Welcome to the my blog. My name is Lucy Farfort i'm a freelance illustrator & designer maker. This is where you can find out what i've been up to of late, read my attempts at a decent post & the rantings of a visual addict. Hope you like it. You can contact me to say 'hi' by email on lucy@lucyshappyplace.com
If you would like to take a look at my work (& i would very much like you to) please visit my site:

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Not long now!

By the end of this week i'm expecting delivery of 400 beautiful illustrated calendars.
I've mentioned a couple of times how in June 2013 I got together a group of other illustrators to discuss collaborating on an art project. It was an idea i've had for ages but never quite seemed to have time to get if off the ground.

Finally this year the Bait collaboration has come into being.
Its been a LOT of work but after seeing the proofs its definitely worth it.

Here is a sample page i've put together for your delectation!

There will be an exhibition on at Quilliam Brothers' Tea House from 3rd November and if you're in the area we're having an official preview on Friday 7th Nov from 7pm, so please pop along for a lovely cuppa and meet the artists.

If you'd like to have your very own
calendar by the end of the week (or at least by Sun) you'll be able to purchase one from the blog - http://baitcalendar.blogspot.co.uk/ (which has been distracting me somewhat from this one).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Malawi trip #2 - The Safari

On the good advice of Tom and Janey from Mabuya Camp we pre-booked a safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park with Kiboko one of the more upmarket Lilongwe establishments.

Arriving in good time and thinking we were all sorted, we boarded the bus along with another 16 safari-ers (is that a word?). 

Before heading off the driver addressed everyone to make sure we had all the necessary documents for the Malawi-Zambia border. 
Passport, check! $50 for the visa, check! Yellow fever certificate…….uh oh!
The one thing we didn’t have. After the driver consulted briefly with the booking agent, in true Malawian style we decided to try our luck and hope it would be overlooked. In fact what they said was – just have some additional cash ready.
Ah yes, the good ol’ bribe. If in doubt – bribe your way out, a take home message from the holiday.
So off we set on the six hour journey.

At this point we’d only been in Africa two days and the views from the bus were a real eye opener into what life is like for the average Malawian.
Here are a few photos captured from the bus, including some impressive hand painted adverts:

At border control we lined up to have our temperature taken before going on to the office for the admin bit. ‘Sshhh, don’t mention the yellow fever certificate’. Luckily they didn’t ask anyone for this, so got away with it.
We’d actually previously been advised that they don’t often ask for the certificate except in the case of tourist buses like ours, because there’s potential money to be made.

Finally arriving at the camp, a guide showed us around. There we were thinking we’d be roughing it on roll mats & sleeping bags (which we’d brought along), and this place was uber plush - swimming pool, swanky bar overlooking a hippo inhabited river, a library, plus a gym and a spa no less!

Definitely more glamping than camping and a far cry from the Zambia we’d travelled through, just yards down the road. The tents had electricity and actual beds. Just take a look at their website (checkout that pool)
The lodging was situated in the National Park itself so there were monkeys and baboons roaming around before we even started the drives.

In a serious voice the guide then told us to make sure we had no food especially apples in our tents as
elephants can smell them and will try and get in.
For some reason though I didn’t twig from this pep talk that wild elephants would be strolling round the campsite. And it was only at 3 in the morning after being woken up by some distinctly un-human snuffling from behind the tent followed by the hulk of a giant bull elephant striding a mere five feet from Dave’s head past the canvas, that I caught on. Needless to say I lie there bricking it!
I was just grateful that our campsite wasn’t over the other side of the river where the lions and hyenas were.

Elephants on camp:

The safari consisted of four drives, which we did with Fred, our very knowledgeable guide and two other Brit couples – Jack and Heather from Edinburgh and Tom and Lyndsey from London.


We were there for two days and on each there was a morning drive and an evening one. The downside was that the morning one entailed a 5am rise, ready to ride out for 6.

Still it was worth it. 

To be continued... 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Introduction – A mzungu (foreigner) in Malawi

I knew going to Malawi would inspire some blog posts and it was my intention to start writing last weekend, but I instead spent it perfecting a proposal to Brass:Pitch which involved writing an educational kid’s story about the Industrial Revolution. I’m not convinced it will lead anywhere, as my idea is quite different to anything else they’ve commissioned, but I thought it was worth a go. Anyway I digress.

Its difficult to know where to start with documenting the holiday, as so much seemed to happen over what was a very short period of time - just 2 & ½ weeks.  I’ve never had a holiday where time seemed to pass so slowly – and I mean that in a good way, but what was just over two weeks felt like a month.
I guess the best place to start from is the beginning. So why Malawi?
Two reasons: 1) because we wanted the honeymoon to involve some kind of festival, in tribute to how we originally met (at Glastonbury), and 2) because Dave’s friend from school - Tom & his wife Janey, own MabuyaCamp in Lilongwe so we wanted to visit, plus knowing someone in a foreign land has obvious advantages. Huge thanks to Tom and Janey for all their help and advice.

Now this is going to sound naïve and weird, but as someone who has never been to Africa and whose only knowledge comes from the news, I was really struck by how Malawi is exactly like the images you see of Africa on T.V.  Women carrying water buckets on their head, children pumping wells, bikes laden with sugar cane, thatched mud huts etc. I know its crazy, but when watching it on television, being so distant from it, I think a big part of me unconsciously felt like it was probably a bit set up to capture a clichéd image. So I was actually a bit shocked to see that things are exactly as depicted. Yeah I know that sounds totally ridiculous!



 I really knew very little about Malawi before going and having never visited a developing country before it was a real education. It was only during the visit that I found out it is one of the poorest countries in the world with 40% of its budget relying on foreign aid. 



 Despite a tough existence though almost all the people we met (and not just the touts looking to sell their wares) were really friendly and helpful. 

The holiday turned out to be split into three parts. I say turned out because there was a big part of it that we deliberately hadn’t planned, so we could get a feeling when we arrived of what might be best to see & do. So there was the safari, which was in Zambia not Malawi, then the road trip, and the ‘Lake of Stars’ festival at the end.

Its impossible to condense our trip into a single post so I’m going to do three (or four) to reflect the different parts of the holiday. And rather than start here I’ll post the first one about the safari next week.
In the meantime if you’d like to take a gander, I’ve uploaded all the photos from the holiday onto Facebook, and below is one of my favourite pics as it sums up the people and the attitude pretty well -  ‘resourceful’ and ‘hakuna matata (no worries), it’ll be fine!’

Captured through the back window on the drive to Cape Maclear – a small pickup carrying a boat 2x it’s size.