Friday 9 May 2014


Here's a tune to listen to while you read!

Creative CV

With (i'm not going to lie) A LOT of help from the powerpoint provided by one of our tutors I have manage to make a Creative CV, with still a little bit to change about it.

Here is a quick sketch of the layout, and a note on what I would like to eventually lino cut/hand draw.

OK, I now ask you to use your imagination for two things-
  • That I have already graduated - this is so it is ready to go straight away once edited once again
  • That all the warped text e.g. the subtitles, will eventually be hand drawn/lino cut. That some of the images in the 'Hobbies and Interests' will be more appropriate to the text. And that the symbols for blog/website, email and mobile will be hand drawn/lino cut.
So here it is my Creative CV

Thursday 8 May 2014

6 Months in the Future...

Wow what a thought! 6 months from now... I had originally wanted to go travelling but after this year I feel like I am ready to hit the start button on my, hopefully, successful career as an illustrator.. Plus My Grand Parents have just had their 60th Anniversary and returned from a World wide Cruise. Crazy! This fills me with the hope that I have plenty of time to experience the World but I just want to do it in my own time and not rush it. So instead I shall be officially on my own (well not completely alone of course!) and hopefully settled down in Bristol!

But let's backtrack a bit to straight after graduation... I had some pretty exciting news which every time I think about, makes me want to scream! It may not be that big of a deal but I feel it is and I am so happy with myself that I've grabbed the opportunity! Anyway, I applied for the Solent Showcase Graduate Artist Residency a few months ago, had my interview just over a week ago and received an email today confirming I had got a place! 

There will be 4 - 6 of us (illustrators, artists, graphic designers etc.) all working over the summer towards an exhibition of our work! i love the thought that in just three months I will have finished another project and met a few new people, and, of course, had some professional experience!

I will receive 500 pounds, which I want to spend on printing materials, so that even if I am unsuccessful in the future, I still have a small printing set-up to continue my hobby (ideally this will keep expanding and I will be really successful of course!)

I will still have my invigilator job but I will get a second evening job to support me and a Summer of couch surfing! I think It will be a good Summer this year.

I feel I have really perfected my lino cutting so I would really like to use this time to start experimenting in the printroom - i still have so much to learn - collaging different printing methods e.g mono prints, lino cuts and screen printing etc. I couldn't be happier with this opportunity!

So now fast forward again to 6 months -
I have already starting doing some work with a friend, 'Fry', a graduate from Winchester school or Art. We call ourselves 'The Biscuit Collective'. ( ) We have already done some designs for a baby bag (through the uni) but she wanted us to change it too much by creating babies in costumes almost and we started to struggle so decided to end the project. We are also currently chatting to Orange Rooms in the centre of Southampton about redecorating their bar. We have also created an 'e-sting' for the channel 'E4' which is a short animation they have in between commercials created by members of the public. Alongside this we have created an alphabet book and a number book, puzzles, posters, badges/stickers and some games for children. We plan to set up an etsy account online once I finish, we'll see how it goes!

We plan to move to Bristol and set up a base there where we will do our own work as well as collaborating to create combined images. Just working together has improved both our skills as we are giving each other tips without even meaning to. We both enjoy creating illustrative work so I think that stands for a strong basis of a collective (we hope to build it up).

So what are we going to do in Bristol?

Well... find a place to live to start with - cheap flat where we convert the living room into a studio, get a job on Gloucester Road or Stokes Croft (I fell in love with this area when I visited for Negotiated Study) for some extra money. Then I will start hitting craft shops, design company's, newspapers, pubs and bars etc. with both my work and biscuit collective work.

What am I going to ensure I do in Bristol?

  • Go back to Gloucester road with my box of goodies! I got told to come back with what I had come up with by a few shops and I am keeping my word! Plus you never know, might start something, I've got my fingers crossed for the fish shop recipe cards! they were my favourite.
  • I AM GOING TO JOIN SPIKE ISLAND if it kills me. George, one of the visiting tutors, was really nice and told me of a 24/7 print studio for only 60 pounds a month!!! Incredible! Have to have a tutorial but should get through ok! Also how great would it be to continue to be surrounded by printmakers!
  • Up my online presence! Make a website! I already started growing with instagram (veeeeery sloooowly, but its a start!) but would like to get a presence on most social media sites (as much as I don't enjoy them) cause I WANT TO SUCCEED in any way possible - jumping for every opportunity.
Hopefully by shameless self promotion, determination and hard work, I will eventually become a successful freelance illustrator/part of the biscuit collective. I am going to have to do a lot after leaving uni but I'm going to take it step by step like I always have and hope that I am one of those lucky few people who can make it doing the thing they are passionate about.

Quickly to end, a few photos of the the books, we only got these printed and started making them a week ago so I'm still very excited by them and want to share!

every book is a different colour so when stacked up it's a rainbow effect. We have a total of 9 books to make for each number and letter book. So hopefully all 9 together will look appealing.

Our original drawings were black biro pen on white paper so we wanted our front over to reflect this. The covers also have foam between the paper and mount board so it is spongey to touch.

We were hoping to get these finished to sell at a fair, my uni has a stall at this saturday but unfortunately we just have not had enough time (he has a full time job/i have FMP/uni) but I feel like they will look really nice and high quality once they are finished.
We draw by passing the image over to the other every few lines. It started in big free posters but we've started to refine these drawings to become objects and forms. I like the effect because it is different to both our styles and it is enjoyable - casual drawing with a challenging twist.

So that's 6 Months from now covered... don't even get me started on a year, 2 years or even 5!

The Final Major Project is almost over..

Going to have a short break from this blog to finish my FMP but I will be posting some images of our Degree show when it arrives!

So as I am stopping before the end of my project, I am going to add three more posts -

  • reflect on the work I've done so far. I'm going to use bullet points (try to keep it short and to the point!)
  • What does my future hold?
  • My creative CV

What has been successful?

  • my initial proposal was too busy (wanted to load as much info as possible) but taking on the book alone, I've found I've managed to include a lot of image but from a more unique point of view (timothy's).
  • I also really enjoyed the last book I did so its nice to expand and refine.
  • really struggled with composition to begin with but after chatting to a few tutors, I feel a lot more confident taking risks.
  • I feel my pencil sketches to lino images have been successful
  • Approached each page as it's own image so I feel I have a dynamic set of images.
  • Colour choice
  • lino cutting by colour to ensure proficient timing when in the print room
  • variety of papers printed on.

What hasn't been so successful?

  • my health - cold galore!
  • pages of text - become very repetitive but didn't want to waste time as images the main factors. Would've loved to try the letter press etc. But I have the Summer to do that (I'll explain in the next post)
  • Some images haven't been as clear as I would've liked. The wood has curved uncontrollably (guess that's just part of the process though!
  • Timing has been difficult as it was such a vast subject (didn't know it was at the time I started) Would've been nice to take my time rather than work long days but at the same time I've been enjoying it... So although I'm tired if I'm tired like this all the time because of something i love I'm happy!
  • Although I have made mistakes in some of the text pages, I'm starting to question if perhaps playing with the text could've made it more exciting in quite a simple way. I rather like the small errors to be honest.

Not that I don't like this image, just not sure it's as clear
as it could be.
Some of my less successful images

Recently explained this one...

It looks like she's lying in water... oops!! Didn't think this one through... the problem with two colour prints, is once you've cut the second reduction, there's no re-printing the first!

What I've still got to do for book - 

  • finish printing
  • laser cut pages
  • cut pages
  • make hard back and front cover
  • fold and glue pages together
  • find some floor boards for the show
  • make some music for the show
and I'm sure some other stuff will come up as I go through the process.

So, to sum up how I feel its gone. I have taken on a big task, some images have definitely been more successful then others  - am I tired? Yes. Do I regret my subject? No. If I could go back and choose something with less of a challenge, would I? NO. Although I've stuck to lino I have learned a lot about the process, the different lino tool cutting sizes and I feel have improved.

But the main question...

Have I enjoyed my three years with Southampton Solent BA(Hons) Illustration?


Wednesday 7 May 2014

Officially Finished my Dummy Book

It took far too long but I finally got some photos of my friend in smart(ish) shoes to pose for me. I got him to sit on a picnic bench in my garden so I could take photos from all angles.

Here are a few of the better ones.

I desperately wanted a few from the back as I thought it would add more atmosphere so this is the reference photo I will be using!

So here is the last two pages of my book - I hope it has the impact I am going for!

I really like the perspective - I drew the text and coincidentally it fell nicely into a shadow shape so I will have the text in his shadow. The text along his leg say 'Timothy proclaimed his innocence to the very end.' I wanted it to be separate to the rest of the text as I think it is the saddest point of the book, that no one would believe him. I have also placed the only full stop in the entire book at the end of this sentence as it is the end of both the book and of Timothy Evans.

Over Half Way There! Can't Quite believe it! (excited!)

The Closer we get to the deadline the more determined I am to get this book finished! Out of the 88 cuts (first and second reductions) I have completed 54 cuts (I think!) Still a Hell of a lot to get on with and the deadline is looming. At times I question whether I will finish, but after yesterday's and last weeks successful days in the printroom, I still think I could do it. I am also thinking that maaaybe... I might of taken on a bit too much, I got really ill last week which is why these two print days are coming in one post . It meant I could not make it in to the studios to print or take photographs so I ended up doing a 9am to 9pm day yesterday. But it did give me time to slowly but surely make it through all the light red first colour prints which means I'm done with one colour! 

I have also come up with some practical uses of the gym gear I am not using at the moment (too busy working) and anytime I'm not working i want to see my friends! - My trainers for long days in the printroom - last week I wore my normal shoes and I can't tell you the difference in feat pain yesterday while wearing my trainers! - And my Weights gloves for when I'm lino cutting as my right hand is getting rather saw but this gives my hand a nice bit of padding so I can cut away!

Anyway, not am I only determined to get my book finished but I am also just getting seriously excited for the finish! And setting up our show and see everyones hard work pay off! This is really giving me the energy to keep going and know that it'll be worth it in the end.

So here are the images I completed last week. This means I have 19 complete pages in total.

2nd Reduction Cut
2nd colour print

Page 4 - Finished Image

2nd reduction ut
2nd colour print
page 6 - finished image
2nd reduction wood cut
2nd colour print

page 9 - finished print
2nd reduction cut
2nd colour print

page 11 - finished prints - Was concerned about this one as I've never attempted a whole figure but it has become one of my favourites, especially on the black paper.
2nd reduction cut - 3rd double page
2nd colour print
pages 19 and 20 - finished print - Really happy I chose to do the two seperate first colours
2nd reduction cut
2nd colour print 

page 22 - finished paper, I dont think I'll use brown paper for the text.
2nd reduction wood cut
2nd colour print

page 23 - finished print - really like the three tones in the background with wood prints
2nd reduction wood cut
2nd colour print

page 26 - finished print, I know this is three crow bars but when I asked a couple of people, they didn't know so, this is my weakest image so far I think.

I feel so far, the images have been going smoothly, I haven't had any text errors and havent slipped up on any of the images. However, during cutting the next batch of first colour prints, I had to restart the back page, and super glue two quite big mistakes. After printing the next batch of first colour prints, I noticed even more mistakes, luckily they are all in the pages of text which I've said aren't the vital pieces so I've kept them simple and don't mind too much for the odd backwards/missed letter. (can always edit it on the digital version) But it has become clear I am tiring and making silly mistakes so I am going to be extra careful for the last few cuts, and second reductions. I always find the second cuts easier anyway!

I have also run out of wood so I'm using the backs of other image cuts. Here are all the light red (purple) prints.

This will have dark blue as the second
colour. It is an opening door to '10 Rillington
wood cut

This will have dark blue as second colour
Introduction to John Christie.
lino cut
wood cut
This will have red as the second colour.
The start of Beryl's murder.

wood cut - first a2 wood cut ever done!
This will have red as the second colour. Really happy with how this turned out as the police hat badge and bottle label detail were quite intricate, especially as it's a wood cut. But thanks to my flatmate/course mate Mist, suggesting I use a scalpel for the smaller text, it was possible!

wood cut

This will have dark blue as the second colour.
I've tried this in two positions in the page to see
which one I prefer once cut to size.

This will have part of it off the page so the text is the bit which is visible on the page

lino cut
This will have red as the second colour.
This is Christies murder weapon. Timothy's relatives
confront him about Beryls whereabouts. None of
them know what actually happened.


lino cut
This will have dark blue as second colour.
Timothy's false confession, he doesn't help himself
by lying etc! First small error - 'outsde'

2nd a2 wood cut

This will have red as second colour. The discovery of the bodies.
lino cut
This will have red as second colour. Timothy arrested
for murders of wife and child.

wood cut
Builders are forced to change their statements.
These statements could've saved Timothy's life.

lino cut
This will have dark blue as the second colour.
The judges bias last sentence. Second error-
Backwards 'E' along a line of 4 e's. JUST SILLY!

lino cut - back page!
This will have dark blue as the second colour
as it's the back page and will fit with front page.
third mistake, a missed 'l' in 'finally' but snuck a cheeky
one in there and I actually quite like it. I had already restarted
this once as it is the back page and it will be read the most.

The next step is to finish the rest of the first reduction cuts then get all the red 2nd cuts done and printed then all the dark blue second cuts done and printed. I have also left enough space to the left of each image to have a flap which attaches to the page next to it. I have prepared two documents for the laser cutter to produce double and single pages with flaps which will be dash scored for a nice fold. the images will then be stuck to these pages and eventually attached together. With hard front and back covers. If I have time, I would like to make a digitally printed a5 version for selling/people to touch and look at. But this may not be done in time for the evaluation but I will definitely get it done by the degree show.

Time to get going!