Rocks, rain and a refreshed website

Good afternoon happy campers!

Welcome to the shiny new-look for my site! I realised a month-or-so ago that I’d had my existing website theme for nearly 5 years (ways to feel old list, number 6) so it’d been long overdue for a refresher.

It took a while, but here it is! What do you think? Have a browse around and let me know how easy it is to use. Send your answers on a self-addressed envelope to the comments section below.


So, on with the blog! Firstly, let me talk to you about what’s been going on in my head. Aside from this.

I’ve been in a period of reflection recently, in which I’ve looked at how I want to move forward professionally. For one, I’ve been super busy on Good Comics projects – it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and is changing the way I want to approach my own work. The community spirit and engaging with people is what makes the comics community so great to be a part of, and for me personally, that shouldn’t be hampered by charging for content.

This led me to the decision to end my Patreon creator page and go back to posting work freely on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and here. For some people, it may work really well, but Patreon never quite worked for me. And, the idea of sheltering my work from people unless they paid left me in a morally weird area for a while.

Patreon cancelled and website refreshed, I feel revitalised and ready for future challenges, projects and experiences. Bring it on!


Onto more physical creations, I’ve been carefully editing the large layout sheets I drew and painted my rocks comic onto, and have been setting them up to print. Check these panels out:

Now I’ve cut out each individual panel it’s made it easier to smooth out some of the paper buckling/ridges that occurred from putting watercolour on paper not suited for wet media. It’s still definitely more of a rough-and-ready comic, which is why I’m thinking of printing it DIY style at home instead of through a professional printer. Whatever the method, I’m going to bring it out in time for Swindon Zine Fest at the end of July. Rock on!


In other news, Sam and I had a really fun commission recently from comics scholar Dr Harriet Earle who is writing a book for Routledge’s New Critical Idiom series on comics. She got in touch for a couple of diagrams to go alongside specific areas of the book, and we got to draw up some fun pieces for it! Check out my umbrella of comics:

It may not be the most water-resistant piece of kit, but I’m happy with how it turned out!


And that’s about it for now! I’ve been testing the waters on some digital drawing tools so keep an eye on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) for some previews, and check back here again soon for some progress shots.

Until next time!

x

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May I reintroduce you to…

Hello!

Welcome to May (though, we’re a chunk of the way through already…) and the latest update from HQ. It’s been a busy couple of months as always, but I have plenty to get you up to speed with. So, get comfy and enjoy another creative journey through the workings of my brain.

First, let me tell you more about rocks.
(See last month’s in-depth rock talk here)

After my panel-a-day started, I managed to vaguely keep it to a panel-a-day for two-or-so weeks until life came and sat right on my lap, demanding all of my attention. I’d already progressed with a chunk of the text, and in the end, I pushed life aside and sat down to write the remainder of the content. I sketched it all out, inked it, and then painted it in batches. In short, whilst it started as a panel-a-day it definitely ended in a more “normal” way of batch drawing, inking and painting.

Here are some pictures of the process:

As it stands, in true juggling style, I finished the comic and scanned it, but then it took around 2 weeks until I had a chance to piece it all together. However, I put it up on Patreon last week for my subscribers to finally see!

From the very beginning I wanted to create something that was more factual but still keeping that ethereal feel that I like to have in my stories., I also wanted to throw myself out of my comfort zone by avoiding thumbnailing or extensive planning, and drawing everything on the one piece of paper from scratch – even without rubbing out the pencil marks!

Rocks comic in full, draw on six A3 sheets of layout paper from February to April.

It was definitely a different tactic, and at times I really enjoyed it (when I wasn’t worried about finding time TO do it). I’d love to turn it into a DIY zine to get people interested about rocks and just how fascinating natural history is, so my task now is to see if I can take my scans and make them look cleaner for printing; the cheap paper I drew on buckled when I applied watercolour, and it’s left lots of ridges in the scanned artwork which need cleaning up, if possible.

After that, I’ll source for quotes on printing to see how cheap I can make the zine, as ideally, I’d like to have some in schools and libraries as well as sending some to the geology expert at the Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS) for his expertise on the local rock formations. Maybe it would be a good idea to sell them with the profits supporting the BNSS or other local charity? What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, and watch this space for updates!


In other news, the skate poster my gnarly step-daughter and I created is now out in the world! Assembly Press did an amazing job printing it for us on their risograph printer. Check it out!

Girls’ Skate Night poster – risograph printed in black, yellow and fluro-orange

There were a couple of colour options we could’ve gone for, but we decided to go for the black, yellow and fluro orange inks.

I’m so, so pleased with how’s it’s turned out, and it’s definitely something I wish I could’ve helped with when I was 9. I wasn’t even brave enough to go to a skate park until I was 28, so feeling like I can maybe help future generations of girly-girls, quiet-girls, bookish-girls, loud-girls and any type of girls grab a board and give it a go gives me all the warm feelsies inside. If you’re in the area, come skate with us!!


What else? Well, back on 31st March Good Comics and I tabled and presented at the Laydeez do Comics Festival at Free Word in London. Paddy and I had the opportunity to talk about Good Comics and how it’s evolved in the last few months, and where we’re going moving forward. I’m incredibly excited to be working in a hands-on editing role for one of our next releases, Mohar Kalra‘s Novelty. We released a preview back in March which was beautifully risograph printed, and the whole book will be out soon!


Finally, at the tail end of last month, I put forward my application to take part in a Japanese creative residency as advertised by the British Council. Now, I’ve not tried applying for any residencies before as I’ve always been waiting for the right one… And this, my friends, is it. I’m incredibly excited at the thought, but I’m also well aware that it’s a slim chance I’ll be chosen as there are so many incredibly talented creators out there who deserve to go too. If you could all keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that’d be lovely.

And that rounds it up! You can still keep an eye on my Instagram for vaguely more regular updates than on here (I’m trying to be better!) and subscribe to my Patreon for full access of everything I’m up to. You can also check out Good Comics on Twitter for what we’re up to there.

Until next time!

x

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