Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dandy Fox

I'm working on a wallpaper design... this is a small part of it. I actually designed and drew all that Victorian-style swirliness. It's really not my kind of thing, but I got into it eventually. As a private joke for myself I made it a stone arc growing out of a plant, hoping it would look a bit absurd and cobbled together.
It's a good exercise to copy a style now and then.
I think this particular swirliness will be useful for parts of my next book about The Cats, which has many more items of furniture in than any other book I've done. I might put in a huge sofa with victorian patterning.
Anyway, this pattern has a fox in it. The request was to make it look a bit like fantastic Mr. Fox, I hope the client will like what I've done with the brief.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Next Friday at Cass Art Islington, come along and draw cats on the lastest Nintendo DS!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


They can go to the accountant now in this fat envelope to make sense of whatever I did there.

Notebook Doodles

Mostly from attending Playful Conference while being way too tired.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paperwork Week

I'm preparing my annual tax paperwork for the accountant. So far it's actually not too dreadful. I had to phone up the university to track down a certificate, and it was actually nice talking to them. Then I had a new hole punch delivered which can punch over 60 sheets at once and won't get lost because it's HUGE.
I am listening to this lovely album of mechanical music at the moment, much recommended:
In other news: there are no other news, I am doing paperwork.
Oh yes, and this is great, too, talking about music by Plinth:
Quite probably all they do is wonderful, I'm still discovering their music.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Yesterday I went for a walk around my neighborhood.
A giant poppy with a pram in it

Not sure I agree this is a good name for a garden center

Local pub

A building I want to draw

This also

Some notes for a comic

My new little box-bag

Friday, October 5, 2012

Incidental Child in a Raincoat

I am still at work finishing the new picture book for Monday...
Here's an incidental character I just put in, he's wearing this outfit for absolutely no discernable reason, has no idea why he's even there, and I just spent half an hour getting the shade of his raincoat right using the available spot colours.
I think he's the kind of kid who doesn't quite get invited to anything, not out of spite but because he's never there when things are planned, somehow, but he turns up following someone else, carrying odd items he figured might be useful for what he imagines the event might entail. This time he brought a bag of Haribo Strawbs, some sticky plasters and a finger puppet of an ostrich that his sister gave him to cheer him up last time he had a bad cold.
What's actually going on in this book he doesn't know, and neither do you, because it'll be a few weeks yet before I'll properly announce it.
Hint: everything but possibly the ostrich will come in handy.

(I just noticed his umbrella doesn't throw a shadow yet. Back to work I guess)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lunch Break

I'm hard at work towards Monday when a new book is due in. It's very enjoyable. The book is like nothing I've done before, actually it's like nothing I've seen before, it's most related to some vague memories of what I wanted books to be like as a child (except I would have wanted this book to be 1000 pages thick instead of 32).

My boyfriend took my favourite coat to be fixed, the long brown one that a tube escalator bit at the hem years ago and left it a bit ragged and oily. Now it's good again. Wearing that and a dress and hat knitted by my mother I feel like winter is welcome to come around. The rest of this year will be happy, most likely.
I have settled into the new flat, and the pattern of my days is nearly perfect.
In the mornings I read fantasy novels on the sofa, drinking instant coffee and cocoa mixed together until I'm awake enough to start working.
In the day I work and eat salads (salad is what I think of when I think of food, warm meals seem like an amusing distraction from tasty raw vegetables). Sometimes I go out, and central London is really rather close by now. A fifteen minute bus ride gets me to Tate Modern where I can refill my brain with art. Other sources of inspiration are nearby, too... yesterday I went to leaf through Stanley Kubrick's scrap books for "2001 - A Space Odyssey" and laughed at the little stick figure explorers he had doodled on the torn-out magazine photos. I want to go back soon and look at the hand-annotated pages of "The Shining".
There's a box of project notebooks - two picture book texts, one by me and one by Alexis. A pile of materials to build sets for another book. A notebook for a comic that I thought of a few weeks ago. Files of notes for science books. Two finished novel drafts, and a battered moleskine containing research for a third. I covered a whole wall with pinboards so I can keep an eye on the active projects - on one end is a bunch of odd jobs I am doing via the paint shop I sometimes work in, like custom wallpaper designs, some strange product adverts and portraits, next to it doodles for games designs.
The rest of the board is neat, every meter another book, lists of what needs doing next and printed out visual reference, colour schemes and such. If it doesn't fit on the wall, I don't have time for it right now.
Next month it's time to teach at university again, I'm looking forward to that - by now I have seen a few of my students get to exciting places, and I'm feeling like I helped them. That's pretty cool. I'll also help with the assessments for the first time this year. That's pretty scary.
Next year, my first graphic novel will go on sale, and a couple of other books I am proud of, one of them the strange one I am just finishing and the other one written by Alexis - he said it was the weirdest illustrations I have made yet. He might be right. The publisher pretty much left us alone concerning creative decisions, I think they just decided it was madness and should not be interfered with. You'll like it.
Right, that's my lunch break almost done, I'll have a bite of salad and get back to drawing.