Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Illustration Friday Wednesday

Run man, run. I had one of those creative days today where nothing had to be forced. I love those days. Ideas were flowing, and I knew exactly what I wanted to paint and where I wanted to paint it. On these days I know exactly what colour I'm going to use next & what I'm going to do whilst I'm still doing the previous brush stroke or pencil line. It seems I "get in the zone" and it just comes so naturally. I was hindered somewhat by an awful brush though, it is new but I bought a different brand than what I am used to. Oh, roymac, how I love thee.. why don't they sell you at Spotlight??
Pray for me that the rest of the week is just as creative as today was!.. and maybe the rest of my life while you're at it. Maybe my tormented days of feeling like a useless lazy crappy artist are over... HA!

Painted babushka dolls

Here are some painted babushka dolls I finished today for an upcoming exhibition at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. If you can't read the writing coming from the birds mouth it says "What's it like to be at the top of the food chain?" Could've taken a better shot, but the light just wasn't working for me today..
Now here are some progressive shots showing some of the process. First I got some cheap dolls off ebay. Apologies to the person who actually painted these!Then, I did an extremely quick rough/idea:Then got some guys to do the sucky work for me! After my house warming there were some friends & family that stayed until lunch the next day, so I set them to work.. the guy on the left is my bro Gazza, next to him is his mate Glen, then the other guy is Aaron, my cousin. (After this they discovered an old bottle cutter in my garage that I picked up at an op shop and proceeded to try and cut up some of the empty beer bottles from the night before. The first few were duds, but they got the hang of it in the end..)And here they are all sanded and undercoated, with the little stage that I made for them out of ply wood and mdf. All ready for painting! I then drew on them in water soluble pencils- which I often do before I paint, and if you stuff up you just get a wet tissue and wipe the lines off. It helps take away some of the fear of drawing onto something blank (the balnk canvas syndrome); which we all know can sometimes inhibit the outcome & the freshness of a drawing.

Leela got jealous

Because Bendy got his mug on the net and she didn't. Here she is, isn't she adorable? She's even got her own little hamburger. She's my little baby, or as she's known to other people "big scary doberman." AKA Peepee, Leelee, Long nose, P*ss ant, Brown dog.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Link Love

Been surfing around on the net, as I usually do, and it's great when I stumble across some really cool stuff. I've just found that one of my favourite artists Jeff Soto has a blog. Now I can memorise all his personal stories late at night with a crazed expression on my face in preparation for the stalking I intend to do if I ever find myself in his country... Jeff's blog.
Also there's another guy who's still doing his illustration course where I did mine. It's worth checking out, and if he's this good now best keep an eye on him! He goes by the name of Peter Forbes, or Forbsy as I see on his blog...
I've also discovered Jenny Harada's stuff which I absolutely love and drool over, especially her plush toys. So far I've only really been adding blogs to my links list, so these are all blogs.
In other lovely news I recently found my old collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls, yay! Now they sit above my computer and every now and then I get a waft of strawberry heaven, and I pretend I'm in a cartoony world full of polka dot trees, rainbows, and extra soft padded heavenly rolling hills... aaaaaahhhhhh. Bliss. I can't believe they still smell this scrumptious now, all the way back from 1981.
And just so this post is not all texty, here's a happy snap of me and my dog Bender. AKA B-bopper, Bendy, Black dog or B-boy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Plush man and brooch

This is what I got up to last night. Still coming up with designs that will soon be for sale. I wonder if I can pull off this online selling stuff hair-brained scheme I have...
I got some magnets printed up recently too, should be getting them in the mail soon. I'm also working on a new website, so will maybe have a shop section there, or do it in etsy. The problem with etsy is that all the stuff is supposed to be hand made, so I wonder if my printed magnets would qualify.. maybe I'll have both...
The brooch is a hand stitched wintery tree with a pipe cleaner around it. Finally found a quality use for those kiddy-crafty pipe cleaners!
I'm still trying to suss plush man out. Either he doesn't have much brain activity, or he's just an extreme day dreamer. I don't know, we just met last night and I'm still getting to know him. He has though produced alot of empty thought bubbles in the room, so I wonder if that's a clue to who he really is.
Lately I haven't been starting to create till late in the day then staying up late till about 2am. It seems I have all my best ideas at around this time. I have been known to get out of bed at 2-3am because I have woken up with an idea, and I'll slink off to my studio and chatter and cackle to myself. My ideas always seem better and quirkier in the wee hours of the morning though, but sometimes I look back on what I did in the morning and think "What was I thinking!? That's no good!! That's not funny!!" But I have a fun time anyway ;)
By the way, I'm troubled lately of the lack of a descriptive word to define the type of work that I do, along with other like-minded artists and illustrators. The word modern is not modern anymore.. (there's nothing modern about the word modern), and there are categories for all other types of art out there. Abstract, realism, etc. What do you type into a search engine to find the kind of work I do and other similar work..? I need a category! Or is there one already but I just don't know it?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Match made in heaven

Did this tonight for IF. I was happy with it, though now I am unhappy.... it took me a while to load this pic up because my computer was playing up and my browser kept quitting on me every time I tried to upload it. So, I went into a different browser and tried to do it there, and my blog looked absolutely terrible!!! My title pic did not show up, the writing went from one side of the page to the other, and all my links were down the bottom, no sidebar.. and everything was centred. Please tell me if this is how you are seeing my blog. I'm on the case and hope I can get it fixed up soon. I've probably stuffed up the code somewhere and have no idea how I'm going to fix it with my little knowledge of code.
Urggh, anyway, this piece is done in coloured pencils and pen then a digital border. I really love playing with my coloured pencils, makes me feel like a kid again. I also have been playing with textas and poskas, and it's great to mix them all together in the one piece. I felt so uninspired and unmotivated today, but then something happened at 10pm and I felt like drawing. The joys of being an artist. I had a whole day to get some stuff done today, and what did I do? I slept, I ate, and that's about it. Recovered from yet another big weekend. Heading out again tomorrow night for a friends gig, and we have our house warming on the weekend! I've really got to go "full nerd" as Jim's sister would say and cut back on the partying..
Hope you like this weeks IF, and please tell me if you see my blog display correctly & any tips to fix it! Ta!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Here's a pic I did for the Illustrators Australia annual 9x5 exhibition. It's to be held at the Melbourne Arts Centre this year. The exhibition's on the 3rd of September, and all the pieces are up for auction on the opening night.
By the way, I'm not multilingual, I just grabbed an instruction manual for some electrical thingy and copied the writing. I hope I have not obscured certain parts of the language or painted them wrong to make them read something offensive or dodgy!

Play a song for your sweetie

Started doodling this in my sketch book on the weekend. Once again it's an Illustration Friday entry for "play." I had the best day on Sunday drawing in my sketch book, playing guitar with Jimbo, hugging my dogs and sitting outside having a couple of quiet drinks by the fire... but this guy in the sketch is by no means Jim.. he doesn't sing love songs to me, like this guy does when he plays to his sweetie. Although, I think it's unrequited love, so it's not his sweetie, probably someone else's. Ok, so now I'm babbling on a bit, well it's almost 1am so I guess it's about that time..!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stitch stitch stitcharoo

Ok, I was talking previously about doing a stitch sketch instead of plain old boring pen.. ok... so pen's still cool but I think it has turned out alright. Still really thinking of opening an etsy store and still playing around with ideas for things to sell. The beauty of this kind of thing is that you don't need a great deal of things to sell before you open one up.
"Sometimes we need a perfect world." The idea for this image is that sometimes it's nice to pretend that we do live in a perfect world, and to take a break from thinking about the state of the world and the direction we seem to be heading. So take a sunny day, find a nice spot outdoors and become naiive to it all and find that happiness and peacefulness within.
On another note I was pretty pleased that my Illustration Friday pic was chosen as the pick of the week! I really felt like I'd won a prize or something. Super cool.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Thirsty Flowers

Thought I'd post about the upcoming book which I have illustrated, written by one talented Tony Wilson from Triple R radio station in Melbourne. The publisher is Hardie Grant Egmont and you can learn more about the book and listen to a recorded message from Tony here. He's also got a couple of verses from the book there, spoken in true Aussie poet style.

Here's a sneak peak of a section from one of the pages.. this dog was loosely based on a Weimaraner I took care of for some months whilst I was living in Sydney. The dog's not really the shape of ol' Tessy, but is the colour. There's also a guy in the book, who is somewhat of a "yobbo." I'm not going to say he is based on anyone specifically, but lets just say we artists pick up inspiration from what is close to us!

The book is due out in October, and being my first Children's book it's all quite exciting, so I'm sure I'll post about it again later on. It's a great story and I'm looking forward to it's release.

Monday, August 07, 2006


This weeks Illustration Friday. I still want to do more to it but I've got a stack of illustration work to do first. This one has stitching in it again, I'm getting into stitching lately. I love the "sketchy" look that stitching can give. Not that this piece really shows it, but the I like the imperfection that just comes naturally through my crooked sewing! I've been meaning to pull an image from my sketch book and just stitch the lines, I think it would be a good look.
Anyway, I've been a bit strapped of time lately, what with moving and illustration, and today hanging out in the emergency section of the hospital waiting for Jim's foot to be attended to after a wayward forklift from his work decided to go on a violent rampage.. OUCHY WOWY!!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Here's a pic I painted recently. Started out as a doodle in my sketch book. I keep changing colours and tones on it, I still don't think I'm happy with some of the tones.
Anyway, if you need a life, he's your dude.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Artist or Illustrator

I've been thinking lately about how I want to cut back on my illustration work and focus more on my own artwork. I'm sick of dodgy contracts and the business world of illustration. I just want to paint without anyone telling me what to do! It is the dream.
One of my fav artists out there who lives the dream is a guy named Souther Salazar, and when I checked out his stuff, it turns out his girlfriend Saelee Oh is just as god damned talented. Here is their new blog which I was thrilled to find and will be checking it regularly: peanut butter & jelly. Their stuff never gets old for me, as there's always something fresh and new to their work. Sometimes I find an artist who I love, but then their stuff gets stale for me, like they are just repeating the same thing over & over. Kind of like a comedian who keeps using the same jokes. After you've heard the joke a couple of times, it's just not as funny anymore. I feel a bit nasty writing that after my big sook about criticism I recieved.. but hey, I'm not naming any names or telling people they suck. These people are still hugely talented, these are just my thoughts and feelings about looking at other art. So anyway, when I come across an artist who is constantly suprising me with their new work, I know I have a keeper in the favourites list.
(I'm also adding this one to my list of links, which I found through a link on their blog, it's a wonderful source of inspiration & eye candy.. print & pattern. Check it out.)
So anyway, the conversion from illustrator to artist is something I've really been thinking about lately. Can I do it? Or will my laziness and procrastination get the better of me!? I'm getting more motivated in my old age, but can I really break the stereotype of the lazy Aussie?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


This is my effort for this weeks Illustration Friday. What could be cleaner than a baby... in the rain?
..and can someone please tell me why the hell I stitched this onto the most creased piece of fabric I could find!!?? I have tried ironing it, maybe I should gently wet it and let it dry then iron it again. If anyone has a solution I'd love to hear it!
I have a frame ready for this little piece. I'm planning on starting up a little online shop soon, maybe this'll be the first item for sale..?