Thursday, 28 March 2013

'Excess' Quick Draw

This is my speedy response to Off Life's Quick Draw event tonight on the theme of 'Excess'.  I think the vices are pretty much in order. 

I've been really busy preparing for Pick Me Up and accompanying thirty five Brit School students on an art trip to Berlin so it's been a a bit quiet here but there are many exciting things to come. Honest.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

'The Daylight Gate' Book Club invite

An invite I did for a super exclusive book club I'm attempting to infiltrate. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

'Read More Books'

This is another illustration I did just before Christmas.  I thought about making it into a t-shirt but it's a little too smug and condescending so it sits in a growing pile of work with no apparent use.  Poor thing.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

'The Thing' illustration

I did a few illustrations before Christmas just for the fun of making art which is something I occasionally forget to do whilst juggling commissions and deadlines.  This one is inspired by the John Carpenter film of the same name which is one of my favourite films.  More of them here.

Some of it works, some of it doesn't.  I really like the way the orange and white combine in the flames in the background and the research facility looks good.  Not so crazy about MacReady.  Or the actual Thing for that matter.  Oh well!  

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Puck Drawing Club at the Natural History Museum

Yes that's right - two drawing events in twenty four hours - can you imagine?  The beautiful people of Puck Collective organised a drawing event at the Natural History Museum on Saturday and forty people turned up to get their draw on surrounded by dinosaurs and hordes of [idiot] children. Against all the odds it was a joyous event and one we hope to recreate at this year's Pick Me Up exhibition.  Minus the dinosaurs.

We met at the side entrance at midday and as a designated tribal elder alongside fellow Pucker and designer/illustrator/soundtrack obsessive George Simkin we had to pick eight worthy individuals for our Forest tribe then designate them tribal roles; warrior, thief, cook, shaman etc. The drawing club was open to all so we had writers, architects, designers and other folk with proper jobs alongside illustrators and students.  I think this is what made it all the more fun; there was a relaxed enthusiasm and sense of adventure throughout the group and after all everybody knows illustrators are dicks.

Queueing for about ten minutes we soon discovered the Natural History Museum is quite popular on a Saturday but as consummate tribal professionals we pushed onwards thrashing and clawing at wayward children in our paths and proceeded to seek out a list of objects to document* (DRAW) around the museum.  It turned shambolic within a matter of minutes and we quickly formed into smaller groups to negotiate the crowds.  By which I mean George and I lost everyone.  But it all worked out in the end.

I was a little distracted by the weight and importance of my role to begin with so struggled to focus on the task in hand.  We started off in a room full of rocks where there was plenty of opportunity to document jewellery.  I set about drawing some kind of quartz or something only stopping briefly to refuse a small child my autograph.  He didn't have the adequate funds to purchase said autograph so I sent him on his way with a flea in his ear.

Like the night before at the Design Museum the day was an exercise in not drawing in the safety of my studio (bedroom) and perhaps more significantly not drawing with dipping pen and inks. I've never been able to draw happily with anything else but it's not ideal wandering round a busy museum with an antiquated pot of ink and huge quill so I tried my hand with a blue and red Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5 Grip pen (apologies - I think some people actually give a fuck about things like this) I'd nicked that morning from my unsuspecting girlfriend.  By the time I'd finished the primitive earring my tribe had disbanded and could be found about the museum grazing on unsuspecting children.

Soon I found myself in the creepy crawly room looking for likely food sources.  I chose to draw a lobster.  It's okay but I became very aware of the fact that I was drawing everything a little too conventionally.  

Chancing on a couple of fellow forest folk we made our way to the mammals where I was pretty sure I was going to draw a bear as my spirit animal - my spirit bear series kind of dictated it really.  Unfortunately every bear I draw came out shit so I got reaquainted with a pangolin I'd met back in 2010.  My friend Benjamin tells me they are known for their inquisitive nature.  He failed to mention they were massive stoners.  Not really sure why I went down the stoner route given my [nearly] straight-edge approach to life and the fact I'm not 15 years old but I was trying to break free from the constraints of just drawing what I could see [but in kind of a half-arsed way].

By this point time I was more comfortable with the fleeting nature of the Forest tribe and set about trying to get my draw on.  I found myself a little look-out upstairs in the whale room and set about documenting some items on my list but with some added creative licence.  No matter where I tucked myself away precocious idiot children seemingly oblivious of their surroundings would step on me and paw at me which began to creep into my drawings.  It's quit subtle though so you might miss it.  Transportation.

And soon after; Clothing.

Then to address the balance of being a grumpy misanthrope I found my specialist item.

And then suddenly I realised too much live tweeting and tripping up children while their parents weren't looking meant I had next-to-no time left so hastily documented the first thing I could find that would double as a weapon.  Three hours goes quick when you're documenting you know.

And I was done.  Met up with all the other tribes outside.  Introduced myself to the Forest tribe.  Then we went to the pub compare to renderings.  All the collected drawings from each tribe will eventually be made into a zine. 

It was a lot of fun and I think I'll be using Pilot pens again.  My only regret is I failed to draw a single dinosaur.  NOT ONE.  What the fuck is that all about?  Anyway I recommend you all sign up to the Puck Collective newsletter here and come to the next drawing event.  You may even be lucky enough to be in my tribe and see my leadership skills in person.

Massive thanks to Robbie and Babycrow and the rest of Puck for organising. 

*Documenting items sounds way too close to something the Judge in Blood Meridian would do ie, CREEPY.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Quick Draw Live at the Design Museum

Off Life magazine kindly invited me to a live drawing event at the Design Museum on Friday night along with other comic book creators and illustrators including Dan Berry, Lizz Lunney, Kyle Platts, Joe List and Timothy Winchester.  Some of you will remember I illustrated the cover for the second edition of Off Life.  Well done. Those of you that don't - why on earth not?  It's a brilliant free magazine full of brilliant comic strips. BRILLIANT.

For Friday night the concept was relatively simple; 15 - 20 minute rounds in which we all had to draw our take on a suggested topic. I turned up on my own and unwittingly sat down in front of Dan Berry who is something of a master at speedily drawn comics.  So the cack-handed nature of my poorly conceived renderings was further highlighted by my locality to Dan.  I did enjoy how most of the other participants quickly turned on him for drawing too quickly in full-colour with brilliantly considered concepts to the point where he had to apologise for being too good.  He's a lovely fella though so it was hard to stay mad.

Anyway here are mine.  They are for the most part rubbish but it was a fun night and very nice to meet all those involved.  The topics were 'Alternative Uses for a Telephone Box', 'My Life is Full of Strife', '(Lack of) Communication' and 'The Promise Future We Haven't Got'.  I would like to add between rounds we had even less time to neck bottles of beer and I think I might have peaked at around 'Strife...'.  The last one was my rubbish response to the Threadless t-shirt 'This Was Supposed to be the Future' which I've always found a bit annoying.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Jake and Sophie

My friends Jake Blanchard and Sophie Cooper asked me to play some records at their leaving London do last night in Ryan's Bar, Stoke Newington.  So I did.  And it was awesome.  And as I'm anally retentive I've decided to put the songs I played here for posterity.

I'm available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals, divorce proceedings, difficult labors, seances and children's parties. 
Captain Beefheart - Electricity
Manfred Mann - One Way Glass
The United States of America - The Garden of Earthly Delights
The Rattles - The Witch
Aphrodite's Child - Air
Jeff Britton and the Spitfires - Rub Out
Marsha Hunt - (Oh No! Not) The Beast Day
Goat - Goatman
Tame Impala - Solitude is Bliss
Akron Family - Ed is a Portal
East of Eden - Jig-a-Jig
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - Egyptian Reggae
Jacques Dutronc - On Nous Cache Tout, On Nous Dit Rien
The Headcoatees - Have Love Will Travel
The Golden Cups - Hey Joe
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry - Ain't Got No Home
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride


Cozy Powell - And There Was Skin (TWICE OBVS)
Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
Pink Floyd - Lucifer Sam
Patchwork - Laughing Sam (On The Phone)
Kraftewerk - Vom Himmel Hoch
Amon Duul II - Archangel Thunderbird
Can - I'm So Green
The United States of America - Coming Down
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity - Indian Rope Man
Mandingo - Medicine Man
Chubby Checker - Gypsy
The Honeycombs - Can't Get Through To You
Jacques Dutronc - Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Captain Beefheart - Big Eyed Beans From Venus
Fairport Convention - I'll Keep It With Mine

Godspeed Jake and Sophie - I'm gonna miss you guys a LOT.