Friday, November 30, 2007

a test

this is just to see why my blog isnt functioning as it should do.

Illustration Friday - "Zoo" No.5

Madame Yna Vlatska runs the Kafe Darwina.

She likes to pretend her mother was French, but in truth she came from Havakistan.
She's knows everything that goes on in the Zoo,
and for many miles around it.
One thing she doesn't know though is that Magda Pypevska is the daughter she had to give up for adoption when she herself was a teenager.

Devilled eggs is a speciality of Klodznán.

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HELP! Can someone tell me why clicking on this Image downloads it into a window in Preview, rather than just another page on my blog?!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Zoo" No.4

This is Old Varek.

He doesn't work at the Zoo.
In fact he hates people and animals.
He comes everyday with a bag of walnuts
sits on his favourite bench
and dreams about his long-dead wife Jenka
whom he misses dearly

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Illustration Friday - "Zoo" No.3

This is Klodznán Zoo's handyman Jirzy.

He's a simple country boy, from the Schlavka Mountains in the south of Kasmirovja.
He's a hard worker too, just back from Military Service, with a huge hunger and a thirst for hard liquor to match.

Illustration Friday - "Zoo" No.2

Here's Magda

She works in the same Zoo in Klodznán.
She's a nice girl and has quite a thing for the handyman Jirzy.

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Illustration Friday - "Zoo"

Ok, here it is, a genuine IF* entry!

The stressed-out Zoo-Keeper of a fictional Eastern European zoo.

This was a scratchy biro sketch I did in a Soho coffee-house yesterday afternoon.
This morning I tried to reproduce it using a dip pen and ink
Only to find, yet again, that the original had more life,
so, here it is, as was, coloured up in PS.

I'd love to get people's opinions on this
as, careerwise, I'm at a bit of a crossroads
and am finding myself increasingly drawn to
crazy scrappy scratchy doodlings
but workwise, I'm more known for a polished
style that doesn't give me much joy these days

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guardian Sport 28 Nov 07

A piece connecting Electoral Success (or failure) of the county's Premiers
with Sporting Victory (or Loss, respectively)

I think I've captured a good likeness there, but in case anyone's unsure,
that's UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown

To IF*ers, I know this has nowt to do with zoos (well, poetically, perhaps?),
I just haven't had a chance so far this week. Sorry

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Antiscrap "All I Want For Christmas Is My Library"

A Christmas card design
I was asked to produce for protest group Antiscrap
to highlight, in this instance, local council Waltham Forest
(motto; Can't See the Wood For The Trees!)'s
proposed closure of libraries in the borough and their
incredible but true loss of thousands of titles
during the civic library re-build.

Check out
for more info

Here I've shown local boy and personal hero William Morris
(whose former home and current Musuem/ Gallery
is under threat from local government cuts and mismanagement)
as Old Winter himself, Dicken's Ghost of Christmas Present.

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Guardian Education 20 Nov 07

Another article by Philip Beadle
This time on the subject
of the use of Keywords
in Education

Bucket is mentioned a number of times

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Superstition" No.2

That thing we're told as kids,
That if you swallow an orange pip/ apple seed/ olive pit, etc
A tree will grow in your stomach

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Illustration Friday - "Superstition"

Bad luck to open an umbrella indoors?!
What's that about?

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Reader's Digest - Jan '08

5. quadriceps n -A: funny bone.B: leg
muscle. C: belly button.D: arm muscle

5. quadriceps - [B] Large four-part muscle
at the front of the thigh that extends the
leg. Latin (four-headed).

A piece I did recently for the lovely chaps at Reader's Digest.

It's for the Word Power section.
A number of words are given, with four possible meanings for each,
only one of which is correct.

My task was to chose one word
(the terms were all medical/ anatomical)
and create 2 images,
the first to combine all four possible meanings
and the second
to illustrate the correct sense of the word.

Click on the Images to ENLARGE

Guardian Finance 10 Nov 07

A piece for last weekend's Guardian.

The article was about a person's misgivings about the waste,
expense and hollowness of giving Xtmas presents, with other
people writing in with suggested alternatives, from making jam
to sponsoring an endangered animal ( the example given was
a pair of owls).

so here is the famous
Partridge in a Pear-tree
(the ultimate in pointless and excessive over-gifting!?)
with the eponymous game fowl
replaced by a brace of baby owls.

As ever, click to enlarge

Guardian Sport 31 Oct 07

A piece by Simon Hattenstone
about the heartbreak and stoicism
of being a Manchester City fan
and in particular
after a 6 - 0 defeat at the hands ( or feet) of Chelsea

A reworking of the Club's Crest
based on this;

Click on Image to ENLARGE

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Scales" No.3

A third scaly friend
or fiend
The Cockatrice
or Basilisk
a rooster's egg (huh?!)
hatched by a viper or a toad,
noted for it's vile breath (hey cockatrice mouth!)
and its petrifying gaze,
only capable of being killed by its own horrific reflection
or weasel
(look, I don't make this stuff up!).

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Here's a red alternative
which I think perhaps I prefer

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Scales" No.2

Another scaly friend
this time
that old tail-devouring alchemical snake

Or is he
the Asgard Serpent of Norse Mythology?

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Illustration Friday - "Scales"

My first post in a wee while
a few black clouds over my head
starting to clear

This is the Lambton Worm
a legend from the North-East of England
set at the time of the Crusades
about a knight who as a youth throws a worm into a well
only to return from the Holy Land years later
to find the Worm a huge Dragon
terrorizing the town

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letter To A Friend

It's been a while since I've been on here, Life got in the way.

I wrote a letter to my old friend
I walked across that burning bridge

For Sheila
A very dear friend
over in Co Sligo, Eire

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Inspire Me Thursday - "Control"

The California Bushfires
- Out of Control

My sympathies to anyone affected.

I dedicate this to my brother, Juian Bommer
recently made Professor of Earthquake Engineering
who knows this part of the world well

Click on the Image to ENLARGE

I must say, I'm enjoying this ink and watercolour palaver
this could be the start of something big!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Grow" No.4

If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise!

N and I are very keen foragers.
This are the mushrooms we found this weekend near Faversham

Click on Images to ENLARGE

Illustration Friday - "Grow" No.3

Following on from my first 'Grow' post
this is a card I did about a year ago.
It was part of a project organized by the collective
that I'm part of, Monsters.
We designed a pack of Loteria cards,
based on the traditional Mexican bingo-like cardgame.

This one shows the Bell - La Campana,
but rather than feature a ringing bell
I chose to show an old-skool glass garden Cloche
with the bird perched on the top
singing ding dong

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Grow" No.2

The words
both come
from the same
linguistic ROOT

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Illustration Friday - "Grow"

Yesterday I bought myself a box of watercolours.

Never really used them before, but love the rich layering of washes. Its purty!

I'm a huge fan of permaculture/ self-sufficiency/ allotments/ grow your own.

Here's a line of ol' timey glass cloches protecting some emerging shoots.
I'm quite happy with that for a first attempt

Click on the Image to ENLARGE.

Guardian Education 23 October 07

Here's a piece I did last Friday for today's Guardian Education.

Written by the ever-brilliant Phil Beadle. it was an article about the links between Poverty and performance in Education, and twice mentions a "Magic Bullet", a single solution to all problems
So, here it is.... the Magic Bullet, waving his wand and erasing the cracks

I'm rather cheekily including this in this week's Illustration Friday. The topic is 'Grow' and what is Education if not a form of Growth (Discuss and summarize in under 100 words)?

Here's the ruffest of roughs that I sent them

Click on Images to Enlarge

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cafe Sketches, 16 Oct 07

Here's a couple of pages from my sketchbook
of people I drew on Tuesday
in Costa Coffee & Caffe Nero
on Old Compton St, London

Click on Images to ENLARGE

Illustration Friday - "Extremes" no.2

The ultimate extreme

Again, part of the forthcoming Monsters Playing Cards
(available Spring '08)

Love is the Devil
(That Ole Devil Called Love)

As always, Click on Image to ENLARGE
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Illustration Friday - "Extremes"

The two extremes of a playing card.

Part of a pack my collective, Monsters (, are producing.

Please may I present Her Right Royal Highness, the Queen of Clubs

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Open" No.2

An Open Sandwich.

An honest sarnie fesses up to his hidden additives.

Freshly made today for IF*.

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Illustration Friday Night - "Inspired By..."

My first entry for IFN

This week the theme is "Inspired by"
where you create a piece based on,
or inspired by,
another piece recently posted on the site.

My piece is entitled
'The sad and predictable and, until now unknown, death of Patufet'
inspired by a piece of the same name by JVS

It concerns the Catalan folk story of the miniature boy Patufet.
( ). I love all things Catalan and would love to learn some more. So far I just work it out from my knowledge of French and Spanish.

In the story Patufet is accidentally eaten by an Ox and his mother has to feed it herbs in order to induce the Ox to fart out her son. Anyone who's experienced Catalan Christmas will know of their irreverent and earthy scatology - nothing perverse, just a levelling and hilarious 'we all shit, or we die'. The red shape next to the blood splatter is Patufet's traditional cap.

Click on the Image to ENLARGE

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Open"

Open Letter

This is a design I've just completed for a charity's promotional postcard.

The charity deals with people with severe and recurrent episodes of mental ill health,
in particular schizophrenia. The idea behind it is a friendly follow-up to help patients
stay in touch with the charity when back in the community at large and to remind them
they have somewhere to turn when things get rough.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Recycled Image - "Whitehall"

Here's an image I created some time ago for the Guardian
about Immigration and the need for integration.
There's something about the character and setting that I love
but away from the copy
the reference points in the image
seemed confusing and unclear.

So this morning I have revamped the original illo
replacing the symbolic map
with a real map of Europe and chess pieces being moved across it.
The ultimate game of strategy
it seemed an appropriate ( and more general) metaphor
for the machinations of politics

(Kings and Queens could represent Heads of States/ Monarchies, Bishops religion, Knights the military, Rooks housing or
defense perhaps, and Pawns, the migratory workforce)

Here's the original , as it appeared in the Guardian:-

Click on Images to ENLARGE

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Illustration Friday - "The Blues" No.4

Now you know why
the Bluebird of Happiness is
the way he is

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Here are the roughs:-

Monday, October 1, 2007

Promotional Postcard



A recent promotional postcard mailout

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Illustration Friday - "The Blues" No.3

A piece I did a while back

I do love a bad pun

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Illustration Friday - "The Blues" No.2


can lead to

the REDS
the ROSÉS, etc

Red red wine
makes me feel so fine
(Jeez, wasn't that Neil Diamond too!??)

Illustration Friday - "The Blues"

Me and you are subject to the blues now and then
As Neil Diamond once pertinently pointed out.

This is a sketch I did some time ago
'digitally remastered' ( let's say)
this morning
for Illustration Friday*

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Inspire Me Thursday - "Square"

After (or is it Before!?) Illustration Friday
and the darker Illustration Friday Night
comes Inspire Me Thursday,
(another springboard for illustrative ideas).
I stumbled across it the other day, via IF*

This/last weeks word was "Square"

Click on Image to Enlarge

Monday, September 24, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Juggle" No.3

A piece I did some time ago for the Guardian newspaper
about balance of skills and interview technique

Click on Image to Enlarge

Illustration Friday - "Juggle" No.2

The great Magician
Raimundo Nazca-Anjani

as seen by the Djinn
from his seat atop
the Black Glass Mountain

Illustration Friday - "Juggle"

When I was a kid I had trouble differentiating between Jugular and Juggler.

Here's the Jugglin' Jugular Vein
juggling blood clots

Click on Image to ENLARGE

Tuesday, September 18, 2007