HOAX: My Lonely Heart

Sneaky Business

Good evening folks and folkettes,

So, it’s that time again! It’s been another busy week, with a gap finally opening up for me to continue working on my top secret project previously mentioned here. This, holiday planning and other serious but boring grown-up things are making time disappear at the moment, and the race is on to get a decent amount of work done before I jet off on my adventures around Scandinavia, to eat my bodyweight romkugler and wienerbrøder!

This particular project, an eight-page comic for print, I’d started work on back in late May to early June time (I think..!). It was actually really useful for me to pause the project so early in it’s development to create ‘quick’ pieces like Rejsen, the Nepal Home piece and the rest, as it gave me the opportunity to really push this story to the best it can be. I’ve always been honest in the fact that The Red Road was created in eight weeks (from conception of the idea to completion), and although I don’t think it suffered particularly I’m enjoying the extra time to really push this story into a complex and more detailed world for viewing. This time I’m also creating the story completely wordless, which feels like a natural yet challenging step for me. With the third year of University on the horizon I’m really glad I have the chance to hone my storytelling skills once more before I start to sculpt the ideas in my noggin for my Final Major Project.

 

Although I don’t normally like to give too much away, I’m concious that recently I’ve been one big human-shaped bag of secrets – and it’s no fun if I can’t share anything! Plus it also makes pretty boring reading for you all, I imagine.. So above are some sketchbook images of my development from my mock-up book (which in itself has sketches of the entire story set out how it will appear). In a rare, proud moment I thrust my sketchy mock-up book in my partner’s face hoping for some instant flattery, but apparently my vision isn’t too clear OR impressive when accompanies with scrawled notes and finger smudges (cuh, right?), so I thought it best to work on it all some more. My deadline for this project is only six weeks away – panic! And two of those weeks I’m on holiday — double panic! But, alas, I’m trundling away and I’m more than confident that I’ll be ready to move onto the final pages by next week. Huzzah! Keep an eye out for more progress on this next week..

 

In other news, as promised I am delighting you all with a grand reveal… A new publication!

SNEAKY BUSINESS is a comic filled zine of my own creation, featuring some specially picked comics and arts friends; Pete Hindle, Samuel C Williams, Peter Norman, Alex Hahn, and of course, yours truly. The above sneeze is brought to you by my comic, with each of us creating a two-page spread aside from Peter, the ex-Baird of Northampton who decided to be special and only create one page. More news on Sneaky Business will be revealed next week, as I’m still waiting on one or two things to fall into place before I announce any more.. But yes! Expect this to be out soooooon…. Ooh errr.

Finally, last week saw my ‘Inside Look’ article published on Broken Frontier! Small Press Inside Look – Rozi Hathaway Discusses Her Work on ‘The Red Road’, ‘HOAX Psychosis Blues’ and More is something I wrote up a week or so prior, especially for Andy Oliver’s Small Pressganged section on Broken Frontier. You can read some insider gossip on my work to date, and probably hear some things I’d never said out loud before. If you’re interested, head on over and have a look! Unless of course, by the time you’ve read this you’re sick of hearing  me waffle on. I don’t blame you, living with my inner monologue is a tiring experience..

So, that’s it for now! The rest of this week will be spent in my cave drawing up from roughs for this eight-page comic, and trying to stay awake on willpower and coffee alone. Have a good week everyone, and as every, see you next week! Over and out.

 

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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