Friday, September 28, 2007

Three laps

Bored and depressed, on an early morning bus trawling through outer London with my trousers grey-rain sodden, I pull out my moleskine sketchbook to distract myself by sketching my surroundings. With pen poised I look around to realise that of everything around me: chairbacks carpeted like classrooms, chewing gum rocks with set dental records and the backs of peeling septegenarian heads, the most interesting thing to me is my own lap. On completion of my uncomfortable drawing I leaf back through the pages and see the previous two drawings are pretty much exactly the same. This initially prompts a brief internal crisis about my own inability to take interest in anything other than myself, but I think it's more just that recently I've only been sketching mindlessly out of pure boredom, and as a last possible resort.

My life really is vaguely exciting, certainly exciting enough for me to not always be prepared to ruin it by stopping to draw the good bits. I don't want to end up like the tortured artist at my Uni who you'd often see sitting in the back of nightclubs scrawling poetry on discarded receipts or wraps and generally being too angst-ridden to function. He probably thinks of himself as a kind of Junglist Wilfred Owen. I imagine his poems go something like:
I'm in a drum and bass club,
it is early mornin',
everyone's dancin' and happy,
don't they care 'bout global warmin'?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Amy, why not?

I'm still not sure where to go with this bloody promotional postcard, so to waste time I tried redrawing the Any Winehouse one.

Can you read the 5-a-day bit? I don't want the serious healthy-eating message to be lost...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Joe Blogs

Several months ago I answered a call for illustrators from online magazine The Thing Is. The thing was, and is, it turned out, actually a project run by fellow Brightonian Bristolian Afro Jimmy, also known as Jimmy Tidey. I'm not sure which of those is his real name and which is a nickname, seeing as he doesn't sport an afro or come across as particularly tidy. Really nice guy though, and his thing is nice too.
The article I was to illustrate was written by Jimmy (thinking about it, maybe it's the Jimmy bit that's the nickname, maybe he's actually called Afro Tidy and has a predilection for crowbars). The article is about how now the blogging culture is apparently so widespread now there is a huge amount of personal information out there, so psychologists and anyone else interested have a huge bank of information open to them like never before.
First off I was really keen to do something really elaborate and moody with highly technical overlaid transparencies like Matthew Woodson would, but when this came out I was pretty disappointed- it just looks like one panel in a rubbish strip about ghost doctors.

The next day, on the bus to Oxford, I sketched out a design for another version. The bumpy ride made it all the lines wobbly and free. I later scanned it in and next time I was on the bus I coloured the sketch, with the same loss of control. It ended up being one of my favourite pieces.

Blog etiquette meant I couldn't post it until the magazine came out, but then I forgot all about it. But then it has been on my website for a while. Here it is in context:

Which is nice.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Purple face and sweet potato

Two sketches drawn whilst I've been waiting for something else, programmes to load or sweet potatoes to cook.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Promotional Postcard

The next stage in my post-graduate evolution from number-crunching ape to fully erect illustrator, following building up a portfolio and setting up a website, is, I'm told, to order the printing of hundreds of self-promotional postcards. A dozen or so of these are then to be sent to prospective employers, the Guardian, say, or the "internet". After that, the plan is, I'll be comissioned to knock out a few anarchistic post-feminist comic serials, move in with Damon Albarn, design a cartoon pop band and go on to draw a Chinese musical.
A promotional postcard traditionally has to encapsulate within it's scant 139mmx107mm every aspect and dimension of an illustrator's supposed strengths. Apparently though these days that's not quite so important, as the postcard works as a shop window enticing the viewer to look at the associated website. Now your image needs just be the foreplay whereas once it had to be the full service: foreplay, kissing, topping, penetration, climax and post-coital embrace.

This was my first idea, thinking to put in a celebrity likeness(ish) and a nod to topicality.

And this unsettling image was my second. It's supposed to look like a tart card, and so is deliberately a bit shit with it's terrible font and cheap pink/red colour scheme. Though this may be a bit of a counter-intuitve way to promote myself.

I don't really know what angle to go with, I wanted to post three on here as a testing ground before ordering the printing, but can't think of a third design. My last blog post- a hungover Sunday scrawl titled "Meh" and tagged as "rubbish"- has had two positive comments from strangers which is the most ever comments by two, so I guess I really don't know what, if anything, of mine is good anymore. Hopefully some readers of this blog, maybe even both of you, can tell me where to go with the postcards. I'll thank you from the top.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Three controllers and winehouse

I hope Jamie T wins the Mercury prize tonight. Amy Winehouse is in the papers enough as it is. The anti-drugs league shouldn't worry about her being a bad role model though: she's helping them by looking as so weird as she does. She's a one woman scare story. What with her tiny wire frame body covered in cheap tattoo transfers, her burly uncontrollable sideburns like a rocker, stuck on mrs potato head eyes and lips all topped off with a greasy nest of synthetic hair that probably smells of stale vomit, she's a poster child for keeping clean. Having said all that, I do think she's hot.

Monday, September 03, 2007

In Vogue

A Pretty girl I copied out of a glossy magazine. I think she was in a shampoo advert. Everyone likes pictures of pretty girls, boys and girls. I like pictures combining pen and pencil, though I haven't found a good way of colouring them in yet.


I like pocket cartoons. I have my google page set up so that I can see the days Matt one every day without having to expose myself to any of the Telegraph site. Here's a quick one I did while at work last week to go with this Pitchfork article about a choir that sings their complaints.

I had my first Vindaloo last night. It made me feel pretty big and clever at the time, but today I've regretted it. By midday I'd gone for a poo in four different toilets: at home, on the bus to Oxford (there's a toilet on the bus to Oxford), in the bus station and at work.