keara stewart

The Laydeez Who Comic

Good morning laydeez and gentlemen!

So, another week bites the dust and Laydeez do Comics has been and gone! It was possibly one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my feeble existence; standing in front of a room full of eager-eyed people actually wanting to hear what I had to say (or at least pretending to, anyway). Even with my neatly arranged cue cards I’m sure I probably missed something important, but overall it was a really fun evening – more about that shortly. In other news, university projects are getting busier than ever and in the next couple of weeks I’ll be starting to draw up the final pages of The Next Big Thing! I’m keeping my working title under-wraps for now, though the reveal will be coming shortly. I’m also debating at the moment whether to move the blog to a fortnightly effort instead of weekly for the duration of this term, just to give myself an extra bit of time to work on my incredibly long to-do list, BUT I’m still mulling it over. So, I’ll let you all know! Now, down to business..

As you may remember from last week, I spend Sunday 10th creating the window display at Gosh! Comics in readiness for the LDC night this past Monday. Somehow the week between doing the windows and turning up to talk went past like a lightening bolt! I settled onto the warm and cosy train to London on Monday night with an 300-man army of butterflies in my stomach – no, not some strange new recipe, just nerves – and bolted across to Soho to meet with Andy Oliver (Editor-in-Chief of Broken Frontier and Danny Noble (Munday Morning, Ollie & Alan) for a calming beverage before the evening’s fun began. Gosh! Comics were wonderful hosts yet again for the Laydeez do Comics evening, and there were many familiar and friendly faces bobbing about. Andy Oliver took the reins for the evening and spoke first about the wonderful work he does at Broken Frontier, and the small press/independent creator focus they look at compared to the largely mainstream comics industry. Next up was my turn, and armed with my carefully designed presentation I managed to bumble on for probably far less time than I was meant to – aside from shaking like a leaf the whole way through I probably spoke at lightening speed too. Agh! After a short break, the last speaker was Danny Noble who entertained us all with her honest and witty comics, whilst talking about her practice and how she uses panels in a really interesting and diverse way. Inspiring stuff! HUGE thanks to Keara and Wallis for having us, and everyone who came out to see us talk!

One of the main focuses of the evening was Andy Oliver’s announcements.. Sadly, after almost a year, the title of ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015‘ is being filed away and the new Six have been announced! Us 2015 lot are being flung into the wide open world with our belongings in a bindle and are shunted out in to the cold harsh realities of life. Or, something like that. The new Six have been announced at LDC and will be announced officially on Broken Frontier in the coming days. They’re a talented bunch!

In the second batch of wonderful news that was announced by the Patron Saint of Comics, the Broken Frontier Yearbook has been revealed! Here’s a snippet from the press release yesterday on Broken Frontier, which sums it up far more eloquently than I possibly could:

Last night at London’s Gosh! Comics a very special announcement was made to the sell-out audience at the Broken Frontier special edition of the monthly Laydeez do Comics meeting. We’re very excited today to share that news on the site with the extended BF readership.

Currently in pre-production, our inaugural Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook will be available in the early part of this year. A near 100-page publication, it celebrates the work of our ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ – Rozi Hathaway, Jess Milton, Danny Noble, Emma Raby, Alice Urbino and Adam Vian – in both colour and black & white. Each creator has contributed an 8-10 page story on the theme of “breaking frontiers” and interpreted that broad starting point with their own ever distinctive artistic voices.

A natural extension of a year’s worth of dedicated coverage of these six very talented creators, the Yearbook is the ultimate expression of this column’s philosophy of “unearthing the gems of the small press”, and of bringing the work of comickers we have championed to a far wider audience. In due course you will be able to buy the book both online and from certain UK stores. But the prime philosophy of the Yearbook is to provide a promotional showcase for last year’s participants in our ‘Six to Watch’ initiative. To that end we’ll be sending out copies to selected publishers, micropublishers, and comics commentators as we seek to raise the profile of 2015’s half dozen stars-in-the-making across the medium.

Andy Oliver – Broken Frontier: Announcing the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook – Championing our 2015 ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch’ in Print!

Follow the link to read all about it and even see a sample page from each of us! Which now means (for those of you avid readers who remember my ramblings) THE TOP SECRET PROJECT IS NO LONGER SECRET. WOOHOO! From May to September of last year I was working on this project, and although I could hint at it and show some images along the way, I couldn’t really say what it was for or when it’d be released. Low and behold, the 10-page silent comic which Andy kindly spoke of as my ‘best work to date’ will be released in coming months in the bumper Small Press Yearbook alongside the talents of Danny Noble, Emma Raby and more. Alongside the ‘Six’ are other top-name creators who have supplied work to support the project, being announced in the coming weeks – so keep an eye out on Broken Frontier’s Twitter and website for all the details.. Here’s a reminder of some of the work I created, and you can read more about the project from my previous blog post here.

Top Secret Project - announced!
Top Secret Project – announced!

With LDC behind me it’s now full-speed with University work in the run up to Easter (I know, it’s only January.. I have a very busy few months ahead). My dissertation needs finishing, the Next Big Thing needs drawing up, a couple of other competitions need doing, written assignment work needs completing, another commission needs doing, and somewhere between all that some kind of sleep would be marvellous. Oh, and I’m making a lávvu. More about that in a couple of weeks, though! For the meanwhile, here’s another sneaky peek of some development/practice figuring out the best composition before I start on the final pages. Exciting!

And that wraps it up for this week! Back to the grindstone for another week of fun-times, and I shall be back next week with hopefully some more bits ticked off my very large list and more things to show you. For now, over and out.

x

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2015 Reflections

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, the Christmas cake is dwindling and I’ve eaten my bodyweight in turkey.. It must be that limbo between Christmas and New Year where I’m not quite sure what day it is and what I’m supposed to be doing, with what feels like a brain full of cranberry stuffing. With that in mind, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on a successful 2015 (as it doesn’t take much brain-power, thankfully)..

Work-wise, it’s been a fantastic year. Of course we can’t have it all, and this year wasn’t without it’s fair share of difficulties, with a small health issue of my own in the first few months of 2015, a friend’s recurring battle with cancer (fingers crossed, all looking good this time!), and the very quick and unexpected loss of my uncle in August. It’s all too easy to have regrets and feel as if being too work-centric has left me with the loss of valuable time before it was too late, but, all I can do it look back on the positives.. I have learnt a lot about the way I work in the past year, and I can only hope that my storytelling and comics work is going from strength to strength with each piece completed. Also, my work on illustrations without narrative has improved tenfold since this time last year, and I have dedication and tough marking at University to thank for that.

In all, there’s a lot of people who have helped and supported my work in 2015, and I couldn’t name them all if I tried – but to everyone who has ever bought a piece of my work, a comic, a postcard or even just had a chat at a convention, thank you. Thanks to Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier for naming me one of his Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015 and for continually supporting and championing my work, helping me with advice when I’ve asked, reviewing my work, and getting us six seen at CECAF. Thanks to Keara Stewart for asking me to be a part of A Bit of Undigested Potato, my first ever anthology comic, and inspiring me to not only take on my own project Sneaky Business, but also for giving my the confidence to apply for Dirty Rotten Comics. Big thanks to my Sneaky Business folks for happily creating work for free, which now sits on comic shelves around the country! Thank you to all those comic shops, Travelling Man Manchester, OK Comics in Leeds, Orbital Comics in London, Gosh! Comics in London, and Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham for having my work on your lovely shelves. Thanks all the lovely people I’ve met along the way at conventions and selling events, and a special mention to Van Nim and Richy K Chandler for being so wonderfully entertaining at Thought Bubble and keeping me sane. Thank you to my ever patient partner Chris for bring supportive and understanding, to my flatmate for being the best at bouncing ideas off (and supplying me with Jack Daniels), my family, and the supportive bunch of friends I have near and far, so understand when they don’t hear from me for months on end. And, all you readers! You lovely readers, you.. Putting up with my waffling week after week, and making me feel popular. Here’s to 2016 and all the exciting things to come!

I shall be back next week as usual, probably mid-dissertation, in the run up to painting the Laydeez do Comics window display at Gosh! Comics. Woohoo! There is a LOT of exciting things coming up in January and early-February, and my work will be pretty much non-stop. But it’ll be worth it! I’ll have more information on how the year is shaping up next week, but for now I hope you all had wonderful seasonal festivities, and have a Happy New Year! See you next year..!

 

x

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December Madness and Laydeez do Comics!

Good morning ladies and gents!

So, another week bites the dust and the first round of assessment is looming eerily close by. Although I’m working in a haze which can probably be described as “I’m not really sure what I’m doing anymore”, things are getting ticked off the list and I’m vaguely, quietly confident that I’ll be in good stead by Christmas. Well, as long as I avoid any critique sessions where it’s advised to completely change my work.. Sigh. But anyway, I also decided it would be a marvellous idea to start getting up stupidly early in the week to do some mild exercise or yoga (don’t laugh) before getting to work before 8am, which seems to be helping my productivity somewhat. Though, I’m only on day three so far.. And I ache.

Logos

 

First up, as you may remember from last week, I mentioned that I had something exciting up my sleeve to tell you all. WELL! I am over the moon to announce that I have been asked by the lovely Keara Stewart and Wallis Eates of Laydeez do Comics to speak as a part of the Broken Frontier themed evening, as one of the Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015! With the small press champion Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver being the reason for so many people getting a chance of recognition and support, it’ll be a great chance to listen to his worldly comics wisdom. Alongside will be the fiercely talented and entertaining Danny Noble, of Ollie and Alan fame, and myself – probably still a bit love-drunk on brandy butter by that point.

Laydeez do Comics London is held in Gosh! Comics in Soho, who are one of the biggest stores to support small press comics creators. Keara and Wallis have stepped up to take over as London Co-ordinators whilst co-founders Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten are taking a break to focus on their respective PhDs. here’s a snippet about Laydeez do Comics (LDC) from their website..

“Launched in July 2009 by artists Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, it is the first women led graphic novel forum in the UK. Artists, academics, publishers and fans from around the world are invited to speak. It is a platform for people to test new works and ideas, where emerging artists present their work alongside more established practitioners. The evenings offer an inspiring experience in a social atmosphere for both those new to comics and those already immersed. Laydeez do Comics now has branches in Glasgow,  Bristol, Leeds, Dublin, San Francisco and Chicago.  Pop up events have also taken place in New York, Toronto, Glasgow and Brighton.”

Exciting stuff! The Broken Frontier LDC night is being held on Monday 18th January, and in MORE exciting news I’ve been working together with Gosh and LDC to create a themed window display for the event! At the moment I’ve just been sketching ideas up, but soon I’ll be getting some final designs to both parties and the work will commence the week before the event. Because I’m feeling overly generous, here’s one character from some preliminary sketchbook work for the window design…

Promo Blog

This coming Monday I’ll be attending my first LDC event as a member of the audience, with guest speakers are Mike Medaglia and Rachael Ball. Both are so excellent at what they do, and I can’t wait to be a part of the audience! And also, it’ll be good to see exactly what to expect a month later when I sit the other side of the table. Tickets for LDC are free, but must be booked and disappear incredibly quickly! If you’re interested in attending the Laydeez night in January, then best to pop over to the Laydeez do Comics website and sign up for their mailing list to be alerted when tickets are available (details are on the home page). So if you want to come and watch me pretend to know what I’m talking about, and see my first attempt at window painting.. Sign up now! But in all seriousness, big thanks to Gosh and LDC for letting my represent their values in the form of a window display and asking me to speak as one of the chosen six – I can’t wait!

In other news, you may recall a few weeks ago me referring to one of my projects being the House of Illustration and Folio Society Book Illustration Competition for War Horse! The competition requirements is to produce a set of three internal illustrations and a binding design, to fit into their minimalist graphic style.The competition ends in January, but with assessment looming and final tutorials this week I’ve been working extra hard to get this ready! It’s been a strange project for me to do given that I didn’t particularly want to approach it in the character-centric style I tend to work in, as the general tone of the cheery children’s book is rather dark. Instead, I wanted to focus on the atmosphere, and use certain scenes and textures to give an effect of how very depressing it all was. I mean, the First World War wasn’t exactly all butterflies and flute music, was it? With that in mind, here’s my work in progress on the project to date..

Layout 1

Spine Text

I’m not entirely happy with the binding (front and back cover spread) just yet, but it’s not too far off I don’t think.. Book covers are not something I ever really did before University and I desperately struggled with the last one for Carrie’s War, so I have been determined to get this one right. As for the internal illustrations, I opted to completely avoid using ink lines for this and painted or printed everything using handmade collagraph plates, using Photoshop to put everything together nicely. Again, these aren’t completely 100% finished yet – but not far off.

Finally, after I had a tremendous sell-out of greetings cards at Thought Bubble last month I’ve gotten round to ordering more and putting them up on my Etsy store! There’s a choice of three at the moment, with this year’s Christmas card design and two others. So, for an extra special card this year, pop on over to my Etsy store and check them out.

Well well well, another busy one. I’ll be back next week after a during stressful assessment period, but hopefully with the Christmassy end in sight! Low and behold I have another week of rather important emails, another commission and further uni work progression. So, with that in mind, and the kettle calling my name.. Over and out.

x

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The Lurgy Arrives

Good afternoon ghosts and ghouls,

So, I’m blessing you with my presence today whilst battling a fearsome autumnal cold. I’ve been awaiting this beast that’s been going round for a while, and I’ve been managing to happily avoid it until now. Marvellous. Don’t colds just have a way of appearing at the most awkward time? It’s not like I have presentations to give, with the need to think about complex educational things, right? Instead, the inside of my brain is made of marshmallows and I look like Beetlejuice. But hey, I’ve been eating vegetables galore so hopefully I will battle this demon lurgy in time for the weekend!

This past week I’ve started making some headway on ideas for a new project, the Folio Society and House of Illustration Book Illustration Competition. The Book Illustration Competition is a yearly jobby that’s been going on since 2011, though this year is the first time I’ll be entering. This year’s book is War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, and I shall be creating three inner illustrations and the book cover design for this, for completion is early January. So it’s quite a big task, but an exciting one nevertheless. Last week I made some collagraph printing plates ready to do some illustration backgrounds to draw back into; unfortunately I’ve felt too awful to stand in the print room at University and get inky, but fingers crossed my human-self returns soon and I can get my print on. Below are my printing plates, textures and all, ready to go! Aren’t they lovely.

Also, in my eternal search for new and interesting textures that I can add into my work, I had a go at some DIY nail varnish marbling! Because I’m too frugal to buy marbling inks, and I have a sizeable collection of nail varnish already, I decided to give this method a go after finding it on Pintrest. Now, I didn’t use anywhere near as much colour as in the tutorial (see previous point about frugality) to do mine, but they turned out pretty interesting all the same. These experiments are all going towards the preparations for The Next Big Thing..

Who says illustration just needs to be drawing, huh? All of these types of things I like to scan in and add as a layer behind an image to give it a bit more of a textured and interesting look sometimes. Plus it’s kind of fun to try these things, apart from the inevitability of being gassed in my living room by nail varnish. It’s all part of the fun!

In other news, I popped into Travelling Man in Manchester on Sunday to drop off some copies of Sneaky Business! They now sit alongside a remaining copy of The Red Road (first edition), and right underneath Keara Stewart‘s nightmare anthology I created a comic for, A Bit of Undigested Potato. How EXCITING! Don’t forget, you can pick up the last remaining copies of The Red Road from Gosh London, Travelling Man Manchester, OK Comics in Leeds! Sneaky Business is still available to buy from my rather shiny Etsy store, as well as in Gosh, Orbital Comics and now Travelling Man.

And with The Red Road re-release getting ever closer, I’m slowly getting prepared for the two-day comic bonanza that will be Thought Bubble Festival! For those of you travelling to Leeds for the occasion, the comics festival at the weekend is looking absolutely spectacular. I’ll be in New Dock Hall on table 73b, with lots of lovely and talented people around as shown on the map! I have some exciting things up my sleeve for the event, so be sure to pop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

Finally, following the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer being released last week, (and subsequently having to sit through it multiple times) I decided my better half’s excitable squealing was too entertaining to pass up on as inspiration, so I put pen to paper and made him this. Pretty spot on, if you ask me! Anywho, that’s it for now. I need to feed myself something magical to run this cold out of town. Until next time, happy Halloween and stay spooky! x

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The Final Countdown

Goood afternoon ladies and gentlemen!

So, I haven’t gone mad. Well, I may have done, but this specific reasoning for having not gone mad comes from a midday blog effort. “Oooh”, I hear you all say, as you munch your lunchtime sarnie trying to avoid getting crumbs in the keyboard. Which always happens anyway. Yes! I decided a change was in order this week, before I busy my head in more comics for the remainder of the afternoon.

It’s been a busy week, in fact each week has been becoming steadily busier in the run up to my two-week Scandi adventures; so I have three more afternoons of work to get everything done as much as physically possible so that I can enjoy my fortnight in the fjords. As I revealed last week, my new collaborative zine Sneaky Business has been completed! I received the final artwork, finished the covers up and tomorrow I shall be scurrying along to the local printers to throw my USB their way. HOW EXCITING! Now that it’s all beautifully laid out, I can give you a proper introduction…

Sneaky Business - A collaborative comics zine full of sneaky.. well.. business.
Sneaky Business – A collaborative comics zine full of sneaky.. well.. business, really.

Sneaky Business is a comics zine of my creation, featuring two page and one page comics. After producing a one-page comic for Keara Stewart earlier in the year for her comics anthology A Bit of Undigested Potato, I felt deeply inspired to have a go myself! Though, not with quite so many comics as an anthology, as I think my brain would fall out from the stress of doing that amount of organising on top of everything else. Shortly after TAKEOVER back in May, the idea was born and I started contacting friends in the business. Another reason I wanted to do something like this, as I told the other artists involved, is because the majority of my work is quite dark, emotive and serious. How is everybody supposed to know how hilariously funny I am, without me showing them? Thus, Sneaky Business was born.. From the talented hands of (from top-bottom of the image above);

Rozi Hathaway – hello! -waves-
Pete Hindle – http://petehindle.com/
Samuel C Williams – http://cargocollective.com/samuelcwilliams
Alex Hahn – http://www.alexhahnillustrator.com/
and…
Peter James Norman – http://www.aplacetoputthings.co.uk/

Now for more exciting news! Sneaky Business is being launched on Saturday 29th August 2015 at MancsterCon, so if you’re in the area please do come and say hi and pick up your shiny new copy of Sneaky Business. I will be hosting an internet pre-launch on Monday 24th August, so if you’re unable to get to Manchester (cuh, you’ll be missing out) then I shall make sure you get your copy featuring these wonderful sneaky comic artists for the weekend. A big thanks to my creators Sam, Pete, Alex and Peter, and to anyone who has has helped me out; a special mention to Keara for being an inspiration and Ricky Miller from Avery Hill Publishing for giving me his words of wisdom when I was mid-crisis. So, keep your eyes peeled and be sure to order a copy when it’s released! Because it’s awesome.

In other news, I’ve been clocking up the hours at the ol’ desk producing this Top Secret project that’s due in September, which I mentioned last week. As all you wonderful people asked so nicely, (you didn’t, but I’m guessing you really wanted to..) here are some more snippets of what’s being taking all my time and energy!

I’m really really really really hoping to have all the pages inked by Friday evening, so when I return two-stone heavier from the lands of Danish pastries I can relax and focus on preparing for the colouring aspect, ready for deadline. Yesterday I managed to draw and ink up two in 5 hours, so by that logic I won’t quite get it done.. But I’m going to try my hardest! Page one was a bit of a pain, the rest should be easier. I hope. And pray.

So, yes! Hopefully all this visual stimulation invigorates you all ready for your afternoons, just think of me cramped over my desk drawing pages after pages of comics, and think about how much simpler a desk-job is. I will be back in three weeks time with a full update of my travels, so I hope everybody has a wonderful couple of weeks, and think of me on a boat somewhere between the islands surrounding Oslo.. Or in Stockholm having fika.. Or in Denmark practising my Danish on real, Danish people whilst playing with Lego and eating wienerbrød. Until then – over and out.

x

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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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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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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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A Bit of Undigested Potato

 

A Bit of Undigested Potato

A bad dreams and nightmare anthology, edited by Keara Stewart

Contributions by Alex Potts, Abraham Mann, Andy Poyiadgi, Annabel Dover, Cathy Lomax, Corinna Spencer, Danny Noble, David Robertson, EdieOP, Ella Dawson, Elizabeth Querstret, Francesca Cassavetti, Gareth Brookes, John Riordan, Justyna Burzynska, Karen Rubins, Karrie Fransman, Keara Stewart, Kelly Froh, Kim Clements, Martin Eden, Mary Blomley, Matilda Tristram, Mike Medaglia, Nick Soucek, Paul Shinn, Pete Hindle, Rachael Ball, Richy K. Chandler, Robert Wells, Rozi Hathaway, Ruth Collingwood, Sally-Anne Hickman, Sean Azzopardi, Steven J Harris, Tim Bird, Tom Ryling, Una, Viviane Schwarz and Wallis Eates.

Cover by Gareth Brookes.

On sale now from Keara’s webstore, priced £5.00. Also reviewed by Andy Oliver on Broken Frontier.

“Noble is, of course, one of my ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’, as is Rozi Hathaway who, once again, lives up to that designation with a desperately touching, panel-bursting short.”
-Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier

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