Off Life

Mad March

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

So, it’s been a little while hasn’t it! My apologies for failing to live up to the ‘blog-a-week’ expectations, but unfortunately it’s been rather busy here at HQ and my assistant seems to be hibernating.. Can’t get the staff, I tell you. Regardless of how busy it’s been in the past couple of weeks, there have also been some rather awesome things happening and taking shape! And, as we struggle into March my deadlines are looming closer – which is obviously a bit of a pain, but it means that a large chunk of work will be over soon leaving me to focus on my comic and other fun stuff.

Firstly, and most importantly, this past Friday saw the launch of local Northampton band Jagged Little Thrills new EP ‘The Last Alibi’. AND, what I couldn’t tell you before is that after I designed their t-shirt for them they kindly asked me to design their EP too! I was absolutely over the moon to have the chance to work on a whole CD wraparound cover and inside, and it was such a fun project to work on. The guys gave me an outline of the kind of thing they wanted with some always appreciated creative freedom, and back in January I finished up the design and sent it over. Low and behold, the day finally arrived on the Friday 26th February where I turned up to their launch gig to see people wearing the t-shirt I drew, and a stack of CD’s with the artwork I created. It was surreal! And wonderful. Definitely wonderful. I was kindly given my t-shirt and a copy of the album, and here they are…

How exciting! It really was such a fun night (although I accidentally ate myself into a semi food-coma just before with an impressive burger) and so amazing to see my work printed up and sold. Huge thanks to Jagged Little Thrills for having me involved in their album, and if you’d like to check out the album for yourself you can visit their Facebook page here, with their EP on iTunes here. Also, if you’re after a preview you can listen to previews of some of the tracks for free on Soundcloud too, so be sure to check them out! Here is my tired, happy face grinning like a numpty when I spotted a poster up a few days before the gig.

In other news, amongst all the fun of assignment work I managed to find a smidgen of time to create a short one-page comic for OFF LIFE 13! OFF LIFE is, taken from their website as they say it far better than I could attempt to, “the UK’s only street press comic. We publish a magazine full of indie comics and illustration to help showcase the art form and the incredible talent working within it.” It’s also a huge deal. OFF LIFE features some of the biggest names in comics in the UK and is not only available to read for free online, but also distributed around free-to-read in bars, cafés, and more. Whether my submission gets in or not, I’m not overly confident due to the volume of amazingly talented people who get featured.. But y’know, as always, fingers crossed! And as I always like to give you guys something, here’s a preview;

What else, what else.. Oh right, The Next Big Thing! My comic is still well under way, and today I’m working on drawing up and inking pages 27-30. With the actual story content being at 34 pages, there’s not much more to go now – scary! That being said, the process of colouring such a high volume comic compared to what I’m used to is a whole new mission in itself, and before I even get onto that I’ll be drawing up fill-pages and redrawing up any panels where I’ve made mistakes or want to have another go at something. It’s been a really different experience to work on so many pages (I realise this must sound a bit silly to those who’ve drawn 100 pages + graphic novels), but I’m so excited and nervous to see what people think! The Kickstarter campaign will start in the next few weeks to coincide around the same time of the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook release, so by that point the majority of the book will be done and it’ll just be finishing touches whilst hopefully getting the money together to get it printed!

Anyway, enough of the finer details, here are some more previews!

Phew! Busy busy. Apart from that I’m still working on the animation for the Creative Conscience awards, and my dissertation too, but after a relaxing weekend and birthday celebrations yesterday I’m feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to crack on! I shall be back next week with more progress on The Next Big Thing and more, but until then.. Have a good week all!

x

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February Frolics

Good evening, wise followers!

So, here we are. It’s February, and the days are gradually getting longer and lighter, though it’s still a bit too cold for my liking. I was brought up to put another twelve jumpers on rather than throw money at central heating, so recently my flatmate and I have taken to hugging the oven whilst cooking. Makes sense, no?

Well, either way I am definitely looking forward to the warmer months! So much so, I made a comic about it this week. I’d had the vague idea for something along these lines a while ago, but I decided that Thursday was the day to bring these thoughts to reality and make everyone realise how much of a miserable grouch I am (in winter). Who knew? After I got the idea of the panels down, I spent a happy 4 hours from start to finish drawing up the comic, inking, painting and scanning it in to submit it for OFF LIFE. Now, I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to be featured in OFF LIFE before, and I’m well aware that I’ll probably be unsuccessful again – mainly because rushing a comic and only spending 4 hours on two pages does not make anything of substance and beauty, sadly. But, at least my winter comic amused me to make, and hopefully amuses all of you. Check it out below, and click for a bigger version (PLUS work in progress images, because, why not?);

Not based on myself, honest.

Apart from my new-found hobby of washing up to thaw out my fingers whilst working away, I’ve also made a few improvements and adjustments to my website, hurray! You may have noticed that the banner at the top is now hand-written instead of typed, which is hopefully a bit nicer! Also I spent a couple of hours updating the home page portfolio view, adding in an image for The Red Road. You can now click through to a gallery of several images and further information, without the need to scavenge through my blogs. Let’s face it, I waffle a lot, and I can’t blame people for wanting to selectively read…. Or can I?! There’s still a bit more information that needs placing, and I could definitely do with re-jigging it a lot more frequently to pique important peoples interests.

Also, since last Tuesday I have been making warm-up doodles over on my Instagram account! Now, they’re not exactly Picasso material, but there may or may not be puns used.. Plus they are mighty useful for getting my brain in gear for drawing things. I’m going to try and keep this going for quite a while as it’s nice to draw something that isn’t Uni related (winter comic aside), and if you have Instagram then you can also keep an eye out on my daily doodles. Lucky you!

Last Wednesday's red fox, also not enjoying the weather.. Just saying.
Last Wednesday’s red fox, also not enjoying the weather.. Just saying.

Finally, myself and The Red Road has been featured once more this past week from Andy Oliver at Broken Frontier – in his Small Press Round-Up of January 2015 article! Even this fine blog is mentioned, as “…detailing the book’s evolution from concept to physical reality with all the accompanying feelings of nervousness, apprehension and excitement that comes with that process. Well worth a read-through, especially for newbie creators in a similar position who I am sure will find much of use to take from Rozi’s honest commentary.” – Holy crap, I thought I was just talking to myself? Thanks to Andy for featuring me as one to look out for! His unrelenting belief in The Red Road warms the soul, and I’m excited for what’s coming next! Just need to get the pesky University assignments about the way first…

So, that it for now! This week is back to the grind, and I’m looking forward to a trip down to Laaaandan on Saturday to see a selection of exhibitions, including Anise Gallery’s Sequential City exhibition which looks EXCITING! I also may or may not be taking a trip to Gosh! Comics and trying really hard not to spend money on shiny new comics. Though, they do have a sale on, so I’m not making any promises. I shall endeavour to be back again with my weekly updates next week! I should have some more development on University assignments, and on in particular will be quite interesting to share with you all.. For now, peace out! x

 

 

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New Website, New Comic!

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

So, I made another comic. Things have been fairly busy once again since I completed my sci-fi themed comic Lost & Found. I will admit that I took a couple of days to wind down and do silly adult things like clean the apartment and tidy the mounds of drawings and paperwork that had taken over my desk. Anywho, I decided to try another test-run comic in a limit of only one page format this time. The aim was to submit my one-pager to Off Life, which is the UK’s only street press comic. You can read all the issues here. And, this is how they describe themselves;

“We publish a magazine that’s full of short comics from today’s best artists, and distribute free-to-read in bars, galleries, coffee shops and online. Our aim is to provide a platform for up-and-coming talent while opening comics to a whole new audience. Over our past nine issues we’ve featured comics from some of today’s best creators, including: Jack Teagle, Kristyna Baczynski, Kyle Platts, Ana Galvan, Warrick Johnson-Cadwell, Robert Ball, Dan Berry and Joe List.

Off Life accept submissions between 1-4 pages, but I’ve been trying to push myself into shorter stories recently and I figured one sole page is definitely a challenge. So, after being somewhat inspired not only by my own thoughts of seeing my friends glued to their phones, and also seeing slightly more diluted qualities in myself, AND from reading the cold-turkey-social-media-quitting-experiment of my friend James (which is a witty and interesting read, I definitely recommend it) I made this comic.

 

One-page entry for Off Life!
One-page entry for Off Life’s bi-monthly publication

As I was in Manchester this past weekend and I forgot to pack my paints, I had to digitally colour the comic – which is not my favourite way of doing things. I can never quite seem to make it work for comics.. Boba Fett and the snowboard design seemed to work great, but my style of drawing for narrative doesn’t seem to suit digital colouring. Oh well, learning curve strikes again! At some point I will probably colour it in my usual style, but for now, and for the deadline I had it was submitted like so. Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think! In other news, I had an absolutely lovely afternoon on Saturday at MancsterCon! Held in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, MancsterCon is a voluntarily run event bringing together the best of the independant sequential art scene in the North West. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to all the events for the weekend, but I did get to see Pauline Sometime give a presentation of the portrayal of mental health in comics over the past few decades. Although she stated that it was a brief snapshot over the ages, it was still an incredibly interesting talk and has given me comics and names to look at for future reference. I also had a perusal around the stalls of various creatives, the highlights being picking up Girl & Boy by the fiercly talented Andrew Tunney, and Merrick the Sensational Elephantman by the creative team that is writer Tom Ward, artist Luke Parker and letterer Nic J Shaw.

 

L: Girl & Boy    R: Merrick Comic
L: Girl & Boy R: Merrick Comic

I really enjoyed both of these. Girl & Boy definitely appealed to my love of black and white comics, though I haven’t draw anything purely black and white for a while now it definitely still has a place in my heart. I also really love the way Andrew Tunney made the rain in his images, really beautiful. Nice guy, also! Definitely looking forward to whatever he has coming out next, I had to peel myself away from the stunning prints he was selling. Merrick, The Sensational Elephant Man appealed to me with great colour palette used, and from reading it thoroughly tonight I was cracking up in some parts of it, and feeling empathy for the characters in other places.  Some of the hidden gems in the panels are absolutely brilliant, there’s a particular panel on the first page which isn’t obvious to begin with, but I couldn’t stop laughing at. My hamster must think I’m crazy! I shall be eagerly awaiting issue #2, it’s great work and I definitely recommend it.

You may have also noticed that I now have my own website. Yippee! The website I had previously set up through webs.com two months ago was just an epic waste of time. To begin with, their free package is incredibly limited in comparison to what I was used to with Blogspot, and also their blogging set up is absolutely terrible. I came home on Sunday to a message telling me that I’d almost reached my maximum storage, and that was the last straw, so thanks to my computer-whizz partner I’ve set up this site which is MUCH better. Ahh, I can tag blogs again! So, after getting this all set up and the Webs.com blogs transferred across, I’ve celebrated by ordering new business cards as my previous ones were horrendously out of date. Exciting! I also have a few new projects next on the agenda, so keep an eye out for progress from those.

Oh, and before I forget! If you would like to subscribe to my blogs and have them arrive in a nice shiny package directly to your inbox, you can do so at the bottom of any of the pages on this site, and you can find it on the left hand side. There are also other nifty things there to have a look at, so mooch around and let me know what you think. For now, over and out. x

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