Karen Billing Creative

about me

Im an Artist and Illustrator living in West Cork Ireland and in love
 all things vintage and nostalia inducing  for instance
dusty things in attics, retro design and decor, antiques, history and memories. 

My art and Illustrations are influenced by this sense of things past

My drawing and illustrations have been described as “quirky” and “vintage”.
My work is intensely patterned and often depicts women and birds.

Work in Progress

DANNY BOY

Illustrating the song 

Scroll down to” My Projects” for more info

THE WHITE LADY OF KINSALE

Illustrating the a famous ghost from Kinsale West Cork Ireland and placing her in differnt settings aroung the town

my process

At the moment I am enjoying mixed media .

I will mindmap a project first then make backgrounds, mostly from vintage ephemera .

Sometimes  I draw and paint objects and and will collage them on to the background

I use watercolour and ink for the main elements of the design

The last step is the  digital editing and finally from the original I make good quality prints to sell in my website shop.

Why not click here and take a look?

My Projects

"Music That Moved You " illustrating that special song

Music and song is so evocative and can bring back moving memories.

I take commisions for those who want see their song in image form

These pictures are showing  a work in progress .

                            The task was to illustrate the song “Danny Boy”  and what you see here is my experimetnation with ambience and background .

Which one to choose now and work with is my present dilemma!!! What do you think?

using new canvases

Paint Your Wagon

Recently I was commissioned to decorate a gypsy caravan

A dream job as I love pattern design and can get in “the zone”  when hand painting pattern repeats

The owner wanted the finish to look like original wagon painting art which leads to lots of research and many fascinating YouTube videos on the subject

I designed the patterns using a french curve to ensure they were symmetrical  and then transferred them on to the wagon

After investing in  some decent brushes and 1 Step Signwriting paint .. (a bit pricey but well worth it for ease of application and durability) we were ready to start

A big shout here out for the on-site help from my friend and assistant Donal

During this project, I’ve learned a lot about taking the time and not rushing to get the job finished.

Apart from the basic scrolls I had no concrete plan as to where the design will go, it is just so satisfying to let the work grow organically.

I am always happy to take commissions for similar work, furniture, interior decor and so on the permutations are endless!

P.s during a rain shower, I sheltered inside the caravan.

Small but perfectly formed I could live in there! Just Beautiful!

telling stories

Lizards Discard Their Tales

I am working on an  comic style autobiographical  story.

It narrates a slice of  my life  as child circa 1950s , living in Cyprus on an RAF base

It also relates the drama of  my mother’s affair with an EOKA spy and the disintegration of my parents marriage