Window Painting for Bobo London

Painting a shop window has always been a bit of a bucket-list job for me, so was really pleased to have had the opportunity last week.  The canvas was a gorgeous little hairdresser called Bobo in Camden Passage in Angel, London.  Bobo's head-stylist, Ali is a creative champion.  He's an illustrator and painter himself, and prides himself in running a creative, outlooking salon, with regular live-music nights and live artists in the salon's back garden.  

Ali was happy for me to art direct the project, leaving me to choose the direction for the window. The only request was to showcase Oscar, the salon's dog, who always sits in the window and has become a familiar face to passersby.  This is what I suggested:

I wanted the design to decorate the window without obscuring the view into the shop, so opted for a border.  I also liked the black and white shop front, so wanted to create something that complimented it; as a graphic, black and white illustration.  I deliberated for ages if I should use black paint or white paint.... eventually deciding on both.  it took a bit longer, but I think it was worth it.  The results were great!

Illustrations for Country Life Magazine's wedding supplement

Earlier this month I worked with Country Life to create 11 illustrations and hand lettering for a special wedding supplement.  I got my copy of the magazine this week, and it was great to see them all in print.

The illustrations are quite classic watercolours, keeping in style with the romantic, quintessential style of Country Life.  

x, Willa

Beauty illustrations for Family Fun magazine

I just received my copy of Family Fun magazine, and to see my pictures inside.  Family Fun is a US magazine*, mainly for families (obviously) and so has a lot of great childrens' illustration.  But, they also have a mom section, so that's why they looked to me.  

The article was about nail trends.  They were really keen to use my linear style, with a neutral background and pops of colour for the nail varnish.

Unfortunately, the ended up not using the larger image in the magazine, but theses things happen.

*this is my 5th US commission this year! - I'm presuming that the low exchange rate is encouraging savvy American art directors to save a bit of money.  And why not?! 

x, Willa

Hand painted denim with And/Or at John Lewis

You may have spotted on Instagram that I've been spending a lot of time in John Lewis recently doing fabric painting onto denim. I was there helping them launch their new range, And/Or in their denim customisation workshop.

The new And/Or collection is gorgeous.  It has a laid-back, Californian-dreaming style with contemporary denims in the high quality you'd expect from John Lewis.  I totally have my eye on a great pair of wide-leg denim culottes.

The two-week long event launched with an exclusive Grazia party, where guests could have their denim pieces customised, as well as hair treatment and manicure, a DJ set by Mollie King whilst sipping on prosecco, cocktails and enjoying canapés. One lucky girl even won a trip to LA!  

The denim workshop stayed in-store for a further two weeks, where anyone buying And/Or jeans could get free customisation; choosing from my hand painting, or patches, embroidery, fraying by Hand & Lock.

Live illustration, and bespoke packaging with Links of London

I've just got my hands on this great video from my time at  Links of London at Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport.

I was there on Valentines weekend, drawing London skylines (with additional aeroplanes and lovehearts) onto the boxes for customers.  The video was made by lightfoot marketing for Heathrow, and they were kind enough to let me share the video.

Check it out.

x, Willa

Fashion and body shape illustrations for Precis.

I've just finished up a lovely commission from the petite fashion label, Precis, who have just relaunched their website.  

They wanted illustrations for their website's size guide, showing the different body shapes (pear, strawberry, rectangle, hourglass, apple) and suggesting outfits that best suit these different shapes.

The final illustrations were stripped back a little for the website. Here they are in-situ:

x, Willa

Food illustrations for Family Circle magazine US

I've been working with Family Circle to create some yummy, and educational spot illustrations for their magazine.

The first commission was for their March issue, which teaches us how to fold the pastry on an Peach Danish.

The second commission for their April issue shows us the secret on how to pipe icing carrots onto your carrot cake.  That's Easter sorted then!

Live fashion illustration at London Transport Museum

On Friday I was live drawing at a really fun event with the London Transport Museum.

The event, called Friday Late: Urban Fabric, celebrated "the softer side of transport" with a focus on the fabric that makes up our city. The event had loads of interesting talks, and workshops, and guests could have their portrait drawn on the back of a vintage Routemaster bus.  

People got really involved with the theme, many posing as commuters; reading their books. Others were happy to use the pole to boost their inner-model confidence.  It was a great night.

Large scale watercolour painting for Chinese New Year.

This is one of my all-time favourite commissions.   At Chinese New Year, I was invited to paint a large-scale watercolour rooster live at a CNY party.  The rooster was 1.5 meters tall, and was painted onto non-stretched watercolour paper.  

The painting formed the back-drop for the event, and was a great talking-point for the guests.  Then afterwards, one of the guests even bought the artwork.  I'm so honoured to have my artwork appreciated so much.

I LOVED doing this, and it's really whet my appetite to do more large scale work.

A big thanks to Benjamin Wetherall for these great photographs.

x, Willa

Denim customisation and hand-drawn, personalised gifts with Topshop

This month I was up in Glasgow with Topshop's #HolidayHappenings pop-up, where I offered denim customisation and bespoke, personalised Christmas baubles.

For the denim, I painted directly onto denim using fabric paint, offering a mixture of florals (hitting the a/w 16 embroidery and embellishment trend) and personalised monogramming and hand lettering.    


It's not something I normally do, so really nice to work with completely new materials.  A big thanks to Topshop for having me; it was lots of fun.  Here's some pictures of me in-store; pictures by Christina Riley.


x, Willa

Perfume Illustrations for Top Santé magazine

It’s been a busy couple of months, and I’m slowly catching up with myself and able to look back at some of the work I’ve been doing, but maybe forgotten to blog about.

Another great commission I worked on recently was with Top Sante magazine, who I’ve worked with a few times before.  This time, for their October issue, which might still be in stores, I was asked to create some lovely perfume illustrations.  I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out.

For the article, I also illustrated the title page:

Title page, lifestyle illustration: TopSante

Here's a few pictures of how it looks in the magazine:

Fashion illustrations for Sofitel London

If you follow me on instagram, you'll see I've been busy working on an exciting project with Sofitel London.   Over the last three months, I've been creating a series of illustrations which will help to promote the launch of their new exhibition, La Parisienne.

La Parisienne PR image by Willa Gebbie

The "La Parisienne" is a fashion photography exhibition which launched during Paris Fashion Week and celebrates sophisticated French style.  To stay within the fashion theme, they asked me to help them create a lookbook for guests, to help them create that French look.  The style guide was written by style blogger, Ella Catliff, and so the two of us worked together to get the illustrations just right.

I also created some beautiful fashion portraits to gift to magazine editors, and bloggers as part of their luxury invitation to the VIP launch event.  Here are some of my favourites;

And, if that wasn't already a great job, I was invited to be "illustrator in residence" during the launch week of the exhibition.  During my week-long residency, I attended the VIP launch event do draw quick portraits of guests.  The rest of the week, I was set up with an easel in the lobby of the hotel, where guests and visitors would sit for me for more leisurely fashion portraits.  It was a wonderful experience, and I painted so many lovely people.

You can see more pictures of my live drawing on lil collective's website.

My residency is over now, but the exhibition is on until the end of November, and so the style guides are still available in the hotel.  

If you like vintage fashion photography, it's well worth dropping into the hotel to see.  And even better if you have time to have a cocktail in the bar.

La Parisienne runs until 17 November 2016 at Sofitel London St James.

Illustrations for M&S food photoshoot

I am absolutely delighted to share one of my favourite jobs this year; a collaborative project with Marks and Spencer, where I worked with photographer, Jonathan Gregson to produce an illustrated, food photography story.  

Marks and Spencer are renowned for their great food photography, so I was already excited by the brief.  But, to make it even better, the team wanted to use real illustrations on paper, rather than adding them into the photographs digitally afterwards.  It's not the easiest way of working, but I knew that the results would be amazing.  It gave me full control on the composition of the images, and meant that it would have an authentic look.

And, the best bit, I got to go along and take part in the photoshoot with the fantastic team of photographers, photography assistants, editors, chefs, food stylists, prop stylists and productions managers! 

Here's some pictures from behind the scenes.

And the final pictures, as shown on M&S's website:

I'd love to hear what you think.

x, Willa



Live illustration and Packaging embellishment with Patek Phillipe.

Last week, I was a busy bee, working in-house for the events agency, Polar Black Events.  They asked me to help them out with a wonderful luxury event for luxury watch company; Patek Phillipe.

Special clients of Patek Phillipe were being invited to a vip launch of their new watch collection.  As a gift at the event, each guest was presented with a Jo Malone selection, and the boxes were hand embellished by me.  The boxes were rather big; around 50cm wide, so there was lots of drawing to be done.

Jo Malone boxes hand drawn illustrated

The sketch is of Tryingham Hall, a beautiful manor house near Milton Keynes, where the event was to take place.  A truly special memento of the day.

As well as hand-sketching on the boxes, I was invited along to the event itself to do some live sketching of the guests during the drinks reception.  Since it was such a beautiful day, I was delighted that the event could be held outside in the gorgeous gardens, and we were surprised by a secret performance of an orchestra and opera singer.  Wow!  It was a lovely experience.

Sadly I wasn't able to take many pictures; it didn't seem right at such a high-end event, but I was able to capture a few pictures of the house before the event got underway.

Watercolour Garden for L'Occitane at Chelsea Flower Show

If you managed to get tickets to the sold-out Chelsea Flower Show last weekend, you may have seen my illustrations decorating the L'Occitane show perfume garden.  The illustration was an artist's representation of what the garden would look like.  The garden was recreation of the French, Provence landscape in homage to the beginnings of L'Occitance.  It was in there, in 1976, a young Olivier Baussan found a discarded old steam distiller and started producing essential oils from local rosemary and lavender growers, which he then sold at the local markets. The garden had more than 300 types of flowers, although not all seen in my illustration.


The illustration was used on leaflets as well as on L'Occitane's website and social media.  Here's some places you might have seen it.

And, of course, some pictures of the garden itself.  Sadly I wasn't able to visit the show, the press team at L'Occitane were kind enough to share these photographs.  

 I wish I had been there in person, perhaps next year.

x, Willa

Lifestyle illustration for Top Santé magazine

I've grabbed a copy of June's Top Santé magazine, to see my illustrations in print.  

The brief was to create two full page illustrations for their article, "Sleep Deeply" (a single spread and a double spread). They were looking for some peaceful illustrations showing people having a good night's sleep and waking happily.  Such a lovely job.

To give you an idea of my working process, here's a step-by-step from art director brief through to final illustration.

I'm really pleased with the result of the final illustrations in the magazine.  What do you think?

x, Willa


Live Fashion Illustration at Reiss AW16 Launch

Last week I was invited along to the Reiss store in Barrett Street to illustrate the guests at their AW16 launch.  It was a great night; with a dj, blow dry bar, makeup bar and free flowing champagne.  And, I got to meet the lovely blogger, Anneli Bush.

Reiss were kind enough to share some pictures from their event; have a look.

x, Willa

Promotional illustrations for Diesel event

Last week, Diesel had some in-store events at their Birmingham and Glasgow stores to celebrate their latest woman's denim collection.  They have 4 new shapes, so there's something to find no matter your style.  At the event, they had a blow-dry bar, ready to give free styling for whichever of the styles best suit you.

I was asked to create illustrations to show the kind of hairstyles that were on offer, Each style corresponded with one of the denim looks; 70's Farah Fawcett inspired flicks for flares, Cute braids for the girl-next-door in boyfriend jeans, Sleek and smooth for the skinny jeans and 90's grunge for the high-waisted, tapered denims.

I couldn't make it to the event, so I asked the fabulous Glasgow-based photographer, Christina Riley to go along and document the event for me.  Here's some pictures of the illustrations in-situ.

x, Willa