Access Art Share A Bird

I Amster-back.

Good morning Friday fans!

So, although a little later than normal, I am dutifully back with this week’s update on what’s been going on at the HQ. After returning from a short break to Amsterdam yesterday, I barely feel like I’ve been away for one day, let alone three. As my company for the trip were not particularly interested in the art side of things and the weather was a good eclectic mix of tourrential downpours and drizzle, we ended up just having a good ol’ wander around the city and stopping to eat as much incredible food as possible. Not bad, right? Oh, and the pancakes.. Be still, my beating heart.

Down to business, as some of you may or may not have seen, I gave my website a bit of a refresh last weekend. It was rather over-due, and if you waltz on over to my homepage you’ll see it looks a bit more snazzy and full of comic goodness. I changed some of the links and information too, so the Contributions page is a little more streamlined, with more information linked elsewhere. Phew! It was in desperate need of bringing up to date, and yet another thing crossed of my pre-University list.

So, we now have sections for the Top Secret Project (to be announced in the coming months… And it’s going to be REALLY good, I promise.), Sneaky Business, Rejsen as a part of Dirty Rotten Comics, and Locomotion as a part of A Bit of Undigested Potato. One of the good teaching points of University was that keeping your website alive and rejuvenated is very important.. If the homepage stays the same, it looks like I do nothing for months on end. And I can promise you, from my premature ageing and stress lines, that is most definitely not the case. Anyway, head on over to the home page for a little explore, and tell me what you think! It’s very comic-centred right now which is great, though I’m definitely looking forward to flexing my illustration muscles soon.

website

Speaking of which, I arrived home from rainy Amsterdam to a wonderful message from Eastfield Academy to say that they’ve received my Bullfinch! For those who are unaware, back in June I signed up for the Access Art Share-a-Bird project; the project was aimed at artists to create a bird in any medium, and donate it to the Access Art charity which would then send the birds out to schools in the UK who signed up for the project. As artists, we also got to write an inspirational message to the younger generation about how important art is, and it’s not all about stuffy old textbooks and things that happened centuries ago. It’s about making cool stuff and enjoying it, and a decent arts education helps. As I’ve said before, art in school pretty much bored me to tears; there was nothing engaging about drawing a still life of an apple as an 11-year-old Game Boy fanatic. Though, I’m lucky really, as those afternoons as a very young person drawing things in the garden with my mum taught me how much I wanted to be better (that same stubborn and competitive child is still inside somewhere). Here’s to hoping that my Bullfinch might inspire some small person, if only for a few hours.

 

 

Finally, last week I completed a piece for a friend of mine who is creating his own zine of comics, text and images around the theme of Dead Singers. The zine itself is being released to coincide with Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, from 14th-15th November which I shall be attending with bells and whistles on. After some careful consideration and pondering, and having lists of names sent to me from my better half, I settled on Muddy Waters. Here’s a sneak preview of my finished stand-alone illustration for the project. Thanks to Sam for letting me be involved!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I have an exciting project coming up to get my teeth stuck into, and the third year of university awaits.. Until next week!

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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!

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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.

 

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