Sunday, 20 April 2014

Process: Secret 7s 2014

Remember back to this time, last year? So long ago! I submitted a design to the amazing Secret 7s charity project and was lucky enough to be selected! You can read about Secret 7s and their good work over here and you can read my process blog post over here!

I drew Haim flying through the air for 2013 and when the 2014 list of artists was posted I was immediately drawn to drawing a sleeve for 'Team' by Lorde. If you're not familiar if the song... SPOILERS: it is ace.

And! Some of the covers are just as brilliant! Here is a sad clown!


I spent a bunch of time trying to draw Lorde. She has amazing hair so that was a recurring theme. I even tried drawing in a more 'serious' style for a little bit... although eventually I drew her like I draw everyone - with cute little stick limbs <3 p="">

The idea was that I'd draw a 'team' of Lordes - a bit like a superhero team like the X-Men... But, just like always, what I planned and what I actually ended up doing were very different things. I sketched out my original Lorde-skeleton - the template that I'd base all my other Lordes from...

 Looking pretty sassy, Lorde!
Watch out! The team of Lordes are on their way! But as I added in the fourth and fifth Lorde, I felt that I'd like to reference my previous sleeve for Haim - giving Lorde actual arms and actual legs and REAL CLOTHES! So I looked at her outfits and her looks and settled on a design I liked... which was this!
I coloured her in (she wears a lot of dark colours) and decided to carry on some of the other design features from the 2013 sleeve - the pixel background! I effing love pixels! I wish I was really good at 8bit art and the like. Maybe one day I'll get it!

The background and ground were coloured and I'd like to do a special shout out to Lorde's eyebrows and lipstick. I think I did a good job with them on this sleeve.

Lorde was all sorted but I had one more thing I wanted to add... a MAGIC FORCE FIELD!

I used rainbow colours as a reference to the 2013 sleeve but also because rainbows are great. They make everything better. Plus it made Lorde look like she was going to do some cool things!

I submitted my design and the panel selected it! HOORAY! The sleeves were exhibited and then put on sale for Record Store Day! And someone bought it - raising money for charity!

Here's a photo of my sleeve on display next to some other amazing sleeves!

Mega thanks to everyone at Secret 7s and to the person who bought my sleeve! I hope I'll get to take part in next year's event! 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Robot's Return - a new long story!

It's been a while since I did a long story on People I Know. There was A Familiar Face that started in October 2013 and A Wizard's Woes in April 2013 but before both of those, there was Hello Future in September 2012!

Hello Future ended with Robot's head being torn off by Bleepo and ever since, poor Robot has never been the same!

So, months later (starting 24th March 2014) I am finally going to try to get Robot a new head... but obviously, it won't be that simple... OR WILL IT?! You'll have to read it to find out!

This is the longest story I've written and I tried to keep you on your toes. There's a bunch of familiar characters and maybe even a few new ones! I hope your favourite characters make an appearance!

I'm looking to have the story printed if everyone likes it - although it'll probably be split across two comics due to size issues. That works quite well though as the story has two distinct acts, as you'll find out! MWAH HA HA HA HA

Robot's Return will run until the beginning of July on my regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.

IN OTHER NEWS: I'm going to work on a longer SPACE BABIES story! If you like SPACE and/or BABIES then you'll probably enjoy it

Stay out of trouble

Songs That I've Shazam'd

Shazam is a great app that identifies songs that you make it listen to. I was in a shop yesterday (buying a pen, since you asked) and they were playing a song that sounded really familiar... With the power of Shazam, I found out it was this...

FUN FACT: Shazam makes a list of all the songs it has identified for you! Who knew? So, for no reason other than it's fun, here are a bunch of the songs Shazam has identified for me.

Dream of Me by Kristina Train

This reminds me a bit of Heaven Knows by Girl Called Johnny - one of my favourite songs in a long time

Love of the Common People by Paul Young
(This appears at least twice in my list... which says a lot about the state of my memory)

Odessa by Caribou

I Can't Go For That by The Bird and the Bee

Celesitca by Crystal Castles

If you've got Shazam, have a look at the list of songs and if you think I'd enjoy them based on the above then send them along! It's always nice to have new music to listen to!

Sunday, 9 March 2014



If everything goes to plan, I should be starting a brand new, pretty intense new story line in People I Know next week. I've been working on it for a while in one way or another and I don't want to say too much about it now... except that it focuses on the plight of Robot who has been without a head ever since Bleepo (the future version of myself's pet robot) tore it off... but, in a shocking twist, I've actually thought about the story so it isn't just about that! Well, not if I've done my job properly!

At the moment, this story will last for more than 10 weeks and it's not the only new project I've been working on. Oh no! I've also been working on a new project in a new world with new characters! I've even tried drawing hands for it!

The project is called 'SPACE BABIES' and is about stuff in space. I've drawn a few one-pagers and have written out a longer story too... but I wanted to show you a bunch of the one-pagers before the robot story begins... otherwise I'd have to wait for a few months before I could say anything!

I'll upload three SPACE BABIES one-pagers to - one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There's no background you need to know about it except that it's set in space.

From an artistic point of view, I've really tried something different. So different that I'm actually a little nervous about posting it on my website! The aim of it all is to collect the one-pagers and the story into a cute Risographed comic... Risographing it means I can't use a lot of colours and that I've got to think a bit more how I'm doing everything.

I bought two lovely Posca Paint pens for all my sketchbook tests so that's been additional fun. Here are some photos from it for you to look at! If you click on them, they should appear larger!

I hope you don't mind SPACE BABIES taking up space in your RSS feed or whatever. I also hope I get this Robot story finished in time to start next week!

In other news, I hope you're all well and having a nice 2014. Have I missed anything interesting?

Stay out of trouble

Friday, 21 February 2014

Taylor Swift is Brilliant

On Tuesday the 11th of February 2014, my life changed forever…

I went to the O2 along with 19,999 other people to see Taylor Swift on the last ever date of her Red Tour and it was pretty much the best thing ever.

I don’t know how you feel about Taylor Swift but let me tell you, if you don’t think she’s brilliant then you need to sort yourself out. She is an incredible popstar and, although I always thought she was ace, seeing her LIVE was completely mind-blowing.

(((Here is a drawing I did for Julia Scheele's Heroines Zine)))

Firstly, she has a great back catalogue. I’m sure you’re familiar with Love Story, 22 etc… but some of her album tracks are just as incredible. Don’t believe me? That’s cool… but I got you something!

Better Than Revenge is incredibly sassy and I personally think her up-tempo songs are where her song writing really shines. I mean, this song features the undeniably spectacular lyric “she’s not a saint and she’s not what you think – she’s an actress. She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” Burn!

And then there’s Long Live – the sort of song that would be the opening music if they ever remake Dawson’s Creek. It’s full of hope, the song I would loudly listen to if I ever went on a road trip down the West Coast of California… or, perhaps more realistically, the song I would listen to in bed, reading through a series of text messages that used to mean something to me.

So yeah – Taylor Swift writes a cracking song. Admit it.

But, seeing her perform live (in a massive stadium) really drives home how accomplished she is when it comes to putting on a show. I’ve seen a lot of performances online and on the TV but witnessing them first hand is something else. She knows just what to say to get the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. She brings out a different special guest every show and you feel like you’re seeing two BFFs having an ace time and it’s magical. She’s happy to take some time between songs to tell the audience how to deal with mean people and she does it so well that you really feel like she’s talking to you.

I tried to find a good clip to illustrate how brilliant she is in a huge stadium and probably the best is the music video for Red.

It’s made up of footage of the tour itself and you can see how hard she’s working (although it never feels like hard work) and how much the crowd are loving it (check out all the light up signs). Does it help if I tell you that I cried a little during some of her set? Does it help if I tell you that I was smiling like that creepy moon emoji for a solid hour after the show ended? Does it help if I tell you that I think I might actually be suffering Post-Taylor Blues?

Taylor Swift is the popstar (and BFF) I wish I’d grown up with. She writes a brilliant song, she sings a brilliant song and if you think you’re too cool to listen to her songs then you need to stop being a baby and buy an album! I’d recommend ‘Speak Now’ to start with!

Special shout-out to my pal John who came along with me and to Sally who helped make my dreams come true!  

PS. If you’re Taylor Swift and you’re reading this, could you please do a nice cover of ‘Hysteric’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs? That would be ace.