Tag Archives: one more thing

Finished one and one other possibility…





The first two are from the finalised image for the Guildford Book Festival brochure and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out, all things considered. Bearing in mind the majority of my brushes work is done on a bus going to and from work I think they came out remarkably unjoggly 🙂

The final two… Hmmm…. for a long, long time I’ve wanted to exhibit some artwork. I often get the bug when I’m organising (or attending) gigs by the youth group bands. I love them all to pieces but a part of me wishes that I could step on stage and perform even a little bit as well as they do. I can’t, of course. They’re the musicians and I’m merely the organiser. But I can draw and that’s been a nagging voice in my head for a couple of years now. With Brushes I have a body of about 20 or so paintings that will look very nice printed out large, on canvas, small and framed etc and it’s in my mind to pursue, to see if it’s feasible (sorry, Dith. I convinced myself 🙂 but it’s by no means a definite.) So, anyhow, drew this… Y’know… Just in case…

If it does happen I’ll try and organise one test showing around the book festival date (probably a week after) but we’ll see… Very much up in air/back of brainwaves sort of mulling…

Behind the trees part 2.

I think, as the story gels in my mind, that I may call it Behind The Trees… even though I only brought it up as a description of the elaboration of the images that the current batch of Pixelmator doodles has led to…

By which I mean as a very long winded intro to the next image in the series.


Which also serves to show my revolting habit of not always naming layers when I’m working quickly. Very naughty, no-one tell my students ok?

Trees: the return thereof

For a variety of reasons I’m feeling moderately deflated. Sylver 3 has been pushed back to June 19th which is scarily close to the summer season (and is mostly my fault but hey ho). It’s both the best thing I’ve written and, seemingly, the hardest thing to push and, energy levels wise it just seems like a very high mountain to climb.

Similarly there’s a huge amount of stuff to be done in what feels like every aspect of my life. Nothing feels like a tick on the list and subsequently it’s hard to know where to start. Ah well.

Because of that, I guess, I’ve just spent half an hour in my favourite paint package (well, a couple of hours – one of the jobs was a book cover for someone which is a nice piece of art if it’s selected) and, as soon as that was finished I’ve gone onto this, just for the mental relaxation of it. It came out pretty well, for a half hour doodle, hence the uploading of it here.

Off to youth group soon, which I’m sure I’ll enjoy – lovely bunch of kids – but today must admit the energy and hope levels are pretty low….


Dear Me,

Been a little quiet, sorry. Stuff all over the place for many reasons at mo’. Just finished a couple of images for the Diocese which will be uploaded soonish, couple of college projects on the go that sort of thing. Also had to clear all of my stuff out of the arts centre and that was quite affecting in ways.

And of course it’s a holiday.

Anyhow: I’m quite fond of an American writers group called The Writers View. Twice a week they send out a question and, if relevant (and occasionally not) people will reply with their comments and ideas. It’s often good fun. The question this week was what would the writer you are now say to the writer you started out as and this was my reply. Made me smile so I thought I’d add it here too:

Dear me,

Wow, you’ve started a new thing, congratulations.

Some advice: don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone does something well, including you/me. Don’t take on everything, because everything will then suffer. Don’t give too much attention to the naysayers or the people who say you’re the next C S Lewis. Listen to your wife more, even though she’s never known how to sugar coat something – that’s a positive thing!

Don’t leave it all to the last minute, don’t forget to stop having fun while you’re doing the deadline thing. Don’t comfort eat. Do things that are unrelated to the work, regularly.

And don’t call two characters in your book similar sounding names you numbskull.




Side project preview…

So I’ve been working on two books back to back and this is the second, Sylver 3 being the first.

TBH I’m very happy with Sylver, sorry should start training myself into using its proper name: Dr Sylver and the Tapestry of Time, because I think that, out of anything I’ve written, its the thing that does anticipation best (I think, anyway. Time and reviews will tell).

This is the other project: a hard cover, dust jacketed, 80 page collection of artwork from my days at various computer games houses, multi-media companies, freelance posts etc and a lot of personal stuff that’s never been seen before. It’s very much a vanity project and my dad in law put it best when he said ‘…but who would want to read this*?’

Dunno, was my answer at the time. I’m not in any illusion about its appeal and that I’ll probably be the highest customer for it to nab copies for those nearest and dearest, but at £15 or so for well over 100+ images I think it is a complete snip**!








What no blurb at the back…? Again I’m imaging this is something I’m more likely to buy for friends and family and, with that in mind, the back and the blurb will be personalised per person. May do a second cover with blurb on for those who cant do without but I’d far rather it was the final picture and every one was different…

Righto, more pix to add later but, as ever, onwards. And, in the direction I’m headed is children to sleep swiftly followed by me.

* although of course sometimes people could say that about anything I write… Sigh…

** but then, I would say that…

***Book available from blurb.com as of June the 1st, 2009. Price to be confirmed but around £8 for the softcover version and £15 for the hardback version. Artist hand not included but more than happy to personalise each one. Email me for  a link if you can’t wait otherwise I’l post it here soon.

Flight of fancy, lots of colour and other added gibberish..

OK so the school mob that I know from various avenues (friends, youth-groupers, teacher colleagues, god daughter and the like, not to mention daughter herself 🙂 ) have been doing their yearly drama show. This year it was Les Mis and, well, it’s a hard task for a start, not to mention the building move which happened in the middle of practise sessions, the swapping over of orchestras part way through and other problems that presented themselves.

Saw it on Weds, was blown away. Wifey saw in on thurs and she was similarly keen so, after a small bit of discussion, I nabbed a couple of media students (thanks James, Jack, Laurence nad Max) and we filmed the final show.


Could have been a disaster, certainly from our side. Two untested students, brand new cameras which had not been trialled or demoed, no prep at all, no sweet spot for one of the three cams,standing up for four hours top to tail, all that jazz, yet, from the footage I’ve mooched over so far, it seems to have come out OK. We’ll see. Edit starts monday and I can’t wait. As mentioned before the kids did fab and I only made a moderate idiot of myself which is always a bonus in any situation 🙂 (called one of the students the wrong name, loudly, and interviewed another who I thought was leaving and turned out she wasn’t. DOH.)

Was good to see the show for a second time and, this time, did have a teary moment when my god daughter dies for the second time in a week. Spoke to her parents afterwards and they’d been blubbing all through the show (well, 5 times between them anyhow)  which I think is the more correct response. Me, I was in work mode directing and checking on batteries and the like, so had to remain professionally impassive 😀

But yeah, stupidly tired now but have to wake up to take daughter to town for celebratory lunch…

Lastly have mentioned before that I’m a frequent visitor to this site, a photographic document of a piece of world news from the week: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/ and this weeks update is spectacular  http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/holi_the_festival_of_colors.html 
It’s nice to see a positive update where everyone is smiling.

Random things I love in the digital age:

‘cos lists is in.

10: Blender – free 3d software and totally groovy.
9: my ipod nano 3g which I gave to my daughter when I got an ipod touch and totally miss now.
8: Pixelmator – lovely cheap photo editing software.
7: Spawn illuminati: gorgeous playful app for the ipod touch. Loads of fun.
6: Wii fit which is all sorts of ace.
5: Samarost (a free Flash game playable in your browser) which I still think is one of the most beautiful games ever.
4: Background generator: another daily app stop off for me.
3: a digital tool which allows me to compress the junk I have to smaller chunks that can be stored more easily. Which sadly only exists in my mind….

So, because 3 was a cheat here’s another one: I love the idea of digital comics – being a comic book fan but not wanting the clutter of a collection or the faff or trying to work out what’s going to be groovy at the time from an explanation on a webpage. So already I’ve downloaded a couple of comics, most notably the fascinating A Contract With God from Will Eisner and a few from the iverse stable. I vaguely mention this because, post Sylver, I intend to re-tout around the comic book I drew – pre-Exile Road – which I’d still love to get off the ground. We’ll see. But it’s nice to read comics again and the ipod is a good medium to present them on.
2: Classics: another app – just for the page turn animation if nothing else 🙂

and at number 1:

Onelifeleft which is a computer games related podcast. They’ve just released the final show of season 4 on itunes as a free download (caution – occasionally close to the knuckle at time, in the past anyhow but described as clean on the feed description) and the final ep was an absolute corker from top to tail. A barnstorming classic: 7/10.

The Miz.


So: aforementioned school (see the Lord Ron post) has been doing it’s production and it’s a complete corker. Very groovy from top to tail and this poster fell out last night as a result.

It’s weird though, seeing youth groupers and all sorts of children I know in a variety of parts. My god daughter dies part way through act 1 and two more commit acts of treason or treachery. May have to have a word with them post show youth group about the fact that I frown upon torture and warfare by and large. As soon as I got home I wanted to load up the pictures I’d taken to see how they came out on the bigger screen and had a facebook chat with one of the lead harlots who asked me what I thought of the show. It’s occasionally a strange life. 

Anyhow: hats off to the school production team one and all. They were all sorts of awesome. Champions League/Shmampions league. Les Mis by a cast of hundred +  where it’s at.

Loads of work to get done, but first…


Reflective mood ahoy. This weekends been both good and bad, mostly good it has to be said: two birthday parties split across various parts of the family and the couple with 93 years combined on the planet both seemed to enjoy themselves very much.

The problems, such as they were, came from another angle and it’s set me thinking… Although the questions asked have no real answer really. But they have reminded me that there’s something I need to be doing and it may as well be now.

WYAC readers of the blog will have been aware that I said there was some news centre wise on the horizon. I’ve told a couple of people so far but hey ho, time to blog it because some things need to be sorted out now for the next six weeks and that means that the whole stuff needs to be known. 

For the past four years I’ve been the manager of an arts centre. It’s been fantastic fun, loads of paperwork, excellent times and teeth grindingly frustrating. Depends on the day really. I’ve loved it and the kids I worked with though.

And then it stops for me in April. Mostly. The WYAC will still go on of course – it’s too ace a place to stop 🙂 – but my involvement will be massively curtailed. I’ll still be in one night a week to do an animation course we’ve been aiming to do for the longest time, well, four years bar a couple of taster sessions 🙂  but that’ll be it. I’ll probably be in over hours a little for the summer school but apart from that I’ll be muchos quiet on the event.

TBH it’s a bittersweet thing. I’m cutting back because between the teaching, the writing, the teacher training and the looking after two kids, one with special needs, is draining to say the least. Add to that a centre with staff that are ace but all require attention and thought, 100 kids a week at times, 200 overall, equipment provision and all the rest it’s just a little too much to juggle any more. There’s still loads of projects I wish I could have worked on, loads more I wish I could have done, and the leaving is a temporary thing, in as much as in December I’ll have another meeting to decide whether I go back up to the full hours a week or stay back at a night or leave. It’s strange to feel that I’m both leaving and staying. Doing things and letting things go. Odd mood.

Anyhow that starts on April, both art course and reduced hours. A temporary replacement has been found to keep things ticking over until the full hours left over are allocated and I’ll be on the sidelines cheering whoever on to take the place to a level I couldn’t manage. We did do a lot though, just not always the things I’d hoped for. I have worked with some AWESOME bands though, from the much missed This Years Dropouts, Downside Orchard, Forget The World, Kamichi, The Blooms and others and the still with us and still awesome Ollie Grant, Severy Dawn, Return of Thanks, Sons of Aquarius, Killing Mercury, Innovia, Traces (yeah, you’ll always be TOTD to me 🙂 )  and many others and I’ve learnt a lot from them as I hope they’ve learnt from me. In fact, bearing in mind I’m an artist and they are the talent, musically, I’ve defo learnt more from them 🙂 (Actually I’ve probably forgotten loads of band names in there so sorry if you’re not mentioned). I’ve also had the chance to work alongside Open The Skies and Midgar and expect much of them… They’ll be making the big noise soon I’m sure.

So, yeah, if you’re reading from the WYAC side it’s been an honour and a pleasure. I’ll be around that’s for sure but see way fewer people than I’d like. That don’t mean I think any less of anyone there, just that, for a while, I need to get some family space more defined and especially the family needs to regroup a little as autism has been rearing it’s head and roaring more of late and we all need to take stock of the way that things have moved around in our house.

Hmm can’t remember where I’m going on this score. Anyhow, I’m in the process of sorting out the April stuff and then, wow, it’s on to getting a couple of good nights sleep for a while…! Not tonight though, got loads of emails that need to get sent out 🙂 So, on to work, again, and, WYAC wise see you tomorrow night and tuesday.