Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happiness and Patchwork

I've decided to do something about all the worn-out but lovely clothes and assorted scraps that I don't want to throw into the fabric recycling. I've also long wanted a nicer dressing gown than the hair-dye-stained old thing I call my own. So I'm making a patchwork dressing gown now, in time for winter.

It's a beautiful autumn week, and I've been as happy as I've ever been in my life... I don' know why, maybe it's the warm golden light, or the books I'm working on, or the lovely studio which is full of colourful beautiful things and happy people, or being in love, or living in a friendly house with a housemate who bakes cakes. I haven't had a nightmare in a while, instead I'm waking up happy. I think I've learned some things about happiness and life and such.

I've also ripped a hole into my flimsy desk with my heavy graphics tablet, which is not so good, I need a solid wood table to replace this one. Which means I get to go to IKEA on the weekend and buy Swedish chocolates. YAY!

Come and play in the Maritime Museum!

I'm making my very own public game!

On Thursday the 13th of October I will be spending the whole day in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, building a huge shark-filled maze out of 225 meters of cardboard, and painting it (so in a way it's an exhibition as well).
In the evening, I hope you'll all come and dive for sunken treasure in it.

This is part of Hide and Seek's "Sandpit", so there will be MANY AWESOME GAMES besides mine. Entry is £5, and we will have the whole museum to play in!
Here are the details.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vivsy strikes again

UPDATE: My mother re-used my stencil, now there are two.

Hmmm, hers is much neater than mine, too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

bum bum bum

More jolly things I had to copy out in 1984.

Marginal Cats

Long cat says YAWN
I'm sorting through my old stuff at my parents' house.
I threw away most of my school stuff, but kept a few pages that I decorated, like this exercise book.
I used to think the margins were provided thoughtfully for me to draw into when I was finished with the other nonsense.
Happy cat is thinking of a lovely present.

Sad cat is sad.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Neuer Hut

Sitzt gut! Mit Beleuchtung!


You might or might not have seen this lovely show that my friends Matthew and Tim did with Duckie at the Barbican - have a look. Have you ever seen a sleepover show? I wish I could sleep in a theatre every night.

Visiting Parents

I really like these prints above the sofa.
Not sure what we'll be doing this week, I took some work along and I know I'll paint a small cat on the house and see my nephew play his bass in concert, and I will eat a lot of bread, the rest is flexible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Character Design Workshop

Here is a quick character design workshop. Try this out, it's fun!
First, cut out a lot of shapes from paper to do an exercise I call "Embryos". It'll help you get a starting point for new characters.
Then make some characters. Once you found one, photograph it and reshuffle the pieces, swap some pieces. Make more characters. Photograph. Shuffle. Make ten or so. Don't worry about them, just have fun. Let other people make some if they wonder what you're doing
Now look at the pictures you've made and select your three favourites or so.

Now make some drawings from those pictures. Don't just copy them, develop them - these are embryos, right? Give them some texture, and limbs, clothes, whatever they need.
Now pick your favourite again.
OK. Here he is. Now we want to get to know him.
(This next exercise is developed with Alexis Deacon who is brilliant at this sort of thing.)
Take a big sheet of paper and draw a load of shapes. Simple, closed shapes. Use a coloured pencil. Draw a circle, and a triangle, and some beans and squiggles, and some sharp shapes and rounded shapes. If you like, make angry shapes, scared shapes and happy shapes...
Turn the sheet around a few times.
Then start putting your character into these shapes. See how he fits. Don't hurt him. He doesn't have to fit inside exactly. Do the first thing that comes to mind. be obvious, don't try to be clever. Just let him do his thing. Think of the shapes as an aura he should inhabit. And give him a simple reason for these poses while you're drawing - is he bending down to look at a small thing? Is he running away or towards something? Is he asleep? Happily?
Add speech bubbles or thoughts if you like.
Right. Now you know a bit more about your character. (In this case, I can see that he is sometimes plucky, but encounters things that worry him a great deal... maybe he's a very small adventurer?)

Now that you know him a bit, let's see how he feels about the world.
Draw a line on a new big piece of paper. Make it squiggle and zig zag a bit.
Now draw your character, simply and small, on the line. Make him navigate it.
Is he climbing or just looking up? Is he tumbling or parachuting? Is he happy or overwhelmed? methodical? Confused? You'll find out.

Now give him a name.

Mystery Dog

Someone came into the shop while I wasn't there and commissioned a portrait of their dog, to be turned into a vinyl wall sticker.
I did not see the dog, and so I drew it from descriptions by Simon who did see it.
Then I learned how to make a vector graphic from the drawing, using inkscape.
I always thought I'd eventually learn to do that, but I would not have thought it would be for this reason.
Here doggie:
I wonder what breed that is.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Urban Fox

Tired fox on the Docklands Light Railway.
I just got back from an excellent double birthday party - we had a bouncy castle, and a 75m roll of cardboard that we turned into a maze. Also cake.

I figured that what with all the people dressed up as animals collecting for charity, everyone would ignore me if I travelled there in my costume.
I was right.


I put secret cave paintings into the cardboard maze. I loved that maze.  We played monster-in-the-maze, and whack-a-mole with inflatable baseball bats, which made me laugh like nothing else in months.
Drawing in the maze
Cave Painting

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baba Yaga - The Game

I spent the last week helping Casey Middaugh set up a scratch performance at the Barbican, four floors down in the bowels.
We had an excellent crew of actors and dancers, a musician, and some people from Firehazard, all collaborating to turn the pit theatre into a scary maze using four kilometers of industrial strength cling film, some clever lighting and sound design.
The Maze and I

We had an excellent monster and a beautiful dancer. (I made her costume, sewing in the dark at top speed - in fact I only noticed minutes before she had to go on stage that I had sewn on two ends of the same halter instead of two halters, and she could not get in...)
Georgie, the firebird, having a rest
We sent people through it with a fairytale mission, and it was a grand success. Hooray for immersive games!
Check out the Tumblr for it, there should be videos, sounds and pictures of the actual performance turning up.I still dream of clingfilm. It was worth it.

Note: anyone involved, send me web links to link you up here, you were all awesome.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Also, I'm on an impro course for the weekend. Expect whatever.