Saturday, March 09, 2013

Behind Closed Doors

Just before Christmas I wrote and illustrated my first magazine article. It was for Pretty Nostalgic Magazine once again, and the lovely Jo Keeling gave me the arduous task of visiting speakeasies and drinking cocktails. I let her crack the whip and got drunk in the name of journalism. Here is the article. I hope to do more!

Friday, October 05, 2012


During the summer I was asked to pitch for a commercial that was targeting a post-modern, cake-baking/business-making woman. The girl who wears the clothes and lives elements of a repressed, 50s housewife life as a way to express her femininity in these trouser-wearing times. The Cath Kidston girl.

This girl is not me. I may lindy hop several times a week to 40s swing songs, dress a little 'vintage' and swear I was born in the wrong era, but CK is too fussy for my lifestyle. I'm more muddy boots and farmhouse tea loafs than beautifully iced cupcakes. I think I express this in my female characters. They like to look good but can you climb a tree with a clutch purse or cycle in heels? Lord no. (There is nothing wrong with being a CK girl at all, just different strokes for different folks. Also, I love the dresses and cardigans in there.)

But I wanted to win the job. I trawled through my old work looking for more feminine drawings but all I found were femme fatals and oddballs. So I spent an evening girlifying my portfolio. It was an interesting exercise and I thought I'd share the transformations as I dipped my toe into a butter-iced world.

First up, Moon Sun turned Girl in a Musical Who Might Be In Love For The First Time.

Next, a face from a page of London Commuters I drew about three years ago jumped out at me. This is a little darker, more like one of my characters, feels more like a comic panel. I hardly work in colour so I glad it came out ok. I think this is my favourite. 

After that I realised I had to lighten the tone.  Based on a wholly different character (who would never be caught dead looking so girly), this girl looks like a swing dancer at a Sunday Tea dance. I want her bike.

It did the trick, I got the job!

The simple joys of climbing trees

Hullo. It's been a while. How are you? Please tell me what you've been up to.

So I'm an avid tree climber after that first weekend at Igfest 2010 I will never forget. I played a game called UpTrees, part of Henrik Dahles 2010 project to climb a tree everyday for a year. It forced me to cross an adult fear of foolishness and remember just how bloody great it is to be up a tree.

My talented friend Jo Keeling commissioned me to illustrate for her beautiful new magazine Pretty Nostalgic this summer and would you adam and eve it, it was for a piece on climbing trees. (I think she knew, deep down, that I was the right person for the job)

My idea was simple; I wanted it to be a first person POV up in the boughs. A happy few hours were spent in Brandon Hill park climbing trees, drawing and photographing. See the red chair up in the tree? It was about 30 feet up, with no low branches to get up there! Things I observed whilst in a tree: a lantern, a surprised squirrel, a blue tit. Nobody below noticed me. Even though I was only a few feet above their heads. I felt a bit creepy.

The rough design I sent to Jo for approval.

And the final design.

Go and climb a tree!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm still drawing

Don't let the lack of update let you think any differently. I've been working crazy hours for 6 months as a junior animator here at Aardman. It's been fantastic, but not left a lot of time for blogging. Only just coming out of the coma now, looking back through the scribbles made in Dailies and drawing up ideas. So there's more on the way.
Oh yes!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


 Moving house. Finding forgotten things, like receipts, bits of string I thought would be useful one day, old love letters and this sketch of Rachel. She'd come in for a chin-wag and then had a snooze on my bed. Pretty much sums up living together (aside from the wall climbing, dancing and bed-diving). I'll miss our housematey times. Change is good. You keep with you the things that matter. Recycle the things that don't. I keep thinking of a Douglas Adams quote at the moment, I can't remember it exactly but it's along the lines of - 'ask yourself, does it matter? And if it matters, does it matter that it matters?'
It's late and I'm talking shit.

Friday, February 04, 2011

One Last Thing

I often find creative highs right before I have to stop. Last thing at night, over the dregs of my coffee, the final minutes of lunchtime. Like right now I'm avoiding going to bed. I don't know why, I'm exhuasted. These are a few sketches done right before I had to do something else.
Nightsun. Drawn whilst listening to this on repeat.

Ladies lunching in the winter sun.

Three beautiful Somalian women in Boston Tea Party. I love the shapes of their faces. 

Art lovers at the Tate Modern.

And it's life drawing time again. A little rusty after such a long break. For a brief moment all the planets aligned and I was able to squeeze this one out. The moment passed and ineptitude returned. I shall be going again next week with the aim to get better.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


It's been a long time since my last post, quite a shockingly long time. I've been working hard on my contribution to Tales of The Spiffing, a comic anthology for a certain cracking Bristol stop motion animation company! The gorgeous cover above is by Luis Cook. It's very, very exciting and will be published end of this year, my first book! Be sure I won't stop gibbering on about it and posting links to buy as well as a few rough sketches from my comic. Yipee!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Festival Time

It's that festival time of year and it's breaking my heart that I'm not going to Greenman again (or indeed any festival). I can't even read the newsletter, it hurts too much. Right now I'd pretty much do anything for a ticket.

This is round the back of the Louisiana whilst waiting for The Acorn to play in June. I bit off more than I could chew in twenty minutes so I went back and finished it last week.