Top 5 Affordable Options For Framing Your Artwork

Top 5 Affordable Options For Framing Your Artwork

Now that you have a print, what next? Framing is actually not as hard as you think, all you need is a pair of clean hands, a clean table or surface to work on and access to some affordable but quality ready-made frames and you’ll have a gallery wall in no time.

Below are my top five recommendation for affordable and stylish framing:


      1. Country Road Adler Frame

        Country Road Adler Frame

        This is a great modern frame if you want something super simple with minimal effort. All the Country Road frames are sized to our standard paper size, so all you need to do is pick the right frame to match your print size.

        There is an option for with or without a mat board, aka a border. Just make sure to pick a size up if you prefer a mat board. For this frame, I tend to go for the no mat board look to create a clean minimalist style.

        To Buy:


      2. IKEA HOVSTA Frame

        Ikea Hovsta Frame

        This is a modern and clean picture frame that lets the art print speak for itself. With a myriad of colour and framing options available, the HOVSTA is a great little workhorse that helps you achieve that customised look you are after. You can frame the artwork close to the front or behind the box frame insert to add depth. And with or without the accompanying mount.

        To buy:

        PRO TIP: Buy double-sided mounting foam and stick the print on top of the mount card to create that modern “floated” look.


      3. IKEA EDSBRUK Frame

        Ikea Edsbruk Frame

        This is another one of my favourite affordable frames if you are after that modern classic look. The frame itself has subtle “grooves” which gives it a clean traditional feel. It is also super sturdy and looks more expensive than it really is. 

        For this frame, I like to frame the print behind the mat board to continue that traditional vibe. 

        To buy:


      4. Ready-made frames from specialist framing shops

        Don’t let a professional framer scare you. Nowadays, many professional framers offer ready-made frames that you can purchase and take home yourself. These are usually sized to standard paper sizes and are a cheaper alternative to custom framing. 

        Buying from a framer is great if you are not confident about your first framing project and you want someone to guide you in making your first purchase.

        Simply google ready-made frames with your city/suburb and you should find a list of places to start with.

        Pro Tip: Worried about hanging the framed art? You can often find someone to hang artwork, mirrors and TVs on Airtasker or through local directories.


      5. Kmart, Target and Officeworks

        You can’t go past Kmart, Target and Officeworks if you are looking for a super affordable option. Their frames are often sized to standard paper sizes so all you need is to find a style to suit your decor. Be warned, finding a good frame from these places are like finding a needle in a haystack. Make sure you check out the frame in person before buying. In my experience, the most simple styles are best.

        Pro Tip: Bring the print or a cardboard that is the same size as the print with you, so you can visualise how it’ll fit in the frame easily.


I hope this helps with choosing your art frame. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. Don’t forget, I can also offer custom print sizing to make sure the print fits perfectly with the frame you have purchased. Simply send me an email and I shall respond within 2 business days.

Meet the Artist: Emma Kidd

Meet the Artist: Emma Kidd

Today we chat with Emma Kidd, a Sydney based artist who makes articulated imaginary creatures with the humble paper and paint. I have always admired artists who can draw from their imagination and felt in love with Emma's creatures the day I discovered her work. Everything she does seems so effortless and yet I doubt anyone can replicate her style easily. Her creatures look like characters from another time, innocent beings trapped in Dante's Inferno. 

Tell us a bit about you. 
At the moment I tend towards the articulated creature: which is a bit like a puppet, 2D, hand-painted with limbs or other things that are attached with a brad or split pin so you can position them as you wish. I also paint on paper and sometimes canvas. Usually always with gouache. I think I started making this type of work in 2009.

Have you always been a creative person? Do you remember the definitive moment when you decided to be an artist?
I've certainly always been encouraged to be creative, my mother has seen me change my mind on the focus of that creativity, but generally it has always been something you can put in a gallery or on a wall. In 2004, before moving to France with my other half, I quit my graphic design job with the definite thought in mind to now pursue my own work. Of course I still ended up teaching English, bit more Graphic Design and waiting tables since then.

Who are you inspired by?
It is hard to say living in this age of information bombardment. I have a love for Brett Whiteley's freedom and style, Outsider Art (Art Brut), retro illustration, and tales of strange things, the multitude of creative people that put their work out there everyday for people to see. The people that tirelessly work at making it.

What is your typical work day like and what is your must-have item to help you stay productive?
I still have a child who is with me most of two days of "the working week". He no longer sleeps, so it is up to me to get everything I need done from Wednesday to Friday and bit and pieces scattered in times of rare naps, bedtime. To be productive, the house can't be too messy, otherwise I start muti-tasking cleaning things up in between paint drying or it becomes a form of procrastination. I just need to keep working otherwise I stagnate, which is what is happening a little bit at the moment, because I am questioning the type of work I am making.

What are you super excited about? Any upcoming projects or experimentation?
Strangely the thing that is stirring me up the most at the moment is I am studying yoga. Officially it is teacher training, but that isn't actually my aim. I am learning about basic anatomy, Yogic Philosophy and having to learn Sanskrit terms. It is keeping me on my toes.
Apart from that, I am thinking about making bigger paintings, that take more time, and more thought. Without over thinking, which can be my problem.

Can you share one tip for any aspiring creative and maker?
Don't be limited by thoughts that tell you can't do something, try. Get painting, making... you'll only get better.

INSTAGRAM: @benconservato
ETSY: BenConservato


Portrait Drawing: Abby

Portrait Drawing: Abby

I have never been confident with drawing portraiture and as a result, have always avoided it where possible. This year, I've decided to face this fear head on. You can never have a perfect piece of drawing but you'll never improve if you don't practice. 

So with this new mindset, I turned on my favourite podcast, pencil in hand and started drawing. And you know what? It wasn't as scary as I thought. Just like drawing animals and botanicals, it is all about applying layers and being patient. Trust your process and let it guide you along the way.  

I have kept this drawing quite monochromatic as I feel it can be too distracting with full colour, I might try another one will full colour one day, but for the moment I'm content and am looking forward to doing more in the future.  

Pet Portrait: Lewis

Pet Portrait: Lewis

Name: Lewis | Owner: Leonie

Friends in my street adopted Lewis from the RSPCA when he was about 4 years old. No-one knew his past history but he’d had a bad time as he was aggressive towards strange men. The young couple (his new family) both worked long hours and he was left at home. He suffered from separation anxiety so tried to escape their yard most days. Often I would see him “setting out” on an adventure along the street and I’d go after him. He loved this and turned it into a game I’m sure.
One day I was out in my car about 5 kms from home and here was Lewis trotting along having an adventure! I stopped, called him, he jumped into the car and we came home!
As a result, Lewis started coming to my house for sleepovers, visits during the day, and longer stays when they went on holidays. I’m semi-retired and work from a home office so I was ideal for Lewis, he had company!
Lewis - work in progess
In the space of  2 years sadly the young girl (his adopted Mum whom he adored) was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 and sadly lost her life. As well as all of us, Lewis was devastated. He literally fretted and could often be found sleeping on her clothes in the wardrobe etc. His adopted Daddy was of course also devastated having lost his wife and asked me could I possibly have Lewis to stay whilst he got himself together.  Lewis moved in along (upon my insistence) with a piece of Mummy's clothing! After about a month he no longer slept on her piece of clothing so I knew he was recovering. About  4 months later, he went home again but every opportunity he escaped and came rattling my security door. Finally, I was asked if I’d like to have Lewis full time. he moved in permanently and I adopted him formally so he was MY dog.
That was now 4 years ago. He knows this is his “forever” home. He loves me and the feeling is mutual. After living full time with me for about 6 months I decided we had to get rid of the “strange men” aggression and the separation anxiety so we went to see a Dog Whisperer. He was nothing short of a m a z i n g and it was the best $165 I have ever spent.
Lewis is completely cured of the anxiety, he is far improved with men he doesn’t know. He’s a very happy (and spoilt) dog. So now we can enjoy our “retired” years together.
Roseau: Disintegrate

Roseau: Disintegrate


Came across this beautiful animation by Hannah Jacobs for London-based songwriter and producer Roseau's latest track, Disintegrate.

I love the simple animation and the use of negative space to portray loneliness and isolation. Do grab a cuppa and enjoy this beautiful clip. 


Meet the Artist: Jess Racklyeft

Meet the Artist: Jess Racklyeft

Welcome to the first series of Meet the Artist where I chat to artists and makers whom I love and admire. Jess Racklyeft is an illustrator who primarily works in card designs and children's book illustrations. I was introduced to Jess' work a few years ago through Erstwilder where we currently work as one of their designers. Jess' art is soft, whimsical and full of joy and I was head over heels the moment I saw one of her watercolour paintings. 

Tell us a bit about you
Hello! My name is Jess Racklyeft and I am an illustrator. I primarily work as a card designer and children's book illustrator, and I also sell portraits on Etsy as well as work for some great clients like Erstwilder. 
Although I've been drawing since a kid, I didn't give myself the chance to build a freelance life until my daughter was born 5 years ago. Since then I've been working super hard building an illustration freelance life, and it has been an absolute dream / intense juggle and rewarding chapter seeing it starting to take off.
Have you always been a creative person?
Do you remember the definitive moment when you decided to be an artist?
I have, and I remember being asked at 12 what I wanted to be - and I said a children's book illustrator. This completely scared me, as I never felt good enough so I totally ignored myself for another 20 years. I studied Communications and travelled, and the job just before I had my daughter was SELLING children's books at a publishing company. It's kind of crazy thinking of the big circle! In the end all these different experiences have definitely added to my work now as I can understand publishing from the internal office world to the illustration side, so I appreciate my many years of different jobs!
Who are you inspired by?
A billion artists on Instagram, the city of Melbourne, my kids and my local bookshop The Little Bookroom. There's so much beautiful work out there and very clever people. Artists like Anna Walker and Jon Klasson really make my art heart flutter!
What is your typical work day like and what is your must-have item to help you stay productive?
Coffee and wine keep me balanced, but I am never really not productive as with two little kids any time I can work is gold. They are in childcare two days, and I work nights and naps. So there's not really a typical day, but I am either with the kids or working 90% of the day and enjoying a red wine or coffee the other 10% (oh and sleep fits in there somewhere too :)).
What are you super excited about?
I'm working on two books at the moment which I'm loving, and looking forward to them coming out later this year. I'm also currently making myself a mini project of drawing small watercolour birds and selling them on Instagram, they are total stress release for me and seem to be going down well! Apart from that I'm looking forward to a break from it all with a couple of weekends away coming up, where I hope to down tools (and kids for one of them!) and enjoy some time with friends and family.
Can you share one tip for any aspiring creative and maker?
Don't feel like it is all or nothing. Every job, every exhibition, every market stall and every drawing all add to the pie and it doesn't have to make sense at this very moment. Make things you love to do and share them, send your work to people you admire, just keep makin' makin' - I think those who persevere always get to the "finish line" (whatever that is!) eventually. 
INSTAGRAM: @jessesmess
Pet Portrait: Zoe

Pet Portrait: Zoe

Doing custom pet portraits also mean I get the chance to hear about all the beautiful stories about the pet owner and their pet. This year, I have decided to start documenting what I've learned with each drawing. I hope you will find joy in them as much as I had.

Here is a little story of Zoe's adventure as told by her lovely owner Leonie.

Name: Zoe 16 | Owner: Leonie

Once when she was 6 months old I had her spayed on a Friday so I could look after her over the weekend. When I came home from work the following Monday she had disappeared.  I searched and searched for her for many days but alas to no avail. Despite advertising in newspapers and local radio as well as notices on the waiting room notice boards of every local vet, she had simply disappeared. Ten days passed  I received a phone call at work from my local police station saying they thought they might have my cat.

Seemingly Zoe had staggered in through the automatic doors during the night shift. She had been tied up around her neck with wire and was badly cut. She was emaciated and was skinny. One of the policemen on duty had taken her the next day to the closest vet to get treatment IT WAS MY VET who had spayed her only 2 weeks before, he recognised their veterinary tattoo in her ear and suggested the policeman check the noticeboard for my phone number!

I raced out of work to the police station and there was my little girl. She was running around their back office and hiding. When I called her name she came out from under a desk and took a huge leap onto my shoulder....she purred and snuggled into my neck...I cried... the 2 policemen were emotional............LOL... it was a general sob fest!

Zoe was home.

Zoe - progress

Clearly, someone had taken her for their own. But she had escaped and clever girl, went to the police LOL

Apart from going away on holidays when she stayed with my parents or I had a house sitter, she never left my side after that until she passed away of old age 16 years later.

PS. The really nice ending to this story. I bought a lotto ticket and posted it with a thank you note to the policeman who had taken her to the vet and cared for her. He'd refused to take payment for the vet bill and the cat food he'd bought.  He called me 2 weeks later to say he'd won $1500 :) Karma.


A triptych: custom illustration

A triptych: custom illustration

I was recently commissioned to do a series of three drawings for a nursery. The brief was to create something that not only goes well together but also provide meaning to the family and newborn. 

After a bit of brainstorming, we decided to do a drawing of the family pet, the letter M with a wooden block which hints to the baby's name and a toy monkey with an AFL football as the baby was born in the year of the monkey and AFL is the father's favourite sport.

Anatomy Of A Pet Portrait

Anatomy Of A Pet Portrait

I’ve been drawing pet portraits for well over two years now, and it has only occurred to me that I have never really blogged about the process. Whenever I receive a pet portrait commission, I start by mocking up how the drawing will look on the computer. As animals are quite fickle, it is very rarely that I receive a perfect photo to draw from. So instead, I very often have to create a final mock up from cutting and pasting from various photos gathered.

For this pet portrait, it was important to capture Ollie’s cheeky side but we couldn’t find a good enough photo of her sticking her tongue out. So instead, I google references of dogs with their tongue sticking out and photoshop it on the image instead. Same with the collar, I simply source the collar from another photo and paste it on top.

After the mock up, I then sketch a rough outline on paper to set the layout. This step is very rough, it is more for me to plot the major elements like eyes, nose on paper to make sure everything is in the right proportion.

Once I’m happy with the layout, I will then work on the final drawing. I often start with the most prominent or important area as it is important to get it right. You don’t want to spend hours working on the non essential areas and then having to start again because the eyes look wonky or out of place. This is also the part of the drawing where I spend the most time as it can often make or break the drawing.

It is also important to note that drawing takes a lot of time, I often work on a drawing in hour blocks, as I notice the quality of my drawing can deteriorate if I don’t take proper breaks. It also help you see your drawing with fresh eyes when you start on it again.

The rest of the body usually come together pretty quickly, the trick here is to not over work the drawing and work in layers to develop depth which I will talk further about in a future blog post.


Wild Ones Art Market At Hazelhurst Gallery This Sunday

Wild Ones Art Market At Hazelhurst Gallery This Sunday

Why don’t you join me at the Wild Ones Art Market at Hazelhurst Gallery this Sunday from 10am – 4pm? I will be bringing along a range of greeting cards, framed and unframed art prints as well as a couple of original drawings from my 100 Days Of Flowers series. In addition, this Sunday will also be the first public debut my brand new Peonies & Anemones 100% silk scarves. I’m so excited that this passion project of mine is finally ready to go and I cannot wait to see what you think of them.

Each scarf is digitally printed and hand finished locally in Marrickville. The scarves are super drapey and lightweight meaning it’s perfect for all weather, and it is available in two sizes, large (90 x 90cm) and small (45 x 45cm). I do hope you will love them as much as I do.

In addition to the Wild Ones Art Market, there will be all day festivities within the gallery. Think music, exhibitions, free art classes, kids floral workshops, film screening and many more. It will definitely be a great day for all, looking forward to seeing you there.

Woodland at O’Connell Street Merchants

Woodland at O’Connell Street Merchants

I have never given much thought to serendipity, but I guess chance do work in wondrous ways. A much needed catch up between old friends lead to an offer to show my artwork at my favourite boutique O’Connell Street Merchants in Newtown.

As Christmas is approaching, I made an effort to make sure all the artwork are affordable and available in a range of prices. You’ll find a series of framed prints as well as original artwork from my 100 Day Project, everything is framed and ready to go so all you need to do is to decide which one to get and for whom.

While you are there, do make sure you check out the rest of the shop. Lucia the owner has curated the most perfect range of clothing, homeware and accessories. The cool factor of each item is beyond ridiculous, I seriously want everything in the shop! Oh, and to top it off, the concept store is just situated above Brewtown Newtown, which is known for their infamous cronuts and coffee. Great place to rest your weary feet after a productive shopping day.

Woodland is on viewing until the end of November.
O’Connell Street Merchants
Level 1 6-8 OConnell Street, Newtown, New South Wales
Open 7 days 10am – 4pm

Things I Love: Little Posies

Things I Love: Little Posies

I love the haphazard way people put little posies together in cafes. Simple and understated, just the way flowers should be.