Sunday, 11 September 2016

Comics In The Kitchen exhibition

Way back in June, I took part in the "Comics In The Kitchen" exhibiton at Orbital Comics, London, alongside a bunch of other food-loving cartoonists and illustrators creating illustrated recipes.

I decided to revisit two characters from a recipe comic that I created last year, featured in the Comics Cookbook, published by Centrala, but come up with a new recipe to illustrate. After giving it some thought, I decided to do a cake recipe, because I enjoy baking cakes. I looked up some recipes online and decided to go with a chocolate and beetroot cake, which I did try baking before deciding if it was the right recipe to use for my comic.

The exhibition was great and there was a really strong mixture of different styles and recipes. Obviously, it's long since been taken down, but here's my piece from the show [click to enlarge]...

Secret 7"

Earlier this year, I submitted a design for the 2016 Secret 7" show. The annual show has been running since 2012 and each year takes 7 tracks from 7 musicians/bands and press each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. They then accept submissions from creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style and 700 sleeve designs are selected and printed, to create 100 unique copies for each of the 7 tracks. These are exhibited and then sold for £50 apiece to raise money for a selected charity.

Of the 7 tracks available, I decided to create a design for Art School by The Jam. Sadly, my illustration did not get selected for the final exhibition, but that doesn't stop me sharing it here...

UniQlo x Nintendo, Global T-shirt Design Competition UTGP2017

UniQlo held their Global T-Shirt Design Competition (UTGP2017) during the Summer to design a t-shirt based on a selected theme, which this year was Nintendo!

The designs could feature characters from any of the following series' of games: Super Mario, The Legend Of Zelda, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Star Fox, Splatoon, Pikmin, Metroid, Kirby and Donkey Kong. You weren't allowed to cross them over with each other, but otherwise it was open to your imagination.

As T-Shirts and Nintendo are two of my favourite things, I couldn't let this moment pass, so submitted a few designs based on past Nintendo-themed drawings I'd done, plus came up with a new one...

This was a drawing I did, based on the artwork for Super Mario World on the SNES...


Here's a baby version of Samus from the Metroid series, hugging a cuddly Metroid...


This was my take on Peppy Hare's line from Star Fox: "Do a Barrel Roll!"...


And here's a new design I made, featuring Bowser and his offspring, the Koopalings and Bowser Jr, in the style of The Brady Bunch opening. Because, why not...


The deadline for the competition has now closed and the winners will be announced early next year...

Blog Catch-Up: Cards and Commissions

Another blog post, another apology for the lack of consistent updates! *sigh* Unbelievably, I've been running this blog for 8 years now, since 2008 and until last year my annual number of blog posts was consistently in triple figures. Last year I managed 33 blog posts all year, and so far this year I've only managed half that amount. There are various reasons for this: it takes time to do these posts - resizing images, checking the formatting, writing this nonsense etc. – and in recent years, I've just had less time. Partly because I've been busy working on interesting projects that I don't always get to tell people about because Reasons, partly because of having to work elsewhere in order to earn money to exist, partly because of Life. I could spend more time saying how I'll be posting more from now on, but in all honesty, that's probably not likely. I will still post here when I can, but if you want to keep more up-to-date with what I'm up to, you can always Like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram.

In the past, I've made a LOT of Birthday cards for friends and family, it's something I enjoy doing and part of the challenge is coming up with new ideas every year. For various reasons (similar to the reasons why my blog posting has been greatly reduced), this year I have had to reduce the number of cards that I make, but I've still managed to make a couple and have also this year have also received a few commissions to make cards for other people.

My friend Anne asked me to draw a portrait of her and her husband Kurt for their Wedding Anniversary. She sent me a photo for refernce...


She aslo commissioned me to do a picture for her friend's birthday, with her and her friend. Again she sent me a photo for a reference...


Here's another commissioned card to welcome the birth of a new baby. For his one I was sent a bunch of reference photos of the couple but came up with the poses and composition, and also had to imagine the baby as it hadn't been born yet! It's quite surreal drawing a card for somebody that you don't know...


The same person that I drew the previous card for also asked me to draw a card for their uncle's 60th birthday. They sent me a couple of photos for reference, and wanted to have him fishing and catching a fish...


This was a fun one, to draw a birthday card for someone's nephew(?). His favourite show is Andy's Dinosaur Adventures and they asked for a drawing of the Birthday Boy off on a Dinosaur Adventure with Andy. I had to look up the show on YouTube, but they also sent me a lot of reference images, as well as some cute photos of their nephew dressed up as Andy...



Finally, it's not all commission requests. And I did manage to find time to make a couple of personal card too! This one was for my friend Chantel's birthday. I don't see her so often (hardly at all, sadly!) since she moved to Hull, and now Leeds, for work, but I do know that she loves Pokémon, so I made her this Game Boy-style card...


It was also my mum's 69th birthday, although she preferred to refer to herself as being 68+...


My University friend Rishi got married to Deepa last month. I was invited along to the wedding, but didn't have time to make them a card for the actual day, but drew this one afterwards using the photos people had taken for reference, and sent it to them for when they got back from their honeymoon...


And finally, another University friend, Francine got married the other week in Las Vegas and had a Live Stream of the ceremony that Guests could watch online from home. While I did this (at 1am in the morning, because of time differences), I did a few sketches and shortly afterwards sent them this drawing...

Monday, 20 June 2016

Happy Father's Day

It seems like every time I get around to writing a blog post so far this year it starts with a disclaimer about not having managed to post so often in 2016 and a promise to try to post more in the future...and this one is sadly no different! I've been quite busy the past month or so working on a couple of projects which I can hopefully post about very soon, but in the meantime radio silence will continue I'm afraid.

Anyway, yesterday was Father's Day in the UK and I did manage to find some time to make a card for my dear old Dad, busy "working" in the garden...

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

MCM London Comic Con

This past weekend I was at the MCM London Comic Con at Royal Victoria Dock, sharing a table with my friend Inko and selling my comics. This was my first time with a table at this event and to say that it was quite intense would be an understatement! A record-breaking 133,156 people attended the event over Friday, Saturday and Sunday!


All set up and ready!


Inko's ready too!

Friday was a relatively quiet start to the weekend, and I had some time to leave my table and have a browse around the two massive halls housing the Convention.

On Saturday, Inko was away running a Manga workshop at the Greenwich Book Festival, so I was flying solo and needed to fill a whole table by myself.



Saturday was also the busiest day. I knew this was going to be the case, but I was taken aback by the sheer noise that emanated through the hall when the doors opened and the crowds entered at 9am! The few times I ventured out to pop to the loo, grab a coffee, or have a quick catch up with friends, I soon became overwhelmed with the amount of people milling around and rushed back to the relative solitude behind my table!

Thankfully, on Sunday Inko was back and it also wasn't quite so busy. But by that point I was fairly exhausted after two 10-hour days in a row and early starts all weekend, so again I spent the majority of the day behind my table, trying to look engaging but struggling to stay awake.

All in all though, it was a great weekend and I would definitely do it again! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to say hello, buy some comics, or provide me with snacks!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Free Comic Book Day at Gosh! Comics

This past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day and Gosh! Comics in Soho had a host of events on to celebrate, including a Kids Drawing Workshop in the morning which I was asked to take part in. Here's the poster with an illustration by John Allison:



This was the first time that I'd done something like this, but it was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many kids into drawing and making comics and I enjoyed chatting with them, drawing alongside them and even given a few tips and advice.



Mauricio Molizane De Souza was hovering around all day taking some great photos, documenting the day's events.


I got a name badge (which I forgot to take off until about half an hour later when I was walking along Shaftsbury Avenue)!




Working on a jam-piece with Ramsey Hassan...



This was probably my favourite thing from the day! One kid asked me to draw a picture of Batman, which I did and then gave it to him to colour in. And after colouring in the cape, he went and gave his Batman yellow marigolds and drew him holding a sink plunger and added a bottle-cleaning sponge to his utility belt. Genius!





A bunch of drawings at the end of the Workshop, including my Spider-Man and a crocodile wearing a scarf.