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I’ll let you into a secret – I’m not really posting this because I’m thinking that anyone has much interest in pottery, but because I’m testing my technology for mobile diagram-blogging from overseas. This drawing took one hour from starting to being on the blog, which was a little challenge I set myself. Don’t look for jokes because there aren’t any.
Unfortunately I’m finding my technology is struggling rather, but I really don’t want to have to buy a new computer for this trip. [Dull technological details] I’m trying to run Windows XP on a netbook with only one G of memory, whereas at home I’d have 4 Gs. Everything is sluggish, and I can’t make my image program open image files (possibly lack of memory). I will keep on trying to resolve the complications, but it is, as usual, frustrating that technological concerns take far more of my energy than creative ones.
Pottery update: I’m making two vases and a teapot. Stage 8 is in progress as we speak. There are more stages after 10 really, but I ran out of space.
Posted by Dave at 5:37 pm on February 18, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
This morning various photographs of my Evans Cycles cartoon mugs out in the wild (on desks and next to computers) have appeared, as people have been able to pick them up from the shops. This picture is courtesy of Giles Roadnight. You may possibly still be able to get one if you turn up at an Evans store in cycling gear – otherwise there is a chance if you post a photo on on their Facebook wall. Details here.
It has been fun seeing people’s pictures anyway. Though in searching for them I have found plenty of unrelated tweets. A favourite from this morning: ‘Evans you mug!’
I’m hoping this might kickstart the search for a regular home for my cycling cartoons – one can hope. That said any such endeavours will have to wait for several weeks owing to various activities. But in the longer term drawing cycling-themed cartoons is one of the things I would like to do.
Posted by Dave at 11:49 am on February 15, 2013 and filed under Cartooning, Cycling.
This is this week’s Church Times cartoon, in progress mid-morning on Tuesday. The final version is here (Church Times subscribers only I’m afraid).
1. Rough scribbles. The ideas for the five panels, some wording in preliminary form, some layouts.
2. Actual cartoon, pencilled-in, and starting to be inked. I will talk more about paper another time, but it is A4 file paper of my preferred kind.
3. Rough paper (labelled), so that I don’t smudge the pencil lines I have already drawn. The boxes are cartoon sizes for a previous piece of work.
4. Pen. Artline Drawing System, 0.3, from Cult Pens.
5. Notes / suggestions from editor.
6. Pencil. I generally use an HB. Steadtler Mars Lumograph on this occasion, but I should always use Derwent Graphic really – buying British and all that, also I have been to their pencil museum.
7. Ruler. This is a new one as although I have lots I lose them around the house. See also No 13.
8. Calculator. I use this a lot, mainly for working out relative measurements, so that the cartoon fits the space, and so the different bits fit together. The scientific aspect of the calculator is superfluous.
9. Plate. This contained one of my allotted cookies.
10. Kitchen towel. Mainly for wiping cat hairs off the table.
11. Mats. One for a mug. The other so that I can have two mugs on the go, or a teapot. There is, you will note, also a teaspoon – this is not essential for the cartooning process.
13. Eraser. I keep on buying these as I lose them around the house (see also No 7). Make unimportant but it needs to be a proper drawing one from an art shop to give precise and clean erasing.
14. Notebook. Moleskine sketchbook (plain, with the thicker paper) of the approx A5 size. I take this on the train, to cafes, and on my London lunch breaks to write things down.
15. Cardboard elasticised folder. This also goes lots of places and carries all drawings in progress, paper of the different varieties, etc.
16. Cat. Doesn’t go many places.
17. Pencil case. See-through, so that it can be seen through.
18 ‘Easy peeler’. Still there from the last picture.
Posted by Dave at 6:52 pm on February 1, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
Picture: Choc-chip cookies made by CW this afternoon. I take back everything I said about not really eating many biscuits.
When I started blogging on a daily basis I did warn you it would be dull. So, today I inked in the remaining pictures from a commission I have been working on. Then this afternoon I have started to scan and edit them on the computer. I will be continuing with this task until fairly late this evening.
Highlight of the day has been opening a new eraser.
Posted by Dave at 8:37 pm on January 27, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
This has been a deadline week, so blog posting has had to not be top priority. This picture (larger version), taken this morning, is what my life looks like on a home-based drawing day. Thrilling, as you can see.
Points of interest:
- Ornamental balustrades in garden
- Three satumas (easy peelers)
- Large cat (Matins)
- Attentive cat (Evensong)
Tomorrow will be a lighter drawing day, just an hour or two, and then it will be all go on Sunday to get everything inked-in, scanned, and edited.
Posted by Dave at 7:46 pm on January 25, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
Image: Segment of ‘Bicycle maintenance’ – complete cartoon from Cycling Cartoons.
I get a lot of messages from people asking whether they can have a poster of one of my cartoons. This is usually for a poster of one my cycling cartoons. This blog post is partly so that I have something to direct people to, and also I could do with advice on the subject.
At the moment I am not able to produce posters or to email people high resolution files so that they can produce their own. This is because I am currently only a cartoonist part time, and all of my cartooning time is taken up producing ideas and new material or doing essential admin tasks. Any task that involves posting anything or emailing image files isn’t something I have time for unfortunately. I am not able put high resolution versions of my work online, (apart from the CartoonChurch cartoons with their special licence scheme for churches) as sadly there are people who would take them and use them for their own purposes without permission. I know there are fans of Creative Commons who think I should do that anyway, but they are generally people who don’t rely on their artwork for their livings.
I have looked into print on demand sites (Spreadshirt and Zazzle being examples), and it might be that I could build a poster site with them. The main reason I don’t have a t-shirt site thus far, by the way, is minor technical problems with black and white images which I can’t resolve, and after spending days on it I gave up trying. Posters produced in this way would also be quite expensive, but people might not mind for a one-off gift.
Another option would be for me to licence them to someone else to produce posters. I’d need to meet the right person /company, and haven’t yet.
If anyone has any thought on print on demand sites, or can suggest another way I can do this, I would be very glad to hear from you. Please reply in the comments, or if you would like to contact me personally please use my contact form.
Posted by Dave at 9:43 pm on January 21, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
Photo: My cartoon is due to reappear in the Church Times again next week. Yesterday I spent a few hours sitting in the CT / Hymns Ancient and Modern production department, mainly doing some drawing, but also discussing how the cartoon will appear in the paper. These are mock-ups of possible font positioning, colouring and size for the title. I’m thinking blue Gill Sans Light aligned right, but no final decision made. The plan is to drop the ‘Guide to the church’ label, thereby giving me a bit more scope to draw other things.
Posted by Dave at 10:31 am on January 19, 2013 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning, Photographs.
Photo: Tea (in black and white for added dramatic effect).
It has been suggested that I write a bit about cartooning and the details of how I do it. So here is tutorial No 1: Make yourself some tea.
My precise tea specifications: I currently drink caffeine-free redbush tea but I will now, after many months of not doing so, drink caffeinated varieties (Going decaf was a health-related experiment that has now been abandoned, though I still don’t drink coffee). No milk or sugar. It can be in a pot, which means you get several cups for your money, but this isn’t essential. A cup and saucer is OK, but I prefer a mug. Ideally one without too much of a pattern (though cartoon mugs are fine).
It may still be possible to draw cartoons if you don’t follow these precise instructions, but I can’t vouch for it working.
Posted by Dave at 12:17 pm on January 18, 2013 and filed under Cartooning, Cartooning tutorials.
Photo: My Sempé books
Today has been one of those days when blogging time is minimal – a late train this morning followed by a full day at work in London. Punctuated, I should say, by a very pleasant lunch with colleagues during which I told one or two people what a boost to my spirits my blog commenters are.
There is a lot of work to be done at the moment with freelance jobs and restarting Church Times cartoons, which is a good thing, but there is quite a bit of pressure.
I’d quite like to sit down with a Sempé book (Google if you haven’t come across him), but I am off to a church group. I can’t really complain about that, as the group in question is a help to morale.
Thanks for listening.
Posted by Dave at 8:51 pm on January 17, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.
This is the door to my room at Moorlands College, at the edge of the New Forest, Dorset. The date is approximately 1996*. This is where I first started cartooning, and this door was the place I stuck the drawings as I did them. I had done quite a lot of art up until that point, but this was a new thing that I tried for my own amusement and for those walking along the corridor, who formed a ready-made audience. It was more fun than the things I should have been doing – studying towards a degree in applied theology, which I never attained. There’s a lot more I could say about my time at Moorlands, and perhaps I will in another post.
Yes, that is a sunflower.
I may well dig out more photos in an attempt to keep this daily blogging habit going. Day 15 – that is somewhere in the region of half a month.
*Could well be 1997, thinking about it.
Posted by Dave at 10:16 pm on January 15, 2013 and filed under Cartooning, Photographs.
I’m pleased to be able to announce that I’m going to return to doing a weekly cartoon in the Church Times newspaper.
Hopefully I should start again in a week or two – quite possibly the 25 January. The plan is for the cartoons to cover a slightly broader range of subjects than they have until now, so although some will be on my usual ‘things that go on in churches’ theme there will also be some more topical ones too. That is the idea anyway.
I was in two minds about it, I must admit. Doing the weekly cartoons wasn’t doing me any good, and I thought, for various reasons, that the series might have run its course. But on the other hand there are people who do really enjoy them, and I think I might still have one or two things to say. And in any case I really can’t do anything else.
I’m going to need quite a lot of help if I’m to avoid collapsing into a miserable heap like last time. Talking to other human beings in actual real life is the main thing that helps my creativity, so I need to find new ways to do so. Perhaps meeting up with people individually or in a group for a chat, I don’t know. Though receiving ideas though electronic means helps too. Suggestions as to ways I can do this welcome.
Thanks to everyone reading this blog for your support.
Posted by Dave at 2:31 pm on January 11, 2013 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning.
So, my New Year’s resolution was: ‘For 2013 I am going back to the drawing board, and back to the blog’. A week in and I have, in one way or another and in a limited sense, managed to blog, so here’s an update on the drawing side of things.
So, yes, I’m planning to do more cartooning this year. In January this means taking on three freelance cartoon jobs, which means it is going to be a quite a busy month as they do tend to take me quite a long time. There are a variety of topics, one church, one cycling, and one environment-related, so there will at least be some variety.
Today, my first proper work day of the year, I went to meet clients for one of these jobs near Gatwick Airport, where this entirely-peripheral-to-the-blog-post picture was taken as I ate lunch and watched people. I’ll be getting down to working on two of the commissions tomorrow.
I often find the pressure of freelance work a struggle and I can, at times, be paralysed into inaction, feeling that everything I do must be perfect. It comes from not wanting to ever do second-class work, but I need to find better ways of dealing with it. Perhaps writing this on the blog is a good first step.
Posted by Dave at 10:28 pm on January 7, 2013 and filed under Cartooning.