Saturday, December 24, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
And, another little note to say that you'll need a ruler to read all the craziness on the first page. Thanks to everyone who has bought it so far.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Do you have any of photos of my drawings in your homes? I'd love to gather some together for a future post.
Thanks, Oli, for these lovely pics.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
You know, I've come across many a learning curve since opening my little Etsy shop, a couple of years back, and especially since I started making and selling zines. One of those curves, that I am currently in the process of tackling, is how to keep the personal touch whilst running an efficient small business.
You see, the postage and packing of the last couple of zines was ridiculously time consuming. I didn't make things easy for myself. In fact I seemed to make them impossibly difficult. Some of you who follow my blog, and who have purchased my zines, may recall the 'Nut' envelope decorating debacle. Plus, you may remember the hand written teeny weeny pixie letters and gift tags that came with 'About A Book' zine and caused my last nervous breakdown. I totally underestimated the time all of these little touches would take.
To say those experiences were stressful is a big fat understatement and I will not be going back there. Imagine hand decorating envelopes for over 250 zines. The scene below is just a glimpse into how that felt.
That HAD to change. Since then my friend has taken over the running of my shop and the mailing of zines. While this has meant that the orders are being sent out a day or two after they come in, the personal touch has been lost along the way. So, how do you do both? Is it possible to do both? I think so. And, have a few ideas on how to redress the balance. One is little limited edition compliment slips that change every so often, drawn especially to express my gratitude to you, like the one at the top of his post.
I hope these experiences of mine may be useful to you should you be considering zine making and opening up your own little Etsy shop.
And, finally another little plug for my new zine 'How to Draw Like a Loon'. The perfect stocking filler for anyone who loves to draw. Buy it HERE now.
Monday, December 12, 2011
When we go on out on our sketchcrawling get-togethers I like to try to work in a different way. To play a little, if you will. And, Saturday was the perfect opportunity to do that. This is the only sketchbook drawing I made. I also took a roll of wallpaper (well, poster paper but you get the picture) and some thicker marker pens. I'm wondering quite how I'll upload that? Maybe a little video is called for.
I don't want to bang on about this too much but necessity dictates; if you are in the UK you can now get your hands on my new zine 'How t Draw like a Loon' HERE. I'll list it for the 'rest of the world' after Christmas.
Cheers, my dears!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
However, in waiting until I had all the components ready for the off I have missed the 'rest of the world' Christmas deadline. So, I am only going to be putting this little zine up for sale to the UK this side of Crimbo. Sorry, about that rest of the world. Don't forget to keep some of your Christmas money to get your copy after the holiday.
I'm absolutely chuffed to bits with 'How to Draw Like A Loon'. It's the best yet. I hope you will be just as chuffed.
Some actual photos to come.
So, get your copy HERE.
UK order this NOW to get your Loon before Christmas!
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Remember THIS POST? That was a lot of fun.
I must do something similar soon.
When I made this pair of drawings I was thinking back to being a kid, and being told to tidy the room. I would literally just shove everything behind the sofa and feel that that was a job well done.
Also, you know that infamous little cat toy in the bottom right hand corner of the top drawing? Yeah? Well, can you spot it in the drawing below?
'...yeah, it's done.'
Saturday, December 03, 2011
This is one of two 'small thing' drawings I have completed since then. I love these drawings. It's kind of like doing a jigsaw. There's so much satisfaction in finding another piece that slots perfectly into place.
There is one issue I have with being commissioned to complete one of these drawings though; the moment when I have to ask "would you like me to include the pube?"
Friday, December 02, 2011
I'm just coming to the end of the commissions that all go out for Christmas. I've been drawing into the wee hours of the night. Or is that morning? I've lost all sense of time. I'll be back to share some of this work with you from tomorrow. I will I will I will.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Plus, on the subject, I was going to list 'How To Draw Like A Loon' today but after consulting my part time manager/shop keeper/advisor, Tim, I was advised not to. It is currently at the printers and he suggested that I do not list it until I have it in my hands and it's ready to go. That way, I shouldn't be making future posts where I apologise for it being late. Like I usually do.
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to ...er....ahem....apologise to all those who have been waiting to see their classified ads for bloody ages. I....er...welll.....uh....ahem....you know?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
So I ripped out the pages I'd made blue drawings on and stuck some other pages together and then I came up with this idea. It's a book about places that I know, or visit, and I'm sure you can see what I'm doing with the pages. I've always wanted to do a pop up Moleskine, and indeed have started one with an Air Mail theme, but the whole pop up thing is much more complicated than I could have imagined. So, while I get my head around it, this one's a compromise. It brings the total of Moleskines I have on the go to double figures, which is why I am giving it the working title of 'Another Bloody Moleskine'.
News on my new zine to follow shortly! Finally.
Monday, November 07, 2011
And above, some nonsense about how I like to spend my Saturdays; which is basically as lazy as is humanly possible. I think the words in the last sentence should probably have been in a different order, but hey ho.
Sunday was a different story. Sunday saw the November sketch crawl for the Sketchcrawl North group. It started at Sheffield train station and then moved onto the Winter Gardens. I didn't get many drawings out of the day. Some bits and pieces on various journal spreads - which I'll post when the pages are finished - but towards the end of the afternoon I pulled this one (above) out of the bag.
You know, I'm never that bothered about not having much (drawing wise) to show from the day. I get so much more out of it than that. A few months ago I would never have thought I'd be enjoying sketching outdoors. With people! The idea horrified me, quite frankly. But, it's been a revelation. Sharing a day with people who love drawing as much as I do, chit chatting about pens, paper, techniques and all the other stuff your friends and family have no interest in and noseying in every one's elses sketchbooks at the end of the day is more than enough for me.
You can see some actual drawings from the day on our Facebook page HERE.
Happy Monday, folks.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
This book should be finished after the next sketchcrawl in Sheffield on Sunday. Anyone interested in joining the Sheffield and Wakefield sketchcrawl group get in touch and I'll pass on the details. Or take a look at our Facebook page.
I'm feeling a bit panicky that I don't yet have a new Moleskine waiting in the wings. I feel that some shopping is in order, because as winter draws in I'm hoping to hibernate and draw draw draw.
Friday, October 28, 2011
This drawing is partly a gift for my, ridiculously young, friend's 21st birthday and partly a thank you for all of his help and hard work in setting up my exhibition earlier this year.
For some reason the scan of this portrait hasn't done it any favours. I found the same with the cat and dog portraits. The cross hatching looks quite flat. I don't know. Plus, I was way out of my comfort zone with this subject matter. But, for my first attempt at an 'orse I'm rather pleased, and so was his owner.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
As soon as the idea came to me, probably in the shower, I felt it could look really great.
I put an outline of a couple of pairs of legs on the page and then left it.
At some point later I coloured in those legs but I still wasn't feeling it. So, I left it some more.
When I'd decided that my next zine was going to be about drawing with a four colour ballpoint I knew that that's the direction I should go with this.
This would be one of the 'big' drawings of the new zine.
Finally, over the last few days I sat down and finished it.
Which was when I really got into it.
Then I found myself thinking "why didn't you get into this sooner? I'm enjoying this drawing sooo much".
Welcome to my world.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
About three years ago I embarked on a Moleskine Exchange project, with a bunch of amazing artists, by waving goodbye to my little Japanese Moleskine 'Green'. Since then he has been backpacking around the world until a couple of weeks ago when he returned home.
If you've don't know about this project head on over to the blog and check out the stunning artwork that has been produced so far. If you do know about this project then still head on over for a teaser of the new drawing added to my little Moley. It's so nice to have him home.
Click HERE to visit the Moleskine Exchange blog.
Monday, October 17, 2011
So, I've decided to try a different tack; never bother coming back to this blog. Nothing interesting happens here. Nothing.
Do you think that may work? In the meantime, here's some drawings of pens.
Monday, October 10, 2011
So I'd like to say a Happy belated Birthday to my blog and I. And, I'd like to say thanks. Thank you for all the visits and comments over the past five years and 568 (!) posts. I appreciate each and everyone of them.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
This is my favourite of my Moleskines to date. I love that it's bursting full of colour. And memories. See it all, so far, HERE.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
HERE. There are quite a few that I have not featured on my blog.
One more thing, any ideas how do I stop the spam comments on my blog? They piss me off no end. Cheers, my dears.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Pete's work was brought to my attention by a series of coincidences which is always the best way to discover something new, I find. I loved it immediately. Whilst our styles are miles apart I think we have a lot in common. Both children of the 1970s housing estates, I relate to his humour and obsession with music.
His work seems to stand alone, it's very distinctive and individual. His little gallery is really very smart. If you are in Sheffield it is well worth a visit.
Before leaving the city I also got time to make this drawing from my car. I would probably have passed this restaurant by without giving it a second look but my car was parked on the hill opposite it. I'd never have noticed it's loveliness. I bet it hasn't changed since the 80s. 70s even. I do like that kind of thing.
As I've said recently, I'm still finding my feet with this on location kind of drawing. Finding my feet in lots of ways. As I get more comfortable with these black pens I am beginning to think about adding colour. I like the results in this one. What do you think?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The second from the left used to be my most favourite pen ever. It's so fine and inky (no, I'm not sure what I meant by that either). Unfortunately my beloved Pilot G-Tec is being relegated to the subs bench these days. A couple of reasons for that a) it is not waterproof and b) it is most definitely not lightproof.
You might remember that I did a huge amount of work with the sepia, or brown, Pilot G-tec. In fact, I dedicated an entire Moleskine to that pen (see it HERE). And, a whole load of my favourite sepia drawings besides. So here's my question; could anyone tell me of an alternative. A brown fine liner that IS light resistant. I'd appreciate it muchly. Cheers.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I'm just putting the finishing touches to the other classifieds, they'll be blogged shortly. Thanks to all who bought their advertising slots. The funds will help towards getting this zine printed. And, as ever, thanks for your patience.
Y'all know the drill by now; click on the image to see it in detail, and to read the (end of the)story that made front page of the Bugle.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
I enjoyed the day immensely. It was great to hang out with people who love drawing as much as I do. You know, other nerds (ha!). A highlight of the day was to be out sketching with the brilliant Lynne Chapman, who's work I have followed, online, for a couple of years. Her drawings are as fabulous in the flesh as they are on screen.
A shout out to some of the talented other folk I met too; Sian Hughes, Bryn Hughes (there really was a strong Welsh contingent for a Sheffiled based group), Matthew Midgley and Julie Clay. It's so interesting to see what other people chose to draw, and the different ways that they tackled the subjects. Take a look at their blogs for some other views of the Park.
For me I feel like I'm scratching away at this kind of drawing. It's so new. I feel I'm still looking for my voice (cheesy, I know - I watch a lot of daytime tv). Plus, there other things I'm yet to work out; what kind of pens should I be working with?; what kind of paper should I use and what size should it be?; do I want to add colour or not? It's thrown up loads of new questions. Questions that only I can answer, and I am so looking forward to finding the answers. I cannot wait for our next outing.
Next post; finished Classified Ads. I promise!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The 'classified ads' drawings (see last post) are just about finished and I'll try to post them by the end of the week. So, if you've bought some advertising space come back to see your hand illustrated ads. In the meantime I leave you with this craziness. Who knows what I'm ranting on about in this drawing. It's very late at night, the time of night when you shouldn't really be allowed a pen and paper and a blog.
Monday, September 05, 2011
One last thing, have YOU seen the bird girl? I need to know.