Wednesday, 23 June 2010


this is the cover i designed for my good friend Lila Matsumoto. its for the second issue of her poetry art and music magazine SCREE. the first issue was brilliant, with a quality musical supliment on CD, some amazing poetry and a really nice cover by tomthenoisemonger. (sorry tom, i dont know your real name) im gutted i didn't have more time to submit something for inside as the last one got a very international audience, and its just a really cool project. to Lila!
Onwards SCREE!

brewdog label

here's my submission for a brewdog beer bottle label competition. im trying to promote a more highly evolved approach towards beer drinking. walking, not crawling! ill let you know if i have any success, otherwise we'll never speak of this again, okay? here's the opportunity on central station.

NEW pyrography and prints

new pyrography and prints in the shop! get a closer look here

Friday, 11 June 2010

This Really Happened. Honest...

My boy will grow up to achieve all my unfulfilled artistic ambitions. thats what children are for.

All Yuppie'd Up

I thought i should share the pimpin' magnificence of the (slightly early) father's day present Rowan got for me (thanks Dawn!) its an oak business card holder; the fine craftsmanship of a Japanese woodworker dawn found online. ill have to track down a link to his stuff, cant seem to find his site. basically he deserves promotion as his work is proper quality ken, magnetic clasp burried in the wood an' a'hin'. so sweet. it does a good job of augmenting my new letterpress business cards i think you'll agree, although you could put bum fodder in there and it would still look daddy.
thanks Rowan, thanks Dawn, and thanks mysterious Japanese carpentry master from the ether.


This Sunday (the 13th of June) Dawn and i are holding a stall selling fledgeling stuff at 'The Big Day Oot' not to be confused with its upscale cousins of a similar name in england and oz and indeed elsewhere. No, this is Glasgow Easts answer; albeit rather more family oriented and on a slightly slimmer budget!
it'll be the first time Dawn and i have held a stall so we expect to learn alot and will treat it as much as an education as a means of feeding the bambino. we'll be furiously hawking prints, pyrographic work (read that word again and stop getting excited, i told you its a family event) and t-shirts as well as promoting fledgeling a bit too.
Scottish pop ensemble 'the bluebells' will be there which should be a riot, as well as a pretty sweet band called DJANGO DJANGO who'd i'd never heard of before, but they have a pretty busy schedule through this summer's festivals. check out 'loves dart' on their myspace. its a toetapper and my boy can't get enough; nine months old, rinsing out properly to it!

fledgelings first t-shirts

finally got some t-shirts printed featuring the fledgeling character. you can buy them here; in four colours and four sizes. im really pleased with the printing and the quality of the shirts which are 100% organic cotton and are manufactured in a 'climate neutral' factory run entirely on renewable energy. you can learn more about the printers; independent, bristol based 'green tee prints' and their 'green' credentials, products and practices here

Sunday, 23 May 2010

posthumous celebrity

some pics of the first piece (hopefully of many) of mine to be hung in aberdeen's most pimpin' eatery the EARL down on the green in the merchant quarter. its called 'posthumous celebrity,' and is another big ol' woodcut celebrating one of the poster-boys of the late Jurrassic; the mighty stegosaurus. the EARL is much more than just a sandwich shop with its own wee buzz it acts as a nice hub for creative types due to its open minded management. the place looks proper dapper with a nice graffed sign out front and a sweet Rough mural which you can see in my (somewhat ropey; apologies) photos. nice to have work up alongside the likes!
my massively supportive friend (to the extent that he should be getting an agents fee for almost everything i ever do) jon has taken some much better photos in the studio of the piece pre- hanging which you can see on his always interesting blog here

mi casa es su casa

here's the woodcut print which developed from the sketch i posted all those months ago. its about four feet tall which maybe doesn't come across in the image here, but it is, honest.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

maimed mingers

Evidence of a productive day. my dad
always said that you have to make these
blood sacrifices
As promised (Neets!), here are a few pictures of the new studio. its soooooo sweet. sundays are designated veggie cultivating days; note the shanty style planter in the window, so soon the sills will be fruitful. (hopefully)
the pics are followed by a few sneaky peeks (question of sport style to get you all intrigued) of work for an exhibition at Junction in Aberdeen opening on the 16th of April. Feel free to rock-up one and all. details to follow.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

'mi casa es su casa'

he's the initial sketch for the next print. will need to work on the anatomy of the human a bit methinks.... standby for developments...

Friday, 5 March 2010

El Squid

anyway, here's the resulting image...

once around the woodblock...

as promised, some pictures of my new woodcut (this is not a woodblock and, yes, there is a distinction which im not going into cos thats what wikipedia is for!)
i didn't photograph the printing stage 'cos i got in the zone and forgot. or just forgot anyway. as you can see, my lines are pretty chunky and, in places a little shakey. ive got serious respect for those japanese block cutters; they can carve lines more delicate and controlled than i can draw. ill post an example of what i mean...

i think this is Ando Hiroshige, which means that he is the artist who painted the original image and probably
not the artist responsible for the carving or printing who would have been two other individuals; the unsung heros of this art-form in my opinion. regardless, pimpin' i think you'll agree?
anyway, i digress as i said i'm not even woodblock printing so it would be unfair to compare, fortunately for me!

clearing out the image....

...and remember kids, Never cut towards yourself, especially not your exposed eyeball(unless you really need to...)

Thursday, 18 February 2010


WoodBlock Party

here's one of the better prints from the weekend. Unfourtunately we were a little pushed for printing time which was a real shame because, therapeutic and fun as cutting is, the printing is where the creativity and experimentation comes in. Never mind. i had a great time and learned alot about the process considering it was a weekend course. i can highly recommend the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) to anyone looking to do short creative courses which provide excellent facilities, good tuition and great value. £65 for the two days, 11-6. not bad.

my motivation for looking into woodblock, apart from being a bit of a japanophile, was to reduce my non bio-degradable waste as i do alot of lino printing and the piles of bin-bound cuttings was starting to get me down. woodblock printing can be alot more versatile than relief methods too. Looks like ive opened up another can of worms anyway.

already onto the next print. pictures to follow..... (this time i will snap some of the process involved, wood block masters; go easy, im green)

Friday, 12 February 2010

this is a sketch of the image im going to use this weekend for a two day japanese woodblock printing course im attending.
i spent ages trying to come up with an image which emulated the old prints of famous Kabuki actors all made up. i think on reflection that it was a little too contrived and thats why i wasn't feeling it. so i ditched that and had some fun with this fella. he took minutes to design compaired with the fruitless hours of the previous attempt. evidence that its important to 'keep it real' and 'don't try to be something you're not' cheesy, but worth bearing in mind.

ill post up the results of this weekend and some pictures of the process. standby loyal follower.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

to do list...

...and for my first post... the lure of digital media...

Is it possible to be a productive and successful illustrator these days without becoming a digital artist? i know that the answer is probably yes, but is it a viable approach for someone expecting to make a living?  just in  case the answer is no, i am in the process of honing illustrator and photoshop skills but don't wish to trade in my passion for the hands on media which i know and love; drawing, painting and printmaking.
i know there are plenty of examples of artists and illustrators who employ old school techniques like myself, i wonder if they have had a tough ride, or if the fact that they are something of a novelty in this day and age allows them to occupy a niche. Do people appreciate their skill and the extra time it can take for them to produce their work? and, like me, do they in fact find the work to be more appealing because of the tactile evidence of process and craftsmanship which lies evident in it? as well as this, hand made work showcases the uncontrollable creative mistakes which occur so frequently and often are the features which impart a spontaneity and honesty in the image; features which are so easy to eradicate with digital media.* Are these things which only concern creative people? or does everyone notice?   
 i think that with the versatility of modern software, the highly skilled operator can produce beautiful work digitally. but i think that these individuals are as rare as their counterparts using analogue technologies, and that what is required in any creative enterprise is a balance between a certain level of technical skill and an ability to generate compelling ideas. i strongly believe that in the digital genres, there is an abundance of the former, and a distinct lack of the latter.
The reason that I'm ranting on about all this is that i have reached a bit of a crossroads in my practice. in fact if I'm honest, I've been standing here for a while looking one way, and then the other. i had hoped that writing about it would be cathartic, but i have to say, I'm still chewing on it. i need more illustrator friends!
stick to my guns and wait for the hand-made renaissance (well underway some would argue) or jump on the digital band wagon, invest a great deal of time in training but potentially increase the likelihood of employment? Both i guess, and fast, before procrastination gets the better of me!

*(having said that, has anyone else spent long periods on photoshop or illustrator, then done some pen and paper stuff after and found themselves looking for command+z to erase a mistake?!!)