Friday, 23 August 2013

So Edgar Wright drew a self-portrait for me once...

So I've been drawing. I don't know how you'd go about classifing them, I guess they're somewhere between a vague form of illustration and a doodle. Doodlestration? Another word like "ghostaroid" that I'll forget I ever used.

I've actually been doing a lot more drawing than anything else. Though I still really think of myself as a 'photographer' and that photography is my 'thing', working full time all the time doesn't lend very well to being able to set up and shoot the sort of things that I want to achieve in the studio. Drawing is something I can do when I have a free moment, pretty much wherever I am. The whole process of sketching something, erasing MASSIVE parts of it that I'm not happy with, re-sketching and then inking is totally therapeutic. It's also something I can do while playing video games or watching Buffy.

As a matter of fact, screw my drawings. I'm going to write this post about what I'm playing at the moment - Bioshock Infinite

It's good and I like playing it.

The End.

Ok. So, I don't have much to say on that at the moment. Let's try...

Ok, no. Maybe another day.

Back to whatever it was I was talking about before. As I have updated my gallery with an illustrations section

I thought I'd take this opportunity to post a few of the things I've been drawing to practice my skills. I'm still learning a lot about shading and shadows and what makes a face a face and things like that.

So here we go.

So one thing I've really wanted to improve on is drawing faces. When it comes to photography, I do a lot of portraits. Over time, I just came to realise that most of the images that I was happiest with were of people, and people are fun to work with. So it seems to me that it makes sense that I'm trying to get better at drawing people also. I'm not sure why I've written that like I'm trying to convince myself that's the truth.

So these are some of the most recent drawings I've done. We'll sort of be going reverse chronological, starting with the more recent and heading back through time.

Old acquaintance, but a new friend - Charlie has colourful hair. So I thought I'd take my first step into the world of using colour in my drawings. I snapped open a felt tip pen and dunked it in a glass of water and painted with the furry insides. Came out kinda cool!

I drew this for Fran, who is living in Japan. I took a photo of her a long time ago and thought I'd attempt to make a portrait for her birthday.

Brighton Summertime
Here's the original image, shot on a Lomo LC-A, longer ago than I care to try and remember.

I have titled this "An Illustration of a person who may be, but probably isn't, comic book artist Kate Leth."  Kate Leth is a Canadian webcomic artist...well, that's kind of all I have to say. Immediate cool points awarded based on pure description. But this image is based on a photo from her instagram, but it also looks like it could be Brody Dalle. The fact that I drew something that looked like anybody is pure amazement to me.  But anyway, I've no idea how I came across her website but I have a feeling it might be some sort of Adventure Time or Ryan Pequin related tweet or link on a wiki.

Either way, I like the way she thinks

Go check her stuff out, she resides here, here and here.

So along with people, I decided to draw my second favourite thing. Batman.

The idea behind was this was it was meant to be drawn from a description of someone who had seen Batman attacking someone, presumably a criminal. So it's kind of this creepy, unnatural, deformed shape stooped over someone, questioning them or checking their pulse or I don't know. That's why there's a pair of legs just coming out of nowhere.

Now here's a little look into how I design some of my posters for the Duke of York's cinema. I've also done this sort of comparison before with my poster for the Korean monster movie 'The Host', but this ones more directly related to drawings and sketches.

Now we're getting into dangerous doodle territory. I think I've included a few of these in my post when I started this website about a few of the things I'd drawn and what artists inspired me. But now they're scanned in nicely! I'll give a brief description of each!

I saw a incredibly interesting documentary recently called Blackfish, which explores the history and treatment of killer whales in captivity. Whether you like it as a documentary or not, it really is an emotional piece of film and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in animals. I drew this with help from my rather cool drawing nib, nib holder and pot of ink, bough from Pen to Paper in Brighton. They're an amazing shop of notebooks and drawing supplies!!

I couldn't even  begin to start to explain why I drew this.

Slightly Twin Peaks inspired cup of coffee.

Drawn after a really good christmas. I think I felt I had to draw something depressing to balance it out.

I felt it totally necessary to sign and date this doodle, so it must have had some importance? Can anyone tell me what the importance is?

This is the facical expression of a man who wakes up one morning, looks in the bathroom mirror and sees that he has started to grow tentacles. On his face.

Everyone's favourite Jhonen Vasquez created robot dog G.I.R reimagined as a cat. Pure genius if I do say so myself. This is the oldest thing I've included in this post, this must have been from about 2007.

So that's a nice little collection of things that I've drawn. Now for an image of something someone else has drawn for me.

The year was 2010. The month was December. I had decided that Scott Pilgrim was one of the best films I had ever seen and GOD why couldn't more films be made with that much attention to detail in every tiny little aspect of it - but yes it was 2010, for sure. Edgar Wright was doing a signing at Forbidden Planet in London, and me being the awkward gentle boy that I am, decided it would be a good idea to not just get him to sign my Scott Pilgrim DVD.

Just for the record, I have a bad history of awkwardly getting famous people to sign things. I once asked Amanda Palmer if I could take her photo with my polaroid camera, and then she insisted on me hanging around so we could do more. Like, a polaroid of her holding a polaroid of her holding a polaroid. WHICH WAS GREAT. Like, actually pretty awesome. I think I probably felt it was really awkward at the time though.

A much younger, beardless me with AFP
I also got Kathryn Isabelle, the star of Ginger Snaps and American Mary, to sign my "Grubbs Burgers" travel pass holder. Anyone who lives in Brighton knows how good a Grubbs Burger is, and now I have told Kathryn Isabelle and the Soska Sisters of this fact also. Go me.

ANYWAY, I asked Mr. Wright if he could draw a little self portrait of himself for me. And he did. And here it is, on the internet proper for the first time.

A Handsome Chap
Truly a thing of beauty. You can thank me and Edgar later for bringing this to you.

WELL THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY. Oh, except I did this

My t-shirt collection is so large that I decided to document a month of wearing different t-shirts. Damn, I'm interesting.

So now that's all for today. I hope you have a bloody lovely weekend.

Friday, 9 August 2013


The award for hardest to read title ever goes to...
HELLO. So it has literally taken me over a month to finish off writing this post, just because there have been so many things I've been trying to do! But here we are. Welcome. Let's get started

I feel like this every single time I finish a blog post
Crafts. I've been trying to figure out how to start this post by standing at a train station platform and saying the word "crafts" to myself in a variety of different accents. It hasn't really helped me in anyway apart from to at least make it look like to the casual skim reader of my blog that I may have written, or attempted, some form of introduction.

Are we done with that? Yeah? Yeah. Good. 

So, I wanted to write a post about crafts, like, arts n' crafts, but more specifically about some of the lovely people I have met in the last few months who have just blown me away with their megaskillz and awesome products. Brighton is a great place to be if you have a creative idea, and want to be surrounded by helpful, friendly creative people who can offer you bucket loads of advice and support. This has been highlighted especially well in the last month by the Brighton Etsy Team, who have recently been running "Mentor Month", in which some of the extremely talented members of the team, who have had experience in running their online brands for a while, offer help and advice to the less experienced members. A true collective thing of beauty.

Anyway, a bit of context to why I've had the opportunity to meet so many lovely folks, then. If you've read my blog, looked at my Flickr or talked to me in the last two years, you probably know that I am a friend of a girl named Karli who, along with her man friend Jacques, run Designosaur, an awesome jewellery designer. We've known each other since univeristy, where I studied Photography and she studied Product Design.

I'm sure you can already see the links forming in this story.

So since her final year project, and pretty much since the creation of Designosaur, I have just sort of hung around and helped her with any bits and pieces she's needed photography wise. Over the years, she has been a very helpful photography assistant to me since we first met and started hanging out. So our ratio of helping each other has somewhere probably evened itself out along the way.

Read about Karli and see a lot of photos I've taken of her over the years here -

Through just visiting her at craft fairs and events that she's helped organise, I finally started to be able to put some faces to names I'd seen online quite a lot and also names to faces of people that I recognise from visiting craft fairs around Brighton for the last five years. So I'ma write a little bit about some of these delightful folks, and force their etsy, twitter and facebook links down your throat so you buy their things. 


I feel that helloDODO make things that pretty much summarise what a lot of people like about Brighton. And by that, I don't mean that what they sell has actually anything to do with Brighton itself (though a few designs do, of course!) What I mean is that their designs are bright, colourful, cute, cheerful and funny. AND INFUSED WITH ANIMAL RELATED WORDPLAY (ok, maybe you can't describe Brighton with that last one. I wish you could). There is so much pun, honestly, it's just wonderful
Party Animal
Bear With Me
Hello Hello Dodo
The Quick...
Lovingly screen printed, you can get prints, tote bags, t-shirts, badges (who doesn't love a good badge?). I currently have two of their prints hung on my wall!

Caleigh-Ill Art
They all have great names. I'm saying this because I think one was called Bob. No relation.

The illustrations of Caleigh Illerbrun are definitely my favourite things at the moment. Possibly one of my favourite things that I've found this year. Often focussing on animals of the woodland or forest variety, they tread the line of dark and slightly creepy yet insanely cute at the same time, and that is a fine line to tread. Her series of "naked owls" illustrations and hand painted owl-Russian-dolls hit both of those boxes perfectly, and reminds me a little of soem of the reasons I mentioned for loving some of the artists I mentioned in THIS post about drawing and illustration (re-reading it, it's not a very in depth post. But WHEN DO I EVER WRITE IN DEPTH POSTS? Never, right?)

I also love these paintings that she has created, so much that I bought three prints which I have just hung on my walls! They're printed on a wonderful kind of cloth that really adds some amazing texture to the images. How exiting... but anyway, each image has such curious potential to an amazing story behind them - what are these creatures? Why are they where they are? What other things inhabit these strange landscapes. I want to know. Immediately. 

Comes in A3 and A4 prints, phone cases, stickers, tote bags, russian dolls. Funnily enough, I found that I actually have one of Caleigh's stickers on the back of my acoustic guitar that I must have put on there about a year or two ago from a craft fair!


Cats. What could ever be more appealing as a gift for a loved one or for yourself than cat related goodness. And you wouldn't want to buy cat related things from someone that didn't love, or at least like, cats. AND THAT IS WHERE TOBY COMES IN, with his brand name and URL proudly declaring his love of felines. Lovely simple, joyful illustrations of cats, I have bought things from him on more than one occasion for my cat-loving mother. I actually just sent her a card in the post. THAT COULD BE YOU SENDING CAT-CARDS IN THE POST.

I really need to rein in the use of these capital letters.

Lost Girls

Mooshpie! MOOOOOSH! Such a great word. And such a great style to match it also. Simple and cheerful but at the same time managing to hit being strangely nostalgic right on the head. I feel like a lot of Cheskas work would have fit right in on my bedroom wall when I was younger. She also has a shed-studio, which I think is just the best thing ever.

Kate Rowland

I only discovered Kate Rowland at a craft fair in Brighton a few weeks ago, and I have decided this - If there's not at least one badge or necklace in this array of fantastically designed pop-culture references that makes you go "I MUST HAVE IT, TAKE MY MONEY", then you and I are probably not going to get along, and you should leave now and educate yourself. And then return and buy some things. Twin Peaks, Game of Thrones and Arrested Development. AND SPACY THINGS. All the best things. She's also got some totally rad illustrations and paitings on her website. Yes, rad. What? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE SERIOUS USE OF THE WORD RAD?

Award to worst formatting of a blog post ever goes to me. I truly have accomplished something today.

I also made this video at the Brighton Etsy Craft Party. It's got some lovely music on it

Good memories of a fun evening...