Monday, January 31, 2011


Rah! I just spent the morning catching up with post-holiday admin - like fighting a preposterous Tatzelwurm of requests squirming out of my email inbox, and no matter how many segments I slice off, there's another one crawling out with writhing blind caterpillar paws. I missed breakfast, then lunch, then I went RAAAAH! NOOO! and tried to escape to the lounge to do today's comic drawing work. But for some reason the room refused to warm up, even with all heaters turned up to max. So I stole the corner floor lamp, and retreated into my little attic bedroom to draw. I repurposed my wicker chest as a table, and made a pot of tea, and now I'm cosy.

Also I believe I have finally managed to accidentally travel back to the seventies.
Must be all that coffee.

Also observe the feeble attempt of hiding my paperwork behind a pretty volcano curtain (the curtain is a treasured old present from Tim Spooner, I always hide scary things with it).


Come and join me at the wonderful Just Imagine bookshop and story center - just half an hour out of London - bring your old socks, bring buttons and such, we will provide stuffing, sewing materials and sock transformation wisdom. Excellent family fun with lovable results. HOORAY!
Facebook page for the event is here.

It's going to be a bit like this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I'm drawing the part of Sleepwalkers where things are going sad... well, this is just before they do. Everybody walking out of the house into an unusually dark night.

I've been finding myself on the floor in the mornings lately, after escaping from my bed two thirds asleep. It's just not comfortable, and it's too close to the outside wall which is cold and clammy. So today I took the bed frame apart and put it on Freecycle, threw away or stored everything I'd been keeping underneath it, and I made myself a blanket nest on the floor instead. Much better. I'll get a decent futon, I think, I have a great dislike for them but that's really only because I've only ever slept on lumpy old foldy sofa futons. Real ones are rather nice, I believe.
Good Night! Tomorrow holiday is really over, and I'll be replying to all my emails, planning events and all that...

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Things at angles. There were many things at angles. Sometimes to do with earthquakes. When there's an earthquake they sometime just leave the town as it is and make a new one somewhere nearby.

Everyone drinks coffee all the time, I think. From above the towns look a bit like spiderwebs made on caffeine. People were incredibly nice, and applauded my spaghetti eating technique, so now I can stop wondering if I'm doing that right.
I will eat pasta every day of my life now. In fact, I have learned that one should eat Italian food at every opportunity.

One evening we parked the car to see a museum outside a small town, and when we came back we found we'd parked in the territory of two angry feral dogs who wouldn't let us back in. That was exciting.

Otherwise it was very quiet.
I did some drawing, too.

Observational drawing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I'm going on holiday! Don't bother trying to burgle my house, my housemate is still at home.
I shall be packing drawing materials and netbook, some layers to wear, boyfriend, passport and not much else. Sicily it is, for some cheery sunlight, won't be warm but probably won't be quite as grey as here, or if so it'll be because of volcanic eruptions, which is at least exciting.
Seeya next week! BYYYEE

Robot Cat Consequences for Booktrust

What an honour! I was passed the Very Long Consequences illustration Polly Dunbar started for Booktrust. And this is what I did. Alexis Deacon went befroe me and left a rather daunting expanse of white, so I thought: what the heck, ROBOT CATS FROM THE FUTURE!

 Photo by Sarah McIntyre.
Check out the earlier instalments by Very Respectable Illustrators HERE!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pencil to Colour... unusually high speed, for me. It's just a rough for an idea of a part of a thing.
But I was kind of pleasantly surprised to find that after weeks of daily comic drawing I can translate a pencil drawing into a brush drawing freehand and have it come out quite similar on first attempt.

Also here's a portrait of my housemate, with cat.

Robin, in progress


I just made this guy. I think he's called Rufus.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Last Knit

Here's a lovely film to show you.
Also I hope my mother will knit me a Fish Hat.
Also I have started crocheting a whole load of small creatures for a friend to animate in a film. More of that soon.

New Things

I got an electric eraser, which helps no end with the drawing.

I've got running shoes, which help with the running.

I got a fish mobile, which help with the having something nice to look at any time.

I got a nice new editor in Australia who only gets to see me like this, on Skype:

All rather neat.


Some nights ago I was falling asleep on the floor (I sometimes do, mostly for reasons of Insomnia) in a comfortable nest of blankets when I noticed a heartbeat under the pillow.
I lifted my head up, and it was gone. I could only hear it with my head to the floor.
The floor was also quite warm, and occasionally gurgled very softly. I figured that the radiator pipes were running right underneath me.
Outside was some weather. Gusts of wind, sheets of rain.
"Thanks for looking after me, house," I thought. "I wouldn't know what to do without you."
I thought about how I've been trying to be completely grown-up and disciplined since I moved in, because that seemed to be required now that I rent a proper house to live in. "It's been awful," I thought. "It's actually been really awful. I hate waking up in the morning thinking about how much I need to draw exactly rather than what I want to draw. I've stopped making things for fun, and ever since I've actually got less work done. This is stupid, house."
The house's heartbeat went on calmly. "I'm glad we talked about it," I thought.
Then the beat changed, and I realised it was my neighbours working on their music... they soundproofed their garage, but the rhythm still carried through the floor.
I was suddenly very happy, thinking that I live next to people who make things at night.

The next day I slept late, and since then I've started crocheting animals again instead of counting comic panels in the evening and calculating whether I'm on track or not. I'm always kind of on track anyway.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gauntlets and Gryphons

We had an excellent day discovering things at the V&A.

Gwyn discovered he needs gauntlets.

I made a shield on the shield maker. With hogs and red birds.

I was looking for good mythical wings, because a winged monster chapter is coming up in the graphic novel.
This is Gabriel announcing to the Virging Mary that she's pregnant. "A little bit", he's saying.

Another good set of wings on this guy. I want to use him in a book... not sure what he's looking at.  Well technically he's looking at a giant fish holding a spear standing opposite him. Which goes to show that you got to think a bit before choosing your heraldic animals.

...started drawing him on the train home.


I went to support Gwyn at the Grim 8.
Most fun I've had in a cold muddy field in all my life.
Am totally running myself next year.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


...from "There are No Cats in this Book".
Yes really. Go on. Buy some. It's all guaranteed 100% lovely.
The pieces are for sale at Children's Book Illustration.

I collaged all the pieces which were digitally assembled in the book together with actual glue on watercolour paper, so they look tactile, and they are all a tiny bit smaller than they are in the book (except one of them which is A LOT LARGER).
Here are some examples:

This one's slightly different from the book because some of the elements in the suitcase were digitally repeated in the book from...

...this one. Which is almost completely like it appears in the book. Except Moonpie is a bit smaller, and the fish is different because I originally stole it from the first cat book.
I'm actually a bit sad to let them go, they are rather lovely things.
There's even a very unlikely one included:
Mouse Stamp!
Did anyone even notice this artwork in the book? It's printed VERY TINY.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Joy Of Crayons

Slightly Inebriated Doodles

Cat! And, ummmmm... yeah, Llama. >hic<

I had a brilliant night out after a double comic drawing shift yesterday, drinking some wine and stroking some cats and listening to friends talk about interesting things, and, apparently, doodling.

I think I'll colour these in with crayons later, but I've scanned them just in case. Somehow I particularly like them. Might make the cat into a poster for that elusive series of posters-for-sale that'll appear as soon as I've arranged for decent printing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gloomy Morning Scene

I hit another of my favourite pages today... Monkey and Bear having a philosophical discussion in the early morning.
I like it even more since I've discovered that Monkey is pretty much based on myself, except that she doesn't normally worry. The worry is all in the bear. I guess together they are myself.
Well, she's worrying a bit here. But not for long. She'll be mostly over it on the next page.
I look like that when I wake up I think... Mornings, not my thing. No idea what's so utterly depressing about waking up, must be brain chemistry. I always cheer up with my morning coffee.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cold Cat on Trafalgar Square

Not happy with the way January is going, this one.

Sad Sheep

A sad moment in The Sleepwalkers.
It's Sunday, I'm drawing, I have to stop drawing for a moment because I don't have the correct page grid for the next page... ah well, I'll just leave it out for now.

I took lots of pictures of people on my trip into town today, I more or less just snapped everyone who I noticed for some reason or another, and tomorrow I'll draw them. I feel I've become a bit lazy about observing poses.

I bought a whole load of materials, including an electric eraser with which I can rub stuff out a bit more precisely than before. I also bought a concertina sketchbook to fill with drawings of people, to create one long street scene eventually.

I watched three episodes of The IT Crowd today while drawing, I'm running out fast... what can I watch next... grargh...

Saturday, January 8, 2011


This evening, while watching the Derren Brown special, I happily made animations to go into Gwyn's LensCount android app. It's already in the market, I'm just helping to prettify it.

Helps you keep track of your disposable contact lenses, you see.

Electric Parrots

I'm illustrating apps while boyfriend is coding them. Happy Saturday.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Aaaaaaargh it's awesome!

Okay. I just got my copy of "Noah's Ark" by Matthew Robins. And it is beautiful! It comes with a mini comic! It's awesome!!! HOORAY!

Right. Calming down now to give you some more information.
This album was recorded live, I was there and it was a wonderful night culminating in everyone singing a hymn that I wrote the words to (which is on here). I remember seeing people all over the room nodding to each other and smiling and murmuring approval. And cheering a lot.
It features besides Matthew and his usual lovely bandmembers Hester Goodman from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, singing most notably on "I'm Howling", which has words by Alexia Anastasiadis, and they are as impressive as usual (she writes wonderful librettos, I love all her words).
It's got several songs with words by me, besides the Hymn, all sad and cheery at the same time - a little suicide note about Cecilia who "walked the ocean floor" that's very nice to hum along to somehow, a song called "Now I feel like Snow Falling" which is about feeling lonely after a rather strange night out, and "Are we Alone" which is actually mostly drawn from the writings of Charles Hoy Fort (I wrote that when working in a second hand bookshop).
There are also some beautiful words by Tim Spooner, who writes things that make you see the world differently for a while, like a negative image burned into your retinas after looking at a strange light in the sky.
And Matthew's own songs, beautiful fairytales of wolves and lovable mutant boys, being possibly in love with the undead, and generally being struck by all sorts of unexpected things. And you will very much sing along, and find yourself oddly looking forward to the next weird accident that will strike you and make your life different.


Buy one HERE.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I spent most of today translating a comedy routine from English into German, and teaching it to a couple of rather brilliant street performers. It was surprising how few of the jokes translated at all, I ended up mainly making sure there were enough funny words. We have the rest of the month to get them up to scratch, so far it's pretty hilarious. Well, to me, anyway.

Then I worked on a couple of digital projects, one that requires me to deliver a load of tiles to feed into a program that assembles them into randomised game boards (more later) and the other, well, the other is a useful android app and I just delivered a quick icon. Very quick, less than half an hour I'd say. But it looks kind of cute.

Tells you when the last tube goes. Here it is, if you have an Android phone and live in London you'll probably want it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monkey prints ahead!

I had my monkeys printed on watercolour paper, and larger than original... I need to adjust the colours a bit, then they will be ready to be sold in limited edition. It's not giclee, so will be rather affordable. Voice your interest, do!

Work in Progress...

Yesterday I worked in bed, with lots of lovely tea.

Today I painted a portrait of Wolke Daune to watch over my sleep...

I'm Painting Birds.

I'm back in the studio! AT LAST! It's still cold. But I really, really needed to get out and work somewhere that's NOT my own house. It's been making me gloomy.
When I walked there, I heard birds singing, and I suddenly remembered that it will be Spring soon, and what that will be like. SO I went and painted some birds.
They'll be for sale, in case you're interested. I'll try to make some limited edition prints as well as soona as I find a printer I like.