Tuesday, April 27, 2010

so listen up baby

(Click on drawings to view)

These are a couple of pages from my travel Moleskine. This drawing has become a dumping ground for all sorts of odds and sods; stickers, stamps, tickets, labels. I'm not sure that I've finished with it. It lacks something. Something that I can't put my finger on. Yet. Some of the pieces on the pin board are movable, they lift up or across. I was trying to create a pop up, of sorts, but it seems I can't get my head around the kind of paper engineering that that would call for.

So the question is can you spot the difference? There's one small fluffy difference between these two uploads. Can you chuffing well spot it?

Yes. He's only holding a bloody chick!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the world is turning

Unbelievably, people sometimes ask how I me how I make my drawings. Here's a little insight. Actually, not so little. Yes, this is the biggest blog post in the worldiverse.

So, as you can see, with this one I started by mapping a little bit of the drawing on the page. Not too much, just somewhere to start, because I like the rest to unfold. I like the drawing to reveal itself to me.
Contrary, to popular belief, I actually am rather inpatient and usually want to jump right in. So already I've started drawing the bits and pieces. For this spread I am treating each card as an idividual drawing. I'm mostly using colour ballpoints and colour pencil. Ah, Bangladesh Airlines. Now that was an interesting airline. And, an interesting flight. It was cheap, though. VERY cheap.
Actually, it was the red and yellow of the Bangladeshi baggage label that first appealed to me when it came to turning this collage into a Moleskine drawing. I love the pop art colours. Ooooooh, British Columbia and Alberta. Probably, still, after all this time, my most favourite place I've been lucky enough to visit.
I know, drawing wise, this kind of subject matter isn't much of a departure for me, but this drawing in itself was certainly challenging. Emotionally speaking, that is. I do believe this was one of the most emotional drawings I've ever created.
Obviously it took quite some time to complete, and it was spending all that time with all these memories. All the places and people I've left behind. All the things I've done. Some joyous and others not always easy to be with.
And there are times and places and people I'd never have remembered if I hadn't made this drawing. Most of these cards and tickets came from a five year period between 1991-96. There was so much I'd forgotten about (probably a selective memory lapse). But still, I think there is something really symbolic, I suppose cathartic about laying all these things down on the paper.
Back to the drawing, and the latest addition - the green Koh Phanghan card showing a map of the island is probably my favourite bit. Not sure why that is, but I do enjoy drawing those little details. I love the handwritten phone number on the card, and the food stains. It's those kind of tiny details, that you might never have noticed, that really float my boat.
By this point of course, there are things that are starting to annoy me. I'm not happy with the addition of the comic strip and that Jasper Taxi card is really starting to get on my nerves. I am happy with the texture on the pink card for SP Resort, though. I did that with pink pencil and ballpoint. I think it works. And again, I love the yellows, which were both done with a yellow ballpoint and finisheded with a yellow pencil.
What the hell and how the hell did I get a card from a Canadian Mountie officer? I was a bit wild back in the day but I don't remember getting arrested! In Canada! By a Mounty! Surely that is something you'd never forget. And ,where on earth is Nyah Village Caravan Park?
After a little Googling I find that Nyah Village caravan park is in fact in Australia. I've never been there so how did I get that card? Who gave it to me? I like these kind of questions, even though they'll probably never be answered.
By this point I really want to finish this drawing but I keep obsessing over what should be the last things to be added, and how should they be placed. The best thing to do at that point, I find, is to just stop thinking and put something down . Anything. When I started this drawing I never imagined that my own little ballpoint card would turn up, it's next to the Vancouver book store card. Do you know that I had four days in Vancouver and on the first evening I went out for a Chinese meal and spent the rest of the stay with violent food poisoning? So basically, I didn't go out of the motel. The motel bathroom to be specific. Of course, there is absolutely no reason why you would know that.
Now I must stress here, I did NOT draw the picture of my mother and father. I am not that good! This photo, though, was the reason for making this drawing. I really wanted it in my Moleskine. Forever.
I deliberated for ages where I should place the photo. It was originally meant to hide the Vancouver book store card, but the Jasper taxi card was annoying me so much it ended hiding that. Unfortunately, it hid some of the pink card but, again, I think there is something symbolic about what is lost from the drawing. I don't know what it is symbolic about it, but no doubt it'll come to me one night when when I've just fallen asleep.
So there we go, that's it. Finished. Finito.

If you've liked this, you might like to order my new zine - the travel Molezine one. This is one of the drawings featured in it. You can buy it HERE for a very small price. You can be guaranteed that a whole lot of time, energy, emotion and love went into it. Thanks.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

you know me better than that

From fish to chips.
A great big thanks, once again, for the response to my last post. You guys always come up with the goods. A few people suggested that I should expand my Etsy shop. It's certainly something I intend to do. Talking of which, I've just added this print to the shop.
Anyone who orders in the next few days can get their portion of chips for a low price, and for the weekend only free postage. Which really does make this print (am I really going to say this?) as cheap as chips.
Buy this print HERE.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

i am a little tin soldier

A quick little sketch that I hadn't intended posting here. However, it had a very nice response on Flickr so here it is. Being posted on my blog.

And here's a little question. It's a rather big little question, actually. If you were, say, poor and, say, an artist what would you do to make money? Without, of course, doing anything that might compromise your integrity. Silly answers, sensible answers. Anything. Go on then, what have you got for me?

Monday, April 12, 2010

i wanna tell ya

So folks, just a little note to say that I am now taking pre orders for my second Molezine. You can find the details on Etsy and get them at a cut price if you order now. Same format as the first zine, with a different vibe. The drawings all come from my travel Moley. There will also be a prize draw, like last time, to win a drawing. Everyone who places an order will be entered into the draw. I just have to draw it now!


Friday, April 09, 2010

somewhere i can warm my bones

Do you ever feel like you are spreading yourself too thinly?

A while ago I made THIS POST and told you that I was trying (hoping) to carve some kind of career, and living, from illustration. I still work towards that goal every day. I also work the day job. I'm one of the growing number of 5-9ers - people who work the day job then go home and put a few more hours (from 5 -9) into building their own small business. Although I never ever finish at 9. It's lucky I don't have a life.

And, when you have to do everything yourself it all seems to take up so much time. Whether that be answering emails or packaging and sending things out in the mail, it all takes time. Then there are all the other little projects I have taken on. Like my children's book blog. I'm so glad I've started it, I'd been wanting to for so long, but, for now, it'll just have to plod along at it's own pace.

This is not a complaint in any way, it's just an observation. I love what I do more than anything. It's that sometimes you get that feeling you are spreading yourself too thin. And, finding the time to sit and immerse myself in a drawing seems to be getting squeezed out of the picture.

Hopefully one day all the hard work will pay off. Hopefully I'll find the balance and continue to make the drawing time. I need that time. To keep on drawing and posting here. Because this place, THIS blog, feels like home.

You can see the rest of the artwork from this book (just another little project) HERE.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

what do you feel?

One thing you may not know about me is that once I caught the biggest Goldfish in the world. Well, I sort of caught it. One day Grandpa and I were out fishing. Well, Grandpa was fishing. I don't fish. I couldn't handle the guilt of it. So, I was just there - thinking and day dreaming. I put my hand over the side of the boat and something bit my finger. I thought I'd imagined it at first, but then it happened again. Then I saw Henry. Henry the fish, that is. Although he wasn't called Henry then. I'm not sure he even had a name. Well, the bite on the finger, it was more of a nibble if I'm honest, was actually a cry for help. I could see he had a badly broken fin. So I took him home to recuperate in my garden pond. Actually, I say garden pond but, in fact, I have a lake at the end of my garden. There he lived happily for 57 years. When he died I used my experience as a part time taxidermist to stuff and mount him. Then I drew him. Obviously.

Monday, April 05, 2010

one for the road

While it's all quiet on the drawing front I thought I'd let you know about this little lot I've added to Etsy. Yes, I've put these bad boys up for sale.
Read all about them HERE. Cheers.

Friday, April 02, 2010

on a windy common

Another scarf. Just in case you were in any doubt.

What this image tells me is that my scanner really could do with a good scrub.

Another scarf, some dust, dirt and probably a couple of cat hairs. Just in case you were in any doubt.