21 December, 2009

Let It Snow

Merry Christmas everyone, x.

30 October, 2009

A new departure

Dabbling in a spot of writing-gawd help me.

15 October, 2009

Come in Number 10...

...and make way for number 11, Matt Smith.

I was asked just recently to supply a drawing of the new Dr Who reading the very first issue of Dr Who Weekly from way back in 1979. The drawing I've done is going to be used on the cover of a non-profit making fanzine along with all ten previous Doctors who have each been drawn by ten different contributing illustrators of Dr Who Weekly/Magazine through the years. And I'm privileged to share the cover with some downright talented and famous names.
The fanzine will concentrate on the history of the Dr Who comic strip with interviews with some of the major movers and shakers who've brought the Doctor's comic strip adventures to life.

When the final cover image is available I'll post it up here. It's all very exciting for a Dr Who fan like me and I'm going to go and have a sit down now, it's making me quite giddy.

25 September, 2009

Submit a claim for Irish PLR and do it soon!

The first payout from the newly created Irish PLR system to cover the year 2009 will be made later this year.
If you claim UK PLR, then you should be eligible to claim for PLR from the Irish system for all books featuring your work that are loaned out by the Irish Library service.
However, to get your claim included in the payout for 2009 you need to submit your claim by Friday 9th October 2009.
Claims submitted after this date will be included in the payout for 2010 and subsequent years.
See the Irish PLR site for more details: www.plr.ie

20 August, 2009

A small triumph

When I'm not beavering away at the GCI day job, I love to make wood engraved prints. I engrave on box, lemon or pear endgrain wood and print them on my vintage Farley galley press.

Last year I submitted a print to the Society of Wood Engravers Annual Exhibition, and I'm pleased to say the print was accepted. It travelled around the UK for a year with the other 117 prints , showing at Bankside Gallery in London, Bristol City Museum, Northern Print in Newcastle and Art Jericho, in Oxford.

This year, I submitted another print, above, for this year's exhibition and to my delight, it was also selected. I don't know the itinerary of venues for this year, except it will be shown again at Bankside Gallery, details below:

72nd Annual Exhibition

The 72nd Annual Exhibition will take place from 22nd September 2009 until 4th October 2009 at:

The Bankside Gallery
48 Hopton Street
London SE1 9JH

Telephone 020 7928 7521

Email info@banksidegallery.com
Website www.banksidegallery.com

The exhibition will include an additional display of the 25 engravings from the BOX 25 that were commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the refounding of the Society.
Open daily 11am – 6pm.

I will post the other venues and dates when I have them.

22 July, 2009

An illustrator's godsend?

I've been fortunate enough to get a new computer (Mac)....the downside was that some of my key proggies no longer worked as the versions were too old, the biggest loss being photoshop and at the price even an older copy is, I couldn't afford it. About the only thing I use PS for is RGB-CMYK conversions and greyscale-bitmap conversion and batch processing of same. So.....the hunt was on for a viable alternative.

Enter Graphic Converter. It's a PS-alike shareware programme for Mac. It's come a long way in usability since I last looked at it years ago and the manual is heaps better. It does all the photo-editing stuff but best of all it does the CMYK, it does the bitmaps and if you actually buy it (€29) you get the batch processing too. I've been trialling it out and it seems perfect for my needs. I used to keep it on the old Mac as a trial version because it also opens just about any file you care to mention. (It does still struggle with painter riffs tho') and has saved more than one tricky situation.

Anyway I have shelled out the necessary and bought it. For anyone here Mac-based, who needs a PS alternative, I'd recommend a look at GC and no, I'm not being paid to say this! LOL!


Thought it might be useful info as I know some of us are often asked to provide bitmap linework as well as cmyk and many can't afford to go the PS route.

I hope everyone's busy!

14 May, 2009

The Ferguut

Just to keep myself busy in a period with few or no commissions, I started - somewhere in the year 1999 - working on a project called Ferguut and I'm working on it ever since. But only in quiet times of course!

(The) Ferguut is the title of the oldest mediaeval Dutch Arthurian manuscript of which only one copy survived through the ages. This unique manuscript is kept in the library of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. It is written in mediaeval Dutch and based on a french original called Fergus. The first half is a true translation of this Oldfrench manuscript, but halfway the anonymous Dutch author took the liberty of altering, deleting or adding elements in the story, but the plot remained unchanged: the troublesome, but ultimately succesful quest of the young knight Ferguut after his beloved Galiene.

In this project I was able to combine two longfelt passions, namely my admiration for mediaeval illuminated manuscripts and the Arthurian literature.
So I made a first illustration to a passage in which Ferguut has an encounter with a giantess called Pantasale, who guarded the white shield which provided invulnerability and what Ferguut was desperately searching for.
These are two details of the spread I made of this scene ten years ago.

And this is the illustration I made the other day of Ferguut slaying a bunch of pirates who offered to take across Ferguut and his horse overseas, but in fact planned to rob and kill him instead; but that's not what happened, of course.

The other illustrations I made in between the pictures above are to be seen on my website. Please check: http://tinyurl.com/plmxok
In these ten years I kept changing some of the illustrations, because in some cases I decided they weren't good enough. Thus, over the years the overall picture is constantly fine-tuned, as it were.
But I'm almost done - only four spreads to go - and the text is being written at the moment, so little by little I'm looking for ways to get this book published. So anybody with a serious offer or a brilliant suggestion is hereby invited to react.

07 May, 2009

At the moment...

I am currently painting ideas on the theme of a falling figure. This is not 'conventional' looking work and the style is influenced by previous work inspired by the words of a particular song, some fascinating hallucinatory images I experienced when I was very ill and probably the vorticists! I am trying a variety of media, basically to see what happens...

06 May, 2009


I've always had a fascination with monsters but although I love the idea of them, I wouldn't want to be stuck in the middle of the woods with them. And I really wouldn't want to be eaten by them, having my leftovers left dangling in the branches of the trees. I just wouldn't fancy that at all.

Not that there would be any leftovers, I'd be a juicy bit of monster fodder- and far too tasty to waste.

21 April, 2009

London Book Fair 2009

Back from an Easter break and straight up to the London Book Fair where I finally met some of our very good friends from Folens. It is always nice to put a face to a name (and voice) when we spend so much time communicating digitally...

...and on the subject of digital, you may have heard of the Espresso Book machine which was on display at the LBF: "named for the speed with which it can print a book - is designed to print and bind between 15 and 20 paperback books per hour (depending on the length of the book). The machine is designed to allow the public on-demand access to a huge selection of literature in an array of languages. Users just walk up to the machine, select a book from the catalog, and wait a few minutes for their book to print."

It doesn't serve coffee while you wait though. Darn!

02 April, 2009

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2009

Korea was the Guest of Honour at the Bologna Children's Book Fair this year hence the mildly indecipherable logo for the fair you can see in my photograph.

There were a few missing stands at the Fair this year but all the usual British publishers were represented and most of those claimed that business at the Fair had exceeded their expectations so hopefully we shall continue to work with them through the year ahead.

We are now busily following-up on the various conversations and presentations we had to see what can be turned into tangible commissions!

22 January, 2009

Sneak preview

The designer of the Vikings pop-up book, of which I posted some pictures a short while ago, sent me a pdf with some of the pictures in place. I think he - his name is Kevin Knight - did a wonderful job.
The four other gods-pictures will be placed as flaps over the ones here shown.

20 January, 2009

In Church and Mistress Pate

Thought I might share some of the work, that I have been busy with for whst seems a very long time. These are just a few illustrations for a book that I have very nearly finished for a charity in Hackney.