram

Stockholm Diary p5 Myfanwy Tristram

Stockholm Diary p6 Myfanwy Tristram

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Work in progress – more aerial views

It’s such a funny thing.

Or perhaps I should call it a highly irritating, baffling thing. You can plug away for weeks on a picture, and not be sure that it’s working at all. Then one day, you can start a new one, and feel absolutely confident that it’s heading in the right direction from about five minutes in.

I feel good about this one: still work in progress, but I can just see it’s going to come out the way I want it to. Gullholmen aerial view - work in progress by Myfanwy Tristram

[Click to see it nice and big, and count how many versions of the Queen’s head you can see]

Which is a relief, because of course the side-effect of going down a few dead ends is that you start losing all belief in your abilities.

Hmmm. Does this mean I should ditch all work that I *don’t* feel good about right away?

Actually, I already know the answer to that, even though I seem to have trouble acting on it: it’s to experiment more before setting off down the route of a finished piece. I wonder how I can make myself stick to that way of working.

A few details: it’s a collage of stamps and tickets again, with inked additions, like my previous aerial views.

It’s loosely inspired by a real place: Google the name ‘Gullholmen‘ and you can see lots of pictures of it. It’s funny to spend all afternoon drawing somewhere, and only then look at images taken from other sides, or showing you the view from down amongst its little roads.

I think one of the most fun times you can have while drawing is to create little worlds that you’d like to visit yourself: this is something many of us do as kids, but perhaps not so much once we become adults.

I’m really confused now about whether I want to visit the real Gullholmen or my own version, although I suspect the real one would hold up to the weather better.

Stamps don’t really make great roofs in real life.