What I’ve been up to

Hello everyone!

Just thought I’d share a few links to new places that are talking about my work at the moment!

Firstly, I’ve had a mention and lovely little interview featured in this month’s Frrresh magazine. This is a great little monthly, digital number that is a complete goldmine of new and up and coming talent and I highly suggest you check it out. There’s a fantastic mix of works in every issue and it really is a ‘something for everyone’ kind of deal.

View issue 33, in which I feature here, and thanks again to the lovely people behind the scenes who kick-started my Christmas season with this little inclusion!

 

Next up, I was contacted a short time ago by Thortful, a new, very handy greetings card website, devoted to championing good artists through their high quality prints. They have a fab range going on at the moment, including some really quirky little designs and I highly suggest you take a peek at the cards on offer.

They were good enough to invite me to be one of their featured artists for their launch so if you browse their impressive library, you’ll find a few little tidbits from me hidden among the plethora of good stuff on show.

It’s a great service for that mad Christmas rush, quick and handy with a really neat little app you can download for easy access (you know, for those times when you’re out and suddenly remembered that you definitely forgot someone far too important to have forgotten.)

Their blog is also a great place to discover a little more about the artists involved, and if you’d like to check out my interview (and I think you should.) go ahead and take a peek, here.

One final note, just to say too that there’s plenty of new work of mine on the portfolio sections of this website so do stop by and browse through my children and teen works.

I hope you’re all beginning to get festive and I’ll be uploading this years Christmas Creations soon!

Happy December everyone!

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15 minutes of Sketch Book fame

Well, I’m closing in on the second week of getting an illustration career together outside of the comfort of full time employment.

And I feel I’ve been making steady progress. I’ve never sent so many emails in my life, I’ve drawn things every day, produced several full colour, completed images, am working on a piece for a neat, up and coming children’s magazine and I’ve, without a shadow of a doubt, done more designing in the past week than I did for the entirety of my design job.

Probably.

Such is the nature of portfolio making I suppose.

Anyway, I thought, as I’ve been living the dream along with my ol’ ball and chain, Photoshop, I’d bring you a few shots of my sketchbook doodles. I figure, while it’s the end result that get you work, it’s kind of important to see how things progress as you’re going along and give a bit of limelight to those little, off the cuff bits and pieces that throw themselves into your head. So here are a few snippets of scribbles that have, are in the process of and hopefully will one day become fully fledged ideas, with functional limbs and beady eyes. And colour.

Obviously this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my arsenal of unrealised scribbles, but it’s a nice little collection of doodles nonetheless.

sketch_cat sketch_hood sketch-goodbye-sketch sketch-Jensad-dev sketch-rain-girl-sketch sketch-red-riding

A Sad Child, a Grumpy Cat & a Grumpier Illustrator

Here’s some “work” and other things I’ve been doing.

Don’t try and talk to me about them, I’m in a grump. But here it is anyway.

What do cat's eat
What do cat’s eat?

children's illustration

 

Present Giving, the LazyMan Way!

For those of you who were sharing this little square of the interwebs with me this time last year, you may well recall it was my little sisters Birthday in August.

It’s now August again.

Which means she’s only gone and had another one. Greedy little sod.

Unfortunately I was not in her vicinity for this one, so wasn’t able to put on a show to quite the extent as then (thank Christ. How the eff I was ever going to beat that one in terms of effort, short of performing some kind of machinist-esque sleep and/or life boycott, is well and truly beyond me.) So her gift had to be somewhat smaller and more portable-er than…you know…a whole days worth of baking and decorating.

And so I did my usual trick and defaulted to a drawing!

Rhianna

She’s an ace little toy-maker and pretty nifty with a needle and thread so I guess I wanted this to say “I think you are okay. Love from your sister.” In pictures.

Honestly, I’m starting to worry here. There’s only so many times people can be impressed that I “took the time and effort to craft something personal just for them”, which is sort of the emotional response I rely on to mask the fact that, really, I’m just poor, lazy and hate shopping.

(I should start writing greetings cards.)

Happy Birthday Sis!

Weddings, Woofs and a Whole Lotta Love

wedding-cardThis weekend two people got married.

Actually, there was probably a lot more people than that getting married, it’s just that I only saw the two. And therefore they were the only two I really care about, certainly enough to mention.

Anyway, this weekend a beautiful friend of mine from school married her childhood sweetheart, and all round very nice chap, in a church and I had the pleasure of throwing paper at them, signing hymns I don’t know the words to, then drinking a lot of wine.

Weddings are fun.

Anyway, in the years between school and here, while they were busy being grown ups and building a stable life together, I’ve been busy jumping from place to place, ignoring useful adult things like owning vehicles and making investments and starting ISAs, instead burying the adult part of my head in the proverbial sand of education until a later date when I’ll be forced to dig it out again.

This is fine. It’s nice actually, on the rare occasions when I and my school friends do all return home, it means we all have a lot to talk about and is a good tool in preserving the strength of our relationships enough to know we will all be invited to each others weddings and other such life milestones.

But for the first time, this wedding presented me with a pressure. I love this girl. She deserves every bit of happiness with her loving chappy and long may it continue in the life they’ve now formed together, and I wanted to give them something that would represent this. Something that could represent my happiness for them and my graciousness in being chosen to share it with them on that day. Unfortunately presents of this magnitude often involve money and, as a student and avoider of life things, this is something I do not posses.

So I did the only thing I know how to do these days, and offered the only thing I have to offer and drew for them an aspect of their lives that I know they love. Their bloody dogs. bennyalphie

I worried for a while that something like this might be a bit self indulgent, after all a wedding should be all about them, not me and what I do. But it’s not that I think they SHOULD own my work, it’s literally that, right now in my life, it’s all I have to give them. And it was born from love for them and made with the best of intentions.

And they really do love those little mutts.

So let us, once again, raise our glasses to Jo and David, preserving friendships and the beauty of sharing the differences within our lives.

And of course, those two little dogs.

Etching Workshop: Episode One

I’m pleased to announce that once more they’ve allowed me into the print rooms, on the condition that I don’t get too excited (okay, that’s a lie. Although there’s a danger it might be necessary.)

This time my play date is with the foreign exchange student of etching. I’ve never done it before; dabbled in a little bit of very rushed dry-point in the last week of my Foundation FMP, but never gone the whole hog with the acid shebang.

So far I’m getting on with it just fine. As with all forms of printing the first, setting up bits aren’t really the most enjoyable but they’ve not been too labor intensive and, as arty as it sounds, I’m really liking the total disregard for modern technology. It’s oddly pleasing that in the hundreds of years that etching has been a print form, it’s changed so little. Almost feels a bit like a “well if it ain’t broke…” sort of deal, although I’m  sure there’s plenty of pragmatic people who would challenge me otherwise.

I’ve gone with a hard ground (as I’m but a wee beginner) and singed it a few days ago. Today I finished scratching into it, which was the most relieving surprise when I think back to my dry-point on perspex days. Wax is a total gem in comparison, none of that teeth on edge nonsense, just lovely lovely, soft, waxy goodness. Easy peasy.

Our brief is simply to do a simple portrait of an artist we admire. No funny business.

So I’ve abliged with an image of Henri de Tolouse Lautrec. He’s a bit of a favourite of mine, not even because of his work but literally just because I find his life so fascinating. I went with a sharp close up so I could get in all the details of his trademark glasses. Plus he has a bit of a wonderful face to draw. Somehow very French (no onions or berrets though.)

So there it is. The wonky eye was genuinely his face by the way, that’s not jut me doing a bad drawing.

It’s nerve wracking knowing how different it will look printed, when it’s not only put back into positive, but reversed too. I’ve been fighting the urge to photoshop it and see how it’s likely to look, but I’ll be good and won’t spoil the surprise.

Just wish me luck!

B

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UPDATE: Okay, I caved. I photoshopped it. I now have a pretty good idea of where it’s going. I’m not going to put it up though. Wouldn’t want anymore cheeky monkeys to see it before it’s properly done!

What’s this? You’ve actually DONE Something at University???

Hands up if you want to see what I’ve been working on at Uni so far?

 Screen Printing Induction Tuesdays ended today with the completion of my first set of prints as a Bath Spa student.

They’re not the most complex or intricate works in the world, but I’ve been out of the game for a little while and they served pretty well as some basic experiments to get me back into the swing of things.

I decided not to mix my own ink in the end and instead made use of the left over pots people hadn’t finished in the print room. The choice of colour was an attempt to echo the yellows of Bath stone while suggesting the giant park and golf course I walk through on my daily route with green.

The prints are made up of 3-4 elements: Two hand rendered parts (the squirrel and text) and two photographs (the leaves taken in Royal Victoria Park and the Sion Hill sign at the top of the road).

I made a total of 12 prints, all a little bit different as I was playing with layout and inks as I went. They’re all hand printed onto Imagine Print paper at 28x28cm.

Not bad as testers, now let the real work commence.

B

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