Saturday, 6 August 2011

Exaggerated Series

Filler post, by nature. Just thought I'd post some of my most recent work: a small series of caricatures of myself, my boyfriend and my sister...

Hoping to add my brothers and maybe my parents/friends to this series. I've finally finished uni and am free to do as I please until I can get a job, haha! Moving into a Bungalow soon too, so it's busy times for Jemmy. Still, I'll be doing some work for a friend of mine and his business, so that'll hopefully bring some money in. Until them I'm free for commissions, but am working on starting up a professional business: calling cards, stickers, postcards, felties etc... also hoping to show up to some conventions with my work within the next year.

Blogs on the way:

+ Kapow! Comic Con
+ Highgate Cemetery (and other photos)
+ Liverpool Tattoo Convention
+ Manchester MCM Expo

In the meantime, here's my latest avatar(d):

Finally (I promise), I've given my account a serious make-over and joined, so if you're interested in reading some of my written work, both fan and original, just click on the links! :)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

More Character Designage!: Bluey and Dom

Not much explaination needed for this post, assuming you've read my earlier one.

Here's some more examples of my character design process. I basically draw, and draw, and draw the characters until they start to gradually look on-model in each drawing. I don't think I'm quite there yet, but having all the images nearby helps to keep my characters looking fairly similar in most pictures.

As an added bonus, some Blue and Dom trivia for you:

Bluey's real name is unknown, as is her entire background. As her friend, Dom accepts that she's insanely secretive and he doesn't pry. Maybe I'll give her a name and a back story eventually. Or maybe I already have. Who knows?

Dom's second name is James and, as mentioned before, he was born in America, more specifically in California. He spent his childhood surfing and playing on the beach in summer, until his parents moved him and his three older siblings to the UK, for a life of rain, rain and... more rain. Dom is really homesick, and particularly proud of his West Coast heritage, which he doesn't shut up about.

Until next time, check out this comic preview featuring my little muses.

Bluey and Dom comic preview

Here's a preview of a short Bluey and Dom comic I've done today. Still umming and ahhing over whether to colour it, or just add shading. Also, the speech bubbles here are only temporary. Any constructive critique would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Character Designage!: Blue and Dom

Wow, it appears I may have something relevant to talk about for once: my artwork!

I don't usually post my pictures for fear of theives, bandits and ruffians making off with my goods, but then again, I need to get my work out there somehow.

Bluey and Dominic are two characters I came up with when I was about fourteen, as a way to vent my teen-angst. Since then, I haven't really been able to put them down, because I love them so.

Dominic is shy, sweet, adorable, and always looks ill. He's a bit of a pervert too, as his hormones generally run his life. Girls love him, women want to mother him, guys want to kick his pathetic arse. Oh, and he's a yanky-doodle, because I love Californian surfer dudes :)

Bluey on the other hand is his polar opposite; loud, obnoxious, promiscuous as hell (kind of a lovable slut), and a bit of a tough cookie. But underneath she can be nice sometimes, and she's ferociously loyal, unlike Dom who's cheated once or twice.

The pair are best mates and get up to all sorts of shenanigans, though I can't think of any off the top of my head... except an old Legend of Zelda Cosplay comic that I'm going to re-boot at some point.

Anyway, there's a brief description of them both. Enjoy the doodles:

You'll have noticed there's only one page for Dom, and that's because this is basically everything I've done today. More Dom to follow, and also I'll be designing tattoos for them both.

The idea behind these character sheets is to give me a solid (or thereabouts) basis for them when I'm drawing them in comics and illustrations. It also helps me get to know them a bit better, since they've been on the shelf for a while. Anyhoo, as you can see I like to play around with shapes: Blue is mostly soft shapes and curves, because she's so laid-back and fancy free. Meanwhile, Dom is made up of straight lines and angles, because he's rigid as hell and always stressed... aha! See what I did there? Always gotta think about these things in character design.

The whole shapes idea also helps to emphasize the opposites between the pair, and also the size difference (Dom is a good head taller than Bluey-the-shortarse).

*sigh* How I love character design! :) I'll post some more soon, and hopefully I'll soon have some of my other comic characters Morgue, Gor and Demon Bob. Imagine that...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Shouldn't really be playing games, buuuut...

Having a blog is handy for bragging about things, sharing your dirtiest laundry with the world and spreading juicy rumors like “I think my brother is gay because he’s currently dancing around in my sister’s silky green underwear…”

But having a blog is also a great way to tell people how awesome things are: like my boyfriend, for example.

My wonderful, selfless Dan has gone and spent a whoppingly unnecessary amount on me for our two-year anniversary. Whilst most women will mope over jewellery, clothes and other boring things, Dan has gone a bought me a 3DS!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love him to bits anyway, and I’d still be with him without an anniversary present. The reason I feel the need to sing about this is because of the sweet way he was going to surprise me, and because considering we’re both trying to save up for a trip to New Zealand, this is a pretty big commitment. And for me, it’s also the first time I’ve ever had a brand new console bought for me (my dad used to nick second-hand consoles from his squaddie mates. I’m seriously not kidding).

So it may sound materialistic and shit, but I couldn’t really care less. It’s no different from some ditzy bitch drooling over a diamond ring. We’re both really looking forward to Thursday now, for the midnight launch of the 3DS, and the Friday, when we’ll spend all day playing on them.

Now I have to come up with something extra special for Dan, with very little money. And if I can’t return the favour this year, then I will someday, when I’m loaded…

And so dear friends, this week I leave you with this image:

Ignoring the obvious spelling errors there, you read right, fellow nerds. A Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright crossover... I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a game, including Phantom Hourglass. I literally started shaking.

I mean the only thing that could beat this would be Legend of Zelda meets Another Code, with Kyle Hyde thrown in for good measure, vs. Layton PHD and Ace Attorney! It’d be some kind of badass mystery/puzzle-solving, action, adventure, save the Princess, “j’accuse!” hybrid…

I’m getting ahead of myself though (assuming you understood anything of what I just said). For the moment, Layton vs. Wright is set for a Japanese release only. However, I hold faith that America and the UK will get their hands on the game eventually, seeing as how popular the two franchises are here in the West. If not, I’ll learn Japanese just to play it.

Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of Phoenix Wright; it’s witty dialogue, absurd mysteries (ghosts as murderers?!) and insanely likeable characters are what I keep returning for. The banter between Nick and Maya always makes me laugh. However, I’ve recently warmed up to Layton too, having completed Curious Village after about four years. I love the endless puzzles and I adore the animation, and whilst I often want to kick Luke-cockney-brat-Triton in the teeth, the Professor himself is pretty damn cool.

This crossover also means that, for the first time ever, Phoenix Wright is going to be fully animated and talking! Having spent the last decade or so in Link-like silence, I’m really excited about this.

So yeah, that’s my geek-out-of-the-week.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Feltie Goodness!

After a busy week at Creative Futures (more on that in my next post), I was pretty much done with lectures, and looking forward to the practical side of the Felt Mistress workshop.

I got the feeling that it would be a very simplified workshop, seeing as how detailed the work of Louise Evans (The Felt Mistress) is; I knew we’d never get anything so extravagant done in a few hours!

However, I was really impressed with the results, and how well a lot of the felties turned out, despite the time limit. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that we all skipped lunch and worked straight on into the afternoon. But we were enjoying ourselves – even those who had never sewn before seemed to be having loads of fun discovering a new craft.

As for me, I’ve sewn before, on and off, but the majority of what I’ve made in the past has turned out well. At the moment I’m currently working through a book I received as a Christmas Present: the awesomely cute Zombie Felties. Ironically, Louise mentioned that the same people who created this book are working on bringing one out for her. So I’ll be keeping my bug-eyes open for that.

Here are my first two creations, Ramone the mummy, who unfortunately lost one of his beady eyes. I managed to reattach it by nailing the poor bugger to my pinboard. Somehow I don’t think he minds, being dead anyway:

And Cujo, the zombie puppy, who now sits proudly on my boyfriend’s shelf:

These teeny tiny felties are no bigger than the palm of my hand, so working on a larger feltie in Louise’s workshop (and without glue!) was a little daunting. But once I got into it, I remembered how relaxing sewing is, and how adept I am at it… perhaps there’s something I can utilize there…

Here’s my finished monster:

I call her Kimi, as I wanted her to look as though she’d belong in Japan. Her hair was made from a beard template, and her tummy is a nose piece. Her buns were meant to be horns, and I added the ribbons, butterflies and flower-bellybutton for funsies. I also gave her some fingernails and rosy cheeks for added girlieness. I’m pretty chuffed with how she came out, and surprised, considering I wasn’t able to cheat with glue. I also learned a new stitch, the Blanket Stitch, which I used to sew her body up.

As for the Felt Mistress herself, she was really cool. Friendly and chatty, I found her to be very encouraging. Her work is really unique and, above all, adorable! Perhaps it comes from her working with her partner, illustrator Jonathan Edwards. I’d come across Edwards before and love his bold, funky characters.

Can’t help feeling that perhaps PIXAR should hire these two to work on Monsters Inc. 2, as their combined style would make for some really interesting character designs and plushies. Plus, imagine how badass a Felt Mistress-style Sully toy would be!

Anyway, I’m hoping to carry on with making felties and, given enough time, I’d like to make two plushies of my Morgue & Gor characters for my final year show.

In the meantime, check out my little flower pin cushion that I made:

I have some gorgeous Chinese fabric lying around and needed a pin cushion for my humble sewing box (I call in humble because it’s half empty). Using a book I’d bought a while ago, the S.E.W. Workshop, I was able to churn this out in about an hour. Although it went all kinds of wrong, I’m pretty chuffed with it. I think sewn things are much better when they’re obviously handmade. And luckily I had a little Lady Bug bead hanging around to emphasise that it is in fact a flower, and not a deformed blob!

Hopefully, with some practice, I’ll be able to use the rest of this Chinese fabric to make a dress or skirt, as it’s too beautiful to be stuffed in a bag at the bottom of my wardrobe.

Anyway, I’d recommend both the Zombie Felties and the S.E.W. Workshop books to anyone wanting to learn the basics of sewing, as they’re both incredibly easy to use, colourful and fun. Also, you might want to check out a book called Alternacrafts, which also features sewn projects, but also has a lot of other creative and simple crafts for you to try. Plus, it’s recycling, so win-win!

And obviously, check out the websites and work of both Felt Mistress and Jonathan Edwards. Really inspiring stuff!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Manchester Tattoo Show

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to our second tattoo show (the first being Brighton for my birthday). This time, however, it was a lot closer to home, in Manchester. Initially I was planning to go via train, on my own, and only for the Saturday, as Dan and I are saving up for a working holiday and are trying to reduce our spending.

But by some miracle of the Gods, we won a pair of two-day passes from Tattoo Revolution magazine – thank you, you marvellous, marvellous people!

Odd, but wonderful side note: this is the third competition we’ve won in the last four months. Just goes to show that if you enter things, you do actually have a bloody good chance of winning!

So, happily, I was able to take my boyfriend along with me, we were able to drive and park in Manchester for free, and we went for both days. We saved even more money by taking packed lunches (like primary-school-style.)

Here is Dan looking pleased with himself…

Anyway, this show was by far a lot more fun than Brighton. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Brighton – the seaside, the atmosphere, the endless body mods, cupcakes and candies – but for some reason I felt more relaxed in Manchester.

For it’s 10th Anniversary, the show took place in the Central Exhibition Centre, a place I’d visited before when I went to the Manchester Stitch and Creative Crafts show. Whilst the crafts show utilized the entirety of the exhibition centre, the tattoo show only used about half of it, making it a much smaller event than Brighton.

However, it was far more spacious, with better lighting and a larger stage area for the competitions. There was also music playing over the venue from Rock radio, which was pretty awesome. I later learned from some tattooists that they kept repeating the same songs over and over, and it was annoying those who had to sit there for hours on end.

There were a few things missing from Manchester, that weren’t at Brighton: live bands, seminars, scarification, an art gallery… On the other hand, they made up for it with a hoard of Harley Davidson Motorbikes on display, several more international and traditional tattooists, a piercer from Affleck’s Palace and tonnes more free sweets from most of the stalls (I’m a sucker for free stuff).

Here's me planning to steal a bike...

So after taking hoards of pictures, which you can check out below, I really enjoyed myself. And so did Dan. We stopped by the Tattoo Revolution stand to thank Alex Guest for our tickets, checked out some of the competitions, and I came home with two new piercings from Quincey the Piercer, taking my body shrapnel count up to fourteen – twenty by the end of the year I hope!

And whilst there were no cupcakes for sale, there was something called The Cupcake Club. Now, I loved this, and had I not wanted to have my first tattoo be a design of my own I would have gotten one there and then. The idea behind The Cupcake Club is that you have a tattoo of a cupcake, and the money goes to the Help For Heroes Charity. Whilst some people were having large, customized cupcakes, I couldn’t help but admire the tiny £30 cupcake designs on display. I was eyeing up a lemon cupcake, a cupcake with spider legs, and a “bleeding” cupcake with a dagger protruding from it. These tattoos were no bigger than a 50p piece and were really cute. I’m hoping for The Cupcake Club to show up at the Liverpool Tattoo Convention in May, as I’d love to get one!

I stopped by the Vivid Tattoo Arts stall to watch my friend Sam getting scrawled on by Jonny Handsome.

I couldn’t help but coo over Cathy Sue’s artwork either. Her sketchbook was full of colourful punky chicks, and her style along the lines of what I would like to do. I managed to sneak a photo of her working too:

Sam showed me some of his work, two by Miss Sue:

And work by Jonny:

Whilst there were a huge number of fantastic artists working that day, I only managed to photograph a few of them. However, take a look at this awesome selection of artwork:

Dan Gold:

Hayley from AAA Tattoo Studio:

Golden Dragon Tattoo Studio:

Body Garden Tattoo:

Check out Richie the Barber, who didn’t mind posing for plenty of photos. Only wish I’d stuck around to see his stage show…

What I love about these conventions is that it’s not just tattoos and piercings; there are also jewellery and clothes stalls, plus places to buy bizarre ornaments and decorative items for your home. I came across these fantastic customized skateboards:

I absolutely love this sexy cartoon pin-up style, and I’d really love to know who the artist is. If you know, please tell me!

I also fell in love with a little store called Vampire Bunnies. The girl who owns it specializes in making what I can only describe as the nerdiest clothing line ever, and it was awesome! I found dresses and handbags made with prints of The Little Mermaid, Pokemon, Fairly Odd Parents, among others. And the gal can customize too! I really wish I’d bought one of them now, but I do know that the shop resides in Affleck’s Palace.

Typically of tat-cons, there was the usual collection of artist’s sketchbooks, which was handy, as they give me a good idea for what I’m aiming for in my final year project (more on that in the near future).

And finally, I can’t go without mentioning the Cha Cha Chilli company. This was an odd discovery, but a really cool one, as I absolutely love chilli! I had several free hot-as-hell tasters, and finally decided on a gorgeous fiery coconut sauce, so I can pimp up some chicken. Nice!

So there you have it: a great weekend out, and one that really inspired me. Really wish I could go on and mention everyone and everything I saw, but I’d be here forever. I cannot wait for Liverpool now!

Until next time (probably this week…)