Saturday, October 31

Have a Beastly weekend...

Happy Halloween! 
I've spent some of this week working in a group at uni (something I need to get better at, I fear I'm terribly bossy in a group, I need to learn to take more of a backseat!) to make a zine about mythical beasts. 

We made the a5 zine out of photocopied a3 paper and had to do all the complicated pagination (get me, I know the lingo) then fold, cut and sew it - so it was good experience. My pages were about Mokele Mbembe, a Nessie-type beast found in the Congo in Africa, which I read about in Redmond O'Hanlon's Congo Journey some months ago. We also included a little flip book where you can mix and match body parts of all 5 beasts featured in the zine. It kind of works, some of them don't quite line up but they just look really funny instead!

Hope your Halloween weekend is ghoulish and ghastly!

Sunday, October 25

Birthday book!

It was my birthday yesterday and I must say Jacob gets top marks for his present!

I've been after a copy of Edward and the Horse written by Ann Rand and illustrated by your favourite and mine, Olle Eksell for ages but had really given up hope. They are almost impossible to get hold of, let alone with an original dust jacket. This is a first edition too so is extra special and it's pretty much my favourite thing in the world! I know he must have spent a fortune on it...

The illustrations are beautiful and the story is really funny. I never thought about doing children's illustration before but this book makes me think twice. 

Hope you are having a splendid weekend, folks.

Tuesday, October 20

New Art

I'm excited. I've been playing with a new technique that a student in Portugal told my group about and it's freakin awesome. Here are the results that I've just put in my shop. It's basically monoprinting with wax pastel instead of ink. I love monoprinting but this is less fuss and I can do it on my dining table without the worry of losing my rental desposit after having spilt oil-based ink on the carpet...

The original drawing was of a chandelier in the hotel in Porto and I've used it to make these three unique prints. I drew the chandelier blind (which I love doing) and I rather liked it. What do you think?

Saturday, October 17


A bit of experimental typography from this week.
I've been helping at a "Superhero Day" at uni today and was dressed as a complete fool: bright blue leggings, pink minidress, cape (when I could prize it off a child at various points during the day!) and a sticky-back plastic logo with an A on it. We did face painting and dress-up and created a giant comic book with characters that the children painted, including such gems as "Super PooPoo" and "Bads of Bads" which apparently will "Destroy the Wold". A good day had by all!

Thursday, October 15

Information Overload

I've started a new module on my course called Ideas through Design, and it's getting us into the swing of editorial work for newspaper and magazine articles. I like it, but it's quite different in that we have short briefs, it's all concept-based and has to be realised fairly quickly. So things like collage, printing and using copyright-free images are all helpful.

This was my first piece of work and it (hopefully) illustrates the idea of "Information Overload". It's a theme which struck a chord with me as no matter how hard I try to resist, I do keep checking my emails, and Facebook, and my Flickr page, and my blog and Etsy several times every day, and don't even get me started on TV, or my mobile.... It's entirely self-inflicted - hence the idea of the lady watering this huge plant that now has her stuck way up in the air with no means of escape!

I wanted the evil plant to be a rancid orange colour to show something other than healthy growth but in the crit my classmates said it looked like a path.. nevermind. Also I should really have put the lady's shadow in and added leaves to the plant's shadow. But you know, it was a quick thing and most of the "making" time went on the hand-cut type. Good fun though.

Tuesday, October 13

Tight briefs

No, not some kind of "wardrobe malfunction" but the problem I had today when making a poster for an event that takes place on my birthday! One of my tutors asked me to make a poster and flier for a giant mural that will be painted by local children in a couple of weeks at a community centre in Cambridge. The brief was that the colours needed to be pinky red, black and white and there had to be a strong graphic to explain what the thing was about. If I'd had time I would have liked to have made the smaller text a bit more interesting, rather than just fineliner capitals but in one afternoon I don't think I did too badly...

Friday, October 9

Porto drawings

Today I got the chance to scan a few drawings from my Porto sketchbooks to show you. We were told to make drawings and observations that we can work from now that we're back, so most look unfinished but it's for a reason, honest!
We had all our books out at uni today to look at each others' work and there are some lovely things starting to happen for all of us. It's like springtime, we're all starting to blossom! We also had the crit for the collections project this afternoon and my tea towel went down really well. 

I've been set loads of work to do for next week, including a poster I've been commissioned to make for a local community arts event but it has to be done by Weds and I've not even had the brief yet! I'm on the honey and lemon in preparation as I feel the lurgy coming on and simply don't have the time to indulge it. 

Have a good (and lurgy-free) weekend all, I hope you're up to something nice and car-boot related... Tchau! 

Tuesday, October 6

What a week!

I arrived back from Portugal on Sunday and have spent the last few days recovering! It was such an amazing trip, we got so much drawing done. Each day we went out and drew from 9:30 until 5:30 and then had a crit at 6pm before showering and exploring the city for cool restaurants. We found one place that was like a cave inside with single lightbulbs on exposed woven cables suspended above each table. We had the most amazing stewed veal there (not something I'd usually go for but it was Peixes (fish) or Carne (meat) and only one choice of each!) followed by whole pears cooked in port. We all nearly died of happiness that night!

Porto itself was a beautiful working city. Hardly any of it was manicured for tourists and my favourite bits were the steep streets with washing hanging out and old ladies leaning out of windows. So atmospheric. The typography was to die for and I filled a whole leporello sketchbook with with interesting examples. 

On the last night we went to the most amazing street party with performance art, live bands, painting on canvas from a huge roll which then got unrolled all the way up a building to form a huge banner - and we all drank lots of port! I'm glad to be home but it was such a magical time.

The bits and bobs above are all things I found in local junk shops, or at the most amazing flea market held under a huge bridge, or at a craft fair we found on the last day. Quite a bumper haul I think you'll agree!

I'm now back to grindstone and have an editorial brief to fill for Monday but am raring to go, the trip has both completely exhausted and invigorated all of us! 

I'll be getting my photos developed this week and will scan some drawings when I get a min, so  stay tuned...