Hayfever, I’m sick of your shit. Plus, Gosh! Comics HOAX signing!

Urgh,

Hay-fever season.

Those two dreaded words that make myself and countless others flinch, wince and generally run indoors and hide. Every night I get to slowly cook in my bedroom whilst the windows are sealed shut to try and avoid the 4am wake-up involving trying to attack my itchy throat and eyes with a toothbrush. And then, it doesn’t really matter anyway! Pollen still manages to find a way in. HOW DOES IT DO THAT? God forbid I have anything important to do, as soon as I enter the great outdoors my complexion gives off that lovely pale-faced red-nosed glow. I do appreciate that trees, grass and flowers need to get their frisky business on, but I’d rather they didn’t get their frisky business on up my nose.

And then I read this; Telegraph – “Hay-fever Experts Forecast Worse Case Scenario For Suffers

So, I’ve decided to resort to any means necessary to protect myself from the invisible air pirates otherwise known as pollen, with a creation illustrated below;

Hay-fever season is upon us..
Hay-fever season is upon us..

Anyway, that’s my rant over for now. Onto other news!

The lovely folks over at Gosh! Comics London have organised a nice HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing! You can read all about it on Gosh! Comics website here. I’m sure all you busy folks are more than happy to clear your diaries to pop down to London on the 19th July, and come say hi between 2-3pm! Not only do I get to see the ever so lovely Ravi Thornton, Hannah Berry, Julian Hanshaw and Ian Jones again, I’m pretty damn excited to meet Karrie Fransman (who has recently been a part of the British Red Cross’s Refugee Week – read her free comic online about the harrowing true story of a young Kurdish-Iranian refugee Ebrahim), Mark Stafford (whose incredible pages in HOAX have left me lingereing in a state of awe ever since) and Rian Hughes (Soho Divas especially, beautiful work). Which ALSO means I have approximately 3 weeks to figure out what on earth I’m going to draw in HOAX if someone requests doodles from us all again.. Invisible air pirate pollen, maybe?

Gosh! Comics Signing - Saturday 19th July 2-3pm
Gosh! Comics Signing – Saturday 19th July 2-3pm

If you can’t travel down to London, or you just ‘damn well don’t want to be told what to do’ by me, you can still buy HOAX: Psychosis Blues HEEEREEEE or from any of the lovely independent retailers selling it, like Travelling Man or Page45.

Anywho, I have more to report on in the next week or so. For a University summer project our class have been told that we need to start a blog over on Tumblr, so I shall be posting my updates in BOTH places now, and potentially waffling on a lot more over there. So, if you are indeed a Tumblrlrlrlr, you can now ‘follow’ me. Not in a stalking way, mind. I’m really not interesting enough for that.

Right, I’m off to stick my face in a bucket of ice water and try to ease my facial suffering. For now.. Bye! x

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Back to Reality

So, the fun of the HOAX Psychosis Blues launch is well and truly over, as I slump begrudgingly back into reality. Not that it’s all bad, mind you, just not quite as glamorous (though struggling with bags of Aldi shopping could be glamorous if I tried really, really hard…).

It was a fantastic day in Manchester on Saturday, starting off at Travelling Man selling books pre-launch and doing some signing. Out of the ten total illustrators there were four of us on the day, Julian HanshawHannah BerryIan Jones and myself, plus writer/creator/all-round-supertalent Ravi Thornton. I admit, I felt like maybe I was in some sort of surreal dream sat next to such talented and lovely people, but thankfully nerves only got the better of me a couple of times (and hopefully no one noticed!!). The feedback from people who’d already seen the stage show was fantastic, making it all the more exciting for the final run that night. After an interlude of great food with my better half, we were back at the Royal Exchange Theatre for the final show of HOAX My Lonely Heart; the performance was incredibly moving, with Tachia Newell and Olivia Sweeney portraying Rob and Helen. The live music soundtrack from Minute Taker from the side of the stage was a beautiful addition, and the looming presence of Rob’s illness (played by Stephen Myott-Meadows) gave a really sinister feel. The feeling of watching someone mentally unravel in front of my eyes is something I won’t be forgetting for a while.Read the 4* review here! Following the stage show we all piled into Sandinista Bar’s lower floor for the after-party and further signings. And, after a great speech from Andy Oliver of Broken Frontier, and a heartfelt, moving speech from Ravi we all settled in for a night of good company.

So there we are! HOAX Psychosis Blues is published and available for purchase direct from Ziggy’s Wish. It’s on a limited run of 1000 First Edition copies all signed and numbered by the author, and sales from book go towards supporting mental health charities

A small selection of team HOAX! L-R: Myself, Ravi Thornton, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Julian Hanshaw
Andy Oliver doing his thing!
Ravi’s moving speech of thanks to everyone involved.
HOAX: Psychosis Blues

So what have I learnt? HOAX as a whole has taught me many things, one of which being caffeine abuse, but in relation to Saturday I have learnt a very important lesson: People will ask in future “Can you draw something too!” in a book when signing, and I really, really need to think of something to fallback on. Needless to say there are a couple of awfully drawn butterflies in people’s books due to my lack of preperation and inability to focus under direct pressure. Oops! There is still lots to learn.
For now, that’s it! x

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Don’t Compromise, Texturise. Plus HOAX!

So, new website, new blog, potential new audience. Where to start, you ask?

It’s been a while since I had the chance to regularly update my previous blog and no doubt there is lots to go on and on about, but for now I shall just talk about what has been going on most recently. First year of University is over, and I have a whole summer ahead of me of being poor and de-stressed, which gives me the perfect opportunity to spend many lovely hours at my desk. Although the first year of being back in education has been challenging, its given me focus for the coming months to refine my skills ready for the second year starting in September. One of the main reasons for wanting to go to University (not that being a 24 year old juggling work and study amongst partying teenagers isn’t joyful enough as it is) was to gain useful knowledge in using digital software to enhance my work, and that I have learnt! With the basics and some extra free tutorials online I’ve been  experimenting in using textures which has been rather fun. This past week I’ve been playing with acrylic gesso, gouache and clingfilm to make nifty backgrounds for scanning in and putting together with other scanned illustrations.
I’ve already been playing with watercolour washes and scanned linework, which you can see two examples of below! Anyway, that’s what I’m playing about with at the moment. It’s all very hit and miss at the moment but at least it’s pretty fun! Hopefully I’ve have it sussed soon and I can start making better pieces.

Also, this weekend is the official launch of HOAX: Psychosis Blues! You can read all about my work with the project herehere and also here. This is not only the biggest and most important weekend of my career (and life!) because my nearest and dearest have not yet seen my 6-page spread of HOAX, but also because I’m going to be sat alongside a select few of the fellow book illustrators trying not to be a complete fan-girl. Anyway, if anyone is interested in seeing me trying to keep my cool I shall be in Manchester this Saturday:

There will be the book signing at The Travelling Man from 3pm, with the sold out theatre show HOAX My Lonely Heart at the Royal Exchange Theatre and the following late night book launch from 10:30pm. The event page for the launch can be found here. So, if you’re around in Manchester on Saturday then please do come and say hello, it’s going to be a pretty amazing day. Tonight is the opening night for the theatre team so keep your fingers and toes crossed for everyone!

For now though, I shall leave it at that. Over and out.

Entry for ‘Being Human’ – Cheltenham Illustration Awards 2014
Messing around with digital colour and textures
Play time!

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