Tuesday, September 06, 2016
It has been brought to my attention that we are approaching what would have been Roald Dahl's 100th birthday.
Yes, today I (and I'm guessing lots of other people in the UK) have been watching, and voting on, Roald Dahl's Most Marvellous Book; a programme that has taken a look back at all of his greats
Well, ten of them. Ten of his children's books that is, as, of course he also wrote for adults (we all remember Tales of the Unexpected, right?).
Not only has the programme reminded me as to what an amazingly ridiculously phizz-whizzingly whoopsy-whiffling genius he was, but it also reminded me of these drawings I made a few years ago.
I made twelve drawings that were used as backdrops for a production of James and the Giant Peach at the Buxton Festival. And an extra one for the programme (top of post).
It was a really good excuse to re-read the book too. I find a lot of childhood favourites don't read quite as well (to say the least) when you're an adult. But Dahl's do. Try it.
As much as I love James and his Giant Peach it's not the most marvellous. That, of course, is Danny Champion of the World. Which is what I voted for, and which, incidentally, is also as good a read when you're grown up (ish).
(By the way, Matilda won the poll. But obviously everyone was wrong)
Friday, August 26, 2016
have you ever daydreamed about improving your lettering?
So, where has all that time gone, huh? The last time I posted anything here my lettering course, over at Sketchbook Skool, was just about to start. Now, over a thousand students and nearly month of daily classes later, we're coming up to our final week. I hope all of those of you who signed up have learned lots and keep on playing with lettering. I know I'll keep pushing and pulling and squashing and stretching my lettering because there's just so many places to take it. Interesting in expanding your lettering? You can learn how to do this kind of stuff. Or interested in pushing your drawing for that matter, there are loads of brilliant courses at Sketchbook Skool. Right, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for the final week...
Friday, August 05, 2016
Back to Skool
You know every now and then I catch up with the world. Or the rest of the world catches up with me. It's all about how you look at it, I suppose. Well, there seems to be a real thirst for creative lettering out there, and if you're feeling thirsty I have the answer for you. I have a brand new lettering course starting at Sketchbook Skool right NOW!!
A whole month of daily exercises that'll improve your hand lettering. So, if you'd like to find out how to do this....
then head on over HERE now. What are you waiting for?
Friday, June 10, 2016
the creative space
So here I am sat in my studio/workroom/office typing this. While I appreciate that may not be big news to you, it is to me. It's huge. Its profound, intense, overwhelming, fervent, ardent (yes, I'm just copying out of the thesaurus now). But it is BIG.Etsy orders on my knee on the settee or amongst printers, guillotines and plates on the kitchen table. But one of the benefits of holding an Open Studios (in my case open house) exhibition, which I did last week, is that it forces you to focus and get things in order.
My mind is always so FULL of stuff. It never switches off. Ever. It's just full of creative ideas, millions of them. I find being organised really really difficult. The ideas seem to get in the way of getting things done. But now I'm self employed I NEED to get things done because I need to make a living.
Now, back to work.
Saturday, June 04, 2016
extreme procrastination by Andrea Joseph
So quick, while I'm on a roll, and before I notice, I'm going to blog. I'm only doing it to avoid doing something else, obviously. I've spent months procrastinating to avoid blogging and now I'm blogging to avoid doing something else I should be doing. We're all nuts though, right?
I get quite a lot of students studying my work. Which is ridiculous and fabulous at the same time. And, I often get asked to answer questions and stuff, but I really just do not have the time to answer all those individual questions. I'm sorry about that. If I had the time I would (or, actually, I'd probably like to answer them but, if the truth be told, I'd still avoid doing it because of my terrible case of procrastination). Here are some questions I've been asked recently and answered in a kind of less boring way than just typing them out on a keyboard.
So, if you are a student doing research, or just a person reading a blog, this is a little insight into how I work. Now, I'm going to press publish, or this post will sit in my drafts folder for the next few years.
One last thing though, if you do go on to read all the nonsense in the drawing below and are curious as to whether I did actually finish the project that I was going to start and actually finish...
...of course I DIDN'T!
Have you learnt nothing???
Friday, June 03, 2016
Ah, my gosh. Somebody please run my blog! I just will do just about anything but do it.
I make myself so mad sometimes. I frustrate the hell out of myself.
Anyways, I'm going to endeavour to update it with some of the things I've been doing whilst I've been away. I can only but try.
COLOURING BOOKS?! I have made colouring in books. It was not something I'd ever intended doing. It all felt a bit, well, you know, done. But when my printers started a new range of colouring books it got me thinking about some of my drawings that may be cool to colour in. And I tried thinking of ways of putting a twist on the whole colouring book phenomena.
I'm calling it 'advanced colouring' but really it's for any ability. But, if you're already used to wielding the pen then I've added tips to take your colouring to the next level.
There are two sizes of book, you can find them HERE.
See you back here in about six months time!
*I will blog more often. I will. I will. I will....*
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Here's a sketch I made today. I literally had fifteen minutes, on my parking, to get a coffee and sketch. I've this thirst for drawing out and about recently.
Dunno why. Maybe its the new pens I've got (loving fountain pens right now). Maybe it's just dawned on me that there are so many fascinating buildings where I live. Maybe I'm just looking at things differently.
Dunno. Maybe it's, well, I don't know, but I always think it's good to go with that....that...that thing I don't know how to explain.
So, I'm in this amazing labyrinth of a local book shop, that truly is the best book shop I've ever been in, drawing the organ (yes the book shop has an organ) and I had about twenty minutes before they closed.
But it's enough time, you know? It's enough time to get out the fountain pen, water brush and get it down on the page.
Maybe that's it. Maybe I just can't believe it myself; that you can create something so fast. After years of taking hours and hours over a drawing I can't believe I can fill a page, in minutes, with something I'm happy with. And I am quite happy with these.
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Valentines cards, made with love
Nora and George.
I drew Nora maybe three years ago. George is much more recent. I always wanted a companion for Nora and a couple of weeks ago I brought George to life. Both were based on two well known fascinating characters in the history of tattoo art. Nora Hildebrandt was considered the first tattooed lady and toured with the Barnum & Bailey circus whilst George Burchett had an equally amazing life and went on to become a world famous tattoo artist who even tattooed royalty.
I made both of these drawings with the upside down technique. Nora took me a while and quite a few attempts to get 'right' (or how I wanted her). I got George first time - but then I have had a LOT of practice with this technique as you can see in this sketchbook project. So Nora had a companion at last. I love both of these drawings. George and Nora are actually very dear to me.
I never ever saw myself making Valentines cards. I've never really done anything for a particular market or an occasion. Recently my sales in my Etsy shop have plummeted. I'm part of a local Etsy team and this seems to be something of a trend and not exclusive to me. There has been a huge amount of discussion on forums as to why this is but that's a whole blog post of it's own. I've spoken to people who have weathered that storm and asked them what they've been doing to keep afloat. A lot of those people have a good range of products at different price ranges. They also take holidays and markets seriously.
Then I bought some smart white and cream blank greetings cards and envelopes and hand stuck, with a little of that sticky foam, the romantic pair onto either side of the card and stuck the message on the inside. Finished them off with some cellophane bags and handmade labels and, hey presto, I had Valentines cards. Just like that.my Etsy shop and at local galleries and art cafes. So, it is possible to make things for a specific occasion or market without compromising your art. When it comes to the amount of money I laid out and time put into each one I probably won't make my fortune on this range but I made something I'm proud of.
George and Nora. Made with love.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
and now for something completely different
As is standard with me, as soon as I say I'm going to be on top form, posting on my blog daily, I post nothing for weeks. I should just not say anything. Plus, I promised a month of inspirational drawing ideas. Well, I do kind of have one of those for you. Quite unintentionally really.
So, this was yesterday. A small group of us had planned to meet for our friend Karrie Brown's birthday in what was being called a 'Doodle and Afternoon Tea'. A sort of mini sketchcrawl.
After the first destination we had arranged to meet at was closed for 'emergency maintenance' our plans had to change, so we ended up at Staircase House - the oldest town house in Stockport - and while we didn't draw in there we (some of us) raided their dressing up box.
The kind people of the museum even let us take the costumes out on the town. Or specifically to the market. So with three of the group dressed up, in costumes that spanned the ages and messed with history, the rest of us got to draw them in various parts of the market.
It struck us that this is a great idea. Some of us already do urban sketching, and sketchcrawls, and we also do alternative life-drawing - with clothed models - but this brought those two things together.
So, just like above, getting models to pose in-situ was really good fun. And, at moments, also quite surreal.
So, that's my suggestion/idea. Give it a go. If you know anyone nuts enough to walk around in costume, in public places, rope them in. Otherwise hire someone! We intend to do more of this in the future.
I love it when things work out like that. Serendipity, I guess they call it.
Then it was back to afternoon tea and more drawing.
It forces you to use something else apart from your old favourites. Cos if you ain't got it with you you cant use it.
Like yesterday, not a fine liner in sight. I took marker pens (Letraset Aqua-Markers to be specific) and a brush pen. So, I know it's a real old cliché, but my idea for today is to get out of your comfort zone. I did and I'm pretty chuffed with the results.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.