Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, peeps! I thought I'd make a post with what I think is my best work of  this last year. In chronological order, these are:

The Mysterious Land of Under-Noodle, from the Inspired Eat Me! anthology

The Mystery of the Night Boy, a Patience mini-comic

The Hyaku Monogatari feature from the Hallowe'en issue of What's the Time, Mrs Woolf?

This Is Not A Serious Music Publication, a collaborative music zine I made with Sammy, which is probably my absolute favourite thing I did this year.

Two postcards from my Autumn 2012 set.

I think what I learned this year is a) I do some of my best work under extreme time pressure, and b) I also do my best work when I'm really excited about it. (Both apply to the music zine.) Possibly also c) due to being willfully contrary, bad reviews only make me draw MORE COMICS.
Unfortunately I also learned that it's very easy for me to get caught up working on small press comics and zines because they're a lot of fun to make, neglecting the work which would get me closer to illustrating actual books. Hence my plan for next year is to manage my time better and prioritise book-related work, even if it means making fewer comics. This was a really difficult conclusion to accept because I really love making comics with my friends, but I only have so much time in the week after going to my day job, and I just can't do comics (in the quantities I've been doing this year) AND do the work I need to break into book illustration. Not until someone starts paying me to draw things anyway.

So... I hope 2013 brings me people who pay me to draw things? 


Sunday, 30 December 2012

poetry illustrations

Since a copy of the book arrived in the post just before Christmas, now seems like a good time to show you these!

These are a pair of illustrations I made for a Save the Children poetry book called Born to Giggle. I was assigned two poems, called Hair So Long Song and I Like A Wood. I thought they were both sweet, and I like having the chance to work without shading. I think the second picture is my favourite, but I'm pleased with both. Later I got given an extra one about a missing tortoise, so I got to draw a tortoise as well!

Dress Timeline

I still haven’t got round to scanning my Sketchavember pics, so until then here are some observational sketches.

While my little sister was visiting here in Bath we went to the Fashion Museum. They had a timeline of dresses from 1800 to 1900 (loosely) showing the changing silhouette and the fashions for different fabrics. The ones from the early 1800s looked like the comfiest thing, but the late Victorian dresses were so stylish. There was also a special display of black evening-wear, but it wasn't very clearly labelled so I'm not sure how old one of the dresses was.

If you're wondering why the timelines go backwards... that's because I'm left-handed, so I start on the right-most edge of each page. Not ideal for chronological order.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Autumn 2012 Postcards part 2

These are the other five postcards I made for Thought Bubble, in my 'dolly' style. These are all my own characters as well, but they're not all as well developed. I was still aiming for a limited colour palette with these, and I think I was fairly successful. I definitely like my own work more with fewer and duller colours.

There's Coda, a young princess who suffers from an arranged marriage and is moved from her home in the mountains to her husband's kingdom, which is largely forested. Then there's those two creepy edwardian children from the Danse Macabre postcard, perhaps this is where they found their skeleton friend. Then Lena, sister of Lucas and possessor of the gift of prophesy, following a ghost lantern. A little witch in a field of eyes. Lastly, young Nettle and Spider, enjoying a psychic tea party (the best kind). Possibly Spider will read their tea leaves when Nettle puts the cups down.

Thought Bubble and a Dress!

Behold, what I've been doing for the past few weeks! I kind of burned myself out making new postcards for Thought Bubble (I'll post those later, for now there's a photo of them on the stand), so once they'd been sent to print I decided to do something entirely different. I transformed my computer desk into a sewing desk and set about making a dress from Josceline Fenton's lovely webcomic, Hemlock! It's the first one we see Lumi wearing. Eventually I'd like to make all of these four, but I think I've done enough dressmaking for the time being.

Here's a picture of the finished dress! Also of me awkwardly standing with Josceline trying not to seem creepy, which is hard when you just spent three weeks slavishly recreating someone's work in cotton form. She said it was very accurate, which makes me happy.

Here's the Inspired table, with Sammy behind it because we used my camera this time.

my postcards...

5 issues of What's the Time, Mrs Woolf...

My art cards, hanging out with some new ones by Sammy and Shaz...

a shot of my side of the table, complete with Patience, miniprints, Bad Fairy Bakery etc.

and a portrait commission I did! If you look really closely in the back you can see a little drawing of Patience that Sammy gave me. It's so cute! I seemed to do pretty well at Thought Bubble, and we certainly did well as a table. I also bought about £80 of comics, and John Allison said some very nice things about our work, so I'm very pleased with how it went. There'll be a write-up of Thought Bubble on the Inspired blog soon as well, now that I've got round to sending the photos to Sammy.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

journal pictures and upcoming events

These are the other half of the journal pictures from that horrible notebook. The next one I used was much nicer. I seem to have drawn a lot of plants and animals instead of people.

Also, these are events I am going to in Autumn! Inspired Comics will be at:

London MCM Expo - 26th-28th October 2012

Thought Bubble - 17th - 18th November 2012

Come and buy our comics, and see how little I resemble my self-portraits!

Friday, 12 October 2012

All the Zines!

Here's what I've been doing for the past few weeks, making two different zines! Sammy and I have made a music zine together, filled with comics and articles and gig sketches. I'm so excited to see it printed, it was so much fun to make. Also now I can draw a fender precision bass from memory. Sammy's put a preview on her tumblr, and you can buy the zine from her etsy shop.

There's also the September/October issue of What's the Time Mrs Woolf? which has a spooky theme because Hallowe'en is my favourite festival. It contains sewing instructions and comics as usual, but also ghost stories and horrible illustrations! There's a preview up on the woolfblog.

Both of these are being launched at the Birmingham Zine Festival tomorrow, but they'll also be available at London MCM Expo (26th-28th October) and Thought Bubble (17th - 18th November)

I'll be at all 3 events, so I hope some of you can come and say hi!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Wolves of Whilloughby Chase

I've been trying to get into the habit of doing sketches from the books I'm reading, since book illustration is my main focus. (Not that you'd know from all the comics I've been doing lately!) So here are some doodles from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. There's a lot more books in the series, so you can expect more pictures!

The characters here are Bonnie Green, Sylvia Green and Simon (a boy who lives wild in the grounds, raising geese). Sylvia was by far the hardest, as she's never really described in any detail. I didn't really pin her down until I drew the girls by the fire.

This is a kind of technique I've used before, where I draw with a fountain pen using cheap, water-soluble ink, then spread it with water. I think it's good for me, since precision is really important to me, and this is a really unpredictable way to work.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Broth Sea Peoples

These are four more art cards I whipped up for the farmer's market. If you got the Eat Me! anthology, you may recognise these as the leaders of the various Broth Sea tribes in my comic, The Mysterious Land of Under-Noodle. Going clockwise, these are the Wise Woman of the Noodle People, the Prime Minister of the Wonton Isles, the mightiest warrior from the Cliffs of Pork, and the Chieftain of the Lettuce Hunters.

You can tell they're the leaders because they wear the most clothes, haha.

Saturday, 8 September 2012


Poppet is accompanying the Gransden Brownies on their Pack Holiday this year!
My Mum is a pack leader and requested a cover sheet for their diaries featuring Poppet, but as their theme is Folktales and Legends I couldn’t resist adding some little fact sheets as well. This also means that after years of confusion I finally know how to pronounce Bwbachod, which is one of the names sixes can have. Fortunately I was a Gnome, which is a lot easier.
(Gnomes forever!)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Thank-you Letters

I’m terrible at remembering to write thank you letters, so this year I decided to draw some postcards instead, in the hopes that it would make up for how late they usually are. It was actually a lot easier to get round to it when I was drawing them, so they’re not even that late this time!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dr Dee

All those Blur drawings reminded me that Sammy and I also went to see Dr Dee when it was on in London. For those who don’t know (and what poor souls you are) it’s an opera about the Elizabethan mathematician/astronomer/mystic John Dee, by Damon Albarn.
The music was lovely, obviously, but we were also really impressed by the costume and set design, so I did a few sketches in the interval.