Ahhh...he 52 Week Illustration Challenge for 2018 is now complete....Ahhh...
And my Calendar for 2019 is done, printed and distributed except for a few left over that are available for purchase.
The theme for Week 48 was Rodent, and if you spent time watching the cartoons on TV in the 1990s you might remember Animaniacs and a show called 'Pinky and The Brain'. This image was inspired by one of those characters.
For Week 49 the theme was Abracadabra, which called forth memories of amazing things that come out of a magician's top hat.
Week 50's theme was Three, and since I had just finished doing a 'special request' pig illustration, the story of the Three Pigs going off to build their houses of straw, wood and brick before the Big Bad Wolf came along seemed to be appropriate. However, you must have land before you can build on it.
The person who put the themes together must have been prescient, because the week was full of storms, and hailstorms too. Week 51's theme was Storm. This image is a reminder that knowing how to read is rather important so that you buy what you actually want.
And the last one for the year, the theme for Week 52 was Bang! for which I drew on some classic imagery from classic comics, fan-art style.
And a sneak peek at some of my 2019 Calendar:
I think that means 2018 is wrapped up. For 2019 I have no idea what to do, and I am open to any reasonable opportunity that comes along. Please send any thoughts or suggestions to me via the Contact page.
Most of November wasn't spent at home, nor near a keyboard, so keeping up with the 52 Week Illustration Challenge required extra effort.
The theme for Week 43 was Slow, and who better to help us slow down and appreciate the finer things in life than Mr Snail?
For Week 44 the theme was Everyday Object, and I chose a lamp but reversed the usual black on white to be white on black.
With Week 45 we had the rather interesting theme of Moustache, and since there are so very many styles to choose from I used 4 of them to remind us of that diversity.
There was even more ideas to choose from when it came to the theme of Quirky for Week 46, however since I was feeling a bit like my brain was out to lunch (in a huff) this was the result. Maybe you can relate to it too?
The theme for Week 47 was Pinata, something you try and poke holes into to make the good stuff come out. Sometimes we poke holes into the windmills of our dreams too, but the results are not as sweet.
Stay tuned to see if I make it to the end of this illustration challenge.
I will need to do something completely different next year.....if you have any constructive suggestions send me a message via the Contact page.
It dawned on me that I was swiftly running out of time to update the blog before the month of October ends. So here it goes....
The theme for Week 37 of the 52 Week Illustration Challenge was Contrast. With this one I tried to contrast short and tall, slim and stout, happy and sad, bright and dark.
For Week 38 the theme was Free Spirit, and this was one of those times when the meaning is clearer when the opposite is also present.
The theme for Week 39 was Wrinkle. Where do we notice most wrinkles? Around the eyes. So here are wrinkles around the eye of an alien looking animal.
Of the many things to choose from for the Week 40 theme of Brazil, I looked to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer that overlooks the great Brazilian city of Rio de Janiero where World Youth Day 2013 was held.
With the theme of Solar System for Week 41 I had a bit of fun. Did you know that solar systems need a bit of expert robot maintenance every so often? Replacing the light bulbs in the suns etc
The theme for Week 42 was Childlike, and I tried something different with this one, by retaining the pencil sketch and not inking over it, and adding digital colour washes. For so many people flying a kite brings back happy childhood memories.
It seems a bit weird that each one of these had digital colour added, but it happens like that sometimes when both time is limited and access to drawing/painting space on the dining room table is limited.
Indeed it is. But onward we go....
Week 31's theme was Bunting, and this happily coincided with a commission based on the Mum and Dad dinosaurs from the Welcome theme near the end of last year. But this time the egg was open, and a baby girl dinosaur could be seen, and the bunting above had her name on it.
For Week 32 the theme was City, and this image was born after a few days of trudging around North Sydney, with the impression of a city and no recognisable landmarks.
The theme of Crayon for Week 33 took me in the opposite direction - back to nature. Crayon isn't a medium I use by choice, but it seemed like a good idea to take a stroll down to where the ocean meets the shore and to draw from life.
What to draw for Week 34's theme of Sheep stumped me for a while until my father used a phrase about his commuting experiences that I could visualise. There is quite a corollary between the experience of sheep being herded onto trucks and taken off to the abattoir and the many people who get onto crowded trains everyday to get to work.
With the Week 35 theme of Mistake it was a whole new experience deliberately doing mistakes rather than having them happen naturally and trying to rescue the results. A mistake, of course, is not perfect.
By the time Week 36 came along, a little of my pre-grief mojo was returning, and Frame was the theme. Many framed things only make sense when viewed from a certain direction.
If the locals are starting to dust off and begin reassembling their Christmas lights it must mean that it is time to think about getting my 2019 Calendar together. If you would like to order a copy, contact me before December hits, because I usually only do a single print run.
Continuing with the weekly challenges, without the moral support of others doing the same, has been hard work, especially during these early stages of grief.
But onwards I plod.
The theme for Week 26 was Homeland. For this I decided to do an ink-scape cross-section of the elements that make up home turf for me.
Week 27's theme was Puzzle. In this one someone is lost in a hedge maze, and is trying to use the 'Marco Polo' game to attract someone to help navigate to the exit by sound.
With Week 28 came the troubled theme of Climate Change, where so much confusion reigns, and yet the conclusions remain the same.
Normally with a theme of Meadow for Week 29 sweetness and light would be the order of the day, but what looks so nice from the viewfinder can be a whole different story at ground level.
The theme for Week 30 was Futuristic, so instead of doing something Jetsons-like or Star Trek-like, I went for something that has been promised to happen in the future Phil 2:10-11 where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. Each kneeling person embodies the colours of their national flag.
More weekly themes await their turn...so onwards I continue to plod.
The month of June 2018 was a tough one because it contained the last three weeks of life of my paternal grandmother, and her funeral. During that month, life was anything but normal. You can read about her life here, which contains footage from an interview I did with her a few weeks before her health really declined, which I edited later.
Things went very quiet on the creative front, but I was able to catch up to the 52 weekly illustration timetable earlier this week.
The theme for Week 21 was Haunted House, for which I deliberately wanted a limited colour palette. Yes, it does have a bit of an 'Adams Family' vibe.
For Week 22 the theme was Spectacles, which this teddy bear is wearing in a haphazard way.
Cottage was the theme for Week 23, and if you look carefully you will find that a small creature has made a cottage-home on top of the much larger swamp creature.
With the Week 24 theme of Anatomy I decided to have some fun. This well dressed frog was off to a very exclusive soiree when his plans were interrupted by some students of animal anatomy, and he very much wants them to get it over with so that he can resume his evening plans.
Because Week 25's theme was Nursery Rhyme, trying to choose one out of the many was proving to be difficult, so I combined three of them. Thus we have the mouse up the clock from Hickory Dickory Dock: Little Bo Peep with some of her sheep stopping to have a look at this sight; and Humpty Dumpty also surprised by this unusual view.
If you don't want to wait for the next blog-post to see Weeks 26 and 27, Facebook and Twitter are where you should look.
Before the month of May ends I should share with you what happened in Weeks 16 to 20 of the 52 Week Illustration Challenge for 2018.
The theme for Week 16 was Splash. For this one we have a bird bath with one bird a splishing and a splashing all over the place, and another bird trying to join in the watery party.
Origami was the theme for Week 16, the Japanese art of paper-folding. Some people find it easy and therapeutic, others not so much!
Week 18's theme turned homeward bound with 'Blanket', reflecting on all the love that goes to make up a hand-sewn patchwork blanket.
Week 19's theme was 'Creek', and for this one I borrowed an idea from our friends from the Hundred Acre Wood and their game of pooh-sticks. In this one our little bear is looking for a friend to play the game with.
Would you believe that the theme for week 20 was 'Up Side Down'?
When things are up-side-down rather than the right-way-up, confusion can be expected.
Just in case you are another creative waiting for the appointed moment when everything will have been worthwhile, you might find what Alex Mathers from the Red Lemon Club wrote a source of encouragement:
This continues to be a lonely road, but each step is hopefully getting me closer to something worthwhile. If others are doing the 2018 weekly challenges, they don't appear to be using the #52WIC hashtag.
The theme for Week 11 was Stamp, so I included both the stamps you put on envelopes and the a stamp that requires ink.
For Week 12 the theme was Zoom. Sometimes when you zoom, everything goes right. Other times when you go zoom, you end up like this:
Do you remember Igerrom? Well, when he heard that the theme for Week 12 was Tea Party, he just had to invite himself. He's always trying to start a tea party and get people interested in his favourite beverage.
Week 14's theme was Geometric. So let's make some lovely circular arcs together with this waltzing compass.
Letterboxes was the theme for Week 15. With this one I went digital and enlisted the help of a robo-postman - who seems to be in a hurry.
My family are all engineers, computer geeks, teachers, number crunchers or fascinated by personal medical histories, (there is an aunt with a creative gene but her work is offline and hand-crafted - pottery, folk-art, dolls and teddy-bears).
This means I have none of the regular pathways to connections with art directors and creative studios. So if you know of anyone like that seeking the work of someone like me, please invite them to contact me.
Sometimes time gets away, and now I realise that I haven't updated the 2018 Weekly Illustration Challenges #52WIC for a while. (I'm almost about to start work on Week 15's challenge).
For Week 6 the theme was Map, and I chose a limited colour palette for it.
The theme for Week 7 was Eerie, although maybe this one verges on spooky as well.
With Week 8 the theme was Ice Age, and I really tried to come up with something that didn't reference the movies, but failed. However it does include asteroid showers.
The theme for Week 9 was Escape, and yes there is some inspiration from Alcatraz in this image.
Hide and Seek was the theme for Week 10. For this one I went with the classic 'Hide and Seek' story of detective and perpetrator that fuels so many books. movies and TV shows.
And on the good news front....
My book has finally got to proof copy stage. Yay!
The next step is finding as many of the errors as possible that somehow made it through, correcting them, and then getting another proof copy.
Even though the 52 Week Illustration Challenge community is now disbanded, at least we were given a list of themes to work through 2018 with, and a hashtag to use #52WIC.
So I have been working through them:
The theme for Week 1 was Me.
At the time I was feeling miserable, as you can see. That was me for a good 2-3 weeks starting just before New Year.
The theme for Week 2 was Sweet, and this is something that would definitely cause a sugar rush:
For Week 3 on the official website the theme was 'Hybrid', but on the Facebook group somehow it became Meadow. Hybrid wasn't easy, but I eventually came up with this solution:
I filled a page with sketch scribbles for the theme of Circles, and this robot was chosen to fulfill the theme. He doesn't look particularly happy, but few sentient beings are happy when they are going around and around in circles.
'Would you just go and keep Junior content for a while?' was probably the command that initiated this response.
Then along came the theme of Flight for Week 5, the first one after the Facebook group got archived.
Different robot, but a similar command, 'Keep Junior occupied for a while, show him a few asteroids'.
This image took a lot longer because it was coloured digitally, the ink work was still hand drawn.
Should you know anyone who is looking for artwork like this, please contact me.
News and Other Stuff
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.