Friday, 29 February 2008

Needles and Pens group show

went to the opening of an amazing group show at 96 Gillespie last night. Needles and Pens is an amazing zine shop/art & crafts shop/gallery space in san francisco. they've taken over the gallery to show the work of a bunch of amazing artists coming out of the surrounding area who've had exhibitions at the shop recently. it's really good so i recommend you check it out. Monica Canilao, Mike Brodie (the polaroid kidd), Mat o'Brien, Chris Duncan, Bill Daniel, Paul Urich and quite a few others. Monica Canilao is definitely one of my favourite artists at the moment. she is unreal.
pretty sure it runs for awhile so get down. also they've put out a hand done book ltd to 200 so get involved. lovely. couldn't find any images on the internet of mat o'briens work but he's got a book out called hug the grey which is awesome. you can get it from the gallery for about a tenner. 

Pieter Hugo

similar thing, this guy Pieter Hugo has taken a bunch of incredible photos of people with hyenas and leopards and monkeys for pets in South Africa. I saw him awhile back when he was featured in Portfolio so figured i'd whack something up here. check his website out at;

Amy Stein

started drawings loads of animals for a zine i'm gonna try and get out for the London Zine Symposium ( me and a few friends are thinking about putting together a collaborative handmade zine with each of us having a little section. we'll see what happens. 

as a result though i've bought a load of old magazines and books to draw from and have come across two ridiculously good photographers. one is Amy Stein, who got alot of coverage for her Halloween in Harlem project, especially on the image above is from her new series 'Domesticated' and its pretty insane. check out her website at;

Monday, 25 February 2008


while i'm here, here are a few photo's i've taken really. not really relevant to anything in particular but there you go. 

primary needs

here are some drawings i did for our last project. the plan was to try and isolate our primary needs. the things that are most important to our survival and wellbeing. i found it ridiculously hard but in the end boiled it down to;


images above are some i did of food and for the brief period i thought i couldn't live without the postal service. i wanted to do something about food because since going vegan it takes up an insane amount of my thinking time and seems to have started to effect virtually everything i do or buy, etc. language i guess is a pretty self explanitory one, the need to share and learn and communicate and connect and literally everything are all done through language or some kind. systems is a roundabout term that basically means universality and patterns of some sort. ive been reading this book about chaos and starting to learn about things like bifurcation is blowing my mind abit. the patterns that form. bit of a vague one because i don't even get it at the moment but its one of those things i recognise as important but cant really explain why. good.

also, see how i've used coloured pencils. OOOOOHHHH

reporter project

finally, after almost 3 months. our project over the christmas period was to document a club. i chose RFC Bourne. here is a selection of drawings from my time there. 

Thursday, 7 February 2008

some entirely unrelated recipes

being vegan is so easy. i'm going to put up some dead quick and delicious recipes here cos i might get a bunch together and do a zine with accompanying illustrations. focusing on the QUICK side though, because every vegan cookbook i have each dish takes a year to make. 

-garlic salt
-sweet chili dipping sauce (this is the best thing ever invented)
-veg oil

this takes about two minutes. put the toast in. fry the mushrooms in the oil. then arrange them in this very specific order in the sandwich. bread. then mushrooms. then garlic salt. then lettuce. then the chili sauce. then the other bit of toast. incredible. also you can exchange the mushrooms for vegan sausages (linda mcartneys are vegan! and really cheap!) or tofu or whatever you want really. go wild. 

-tofu (firm, ideally not silken but its cheaper so still works)
-sweet chili sauce (seriously)
-soy sauce

i basically do this every time i have tofu. cut the tofu into like one inch squares or rectangles or if you like massive squares. get a tupperware container and whack some soy sauce and chili sauce and honey in the bottom. lay the tofu out. put another lot of soy, chili and honey on. you can build up the layers if theres a bunch of tofu going in the pan. also i hardly ever have honey and honey in itself is a vegan issue so if you don't eat honey its perfectly fine without. i mostly only use soy and chili sauce. you can use a white wine vinegar if you are posh. just try stuff and see if its nice. 

so yeah, put a really small amount of veg sauce in the pan and fry each side of the tofu til it goes golden brown and a bit crispy. then flip it over (if its siken tofu be dead careful cos it will just crumble) and do the other side. serve with rice or as part of a stir fry or with peppers in a wrap or just about in any dish ever. a good one is fry up some sprouts with it and have on rice. delicious. 

-gravy granules
-stuffing mix

this is basically well easy and an amazing way to get rid of all your veg if its about to go off. also its amazing if there's a bunch of you to get involved. we make this in halls on sundays to make us feel like adults. and its really easy to make it vegan. basically chop up the mushrooms and onion and carrot and sweetcorn or whatever veg you have and whack it in casserole dish or similar. then make a pastry using the flour and a little bit of veg oil and roll it out til its big enough to cover the top of the dish. do the gravy (standard bisto is vegan, not sure about the chicken ones, somerfield own isnt, jsut check the label) and whack it in the dish. you should try and get it stacked full of veg cos then it won't be too liguidy once its done. put that in for maybe 25 minutes or so til its done. at about 200/220 or something. do the stuffing and whack that in for 20 minutes. smash isn't vegan but if you boil a potato then mash it its nicer and entirely vegan so you're chillin. serve with extra gravy and maybe boil up some brocolli and carrot if they aren't in the pie. you could go totally mental and spread some Pure (soya butter) over some parsnips and roast them AS WELL. they take about 40 mins though so get em in before the pie. eat until you feel like you need to go to sleep.

thats probably enough for now. any suggestions give me a shout. i love food. 

Monday, 4 February 2008


i would put some stuff up from the reporter project but all the good bits are at school. i'll crack on with that once i get it all back tomorrow. soz. i bet you are on the edge of your seats. 

object project.

one of our tasks was to collect 20 related objects. i chose to photocopy page 20 from 20 different books. it was quite interesting to see how plot formulas had been adhered to or ignored and how much of a sense of a book you can get from one page quite early on in the book. we then had to use our objects and create a new piece of work with them. i decided to make another book out of mine and arranged the pages into certain pairs that i thought worked well together. the first one i've posted here is a page from Double Duce by Aaron Cometbus and the A-Z. i just liked the juxtaposition of the word Changes and a map of london. obviously moving to london has been quite a change in my life. the next page i've posted is a blank page from Dubliners by James Joyce and Chaos by James Gleick. i quite like the nothingness coupled with chaos. i could go into that but can't really be bothered here. i'm abit obsessed with chaos theory so its probably for the best. the next page is Elvis and Raised by Wolves by Jim Goldberg. 

object project - the watering can

as part of the object project we were each given an object to get and draw from every possible angle. ridiculously i couldn't find a watering can to buy (i guess there aren't many gardens in london?) so i had to just draw about 40 watering cans from every thing i could get my hands on, catalogues, google images, etc. by the end i never wanted to look at a watering can again. but it was quite good just drawing one thing for an extended period of time. you get to try out different pens and techniques and stuff like that without worrying about what you're drawing. although for the record watering cans are not the easiest things to draw. 

sign project

this is the final poster for the sign project. the brief was to select from a list of informational texts that were taken from posters and re-design it without the text. the one i chose was "Our Helpers; soldier, navyman, farmer, police, doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse". so i tried to represent each of these professions who 'help us' using my kit of different papers. in the end i narrowed this down entirely to an old scottish mapbook and graph paper. i did quite a few different versions playing with the composition but i like the symmetry of the final design. it was useful to look into colour a little bit because i know literally nothing about colour theory and to be honest never use it. at first i just picked the red because it made the graph paper stand out better but then someone said it worked because of the connotations of warning or something, so i'm going to make out that was deliberate. 

again this was a nice project because it made me experiment with collage and using methods and, like colour, things im not normally comfortable using. i think it paid off though and was worth doing rather than just doing black and white line-drawings of everything using the same pen i always do. yep 

sign project - editorial

using our kits we had to make a series of images that could be used to accompany an editorial we could choose (out of a possible 3). this wasn't my final submitted piece but i think it shows a good in-between in how i developed the idea. the article was a point of view piece published in Adbusters that spoke of the knock-on effects of peoples actions and in a metaphorical way used the author as the single source for things like police brutality, neo-colonialism and drug and alcohol abuse. i used my kit to make this image around the idea that all these things were coming from the one person. also i thought the megaphone worked well because the piece got angrier and more fanatical as it went on. in the end though i developed it out more and had the different elements and problems overlapping and running into each other. i definitely had more trouble with the editorial piece than the sign, but it was a good exercise, especially in that it allowed me to use paper cut-outs and collage which i'd never really done before. 

sign project - kit

probably worth mentioning of you click on any of the pictures i upload you can see them bigger. i definitely only just figured this out. 

the main part of our Sign project was to generate a 'kit' of materials we could use to create imagery from. my kit was mostly built up of different papers and colours but i had a few pieces that i'd actually drawn out, like alphabets and these haircuts. in the end i didn't use them in the Editorial illustration we were set or the Sign one but i found it again while collecting my work together and liked it. yep. 

caberet project

for our Caberet project we had to choose a fairytale or story and produce a performance to tell it. our group chose a moral fable called 'the frog and the buffalo'. one of the preparatory tasks for this was to create a 32 page sequence depicting the story and the characters. i started to do this but it sort of turned into me just trying out different ways of drawing frogs and buffalos. above are some scans from a little sketchbook i did them in. in the end we all wore frogs heads and made a set of reeds out of cardboard then played the story out using an overhead projector and acetate frogs. this project was quite nice in that it was our first real group project and different people had to take on different tasks but also make sure these fit into the whole aesthetic so the piece worked together. 

olympic project

for our mammoth Olympic project we had to complete ten briefs in the space of about 2 weeks. one of which was to buy a newspaper and illustrate a story from each page. i chose the South London Press. the front cover had a story covering 3 shootings in south london so i decided to draw 3 guns. the inside pages i've shown are stories about a local film crew and a memorial to a girl called Celita. the main twist of the project was that while we were illustrating stories and articles we weren't allowed to use words. a maximum of three per page should we need to. this was a really interesting point because it moved the drawings away from editorial and accompanying pieces to having to get across the entire story in one image. i tended to isolate one factor of each story and draw that to give a sense of what could be contained in it. i'm not sure how much content you could guess from my drawings but i like the way they look and it was a good exercise in getting across content without using words. 
just thought i'd post up my thoughts on a lecture we had last week from Jim Stoten, whose work is above, before i begin a mammoth scanning session. i've definitely found the last two lectures, from Jim and Stuart White a lot more helpful than some of the more commercial illustrators we've had in but i'm not totally sure why. I think maybe i relate to their DIY attitude more or maybe its just because they tend to be having a better time working on their own projects and not compromising their work, etc. i don't know really. maybe i just like the work more. either way, it was a really nice lecture, check out some more of his work at;