Sometimes it’s tricky to follow your own advice … here’s a comic strip I made for SCWBI a while ago about overcoming a writing/drawing block. At the moment I’m dithering about content for my mystery/memoir graphic book so … Here are the pencil stages of the BLOCK comic strip before I inked it. Maybe it will be helpful to others (and me!) to have confidence in developing an idea, and to just get on with it … Whoops, may have to go and do some more staring into space …
One evening this week I decided to use my new Pentel brush pen at a Zoom event run by the Frontline Club, giving myself 5 seconds to draw each portrait. A new thing for me – something I’ve probably asked my workshop students to do in the past – challenging and great fun.
Interesting to see how speakers often covered their faces whilst thinking what to say.
A friend, film-maker Roland Denning, commented: When I studied philosophy, a lot of people had pipes so when they were asked a difficult question, they would puff on their pipes, and it looked as though they were thinking intensely, when often they just didn’t know what to say. I would twiddle the ends of my moustache.
More 5-second-portraits from various Zoom events this week… one person was asleep I think, or maybe just thinking … then my ink ran out.
Last week I was out and about, called in at Swedenborg House to visit their current suitably mysterious and intriguing exhibition, and happy to see some of my books on display. The Hand Book was mentioned in the spring 2020 edition of 0.02 Swedenborg Review.
Twenty years ago I was commissioned by London’s Evening Standard newspaper to go to Elf School in Iceland. Recently I found a box of photographs taken at the time. Disappointingly I couldn’t find any of elves, but many, many images of steam. Just as elusive and mysterious in a way. And rather soothing.
Who stole Swedenborg’s skull? What did Swedenborg invent, and what did 18th century people use as hair gel to put on their wigs? Rather disgustingly, it was animal grease. Just a few of the topics! Fantastic to meet up with participants and share their drawings and ideas. Here are some of them, including pictures of facial expressions. Great fun!
There have been builders in the upstairs flat for the last three months, and they’re still there. Every so often I’ve managed to escape dust clouds and noise to go to the seaside for a couple of days, and the weather has been amazing, even, in the case of Brighton, warm enough to swim at 7am. Heaven! Although I’m not a brilliant swimmer, so it was mostly rolling and splashing about/floating in the sea close to shore. In Folkestone I sat in Mark Dion’s seagull on wheels, and wondered about moving house. With thanks to Mick Williamson for the seagull photo.
On the afternoon of August 2nd, some of my robots took part in Primrose Hill Community Association’s Art Trail. Having dusted them and wound them up, I activated them on the hour (or maybe they activated me) on my windowsill. Lovely to chat with visitors looking on from street level. One of my earliest books for children was Robotina Finds Out, published by Faber and Faber.