Tag Archives: Apple fanboy

The London Mac User Group Sept 12 meeting poster…

I’m very fond of the chaps and chapettes of the London Mac User Group (and also of the British Tech Network as there is a lot of overlap). A fab bunch of people; friendly, jovial and knowledgable across a range of disciplines and skillsets. I’m always happy to meet up with them if time allows (and even happier if the time allows me to get to the very wonderful Chin Chin Labs prior to getting to an LMUG meeting… Hence there being a smidge of Chin Chin on the final poster, also a fond hallo to the marvellous Mr Will Green who has been known to say the Ch word once and then twice on his fantastic British Mac podcast).

My favourite sessions are the ones where we’ve all come together to celebrate the keynote sessions, everyone hanging off the words displayed on projectors and discussing whether our credit cards are prepped and ready. For the past two keynotes I’ve been asked to provide posters for the events and time has been on my side so I was happy to say yes. This time I was asked again and time wasn’t on my side…. So I said yes anyway and sleep was the casualty. You can see the first two posters, in animated process video form, here and here.

So, time being against me, I should have gone a little easy on what I was planning to do, yes? That would have been sensible.


Well, yes, it would have been sensible but no, that’s not what I did.

(click on the poster for a larger format one…)

(process video. Click to watch the image drawn from initial sketch to final painting…)

A couple of reasons led me to do the above image. The first is that it’s held in a National Trust held pub of historical significance, which is something that does pickle my organically grown onions. The pub, the George Inn, sounds fabulous and I’m looking forward to visiting (my fifth National Trust venue visit over the past 2 weeks since the family joined). (The other four places visited were not pubs, incidentally).

Another reason? Looking through pictures of the pub (while doing the research for what it is what I was going to do) led me to the pub sign and that was instantly what I intended to work my picture around…

Let’s be honest, that’s Tim Cook isn’t it? Startling facial similarity… So I started to draw him in the poster I ended up withand then thought, as it’s Olympic year (I can say that, right? No need for lawyers to get involved), I’d go for a bit of home field advantage. Because Sir Jony Ive is one of the most fabulous people this country has produced… Every time he speaks (sadly via pre-recorded video, why has he never taken to the stage I often wonder?*) during a keynote he has the most fabulous driven and passionate way of talking about what he and his team have come up with. I know that Apple is a team and that a huge number of people are responsible for its success as a company but none, to me, are as fascinating and important as Sir Jony.

Hence the poster. Painted on iPad 2 using the very powerful/extraordinary ArtRage app using my current go-to styli: Stylus Sock Pro and short hair Nomad Cobalt Compose paintbrush. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed the making of it. As mentioned it contains a few things I love (keynotes, Jony Ive, Chin Chin, National Trust, bit of history, pint of beer and more) and I’m always happy to be painting things on a small slice of computer power and the apps that run on it.

Lastly, yes, I know that the company has not been called Apple Computer Co. for a while (and some might say detrimentally although it’s a market decision and, with a retina Macbook on my one day wish list, it’s not as if the computers are an afterthought or being phased out… I do think, sadly, we may have moved away from the days of each update of the computer delivering a beautiful case update as well – the iMac has reached a level of industrial perfection I can’t imagine where it might go – and the Cube, lampstand and so on may likely never happen again… but the iPhone, iPod and iPad have all revolutionised the way I work so fair play to Apple for changing the world again and again and again and again). The Apple Computer Co. was added to the poster as a loving hint, as is much of the image, to the original Apple logo by Ronald Wayne which I frequently use in the logo classes of my A level graphics group.

If you’d like to join in the fun of it then the meeting will be in the George Inn, near London Bridge, on the 12th September. All welcome, I’m sure they’d say.

(*personally I blame Oasis for the lack of Sir Jony on stage and assume that the health and safety/risk assessment team at Apple assume the SJI will take to the stage drunk, stick two fingers up at attending journalists who have slighted him in the past and kick a demo stand over as he leaves the venue. To be fair there might be a number of reasons why he doesn’t take to the stage, but a lack of knowledge or lack of fans or humble voiced delivery are not likely to be on the list).

Lastly, forgot to mention it but the image was painted in two 4 hour sessions on a Friday and Saturday night (having been asked to do the poster at 5pm on the Friday). Would have been longer but my brain has a habit of going offline around midnight/1am and I had a family birthday party throughout Saturday… See? I said time was against me on this one… 🙂

Also, lastly lastly, this may be one of the very few images of my own I end up using in the class. The reason is the left most scroll edges. Look closely and you’ll see that they aren’t on the video. It was a complete gut feeling thing that adding them would help the eyeflow on the piece and that is something that the A level class majors on. Basically, without the darkened scroll ends, the eyes of the viewer naturally gravitated to the top left text box, which is good as that was where I wanted the text to be read from. But almost as soon as I put the image to bed (well, emailed it to Steve and then put myself to bed) I was thinking ‘must add a dark edge on the left hand side’. Not with any more thought process than that really, I just knew that it would work, and having done that I think it does. The viewers eye, balanced between the darker edges on the left and right hand sides of the image, now naturally gravitate on Sir Jony’s eyes and then are lead to the text box which, I think, is the better eye flow for the whole piece. It’s not the most detailed image I’ve created on iPad (probably the Marmite / Marmalot painting) nor the one I’ve spent longest on (that’s probably still the Drew Struzan Up poster I did) but this poster makes me smile and, I think, works well for the time I had to complete it.


Stylus t. Frog and the Weapons of Mass Construction…

Working title. I may go with ScreenPainter instead but this title always makes me smile. Stylus t. and I have shared quite a journey over the past few months.

The other thing I’m working on at the moment is a book. So, yes, another of those then. This one’s different though, in as much as it’s an art book almost solely about my travels with a variety of Apple devices: iPod touch through to iPhone 4S.

It’s a 100 pages long, contains over 150 pictures, photos and all sorts and chats over which is the best stylus, which art apps make the grade and some of the large scale art events I’ve run over the past couple of years.

Not sure how much it’ll be when it hits the iTunes store (I’m thinking around the £4.49 mark?) but hopefully it’ll be worth that at least 🙂 I’ve made it in iBooks Author and that’s been a lot of fun to work my way through with only the occasional incidence of teeth grinding frustration.

Bit of luck it’ll be released on or around March the 1st.

First talk on the book 8 accidental tour will be at the London Mac User Group this Monday.

Doctor Who

So I’m more than enjoying the new series of Doctor Who. There’s been a couple of dud moments but nothing like the rollercoaster of quality that the past four series were and, so far, it feels like a story being told by someone (to mix the metaphors) with very safe hands.

So, in the back of my mind are the two Dr Who stories that I’ve always wanted to write and, since I’ve got to set myself a project on the iPad to keep my brain ticking over, I feel I may pick one of those and illustrate it… Maybe. I’ve been asked a couple of times what the next project will be and that, I think, is it. To begin with I’ve started to draw out some doodles and for the lunchtime just gone, I thought I’d have a bash at a Doctor doodle.

And, for the first time it’s a picture that’s done what I wanted on the bigger version of my favourite art app. Brushes on the iPod touch I felt as if I’d, if not mastered, then had a high level of confidence in. Brushes on the iPad pretty much tore me down to the beginning, or at least the foundation stones. This is the first picture, number 64 my untitled library tells me, that I can point to and say it didn’t fight me throughout. Hurrah.

More to come, I think, although I’ve got a fair amount of other stuff to sort through as well.

The baby carrier…

So… In answer to the first things that spring to mind: yes they were and yes they are.

Without doubt this is the coolest iPad case on the planet, full stop.

The backstory: wifey makes things, amazing things, sometimes out of metal, sometimes out of fimo/sculpey and sometimes out of socks. I’ve not posted many as I’m intending to make a collection of the images for her in blurb book format, but she is amazingly talented and I’m lucky to live in an wonderfully creative (albeit messy) house 🙂

The other day she nicked the iPad out of the box to make me a case. That would have been a wonderful surprise apart for the fact that I then picked up the box to move it and had a near heart attack at how light it felt. Once I sussed out what had happened I felt a little calmer and when I managed to get back from work I was delighted to see a new case to care for my new baby. It’s made, in case you were wondering, from a protective layer of bubble wrap, a nice soft cuddle of fluffy cloth and a decorative layer of old cartoon socks. The ones which have served me well and can be darned no more. I like the fact they live on and, to reiterate, yes they were washed and yes, they were clean.

So: while I was excited to get an iPad in the post I’m now doubly delighted to encase it in the grooviest of coverings. The pic of the Hulk is the fourth thing I’ve drawn in Brushes; the others very sketchy and doodley things created to get my eye in and used to the feel of the screen which feels strangely resistant for some reason (quite possibly the oleophobic coating that is said to resist fingerprints, scratches and so on). It’s a completely different way or drawing which I’m both loving and growing slowly into… On the iPod touch I could be fairly tight with the lines/detail whereas on the iPad it all feels free-er, move expressive and expansive. I hope that in a years time I’ll have found the way of using it as much as I feel I have with the iPod touch… We’ll see. More on here as regularly as I can do to show how things are progressing but, for the moment, it’s time for the socks and wifey’s skills to take centre stage 🙂

The coolest iPad case on the planet.
©Wifey :)
iPad case made of socks 2
© Wifey :)
Socky iPad case 3.
© Wifey :)

Molly and Steve part deux.

So, amongst other things, I love the Buzz Out Loud podcast. In general it sings me to sleep at night, being the last thing I tend to download around nine o clock.

As a show it’s effortlessly and magnificently chaired by Messrs Molly (Wood) and (Tom) Merritt and each spark off each other in different ways. Molly rants in the best possible way and Tom provides the very best in cheesy links. If you like tech then this is the show I tend to appreciate the most. The back up cast of Howell, Cooley, Tong, Bell, Needleman, and so on are all excellent fun and the guests all tend to add a lot. There have been a couple of dips and low points but its a thirty minute slice of tech joy I always love catching up on…

Hence doodling this. A cowardly caveat before uploading though: Apple are still the most vocal technology company in my life and Steve Jobs is still someone who has achieved much more than I ever will. Jony Ive’s designs are still a thing of wonder and I can’t wait to get an iPad. I’m sure Jobs’ sense of humour won’t see me banned from Apple stores prior to the launch of the iPad, right? I also, remembering one of the mini-in-jokes on the page, don’t find myself hideously offended by the Worldwide loyalty team per se, more the fact that it needs to exist more than the idea of it existing in the first place (although like much of what Apple does it’s very… heavy handed). I can see why some would disagree with that pov but I like surprises at trade shows personally. I hate seeing spoilers 🙂

As ever drawn in Brushes on my iTouch. This time over brekkie, which was, ironically, apple and blueberry porridge, so called because there was only one blueberry.

The Louse Guard.


Low day yesterday. Sent off a good few Sylver and Wombat emails over past week and had one reply. And taht was about something different. Hey ho. The path to any sort of visibility on both projects seems to be steep and rocky and (ironically) I’ve also done my back in yet again and am shuffling around like a Zombie film reject. And I mean a proper zombie, not one of the rubbish running ones.

Anyhow, when things are tepid I do seem to hide back into Brushes and I doodled this yesterday during my lunch hour. Normally I don’t get one, just a sequeway between one project and the other, but yesterday I had an idea, gleaned from an off hand Twitter post, and this came out of it. I’d change a couple of bits if I did it again, one arm seems confusingly attached to the Louse’s head, but for 59 (ahem) minutes it’s not so bad.

Music by the mighty Open the Skies. If you ever see their name attached to a Boileroom gig get thee there. They OWN the place. Very good stuff indeed.

Hmm anything else? Nothing springs to mind and 4% battery so onwards again. Oh yeah, one thing – quickly 🙂 – the image/vid is a nod to the Uber Brilliant Mouse Guard comics by Mr David Petersen. They are an artistic wonder, beautiful books and well worth a look see. Not only that but in reading various blog posts (and the odd email we’ve exchanged) David also comes across as a thoroughly nice guy, which is good. I’m glad a few of them walk the planet 🙂


Ooooh quiet in here isn’t it?

Work proceeds apace on Wombat Wambot, my online comic drawn almost entirely in Brushes. It’s happening now at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wombat-Wambot/373739641256 with one page a day uploaded (weekdays, I deserve a break now and again) from now until July.

Or so the plan goes…

Also: Oh Apple why do you taunt me with a ‘buy your iPad now’ email when you know I am in t he UK and cannot buy one until the end of April when it’s released way off in the future two months 🙁

Updates soon, honest, but for the moment Wombat’s sit heavily on my brain.

Edit: Also also, should I post the pages here? Would that make sense? I wonder…

Wombat and Wambot…

One of the things I’ve been working on, well, two of them actually, comes to leave my hands and go to the hands of others soon enough.

The first, Dr Sylver and the Tapestry of Time, hits shelves in April after the most protracted birth of any of my projects, ever. Oh boy.

The second hits shelves before hand, despite only having been worked on since Christmas in any real sense. It’s been a theraputic piece of work in some ways, exciting in others. Ladies and Gentlemen meet Wombat and Wambot. It’s the tale of a small, furry amnesiac and his large robotic counterpart. Fairly obviously the name came first and the story… Well, there’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that in there. Sometime soon it becomes my own and then, shortly after, it’s going to be given over to others: much like the Big Book Draw the fun of Project Wombat is that others will fill in the middle up until the last page or so. That part will be the most fun of all. I had intended to show the project off sometime in the Summer but with the release of Brushes on the iPad in a months time it makes more sense to try and hit before then which has compressed my stretching out and relaxing time to a small, stressed ball of lack of time off. Still, I do love working on a project so hey ho, all part of the game.

Anyhow if you’re so inclined you could join the twitter feed at @wombatwambot or add the facebook page here… The more the merrier (and of course the more would help me out in showing the project off to others in the future so any adds would be gratefully appreciated).