I’ve come to realize something very important over the past few years, wisdom can only be obtained through experience and age. When I was younger I used to think I knew everything and I can now look back at my teenage years and see them for what they were, a huge learning curve.
I often looked in the mirror and hated what I saw, I disliked a lot of my physical features as well as being critical of who I was as a person. Recently, during a deep conversation I had with a friend, I began to think about my life and my journey towards self confidence. One of the reasons I started my YouTube channel, was to put myself out there, gain confidence and to become more creative.
Over the years I have slowly gained confidence in myself and my style, I love playing around with different looks and ideas. I think style should be fun! It is self expression at it’s finest and it gives people a glimpse into your soul, who you are and what you are about.
Style can be learned and it is important to educate yourself about different fashion eras, designers, pop culture and many different aspects of the fashion world. To me, the most important and inspiring people in fashion, are the every day fashionistas, the women on the streets who live for fashion. There is something captivating about seeing regular people on the streets, showcasing themselves to the world through their wardrobe choices. It’s art.
In a world of social media and blogging, it is easier than ever to gain fashion inspiration at your fingertips. One of my favorite style blogs is Advanced Style, a blog that celebrates fashionable older women and their eclectic fashion collections. This blog has changed my life, it revolutionised how I think about fashion and style. It’s truly one of the greatest style blog I’ve ever laid eyes on.
I strongly urge anyone who is reading this to check out the Advanced Style documentary on Netflix, it is a a magnificent film that interviews many of the ladies who feature regularly on the blog. A lot of these women have gone on the feature in many prestigious fashion campaigns and some of them have become the faces of some of the worlds biggest fashion houses. It’s empowering, it makes me want to be just like them when I get older.
Getting older really is a privilege, it’s something to embrace also. I want to continue to embrace who I am and what it is I want to say to the world while I am still alive and these magnificent women inspired that in me. I no longer look at age as just a number or something to despair over, I look at it as an opportunity to continue to learn about myself and others.
There is power in style and there is power in women, so when you combine the two, you create a force to be reckoned with. These women are inspirational and I admire the fact that they don’t let their age stop them from experimenting with their style, even as they get older. It can be easy to give in to what is expected of you in today’s world but these women embrace who they are, it’s the ultimate act of rebellion in a society obsessed with youth and conforming to social norms.
If you want to wear something that other people might not be in to or admire, that is their problem. Wouldn’t it be so boring if we all dressed the same or followed the same trends?
The ethos of the Advanced Style blog and film, is to be yourself and never let anyone else tell you how to dress. The film inspired me to embrace the development of my style and not to take everything so seriously! The older I get, the less I care about what people think of me. Life is too short to worry about what others might think of my colourful hair or some wacky items of clothing I love to wear. If people laugh at me for these things, who cares? If they get a kick out of it or it makes them laugh, awesome. What other people think of me is none of my business!
I can safely say that Helen Green is one of the most talented people I’ve ever known. I discovered her art through our mutual love of Lady Gaga and the beautiful atheistic of her work made me a fan for life. I had a chat with Helen about her amazing career so far and what it is like to count some of her famous idols as fans of her work.
Hi Helen! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the type of art work you do.
Hey Ellie! I’m a Freelance illustrator based in Birmingham, UK. My work is a combination of my love for portraiture and music, fan-art I suppose!
The first time I came across one of your beautiful drawings was through Lady Gaga, she posted a drawing you did of her with Disney Princesses drawn on her body. Was that the first time your work had been publicly recognized by one of your muses/icons? What was that experience like?
There were a couple occasions leading up to that particular image Gaga shared -The first occasion was in February 2012 when Gaga shared two of my drawings one after the other. The first one she posted along with the message; “Monsters who made this? The fan art lately is INSANE. Im obsessed.” and following that, she shared the other with the message; “omg and this one!! who did it!??!?”.
(I just googled parts of the wording to look for those tweets again, and oh my gosh I still get butterflies when I read them.. weird what a couple of tweets can do!).
That moment meant a huge amount to me. There I was, happily drawing away, pretty much accepting that Gaga may never come across my work, yet enjoying it regardless. And then one evening she posted those two tweets. I hadn’t seen them until about two hours later (I had been offline, working on another Gaga drawing). I was freaking out! Not only did Gaga see the drawings, she was seeking out who made them! Such a bizarre feeling, especially when she eventually found me thanks to the amazing people who reached out to her with my Twitter name.
The other piece she shared was ‘Disney Gaga’ in mid 2012. That piece was my interpretation of Gaga as a Born This Way-themed Disney princess with her Born This Way fairytale castle in the background. Gaga shared it with the message:
“This is my favourite thing in life. just putting it out there, Disney can we make this happen?”.
Her reaction couldn’t be more perfect!! The image went viral. Articles were popping up; “Lady Gaga’s Disney ambition” and “’Princess’ Gaga Wants Own Disney Movie.”
It was very surreal seeing my work and my name appearing in articles online, and my local paper. It felt as if it was happening to someone else, not me. Because in real life, I couldn’t be more further than the centre of attention.
Going further back, when I drew models more than I drew musicians, I had my work shared by Allison Harvard, Charlotte Free and Audrey Kitching – three of my faves. It’s a wonderful complement and makes me so happy to know that they appreciated the drawings.
You became apart of Lady Gaga’s Haus collective and have done work her Born This Way Foundation. What other artists would you like to work with in the future?
I would love to work on something for Melanie Martinez again! I made a design for her merch a long while ago now. She’s such a talented singer and songwriter, and a joy to draw! My dream commissions would be for bands such as Muse and Sparks (or Franz Ferdinand Sparks), maybe Kasabian.. though I may not be the kind of illustrator for them, it doesn’t hurt to fantasise! To be honest I am excited to work with any artist/band that feels that my work connects with their image and their music. I’m looking forward for whatever new project comes my way.
Especially with Gaga!
Being a fan of music and being a self confessed Little Monster, have you experienced fans getting your work replicated in tattoo form?
Yes! Quite often I see people sharing pics of their tattoos. I love it! It’s such a huge complement when somebody likes my drawing enough to get it permanently inked. I have a lot of saved images scattered about of people’s tattoos that I ought to organise in one place.
What inspires your work and what tools do you use to create your pieces?
I collect images on Pinterest that could be useful for future drawings, a board full of “poses and hand positions” that I can refer to at a later stage. Inspiration usually starts from a music video, a promo photo, a candid photo, a ‘selfie’.
Then if need be, I then take a look at my collection of pose references for one that fits with my idea!
My tools of choice are watercolours, gouache, pencil and sometimes ball-point pen, and Photoshop.
Are you self-taught? Do you think people need to go to college or university to learn how to be a good artist?
I did study art in college and Foundation, and then went on to do Illustration at uni, but overall I am very much self-taught.
College definitely helped though, my Fine Art tutor was very keen on mentoring me, helping me to develop my painting skills and pushing me out of my comfort zone.
Uni helped me to recognise my strengths and encouraged me to experiment. So in my experience, a combination of the two has helped me to become a good artist. But I guess it all varies from person to person.
I do think that if I just relied on teaching myself, I would be in a very different place with my work.. I might not be as daring or explorative or critical, even. After leaving college and uni I feel like I’m continuing the job of my tutors; constantly analysing myself and my work, finding ways of improving, and telling myself off whenever my work gets too comfortable/repetitive!
What piece of work are you most proud of?
I would say the David Bowie GIF! It was a pretty experimental piece for me as I hadn’t previously made an animated portrait, other than ones with little hints of movement with blinking/wandering eyes. I was so happy with the end result, it pretty much lived up to what I had envisioned.
Following the overwhelming response the GIF had received online, I was contacted by David Bowie HQ asking me to write a few words about it for a post on the website and social media.. that was absolutely incredible, I felt extremely honoured to say the least. There’s a good chance that David Bowie might have seen the GIF too, though I don’t know how to feel about that! Does he like it? Does he hate it? Argh. I will never know.
There will be a Gaga GIF sometime. That’s a promise!
What advice do you have to aspiring artists who want to get their work out there?
Create work that excites you, stay active on social media and don’t let the number of “likes” affect your confidence and your opinion of your own work. Share works in progress too, because it’s always interesting to see drawings in their early stages!
Set up a professional-looking website that shows only the strongest pieces in your portfolio. Separate your portfolio into genres / categories for easier browsing if need be. And make sure there is an easy to get to contact page so whenever a potential art buyer checks out your page, they can get in touch with you about a new project or make an enquiry.
I’ve not done this yet, but promotional mail-outs (business cards and postcards) are a good way to reach out to art directors for potential commissions. I can’t delve into much detail about that as I haven’t yet tried it myself.
(Other bits of advice I gave in an interview with Lady Gaga A Go Go a while ago):
It can be difficult taking criticism, but in my experience I think that my greatest moments of improvement were in response to some form of criticism. Criticism should be taken as a hard-hitting kind of motivation, not a sign to give up.
Also it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the talent of other artists and illustrators, if like me you follow a lot of them on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Don’t let other people’s work intimidate you or knock your confidence in your own work. Instead, let it motivate you to keep improving. After all, these artists have been in the same position. Hard work and self-belief are very important in order to get anywhere!
I love your Society 6 page, where you sell prints of your work on phone cases, t-shirts, tote bags, frame art work & more! You’re a well rounded entrepreneur already, where would you like to see Helen Green Illustrations be in ten years time?
Thank you! I would love to see my work in a clothing range for a fashion company such as H&M, for example. That would be pretty exciting! I’d love to continue working on projects for artists and bands, as well as expanding my online shop, adding wearable art.
I’d love to see my work on TV. I’ve actually been close to having my work appear in a documentary but the image they wanted was made exclusively for someone else (damn!). I’d love to be taking more editorial commissions, I love the challenge of working to a tight deadline, and the reward of seeing my work in print inside a well known publication.
Along as I’m still excited about what I do in ten years time then that’s all that matters! And if my work would be ten times better than it is now then that’d be fantastic too!
Being chosen as someone’s Bridesmaid is not only a huge honor, it can also be stressful (believe me, I’ve been there!) You have a lot of responsibilities such as arranging a fun hen party, helping the bride with anything she needs and of course, deciding on a dress to wear on the big day that both you and the bride love. Finding the perfect outfit for a wedding can be difficult, so I’ve put together a little Bridesmaid outfit inspiration to help spark some ideas for future Bridesmaids!
The chosen Bridesmaids usually wear whatever the Bride wants them to, but you can give your opinion on type of look the Bride would prefer and tweak it to suit your personality. Once you do not try to upstage the Bride, they are usually open to suggestions and dress preferences.
The Bridal party is like a team, so be open to compromising with the Bride for her big day.
Selecting the perfect dress for the wedding day is no small feat, there are many things to consider.
If you’ve any ideas or preferences about the kind of dress you’d like to wear as a Bridesmaid, make sure to bring pictures from fashion magazines or bridesmaid dresses online to the dress fittings, to get an idea of what you are drawn to in terms of style and shape. Ultimately, it is the Brides decision but is okay to share inspiration with her and the rest of the bridal party.
As any Bride and bridal party know, purchasing the perfect Bridesmaid dresses can be stress inducing and expensive, but there are some fantastic places online where you can get unique and beautiful dresses for a decent price. JecicaDress.com has some wonderful and affordable Bridesmaid dresses, with a good selection of different styles, shapes and cuts to choose from.
No matter what dress you agree on for the Brides big day, your job is to make sure that the Bride has a wonderful experience that she will never forget. You are there to calm her nerves, make her laugh and be the best friend you can be. Sure, agreeing to be a Bridesmaid or Maid of Honor might be seem like a lot of work, but just think of all the wonderful memories you will make and the precious time you get to spend with one of the closest people to you in your life.
Remember: What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.
It’s that time of year again! The event every girl in her senior year looks forward to, her Prom/Debs night. It’s a night where you get to let loose and go out with a bang by attending a swanky party at the end of the year with all your school friends. All while look fabulous in the perfect gown!
The classic bombshell look is timeless, it works for almost any formal occasion and is guaranteed to make you feel like the belle of the ball! This look was made famous by Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and is a go-to look for many Hollywood starlets, attending red carpet events, to this day.
Red was a well loved colour by Marilyn Monroe, she was rarely seen without her classic red lipstick and alluring cat-eye makeup. To get this look, make sure your skin is primed and prepped with a flawless base, then focus on the eyes and lips, which are the focus of this makeup look. Using black liquid liner, draw a pin-up inspired flick along each eye lid, then apply mascara and fake lashes to give your eyes that sultry, bombshell aesthetic. Finishing off with a bright red pout, use a red lip liner to define your lips and apply a blood red shade to your lips to complete to look.
As Marilyn Monroe famously sang, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”. Keep your jewellery simple and chic by opting for timeless pieces like drop earrings, a dainty bracelet or a sparkly ring. Of course, they may not be real diamonds but no one will ever know! By matching your accessories will tie everything together nicely. Less is more when it comes to achieving a classic look.
And then we come to the most important aspect of every Prom look, the dress! I absolutely love these beautiful Prom Dresses in these timeless and flattering styles.
If you are anything like me when I was in High School, I wanted to attend my Prom wearing something a little less conventional. Of course, I still wanted to feel glamorous, so I opted for a dress and look that suited my own personal style. You can add elements of your personality to your looks by playing up key aspects of your look, like your makeup, nails and accessories.
A fun way to make your Prom style more edgy, is by getting a gothic inspired manicure. Why not try feminine black stiletto nails, with a hint of colour on one nail to make your manicure pop!
A dark smokey eye can really add drama any formal look or if your colour scheme is mostly black, why not add a pop of colour to your lips to draw attention to your face. Also, by carrying an eye-catching clutch or handbag, you can help break up the outfit and tie the entire look together.
JecicaDress.com has some fantastic options for alternative girls looking for something chic and stylish to wear to Prom. I love the cuts on both of the dresses shown above, a high slit can really help lengthen your legs, while a body hugging dress helps accentuate your beautiful curves.
No matter what look you choose to wear to prom, remember to have the time of your life!