Welcome to the creative hub for Illustrator and Creative Adventurer Andy Medcraft

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friedandy update (April 2021)

HellooOOoo friends, family and fellow creatives (or “eggs” as I like to fondly refer to you all)

As many of you will know, my 9 – 5 came to an end at the close of March. I‘m using this change in circumstance to put some weight behind my creativity and from today, 5 April 2021, I’m setting sail on a solo mission and am now officially self-employed as a freelance illustrator and creative adventurer!

For more details and for some examples of my work, please visit my website: http://www.friedandy.com
Keep an eye out for some new greetings cards coming this week to celebrate the launch.

What can you expect to see: commissioned illustrations, greetings cards, invites, wedding stationary, cake toppers, business cards, logo designs, short stories, children’s books, activity sheets, creative downloads, menus, colouring books, prints, postcards and eventually creative world domination! Mwah ha ha ha ha (evil laugh)

You can follow the adventures here as well as the usual social media platforms by searching friedandy

Thank you for your continued support. Fingers crossed we can share an adventure of our own very soon…

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I wanted to make a difference with my work and the postcard project seemed perfect way to start. It’s not about changing the world, it’s simply about making somebody’s world feel a little less lonely. That’s the whole concept right there. Just one postcard at a time…

Hugo began life as a elephant. I wasn’t keen on her. She just looked hacked off with life and although technically she was a good illustration, she just looked miserable. I knew I wanted something that would make people smile when it was pushed through the letterbox and this just didn’t hit the spot.

The elephant softened with a few more pencil lines and transformed into a hippo. She was smiley but I wasn’t convinced she was fluffy enough and so the fur was added and the hippo became a brown bear! To be honest, a lot of my work transforms like this on the page. The final touch was the nose and although still bear-like, it just screamed PANDA and so Hugo was born.

His name came from an online request. There was a huge response and Hugo was actually suggested by three different people and was perfect.

Once named, Hugo pulled on a rainbow sweater and appeared on the postcard as a “hug” – and now they’re making their way all over the country (and the world) sending perfect little hugs to those we can’t physically hug due to distance and, more significantly, this pandemic.

You too can get your hands on a “hugs” postcard via the shop http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/friedandy

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I’m not sure how I feel about February just sneaking in like that! Isn’t it meant to have fireworks or bells or something attached to it so we can hear it approaching? I feel like I switched on the PC and it was the 4th already! This lockdown is slowly eating away at my concept of space and time.

But you’re here now Feb, so you might as well pull up a chair. I have big plans for you…

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This post is a little later than I planned but, well, we made it. It was touch and go for a moment back there but we made it through 2020. What an absolutely bonkers year it was. Those of you who know me will know I had my own battle with Miss Rona at the beginning of the year and unfortunately she’s like sand at a picnic! I’m still finding grains of her embedded in things nearly a year later. And she’s still here. She’s still circling the dancefloor. It’s a shadow that none of us can avoid and until the vaccine has been fully rolled out to all those who want it, we’ll never fully close the chapter on 2020. She’ll still stain our dance cards.

To everybody who follows and supports my creative endeavors, I sincerely hope that you are safe and well.

For me, 2021 brings a new adventure. After three years of dangling the carrot of redundancy just inches away from my nose, the all-important end date is now confirmed and the official papers drawn up. As from March 31st I will no longer be employed. It’s not the first time I have been without employment but it is the most positive time I’ve been without employment.

My positivity is not giddiness. I am well aware that losing a job I have relied upon for the past nine years will have significant financial impact. I am in no way flippant when I say this is a learning curve because the route I have chosen is one of self-employment and self-discovery. I’m fully aware that their will be significant redundancies in the UK this year and as a result my potential safety net of gaining alternative employment is incredibly weakened by the number of people also finding themselves out of work (the number of people made redundant in the UK has jumped to over 370,000 since October – the highest increase on record)

I’m aware that as much as I want to sit back and draw pretty pictures all day, there is an incredible amount of hard work ahead of me to ensure that I am a success.
Before I begin to measure what success looks like for me, I need to map out the route through the next three months of my redundancy period and ensure that when I wake up on 1st April 2021 (the irony of this date is not lost on me), I have done all I can to tip out the crayons onto the kitchen table and colour my way into my new career as a self-employed creative adventurer.

Do you fancy coming along for the ride?

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Happy Halloween!
This October I’ve been taking part in the in inktober challenge, to challenge myself more than anything else. It’s been fun. And in the spirit of all thing spooky, I wanted to share this little chap with you…
Keep it spooky…