Commissioned graphic novel

 

I took some time off from posting “businessy” things over January. It’s February already (what??) and so I’m keen to get back in to sharing what I’ve been up to. So let’s start with this piece I finished off late last year.

A lovely person approached me to illustrate her words as a short graphic novel. It was to be a one-off hand made piece, a gift for a close friend of hers.

My illustrations used pen and water colour paints. I then made a cover with thick card and hand bound it all together using cotton. As a finishing touch, I added some stars and planets to the cover using a silver pen.

What a pleasure it was to complete. MOAR PLEASE! COME AT ME!

Virginia Woolf portrait

Oh, those sad and weary eyes break my heart. A very short but poignant quote of hers that I like to remind myself of from time to time:

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

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So it goes

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As someone still swimming around in grief, I found comfort in reading Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (possibly my third reading?). I find this particular paragraph from the book to be quite softening for me:

“The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is “so it goes.” “

I made this painterly caricature tribute to Vonnegut. I wish I could send it to him, apparently he used to be quite warm toward his fans. But his body is in a bad condition at this moment in time.

Complete! Post Impressionist BFF’s.

Well, my painting is finished and in the mail to Illustrators Australia to be hung in their yearly 9×5 exhibition. I’ll post details about the opening night closer to the date. In the mean time, here’s my piece all colourful and finished. I used gouache which is my new favourite painting medium. I like how matte it is and how easily you can paint in layers without it getting all tacky like acrylic.

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Lost – David Wagoner

I’ve been doing a short course on illustration, one night a week. It’s been a welcome escape and break up of a weekly routine. There was an activity where we had to illustrate the following beautiful poem. Below is my take on the piece. I used ink on watercolour paper.

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Lost
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree of a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest know
Where you are. You must let it find you.

– David Wagoner

Squares and a love of birds

It’s been a long time since I’ve carried business cards around with me. I was looking through Moo cards recently and was wooed by their square shaped business card design. There’s something so aesthetically pleasing about art or photography framed by a square. It just brings everything together so neatly.

I had a think about which pieces of my work I ought to slap on the back of my card, but I thought better of it and created a new piece entirely. I love birds, they’re pretty neat. So they are the theme of my cards this time. I like the idea of creating something new each time I need a new bunch printed. I haven’t received the cards just yet, but here’s how the back looks. I used watercolor paints on watercolor paper. On a side note, why does some watercolor paper smell like poop? It’s really terrible.

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New year, new blog and an old wish

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To keep myself inspired I will try to keep up a blog of my latest endeavours and designy/artsy crushes. I figured for my first post which happens to land at the start of a new year, it might be fun to play around with the numbers of 2015 them self.

As soon as I started sketching out ideas, I realised that I really wanted to create something which spoke of new beginnings and a chance to make amends. The world and all of it’s funny little people running around (you and I) could really do with a moment of closing our eyes and thinking about PEACE. Being peace.

“Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.” – Dalai Lama