Comic Sketchbook Work

The Comics Break

Good afternoon all!

I’m writing this in the clutches of the latest cold that’s going round, which has me coughing for hours on end, so please send cake and medicine to me whilst splutter out this update…

So, I hope you’re all up for something a bit different today, as I’m going to tell you a story. Make yourselves comfortable! Once upon a time, after Cosmos & Other Stories came out, and after I finished up pieces for Dirty Rotten Comics #10 and The Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2017, I decided to take a short break from comics. I think, doing this kind of work, it’s all too easy to feel like you have to keep churning out work so people don’t lose faith or forget you exist. But after a tough personal spell and using work as a crutch to keep me going, it was time to let my mind go and deal with life, and try to regain my health.

The break from comics didn’t come naturally, and I still worked on commissions both for private clients and other more illustrative work (the Kickstarter print with Emily B. Owen’s Brain Shoodles, and a piece for the Habitat anthology). But, the break from direct comic work was there all the same, and it gave me valuable time to promote the work I’ve already done and work out where best to move next. And, play with some different materials and techniques. Check it out:

Having time to play around with new processes and materials has been golden, and given me a chance just to draw or create for the sake of drawing again. I’ve played with creating stamps from soft lino,drawing with Kuretake Zig Brush pens, the Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen and some Graphitint pencils, as well as other experiments in fabric and dying, clay and wood. Taking that pause really did help to clear my mind and work on new concepts, and it gave me new skills and new challenges to hone in on to keep improving.

And that leads us to my new project! Due to be released in September in time for Thought Bubble Festival, I’ve been working on a small comic which I’ve gone thorough the scripting and layouts of already, when the inking coming next. Have a look at some sketches:

One thing I’ve been taking note of is how my painting accounts for the majority of the atmosphere in my work. So, remove the painting, do I still give that effect? This new project I’m working on is not only vastly different and physical application, but also different from my usual storytelling too, being totally autobiographical rather than based in imagination. It’s been challenging, and new, and exciting all at the same time. And I really hope people like it!

I do miss splashing about with gouache and I’ll definitely keep evolving the way I paint, but for now, get ready for something new and exciting and totally paint-free! -gulp-

And that’s where I leave you for now! I’ll be back soon with more news, but until next time have a good week/weekend everyone. I’m off to visit family and get plied with food to mend this illness once and for all. Laters!

 

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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!

 

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