Tuesday, December 31, 2013

some things what I did in December

November was a (creative) whirlwind of a month. December has been calmer, but has still had it's moments. I've managed to find opportunities to be creative or share my creativity with others. At the beginning of December I did a local event, a kind of craft fair, I guess. I would never have thought that would have been my thing, but you know, in the future I'll be more open minded. It was a lovely day spent with local creative people (including one of my drawing buddies, Paul Gent), I sold lots of stuff (you can't knock that), I got to make a drawing (above) and there was even a pop-up Swedish café. To be honest, that's what sold it to me. Damn, I've never tasted mushrooms that good. I intend to do more of this kind of thing in 2014.
It was back home to Wales for Christmas. One afternoon my nephew and I went over to Mumbles. The aim was to get ice cream at Verdi's café and ice cream parlour - mid winter is always a good time for ice cream, I find. I've made the same trip the last three times I've been back home and every time it's been closed. It was closed. So we ended up in the arcade on Mumbles Pier where, despite his blatant cheating, I whooped  his ass at table hockey and shooting aliens.

 Later that evening we did some drawing and created a monster.

Today was probably the first day in the whole of December that I've not had anything pressing to do. Well, there's a whole list of things that need doing (sorting my poor broken car out, tax returns, cleaning, etc) but nothing that couldn't wait another day. So, I spent it doing exactly what I wanted to; nothing much. I didn't put any make up on, talk to anyone, go out of the house, hell, I didn't even get out of my pyjamas. Bliss. But I did do some drawing - well, colouring in. Oh, and blogging. Today, I finally blogged some new drawings. Hope you like them.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I heard it in the wind last night

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, folks. My New Year's resolution is to stop neglecting my blog. Have a good one y'all. See you soon.

Monday, December 02, 2013

November November

November was a good month. A good creative month; book launch; book signings; foreign travels; exhibition; collaborations; Dr Sketchy; school visits; Uni visits and all wrapped up with a Sketchcrawl on Saturday. I need more Novembers. But with more sleep.

Friday, November 29, 2013

i want to do whatever common people do

I've been obsessing over this guy recently. I've always been a fan but, just of late, I've fallen for him in a big way. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because I've recently spent some of my evenings in a seedy bouchon in France or because I have been designing and illustrating posters for the Dr Sketchy events that I co-run.

I've always been a big fan of poster artwork from the Victorian freak show posters to the drop dead gorgeous Art Nouveau. And, of course, Toulouse Lautrec. This really was art for the people. The working classes. The common folk. Of which I am proud to be one.

Here are some of mine. I can honestly say that I've enjoyed making these above all of the recent work I've made. I hope it shows.

And, now my mind is racing with ideas of creating a Dr Sketchy Sheffield does Toulouse Lautrec event. Now, there's a poster I cannot wait to make.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

late at night when the world is dreaming

In the last couple of weeks I've launched the book, been to France to promote the book (it's been published by a French publisher), organised a Dr Sketchy event, school visits, etc, etc.
So currently everything is a bit, well, you know (see diagram).  I'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has ordered my book. I hope you love it. I'm catching up on all the book orders - I've now sent out the majority and by Monday I'll have signed and wrapped and packed and addressed and posted every last order. I'll have a cleared the decks. Unless, of course, you'd like one?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

and finally...

 You know, when I started out drawing I never imagined where that would take me. I was just doing it for the love of drawing. And, then after a while I began to believe that it could become something else, something more, it could be what I want to do with my life. Then things start happening and you get to a level of success. And then, you end up doing all sorts of other stuff that keeps you away from the drawing. That's how I've felt recently.

But then you have to take a step back and take a second to see where the drawing has actually taken you. I don't know if any of that makes sense. I'm tired. But I think I know what I mean.

Signed copies of my book (!), a book about my work (!!), is now available HERE.

Friday, November 01, 2013


Here's a piece  made for one of my favourite sites; Cult Pens. I'm often asked to do link swaps or advertise or review products or sites but never do it. It's not my thing. I only ever mention a product or business if I feel passionate about them. And, Cult Pens I do. They, to me, are the best place to buy pens in the UK. Huge stock of millions of pens. Every pen you could need. Plus, the service is excellent. Pens delivered to your door the next day. Fab.

Anyway, the reason I did this drawing was for the banner of their newsletter and because I'm 'Artist of the Month'. So, there are drawings, an interview and, erm, photo HERE.

Plus, this original drawing is for sale HERE.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

i heard it in the wind last night

Recently I've been getting out and about drawing in my local area. Not just sketchcrawling or urban sketching but drawing local people doing their thing. If you love drawing there's no end of subject matter out there. No end of people filling their evenings or spare time with whatever floats their boats - whether that be knitting or skateboarding or singing. I love this kind of drawing and, I find, it's always a bonus when there's music involved.
Here's just a couple of the many sketches I made at the High Peak Orchestra rehearsals.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

you'll have to trust it

A double spread from my latest zine How To Draw Like A Barmpot. These art zines are filled with ideas and info that will, maybe, might get you drawing. From favourite pens to exercises like this one - which I made up, off the top of my head, as I was creating the drawing. I can honestly say that is my favourite favourite things to do. Just letting these ideas reveal themselves to me and unfold on the page in front of my very eyes. It's a bit like magic.

All my zines available HERE.

Now picture yourself in a room......

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

carry it home in a tote sack

 Here are two drawings from the same day and the same place. They are, I think, examples of how a drawing can go either way. I drew them both at a field day and they are of a stall that was a celebration of all things bread. It mapped the story of bread from back in time and from around the world. Very interesting and very tasty.

The top drawing pleases me quite a lot. It's got a touch of the Patrick Caulfield about it (who I absolutely adore). The bottom one is atrocious. Way too much going on and way too overdone.

You win some, you lose some.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

there's a lot to learn for wasting time

For the first time in a long time I haven't had a deadline looming - I cleared them this week. Yes, there's a book launch, an exhibition and two Dr Sketchy's to organise, but I had a free day yesterday not worrying about getting one or another job finished. So, I spent the afternoon doing what I love best; driving, eating and drawing.

I pride myself on knowing where to get the best cakes, sandwiches, breads, chips, etc, in the Peaks. Tearooms are my area of expertise. Rosie's is a fab little tearoom in the lovely Hayfield village and does THE best brownies around. And so it should as it is run by an American lady and her husband. I found this cute little video, about Rosies, whilst searching for their website.

There was also the added bonus of this cutie, below, waiting outside for her owner to finish their tea and cake.

How long are you going to be?
Are we going yet?
Oh, come on.
Thank gawd for that.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

i get my back into my living

A huge thanks for all of the comments and support, in my last post, for my new book. I am very touched. It'll be a whole load of new excitement, as will going to France to publicise it. In all honesty, I'm totally exhausted just thinking about it. But in a good way.

 I seem to be working non stop these days. Burning myself out, not getting enough sleep. But, I don't think there's any other way if I want to make a living and career out of this illustration lark. And, I do. I do everything I do for the love of illustration.

 And, here's another of those things I am doing for the love of it. I've recently taken over the running of Dr Sketchy Sheffield - along with my business partner Hell's Belle (yes, just having a business partner called Hell's Belle is a dream come true). I became a Dr Sketchy addict from the first event I attended, so when the opportunity came up to co-run the gig I couldn't say no.

Again though it's turned out to be more work than I'd anticipated because as soon as one event is over we're planning and promoting the next.

So, that said, if you are in the Sheffield area why not come along to our next event (above) and draw with us? It really is a lot of fun. I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't.

Or check out our Facebook page, to see what we get up to, HERE. You see, never stop working.

Monday, September 30, 2013

carnet de voyages immobiles

So here's another thing that's been happening for me recently.
Here are some photos from the printers who are printing a new book. My book.
 When I went to Clermont Ferrand's wonderful 'Rendez-vous Carnet de Voyage' exhibition last year I got to meet some publishers.
And one of them took a shine to me - well, took a shine to my work.
 These photos tell the tale of what's been happening since then.
 Next week the books will be at the publishers and I'll be back in France in November to promote it.
It's insane really. When I started drawing a few years ago, this would have been one of those things I would have dreamt of happening whilst not really believing it actually would. It still seems a bit odd. But that is indeed a book about my work and I really will be going to France to promote it. As I said, insane.

Friday, September 20, 2013

the barmpot has landed

So finally, here he is; Barmpot. Or, How To Draw 3. Above is the original artwork created for this new zine. I can't believe that the second in the How To Draw series (Loon) was made in 2011. Where did those two years go? And, how did it take so long to come up with the third? I love making this kind of work. It's probably my favourite thing to do; write and draw all the craziness, that would otherwise be filling my head, onto the paper. And, that's what Barmpot is about; drawing with your imagination.
As with the other two in the series it was created with nothing more than ballpoint pens, paper and too much time on ones hands. There are lots of ideas for you, too, to get your imagination and pen working.
How To Draw Like A Barmpot available HERE.
Now, I need to lie down in a dark room.


Forget Grand Theft Auto V this is the release that you've all really been waiting for. Yes, folks, in an hours time How To Draw Like A Barmpot will be on sale HERE . This zine has been years in the making (ish). Do you see how I'm building up the excitement here guys? Impressive isn't it? And, noooo, I'm not just buying some time while I'm just take some pics and write up the shop listing. Definitely not. No, this is how us in the advertising world  build the tension so that you all want to buy buy buy (that's what I'm hoping anyway, I sunk my wages into this bad boy)!!

Look and learn, folks. Look and learn.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

could be in a dream

Here's another sketchbook that I've just about finished. I'm not sure of the brand, I bought it because I wanted a different page shape and size from the Moleskine and this had nice thick paper too. I've really enjoyed working on a more panoramic (?) page and will need to replace it with something similar if I can't find another of these.

I made the top drawing at a field day that had all sorts of events going on. I'm really happy with some of the lines I achieved in this drawing. I used a fine liner and a calligraphy pen to get them. And, the one below is from one of our Dr Sketchy events.
The rest of the drawings from this book can be viewed HERE.

Monday, September 09, 2013

four drawings, three places, one sketchbook

Four drawings, three places in one sketchbook.
And, a shedload of different pens and pencils.
Red marker pen, two red ballpoints and two red pencils.
Various green pencils.
Blue fine liner and blue brush pen.
Whaley Bridge
Black fine liner, 3B pencil and various colour pencils
Blue, pink and yellow fine liners.
Blue, pink and yellow pencils.
All made in the small Moleskine sketchbook. I was never that interested in using such a small sketchbook before I got this. It took a few years of drawing before I bought it and I still wasn't convinced. It sat on my shelf for another year or so. Now I'm coming close to finishing this sketchbook - just a few pages left. I really must get a new one in because it's become one of my favourites. A sketchbook I wouldn't be without.

Friday, September 06, 2013

what's in the box?

Stay tuned to find out. 'Citing!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

here is a song for you

Here's a new drawing. Well, it's a new old drawing. You may well have seen it before. Quite recently actually.

I have a string of half finished drawings hanging around the house. I come across them all the time. In the strangest of places. Drawings that I've given up on for various reasons. Now and again though I'll try and breathe new life into them. This is what happened here.

This drawing must be at least three years old. It actually had a shoe print on it that I had to erase (I really do find them in strange places). I remember that I'd had this great idea of drawing each and every one of my pencil cases. I got half way through this before realising what a rubbish idea that was.

There was, however, another reason that I resumed this drawing; for a long time now people have been asking me if I'd considered making a film of me in action (drawing that is). When I came across this drawing I felt it could be used to show how I go about cross hatching. So, that's what I did - I say that's what 'I' did but I actually mean that's what a friend with the technology and know-how did.  Thanks Tim!

You can see the film in my last blog post or HERE.

Plus, you can get your hands on this drawing, and film star (haven't you always wanted to get your hands on a film star?),  as it is for sale in my little Etsy shop HERE.