Friday, 29 September 2006

Gawwwww. I'm all restless, and it's all because I'm really inspired! I WANT to get on with things! Lorna drew my attention to this wonderful site this evening, which in turn led to other fabulous sites. I also have some fabby ideas for my website up-date and just WANT TO GET ON! Hurrah! I rarely feel so inspired to just "do", so I MUST not let this pass me by and drift into laziness.

Part of my problem with just "doing" has been my unwillingness to make mistakes. That something can just be an experiment and no one else has to see it. Lovely Mark has been very good at encouraging me with this, and I'm slowly getting over it.

About two months ago I bought a pack of three mini Moleskine sketchbooks, like these in the lovely parcel-paper brown. I've done nothing with them, depsite carrying one about in my bag most days, and even taking it up with me to Edinburgh. I'm going to use them for "stuff". Just because I'm an illustrator, it doesn't mean I can just collect or collage things. Who knows where it will lead? In fact, just thinking about this has made me think about the possibilities of combining my inky dogs with scanned found textures or other bits and bobs.

Really excited.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

A bit of an odd day today. I didn't have anything specific to do - only a vague notion of updating my website - so I felt a bit aimless while waiting for Mark's verdict on the train pieces.

So, the website it was. The new Plum Pudding site made me realise I still have far too much old work on display, and a quick shufty around my old site revealed much the same. Another re-jig is in order, then. I don't think I'm going to change the general appearance too much, but I definitely need to divide it up into sections. I'm taking Oliver Jeffers' site as inspiration. We have a fairly similar "picture wall" layout anyway, but I like that the pictures on his home page don't really relate to what's behind them, and that a little piece of text pops up in the top left corner telling you where it goes. I really, really like his coffee pictures. Inspirational stuff.

Went out for a lovely, lovely walk with Lovely, Lovely Jon about 5ish. I even had to wear a coat. I don't want to jinx anything, but it could just be possible that autumn is on it's way; there was a definite nip in the air. Huzzah! Also saw the cutest Jack Russel puppy who jumped up at us all excited to say hello. Shame she was called Daphne.

Mark rang at about 6.30pm when I'd just got back in to tell me he LURVES the train stuff. Am really chuffed. A breakthrough!!

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

I'm not sure I will get used to this watercolour malarkey. Having to wait for each layer to dry before you get on with the next feels a bit lazy to me. Oh well. Plenty of time for knitting in between!

I have two versions of my "below" spread. The first bleeds off the page, the second is confined by a frame, but has the train jumping out.

I think I prefer the second. More movement. I'll see what young Mr. Mills thinks.

I went up to the allotment this afternoon as well. Lovely to get out of the house, and the weather was pretty stunning, too. I picked LOADS of tomatoes, and there are still many more ready to ripen. I want to make a green tomato chutney (good for Crimbo pressies. Eeek! Crimbo!) with any left over, but at this rate the Indian Summer will have ripened them all. Not that I'm complaining as such, but I really, really want to wear my new boots and my stripy jumpers. Not to mention my selection of self-knitted fingerless gloves!

Monday, 25 September 2006

I've had a rather busy couple of weeks, and have really got down to the Eeries portfolio pieces.

So, amongst others, there's the WLC in colour - which, I have to say, I love, as does Mark, thankfully - and a colour version of the Eerie family from the original piece I did waaaaay back in February. I start off by painting it purely in B&W, and then scanning that in and laying thin, thin, thin colour underneath in PS. I found that the lairier colours make the best thin "washes". You don't want to see them at their full opacity! Yeeeech.

I've also been working on that pesky train spread today. There are two versions of it - one from above and one from below. This is "above".

"Below" will hopefully follow tomorrow, in some form or another.

Also had my Mighty Mouse delivered today! Much easier to use than my prehistoric iMac mouse, but annoyingly loses the bluetooth connection when the computer goes to sleep. Have changed my settings so it never goes to sleep, but I'm sure there must be an easier way around it.

In other exciting news, the Plum Pudding website is up and running today.Mark has also moved into his new premises in Wandsworth (At least, I hope he has. That was the plan!) I have to say, as lovely as the site itself is, I HATE most of my work on it. All the more reason to get on with some really good portfolio pieces to replace all the old embarrasing stuff. After all, I can't get the work I want if the work I'm showing is completely different, can I?

Went up to London yesterday and popped into the Mac Store on Regent's Street. It's Ikea for boys.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Well, after two really rather lazy weeks, I've finally got back to the Eeries.

Here is the WLC in black and white:

I am totally in love with black and white at the moment. Can't get enough. Very strange as I've never, ever done any. That must be why - the draw of the new! I've always envisaged the WLC - and all the Eeries illos - in B&W. If it's ever published they would be in B&W, so I'm finding it really hard to approach them in colour, especially as a group. I think the singular Mrs. B-S works well, but putting all that colour together........hmmmmmm.

So, to try and get my head around it I've been having a quick play about with laying thin colours underneath in PhotoShop. I really don't want to lose the lovely textures in the black, and this is the only way I can think of doing it. The idea is that it looks like an old, hand-tinted photograph.

Not bad for a first attempt.

Both Kingfisher and Hodder have turned down the Eeries, so I'm meeting up with Mark to go through the text on the 19th. That also gives me a definite deadline for the portfolio pieces. Should get my bum in gear, at least!