Thursday, 21 November 2013

Thought Bubble

This year at Thought Bubble I'm behind the Newcastle Science Comic table along with the awesome Lydia Wysocki and the amazing Paul Thompson. We'll have copies of Asteroid Belter to give away AND a lovely selection of work from our contributors.

I'm looking forward to meeting said contributors in the flesh. Yay.

I realise that I haven't mentioned here that I am an editor on the Newcastle Science Comic and online editor for the web based stuffs. There, now mentioned.

See you on Saturday and Sunday in Leeds folks.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Friday, 19 July 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Brown Notebook Highlights

I recently found a brown notebook, here are some highlights. These drawings are probably from 2010 to 2011, I should remember to date the covers or something.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Baltic Artist's Book Fair - in words and pictures

Friday and Saturday was the Baltic Artist's Book Fair. It was pretty good like. An artist's book fair is quite different from my regular craft market experience, the biggest difference being that we were in an art gallery.

Lydia Wysocki was my table mate for the fair, bringing her rather brilliant selection of books and prints (no really, they're brilliant). Highlights in our conversation included discovering Lydia's danger words - words that will result in a very disapproving look. I would advise against using these words frivolously, she intends to make a set of flashcards to help with this. For my own safety (and amusement) I won't list them here.

To our right was Sha Nazir of Black Hearted Press, together with Paul, Cuttlefish and Nigel of the Paper Jam Comics Collective we formed a solid comics contingent. Proving that comics come in all shapes, sizes and genres and appeal to everybody if they're willing to give it a go.

I had a relatively small amount (none) of my comics on display, having decided to concentrate on the paper-cut artbook with the burlesque ladies. The feedback on the prototypes was amazing, I spent the first day assembling layers in different orders and playing with the depth and visibility of sheets. I even learned a very rough and ready version of Japanese binding to hold these prototypes together. After some playing, thought and chats with various book artists I've decided that the designs that exist currently benefit from being layered, possibly as a deep framed artwork rather than a book. That doesn't mean I'm abandoning the book though, the designs will be edited, played with and included in the final book. The framed wall art type designs will exist as companion pieces to the main project.

I had a really good time. Being in such a space for two days with no natural light penetrating was quite weird though and left me pretty shattered, similar to most trips to IKEA. The only solution was to take Monday off, allowing the feeling of two Sundays.

Would I do it again? Without a second thought. A wonderful two days, with brilliant company. I met so many brilliant artists it's unfair to start listing them, for fear of missing someone out.

Monday, 20 May 2013

BALTIC Artist's Book Fair 14th & 15th June 2013

I'll be at this book fair. I've been working on a bit of a (not so) secret project for the book fair. I'm going to reveal some images of my prototype. Please ignore the binding, at this stage it's not meant to look pretty.

The final book will have a few scenes like this, all based on burlesque acts that I have seen perform, or want to see perform very soon. Giving a bit of life and reality to the silhouettes. I have learned from this prototype that I need thicker borders to achieve the solid results I want. That's what prototypes are for.

I'll also have a handful of mini comics with me. This will all be for sale. The paper-cut burlesque artbook will be a limited edition, I'm only going to make 50, so if you want to reserve a copy you can email me -

See you all there folks.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Coming Up

Where to find me.

Friday, 8 March 2013


I've been drawing Spitfires today. I quite enjoyed.

Friday, 1 March 2013

If I can replicate the problem...

I have a robot. It helps me to cut my cards. Most of the time. Today my Silhouette SD decided that it wouldn't cut through any card. 

The machine.
So I went through the motions to change the blade, then I realised this one's only a month old, they usually last me at least 6. I've done nothing different with this one. So I gave the inside as good a clean as I could (not easy) and had a look at the cutting mat. The mat has been well used but looks nowhere near as bad as my old ones did before they got replaced and again has only been in use about a month. Reluctantly I opened a new mat and tried cutting again, the same thing happened. Lacking a completely fresh blade I went through every single one of my slightly worn blades and got the same problem with all of them. I know for a fact at least one of them is only in my used pile because of a twisting fault, nothing to do with cutting depth. 

As a last resort I got out my oldest blade, it's the one that came with the Silhouette and has caps instead of the new ratchet system. If nothing else this blade is at least a different format - by this point I was convinced I'd somehow ruined the machine itself and that it wasn't holding the blade tight. I ran a test cut through. It cut perfectly. The crispest cuts I've had in a long time. 

The two blade types, photo from Under a Cherry Tree
I got on with my work and completed the cards I was working on (hurrah, there's a market tomorrow). Unfortunately the cap blade isn't as flexible as the ratchet blade and I'm not able to cut some of my thicker card with it. Reluctantly I got the blade I started the day with back out of its box and did a test cut, to see if I could spot any issues as it was cutting. Lo and behold it cut perfectly, crisp corners, tidy edges, the kind you hope every cut will be like. I don't get it.

Switching to the cap blade involves changing some settings in the Silhouette Studio software. The only thing I can think is that by switching those settings back and forth I somehow reset the pressure information, it's possible that it wasn't being transmitted to the machine properly before. After all, nothing else changed. 

On the blade cleaning front I was happy to see this post on Two Peas in a Bucket which suggests that problem is solved. Now if only I could replicate what went wrong with the machine today, I could prove or disprove that the switch fixed it. Maybe it was a fluke?

Have you had similar issues with your silhouette? How did you solve them?
Is it time for me to take the plunge and upgrade to one of these beasts? Or one of these laser based options?

Friday, 22 February 2013


A quick drawing. It's going to be a card design.

Monday, 21 January 2013

January's Almost Over

Every year I think about doing a review of the last year for one of my blog posts in January and I tend to put it off, each year it happens later and later into January. So this year I'm not going to do it, it's clearly not working.

Instead I'm going to share some interesting things. Here are some photos from a very long time ago, photos of things which are vaguely interesting or that went wrong in an interesting way.