Not only great company but a new technique learned and something which has got me all fired up!. Jennie Hale showed our little group how to decorate with slip and scroffitto. Nicky Beaumont, Mary Harold and I all had an absorbing evening cutting stencils with newspaper and wetting them onto the leather hard clay tiles, (which Jennie had hand made for us) and also scrafitto’ing through the slip to create a design too. I loved this process, possibly more than the paper stencil, it was a free’er way to approach the tile in a drawing style. However with three tiles made I thought they made an interesting story – crow quietly walking through the corn stubble – It starts raining – crow walking quietly through the corn stubble….I think he lives in Devon somewhere! So looking forward to seeing them fired and glazed…and to having another go. Perhaps I could make a book out of tiles somehow!
About Illustrating What’s That On Your face
This is a lovely story written by Ashley Ide, Sturge Weber UK raised the funds to pay for the Illustrations and also to pay for the printing of this book Which will be launched at their family day at the end of October. It has bee a long time in the making, however the final push to get this on the road has been so worthwhile. I am very pleased with the Illustrations and also the design. I wanted to tackle the topic of the problem with being different head on using figurative characters. I tackled the discomfort faced by many children, and adults, when faced with a new audience and their own differences. Birthmarks can be a difficult problem to cope with because children are, innately curious,but also quick to judge. This book is about accepting that most people have something which makes them unique in their own way and that being human is accepting this as part of every day life.
“It is thanks to the Sturge Weber UK Charity that, through their funding, I have been able to publish this book and realise my dream.”
Ashley Ide said this but also it reflects how I feel too as this is the first whole book I have illustrated that has legitimately been published.
A bit about the why of “What’s that on your face?”
What’s that on your face? Is a children’s book that dad, Ashley Ide, has written to help children understand what birthmarks are and that it is OK for people to have them.
We are all unique in our own special ways; some people are big, small, round, thin, blind, or just have a different appearance.
“As a parent to my son Ashton, who has a bilateral port wine stain covering roughly 85% of his face, I know what it’s like on a daily basis for my son. Especially on day trips to new places and when he first attends new places, like a new school, and this is why I chose school as a location in the book.
I feel children are naturally very curious and often just ask “What is that on your face?” and I feel it’s just lack of education that creates stigma. We made the effort to educate our son’s school; by encouraging his teachers to talk about differences and birthmarks so that they could explain. We also taught our son Ashton about Sturge Weber and taught him to explain it to other children and this has been extremely effective. Ashton has had comments but they mainly happen outside of school by children that do not understand what birthmarks are.
I feel this book would be a very useful tool for parents and teachers to help children with and without birthmarks to understand about differences and realise that not everybody is the same and that making comments can upset people. This book has a number of main characters that are unique in their own special ways….including a very unique teacher!”
Something About Sturge Weber UK
Sturge Weber UK
Sturge Weber UK is a voluntary support group for families and adults affected by Sturge Weber syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. The Charity was launched in 1990 by Contact a Family (CaF) in London. With the guidance of CaF, Sturge Weber UK finally became a registered charity in January 1993.
Sturge Weber syndrome
This is a rare disorder of unknown incidence and origin; although present at birth it is NOT thought to be hereditary. Sturge Weber is usually indicated by a birthmark (port wine stain) somewhere on the face, usually involving the eye and forehead, also similar blood vessels on the brain, called an angioma. Those with Sturge Weber often suffer from epilepsy, hemiplegia (a weakness or stiffness affecting one side of the body, similar in appearance to that of a stroke), glaucoma and learning difficulties. Symptoms usually occur in the child`s first year of life.
There are no charges for those affected by Sturge Weber syndrome, their families, friends, or professionals.
To provide support and information on different aspects of the syndrome and to raise both public and professional awareness of the condition.
To promote medical research into the causes and treatment of this syndrome.
A Family Weekend Conference is organised every eighteen months when doctors and other professionals talk about relevant topics.
A Newsletter is produced bi-annually and information leaflets are available.
For more information contact:-
Sturge Weber UK, Burleigh, 348 Pinhoe Road, Exeter , EX4 8AF
Tel: 01392 464675
Wedding favours for a devon couple who where drawn together through their love of Rugby. Pen and ink drawings digitally finished and diamante sparkles added for that special bling effect.
The brief for this commission was to tell their story in a concertina book to go on the tables as a keepsake for guests. I was provided with a set of photographs and a story line. I researched the game of rugby and found that the set of terms used and coincidentally sequentially fitted very well with how their relationship had moved through time and space (according to the photos) so that was an extra and interesting addition to the little book. Once everything was drawn to scale and set to the folds in the book the England Rugby Colours where used to draw the eye to key elements and the diamante added to lift the whole thing to wedding status.
The client was very pleased with the outcome. The wedding favours project took 5 hours to design and complete at a cost of £85.00 excluding printing and the client attached the diamante stones.
I don’t really notice how much I use the internet but I do, all the time. What does this mean? How big is that? where are these? Who is that? what do they do? All of these things have become instantly answered by a quick google. So whilst it was a relief not to have the pressure of emails and social media obligations, I missed not knowing the answer to STUFF!
I have made a few animations and have gained a fair amount of experience creating animation with Premier Pro and putting together material for a workshop with year 8s at Looe Academy I came across this hand drawn animation of Blue Beard. I was intending to show students my animations and how I used my prints as part of them, but it was fun to find this one. In my interpretation ….yes …. blue Blue Beard is a rabbit in my version!
To see my Blue Beard Animation Click Here
The story was adapted to make Bluebeard a rabbit. His new wife is left alone every night whilst the slightly creepy Bluebeard leaves the castle. This new wife explores the castle and comes across the a box into which the “key” fits perfectly. When she unlocks the box its full of dead baby rabbits. She is very upset (Understandably) but Bluebeard reassures her they were only sleeping. They are orphans he has collected and put under a spell so they will sleep until someone can love them.
This animation was created by using The red Shoes Ballet to mirror the exaggerated body movement of the characters. This really helped with the way the characters move through the story, not only in the dummy book and story board, but, importantly, in this animation. The use of the animation panning meant drawing in more background to avoid blank spaces. Lighting was a factor and I had to revisit the images a few times to ensure that the lighting remained correct even as the characters moved across the screen.
This film is pretty simple with little in the way of technical challenges, however the end result is effective. The music which I found on a free commons site is really what makes the whole thing come together.
I have a large pile of paper strips (which I get free!) they sat on my table top for ages until I came up with a cunning plan to use them for my daily sketch book doodles.
Snorkelling Dogs- Yay.
I try to spend 20 minutes or so just doodling or sketching to start my day. I don’t usually have any particular plan but the long strips of paper certainly do lend themselves to a daily doodle. I have found, increasingly, that I prefer to leave my sketch book on the side and use loose bits of paper. Somehow paper bound into a book seems restrictive.
The other thing about using a long strip is it lends itself to telling a story. I love to create movement in the images and then add a full stop or exclamation mark. Of course I add in a bit of what makes me laugh too.
I cant recommend enough taking the time for a sketch book doodle or two before you start your day.
I usually draw with a pen and ink, although on some of these strips I have to use a fine liner as the paper bleeds too much with the ink. Occasionally I might redraw, especially the ones I like but have made a mistake (not mistake: a bit I don’t think sits well on the page). However I do think that, often, its the spontaneous drawings which work the best with me. I can find myself getting a bit tight when I revisit things, although its good practice to revisit, revise and reconsider.
With these drawings I have scanned them into photoshop and then added monotype textures behind the inked image to create a slightly different effect. I realise that the fashion is the flat photoshopped chalky colours but I like the interest and random character my prints give to my ink images.
Sketch Book Humour is the best way to start your day.
Drawing in the mornings before I start work on long strips of paper which a technician friend of mine seems to generate (a lot of) in his lettrpress workshop using his enormous paper cutter machine. Anyway these really lend themselves to sequential narrative and I just smiles away when I am drawing them. When I scan them in I have to edit them dow or they re too long to read easily on screen but I promise you there are a lot more chickens on the original!….but no pigeons!
As an Illustrator and having worked with many students who find it hard to engage with learning, this is one of my great ideas which stars as a creative writing concept. This is a set of figures that not only stand up independently but also (in a handy way) pack up into a little book of stories. Commissioned by Tor Bridge High in Plymouth. Designed for students to explore A Christmas Carol these figures are designed to add a kinasthetic element to learning curriculum texts but also have the advantage of being independent of the story. The students can then use them to create their own stories in a theatre type setting. Its a Win Win. This concept of using physical figures to aid creative writing projects is really appriciated by teachers as a way to engage and energise students. The concept and application are my own invention.
This daily strip sketch book doodle transformed using photoshop and my monotypes. I love doing my daily sketch strips…if nothing else : They make me laugh. This cat is Ginger cat. My cat. I cant say I have ever seen him actually sitting on a wire nor, for that matter have I seen birds doing handstands. … but thats the great thing about being an illustrator….brilliant things go on in my head and squiggly birds and balancing cats feature often.
Want to know why I do a daily sketch book doodle?
This is another Illustration for Tribe International Arts and a second for a Bill Wolak poem. This image has been created using my monotype prints as the back ground against a pen an dink drawing layers with a scientific diagram of the soundwave of a scream from an old book I have. Again I used the half tone brush from Web Design Developers Co
Bill Wolak – the man who thinks that Poetry can change the world is a favourite with tribe International Arts Magazine. I find a Bill Wolak Poem makes a difference to my day. I really engage with his content and his easy, but interesting, way of writing really strikes a cord.