Wednesday, June 03, 2015

a bit about perseverance

At the half time break, at life drawing this evening, I was ready to give up forever. I wanted to sneak out, go home and never pick up my pens again. My drawings were an embarrassment and why was I even at life drawing? I shouldn't be there. I didn't deserve to be there - not with what I was producing. I, obviously, was getting ideas above my station going to life drawing. But I finished my cuppa and went back in. I persevered and I'm glad I did. I pulled this one out of the bag. And now I can carry on drawing for a bit longer. 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WARNING: freaky ventriliquist dummy alert

If you follow my blog you may well know
that I draw anywhere and everywhere.
But where better than somewhere that combines your other interests. And I bloody love stuff. Old stuff. Which is why I love the antique auctions.
Which is why I love an antique auction house. Today I was at Adam Partridge's auction house in
Where else can you sit on an antique chair and draw surrounded  by spooky ventriloquist dummies and tiny chaise longue? 
 
And then there's the vast array of fabulous and insane subject matter. It's everything I love in one afternoon.
 And if I'm drawing I'm not bidding.
Although, I always end up bidding too. Not on the spooky dummy though. Not this time anyway.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

How to upcycle and old radio (drawing)

 As I may have already mentioned, I've been cleaning up my house recently. It fell into disrepair due to neglect (by me) and now I'm giving it some much needed attention. I've put a deadline on getting it done too; August. I have decided to do an Open House then, to show off all my hard work - decorating and drawing - and you're all invited. I need to, not only paint the whole place, but, get my work together to frame and hang. I came across this radio drawing whilst sorting through stuff. I made it, about six years ago, whilst in Italy. It was on that trip that I met lapin for the first time too. I also drew his hat. But that hangs in his home.
 Anyway, I decided I'd like this drawing to be at my Open House exhibition, so last night I played around with it a little. I upcycled this old radio, if you like. There were practical reasons for doing it; the brown pens I used back then (my beloved Pilot G-tec) are just not light fast, and so, as I wanted this radio hanging on my wall, in August, it too needed a little attention. I went over it all in brown light fast fine liners and added a little colour pencil. An improvement on the original? I don't know. That's all subjective.
Now, I haven't got time for all this. I've got walls to paint. AUGUST?! The whole house by August

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Monday, May 18, 2015

i'm going to clear out my head, i'm going to get myself straight

I've been cleaning up my house recently. And cleaning up my act. I've always kept stuff 'for drawing'. For that day when I finally sit down and draw my stamp, matchbox, buttons, receipts, doll's heads (really), cork collections. Amongst many others.
But, this isn't fitting in with my quest for minimalist living. So there's going to be a cull. Things are getting serious. But how can I get rid of these corks? They are thing of beauty. I've drawn them before (above and below) and I may want to draw them again. They all have their own characters and personalities. They're all slightly different. You can make rubber stamps out of them. They have sentimental.....

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Friday, May 15, 2015

I'm walking down your street again

Right, once again, it's been too long since I last posted here. So, here's a mega post. I won't bore you with words. I'll just show you in drawings and photos some of the things I've been doing (drawing) in the gaps between posts.
I've been drawing in bars
and in antique showrooms
drawing bikes in galleries
and bodies in museums,
drawing the guy at the bar of the brasserie
and the girl at the café,
the chip van
and at lunch with my niece
at the cricket with friends
more bones at another museum
whilst working at the gallery
at another bar
on the high street
at a transport museum
and another bike
at another pub
with a sharply dressed man
at a bus station
at a flea market
and at another museum.
Which all tells me that I like old things and spend a lot of time eating out in bars and cafes. Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up.

Have you signed up to Sketchbook Skool yet? The course I teach on starts today. You too may end up drawing your life too if you do. Enrol on 'Seeing' HERE.

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

How to Do It (self publishing) Yourself

Here's another of my passions folks. Zines. I am a fully fledged zine maker. A zinester, to use the technical term. What is it about making zines I love? Well, it is the whole process. But the main main thing is that it is DIY publishing which means you only answer to yourself. You write, draw, play, create whatever it is that you want to. Totally and utterly authentic. Nobody else has any say, influence or sway over what you want to produce. What can be better than that? Well, making money out of it would be nice. But, that's never the starting point. You'd be sorely disappointed if it was. They are a labour of love. No, the starting point is 'I'm going to make this because I want/need to'. 

It does, however, mean that sometimes we have to flog our creations. So, here's a bundle of my five current zines. Each has a run of 1000. No more no less. And, I've put a SALE on. Normally $50 but I've knocked 20% off so for this weekend they're just $40.

This is the perfect inspiration kit for anyone who loves drawing or just loves to look at drawings.
Molezine 2
A collection of some of the drawings from my travel themed Moleskine sketchbook. Limited stock.
 How To Draw Like a Loon
Created with nothing but a four colour ballpoint. This zine is all about drawing and handwriting. Filled with lots of exercise for you to try. Including how to make a zine! Very limited stock.
An Idle Daydream
A zine that reviews my favourite (and not so favourite) pens. Also includes some of my favourite blog images from the last eight years.
How to Draw Like a Barmpot
Another tutorial zine. This one focuses on drawing with your imaginations. Includes lots of little exercises to get your imagination working.
The Daily Tamp
A tiny cut-out-and-make newspaper full of stories, film reviews, classified ads and all the usual features of a big full sized newspaper but just tiny.
 
If you'd like to purchase, or read more about this zine bundle you can do so HERE. You will be supporting an artist to create more publications that you won't find on the supermarket shelves.
Many thanks for listening.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

the fear of a people sketcher


Yesterday I went back to Gallery Oldham where I'd previously done research for the Museum job that I've talked about in my last posts. This time though I returned for a little mini sketch meet up with some friends.
When I was there last time I made this sketch, below, of the guy who worked in the gallery's lovely Naked Bean cafe. It was a sneaky sketch, I didn't show him but I did post the sketch on Twitter and the cafe saw it. They said that he loved it - even though i'd made him look pretty grumpy in it. Which he wasn't. He was the opposite to grumpy. 
Anyway, yesterday, when I returned and with the knowledge he was happy with the sketch I took the opportunity to get a photo of him with it. He said "I've never been drawn before. It made my day. I put it on Facebook and everything".
think the fear for all of us that sketch people is their response to it. Will they be offended? Will they hate it? I know it's my fear which is why I don't often show them. But his response made my day. This time it paid off.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

tamping!

My new zine, The Tamp, now has an advert. yes, I've hit the big time. This minature zine is not only a tiny newspaper but also a puzzle. The puzzle is putting the thing together and specifically getting the pages in the correct order. It'll only make sense if they are in the right order. I say 'make sense'...
The newspaper has a tiny comic strip, a tiny film and book review, tiny classified ads. So, as the man says 'READ ALL ABOUT IT!'. Limited print run, get your copy HERE.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

getting with the programme

So, I'll be honest, this is basically a test post. For a long time my blog has just been chugging along. There was a time, way back when, when I would blog, religiously, a few times a week. Then social media happened.
Like many people, I suppose, I started 'blogging' there. It seemed easier. I'm not really interested in sharing the ins and outs of my life online, or social media, but sharing my artwork through those platforms seemed to make sense. Blogging suddenly seemed like much more of an effort. I mean you had to switch in the laptop and all that palaver. 
I blamed blogging, and blogs, for that - for being behind the times. Not catching up with social media. But it was me that was behind the times and not keeping up with the technology. It hadn't even dawned in me to download the Blogger app. But now I have. 
I took these photos on Friday. My friend and I, Kate of Emily Pickle design (haven't worked out if it's possible to add a link when blogging on your phone. Anyone?) took her 'pencil case' out to the pub to draw. Her pencil case/make up bag is filled with all sorts of goodies I'd never have dreamtof using to draw with. The drawing above is made with glitter mascara, liquid eyeliner and Christmas wrapping tapes amongst other things. I loved experimenting with all this stuff. I'll never look at an old eyeliner in the same way again.

Right, I'm going to put the laptop on to see how this worked out....

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Museum Week

 If you've followed my work in the past, you may know that a favourite subject matter of mine is collections. I've drawn collections of keys, badges, matchboxes, pens, buttons and souvenirs to name but a few. I've drawn souvenirs of all kinds, like in the drawing above, which comes from an entire sketchbook of collection drawings. Well, recently I've been commissioned by Greater Manchester Museum Group to create four drawings based on their collections from four of their museums.
I'm so thrilled about getting this gig. I've always wanted to draw museums' collections. I used to dream that I'd get a job cataloguing them all. It would be my perfect job, but unfortunately photography happened and then computers and so the call for museum collection illustrators and cataloguers waned. But, anyway, now I have the opportunity. My problem is how do you make just one drawing from each museum?
Well, firstly we narrowed it down by choosing the four museums from Greater Manchester's 21 venues. The first was Stockport's Hat Works Museum which is the building in the picture above. I already knew of, and love, this place. In fact we did a sketchcrawl there just a few weeks ago. It contains everything you need to know about hat making and the most amazing hats. But, not only do I get to visit the museums, but I also got the opportunity of looking through their archives and storage. This has been such a privilege, rooting through the stores, holding history (and antique top hats) in my hands.
 The second collection I'll be drawing is the Egyptology collection from Bolton Museum. They have an impressive collection of  Egyptology artefacts. Unfortunately, I didn't get the best photos from that trip but I did get a sketch of a dinosaur before I left the building!
 My third collection is from the natural History collections of Oldham Museum. I spent the best few hours with the curator, down in the cellar archives, surrounded by so many treasures of nature, whilst being educated on bugs and butterflies and birds nest. Actually, that too has been another joy and privilege of this whole experience, learning about, not just Natural History, the social history of this region and about the collectors. Learning from passionate people.
Again, I managed to sneak some sketching in before leaving the building. Well, what else do you do when waiting for the rain to stop?
 Today was my final visit and final collection. For that I went to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment to view their medal collections. I wasn't quite prepared by how touching an experience that would be. I shed a tear or two reading the heart breaking stories of the soldiers who lost their lives.
So, that's what I'm working on right now. My drawings were commissioned by the Museum Group for a new online shop they are building, which is coming soon. Very soon. Which reminds me, I don't have time to sit here blogging, I've got (a lot of) work to do.....
 
Oh, and unbeknownst to me, and quite coincidentally, this is actually Museum Week 2015. So Happy #MuseumWeek one and all. Go visit a museum because museums are great places. 

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