The Changing of the Seasons

Summer to Autumn – best shared skimming stones and with freezing toes

Afternoon all,

It’s been a while! The last few months have flown by in a blur, and somehow it’s October. Autumn has a way of catching me off-guard every year, and somehow the days have become suddenly chillier without me noticing until I’ve already set foot out of the door.

So, what have I been up to since my last post aside from being cold? Primarily a new web-format comic about family. But that’s been a difficult, emotional piece to work on as it’s really close to my heart. It’s not too far off from completion, but I’m taking some mental space from it for a few weeks so I’m able to do it justice. Secretive, I know! All will be clear soon.

However, I’ve also been working on a new, exciting project I get to share with you all today!

Some background: It’s the changing of the seasons. And, I struggle.

Don’t get me wrong; the leaves changing is beautiful, the sound of rain is serene, but feeling sleep deprived and having cold extremities is awful. It’s depressing, and it can feel never-ending. 

So, I wanted to make something that inspires creativity during the wetter, shorter days but doesn’t have the same pressure as 160 plain white pages of a new store-bought sketchbook, or any organised drawing challenges you find online.

I hand collated and stitched these little books using GF Smith Colorplan 135g paper (citrine and vellum), kraft offcuts, semi-translucent and natural papers. The sketchbooks are just 16 pages long so there’s no pressure of many pages to fill. They’re roughly A6 size to fit in your pocket or bag, and each sketchbook is hand-printed with the specially designed autumn/winter logo on the front, ready to customize.

I’ve made a limited stock of these sketchbooks, so if you’d like one you can grab it for £4 + free UK shipping (Or £6 incl. shipping everywhere else in the world). Check it out on my store here.

What do you all think? Could you use some relaxing autumnal drawing time? Share your doodles with me and I’ll set up a gallery so we can all see each other’s work and conquer the season together.

And that’s it for now! Until next time, keep dry and toasty.

x

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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!

 

x

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