Saturday, 31 December 2011

Handstitched Hare

This little fella is based on a sketch I did on a visit to the taxidermy collection at Manchester Museum.

He's going to be one of the many different bits which make up a triptych I'm currently working on. It involves the rabbit theatre, and a journey into the woods...

Monday, 5 December 2011

Almost forgot about this!

I made a handkerchief with an embroidery in French knots based on a human rhinovirus, for the handkerchief exhibition organised by Sophie Herxheimer, at the London Printworks Trust.

It's hanging on the washing line there until 14th December.

See it on their blog HERE!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Progress - layering, scanning, layering....

This scanner has done something very strange to the image, but I thought it'd be ok just for a blog update.

Now I'm off to another building with (hopefully) better scanners!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Something weird is happening with my blogger...

People who I have recently followed / have recently followed me sometimes don't show up on my reading list / followers list, but sometimes they do!

Anyone else having this problem? I wonder if I am disappearing and reappearing from people's followers lists...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Rabbit Gymnastics - work in progress

New work from this week. The figures are based on life drawings of contortionist Iona at Dr Sketchy's last month, hence the weird poses! I decided to give them rabbit heads and stripey, circus-style costumes, and construct a stage for them from thin plywood with velvet curtains. I like this play between the drawn and the constructed, unreal and real - it's something I'm consistently playing with in my work these days. Layering is also really important - little things like adding real tulle for the skirt on the rabbit at the front - and I'm taking this forward working with photographs of this setup, rather than adding to the real thing.

Time to get back into collage and resume my love affair with photocopying...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

One more thing - Scary Panda

The lovely Mary, of Kyaa Bakaru, bought the mask I had come to think of as 'Scary Panda'.
The panda was always intended to be cute, but oh no! Something went horribly wrong along the way and it turned out looking pretty terrifying. I never loved this panda, I'm afraid to say.

I almost didn't bring him to Thought Bubble with me. I didn't even put him on the table, because I didn't want to scare away potential customers. But Mary asked to view it after seeing 'Scary Panda' on the price list, and exclaimed that it wasn't cute, it was "adorable!" I remain unconvinced, but at least she is happy.

I was glad to see him go.

But I hope he will be very happy in his new life with a hot girl.
I'm sure that's what every neglected Scary Panda wants.

5.8x4.1 Exhibition

Anyone around Manchester, come check out our exhibition next week! Click poster for info.

All welcome, free entry, with silent auction of anonymous (until after purchase) artworks to raise money for our degree show.

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed work, including Aya Kakeda, Alice Kettle and Nanniiebim, amongst many others - we have around 120 now!

If anyone wants to send us a postcard sized piece of work, the official deadline has passed but send it first class and we can probably still exhibit it!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Thought Bubble 2011

I had an amazing weekend at Thought Bubble, Leeds Sequential Art Festival.

Sorry it's such a wordy blog, will crack on with some actual work after so should have plenty of images for next time!

It was incredibly helpful to properly put my work in this context and get some feedback, and it's left me feeling really positive about moving my work forward in this direction. I know there's plenty I need to work on, but I know what's really working in my illustrations, as well as what isn't, and that's pretty reassuring.

The best thing about Thought Bubble was meeting some inspiring, talented, and generally cool people... (click names to see their awesome work!)
  • Jennie Gyllblad - generally gorgeous illustrations, by an amazing lady who shares my love for David Mack. Check out her work with writer Corey Brotherson.
  • Ryan and his Ryanimals - Must be seen to be bekieved - cute and creepy, cuddly animals with bizarre human faces. He was kind enough to trade me a penguin for the turtle backpack I made.
  • Biz Horne - a lady who will save the world with her comics, sharing a stall with the fabulous Jordan Collver and Rik Worth.
  • The lovely George, creator of amazing outfits and fantastic illustrations, aka The Tragic Ugly Duckling.
  • Colin of Mild Peril Media, to whom I can only apologise for forgetting to come back and buy one of his awesome cityscape prints!
  • Mary of Kyaa Bakaru, who inexplicably fell in love with my scary panda mask, which I was so glad to have taken off my hands for a bargain price! Follow their blog and help them take over the world...
  • Rufus Dayglo, of Tank Girl. An incredibly talented artist and generally cool guy, whose compliments about my work were pretty much the glace cherry on top of the tasty cake that was Thought Bubble.
  • Jacqueline, Mark and Andrew of Ostragoth Publishing, whose book Boys Don't Cry was one of my favourites last year. Comics that give beautiful illustrations room to breathe. Thanks to these guys for giving me so much advice and encouragement, and general chit-chat. Probably the icing, which we all know is essential if you want the cherries to stick on.
And finally, our lovely con neighbours:
  • The Lou Scannon trio, with their genre straddling and witty banter (and backflips...?)
  • Mister Hope and Rachel, thanks for not putting us in detention for elastic band flinging.
  • Jade, whose colour palette I adore, and Eve, aka Mimi, who told me an amazing dog and duck related story which will haunt me forever..
And massive super thanks to Curis of Ninjabread for sharing the stall (I could not afford to do this without you!), driving us about and having a cracking sense of humour.

Super duper thanks to Shaun Hartley, who is pretty much a superhero as far as I'm concerned. Without him, I would not be heading in the direction of comics, and my stall would have been unmanned on numerous occasions whilst I was off on various 'networking' jaunts! He's so supportive, and just keeps me going.

Thanks to everyone who bought my book (including Jeff Lemire, wooop!) and various bits and bobs! Hope to get some up for sale on Folksy soon...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

New book! 'Bill the Bear-Faced Liar'

Today I finished the prototype of my new (comic?) book, Bill the Bear-Faced Liar, so should hopefully have some copies ready for my stall at Thought Bubble Festival! After having the printing done commercially, I will hand assemble the folding books and finish with handmade fabric covers.

I also hope to have my Folksy (like Etsy, but British!) shop up and running soon, but will keep you updated.

Here's a sneak preview of one of the panels from the new book. It's a slightly silly, very playful poem, quite child-like, but not quite for children.. I've experimented throughout the story with drawing, collage and handstitch, to create a very textural tale which will hopefully nurture your inner child!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Action for ASD workshop

Tonight was my fifth in a series of weekly workshops at Horse and Bamboo with a group from Action for ASD.

As well as playing with clay and plasticine, some of the children made some animations. This was a fun and rewarding session, I'm really enjoying working with this group!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Bear face

Hand-stiched bear character I've just finished. Rawr!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I now have a Facebook page you can 'Like'! Find it at

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Skeleton band

Just finished my band of skeletons - inspired by Jason Webley's song 'Dance While the Sky Crashes Down.'

Magical animals

Monday, 25 July 2011

Today I made felt superhero finger puppets. Need to finish a few things tomorrow, including stitching stars on Wonder Woman's skirt.

Also thought I'd upload pictures from London Film and Comic Con earlier this month - the Delorean, the Batmobile (including Bat Tax Disk!), and me being very green in front of a grey wall.

You wait 2 months for a blog post, then 2 come along at once!

Thankfully I've been really in the mood for drawing lately, hence the quick succession of posts!

This is developed from a sketch I did at Dr Sketchy's at Victoria Baths in April. It was a really interesting night and, although I always have life drawing tantrums at the time ("I CAN'T DRAW! WHY DO I BOTHER??!"), when I come back to the drawings there's usually at least something worth going back to.

Again, it's a rather poor quality image so the colour subtleties are completely lost, but it gives the gist of drawing at least!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

"Don't act like you don't know the tune..."

So, it's been a while since I posted anything on here...

I've recently returned from an amazing week in Scotland, the forests and waters of Argyll have refreshed and inspired me. I'm also currently working as part of the BEAT:TENT:HOOKcommunity arts project, which is becoming pretty exciting! (Follow link for more info)

Last night I finally managed to do some work for an idea that's been kicking around in my brain for ages. These are some preliminary sketches for a band of skeletons, inspired by lines from Jason Webley's 'Dance While The Sky Crashes Down' -
Our band of skeletons are playing; don't act like you don't know the tune!"

Apologies for poor photo quality!

Once I've worked out a composition and have the whole band together, I want to transfer the gang onto a t-shirt with the phrase "DON'T ACT LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW THE TUNE"

Check out Jason Webley's wonderful music HERE

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mighty Harajuku

Here are some sketches I did a while ago. They're all based on photographs from Shoichi Aoki's fantastic book 'Fresh Fruits' (Phaidon publishing); a treasury of mad Harajuku street fashion.

Check out for more quirky Japanese fashion photographs. Be sure to check out the Mighty Harajuku campaign, aiming to offer support and strength to affected areas of Japan following the tsunami.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Susie and the Owl

Some images from an idea for a children's book I'm working on.

Friday, 4 March 2011

WARNING: Contains feeble humour

Dr Sketchy's is amazing.

I won a prize during the 'product placement' drawing game - I drew the gorgeous burlesque performer Emerald Ace advertising Tena Lady, and she nearly wet herself laughing.

I'm finally feeling that things have calmed down - Consequences was a very busy time. I will return with a more work-related post soon, as I think images of recent work are now long overdue!

My friend Rosa and I also have something very exciting up our sleeves.

Also, I have some life drawings up in a little exhibition kicking off this weekend at Valley Arts in Rossendale.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Animation test for Jason and the Pelican

Finished product hopefully coming soon! This was a test-run for one particular scene. The patchwork at the end is used as a transition to the next scene, as the shapes appear and drop down to form part of the next image.

This is based on the narrative illustrative piece I exhibited for Consequences. It has an accompanying poem and is the story of a naughty boy who gets eaten by a pelican.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Consequences exhibtion

I have some work in this group exhibition:

This beautiful poster was designed by Jason Edmunds -