Thursday, 29 October 2009

#35 - Write to someone who inspired you

Today, I wrote a letter. It was because I had been directed to this website: (I still have no clue how to make this a link!). Action #35 was 'Write to someone who inspired you'... so I did. I wrote to my old english teacher, Miss Tomkins who once reassured me that it was ok to be unsure of what I wanted to do and to take a year (which at 18, I thought was far too long to experiment) to do the art foundation year I was so uncertain of. I cannot imagine what I would be doing if I hadn't listened to her. Not writing this, thats for sure.
So tomorrow I shall post it and hopefully the post strikers will deliver it to her eventually. As a ps. I might have to apologise for it being rather creased - I put a chair on it by mistake.

Before I get washed away, I'm going to turn things around

Here is a storyboard I drew out the other day when I got home from work. Its for an animation I'm going to attempt. I'm not sure how, but I'm going to give it a go... watch this space. Well, watch this space in about a week.

Erm... BBC - look what I made for you

Over the summer a friend of mine did a typographic researching job for the BBC. The more I think about it, the more jealous I get... I LOVE researching and the library (which is where she spent the bulk of the time). So I decided to make the BBC a little something to introduce myself and make them see I would be a good little researcher to have on communication/design projects.
I climbed the few steps to the entrance of BBC Manchester, clutching the CV and hand-drawn intro I had packaged up in an A4 envolope so as not to fold my drawn HELLO. Only to be told by the lovely receptionist that they do not take any paperwork and they don't have a recruitment department that she could even hand it to. "Oh, ok" I replied with a dishartened smile.
Off I trundled, back down the steps with my silly envelope still in hand. So I am no closer to having a loving-the-library job and I wasted a good half hour of my life writing to people who aparantly don't exist.

APOLOGIES FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS in this and the following few blog posts... no mac=no photoshop. Its all about levels.

Friday, 23 October 2009


I really want to submit one of my books for this self-published books exhibition in Austria in Spring 2010 ( However, having read the rules, you have to have a minimum of five editions of the book... which I don't have. I suppose I'll have to get drawing a lot more food maps if I want to submit my mapping book

Monday, 19 October 2009

Now we just need to make some books...

Had a meeting with the book collective lovelies this evening. We went to where it all began... the back room at The Castle Hotel. Names were thrown around (The Castle Collective/The Parlour Press/Queens of The Castle/A Book and a Beer)... we shall see. Our up-coming stall at The Manchester Artist Book Fair (7th November in The Holden Gallery, MMU - was discussed. Now we all just need to make some books.
I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


The dvd was snatched from my hand as I decided on my selection from the Vann lending library: "you have to read the book before you watch the film". So that is what I am doing.
It is wonderful. Well written, beautifully illustrated and funny too - the latter, quite an achievement for a book about the war in Iran.
I'm looking forward to be able to swap it for the dvd on my next trip to Sheffield and continue my new nightly obsession.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Creative Review

My '2 Sides' project is featured on Creative Review Feed. Have a look -

Shame 'Mapping the Mundane' got rejected... thats a good project - don't reject it!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Joyous Machines

I am still rather into machines.
Today I went to Tate Liverpool to see 'Joyous Machines'. The exhibition saw Jean Tinguely's work and how it inspired Michael Landy's creations.
I much preferred the rough drawings Tinguely did in order to realise his vision as opposed to Landy's intricate drawings depicting the same mechanisms.
I really liked the drawing machines (bottom image) and the ones that did not hide their mechanics... far more interesting. Also, I like the fact that some of the machines don't work, or in the case of 'Homage to New York' (top image), destroyed themselves. This was all part of Tinguely's vision: that it is almost left to chance. In comparison to Arthur Ganson's beautiful work, Tinguely's is far less perfect, in both its aesthetic and workings. I still like it though - it was reminiscent of Alexander Calder's work at times.
Good day trip.

Monday, 5 October 2009

"Look on the bright side..."

So, fellow high-achiever, Mandi Goodier and myself were invited back to MMU last week to give a talk entitled 'How to do 3rd Year' to Graphic Design and Illustration 3rd Years. We rather enjoyed ourselves - chattering away about our favourite year wasn't too taxing. And we were quite popular in the aftermath: "What are you doing now?" was the prevalent question. Erm...don't ask. You might wonder the point in getting a 1st. No, instead I explained the need to get back on your feet and try to get yourself 'out there'. I was there to inspire, not make half the year drop out.
I am ever realising that you have to do some not-so-great-things in order to be able to do the great stuff. The not-so-great phase I am experiencing at present is all part of the process. Smiling fakely at guests whilst working at a hotel, cutting up fruit and buttering bread in a sandwich shop is the reality of a recent graduate, I suppose. That I continually want to scream "WHAT AM I DOING?" just has to be pushed down.
I am trying my best to be patient.
It could be worse. As my Mum recently said "look on the bright side, you could have a disability". Yes, Mum, yes I could.

Image: book and illustration by NJ (2008 Design and Art Direction graduate)