Rejsen

Good evening happy campers!

So, the Great British Summer has decided to show up for once with temperatures sky-rocketing to 30 degrees celcibob here in Northampton. How lovely! You wouldn’t normally be able to tell from my 10-months a year cadaverous complexion, but I do enjoy some lovely sunny weather. I’ve been able to go sock-less for the whole day, for the first time since about 2012 (not that I’ve worn the one pair for that long, I assure you)! However, it’s all very well for me to enjoy my day of admin business, comic planning and a quick sunbathe-out-the-window on my day off, I’m sure I’ll be complaining along with the rest of Britain by tomorrow morning when I’ve been moving cages of stock for 4 hours.

Anyway! Last week, and the week before that, I’d been working on a two-page comic submission for the Summer Anthology from Dirty Rotten Comics. Taken from their own shiny website, this is what they’re about;

Dirty Rotten Comics is an alternative comics anthology, published four times a year.

We are committed to supporting small press artists from the UK who have something pertinent to say. We believe that artistic merit is founded not just on aesthetic quality, but on high-quality writing, risk-taking and commitment. Weird, funny, satirical, surreal; whatever the angle, we are interested in giving exposure to artists of all kinds, regardless of their status or experience.”

Risk-taking? Why, that’s my middle name! She says, sitting in a bubble drawing comics… Anywho, I was pointed in the direction of Dirty Rotten Comics by the Patron Saint of Small Press Andy Oliver from the church of Broken Frontier (interview here). Previous artists to contribute include the athletic table-clamberer Danny Noble, and Jess Milton, both fellow Six UK Small Press Creator’s to Watch in 2015, so I thought I’d best join in the fun! Here it is;

 

Sneak Peek!
Sneak Peek!

For this short-story I decided to focus on something a more reality-based; my other half and our long distance relationship. What a cheesy story, I know right? Ew. Well, we were in the midst of a particularly long stretch of not being able to see each other, and with him being somewhat occupied with heavy music and copious amounts of beer I wanted to tell our story from travelling aspect. Mine, to be precise. Because let’s face it, being stuck on the M6 is far less interesting than being surrounded by the sights and sounds of public transportation. Henceforth, Rejsen was created (for those interested, Rejsen means The Journey in Danish)! Initially I’d planned on a four-page story, but after some umm’s and ahh’s I realised it could be nicely compressed and edited down to two pages, probably making it far more interesting and punchy. The submission guidelines for Dirty Rotten Comics insist on black/white/grey, so I didn’t have to worry about a colour scheme in particular, but chose to instead take a very contrasted approach.

I’m not sure yet whether I’ve been successful in my submission, only time will tell! But for now, above you is a preview of part of page one, and some snapshots of the drawing pre-colouring. I opted to lose a lot of the background detail to make way for the storyline, in-keeping with the love n’ stuff. Thankfully my other half likes the comic (or at least said he does), so half the mission is complete, the rest is down to the judgement of the Dirty Rotten Comic guys! All in all, job well done.

In other news, other top secret business has been progressing well, to the point that I’ll be able to reveal some more secrets from under my invisible hat next week. I did however get confirmation from AccessArt that my Bullfinch had appeared in the post, and I got this snazzy badge to show for it, check it out;

 

Share A Bird Project

That’s about it for now! I’m working on another short comic this week, alongside the top secret stuff which I can hopefully start divulging more information in next week’s bundle of fun. Until then, over and out!

x

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The Elusive Title

Good evening happy campers,

It’s that time of the week again! And this time, I can’t think of a title – though as it’s coming up to my fourth year anniversary of blogging so I feel I’ve earned a pass for today. So, nerr.

I’ve had a nice busy week of organising twenty things at once, though I did take some time on Friday on my travels to Manchester to check out an exhibition and a degree show. First off was the Manchester Museum’s Making Monuments on Rapa Nui – The Statues from Easter Island, which is on until September. Learning about other cultures is really interesting, and it gives me plenty of ideas for future stuff.

Rapa Nui Monuments – A quick sketch-a-roo.

Secondly was the Manchester Met degree show, with Illustration with Animation, Graphic Design and Creative Practise on the same level. I was pretty blown away by the standard of work there, it was a really impressive display! It’s definitely got me thinking even more about my third year, and what challenges (and how much grey hair) my degree show will bring. Here were some of my highlights from Man Met!

So there’s enough of a terrifying kick into third year for now, though spending part of the summer brainstorming ideas of fundraising with my fellow students may well be in order. Along with the long list of other things I have to do before September. Bring it on! (She says, wincing..)

In other news, this past week I came across an event through Richy K. Chandler and Keara Stewart; Art Aid Nepal and their call for submissions for an anthology, around the theme of ‘home’. They are seeking contributions from artists until Thursday (25th), with proceeds going to support education and art therapy for children affected by Nepal’s earthquake. The brief is pretty open, with content being accepted in the form of a single page illustration, painting or comic/sequential art. Now, as I’ve been doing quite a bit of comic related work at the moment I decided to do a one-hit wonder for this, and mapped up my ideas on my weekend train journey’s and then sketched out and completed the piece yesterday morning. Even better, I managed to finish the piece before my 6-hour shift at the paid job, which made me nicely ahead of my week’s drawing-work schedule. Hurray! Here’s the piece below;

'HOME' - Art Aid Nepal Anthology Submission

It was a really nice piece to work on, with a brief touch of mixed processes honing the point, well, home. All submissions for this project are reviewed before selection, so fingers crossed I may get some good news in the coming weeks. Though, either way it was nice to work on something a bit more editorial, and I hope I did the theme justice.

Finally, I’ve been working on another short-deadline piece for the past week in the form of a two-page comic submission for Dirty Rotten Comics. Their summer anthology deadline is in a week, so I’ve had a busy day today inking away my creation, with the hopes that it’ll be complete by tomorrow if not Thursday by the latest. I’ll have to keep a top secret cap on that one until it’s complete though.. Because secret stuff is WAY more fun. Aside from that I’ll hopefully be able to let you all in on a few more secrets in the coming weeks.. For now, be rest assured that I’m hard at work and eating plenty of biscuits. Until next week!

x

 

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Hello, Sunshine.

Good evening loyal fans,

So, after a very hectic week before and during CECAF, this past week seemed to be one long week of not achieving much. I mean, it happens.. But it still sucks. Spending long hours at a desk and nothing to show for it makes for a tiring and frustrating week, especially as we actually have some sunny weather that I can’t sit out in. BUT, I can finally reveal some hints from one of my top secret projects I’ve been working on…

I still can’t reveal a lot of the details, but I can tell you all that I’ve been working on a short story for something very exciting. I’ve been working on this for a good few weeks now, in both writing a short story and developing the visuals for it too, using the knowledge I’ve gained from the past year. ‘Ooo err’, I hear you all harmoniously chant from afar. Fortunately for you all, although I can’t give any more details for the foreseeable future, I will be able to give sneaky peeks of my ongoing development. Which also means that you all get to live through the caffeinated, frustrating, rewarding process of creating something (hopefully) quite special. Although I’ll try to keep the most caffeinated and frustrated moments to myself, as no one wants to see me banging my head against my desk in an alert fashion. Well, I hope none of you want to see that, anyway. So, yes, prepare to see some ongoing developments for this new bundle of joy that is being carefully crafted by my noggin and two hands. Here’s some snippets of my sketchbook developments so far…

On a less mysterious and happy note, today is World Sea Turtle Day! The WWF had a wonderful Twitter campaign going on today, and I decided to join in the fun with this drawing below. Although I would toast to sea turtles with some sea water and algae, my taste palate is more suited towards spaghetti bolognese followed by biscuits. However I am supporting sea turtles both in spirit and with a small donation, today. The WWF are helping sea turtles with some fabulous tracking accessories, helping us legged and armed folk to understand how the climate change is affecting the shelled and flippered folk, amongst many other fuzzy/legged/shelled/slithering folk. And if that isn’t enough to convince you of their greatness, they even have their own travelling cleaning station. N’aww.

 

Finally, in a wonderful turn of events I managed to acquire a PROPER desk chair from my parents (which is far better for my back than it’s predecessor). My back is now in a permanent state of comfort whilst working away, so thank you to my wonderful parents for letting me steal a chair from them. On that note, I shall leave you all with thoughts of comfortable backs, sea turtles and mysterious future comics. Until next week!

 

x

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Tales from the Broken Frontier Table

Good evening ladies and gents!

So, it’s been a nice and busy week as usual, and I think I’ve just about recovered from the fun that was CECAF this past weekend. I’ve still been busy on some top secret thingies, but all will be revealed soon…

CECAF (Crouch End Comic Arts Festival) had it’s second outing this Saturday just gone, finely crafted from the hands of Sean Azzopardi and held in Earl Haig Hall, Crouch End. The festival coincided nicely with the Crouch End Festival and a lovely sunny day to lure in the masses, and although it was a bit quiet at times it was a great day! I was kindly invited to be a part of the ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ Broken Frontier table, where I stood alongside Kingpin Andy Oliver, Emma Raby and Danny Noble (who shared a table with Matt Boyce). It really was a fantastic day, and sales-wise it was a vast improvement for me compared to TAKEOVER in early May. And we like sales, don’t we?

I sold six copies of The Red Road, more so than I could’ve hoped for! And the free print for the first four sales didn’t even seem to be a factor, which was pretty awesome. Though, probably confusing for the first four purchasers who I kept handing free stuff to. Huge thanks to Editor in Chief of Broken Frontier Andy Oliver for this fantastic opportunity! As always, Andy’s relentless support of the six of us UK small pressers is incredible, and I’ve been introduced to so many skilled comic’s folk because of it! After 5pm kick-out, we all headed next door to the pub where I filled my face with cheese and bacon fries and wine to end a very happy day with new friends. People have always said how friendly the comics community is, and I can confirm it’s truth.

Even the passing public were lovely, on a quick break I met some guys who have their own web-comics; Doppelganger web-comic by Thibault Kervarech, plus Kordurroi web-comic and Lonely Skeleton by João Duarte Siva. Web-comics is something I’ve never gotten into before, but seeing how people manage to keep up with these new-fangled things, I may have to give some sort of daily comic a go again!

In other news, this week sees the opening and launch of The University of Northampton’s Illustration degree show! Mixtape opens on Thursday evening from 5pm, where I shall be hovering about with free wine helping out with the degree show shop! I’ll be selling comics, zines and prints at the show, so hopefully my stocks of The Red Road continue to dwindle ready for round two’s re-release.

Also, for anyone interested Thought Bubble Festival tickets are now on general sale! The event runs over two days, 14th-15th November and I will be glued to my seat behind the half table all by myself for both days. So, really people who weren’t planning on coming should just pity-attend. Ticket’s can be purchased here!

Finally, I finished my entry today for AccessArt’s Share-a-Bird Project! The project sees entries from artists around the country, voluntarily sending in original artworks which are then dispersed amongst UK schools which join the programme. This is what the website has to say…

THE SHARE-A-BIRD PROJECT HAS TWO MAIN AIMS:

  • To celebrate and highlight the diversity of artists and makers in the UK today.
  • To demonstrate the importance of visual arts education for all.

I picked the male Bullfinch as it’s an all-year-round UK bird that apparently is pretty quiet and unobtrusive. Like myself! Also the colour of the dudes chests is just beautiful.. So here it is! I posted it off today, so hopefully at some point my Bullfinch will be inspiring generations to come at a UK Schools. The project is open to submissions until the end of August, so any creative friends who believe in the cause should definitely join in! My art education in school was boring to tears and in no way prepared me for college. Which I then just about passed. Thankfully it didn’t put me off, but children shouldn’t be discouraged from creativity. Creativity keeps the mind sane! Ish.

Anywho, that’s it for now. Time to dive my face into some cheesecake and hope that this cold-type-illness passes by tomorrow, as it’s going to be another busy week! Over and out.

 

x

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The Road to CECAF

Good evening happy campers.

Well, here are are in a rather blustery June. I don’t know about elsewhere, but I’m looking forward to stepping out the door and not being greeting by a mass of fresh air all up in my face and hair. Although I’m sure the dragged-through-a-hedge look has it’s perks*, I don’t think it suits me.

*Perks include: Avoiding eye-contact with odd looking strangers, avoiding eye-contact with people you used to know, avoiding eye contact with people you do know but would rather not, correcting one’s appearance with a Mariah Carey-esque hair swoosh, potentially good excuse for running late (as even if you walk slowly, you still look like you’ve run a marathon), and it’s probably a fashion statement I’ve missed out on because I’m old and sensible.

Anyway! As we enter June we come upon round 2 of my summer of comics festivals – CECAF! Otherwise known as Crouch End Comic Arts Festival, this Saturday 6th June sees a whole load of comics creators pile into Earl Haig in Crouch End. The comics festival runs alongside the community arts led Crouch End Festival, which has a whole host of events running from this Friday 5th June through to Sunday 14th June. I have been incredibly lucky to be included on the Broken Frontier table, which is championing the work of us troublemakers – the ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ – along with a couple of other talented small-pressers! I jumped at the chance to come along and join in the fun, so you can find me there on Saturday, 11am-5pm with copies of everything! That’s right, everything. I shall be joining Andy Oliver, Patron Saint of UK Small Press and *newly appointed* Editor and Chief in Broken Frontier behind the table, along with Keara Stewart and Emma Raby. You’ll also be able to find fellow Six Small Presser Danny Noble nearby with her recently published book, Was it… Too Much for You?. Keara will be selling her anthology I joined in on, A Bit of Undigested Potato so be sure to pick up a copy of that whilst you’re around. Plus, y’know, the aforementioned ‘everything’.

So, roll up! Come on down! Say hello! Join in the fun! All info below!

CECAF
CECAF
..Part of The Crouch End Festival of events!

I have a special offer on just for this splendid event, too!

The first four people to purchase a copy of The Red Road at CECAF this Saturday, will get a FREE A6 high quality print.

How good is that?! There are a choice of two prints available, and it’s first come first served and adored by me forever for buying my work basis. And I’m pretty sure adoration goes for a high price these days, so enjoy it. I will also be selling my usual gaggle of items, plus free stickers with every purchase. Unless I’m mistakenly piling far too much onto this envisioned table (in which case, this may be edited out in due course), I will also be selling remaining issues of Down to Your Skivvies #1 zine by myself and the Skivvies ladies, so watch out for that too. Yay!

Saturday should be a fantastic day, at least, it will be once I’ve navigated the bus system of London to try and find out how to get to Crouch End. And also once I manage to fall on a bus to get home again after a few drinks, but I’ll worry about that nearer the time! If you happen to be in London this weekend and fancy an eye-popping day of awesome comics creators selling their wares, come along. You’ll love it.

In other news, the past week has been another rather busy one, but I still have my big secret hat on for now whilst I figure out and finalise several ongoing plans. I did however gain some inspiration from my new early-morning routine, as re-created in this quick cartoon below. I have decided, in my infinite wisdom, that 4:30am is a tiring time to get up in the morning. However, at least it’s now light around then. And, also I’m greeted by the Great British dawn chorus, from the local Northamptonshire birds. It’s better than radio, I tell you.

Thanks to Toto. No Copyright Violations here!
Thanks to Toto for getting this song in my head, yet again.

Anyway, that’s it from me tonight! I expect to see you ALL on Saturday at CECAF, so have a good week until then. Peace out!

x

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