IN October I had the pleasure of attending the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, I went with the intention of writing a piece about it for the newspaper I work for. Then some bright spark came up with the idea of doing it like a comic! Genius, so that’s what I did, and this is the result. I’m pretty pleased with it. (Although I must apologise to Carlos Ezquerra, It appears I forgot to draw his hair, dammit) By the way, you should go next year, it was amazing, friendly people, great talks and a shed load of comic art!
LOVE Highland cattle. Pencil/pen. Excuse quality, taken with phone.
WELCOME, come in, come in, take a seat. Tea? Biscuit? Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to the library, a new section of the blog to show you some of my favourite books, some you’ll have seen or already have, but hopefully I’ll introduce you to new books. There won’t be in-depth reviews or analysis, just a few words on why I like the book. All the book were bought by me and are from my personal library.
The first book is Illustrators Unlimited: The Essence of Contemporary Illustration. If you’ve ever bought any of the Illusive illustration books then you’ll be fairly familiar with the format, they are large hard back books with great print quality and filled with a varied selection of illustration.
This is the same with Illustrators Unlimited. the book is 30.4 x 24.4 x 3 cm, with 288 pages it’s quite a hefty publication. The book contains the work of 102 illustrators from around the world. Each artist is given a few pages to show their work, there’s also a small amount of copy about each illustrator.
If you’re looking for inspiration then look no further, this book is crammed with it, well worth a purchase in my opinion.
I should add that the book is published by Die Gestalten Verlag, one of my favourite publishers of art and design books. You can also view more interior pages at the the Gestalten website.
LAST week I treated myself to an A3 Moleskine sketchbook, it wasn’t cheap but the paper quality is second to none, nice and smooth, I love the yellow tint it has. I’m always looking for the perfect book. And pencil for that matter but that’s another story… with a happy ending I might add!
I have a habit of always drawing A4, I think it comes from only having an A4 scanner, but lately I’ve been craving the chance to do bigger work, so the answer was an A3 sketchbook. Now, it’s not the most portable of objects. So I’ll reserve larger sketches for home.
The drawing above was done in my sparkly new sketchbook, and as I’ve already mentioned, I’m scared of new sketchbooks! Terrified! I have at least 10 smaller sketchbooks untouched through fear of spoiling them, mad, I know.
But this one was different, the first stroke of the pencil was a revelation, like being back at art school, the freedom of the larger workspace is fantastic, tomorrow I intend to more drawing in my new, now not so sparkly sketchbook. See, I can do it. I beat the fear, don’t get me wrong, I still hide new sketchbooks in drawers (They can’t see you from there) but I feel I’m finally moving forward, the blank page holds a lesser terror.
Until I buy another new book…
WELL, after a long break from blogging. I’m back. Work load has been a major factor in my absence, juggling a blog and work isn’t easy. But not all the work was paid, some recent illustrations have been for myself.
I found I got very stuck in the ‘If I’m not getting paid, what’s the point?’ mode. I used to say it religiously. Then one day I heard myself, what on earth was I saying?!
I got into this through a love of of art, of the visual, of creating something, for that buzz you get when you complete, and are happy with, a piece of work. I need to regain that feeling.
So I set myself a project, some of the fruits of which you can see above. I decided to do a book of bird portraits. I am a bird lover anyway, paid -up member of the RSPB so portraits of my feathered friends seemed the obvious choice.
And I won’t lie, I’m loving it! The fact that I’m not getting paid matters not. You can’t buy the feeling of creating for yourself and that is why I will always endeavour to do just that, as often as I can.
It’s good to be back!
SKETCHBOOKS are, in my opinion, a must. I’m as guilty as the next for not doing enough sketchbook work, but when I do, I spend hours covering every page with drawings (always starting with an eye of course)
I must have a dozen unused sketchbooks, I keep buying them whenever I see a nice one, I go into art shops and spend ages looking for the right one, has to have just the right paper (usually a nice smooth surface) I leave the shop satisfied with my purchase, get home, and stare at the the first page.
Blank, nothing, the first mark is so important to me, I’ve been known to discard the first page because the mark on the paper wasn’t right! It’s ridiculous, but that’s how I am.
The first page is terrifying. I still have it in my head that every page should be a masterpiece, I envy people who can just sketch, whatever the outcome, I am going to make it a point to try and do that in the future, just draw, and enjoy it, after all, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
So when I next have downtime, I’m going to crack open one of my collection of sketchbooks, and just draw, whatever the outcome… I’m getting scared already.
Not my best work, but appropriate I thought. Here’s to change.