Wednesday, 28 July 2021

new stuff

Managed to find a bit of time to do some personal stuff. Added collage cos it's my fave thing to do when time is not an issue...

Monday, 19 July 2021

stuck in a rut

I'm in a rut. 

I've been so busy lately that I've just been churning stuff out to keep up with all the deadlines. There has been zero time to look at a brief and do some nice research and think about new creative ways of doing it and go out looking for inspiration and come up with something fabulous. I've just been a drawing machine coming up with the same old shit and trying to put a new slant on it whilst watching the clock and thinking I'veJustGottaGetItDoneNOW.

I mean how many times can you draw a bloody cow and make it look different to the last sodding cow that you did for a very similar project last week. And who even has time to think about a new way of drawing the cow when the deadline is on Friday and you've also got to come up with a new bunny and bear combo for someone else by then...and a new collection of jungle animals for a different client by tomorrow.

Add the increasingly low budgets that a lot of companies are coming up with into the mix and there's defo no time to waste on experimentation and artistic creativity. Unless you want the project to end up at 10 quid an hour of course. Which I don't.

So I'm planning on taking some time this summer to just focus on personal work. Trouble is I'm a bit rubbish without structure and deadlines.
I found a fabulous Picture Book Illustration Summer School at Cambridge School of Art. The bumf said it was great "if you're bored or dissatisfied with your work and want a creative reboot" I was like "YES! That's meeee! Sign me up!!"
Unfortunately that was just the advanced group. The ordinary group focuses on how to write and illustrate a kids book.
Well, I know HOW to...I've done all the courses and attended the seminars. I know all the theory. I just don't put my knowledge into practice. It was the creative reboot I wanted.
Sadly the deadline to apply for the 'Advanced Course' was a month before I discovered it and the course was already full.
So I'm not off to Cambridge this year.

So instead I've booked myself into my own diary and I'm on a mission to have my own Creative Reboot.

Not exactly sure where to begin. But begin I will.... watch this space...

Thursday, 8 July 2021

life lessons

This pile of books is currently homeless. They're "Illustrator copies" from books I've illustrated over the last 7 years. I have about a zillion Illustrator copies now. On shelves all over the house.

Anyway, we revamped the hallway recently and binned off the old Ikea shelf cube in favour of some rather attractive Mustard Made lockers. Everything that lived on the old Ikea shelves made it's way to The Eldest's bedroom. The books have been sleeping on Jodie's bed for the last two months.

But she came home on Tuesday. And she did not want to sleep with them. And all my other shelves are full.

So I'm gonna have a clearout.

Loads of the copies I have do not bring me joy. The first publisher I ever worked with told me they would be re-using some of the images I illustrated for them in other books. I was 'naive' at the time (Read: completely stupid and clueless as to how the publishing industry usually works) and I said that this was fine. It wasn't fine. Turns out it's normal practice to pay the illustrator a re-use fee when this happens. They did not pay any re-use fees. Still, they were putting a ton of work my way so I shut up and put up. For a long time. Until the extent of the re-use finally dawned on me. And the absolute rubbishness of some of the books. So I stopped working with them. But I still get "new" Illustrator copies of old stuff from time to time. Even now. SEVEN YEARS LATER!

I'm gonna cleanse my soul and get rid of the bloody things, pretend they don't exist. I will only keep the books I was actually involved in, the ones I enjoyed working on and the ones I like. The re-use will be the charity shop probably.

Lesson learned.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

july already

I know it's annoying when people can't quite believe it's already July. 

But ... July!! Already!!

Here's what happened over on insta in June...