studio vlog #7, the last vlog of 2021!

Hi everyone! Can you believe it’s already time for the last vlog of 2021?! Happy New Year!!! I look forward to making more videos for you!

You can also watch on and subscribe to my YouTube channel. There are subtitles available, and the transcript is below if you need to read as well as watch. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment here or on youtube, or email me. Sign up to my email list as well for more at

I am not sponsored by any brands and nothing has been gifted by brands either (just some presents from friends and family).

Just ask any questions you might have in the comments! I’ll do my best to help you out.


Hi everyone. I’m Arati. Welcome to my last video of 2021. It is a studio vlog of all the footage I’ve managed to film through October, November and December. Not that it’s a lot because not a lot happened other than me working on various books and graphic design work that I really can’t share on YouTube or anywhere else for that matter until it’s actually printed and done. 

Speaking of book design work though, the books that I’ve been talking about designing for the last few months are finally out, so I can actually show you them. Here is Football: The Harrow Game by Dale Vargas. It has been written by a former master of harrow school and is a history of the game through the years, from its beginning, how it progressed and also its history throughout the years of Harrow School and how other schools adapted it as well. So there’s the hardback version and the paperback version. So both of those I will be doing an in-depth video, if you would like to see it, on how I design a book like that. 

Now I did get a few other book design projects in the meantime which, when they come out, which will be sometime in January-February, I will show you those books as well. It’s really exciting to finally be getting book design work again because it has been slow and projects have been few and far between since March 2020. 

Now, as we all know, the big P(andemic) has ruined a lot of stuff for us over the past two years, but hopefully it’s getting better next year, and it will keep improving. That’s all I can say about that, really. It did definitely ruin our Christmas but I’ll talk a little bit more about that later on in the video. 

My friend Amy of The Idle Bindery and I did manage to have some fun in November. We went to the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum and it was so beautiful. It was one of the best exhibitions that I have seen in the past few years. Every piece was exquisite. I don’t think I’ve seen Japanese art of that period on such a scale in an exhibition ever before. Every piece was just beautifully displayed. There was plenty of space to see it – you could go really close up – obviously it was protected by glass, but there was enough detail that you could see and also some of the information about the prints, um, some of the information about Hokusai himself was stuff that I hadn’t really learned about before. Most of us know Hokusai’s Great Wave of Kanagawa and that’s about the limit of our knowledge of his work. But he did so much beautiful work and there was so much of an Indian influence in much of that work as well that I was surprised to see. And it was quite fascinating and there’s a lot of research that I now want to do and add to my ever growing list of things to find out about.  

After that we managed to drop in at L. Cornelissen which is very close to the British Museum and mooch around there a little bit. I did not break my no-buy then and buy anything, but my friend did and she bought some of the little gold pigments and stuff. But maybe in the new year that’s actually something that I would like to do is – there’s two new kinds of videos I’d like to do – one of them is take you around to art shops in London and give you little tours, and maybe even if the owners are amenable to it to do a little interview with them and ask them why they set up their little shop and what they sell and why they sell it. That might be interesting. And then the other thing I do want to do is some book reviews but we’ll talk more about that anon. 

Now as you know I have been doing a no-buy year and intend to continue doing it for next year as well but I did fall off the wagon a little bit at the end of this year because I got influenced by April of Monkey Mintaka and I bought some Neocolor pastels – Neocolor 2 the water-soluble ones. So I’m really looking forward to actually swatching them in January. Of course, I will do a video and do it along with you. And I also got some Luminance pencils, just five of them and a small… the Neocolors as well. There’s not that many colours, but I got the ones that I thought would be most useful to me. So I will be swatching those in January and that might be the first or second video that you see for next year. 

However, the most exciting thing that has happened in the last three months – in fact in early November – was that I got my first stockist! A local art gallery is stocking my prints and my cards and my postcards and I was so excited about this. I can’t tell you how excited I am because it has been my aim for quite a few months now. I think I’ve spoken about it before that I do want to stock my work in shops because due to my health and other reasons I can’t always do markets. I can’t always go out and physically sell my own work. So the next best thing is to get somebody who likes my work as much as me to sell it in their shops, or to sell it in their… um, well, I’ll be targeting pop-up shops as well. So we’ll see how that goes. But in the meantime my local art gallery has ordered some prints, some cards, some postcards and I packed them all up and this was the first time I was packing a wholesale order, so I had to do quite a lot of logistics and think about how I wanted to present it. It’s all packaged plastic free with my stickers and my postcards and of course each of the prints has my Certificate of Authenticity on it. So all that had to be thought about and neatly done and I had to order a few things for that which I didn’t have like backing cards and things – enough backing cards and things – so I had to order those. But all of it got done and it got sent off. So that was really, really, really fun to do and I hope to do more of it in the coming year. 

The other interesting thing that I did was I did a lot of online markets. Like I said, my health doesn’t allow me to go out in the current situation and do a physical market, so I did a lot of markets on Tresstle. They went well in the sense of – I got a lot of exposure and I got a fair few new followers and a lot of interaction with people, which was really nice, considering how isolated I had felt. But I didn’t get very many sales – in fact it was probably the lowest period – this October, November,  December has been the lowest period for sales for the entire time that I’ve started, since May 2020, but – for my online shop – but I did have a great deal of fun setting up the market stall and I’ve actually spent the last few days of November taking down that market stall and kind of packing everything away. It didn’t actually take me that long; it actually took me longer to set it up than it did to take it down, which was kind of sad. But it was fun doing those markets. I did a fair few ‘lives’ I wonder if… if any of you follow me on instagram as well you probably caught those. And it was actually really nice to interact with people for that period of time. I didn’t get many orders per se on the online site but I did finish off my last few bits of commissions and I sent off a donation gift pack of Christmas cards to uh the Mindful Market which was one of the markets that I did and she was doing a collection for the Mind Charity and these were just little raffle prizes so I thought I’d contribute to that and it was a full set of my Christmas cards, two of each and I think whoever received that would have been quite happy with it, I think. 

And like I said I sent off the last bits of the commissions that I’d done…  commissions will reopen in February 2022 so if you’re on my email list, you will obviously get first dibs. Email list gets first dibs on everything, because you’re special, you follow me, you actually allow me in your email inbox! 

So the other thing that happened was that I got into the Deptford Does Art Illustration + Print Open. Unfortunately the owner of the place had some bad news within the first few days of the show so it was only open for three or four days and then it closed. So they still have all my work there. I don’t know whether I actually sold anything or not. They did send us this video very kindly because I wasn’t able to go to the launch. My husband didn’t think it was appropriate because of the whole surge of the virus and everything. So I was planning to go on the Wednesday but they did close, so I couldn’t actually go and see my work there. But hopefully they’ll come back after their holidays and let’s see how that goes whether they’ll reopen or they’ll return our work or whatever. We’ll see what happens with that. But again there was a lot of packaging and packing up of prints and writing of like titles on them and putting of Certificates of Authenticity and just you know sending it off. In fact I actually went down to Deptford myself to drop it off because it’s just an hour away by train. 

In the latter half of the month of course you would have seen my last video which was the festive DIY gift wrap one and here’s where I tell you about the terrible last few weeks I’ve had. Well I say terrible but it was more mentally terrible than actually physically terrible. Because we went to see a couple of friends and on the following week we heard that one of them had obviously tested positive for the virus, and even though we’re jabbed and everything, obviously, there was a risk, and we were all fine until the Friday when my husband went to get his booster and came back home feeling a bit rough. And we thought it was just the booster symptoms until the next morning he took an LFT (Lateral Flow Test) and realised that he had the dreaded virus. Now, because of my health issues everybody was a bit panicked that I shouldn’t get it. So my – because I tested negative still that day – my husband actually decamped to my sister’s house to isolate there, where two of them already had it. So it became the “Covid House” and so I was basically alone for 10 days over Christmas with just the dog. 

Fortunately, thankfully, to everyone’s great relief I did not test positive at all. My husband had it very mild and so did the other two family members who had it and we are extremely thankful for that, I must say. But it meant that all my beautiful wrapping couldn’t be opened in person. We did have a zoom Christmas just like last year. But everybody was very happy with what they got and they liked the gift-wrap as well. So I was quite happy about that and that everyone ended up being well. My husband is now back home. He’s fine. I’m still fine. But we did a lot of LFTs and we’re still doing a lot of LFTs, so yeah. And obviously family couldn’t come visit and things like that, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t quite so bad as it could have been. 

I did also finish my Christmas cards, finally, and they got printed and they came and I wrote them and sent them out. And as I do every year, this year’s personal Christmas cards for me will be in the shop for you, next year. And then next year I’ll do another new set which will be in the shop in the following years! So that’s how I keep up with new Christmas card designs and hopefully you’ll like them. My dog and my sister’s cat have definitely become my muses. I’ve been drawing dogs and cats so much lately. I feel like there’s a series coming up here, and we’ll see how that goes. 

The last thing that I have done this year, before I took time off just to relax and rest, was to reorder a bunch of prints just to stock up, and I ordered a couple of new prints. Now they’re already out as cards, but I didn’t have them as prints in the shop. So over the next few months those will be slowly released and I’ll be doing some new work as well. So, yeah, I’m kind of excited about the next few months I have a lot of plans in my head and I hope that they will all come to fruition in some way or the other in 2022. 

Last but not least I really, really have to say thank you so much to you all. I started making videos in January and you have followed me and liked and subscribed and watched my videos and commented and I can feel a really nice community starting to build here. I don’t yet have access to the community tab because I don’t have enough subscribers and so on. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for watching and listening and commenting and interacting with me it really means a lot. 

So now I’m going to stop rambling and nattering on and just wish you a very very happy new year 2022. I’ll see you in my next one. Bye!

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