Did you go to a BOOKS ARE MY BAG party yesterday at your local bookshop? If you did, then wooooo, fun wasn't it?! If you didn't, you might have noticed a few buildings completely covered with orange balloons and bunting and wondered what all the bloomin' fuss was about. Well, the fuss is about bookshops, which, despite ebooks and online sales, are still very cool places to visit. Especially when you pop in on a wet Saturday and meet amazing people like these...
A 'bag' of lovely authors (and poets) who were all at Barton's Bookshop, Leatherhead, yesterday - Antonia Cridland, John Griffin, Liam McCann, Roz Morris, Geoff Saunders and Harriet Steel (Prue). Oh, and Peter (with the very funky matching orange watch strap) who invited us to his BOOKS ARE MY BAG party! I forgot to draw Cameron. Sorry Cameron.
I completed a two-year MA this week (Illustration and Book Arts at UCA, Farnham). It's been hard work studying part-time while keeping illustration commissions ticking over, but it's been worth the effort. I never truly went away, but now feel I'm 'returning' to my career reinvigorated.
MA Project exploring my grandmother's memoir and photographic archive
I've already re-focussed my brain on a new book, so thoroughly in fact that, when asked at the private view to talk about the my final MA pieces, I actually couldn't remember what I had done! Here is some of it...
From the final project, WHAT IS HIDDEN - a part work inspired by Hitchcock's' Rear Window'
The new book, a graphic novel, is currently just an outline and a sketchbook of ideas. It has a slightly older target audience than my previous work - YA and adult cross-over - and will develop visual themes I've been playing with for the last two years. I can't wait to show it to you. …
We were only 4, because of the snow, but Saturday's rubber stamping workshop was a huge success. I invited friends to be my guinea pigs so I could test timings and smooth out technical details. The results were great.
Peter made his own logo stamps and printed them on a book bag, while Lisa and Dorothy created wonderful designs which we printed on kraft paper greetings cards.
I'll be running the smoothed-out version of the same workshop during Surrey Artist's Open Studios in June, so check back here for details in a month or two. More workshops are planned for the summer, too, including Cyanotype Printing on Fabric and Making Your Own Folding Hardcover Sketchbook.
Thank you Lisa Boyce for the photographs.
This weekend I'm heading up to London for the Laydeez Do Comics Award event. I'm really excited that 'Who Killed Jo-jo?', my first long-form comic, is on the shortlist. I'm awfully chuffed to have been selected alongside such talented artists and it feels like an enormous stamp of approval for my 30-year plan to become a bona fide graphic novelist! Better late then never, eh?
If you are anywhere near London, do come over to the Free Word Centre tomorrow (24th March) where you will be able to read ALL the submitted comics as zines, and meet loads of amazing comics creators, male and female! It's free but you need to book.