Monthly Archives: September 2014

Chill Out and Art at EGX14.

Well that was a fabulously truly bonkers week at Earl’s Court for #EGX14.

The highlights started a couple of weeks before the show. I’d asked some wonderful tablet artists to donate pictures on a given theme and the results were fabulous. The digital paintings were printed off at A1 size, attached to foamboard,  displayed at the show and finally given away to the charity stands at the show for them to fund raise with (Special Effect, Make a Wish and National Autistic Society).


On setup the very fabulous Dame Kath of Jones and Sir Nick of Thatcher made it all happen (with RoStev helping out on the last day).

SO many people joined us to draw. Loads of students attended each day, a lot of them Cosplayed, Graph It pens were used and used and then used some more, iPads, Hudls, Surfaces and 3DS’ were drawn on, new artists started a new hobby and brilliant artists shared skills with others.

The best thing? Possibly the Cosplay stage space for us. We co-ordinated with two Cosplay troupes: the Lots Of Us and the Birds of Truth (as well as thematically linked Cosplayers on the day) and took over the stage for an hour on the four days of the show. For every session we set up a diorama for people to paint/draw/photograph and it was always, ALWAYS, ace. Blog post to come but here’a a few representative pics:

(click on the pics to get the larger ones…)

So on a budget of… well… nowhere near enough… for an hour each day we had the sixth largest stand at EGX. Truly and utterly fabulous and bonkers all at the same time.

Also: the new aluminium stand for the show (the hat stand) worked brilliantly 🙂 (so now we have two fab Aluminium bespoke tablet art stands – the hat stand and the eYe, both made by the very fabulous Nick Thatcher of Thatch Industries).

The lowlights? Less that 6 hours sleep each night for the past two weeks. Also – some of the receipts will be paid but I feel like I’ve partially bankrupted myself on emergency coffees and bottles of water – HOW MUCH??? – as mine ran out no matter how much I took I always drank more. My throat is completely clobbered and I’m going to be teaching with a whisper for the next week.

And also: general event shatteredness.

… and this is bearing in mind that the phone that had the pedometer on was also being used as a wifi hotspot so I didn’t have it on me for a few hours each day. And yet I STILLL could have cosplayed easily as Jabba the Hut (as opposed to what I did do: a Teletubby Muskateer mash up).

It was – so very nearly – the best tablet and drawing event ever, definitely the best one we’ve ever done….

Now normal teaching service is resumed… I’ve got over 100 students to get to an A* in 10 months 🙂

Although… will try and get the #WelcomeToGuildford awards sorted out soon…

Day One at EGX.

I started off by drawing this on the train into London on my trusty Hudl:

 


There was not enough this.

We taught people who had never drawn on a tablet before to draw on a tablet:

 

We drew a lot of awesome people in costume:

and then we drew a LOT OF PEOPLE dressed in costume:

 

Basically it was awesome and so were we but now I’m tired and day two is about to start.

Hurrah. And zzz.

 

 

EGX setup day.

I lose count (which I shouldn’t, but at the moment I’m so tired I can barely count on two hands let alone up to 20 or so).

The College I work at has done a few trade and STEM shows over the past two years, capably demonstrating out skills at Tablet Art.

How many have we done? Hang on…. (Teentech x 2, BETT x 3, Royal Ac, Barbican x 2, World Skills, Magic Summer, Adobe x 3, Gadget Show x 2, Dell, Bohunt, STEMfest, LITS, MCM x 2, LMUG x 1, Autodesk and Eurogamer… and.. um… brain gone).

Anyhow, we’ve done a lot. They kids were, are and have been great.

This time it’s Eurogamer. Which is fab. It’s a heck of a show.

Which leads to the next question.

WHY THE HOOTING FLUMP DOES EVERYTHING ALWAYS GO DOWN TO THE WIRE WHEN WE DO THINGS???

On Tues the very excellent Dame Kath of Jone and I dashed up a hatchback full of easels and so forth to Earl’s Court and, literally, dropped it on our stand and ran out of the doors as they were being shut and locked.

Phew.

Then on Weds we worked from 11 – 8 setting up the stand.

Which looks AWESOME.

Some pics here. Day one blog next.

The stand looks fricking amazing and the above people are why (plus additional pic of me at the end 🙂 )

If you’re at EGX pop over to the Chill out and Art stand and say hi!

(Blimey I’m tired).

 

 

Eee, Gee, Echs. T minus less than a week.

This weeks been a busy year.

We’re coming up to the next student/college stand at a major event. This time: EGX at Earl’s Court, London.

Exciting. Very Exciting.

Why?

Well, basically, it’s going to be fab. I love doing events (which is good because it’s not like I get paid for it at all and each one carves a extra mile into my forehead).

(We’ve done over 30 events in the past two years).

(Blimey).

From Sky Arts to the Beeb, from Adobe to Autodesk to ArtRage, from Nintendo to Samsung to Microsoft to Sony to Dell, from BETT 2012 to BETT 2013 (and 2014), from the Barbican to the Royal Academy, from Eurogamer to MCM to Gadget Show we’ve demoed tablet art to a LOT of people. See >>here<< for some of our prior events…

Until now the Gadget Show 2013 has been my favourite as it afforded me a lot of options to design the set area. I hope that EGX 2014 will now become my favourite. There’s a lot of design involved and if it looks as cool as I’ve planned I’ll be utterly delighted.

The theme is #WelcomeToGuildford which, I hope, will become obvious when you get to us…

If you’re at EGX come and say hi (we’re delivering the chill out and art stand). You’ll be able to draw with Graph It pens on bleed proof paper and at least 4 different types of touch screen with a range of styli to check out if you’re so interested. This is open to EVERYONE! If you’re an artist come say hi and draw us a pic. If you’re a cosplayer come along and be drawn. If you’re neither but fancy having a scribble or an impromptu art lesson then come along, have a seat and draw away…

(There will also be a super secret piece of art on sale each day… Details on that to come).

If you’re a Cosplayer at EGX some say hi, be drawn or painted, or 3d scanned 🙂 It’ll be fab.

However the new thing (because hey, we have done this a couple of times now) is that at 6pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 11 am on Sunday we’ll be delivering something new and VERY COOL.

Basically we’re setting up a series of Cosplayers as a recreation of the Last Supper according to a daily theme:

Thursday: The Last Family Supper (Sega, Nintendo, Disney, Cutesy characters).
Friday: The Final Supper (any Assassins and their historically relevant victims).
Saturday: The Last of Us Supper (Ellie, Joel, Clickers, zombies).
Sunday: The Last Supper at the Alien Cantina (Star Wars, Who, Aliens etc).
Anyone who’s around come along to the Cosplay stage and we’ll set you up ready to be drawn, painted and photographed. It shall be fab.
(think this but bigger. Oh yes).
So that’s it. That’s the plan. Come and join us if you can it’ll be all sorts of cool. And Awesome. It’ll be Coolsome. And then some.

Drawing on screens that are not mine.

 

Friday I drew on an Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Sadly there was nothing on the device in the way of an art app so I loaded up Safari and the excellent Harmony drawing web app and doodled the above while the very excellent Mr Nick Thatcher walked around and bought the things we needed for EGX.

Saturday – still very much on EGX mode I popped into PC World Woking (having been to Hobbycraft to buy stuff) and drew this on an HP touch screen desktop while I was chatting to staff seeing if they had something in stock I needed.

Saturday – again buying things for EGX (spot a theme developing?)  I drew this in Argos on the demo Surface Pro machine.

Basically? I love drawing on screens, all sorts of shapes, sizes, brands and makes. I sat in a pub once with some tech heads and they were getting a little irate as we sat directly under a huge advert on the wall for a certain brand of tablet from a company which at the time (and continues to) ignore any emails I sent asking for tablet lends for my students. The advert seemed all but ignored by the general populous which walked underneath it and my use case seemed to have more bang for buck and the people I sat with seemed to be getting far more angry about the situation than I was…  I’m used to getting to Plan C at least on any project.

Hey Ho. Until all art apps are taken from all demo machines at least I’ll be able to play according to my hearts content (and free time, and shop opening hours, and so on). So that’s definitely something…

EXTREMELY busy.

…but if nothing else it’s been lovely to get back to teaching. Currently focusing on Photoshop as a: I can teach that while falling asleep and off a chair (my current teaching style) and b: I’m supposed to be teaching 3DS Max to two classes but the room doesn’t have it installed in yet. Sigh.

Actually, according to one of my beloved brats esteemed students this is my teaching style… I do think a nerf gun would help me occasionally in a class.

Anyhow: 4 classes in and the students have already made abstract backgrounds for text placement, used non and destructive filters, had a brief soiree into screen ratios and pixel depths, learnt how to use the scanners and printers and knocked out a couple of hand drawn, scanned and coloured images. Hurrah.

 



…and for an accidental bonus, while showing the beloved brats esteemed students how to properly use the lasso tool (freehand and keyboard shortcuts FTW) We also drew technicolour lizards 🙂

Which is new to a class (I do occasionally divert from the lesson plan if the shape allows – see the taking a line for a walk pictures I occasionally do) but I think he’ll stick to the scheme of work from now on in.

Shudder. I am now blogging about lesson plans and schemes of work. The Compliance Dalek has got me. Gutted.

 

 

 

 

Black and Redline, Euro and Gamer…

A lifetime ago (well, three long years) I was asked to do something that changed everything and added around 20 years onto my forehead. My hair was uniformly orange back then and now it’s a mixture of citrus and snow.

I was asked to run a stand for the college at the World Skills Festival, to be held that year in London at London ExCeL.

To my shame I knew nothing about the World Skills Fest. I didn’t know it was the Olympics of education, nor that it had been running for decades all over the world. I didn’t know that students competed for a place to represent their country nor that they showed off the best of industry working with education. World Skills is a fabulous thing. Had I known how good the opening festival would be I would have taken my daughter with me, for example. It was a little less Olympics and a little more Eurovision and it was utterly brilliant. I fell asleep during the show once, but only because I was absolutely shattered. I had probably worked two 80+ hour weeks back to back and had one more to come.

I pitched for a space, with this picture, saying that we’d be happy to run a, say, 2 x 2 m stand showing off tablet artwork.

 

(which I drew on my trusty iPod touch using the very lovely – at the time – Brushes app v2).

They came back with a positive suggestion.

Could I do a slightly larger stand? 50 square metres or so?

How much?

This much:

and, when filled with people (as it frequently was) it looked like this:


… and if you don’t believe me, check this video out. Still makes me smile/gives me chills.

Since then the students and I have done a couple more events (BETT, BETT, BETT, Teentech, Teentech, Adobe, Adobe, Autodesk, Magic Summer, Eurogamer, MCM, MCM, Channel 4, Sky Arts, Bohunt, Barbican, Surrey Skills, Surrey Skills, Royal Academy, Digital Surrey, London Mac User Group, Art on the Street, London International Technology Show, World’s first tablet only life drawing session and so on…)

And, of course, the Gadget Show Live:

Which, at 120 sq m, almost broke me, I’ll admit. Organising 70 students, a residential and everything on the stand to an available budget of £2,500 was a ridiculous challenge but one that worked out beautifully in the end. Well. Not at the end, naturally, as the end saw me wrapped up in carpet and frog marched to the coach.

I mention all of this as I’m  deep in the heart of organising our next event: a 60 sq m stand at Eurogamer Expo. And you know what? I’m enjoying the doing of it, because I always do. So far it’s all moving along quite happily and mostly all the jigsaw puzzle pieces are in place. A couple are still left to do but it’s merrily ticking away.

I probably shouldn’t say that 🙂 but hey. Organising something like this I’m happy. I can’t wait to see the stand, there’s some ace artwork already coming in, I get to see the disparate pieces for the stand banner come together tomorrow and it’s just fun. Organising events? Yeah, I can do that.

Two weeks from now… Can’t wait…

And, for the first time, I’m going to Cosplay at one of the things we’re doing. All sorts of fun planned…

But why Black and Redline for the title? Well… The stand is entitled ‘Welcome to Guildford’ and we’ll be riffing on the Guildford games heritage. The original idea was to print screenshots of games from Guildford but that turned into a complete minefield so, instead, some tablet artists of fabulous note are going to change the history of Guildford games and create the titles that could have been… It’ll be amazing, trust me. I’ve seen the pictures as they’re coming in. It’ll be brilliant.

Two weeks 🙂

Pogo stylus artwork.

A few weeks ago Pogo stylus ran a competition for tablet artists and, true to form, I entered a digital painting on the last possible hour which doesn’t fit into any category. Hey ho, but fun to do, even if my life is a series of progressively sillier deadlines at the moment. Regardless: I drew this as a warm up sketch: and then finished this painting which I’d been noodling around with for a while:

(Last bus home. iPad, Pogo Sketch Pro, Pogo Connect, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro).

I like Pogo styli loads. When I create a digital painting I generally hold a Stylus Sock, a Nomad and a Pogo Sketch Pro and swap between the three depending on whether I’m doing outlines, shading or colouring. Pound for pound I think the Connect is still my favourite pressure sensitive stylus – it’s certainly the one which seems to know what it’s doing the most – although some of my fondness might be because it was also the first… (the Wacom is also very good and the Adonit Jot Script is good, but not pressure sensitive). There are some times when I pick up a stylus with no rhyme or reason, just to draw the picture which is on my mind, and I’m never unhappy if that’s a Connect or a Sketch Pro.

Green Screen envy part deaux.

There’s been a bit of new tecn mentioned around the place the past few weeks hasn’t there.

From Ifa we had news of new Samsungs, Lenovos, Sonys and more… And of course on Tuesday we had the Apple keynote (and, on the Tuesday morning we had a little more info on the Hudl 2 which is one of the more anticipated machines for me. Yes, I am odd like that).

All of which led to these pictures:

(Screen sizes. iPhone 5S and ArtRage app).

(Note Edge draw on Samsung Galaxy 8.9 using Sketchbook app).

(iWatch on Interactive Whiteboard using Didlr online app).

(Giant Enemy iCrab. iMac and Didlr online app).

(Pay Apple. iPhone 5S and ArtRage app).

(Secret Easter Eggs of the Apple Watch 1. iPad 3 and ArtARage app).

The last pic might well become a series of sorts. I’ve certainly got a few more ideas of what could be other Easter Eggs of the Apple Watch (which looks fascinating – and I’d love to buy one – but unlikely I think… We’ll see).

Anyhow: Love a Keynote, me. When’s the next one? 😉

 

 

Early age Hudl art class.

One of the surprise tablet finds of last year for me was the Hudl. I expected as little as it cost, I found I liked it far more than I anticipated.

…which is why I have 7 🙂 enough to do impromptu (and occasionally planned) tablet art classes for a range of ages.

This morning (as I had so much energy after yesterday’s adventure) I was booked to do 50 minutes of tablet art tuition for kids aged 6-14 and it was as much fun as it always is (although this time is the first class I’ve run with the Hudl’s in their lovely new cases, hurrah).

We stuck, almost entirely, to Autodesk’s lovely Sketchbook Pro app and, for the most part we drew Frogs and what they might be happy to eat. The kids, as always, did brilliantly:



 

 

Lots of fun 🙂 More pictures from the kids >>here<<

To explain the process, drawing upside down, I did this one; a Frog eating a fly ice cream:

…so it’s nice to see that the kids pictures were way better than mine 🙂