My poster design for the August zine workshop is a vegetable kebab on a pencil. I often feature pencils or scissors in my zine workshop designs to refer to the handmade DIY aspect of making zines. I went for a barbecue concept because of the heat recently, but going by the last couple of days an umbrella might have been more appropriate! If you’re interested in the workshop see the details here!
July was International Zine Month so I made this Summer themed poster advertising that as well as the zine workshop. It is black and white to accentuate the black and white DIY photocopy style of many self-published zines.
I have started using the same header and text on the workshop posters to save time as all my work on those and the Zine Library is voluntary, and they were taking too long to make when I was personalising the header on each one. I have been so busy recently at The Clipper and organising the YEA Plymouth exhibition, as well as other illustration work, that I had to cut the time I was spending on these posters unfortunately.
I will be at The Clipper this week making badges, taking commissions and most importantly talking to people about YEA Plymouth our PAW 2018 project, and about the Plymouth Zine Library and zine workshops!
The Clipper is open to the public on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st July from 12-6pm, and Saturday will be a Community Open Day with food, music and activities. Come down and see what is going on and have a chat to me at 65 Union Street, Stonehouse PL1 3LU!
P.S. My poster was inspired by a detail in an amazing mural in The Clipper and the sign in the window:
In June I started organising zine workshops again using Union Corner as my new venue for those and the zine library I curate, as it is very close to where I live and I want to support my local community resources. (I had to take a break from the zine workshops to put my time into organising arts workshops at Plymouth Arts Centre for YEA Plymouth, which is a group I lead for young people aged 11-19).
The workshop went pretty well for the first time in a new place, there were several younger people than usual because I think a lot of local students have gone away for the summer. I am booking in the next one for later this month and I hope I can make it a regular monthly event!
I will be writing a blog soon about why I think making zines is really great for people to do, especially creative people who want to get their work out there and share it, and people who want to get their thoughts down in an interesting way, or just play with new ideas.
Today I took part in the monthly Manor Street Market. Me and my family have visited for the past couple of months and there are always different stalls to check out and people to talk to, and tea, coffee, cakes and lunch inside Union Corner, which is on Union Street right next to the market.
At today’s market as well as my table there were stalls selling books, jewellery, glass pendants and ornaments, secondhand items, and the people from Royal Adelaide Art & Yoga selling zines, cards, prints and more.
The next Market is on Sunday 19th August and I hope to have a table there too – make sure to follow Nudge Community on Instagram and Twitter to keep updated. If you’re a local seller get in touch with them to book a table, they are also looking for musicians and street performers to create an exciting atmsophere and make the market into a regular community event.
On the 8th of July, I’ll be at Give Up Your Day Job at The Junction on Mutley Plain! Give Up.. is an alternative/punk/DIY event where you can get a drink, a doughnut, and find cool artwork, clothes, books, badges, zines, and more, created by independent artists and makers including The Sad Ghost Club, Steph Parnell, Think Like Bas, Il Pleut, and Benjamin Wright! At my table I will have hand drawn greetings cards, each one is totally unique, so for the price of a regular mass produced card you can get something noone else has. I make cards featuring completely original characters as well as fan art cards in my own style.
Some of my ‘little dudes’ cards, each one is a unique illustration of an original character
I’ll also be offering hand drawn cards on commission if you want something specific and personal, including portrait and fan cards. If you don’t have my zines yet I will also have those there, full of my illustrations and comics, alongside prints and badges – and I’ll have my badgemaker there so you can even make your own badge if you like!
Sombra postcard, Chloe card and a commissioned portrait card
This weekend is Small Press Day so celebrate on Sunday and come down to Give Up Your Day Job, 12-5pm at The Junction, Mutley Plain, and support your local artists and small press comic creators and zinesters!
Earlier this year I was commissioned to do some book illustrations for a satirical book for adults, in a children’s picture book style. I was given a brief with basic character descriptions and a summary of each part of the story that would require an illustration. The time frame for the project was short so I had to work quickly, and we agreed that I would do a full colour cover illustration and a series of black and white illustrations for the inside of the book.
The idea behind the book was quite clear, and I had no difficulty drawing up the title character in a simple clean style that suggested a sulking or tantrumming baby. The other characters in the book are a group of friends – Princess Mermicorn, Eddie the Eagle Beagle, Gingerbread Lion and Puss Puss. The last two of these were the easiest for me to imagine on paper because they came from quite simple ideas – a sweet female cat and a lion made from gingerbread.
The other two were more difficult because their descriptions held a lot of different possibilities. For example, Eddie is part eagle and part beagle, and Princess Mermicorn is part princess part mermaid part unicorn! I came up with several draft designs for the characters mixing them up in different ways to find the one that worked the best. I sent my favourite designs back to my client for feedback, and they sent that back to me with more information and suggestions for refinement.
Once I had all of the character designs ready, I started to create draft sketches for the scenarios in the story. After coming up with different thumbnails for each page, I drew my favourites up larger, then finalised my decisions for each image. My client liked the hand drawn qualities of my artwork that they had seen on Instagram, and so to keep that I hand drew the elements of each image seperately. Later, I used Photoshop to piece these together, redrawing and scanning individual elements when I thought they could be improved.
The project was a bit stressful because of the short time limit and because I was also working on my final major project for college and two GCSEs at the same time! I was working at college all day then spending all evening and weekends working intensely on this, in between revision and study research. However I got some real world experience as a freelance illustrator working on a picture book, working to a real brief, using my skills to create characters to match specifications, and communicating with the client.
I like the characters and the story a lot, they are funny and I would be very happy to work on more illustrations for this series if the writers write more! I hope they like my work, the feedback I got from the client was good so I think so! I enjoyed working on picture book illustrations, and since this project I have been looking at picture book illustration as a potential career, or at least as part of the skills I could offer as a freelance illustrator.