Monday, 5 September 2011

The Good Life

Crumbs, it's been over a month since my last post! That really highlights how little work I've done recently. It's been a slow illustration year for me so far; I've only had two commissions since December. I started the year doing a few bits of personal work and I designed and sent out a ton of promo postcards, from which I got only one reply, from a lady who, nice as it was, really only wanted a long, non-illustration chat. Since then I've been somewhat lacking in motivation.

So, you may ask, what have I been doing with my time? I've seached, fruitlessy, for a part time job that doesn't involve serving food or drink, but that also doesn't need a heap of qualifications I don't have, I've read a lot of blogs, spent a lot of time on Facebook, re-read almost the entire Wheel of Time series and wasted whole afternoons reading about serial killers on Wikipedia. I've left the house once or twice too and even spoken to some real people to stop me becoming a gibbering nutcase. The best thing to have come out of it though, is that our allotment's done pretty darn well, partly thanks to the free time I've been able to donate to weeding. Despite our carrots getting eaten by an anonymous digging critter, half our brassica bed succumbing to club root and our sweetcorn failing miserably, everything else has been grand. I won't bore you with a list of vegetables, but suffice to say we haven't had to buy any veg for months, and I've been busy filling our cupboards with homemade preserves. So far I've made courgette and tomato chutney, salted beans, damson jam, damson chutney and I'm planning on making some tomato ketchup too. Here are a couple of before and after pics of the plot ('scuse the picture quality, my phone camera is a tad primitve).


January 2011. The potato patch just dug on the bottom right, crud left by the previous owners at the far end.

Early August 2011

 
I had to eat this lot (and more) myself when Rowan went galivanting off to Wales for two weeks on a field trip.
 So, it's been fun! But I have done a few bits of work too. It was my dad's 60th birthday at the end of August, and he specifically asked both me and my brother (who's a photographer: dottygallery.com) for a piece of artwork that summed up our practice and/or us somehow. So I created this piece specially for him. It's not only the way I'd like for us to live once Rowan's finished his degree and we can get the hell outta Leicester, but also the way we lived when I was growing up, so it's also a sort of subtle but cheesy thanks for a thoroughly wholesome and lovely childhood. Click for a bigger, better version:


I also used this in a promo email I sent out the other week, so hopefully some work will come from that. I'm currently working on some lino print Christmas card designs too, and I'm pretty pleased with the results so far. I'll get them up here soon.

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