I've been a bit quiet of late as I've been celebrating my 33rd birthday with illustrator pal Kumiko in Japan.
Needless to say I had an amazing time visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Hakone. I've uploaded a stupidly large amount of photos to my flickr account, but heres some highlights...
Sensoji temple, Tokyo where I received a "No.1 Best Fortune"
Braving a visit to a "Maid cafe" in the back streets of Akibanana
Visiting Sanrio Puroland...
and dressing up like idiots:
Visiting Nara and Todaiji Temple...
Agreeing (completely out of character!) to a Maiko makeover in Kyoto
Seeing Mount Fuji on beautifully clear winters day
And staying the night at a traditional Ryokan in Hakone...
I have to thank K (and her family) for being such excellent company and for being such a good sport! Can't wait to go back.
Just a quick message to wish you all a very merry christmas!
I've been a bit rubbish this year, missed all the international postage dates, and only just made the domestic ones...
I managed to knock up some festive-y gocco christmas cards last minute though
cute-ness to make your eyes bleed... matching envelopes and tags too...
front and back --- got a bit carried away I think
I enjoy wrapping more than the shopping bit!
Oban, Christmas Eve. Taken earlier today -- the miserable lights weren't even on... bah humbug
I'm up in Scotland for a few days with the family. sadly no snowy photos this year- just drizzly rain up here.
Wishing you all a lovely time and all the best for 2009!
Which way is figure moving - clockwise or anti-clockwise?
according to the Herald Sun article, if you focus hard enough you can make it move in the opposite direction - I managed it for a few seconds only.
The majority of people see it moving anti-clockwise and use more of their left brain:
LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS uses logic detail oriented facts rule words and language present and past math and science can comprehend knowing acknowledges order/pattern perception knows object name reality based forms strategies practical safe
While those that see it moving clockwise, are right brainers:
RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS uses feeling "big picture" oriented imagination rules symbols and images present and future philosophy & religion can "get it" (i.e. meaning) believes appreciates spatial perception knows object function fantasy based presents possibilities impetuous risk taking
Last month I managed to meet up with ever so slightly AWOL drawger Aaron Leighton in Toronto and he was kind enough to invite me along to previously blogged Pen club.
As well as being able to sink a few beers and meet some great folks (thanks to everyone who made me feel so welcome!) it also really reminded me of the importance of drawing and doodling purely for fun.
Working digitally, it very easy for my work to just get all a bit static so I've been trying to spend more time doodling without worrying about the outcome.
sorry mum, i was paying attention to you, honest!
I've admired Aarons and Rob D's sketchbooks for ages, so I'm really enjoying keeping a daily sketchbook and have become quite obsessed with buying brush pens all of a sudden.
I've always drawn every day but I just always ended up with piles of old letters and envelopes with drawings on them that just always end up going into the recycling bin.
I'm pretty messy sometimes (ok, always) so it takes a little more discipline for me to keep everything in a book... but it's worth the effort! When I get some free time I'll scan some pages and upload.
The outcome has also crossed into my digital work, heres some photoshop doodles while on the phone the other day... quite surprising what you come up with when you are not paying attention.
The outcome has also crossed into my digital work, heres some photoshop doodles while on the phone the other day... quite surprising what you come up with when you are not paying attention.
Coincidentally Argentinean illustrator Super DD and myself have also established an flickr group for five minute doodles on a weekly theme... sort of good for people who like Illustration Friday but who are super short on time...the current theme is "your weirdest neighbour". It's an open invitation group so if you're a flickr-er-er then stop by:
I've also been playing around in photoshop with some lettering. I've added a new gallery of quick lettering sketches I did over they weekend... these based on the contents of my spam folder... its not the most original idea but the bizarre-o subject lines have been great starting point and I've enjoyed not trying to clean up or correct any mistakes... just seeing what happens...
roman guard detail.. if you don't know Bath's a roman spa town, this may look a tad odd!
A wee while ago, you might remember I created this roadside attractions map. Since plonking it on a postcard, I'm happy to say that it's brought in quite a few interesting map and diagram type commissions.
One of them has been some walking tour maps for Junior Magazine. This is the first in a series of three : Bath
For those not completely au fait with English History and Geography ( a group in which I'd include myself) : Bath is a city in Somerset, England most famous for its historic baths fed by three hot springs. It is situated 99 miles (159 km) west of Central London and 13 miles (21 km) south east of Bristol.
The city is founded around the only naturally occurring hot springs and Roman spa. The waters from its spring were believed to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy. As a result of its popularity during the latter period, the city contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture, most notably the Royal Crescent. The city has a population of over 90,144 and is a World Heritage Site. thanks wikipedia!
there's Bath, under that big red mug ring.
And here's my map... to enjoy the larger version in all its glory click here
Ok thats enough maps for now... just think you've got Glasgow to look forward to next month!
I hope one day to do a proper American road trip. When I was a foolhardy student, I set off on my own mini version ( Boston > NYC > Phily > D.C > Atlanta > Memphis > Miami > St Louis > Chicago ) but lack of time and mostly money, meant that I never made it to the WEST coast. I recently found the travel journal from this trip which made some pretty interesting reading.. its a bewildering insight into 19 year old Linzie. I don't remember a lot of what I'd written about and it felt strangely like reading someone else's diary.
Anyways, I guess quirky and kitschy tourist attractions have also held my interest. Heres a little map project I set myself... I've probably employed a fair bit of artistic license and taken the odd liberty or two. I still feel the urge to teak, change and correct a few things but I've put it to one side as yesterday all the text and pixel-pushing gave me a cracking migraine...
A couple of months ago I did this sketch for a kids publisher which never got past the roughs stage due to contractual issues (e.g. I wasn't prepared to part with copyright for the fee offered)
To be fair, they did honour the rejection/cancellation fee clause and I was happy to walk away with my drawing.
A 'tuck shop' for those not familiar with the phrase is basically a hole-in-the-wall affair where schools (or youth clubs) sell snacks and unhealthy crap to their pupils. I remember my own schools 'tucky' very well .... and the excitement every year at Christmas when kids would scan their purchase with Willy Wonka style enthusiasm for a lucky sticker meaning that you'd won an even larger box of chocolate.
I'm sure since the healthy eating reforms in schools here, this sort of things is probably very much a thing of the past.
adventures in halftones!
I'd quite enjoyed doing it so rather than resigning it to my "things to file away one day" folder on my desktop, I decided to play around with it a bit. The original brief called for a mixture of healthy and unhealthy snacks, so being my own AD now I was able to leave the healthy stuff out!
now in duo-color!
the tuck shop that took over the world.
I'm still very much a novice when it comes to screen printing and still find my sessions at the print studio a slightly stressful affair... but thought I'd give it a pop...
I was sad to discover that I look less 'sexy librarian' and more 'thelma from scooby doo'.
March was a funny month for me. I'd been struggling with working at computer for a while as I began to notice there was something not quite right with my vision. Its partly the reason I haven't posted anything in a while as typing for any length of time has been giving me bad headaches.
At first I just put it down to eye strain but as things weren't getting any better I booked myself in for an eye test, and discovered that I have one eye mildly shortsighted and one mildly longsighted. And basically its confusing my brain. Hardly a superhero skill, is it?
Anyways, I have new specs now though my brain still hasn't adapted...
suddenly everyones wearing glasses
Excuses for not blogging aside, heres a rush job I did last week for an education supplement with The Guardian
It was sort of a complicated brief. I had to illustrate the ideas laid out in an flowchart type infographic created by the QCA regarding reform to the school curriculum... basically about a broader types of subjects, flexible teaching for each student, and more involvement within the community, etc
I think originally the flowchart was going to be printed then pulled, hence the 24 hour deadline. With this amount of detail it would have been handy to have a little more time, but sometimes it's good just to get your head down and get on with it.
It's all different then when I was a school and I had to double check all the subject abbreviations... there was no 'D&T' or 'Citizenship' when I was at high school and French was just French and not 'Modern Foriegn Languages'. Apparently Mandarin is the MFL of choice these days.
At my school there was just a lot of metalwork and home economics...oh and secretarial studies. I still have no idea where the home keys are though.
I don't know why but I always think food packaging from other countries looks infinitely more interesting than those you find back home. No more so than with Japanese sweety packaging. I'm quietly working my way through eating this bunch of recent purchases... the nifty graphics are very much making up for the E numbers.
I realise that the title of this post could be a bit misleading...
These were nice, with very 60s biba looking wrappers... didn't taste of whisky though, or butter.
I have been informed that these come with a 'magical sticker' inside
Didn't someone talk to me about rice candy at the drawger meet?
assortment of overpriced japanese treats bought here in London
And of course, Pocky! Who cares that its looks (and tastes) of burnt out sparklers.
Some one suggested that the "little pink volcano things" might be named after the apollo spacecraft. I didn't think of that.
'Oh Great, here comes Linzie with lots more old crap to share'
I don't really collect old postcards, but I do seem to have bought a hell of a lot of them. They are just one of those things that easy to find and cheap to buy. I like the randomness of what you can find, and though it makes me feel a little bit sad/guilty the best ones are the ones that have actually been sent and show you a glimpse into someone life.
I've twice been to a local charity shop and picked up a stack of these 50s postcards... They were so cheap and the temptation was too great...
The one on the right is a favourite... I love the composition, and how wish I was that chic...
Some more recent acquisitions to the Hunter Postcard Collection
To be honest though, when I was about 10 I used to collect victorian birthday postcards which I hoping to hunt down when I go home over the holidays. When other girls were spending their pocket money on My Little Pony, I used to spend the weekend with my parents staking out flea markets and antique stalls... It will be interesting to find my old collection and see what I considered cool then... I seem to recall I really liked the embroidered ones (oh dear!) from the turn of the century and would turn my nose up at anything post 1930...
Happy New Years 1931
I like this Notre Dame one... and it got a really nice matt finish... and even my beginners french is good enough to understand it
Adam Ant hasn't got a look in
This little fellow cracks me up!
But I have no idea whats going on in this one...anyone? Answers on a postcard please.. boom boom. Man, I'm in the wrong business...
So, OK, I have just posted a whole load of stuff that I collect, but hell at least I feel it has a purpose now!
Congratulations to fellow drawgerite Edel for gaining the prestigious title of 100th contributor at my studio space blog: On My Desk.
You can check out more photos of Edel's modest little studio here
Illustrator Allan Sanders has also contributed a very nice banner illustration to help mark the occasion.
Thanks all round to the other 99 artists listed below who have already shared their workspace and the many other nice people who continue to do so:
Heather Castles Tommy Kane Geninne D. Zlatkis David Evans Matthew Porterfield Jac Currie Steven G. Amey Bob Staake Sven Gerhardt Brandon Steen Charity Romero/Ezra Li Eismont Jannie Ho Jean-Francois Kelahear Jeremiah Ketner Adante Salvagado Tamsin Ainslie Lauren Braun JoJo Yeung Colin Johnson Kim Carney Sandra Monat Andi Butler Danny Mansmith Tim Harries Jason Bronkhorst Andy J. Smith J. Michael Stovall Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch Caio Nery Filho Anndrea Boe Morandini Charlene Chua Mark Anderson Kelly Murphy Doug Savage Jeff Szuc Joseph Scarano Chris Braun Sean Kane Blair Kelly Leo Hillier Marina Caruso Meghan Murphy James Yang Piepke David Carillo Rob Dunlavey Mark Porter Ian Stevenson Annie Bissett Edel Rodriguez David Sones Nubby Twiglet Ximena Maier Brett Hess Collin David Rick Lovell Eric Bostrom Rik Catlow Jeff Matz Ben the Illustrator Joan M. Mas Junichi Tsuneoka Guylaine Couture Eric Sturdevant Claudine Hellmuth Matt Hinrichs Petra Stefankova Paul Antonson Maximo Tuja Holly DeWolf Alex Noriega Jon Keegan Von Glitschka Craig Atkinson Alan (Fred) Pipes Jim Stafford Ben Schlitter Ryan Snook Dan Thompson Jared Chapman Corianton Hale Christiane Engel Andy Smith Pietari Posti Cat Morley What What Sean Macfarlane David Dean Ben Schlitter Anette V. Heiberg theApe Fhiona Galloway Bob Staake Mark Begley Allan Sanders Elwood H Smith Jeff Andrews Ryan Myers Maxwell Paternoster
I love books. I especially like handmade books and small press publications. All the recent goulish Halloween illustration posts made me go dig out a little book I bought recently: - The Funeral by writer/illustrator Barnaby Richards.
"The Funeral pictures the paradoxical events surrounding the disappearance of a loved one". Its published by Atlantic Press and is a complete steal at just £4.
I don't know much about Barnaby other than he is a recent graduate of MA Illustration course at Falmouth. He doesn't seem to have a website yet which is a real shame.
I also have a few of his other books which I picked up in Magma. - 20 Artistic Things, 20 Enchanting things and 20 Scary Things. Each one is a collection of line drawings - one per page- on the title theme. There is something both dark and charming about these collection of simple drawings that I really enjoy. I particularly like the quiet expressions on his characters. I always get a kick out of looking at them.
From 20 Artistic Things - Apologies for the poor quality scans
email: barnabyrichards @ hotmail.com
I've done a little book making myself but it very hard to find the time. It's very much something I'd like to do more of in the future. I also took a screenprinting course this summer so am hoping in the new year to be able to my new skills into practice!
In the meantime, It's nice just to enjoy the labour of loves of other artists. I'm also a fan of Andy Smith's screen printed books and the great stuff Tom Gauld* and Simone Lia publish under Cabanon Press.
While my american cousins are all making a big thing about Halloween, I thought I'd do a quick illustration to acknowledge one of the UK's superior holiday events : Bonfire Night.
For those not familiar with the holiday, it's when we celebrate how Guy Fawkes and bunch of catholics got caught trying to blow up parliament and protestant King James I in 1605.
The day is now celebrated by bonfires and firework events through out the country. In a slightly worrying Wicker Man style twist, kids are encouraged to build their own scarecrow-like 'GUY', then scrounge money off the general public (usually chanting 'penny for the guy' in the street) before chucking him on the bonfire at the end of the night. Nothing worrying at all there.
Last year, some boys came to my door with a rather life-like guy in a wheelbarrow. I was suckered into giving them some cash only to then watch the carefully crafted 'guy' get up, take his mask and gloves off and walk off. Kids eh?
It's too close to Halloween for my liking, and being a miserable sod, I'll just have to sit in the dark with curtains closed and the lights off all this week...
Remember, remember, the 5th of November Gunpowder Treason and plot ; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'Twas his intent. To blow up the King and the Parliament. Three score barrels of powder below. Poor old England to overthrow. By God's providence he was catch'd, With a dark lantern and burning match
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip Hoorah ! Hip hip Hoorah !
A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope, A farthing cheese to choke him. A pint of beer to rinse it down, A faggot of sticks to burn him. Burn him in a tub of tar,' Burn him like a blazing star. Burn his body from his head, Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.
The Pagoda at the Victoria & Albert Museum, its got some great little characters peeping out the windows.
Following the monkey madness thats going on round here... I have quite a few money related illustrations (who doesn't love drawing monkeys??) but when looking through my folders I found an 'early' illustration of mine.
One of the first steps I took when I decided to make the career change from theatre to illustration was to enroll in a part-time course at Chelsea School of Art. Early on we made a class trip to one of my favourite museums in London: The V&A . We were asked to sketch an object on display and then create a piece of artwork influenced by it...
The biggest version I could find of it on my computer. oh dear!
I sketched some monkey carvings and this pagoda from the China Collection and cobbled together the illustration shown here
This was one of the first things I did at on the course and it was also the first illustration I created in Photoshop.
The smaller prototype - I wasn't very organised about getting proper photos taken of the finished piece!
I ended up making a sort of 3-D sculture-ish thing out of it (See shoddy prototype photo). It was then selected for the Museum's 'Inspired By' exhibition later that year. Even though I didn't win any prizes or anything, I still got a bit of a kick about seeing my work in a display case at the V&A.
It's funny to see how much my digital work has changed as I've got more comfortable working on the computer!
Dad and the kids. Wheres the wife? Don't worry, shes at home making fondue.
While I appreciate that the 70s was the decade that gave us many great things (Abba, Platforms, Space hoppers, Wonder Woman... and me) when it comes to collecting old childrens books, I sort of lose interest after 1969.
However, when I found this book the other day in a local charity shop, it was so truly awful I just had to have it. It's so bad, it's good!
By Ingeborg Westermeiner & Stefan Lemke (illustrator) 1973, Brockhampton Press
There she is! What a corker. (nice back endpaper)
Front endpaper ....very Yellow Submarine
Theres a lot of technical illos like this in this kids book... I could probably have done with this when I was learning to drive!
Drawing rockets, spacemen and all that sort of stuff is always fun, so it was nice last week to get some copy from The Guardian comparing returning to work after a holiday to re-entry from space.
I have to admit to always having a geeky interest in space and space travel. Had things have been different, I think I would have quiet fancied being a space explorer (or RocketGirl if I had my way). But I'm a realist and earlier this year on my 30th birthday, I finally had to accept the cold hard fact that I was never going to be an astronaut and that I was probably never going get that call from NASA.
As a kid I always wanted to go to Space Camp... in fact, if there was an adult version, I'd probably still want to. Sadly, as a child in Scotland spending the summer pretending to be an actual astronaut just wasn't an option. My parents were never going to send me abroad alone, at least not until I was 18 when my dear mum rather recklessly allowed me to go live and study in Boston, but thats another story altogether. So instead of Space camp, I had to settle for Brownie Camp - A less exciting version which involved sleeping in a bunkhouse an adventurous 30 mins drive from my own home.
I always thought that girl guiding was about making knots and camp fires, but this rather streetwise version had none of that. Urban highlights of Glasgow Brownie Camp included a trip to the airport where you got to sit inside an actual British Airways airplane - albeit while it sat on the tarmac - and later a trip on the Glasgow Underground which involved sitting in the drivers box and pressing a few buttons. This was the 80s and I suppose in light of recent terrorist events either of these activities would be deemed plain crazy.
Anyways, perhaps one of those life changing jobs may come my way and I could reserve a seat with Virgin Galactic - a snip at $200,000 - and maybe one day be a space tourist. I'm keeping it bookmarked. In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for drawing spacemen...
I just did this illustration for Junior Magazine, a parenting magazine here in the UK. The article gave 10 pointers that parents could learn from teachers...
Mrs Carricks Primary 1 class. She was lovely and had her own lampchops style puppet.
While mooching around, I found this rather fuzzy class photo of my own first year at school. As a child (sorry, I should say 'bairn' or 'wain') I attended St. Flannans RC Primary School in a town north of Glasgow called Kirkintilloch.
That's me complete with 'bowl-cut' haircut and regulation 'puppy fat'. Good to see that I didn't like getting my photo taken even then.
We had a had a delightful green uniform complete with green tartan tie and a celtic gold cross on our nice green blazers.
Please note that any comments about catholic school girls should be avoided.
Now I realise that forcing people to look at your holiday snapshots is probably considered social suicide, so consider this more as an invitation to view some photos from last weeks trip 'up north' in my gallery...
I'm sure my witty commentary will make it an experience to remember.
* This is an local phrase, popular in the North of Scotland (Aberdeen to be more exact). Translated, it means "From Where abouts are you from?" . Furryboots for short.
Hello Drawgers, This is my first post. Thanks to Rob D for the invite. I am very chuffed to be in the company of such fine illustration heavyweights as your good selves (not that I'm calling anyone fat or anything).
The Heat-wave has hit London too. It seems that many are coping in the usual British way of inappropriately exposing their white bits to midday sun while complaining to random people in the street about how hot it is. Apparently it's been hotter than Bermuda. God Bless Global Warming.
I've taken to having extended siestas during the day and working through the evening.
Thankfully, theres been a few storms and rain today so no doubt people will be covering up and grumbling about how cold it is soon enough.
In the meantime, I'm just looking forward to being a citizen of the drawg-ville...