28 February 2008

discovery...
...of the sea bees. while at artlab last night i saw a sea bee for the first time. i thought i had best doodle it out of my head as soon as i could. thanks go to inspector marmalade who helped me loads yesterday with getting back on the ball. she suggested i doodle a shaping shifting snail for a beast book submission but i saw 'sea-bee' on a list of mythical beasts that she had and so i went with that. Wednesday nights are what i now call light bulb nights as things just seem to click every week. last night i went to the last of the three talks at artlab. we had to work with two sheets of newspaper with a focused and planned idea. i completed the task just about five minutes later than planned. aye five minutes is not keeping within a deadline but i am learning.

a group of sea bees is called a swool. usage - i saw a swool of sea bees on Wednesday evening. have you ever seen a swool of sea bees?

also a huge thank you to ali who showed me how to do 'duotone' on potatochop. it a new experiment that i like to play with.


slow doodles...
...staying true to my pen name of ladysnail. i am fair working slow. i think i need to work on a treadmill or something to start to learn more about how to work faster. these are some doodles from last Friday that i did with Biro, various difficult coloured pencil crayons and dip pen. everything is a bit backwards and forwards at the moment. i am finding it hard to switch off from one project to switch onto another. the yellowish looking hens and plant pot houses are in fact some kind of light green colour but the scanner was being a bit stubborn with doing its job.

22 February 2008



up on the noticeboard...

...lives a pirate octopus. just finished sewing and stuffing him. i think he works but may work better with the bit out of his middle legs sewn/cut out but that could prove to be bit too phaffy. i made him up without thinking too much as i did to just do it. a bit more care will be required with the others with the stuffing process and the sewing gutter needs adapting slightly but i aint going to worry about that for now as there are eco-robotingtons and chucks requiring my attention.

spell checker on blogger aint working and denise the big fat dictionary doesnt want to do any overtime this week. she is bit tired bless her. i think she is off on a date with tom or tony or terry of theodore the thesaurus this weekend. she had promised to teach my some new long words this weekend.

21 February 2008




random...
...the last twelve hours have been great. i had struggled quite a bit with doing a new project. i found it difficult to switch off from the poems project to switch on to doing a new project. i went to a talk at artlab at uni last night at six pm and was there for two hours. the talk was about talking about your ideas and the previous talk which was last week was about generating ideas. i had struggled to get my ideas out onto paper for amelia's magazine open brief which is about a positive future. i knew what i wanted to draw but i felt i had to justify it in a way as it had the robotingtons in who i always draw. my idea was stuck in my head for about four days. the talk/discussion last night was so helpful. i found myself throughout the two hours during this talk doodling out my ideas of which i had been stuck with on to some random lined paper. lined paper is abit of thing that seems to help at the moment. the main point being that i should in future remember this lesson - brainstorming with doodles - just make create or make my ideas and then play with them. there was a better phrase for it but that will do.
the first picture is a very rough looking rough of my positive future. this is the doodle i did while in the artlab talk. there are many pages of roughs now showing eco-robotingtons waterering plants with watering cans with perched birds, robotingtons collecting rainwater and feeding the chickens. there are also some sheep, allotments, houses, trees, a pond lake thing with fishes in there and bees with a honey nest thing. i also went to work in the printroom and painted out some of the squilly design to make it into an octopus. i printed it out onto some random acetate. he looks great on calico as well and it will work as a plush. i plan to get the sewing machine out later on. i have already sold one which is good. off plan like an house so that is some pennies in the degree show class fund.
now it is time for a food break and then back to drawing the eco-robotingtons and rain water.

16 February 2008

positive thinking...

...i thought the design would work out well with making the squilly design into a calico plush creation but no. the long tentacles are not easy to fold or turn out hence the reason why he looks funny in the picture above. i printed out quite afew of these squillies onto calico fabric so i will have to think of something else to do with them. fear not though as i refuse to give up and have decided that i am going to paint out the long tentacles on the screen thus making the squilly into an octopus pirate! he will become an honourary squilly in order to raise money for the degree show and thus the screen made up in the printroom will not be wasted. plus they will be easier and quicker to sew up into plushs. i plan to ask a local shop to stock them and may reopen the etsy shop.

15 February 2008


about four hours or so of fun...
...i love it when you start a piece of work and once you get stuck in it feels less like work. that is one of the reasons why i have always liked drawing. it is what you start to feel and think about if anything while you are drawing. it is exciting and you become lost in a world of your own. sheer concerntration without concerntrating. you create a place where you would like to be or visit. at this moment in time it is half two am and i had to post this now rather than later. i would love to sit under all these rainclouds and raindrops. i am finding that as i am beginning to do more and more work that i am discovering how much fun it is to keep a sketchbook. i feel less scared of drawing and i have bonded with the sketchbook this evening. i think i may have over worked this image but i dont really care as i feel i needed to get all the rain out that was inside otherwise it might fall out my eyes instead. i also sneaked in abit of Biro pen doodling in there as well. nina chakrabarti draws with Biro.

14 February 2008






celebrating chinese new year...
...at the weekend i went to chinatown in manchester with john and lu shin. i took some photographs of the celebrations. the area was full of people and we just missed the dragon parade. we went back in the evening to watch the fireworks of which i took over four hundred photos. i really should have taken the tripod with me but next time i will know better.

13 February 2008



thank you...

...penny and toby of natural atrill for awarding me with a 'you make my day' award. I now have to choose my five nominees.

Ali Graney who likes to draw odd shaped creatures and characters. http://drawarama.blogspot.com/

Lady Katie. Besides being the queen of tea, she creates amazing doodles that need closer inspection. http://inspector-marmalade.blogspot.com/

Jennipeg combines traditional collage working methods with working on the computer to make beautiful illustrations. http://jennipeg.blogspot.com/

Pea. Currently attempting to live with no telly for a month. She works in the greeting card industry. http://life-of-pea.blogspot.com/

Mermaid Misk who is an illustrator with her own little business empire. She also makes many many fantastic things like the crumps. http://magicalmiskellaneous.blogspot.com/

To pass it on, here are the details:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

12 February 2008


baking...
...we baked cakes and buns on monday as today we had a cake sale at university. we raised about eighty odd pounds which will go towards our degree show costs and that. i did get very excited at the thought of baking cakes and baked too many but now there are some tasty treats to eat with the all the brews we have. the ones in the picture above are lemon butterfly buns. they were very yummy. thank you to all who helped out with baking and selling and everything. we did a good job.
illustration wise i am going to look at the illustrated special collection at the university library tomorrow and then carry on with the doodling of the forty odd poems. my tutor has lent me a couple of books to do with 'font type' that graphic design people use for example as i have been writing words and in the same way for a while now. have a look at nina chakrabarti's work. she is an illustrator living and working in london. her lettering is beautiful. http://www.ninachakrabarti.com/

zoomed in...
...a bit so you can see the texture of how the ink has printed out the letters. if you would like to see it all in more detail just click on the image. ta. i had to make this extra post as the previous one refused to let me upload two pictures. poo. after i printed out the rain poem by spike milligan on friday, i then printed out alphabets or what i could make up as an alphabet from the various font drawers. some of the fonts are in different sizes as well. there are many drawers of metal letters to print from. some are a wee bit small to print from and sort out. i played all day and it was very tiring but i did enjoy doing the work and it wasnt really like doing work. it was like exploring and now i have a pile of prints to play with and draw from. i would like to print out whole poems but it is very time consuming way of working and the man who writes the calendar refuses to put an extra day into the week for me.
more milligan humour...

.... i was so excited when i first read this poem. i really like drawing rain. small rain. big fat rain. slanty rain. big wet blobs of rain. rain from all angles rain. blue rain. grey miserable rain. rain that is so pretty that one day i am going to dare myself to go and sit outside in it. aye so on friday i went to play in the printroom with the metal letter type things and the letter press. i have used the letters before and it was fun to get to grips with it more and play. the print room is another favourite place of mine. it still amazes me how you can start with one simple idea in there and then before you know it you have several different experiments on the go or summat and loads of work that you have made in a day without thinking about it and complicating it. i first started by printing out this little poem, one of the forty odd that i have chosen to work with. i will have to remember to go and take some pictures of the printroom for a show and tell. a show and tell post of my favourite places. aye so i printed out each sentence on its own as it is bit easier to do that what with my limited knowledge of this letterpress technology. i then pieced it together on the computer.

08 February 2008



i am a proper squid...

...though he may look like an octopus he is in fact a squid. he wears a pirate outfit as the other squids pick on him as he has a funny shaped head. he has alot of different bandanas but at the moment he likes to wear polka dotted ones. i am planning to print this little guy out on good old calico and might even re-open the etsy shop. the last few days have been difficult. i seem to have sorted out a plan for the nest couple of days to get back on track with the poem project. me and the photocopiers in the library will be on first name terms soon as i spend alot of time in there photocopying stuff. plus the library has a very calming atmosphere and i like to hide in between the big tall book shelves. i have photocopied about forty poems and cut them all out to stick in the sketchbook so here's to random doodling and whatever over the next couple of days. they are mainly about animals or by spike milligan or about things that i like to draw like rain.

05 February 2008


many crosses...
...over the weekend i decided to get stuck in to the new project by doing a few stitches of one the poems i have chosen. it did take me a lot of time, about a day and three quarters but it helped me do some kind of work without thinking it was work and it was also relaxing to sit there and watch pap on the telly. i need to stay calm and focused without going off on a tangent. i also went to play in the library again yesterday and armed with some very helpful suggestions i got some further research about illustrators and poems. the illustrated collection is a place in the library where i need to go and play for a few hours wearing them white cotton-y gloves. so i am off to make an appointment today.
also just to add-i am changing the squid. he will be wearing some kind of military/uniform head dress or some form of head gear as he looks rude no matter how many times i try otherwise to make him not look rude. i thought i was happy with him but he defo needs changing.

03 February 2008



scribble with the squid...

...it is a long story as to why i have drawn a squid. the bottom line is that we, we being us third year illustration students, have decided to call our degree show 'squid inc 08'. for promotional material and that. we each have to draw a squid and so here is mine. i am going to play around with some colour on acetate tomorrow to see what he looks like. i started by getting some photocopies of squids from a book at the library for reference as my squids looked a bit odd the other day when i tried drawing them. i did a few quick sketches in the A4 lined book and then i did a proper pencil drawing using the fab tracing box that is my desklamp and a glass shelf from a fridge! it is the best light box in the world. i had several options in the end, one with an eye patch, one with an eyepatch and a moustache, one with a monobrow or one with a chef's hat. in the end i went for the eye patch. i then painted the outline in black acrylic paint and aye i could have just done it in felt tip but i felt like i had to do it properly from the word go as i plan to make some in calico like i did with the teeth. so all in all i have it done all proper and correct for all things.