Archive for the ‘Random fun’ Category

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

 

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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!

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

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

 

February 2, 2011

I done an interview with artist Marcia Furman earlier this week, she’s popped it up on her blog if you fancy a look!

I can’t say I’m that good at answering questions but I tried my best so hopefully someone will find it interesting.

nx

There is Always Inspiration.

January 22, 2011

As I sat yesterday evening scratching my head wondering what to draw I remember something one of my lecturers told me ‘if you’re feeling un-inspired just draw anyway’. I know it’s not the most epic or quote worthy piece of advice but none the less it rings true.

See, I haven’t done much drawing this week, aside from stuff in work and my usual daydream doodles so I felt a strong urge to at least draw something worth looking at. I thought and I thought, and what sprang to mind was something of constant inspiration, something so amazing and entertaining that always makes me want to put pencil to paper, and has done since I was about 4 (I’ve got school reports to prove it). I am of course talking about Zelda! and ‘A Link to the Past’ especially, which I’ve been playing through again. What I drew was all the cool items that aid you in your adventure.

I dunno how Link managed to fit all this in his bag, in fact he’s only got wee pockets, maybe they’re magic pockets. Anyways If you have a snes or a wii (with access to the virtual console) I strongly recommend A link to the Past. It may be 18 years old but its Zelda at its best.

So yea go play it.

nx

Cool Space Facts!

January 14, 2011

It may a surprise to you but I actually have a day job, yes believe it or not my doodles don’t quite cut a living. Anyways what I’m getting at is I work as a teacher in a community arts centre, me being the art teacher, and today I was doing a little class on space (our solar system specifically).

It went really well actually and I actually got quite animated and excited whilst I was doing my little presentation, anyways I’d like to share with you some cool space facts! This was actually one of the handouts from today…

I hope you found it interesting! I personally am a massive space geek and I’m holing out for a new telescope for my birthday (february 17th guys!).

In other news I have some cool new screen printing diplodocus bags in my etsy shop,  they’re only £5 ($8) and look how cool they are!

And everyone knows dinosaurs love to go shopping :)

take care

nx

Mixing it up

December 17, 2010

 

Remember mix tapes? They were cool eh? I remember making mix cds in school quite a bit, they were usually for myself because at that point I never had the patience to listen to full albums, but a couple of times me and my geeky pals would swap some, or I’d make one for the odd (yet to be weirded out) girl.

Well I miss them, I really do. So I was all too up for it when a close friend suggested we do a mix tape swap, not with each other but organising it to go round the Scottish music blog scene. And so far it’s going great! I got sent mine yesterday and after a few listens I’ve already found some new favourite songs and bands I’ll be checking out, in fact come to think of it I probably wouldn’t know a couple of my favourite bands if it wasnt for mix tapes.

Anyways here’s what mines looks like!

So yea, if you’re feeling inspired why not make one yourself, and give it to a friend, it might even count as a christmas present if you’re feeling cheap :P

take care nx

My Dream Last Night

December 11, 2010

Last night I had a dream, a very vivid dream including a space rocket, myself and the moon. So in an effort not to forget it, I drew out what I could remember after I woke up, here have a look!

I must admit, I’m pretty proud of my subconscious for this one!

nx

A Stab at Screen Printing

November 26, 2010

I’ve always been interested in screen printing, I love the idea of putting my stuff onto bags and t-shirts or even making art prints so for the past 3 weeks I’ve been taking a wee screen printing class and I’d like to share my progress!

Ok first of all here’s one of my designs on the screen, It’s a dinosaur and it got there by placing the design over the light-sensitive paper to make a stencil in the mesh. This can also be done with light-sensitive emulsion.

Now I’ve got my screen ready it gets clamped to a machine with an arm (real technical terms here). Then I get my squeegee and ink ready.

So now we’re ready to go. With both hands I take the squeegee and swipe the ink down the screen, the action makes a very satisfying noise (like sweeeeeeeesh).

I lift up my screen and there it is, my first screen printed tshirt. I feel like a proud parent.


Pleased with my result, I try a different colour scheme.

I then decide to screen print my sketchbook, just cos.

Swish! So to conclude, I’m having loads of fun and will hopefully make up some (better) tshirts and bags etc for people to wear about once I’ve had a bit more practice.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading!

Take care!

nx


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