Space cats

Here’s what I’ve been working on today – gel, indian ink and alcohol pens on purple card.

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Gallery

Gallery

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Here is a big compilation of all the art I’ve done in the last 5 years. If you want to use any of it, or you would like something similar, then contact me .. I’m cheap 🙂

Robot

robot

I found this picture recently that I drew a long time ago – black biro on a pad – it’s always been one of my favourites. I think I drew it in a Power engineering lecture. I don’t remember much about bridge rectifiers but hey at least I have the robot picture!

Sheepworld

sheepworld

I actually did this ages ago when i was beign presiding officer for the last election in a tiny hamlet where there were long periods where nobody came in.. you had to sit at the desk for 16 hours straight to make sure the ballot papers weren’t tampered with and I think I went a little odd.

I have been promising myself I will do more with this – process it and colour it either on the PC or with inks – but I haven’t decided on my colour scheme yet, so here it is in pencil.

Ink sketch

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Ink sketch

I doodle a lot but they don’t often come out looking this good! It took two gel pens to finish 🙂 (You can see I have run it thorugh GIMP and whacked up the threshold so you can’t see the lines where I shaded the blocks in – the actual sketch is not so neat.)

I really enjoyed tesallating the images – thinking about what each shape suggested to me and fitting it in neatly.

This took me 3 hours while I was working on a local election – we were in a polling office where nobody was interested in local democracy apart from about three old ladies!

Long ago comics

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Hello there,

I haven’t drawn anything new this week (i have creative periods and then other times when all i want to do is curl up with a glas of wine and read).

So I thought I’d look back through my old pictures and find something interesting to share. I draw this on an old square paper pad, in biro, ten years ago while living in a rat infested one bedroom flat in London. I had the best job I’d ever had but even then London was so expensive I didn’t have much left after I got paid. I was also trying to do my teacher training at Midlands University (how did I ever think i would manage that and a full time job?)

Clearly it sent me a little loopy!

This little cartoon is also in one of my books – Miscellany of Oddities. Maybe one day I will write the rest of it!

Imagehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Miscellany-Oddities-whimsical-foray-Peculiar/dp/1490393773

Landscape

alienworld

Ink and biro again.
This is just a doodle really. I like to make a wash and swish the ink around in it and then when it has dried I see what it suggests to me and draw it on in biro. I use coloured pencils and inks to colour the people. It reminds me of cloth covered hardback story books from the 40s and 50s I had when I was a child, inherited from my Dad. There was a different, faded quality to the ink in those books and the printing wasn’t very sophisticated, so only the main characters got their own colours and the backgrounds were quite clumsy.

Ink and biro

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Ink and biro

I love the red ink, it just pops. I am going to paint everything this colour red.

Book review

This week I finished Cory Doctorow’s “For the Win”. Cory makes the majority of his books available for free here: http://craphound.com/ftw/download/. I did buy mine, for the e-reader. It was less than £4.

“For the Win” is a sort of a sequel to “Little Brother”. There aren’t any common characters, but they’re both near-future, real world books. They both feature young, brave, uncompromising computer literate protagonists and oppressive, heavy handed governments. Where “Little Brother” is concerned with American state surveillance, “For the Win” is more global – it explores the lives of Chinese and Indian “gold farmers” – young people who play massive multiplayer online games in order to earn gold and specialist items which they can then sell, for real money, to players in the west. To make this more interesting, Cory has spun the wheels of the future round a few turns, positing a scenario where the games are now so vast that their economies are as large as those of small countries. The action happens where the work in these games intersects with real life sweatshops.

What makes these young adult books is that Cory explains in detail about the economic, financial and technical ways in which the world ticks. in “Little Brother”, he explains how surveillance gait recognition cameras work and how you could fool them, how you can encrypt messages and use the Onion Router or make your own sub-internet wifi network that doesn’t go through an ISP. He lists resources in the back of the book. This is basically a toolkit for baby hackers. In “For the Win”, the explanations are financial, but they make sense of the economic crisis. As a reasonably well educated adult reading this, I don’t feel condescended to, just interested.

Another common vein running through Cory’s books is his unshakeable optimism that whatever the ills of the world, the internet can fix them. Whether it’s bringing workers together to support each other globally, providing people with a way to communicate without being spied on, generating income for the dispossessed, Cory’s characters adapt, notch up their intelligence, and use the internet and technology at its bleeding edge to ride the scary changes the world is currently going through. They’re uplifting. I’m certainly giving them to my children to read.

ftw_uk_big

In a complete volte-face, the book I am currently reading is by “Wood Fables”, by an 19th Century naturalist called Richard Jeffries, and the protagonist is  Bevis, aged, so far as I can tell, about 5 years. He is currently deep in conversation with a squirrel.

Inspired (a bit) by Ghibli

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growing up

shipwreck

lil capitalist

mermaid dress

happy world