Tag Archives: Guildford Book Festival

Back to the Book…


((or click here for the bigger version πŸ™‚ ))

A couple of no-shows excepted we’re going great guns on the Book Draw. Some lovely artwork, both from well known names and well liked students is coming in and will be available for people to use on the day… This, above, may well be the centrepiece – an A1 image with fish printed on it from all of the people who’ve sent in artwork and a couple of others besides with a couple more to come… It’ll have a sheet of acetate over it that can have fish drawn on by the participants of the book draw itself. Should look interesting. Not 100% sure if it’ll work or not, but am intrigued to know how it’ll turn out on the day.

Apart from that events over the past couple of days have left me wondering if the entire education system in this country is fundamentally broken from cradle to grave. Very demoralising and two people said to me the same thing – be part of the solution… But the problem is that there is no money, courses and tutors are being cut without consideration, teaching power is being taken away from teachers and so on… I don’t know how I can be part of the solution to that. Tricksome and defeating, at the moment anyhow.

Still, book draw on Sat and hopefully it’ll be fun. Hope, hope, hope…

Hurrah, whu? Aaargh and ohhhh…

In equal measure.

More to come, I’m sure. Big Book Draw on Saturday. You may be able to tell that things are a little stressy at the moment. Still, some AWESOME stuff to come. Couple of lovely artists lined up for the day, materials look very enticing (I want to play with them myself but no time πŸ™‚ ), Β and so on. MAsks off now, puppets to go in half an hour or so, then a meeting then straight back to it.

I shall sleep on Sunday, oh yes.

Sylver beta test book covers to be posted too, but that’s for a while yet. 100 copies, I think, to bet there at the Book Draw. Wonder how many I’ll take back home with me?

Couple of doodles.

While on the train to the DMcK exhibition I also doodled these when I needed to stop thinking about Sylver and college and stuff. Funny how some areas of work can be more therapeutic than others… Anyhow here they is, possibly, but not definitely on sale at the Book Draw. With the exception of the books (Sylver and Messenger) I’m aiming to have a couple of bits and bobs, canvasses and the like if I can get them finished, I’ll sell them off for the four charities I like to support most (Christian Aid, EngageHIVaids, Tearfund and War Child). We’ll see lots of water to flow under the bridge etc.




Funny how…

Couple of things.

Funny how your least favourite thing can become the most liked with a little work. This pic was the one I came to almost last because I just wasn’t enjoying it (one of the last images from the book draw that people will work with) and then, after an hour of frowning it became one of the panels I like most. If you’ll forgive the sermonising it remindeth me of a student I taught last year. Her first year had not been a success, for various reasons, and she got a D which I think was deserved in the grand scheme of things. Year 2 we really worked on things, did a lot of positive encouragement and the final result (aggregated even) was a B and I was the recipient of a really happy email to say thanks πŸ™‚ (and truth to tell felt similarly proud at the accomplishment).


Also a local company which I’ll name once it’s all happily organised have very kindly come into the Big Book Draw in a big way, sponsoring a perspex wall that people will be able to draw on. That’s a fab bit of news because it was the thing I think I most wanted to do just didn’t think I could squeak it in in the squeaky budget. To know it’s a goer is a fab and lifting bit of new. Woo hoo πŸ™‚ More stuff as it comes in.

Anatomy of a splash:


Depending on a variety of issues life over the next two weeks will be a bit chaotic. I may be posting stuff, may not but the Big Book Draw looms large (as do a couple of other deadlines) so I’ll be focusing on them as much as I’m able.

Nearly all Book Draw doodles are in from the kind participants. That’s been very gratifying and encouraging. To pick favourites would be silly – everyone who’s sent me doodles are ace and some will appeal to different participants in different ways. A couple strike me as wonderfully bizarre and creative and that’s great. Can’t wait to see people’s reactions to them.

The above image is the workflow of the picture that comes up near the beginning of the story that is given to people to elaborate on. I must admit to having mixed feelings about it nowadays, having doodled the original pic a couple of weeks ago, as images of floods have weighed heavy over the past few weeks. But it’s a hard image to swap and hopefully not something which people will take a less happy message from. I don’t think it has the sort of feel that you can take a more ominous message from it but, that said, I often teach my students that if you can see a hint of a second message in an image take it out if you can. Time’s just not with me to change that much of the picture.

Righto, back to work for me. Hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll look back on all this and laugh. As it is Big Book Draw and Sylver 3 are… well, there’s a lot to do lets just say.

And todays Big Book Draw picture is…


Not that this is a regular thing but I’m so snowed under with freelance and college stuff that I’m having to be disciplined with the Book Draw images which, despite being my favourite project, is a massive time sink and a total freebie. But I am enjoying the guts of it and it’s MASSIVELY exciting to see images and doodles come in from people I respect and admire… Neil Gaiman is the latest kind soul to do the do and that’s great as his graphic novel, Violent Cases (drawn by the equally awesome Dave McKean) was a formative part in my development of me working out what I wanted to be. NOt as much as The Secret of Nimh but on the same level of impact.

Anyhow, I’ve got ten ‘pages’ of the Book Draw beginning and end to draw and this is one of the more complex ones of which I’ve only got two left to do now. Which is cool, especially as the majority of this pic was done on the number 34 bus to and from work last night.

Much more to do but have to do a business powerpoint now to pay the bills (and likely subsidise a little bit of book draw at this rate. And also got to get son boy to bed, who’s been having an up/down day. Then daughter to sleep who’s also had an up/down day too). Onwards.

Big Book Draw final poster.

So there’s a million, bazillion things to still be done but here is the poster for the book fest with the almost final list of doodle participants and sponsors. As always I’m waiting to hear back from one sponsor yet to come but time’s a ticking and I have to get this off to schools soon.


Anyhow, waddling quickly off to college now, then to a brief Boileroom shindig, then to a pitch meeting for a freelance client, then to set up youth group, then to do youth group and then to rest around 10pm. Have a nice day y’all.

Big Book Draw pic.

So the Big Book Draw is gathering steam. I’ve probably done as much as I’m able doodle provider wise – and done far better than I guess I would have ended up being so far: it’s a heck of a set list. I am a little… glum is too strong a word… sad that I couldn’t get any actors onboard and a couple of specific names I was really hoping to receive stuff from but hey ho. I’m really pleased with the people who’ve said yes, that’s a fab group.

Materials wise it currently stands at what we can afford for Β£250. Moderately tricksome as there’ll be 250 people there at least I’m guessing so this is causing a certain amount of creative thinking. Much of what we need won’t be able to be bought in so we’ll have to make do with created objects and reused materials and so on. Not a problem – we’ve done 15 years of youth group with the same philosophy and the pencil box from the youth work side is HEAVING, but every year it gets a smidge tighter… I do want to do a perspex wall with some of the yellow pens (can’t remember the name but they’re the best thing to draw on perspex ever) but in all likelihood that will be beyond us.

One of the nicest things about the Book Draw is that the day is that the doodling of the work that people will use as the basis for the book is coinciding with my ever growing love for Brushes on the iPod touch. I’ve got twenty or so plates to draw that will then be shrunk and photocopied in place, most likely being turned into outlines to be coloured in as well… But it’s so much fun to play around with it I can imagine most pieces will have more work put into them than they would strictly need. Anyhow, pages 7+8 below:


Possible Book Fest ad…

So I’m doing the Big Book Draw for the Book Fest but, for some reason, I’m the world’s worst self marketer. Dunno why, just when I start doing stuff I forget to mention books or me or anything really and get into the arty moment. For example last week I worked with 120 kids and didn’t mention the books once. Sorry, publishers. There are times when I do stick on message of course, I just have to be physically reminded beforehand because it’s not the first thing that springs to mind.

Anyhow, partially because of that I asked the publisher of my next book, Highland, if they would pay for an ad in the Book Fest brochure and they said yes, which is lovely of them, and that I could put all of the book covers on the ad. So, here we go. Any comments? I want it to appeal to people but, apart from knowing what appeals to me I’d be interested in what people other than me think πŸ™‚

Poss goes to print next week, dunno the dates yet. I bet I get a call tonight to say tomorrow morning or something and have to dash around to finish it off…