Throughout all my time working as a freelance illustrator, I've got to know a lot of very friendly and talented artists and designers. Some, I've known for years now and even though I've never physically met them in the 'real' world, I feel like I known them for all my life and they're part of the family!
One of the very first fellow freelancers I 'hooked' up with was a lovely lady known to me only as 'Dog' (her old AOI web name) the wonderful and amazingly talented Gretel Parker. In the years I've known her she has dropped the Dog tag and I've followed her work in awe, she's one of my all time favourite artists, and now, through her hard work she's finally getting the recognition she so richly deserves. Her blog page, The Middle of Nowhere, has a massive following and has won awards. I can't recommend her site (and work of course ) enough. She almost daily updates her site with whats she's working on, wether it's personal work or a commission, but she also tells us about her life as well. She lives in a beautiful part of the world in a small cottage, which almost seems like it's caught in some sort of time warp from the past crossed with Emily's toyshop from Bagpuss.
Gretels artwork is hard to describe (so go check it out) beautiful images of creatures and animals living in strange dreamlike worlds. She has a fetish for animals, sometimes looking like toys and at other times looking like they've escaped from a distant land. She also makes felt toys which are amazing, where she gets the time and inspiration from is beyond me.
Another feature of her site is that Gretel has a studio web-cam set up, so every now and again, you can watch a master at work. I was on there myself a couple of nights ago, and wasn't sure if I was watching her in real time or not so decided to email her to ask.....Gretel then wrote out a 'Hello Goth' sign and showed it to the camera, which I've got to admit was cool! I've put up a couple of pictures of her at work and if you look closely you can see the sign just in front of her!
I've also put up a small selection of Gretels work which I flippin'adore but advise you all to check out her site to see even more of it!.....and if you're anything like me, once you enter the Middle of Nowhere.....you'll be blissfully trapped there forever!