Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Submit work for NoBrow

Nobrow Press publishes beautifully tactile illustrated books. They are running an open invitation illustration project inspired by Nick White's new Nobrow book People I've Never Met & Conversations I've Never Had:

We thought Nick's book was a good subject to open up to everyone. And if we get some interesting responses they will make another great book!

So Nobrow asks you to submit one image of a person you've never met, and one other image illustrating a conversation you've never had. This can be a drawing, photograph, collage, etching, or whatever medium you want. A selection of the submissions will then be compiled and made into a book published by Nobrow Press.

Please keep your submissions to just the two images per person.

Submission Details:
115mm x 145mm at 350dpi (1585px X 1998px)

To submit a piece please upload it to this group.

We can't wait to see what you come up with!


See more details here

Monday, 7 December 2009


More pearls of wisdom from the conference at SHU, the first one from Gary Powell is very apt.
The rest of the quotes pertain to authorial practice, self generated work with out a client.


At a recent illustration conference at Sheffield Hallam Uni. I scribbled down a few names mentioned, some are illustrators, others artist or interesting publications. Dive in - have a look.


Billie Jean

Tom Gauld

Elephant Magazine

Gary Baseman

Anne Howeson

No Brow

Gary Panter

Hannah Waldron

Hannah Waldron's work might be of interest to some, she works a lot with pattern and texture, recently trying to avoid using an outline to define shape.

Some new blogs to look at

Don't know if you saw this in Saturdays 'The Guide' from The Guardian newspaper but there was a list of links based on drawing. I thought these might be useful. The first is a daily blast of inspiration from the strange to the wonderful http://yayeveryday.com/. The second is all about doodling - you don't have to just do it on paper you know! http://www.doodlersanonymous.com/
Enjoy x

Saturday, 5 December 2009


Check out Peter Arkle. Now based in New York where he is freelance illustrator of books, magazines and ads. he occasionally produces a magazine called PETER ARKLE NEWS [PAN] which contains drawings and comments /observations of everyday life

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

water water no where

stumbled upon...


Monday, 16 November 2009

Parsons: The New School for Design

Gary and I went to visit the Illustration department at Parsons New School of Design and met with the lectures there and browse round the facilities. We have some ideas brewing as a result! We were then invited with the students to a symposium on ‘Illustration and Motion’ with guest speakers.

LAUREN REDNISS reveals a history of blind spots.
JODY ROSEN unveils The Knowledge of London taxi drivers.
JOEL SMITH maps the mind of Saul Steinberg.
RICHARD MCGUIRE screens Fears of the Dark and more.

The approach to this theme took a sideways view. I didn’t expect to hear about London taxi drivers but found the theme which linked the speakers together was the journey from A to B and how this reveal stories / narrative to us.

I was really interested and mesmerized by the views of Lauren Redniss, who presented in a quiet and understated way. Joel Smith was a Steinberg expert and wrote my favourite book! Richard McGuire was just a genius. Look at his animation "Fears of the dark", which was so scary. It was delightful to see how his work had evolved into pictures that move. A real treat.

Slash: Paper Under the Knife

An exhibition called at the Museum of Arts & Design Slash: Paper Under the Knife shows the renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration, examining the remarkably diverse use of paper in a range of art forms. The high skill, dedication and possibly slight madness needed to create this work was difficult to comprehend. Check it out if you like the work of Rob Ryan and the Tactile / Tangible books. I have ordered the catalogue for the Library.

Cinders Gallery

Yes I didn’t read the small print which said it opens at 1pm – sorry to all those I dragged to Brooklyn to visit this gallery at 10.30am only to find it was closed - note to self to check first! But it does look quite good though and the zines and artists books for sale look good too – see I did have the best intentions.


If you ever have the delight of going to MOMA, the main thing which bowls you over is this..... every piece of art they ever show you in a lecture as being a defining piece of modern art is in this building. Each corner that you walk around you are faced with 'the', Matisse / Miro / Picasso / Rothko / Duchamp / Van Gogh work of art. It really is overwhelming. Another interesting exhibition was called "Compass in Hand", which showed different and sometimes unconventional approaches to drawing. There was also a Bauhaus retrospective, which left no stone unturned. Again, it was the sheer joy at seeing this work in the flesh for the first time after staring at in books hundreds of times. Wow!

The Strand Bookstore

I am rarely lost for words when it comes to books! But this independent bookstore was something else. I was rooted to the spot, with my jaw open, in the art section, as this was an entire floor, of wall-to - wall books on my favourite subjects. The cherry on the cake was a rare book section (accessed by a lift!), the books here were worth a fortune and wrapped in plastic covers. You could climb up on the ladders and browse one-off artists books, limited editions and gallery catalogues. Heaven!

Society of Illustrators

Next stop, an exhibition of called "The Original Art" celebrating the fine art of Children's book Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, (the American equivalent of The A.O.I.) The work was selected by a jury of illustrators, art directors and editors. The show is in its 29th year running. It was great to see examples of original art work alongside digital prints. I had my face up against the glass frames trying to see how some of the images had been put together. Illustrating for children's books is an art in itself and the skill and craft in some of this work was beautiful. I think you could the see the difference in the market between the U.S and the U.K. Marc Boutavant's illustrations for 'All Kinds of Families' are just adorable. Lincoln Agnew's illustrations for "Harry and Horsie" were very fun and brought to mind 1950’s advertising, cereal boxes, comics, vintage toys, pop art and used a very limited palette. He said he had no trouble coming up with images of the characters as he always imagined himself in super hero costumes and he just tapped into that. The child within again!

AIGA Gallery

While only a small gallery, the AIGA National Design Center is located at 164 Fifth Avenue in New York City and housed a packed exhibition of the best in communication design from 2008—including logos, websites, animations, experiences, packaging and advertising. The work was from the AIGA Annual Design Competitions showcasing examples of outstanding design produced in 2008. It was immaculately presented and always shown in context. The viewer was able to interact with it, whether flicking through a book, opening a box or clicking a button. A personal favourite was the calendar shown above. See the collection of work selected for the show here.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

St Matthews CE Primary Part 2 & 3

After showing a Powerpoint of inventive monsters, the kids had the chance to play either "Exquisite Corpses", like the project Ian set up with Kingston last year or work on their own monster drawings, then bring them together on a huge piece of paper and think about environment - where did these monsters live? what did they eat?
The 3rd day was much harder - making things! I asked them to make either a mask of an animal or make a monster / animal out of materials such as cardboard, tape, string. Firstly this was difficult as they physically found it hard to cut or use tape - so they relied far more on us for support. Chaos!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Drawing at St Matthew's CE Primary School - Part 1

All of you at remember those crazy days of Year one when you had to draw a drunken bike and fierce tree. Well this week the first year are working with St Matthew's CE Primary School in Edgeley to do some drawings in a similar way. We are spending 3 afternoons with a group of approx. 30 Year 1 and Year 2 children (6- 7 years old). The idea behind it is linked to drawing emotions and working from imagination - which is hard when you are a grown up! I think it helped us to see how free and less precious children are about drawing. We were all suprised at how trusting, open and willing to spend time drawing the children were and we remembered what it felt like not to be so worried about whether a drawing was right or wrong. It was great fun!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

Year One got up to some Pumpkin mischief this week - you could probably smell the stench of Pumpkin seeping out of the studio. The finished pumpkins were lit and photographed and all had real character. The results will be on the wall of the corridor soon.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Charles Hively Lecture

The Rise, Fall and return of American Illustration

Charles Hively, a creative director, art director, ad agency founder, graphic designer, and sometimes copywriter and former illustrator, is the founder of 3x3, the only magazine in the United States devoted entirely to contemporary illustration. He is doing a talk at Sheffield Hallam on Wed 4th Nov at 1.30pm.

If you are interested in going you are welcome to. It is in the Pennine Lecture Theatre, the directions are as follows:

Come out of the train station and cross the road at the crossing to your right, you then need to walk up a small hill (next to the transport exchange) which is paved, at the top you'll enter the University by Sheaf building (that's where we're based). Keep walking on and you'll come to 2 flights of steps, go up these and you'll enter the University at the main atrium - the lecture theatre is on the left, about 10m from the double doors, it's well sign posted.

Monday, 26 October 2009

6X6 Launch night

As part of the Manchester Literature Festival, the '6x6' book was launched last Friday (23rd of October)
In the grandeur of the Lord Mayor's Parlour the authors gave readings from their books and the illustrators were interviewed to reveal the working processes behind the images. It was a great success with both authors and illustrators speaking confidently and professionally, once again suggesting that collaboration is the future.
As the wine flowed and the books flew off the shelves (c
ompetitively priced at only £4) the plotting began to create
a bigger better version next year.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Graves Art Gallery Sheffield

If you haven't popped up to the Graves Gallery recently, you might be pleasantly surprised at the gallery's recent makeover. Over the last six months the home of Sheffield's visual art collection has been refurbished and repainted, giving works by legendary artists such as Turner and C├ęzanne the home they deserve.New displays take you on a lavish journey through the collections, spanning the 16th to the 21st century and including works by famous names such as Edward Coley Burne-Jones and Bridget Riley, and local heroes such as George Fullard and Derrick Greaves. The redisplay also includes popular pieces from the city's collection such as John Singer Sargents The Vickers Sisters and a host of treasures which have not been seen on display since the closure of the Mappin Art Gallery in 2003. Bringing the Graves Gallery bang up to date in the contemporary-themed gallery are Sheffield's most recently acquired works: Marc Quinn's Kiss and Sam Taylor-Wood's Self Portrait Suspended VII. The work has been made possible by:
grants from local and national funding organisations
donations from visitors and the Friends of Museums Sheffield The Graves Gallery is in the centre of Sheffield above the Central Library and close to the Millennium Gallery.

"Didn't See It Coming" in Magma

You might remember last year 2nd & 3rd year illustration students worked on a collaborative project with Kingston University the resultant "Didn't See It Coming" book went to press in Summer 09 we are delighted to inform you that this book will soon be available in Magma stores in Manchester and London (Covent Garden)
Congratulations to all students involved in this project, its the quality of the work that has secured this small step into entrepreneurial publishing.