Archive for the ‘Doodles’ Category

Me and Tea

January 15, 2013

 

Tea eh? Tea is just great.

I love tea so much I made a comic about it.

tea2

 

That right there is a prime illustrated example of the beneficial effects of having a nice cup of tea. Personally I like coming home, sticking the kettle on, getting that tea bag in there (with a sweetener as I am an old lady) putting the hot water in and squishing the hell out of that tea bag like there’s no tomorrow before putting in a wee bit of milk. Y’know sometimes a nice cup of tea just sorts you out. That’s what inspired the comic actually. Maybe it’s the effects of being somewhat a caffeine addict but after my first sip I tend to feel a lot more focused, relaxed and ready to do whatever work I’ve got on that day.

Jings I could bang on about tea all day, actually nah, I’ll just draw another picture. I actually used real tea to illustrate this.

tea

Actually the other day I got an offer to exchange one of my pictures for a box full of tea from Chash Tea and as you can imagine I wasn’t going to pass that up JUST LOOK AT IT ALL.

photo

 

I’ve sampled most of these and I have to say this is grade A tea which has been superbly made with care and attention.

Right I’m off to put the kettle on.

Next week: Biscuits.

Neil

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Volunteering and me.

October 7, 2012

 

Jobs. Jobs eh? They’re funny things. I’ve found that a good number of people I know don’t like their jobs and a good number don’t have one and struggle to get one. It’s especially sad to see post-graduate students just out of university with nowhere to go.

Well I don’t have any answers I’m afraid, but I can tell you my story (which may or may not help) through the medium of comics!

 

 

Now, let me elaborate on this a bit. Basically as you can see I was unemployed for a good while after coming out of college and generally was a bit sick of working in shops etc. I knew I wanted to do something creative, either art or music or anything in between.  As people get when they’re unemployed I got a bit figity and felt like I should be doing something. On a whim I called my local community centre and asked if I could come in and help out, not long later I came in and gutted the art room and got started.

After a while I got to teaching kids and old folks arts and crafts and bits and bobs and when the funding came I got some paid work from it, doing I enjoyed doing, fab!

Now in the arts, funding comes and goes so after a year or so that was me back to square one, but with that experience I was now a lot better off to get a job more suited to me.

For the past year or so I’ve been working for a charity, basically I work part-time (doing my own art the rest of the time) with people with dementia and alzheimer’s finding ways to communicate through arts, crafts and music. Although it has its challenges, overall it’s very rewarding and I’m super happy there.

I guess my point here is that I’d never have got that job if it wasn’t for volunteering so if you’re in the position I was in 2 years ago it’s definitely worth a try even for a few hours a week. Even if you don’t feel you need the experience it does make a difference to other people’s lives which is why I still pop into my community centre to this day.

And that’s my wee story.

Take care!

Neil

 

We Need to Talk about Bookmarks.

September 29, 2012

Books eh?

Books are brilliant. They can take you around the world, show you things you’ve never seen before, introduce you to the most interesting people and all without leaving a chair.

I bloody love books, in fact, here’s me getting right stuck into one.

But do you know what’s rubbish? Losing your page! Gah! You have to go back and probably re-read stuff and oh my it’s a hassle. I guess that’s why we have bookmarks.

Now some people use things like train tickets and business cards or bits of paper but these in my opinion are insufficient in their role as a book mark.

So when Pushpin Zines asked me to design a book mark for them I was more than happy and I popped this out.

It’s inspired by all the things that go through your head when you’re reading a book, it’s up for sale for £1 and you can get it here. You can also get some of my books on the site too!

Happy reading!

Neil

Neil’s Badge and Postcard Give-away!

September 28, 2012

Hey Guys! Hope you’re all doing well!

This week I am giving away 2 sets of badges and postcards, let’s look at them!

 

All you have to do to be in with a chance is like my Facebook page!  It’s that easy! No cryptic questions, no answers on a postcard just like the page and I’ll pick two lucky people on Monday!

Also in the next week I’ll be putting lots of new stuff in my Etsy shop so eyes peeled!

Take care!

Jump! Jump! Stomp!

September 15, 2012

Hello!

Hope everyone’s doing well. Recently I’ve been really enjoying New Super Mario Bros 2 on my 3DS and like I’ve always done, when I’m into something I like to draw pictures about it!

 

I’ve always wondered, what did the goombas actually do? Did they deserve to be squished?

Y’know I’m not afraid to admit it but video games were responsible for most of my drawings as a kid. I mean, my school jotters were totally plastered in Marios and Sonics to the point my teachers always made a point of it in my report cards “if neil spend as much time on his school work as he did on his computer game characters blah blah blah”

Anyways, Mario’s available in my etsy store along with some new post cards if anyone’s interested.

Take care!

Neil

My New Book!

June 20, 2012

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve all been keeping well and that your weather is sunny.

I have come before you today to share exciting news. I have finished a new book! *trumpets*

And it looks like this.

In short it’s an illustrated travelogue from a trip I took to Barcelona last month.  It’s done in the style of a journal comic and details all the people I met, places I saw and stuff I got up to. I realize this sounds like a comic version of someone showing you their boring holiday photos but without spoiling anything there’s a good bit more to it and I’ve put a lot of myself into it.

Most of it was drawn on holiday hence why the panels are fairly minimum. I guess I just wanted to get it all down when I was there, in fear of getting home and forgetting little bits. I’m actually really happy with how it turned out, at the time it started out as a little drawing exercise just to see if I could make a comic about stuff that happened that day but when I got into the flow of it I found I had so much more stuff to say and it ended up spilling into a 22 page book.

Anyways there’s only going to be 100 copies of it and I’m selling them for £3 (just over $4) . They’ve all been signed and numbered and come with a wee original drawing too!

If you fancy one for yourself head over to my etsy shop!

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon!

Take care

nx

Reviewing my Shopping Spree Books.

December 30, 2011

Hello!

I’ve missed you! I hope you had a great Christmas and a fab New year if you’re reading this in the future.

As most people do during the Christmas season, I tend to buy just as many presents for myself. So after I got some extra pennies from commissions and sales etc I thought I’d go on a mad Amazon book buying spree! Some books were educated decisions, some I just bought because the covers tickled me and others I bought because I just thought they looked up my street.

And now I’m going to review them before your very eyeses! I realize they might not all be everyone’s cup of tea but you never know! You might read through this and find a new favourite artist or author.

Ok Let’s GO!

Robot… by S.Lem, illustrated by A.Klimoski and D.Schejbal.

Who remembers this google doodle? It was my fav.

This was made to mark the 60th anniversary of Stanislaw Lem’s first book.  Lem was one of the worlds best Sci-fi writers and I’ve been trying to read more of his stuff as well as Asimov’s.

So as an avid robot fan I thought I’d start here.

This wee gem is a graphic novel with 2 adaptations of Lem’s short stories ‘Uranium Earpieces’ and ‘The Sanatorium of Dr.Vliperdius’. What I found upon reading through this was it was far more surrealist than I expected. The stories take place in their own strange universes and deal with some heavy subjects like slavery, revolution and communism. But that shouldn’t put people off as it’s all presented on a fairly innocent level almost like a slightly alternative children’s book. Although don’t read it to your kids as there’s a nudey woman in the second story.

There’s also a lot to be said about the art, I think the simple blockyness lends itself to a distopian feel and reminds me of early surrealist films like Metropolis. So yea, if you into classic sci-fi, robots and/or indie comics this is a good wee read (it’s not as heavy as I’ve made it out to be) and a great introduction to Lem’s work.

Ok next I’ve got I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen.

This is one of the books I bought because the cover tickled me, I mean c’mon look at his face! That’s a bear on a mission!

As far as kids books go this was an absolute delight. As you can guess it follows a bear on a quest to get his hat back. He asks tons of animals, even a tortoise! And that swung it for me.

The art is this is very much adorable and the story is short and perfect. It’s also great to read along with kids as there’s plenty of opportunities to go ‘What animal is that?’ or ‘Can you spot the hat?’  or you can just read it by yourself and have a giggle like I did. An ace addition to your picture book collection!

And while we’re on picture books let’s look at Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers my favourite illustrator.

Oliver’s 7th book is a squeal to the penguin based heart warmer Lost and Found. In this one the penguin decides he wants to learn to fly so goes to amazing lengths to fulfill his dreams.

My awful photography doesn’t at all do the artwork justice. It’s very beautiful and at the same time simple and in my honest opinion the book would still work with the pictures alone. But that’s my beef, I’m not a huge fan of this story. Although it’s a great book I can’t help but compare it to it’s predecessors which feel far more unique and entertaining. I’d say if you’re a big Oliver Jeffers fan sure go for it but in my opinion although the artwork is stunning the story doesn’t match up to Lost and Found, The Incredible Book Eating Boy or my favourite The Way Back Home.

Ok let’s do one more and I’ll let you get on with stuff.

Here’s AMAZING EVERYTHING the art of ScottC.

I came upon ScottC through his Tumblr ‘Great Showdowns’  which is basically a blog full of cartoon adaptations of some the greatest good vs evil struggles in all history. And from that I decided to get his book which catalogs tons of his drawings, paintings, doodles and whacky inventions!

The art in this is very funny,very cute and very accessible, which is something I strive for myself. Being an art book it’s not really a ‘read start to finish’ affair, it’s more of a ‘flick through it now and again for a laugh’ kinda thing. So it serves as a great coffee table book, there for your friends and visitors to flick through while your making the tea. Or if you’re creative it serves as a great source of inspiration and motivation as ScottC’s simple style just makes you want to get up and colour something in!

Look there’s Morrissey, he’s dropped his tea bless him.

Right! That’s all from me today, I hope you found my post in some way interesting or useful. I’ll be back in the new year with toooons of new drawings and painting and silly stuff.

Remember I’ve still got some ‘How to be a Ghost’ books for sale here and you can read my last book review post here.

Thanks for reading take care!

nx

Picture Postcards Yes!

December 15, 2011

 

Hello Everyone!

I hope you’re having a wonderful festive time!

Just a short post here to say I’ve got some new postcards in my etsy shop. They look amazing and in my opinion are the perfect alternative to rubbishy Christmas cards.

The are sold in sets of 6 for £5 ($7).

In fact I’ll be sending some out myself! Look!

 

Also! If you’re thinking about getting the fabulous ‘How to be a Ghost’ book now is the time! Monday is the last day I’ll be shipping them, after that I can’t guarantee they’ll arrive before Christmas so go go go!

That’s all for today. If I don’t post up before Christmas I hope you all have a great one!

Take care!

nx

Ghost Mania!

December 8, 2011

It’s been a very busy week for our wee ghosty pal!

He’s almost sold his first 100 copies, he’s been sent all round the world to exotic new lands and he’s even had his own launch night!

He’s also been getting some snazzy reviews! Let’s have a look at what’s been said so far…

‘A wonderfully fun little tale that never outstays its welcome.’ 

This comes from a fantastic review and interview from itsbloggerintime.com

‘It’s a lovely little thing.’

A short and sweet review from the music blog ayetunes.

 ‘Suitable for just about anyone’

A lovely article on the book from The Deadliness of Leisure blog.

‘Who would you most like to hang out with in a bar in the afterlife?’

See how me and Campbell answered this question over at Last year’s girl’s blog! 

Fascinating! Here’s a couple of photos from the super cool launch night, in this photo you can see people enjoying cake and activity sheets!

 

And in this photo you can see me and my writer pal Campbell doing a live reading/drawing!

Incredible! Remember there’s still time to get your copy before Christmas and the quicker you get in there the more chance you’ll have of getting one of these original drawings included!

Get yours now from my etsy shop!

Wahoo!

nx

 

How to be a Ghost: An Illustrated Guide has arrived!

November 27, 2011

It’s here! It’s finished! Finally! Yes!

How to be a Ghost has just got back from the printers and it looks lovely!

Here I’ll give you some info!

The book is illustrated by myself and the story was written by me and my pal Campbell Miller. It’s a short story about a wee ghostie finding his way about his new found ghost life, it has a lot of nice bits and a lot of funny bits. It’s mainly for big kids although is also suitable for little kids as there is no sweary words but I’d advise the parents to read it first.

It’s 24 pages and is printed in a super cute A6 size (that’s a quarter of A4, it’s tiny!).

ALSO! The first 100 copies come with an original signed ghost picture by me! Amazing!

You can order it from my etsy shop here, though I should mention I won’t be shipping them till after the launch party on December 5th.

So yea, if you have a spare £4( $6) get your order in! I’ve put toooons of work into it and I think it’s a really great story :)

Thank you!

Neil


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