Monday, 22 December 2008

Burning of the Clocks

Brighton's annual celebration of the Winter Solstice involving a parade and burning of paper lanterns, followed by a bonfire and firework display on the beach to welcome the coming of the longer days.

Clocks Mosaic

Friday, 19 December 2008

Tales from Porth

Last August I was contacted to do a set of books to help people learn to speak Cornish. This time last year I had begun working on them, they were finished in April this year, and yesterday I finally got my set of books through.







I drew the characters, and the other illustrator, Brian Hoskin, drew the backgrounds and coloured everything. Some of my ideas and sketches for the project are blogged here.

I am pretty chuffed with these. It's one of those rare instances where you get the finished product through all those months later and you're not completely embarrassed by it. I love how they come in a little box, and there's an interactive CD, too, but I haven't tried it out yet. The website for the books is pretty awesome, too.

It was a pretty interesting project to work on. Not only because I was working in a small team with another illustrator colouring my work and that was all new and exciting, but because I had my "breakthrough" while doing it - rediscovering my on-going love of the dip-pen. Not that it wasn't incredibly difficult at times. I nearly resigned twice, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It taught me that I can use sketchbooks and I can work out ideas over pages and pages without the "Oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-a-proper-finished-idea-NOW!" feeling. The way I draw things now - like birds for example - is totally influenced by how I worked here. But it's turned out really well. There are plans for another set, but it all depends on budgets and costings and all that other complicated stuff.

I have to say, the thing I remember most about the end of the project, when the deadline was drawing closer and closer and things were really moving, was the dread that Amy Winehouse would do something stupid and our Goraswonnek ("Celebrity") would have to be completely redone!

The best thing of all about this project is that it gave me the money and the freedom to move into my own place, and I love it just for that.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

I have feedback!

And it's pretty good. There wasn't too much to change, so I've already sent back my revisions. Hope they're OK. The Evil Cold is well on its way out as well, so that's good too.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Wonder Bear

I came across this fantastic book by Tao Nyeu while working at one of the branch libraries last week:






It's entirely screenprinted and wordless.

The blurb on the back flap reads: "(Tao Nyeu) attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, receiving her MFA in Illustration in 2007. Wonder Bear was her thesis project, inspired by an odd-looking gummy bear with magical powers. (It was promptly eaten.)" Hehe.

Can't wait to start my screenprinting course in January now.

PS Still waiting.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I am slack...

...because, and this is incredibly lazy, I've only just taken my Halloween bats down from the ceiling. Honestly. What's worse, if I wasn't going to be hanging paperchains up at the weekend, they'd still be there.

I am waiting for feedback on my two sets of roughs. This means I am in the slightly weird position of not having any work to do. VERY odd feeling. I have, however, done six library shifts in the past seven days, so it's been nice to have a day off today, especially as I hab a colb and I've been carrying round a whole box of tissues with me since Tuesday. Still waiting, though. Not that I mind as such, it just rattles your nerves a bit as your imagination goes into overdrive wondering what they're going to say.

I have one of my Christmas pressies already:


It was HALF PRICE on Amazon a couple of weeks ago, so Boyfriend and I went halves on it. I've made two cakes with it so far. I do feel a bit lazy not mixing it all by hand, but I'm sure I'll get over it soon enough!

Last week while out Crimbo shopping with Steph, I saw these in Habitat:



Had to have them. Habitat is usually out of my price range, but these little jars and the bowl were yelling "take me home!". The bowl is the best. It's quite small, smaller than a cereal bowl, so I suppose it would be best for nibbles or dip or something. Right now it's in my bedroom on my bookcase awaiting a purpose. Bit too nice to use in the kitchen, I think.

Monday, 8 December 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

The roughs for Frogs part 2 and Pirates part 1 are in, two days ahead of schedule, so today I had the rare luxury of a morning to myself. I went to collect my Christmas cards from the delivery office, and, despite the hassle I had uploading them, they look AWESOME.


I will be sending those out ASAP (especially as I just discovered the last posting date for 2nd class is next Thursday, not to mention the fact that half the people I will be sending cards to won't even be in their offices after the 19th).

I don't really have room in the flat for a Christmas tree (well, not the kind of seven-foot-500-light-silver-bauble-extravaganza I usually favour, anyway) so I'm going for a mantlepiece garland, paperchains on the ceiling, and this 'ere branch on the table:


I'm waiting for the weekend and the appearance of Boyfriend before we put up the rest, but I couldn't resist getting a little festive already. (Although, to be honest, I'm far too much of a Monica and even though I might let him put on a bauble or two, after he's gone to bed I'll just re-arrange them to how I like them.)

I also have 108 songs on my "Xmas" playlist on my iPod, and I have to confess it's been on repeat play since last Tuesday. I go to bed singing Christmas songs, I wake up singing Christmas songs. Newly discovered favourites: Miss Piggy's version of "Santa Baby", KT Tunstall's "Mele Kalikimaka" and The Spinners' "Twelve Days of Christmas". Genius.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Only in Japan


Not the obvious choice for pairing with chocolate, but it kinda works.