Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Totem Spirit

I'm trying to build a folio for Illustration, and this image was supposed to be a bit more conventional but unfortunately I just got carried away, and the final is just as much a surprise to me as it is to you!

The scribbles turned into branches, an owl and slightly aztec organic wobbly architecture- I sort of lost control towards the end, but at least I learnt a lot and I got a lot of new ideas, which is exciting.

It took 2.5 days, it's about A3 and pencil with some pastel, and I put up some process shots to show you what I mean.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I've never believed in the word or idea of Talent. Then I saw artists like James Jean and many more that seemed to produce so much, in such diverse high quality, at such a young age. I was starting to think these people had something in them that gave them that extra hit of amazingness. I've always taken as an assumption that these people (and most artists) work hard as a given. I thought for a second that it might have been education, or travel etc. While I'm sure are big, important aspects, I wasn't convinced.
However, while listening to an interview with James Jean, he said something which just took me by surprise. He did hardly any art at all before he started his college. Four years later, he was the cover artist for Fables and producing some amazing stuff that you would think must have taken at least twice that long to develop and mature.

 So my conclusion, is that it all comes down to decisions, right down to the level of thought. You can't afford to play the game of being the victim, because that's a choice too. This means that it is possible to achieve a lot in a small period of time if you are conscious of your decisions and why you are making them, in order to take control of your learning. These people didn't have talent, and it had nothing to do with their process, age, or whether they used 300 gsm paper or 220 gsm paper. They made better decisions, and were able to combat mental roadblocks that held them back from success like crippling hesitation, or even the fear of failure.
Instead of going "Shit, I really suck." I need to just examine the decisions I've made and have a look at what's preventing me from making better choices and from learning more. I think that's how JJ managed to evolve so highly in just four years: Drawing smarter, not harder.

I'm not trying to pontificate but just condense some conclusions I've reached, which may be obvious to you all. It'll probably take a long time before I can fully put it into practice like I want to, because I feel technically, creatively mentally I'm still pretty far behind where I want to be, but i think it's a good step towards a more authentic and stronger body of work.

Here's a drawing that I might add colours in Photoshop or pastel, but I wasn't too happy with it, I mainly just needed to make an attempt to get my idea onto paper.

A sketch for the next version, took maybe 2 hours. I'll try and develop the ideas in the first one but hopefully do a better job.

Friday, June 18, 2010


This is one I forgot to post up, i did it a few weeks ago, took a bit over a day.
It definitely needs to be pushed through to the colour stage and refined a hell of a lot more, but I hope I can get around to that soon, I'm working on some pieces now that I'm too lazy to scan.

It was featured in a talk a few weeks ago by Matt Jackson, agent of the Drawing Book. He discussed briefly the nature of his approach to selecting and hiring artists for the agency. He used an interesting metaphor which linked the process of creating wine that results in its unique flavour. The words
"Inside Out" describe this relationship, hilighting the importance of the artist's personality, values and identity, which culminate in producing something unique, clients hire that person, not a drawing machine. 
You can download the talk here, and be sure to check out some of the other ones.

I hope you all don't think I'm being self indulgent by posting this, it was a bit nerve wracking to have my work on such a big screen and I just wish I had something good to show! No matter, I will press on and will hopefully create something halfway decent, but there's obviously a long way till that happens  :D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Australian artists part 1: Sam Wade

Hey all,

If you don't live in Sydney, you might not get to see the art of Sam Wade, a teacher of mine at the Julian Ashton Art School, who is currently painting and exhibiting regularly at Eva Breuer Galleries here in Sydney. He also studied at Julian Ashton and started a blog in 2009 for his drawings and studies, many of which were drawn at the school, as well as when travelling around Europe, Australia and other places.

The process and studies of paintings are always of great insight and interest, which is why I'll be featuring that blog today, but be sure to check out his beautiful paintings here. His paintings are generally figurative and capture moments and scenes in Sydney, Tasmania, Paris and more. Unfortunately the photos do them no justice, but you will get an idea of what they are like at least.

Check out his blog here

Highly recommended is his Europe sketchbook, featuring the instantly recognisable Amsterdam, Vienna and more.

Next are some recent life drawings

It's also great to see some student work, which is very rare these days, you only ever see artist's posting up their latest and greatest. These were done when he was around 18 or 19? Sorry if I got the age wrong.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Picture Kitchen Exhibition + Moleskinez

Hey would like to thank everyone who took the effort to visit our art show in the past week, I love you all!
I would encourage anyone in the sydney area to check it out- it's only up until saturday and will be at the Tap gallery from 12-6 daily. Just turn left off Oxford st (going away from CBD) and go down Palmer St a block.

I sold a couple of works so I broke even, which is great, because I got a whole bunch of art framed and had the opportunity to share it with you all for free :)

Some photos from the show

Top photo invludes some teachers from Ashtons! 2nd photo is of Concept Artist Evan Shiphard chillin' and the last is of Prudence the Mannequin Harlet saluting us from her chair of glory.

Some moleskine stuff- more coming soon.