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Day 130: On Millinery and The Wearing of Hats

Possibly one of my darker posts. A lifelong inability to Look Good in a Hat has left me with a strange reverence and admiration for them. Particularly the type of hat which is Of No Practical Use. E.g. Provides zero protection from sun, rain or falling bricks. I speak of the top hat, the bowler, the mad hatter. The wearer of such hats could be likened to the triumphant reindeer. His antlers proclaim evolutionary superiority; he has thrived and flourished despite the enormous weight of his hat.

I massively digress. The point is I drew some hats cos I think they’re cool.

hats-editI’m still working on Flossie and Wol, its just taking a while so I thought I’d have a break and try something new.

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Day 123: Magic Mushrooms

I now have storyboards coming out of my ears, the flat is sinking under them! Still not happy with the story. I’ve been reading ‘Writing with Pictures’ by Uri Shulevitz, which explains pictorially how to tell a story without words. Everything he writes seems blindingly obvious however I seem to have contravened every rule he outlines. Repeatedly. So that’s a work in progress.

In other news I’ve been designing patterns to have printed on fabric. I had a very specific idea of how Flossie’s dress should look and it seemed easier have my own design printed onto fabric, rather than struggle to find the exact pattern in a shop. Below are my sketches and plans for the design  and the final printed fabric which arrived today! It was very exciting. And then I couldn’t help myself from trying it out in situ, so below you’ll find Flossie featuring ‘tiny mushroom’ wellies.

mushroom illustration

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Day 93: “I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

How did I ever think a year was going to be long enough? Maybe “Don’t Panic” would be a more encouraging/optimistic title (in large friendly letters obv). Absolutely no work has been done on The Book over the festive season (and the Christmas tree has only just gone away so that means  its only just over).

Last night I eased myself back into the flow by throwing together a mood board over a glass of wine – yes it was as messy as it sounds. Also very satisfying, mood boards have to be the most childish way of looking professional: you get to use pritt stick, scissors and sellotape, you don’t have to be neat or colour inside the lines and you can steal other people’s art in the name of ‘inspiration’. Plus I had the fantastic idea of using melted candle wax to look like rain. I went very very over the top with it and also nearly gassed myself when the rubber melted off a paintbrush. Next time I shall consider removing wine from the equation. But if the Pre-Raphaelites did it…

Wol rain mood board edit

I also had a go at illustrating Wol in the style I want for the book. I ordered a sample of natural hessian fabric (I actually wanted to do all my illustrations on old potato sacks but apparently these are harder to get hold of..) earlier in the week to have a go on, thinking they would send enough to play with. The postage stamp they ACTUALLY sent wasn’t quite what I had in mind so had to scale-down my efforts but I’m still quite pleased.

wol in the rain collageWol in the rain

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Day 40: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

If talking to oneself is the first sign of madness, which sign is spending the evening attempting to placate outraged inanimate object after fellow inanimate object was knitted winter accessories? And subsequently feeling guilty for calling them ‘inanimate objects’? I thought Wol’s neck looked a little bare you see, so I made him a scarf. The ensuing insanity, whilst possibly disturbing to the casual observer, was actually the sort of thing I was hoping would happen by creating my characters. It helps me get to know them and gives me ideas about what might happen in their story.

In other news I went to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform The Nutcracker last night (stunning, inspiring, awesome). And so I was listening to Tchaikovsky’s music whilst the above unfolded. Thoroughly recommend popping on ‘Trepak’ or the ‘russian dance’, as appropriate soundtrack to the following:

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