Paper Chains

I'm currently powering through an ascent up Mt. Dissertation so I'll keep it brief:
Paper chains, with the lyrics from 'Fairytale of New York'...
Made by me.

Incidentally, I recently discovered that Shane McGowan has recorded a new version of 'Little Drummer Boy' with The Priests, or The Popes, or some other all-singing denomination of the church. I am shocked and appalled. Call me old fashioned, but Christmas Eve is meant to be spent in the drunk tank, not at midnight mass.

Merry Christmas Your Arse!

Christmas 2010 has descended with all the usual bells and whistles. I've been pretty much snowed under (ha ha) with uni work, but managed to whip up a few cheery cards to sell at the AUCB Christmas Silent Auction. I made the less-than-jolly cards as a bit of a joke, but they turned into somewhat of a success- I guess everyone knows someone who doesn't really embrace the yuletide spirit! I like to think of it as the 'Humbug' market.

My personal favourite was "Ho Fucking Ho!" but I neglected to take a photo of it. I'm interested in hearing if anyone received it in their Christmas post!

One card also contained this delightful insert. God bless Shane McGowan, and his nightmare-inducing incisors. (Or lack of)

Merry Bloody Christmas.

Tastes Like The Real Thing

Sneak preview of what I'm up to at the moment.

I'm thinking about a lot of things. Advertising, consumerism, "sex sells", filling our lives with endless amounts of clutter. I think I'm making a send-up of an advertising campaign, promoting the next indispensable item which we can't live without. Only, I don't know what that is, so I've been designing strange objects inspired by my many ventures to the tip. It's like, well deep like. And a bit creepy.

A Recipe For... Duck a l'orange

A Recipe For Duck a l'orange.
Slightly edited version of my submission for the book 'A Recipe For', a limited edition offering from the fresh inky blood of Bournemouth Illustration.

The Pencil Crayon Addiction

I have a problem. I cannot stop using colouring pencils.

Ray Day! Ray Day!

Things to do on a Saturday: make a manta ray costume.

I'm no costume designer and I certainly don't possess any particular skill for sewing, but I do have a certain adeptness at dissertation avoidance.

This is me, as a manta ray, curiously swimming up to an unsuspecting diver.

The problem is, now that I've started drawing rays, I can't stop.

It's going to be one of those weeks.


Old work I never got round to scanning in.
"The popularity of an animal is directly correlated with the number of anthropomorphic features it possesses" (Anon.)
With that in mind, I applied the same baby face to lots of different animals.

Personal favourite is the chicken.

Cluck cluck cluck.

Things That I Have Learned

That Sundays are for: mooching in your pyjamas, stuffing yourself with carbohydrates, finding out who has been voted out of The X Factor, maybe having a bath, on suitable days walking across the last of the British countryside, on unsuitable days playing Scrabble, phoning mum, musing on the balcony and napping inconsistently.

That Sundays are not for: doing everything that needs to be done for Monday that you put off during the week; including creating a portfolio on the kitchen floor from three year's worth of sketchbooks, going into technological battle with a stubborn scanner and shouting at Adobe Illustrator (both versions 3 and 5) whilst everyone tries to civilly watch Downton Abbey.

From Russia With Love

Charity shop gold: back on my birthday we discovered this Russian babe in British Heart Foundation:

Fast forward six months and I finally took the film to be developed. To be honest I wasn't expecting any photographic wonders; the instruction manual was in Russian and there are lots of random numbers and little controls that even my friends on photography courses couldn't fathom. Hey ho, at least choosing the shutter speed is fairly simple- those soviet designers kindly drew a cloud selection menu on the lens, with a dizzying array of four types of cloud!

Obviously the pictorial selection menu paid off, because nearly all of the prints came out. Apart from a confusing double exposure incident, in which a spring day at the beach has been mashed together with a day's kite flying in Minchinhampton- an episode which I still haven't fathomed- everything seems ship-shape. Looking forward to recording some of Autumn now, and am planning a day trip to an arboretum* one rainy weekend in October.

*Arboretum: Like a zoo, but for trees.

She Said; "You Ain't Ugly, You Can Kiss Me If You Like"

Stationary season is upon us. That can only mean one thing, it's time to buy a new lever arch file and pack of highlighters in preparation for the incoming seven months ahead. Seven months of drawing my socks off and boffing up on Roland Barthes. As a small consolation, I made a badge.

Birthday Card

Token bird-related card for my step dad's annual birthday.

I wasn't in a very good mood this year.


Secret Garden Party

Kodak Colorsnap 2, a handful of friends, a tent, a straw hat and I took a break from reality and cavorted about in a flag-filled field for five days and nights. In other worlds, this is Secret Garden Party 2010.

Sometimes, something is so wonderful that you completely forget it will ever end. It felt like I had never arrived there, and like I would never leave. It just... was.

A melancholy kind of happiness, appreciating a moment only after it has passed. Sleeping on bales of hay and dancing long past dawn. Dry ice and survival cups of tea. One morning about six we fell into a tent, layered floor to ceiling with rugs and carpets, a lovely cool softness, like arranging yourself on a king-size bed on the yearly family trek through the M and S sale. Disrupting the hushness is a man being asked to move on. "But you can't make us leave! This is our Home!" Floundering and pleading he is escorted from the premises. We return to quiet breeze and the stillness of the Beach Boys. Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder).

Then there are the more sinister moments on piss-soaked knolls behind dancefloors. Lumberingly squeezed into a leather-zipped PVC two-piece suit, an aged member of the press dribbles above my head. "I've just taken three pills, and I'm waiting for them to kick in." Those little jabs of social conscience when you know life can't be like this forever. When shuddering back to reality you remember you're moving house in two weeks and the car has three days left on it's MOT. But that there are the unremitting jaunts of happiness on the wayside. Music, films and dogs. Tea, bread and penguins. Oblique rabbits.

If Kodak and I Had a Love Child...

It would look like this:

I picked up this little beauty in a charity shop for a fiver. It came complete with velvet lined case, circa 1964.

We shall lie beneath the stars and whisper sweet nothings to one another.

Also got some redscale negs back from the lab. One fave:

Complete accident. I thought my Diana had packed in at this point. I know Lomography is all about fiddly plastic cameras that maul your film to the point of excess, but things were getting ridiculous. I have since returned the offending item and had it replaced, fingers crossed for the new one.

Breakfast At Trinity's

Just spent a charming week in Falmouth.

Sun, sea, sand, watching people swim, walking, hills, old friends, new friends, ice cream, clotted cream, sun cream, magazines, shades, chips, seagulls, sleeping, rattler and lesser forms of cider, flips, flops, swans, shops, shorts, scarves, shoes, girls, boys, bonnie tyler on the A30, Jane Eyre, spots, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, smackerels, mackerels, art, coffee, cafes, eating, mainly eating.


As a distraction from the football and to assert my capabilities (and I am not, I would like to clarify, perpetuating an age-old gender stereotype), I baked a flourless chocolate cake, dusted with icing sugar and garnished generously with blueberries and raspberries.

The result was better than the match (ha!) but still somewhat disappointing- moist, but perhaps too moist; sweet, but perhaps too sickly; rich, but perhaps too decadent. On the whole I give it a seven.

The consumption of said dessert, accompanied by Lady Grey tea and dribbles of double cream, marks the end of five days of oestrogen rule in our household. Resident chaps and chapette have been somewhere in a field in Southern Pembrokeshire since Monday: in their absence the house has been detoxed (or dettoxed, depending on how you feel about that pun), the budgie has been re-named and the nice recycling men will find a hefty crate of wine bottles next Thursday morning.

Incidentally, Lidl Typos. You can now purchase a 200g bar of 'Finest Fark Chocolate'.

Fark knows what that is.

Divergence II

So it appears my last post didn't publish properly, which shows how awful my internet connection is and how diligently I check my blog.

Second attempt, hopefully with the actual video and not some overly bookish chronicle.


A short video.

Final piece for our animation project, also the final piece of work from second year.

A fleeting moment of realisation brought about by investigating the phenomenon of multiple online lives. I spent several weeks creating avatars for portals such as Second Life, World of Warcraft and Habbo Hotel, whilst simultaneously taking street recordings of passing conversations and unacknowledged background noise.

What I hope to show is neither cynical nor celebratory, merely a close observation of the parallels between our virtual and our real lives... a transient conclusion that whatever hopes Hollywood may spin us; tangible or simulated; nothing much is ever really going to happen. In reality, what I do show is that I have a damn nice pair of socks.

The Holga

So, I got my first batch of film from my Holga developed (finally!). Contrary to popular Holga folklore, all twelve images actually came out- although of varying quality. They say that for every roll of film you lovingly put through your Holga, all the effort and expense of developing and scanning, you only get one good image. Well, this is it, and it has light leaks.

Lomography. Why do I bother???

NOW! That's What I Call A Picnic

I recently made a mix CD for my friend Steph in Glasgow. I'm not sure that the weather in Scotland is as apt for the mix as it is down here in Bournemouth, but it should be a nice reminder that good times are on the way.

I meant to send it to her seven months ago, so I put a lot of effort in to make it worth the wait!

My favourite tracks are "Green Onions" by Booker T & The MG's, "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison, "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley, "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits and "Runaway" by Del Shannon.

Summer classics!

Popping The Animation Cherry

I have lost my animation virginity, and I lost it to a very shaky lady flipping a pancake.
It only lasted seven seconds.

Some Thoughts on the Weather

There's something so lovely about the seaside; there's something so lovely about the countryside, oh I wish I could have it all!