Showing posts from November, 2008

Xmas 2008 mock-up

This years card is running a bit late. I have decided to do it in watercolour instead of 3D. Not because I'm short of time, but because I feel like being self indulgent.

This is a mock up. The fairy and background will be watercolour. I will have to adjust the lettering, move some snowflakes about and crop it in a bit, to give the fairy more prominence.

Focus Pocus?

I have codgetated for sometime on what I should focus on careerwise. I have even gone to the point of consulting a psychic to help me decide.

While there is a demand for my plasticine illustrations there is no choice to be made. But during a lull the question emerges again.

Last time I spent weeks learning digital 3D, (not wasted time, as it came in handy for the last few commissions). But is this what I really want to be doing?

The other day I sat down to start work on the front cover of my book. I gathered the materials necessary but I couldn't gather the enthusiasm. I'm excited about the book but I'm not sure about the medium for the illustrations.

Commissioned plasticine illustrations will always command 100% of my enthusiasm, every ounce of my ability, and desire to please and fullfil the clients brief. But when it comes to a personal project, It's hard to find the motivation.

My Agent said he rather liked my recent watercolour illustrations. This is encouraging to me…

Making A Space

There is a lot to be said about Feng Shui. Even if you don't believe in the idea that energy flows around the home, (not sure I do), you must go along with idea that if your house is a mess then so can your mind be. On a purely psychological level a messy space isn't conducive to an ordered mind.The house has been neglected so i have a fair bit of clearing away to do. If I was just dealing with watercolour it wouldn't be such a problem. But I have camera/studio equipment, computer disks, plasticine, props, paints, etc to sort out.

My mind has been a bit unfocused of late in reaction to being busy, then not. And as I have decided to get back into meditation, I am creating a 'sacred' space to act as a kind of altar/focal point. I will gather together the things that inspire and motivate me.

As mentioned in a previous post I am going to start off with a candle meditation, (from the Australian meditation society), then I am going to try the first stage of the Holosync …


Computer Woes
I have had a hell of a time with software failures. The day really was a right-off thanks to the foibles of Vista.

I just bought a new Samsung media player to serve as a mobile electronic portfolio. It has a 3 inch screen and bluetooth. So if I ever get caught out without my portfolio, I can nip into my local chemist and print off some images using one of those instant developing machines.

The trouble has been with the software that came bundled with it, which hasn't been playing nice with Vista. The player is ok with music and picture files, but it is very fussy about the video files. They have to be just the right size, extension and codec to work. In the end I found an excellent program for converting all types of media. It is called 'MediaCorder' and it was free! and unlike most things that costs nothing on the net, this worked like a dream.

A lot of my software is a bit long in the tooth but even the most recent versions have had arguments with Vista. Often …

Beware Of The Slump!

I can feel the hot breath of the Slump on my neck. The dreaded post-commission Slump is creeping up behind me and is intent on dragging me back to its lair. It has been sneaky this time. It has waited, trying to lull me into a false sense of security. It is cunning and devious and knows my every move. I don't know if all illustrators have their own personal Slump. Mine is purple and green and belches noxious fumes through septic pores which punctuate its hirsute body.

But this time I am ready for him. I know how my mind can react to such extremes of activity and non-activity. I have decided to surprise the 'Slump,' in the way a good commander of an out-numbered army would, by doing the opposite to what's expected. I am going to face the situation with serene acceptance, (with the help of my much neglected meditation practise).

A friend of mine 'Blue Beetle' has delved into meditative/brainwave 'therapy' to get into deeper meditative states with programs s…

This Is It

...the last of my commissioned pieces. These are some of the plasticine illustrations to go on flash cards for Macmillan Books. I'm hoping more briefs will be offered to me.

I have been working for Macmillan for the past few months and up until now work has been steadily coming in. I am expensive for educational work, so I'm not sure their budget can sustain employing me. But who knows what's round the corner.

Chinese Snow And Ice Sculptures

I came across these amazing sculptures after I signed up to This is a great resource for finding the unexpected on the internet. When you sign up, you create your 'preferences' ie interests and hobbies, and add a simple browser bar to your web browser. When you hit the 'stumble' button you will be presented with a webpage related to one of the interests in your preferences.

This sculpture is the centrepiece of the Ice And Snow Festival, held annually in the northeastern city of Harbin, China.
Called Romantic Feelings, it is an amazing 115ft high and 656ft long - the largest snow sculpture ever created.
It was made by joining together 15ft square blocks of natural ice and snow, taken from the nearby Songhua River, which have been compressed to withstand blows from hatchets, saws and shovels.

Pictures courtesy of the Dail Mail

There are also incredidible illuminated Chinese ice sculptures on this site

picture cour…

Samhain, a second bite at the cherry

Samhain, (pronounced 'sow-en') marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year. It gives me a chance to make some new New Year resolutions, or reaffirm ones which fell by the wayside since January:¬)

Midway through October I stopped consulting my Tarot cards. It was becoming obvious they were a bit fed up with me. There comes a time when push come to shove you have to make your own decisions. I vowed to give them a rest until after Samhain.

A sceptic might say that any meaning that Tarot cards represent can be construed to fit the question asked. This is simply not true. Sometimes, the cards revealed bear no relevance whatsoever to the question asked. This could be down to lack of experience in reading them. But at the end of the day they are there to help me, and there are enough 'straight talking' cards available to give me a relevant answer. So if the cards thrown up are ambiguous it's normally because they are tired of me asking the same old questions.

I asked a questi…
This is Lanyon Quoit. The legend has it that King Arthur used the stone top as a dining table just before his last battle. The Stones are originally part of a bronze age burial structure over which the earth and turf covering have eroded.

Many of these burial sites have legends relating to giants. There often seems to be a certain amount of truth connected to these stories, as bones are often found indicating the deceased were well over seven foot in height.