Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Market This Saturday - Powerscourt Centre Dublin

I'll be selling work at the Last Weekend Market in Powerscourt Gallery this Saturday from 12 to 5pm. I'll Also be joined by Jauntystuff.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Splash Art Festival - 12th November

I'm taking part in the 2nd Splash Art Festival on the 12th and 13th of November. There are 27 artists and performers, with live music, photography, painting, design, wine, plus it's in the Back Loft, which, for me, is one of the most interesting exhibition spaces in Dublin. Its also run by Magda Nowacka, who is awesome.

I'll have a bunch of new work that, considering my hermitic nature, really ought to see the outside of my studio at least once this year. Here's one I finished yesterday. Considering the title of Frank the Lonely Brain-Eating Mushroom-Zombie...... He doesn't really eat brains....

I learned through helpful twittering that these days Emily is sporting a high chignon with a fringe. Handy to know for googling those reference pics.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pay For Play

I just had a realization. Since I started working as a freelance illustrator (about 3 years ago) I'm pretty sure I have earned more money working on album/E.P covers than I did in 10 years of  gigging with bands. For the record, I haven't done a whole lot of cover art and my first two jobs were paid for with a bonzai tree and tickets to Lykke Li. With the last band I was in, as far as I can remember our last ever gig we played together was also our first one we got paid for. I'm talking purely about a specific form of musical entertainment, live bands playing pubs, venues, festivals.

I stopped playing largely because of problems with my arms, RSI that still affects me today. But at the time, my main reason for quiting the band (who I loved playing with) was because I simply couldn't afford it. A case of, I could put up with one or the other, but with both it had become unenjoyable and unaffordable. It was a similar situation when I played with Bouts last year. I would imagine most people don't realise how expensive it is to work as a musician. And I do mean to use the word "work". There is the general thought that music is something of a hobby, you're doing something you love so money doesn't really matter. I would agree in some part with that. Music is something far more important than financial gain and should be shared as much as possible. It's something that I simply love, as a listener and performer. But ultimately it is still work. Work that requires much time and effort yet for some reason is more often than not unrewarded.

It's important that musicians and bands accept the struggle and toil it takes to develop and perfect their craft and I do think music should be shared freely. But unfortunately that's not always possible when the process of sharing requires money. For me, the onus is ultimately on the listener, the promoter, the venues, to value what it is they are listening to and value the people who are offering it.

I'm getting somewhat carried away, so I'll get on to the main point of this post.

Support Pay for Play, is a Facebook page started by Laura Sheeran to discuss the issue of venues charging bands to play, instead of paying them. In their own words;

"This group has been set up as a platform to discuss all the issues that bands and solos feel are making it difficult to move forward with their work, particularly in a live context.
Live is one of the only ways we can make any money these days and a lot of musicians are finding they are working to a constant loss when doing gigs.

...a place to talk about these things and potentially come up with some new ideas/solutions as to how we can improve the situations for ourselves."

Some interesting conversations on there already, worth checking out if you've any interest in the subject.

I came across this via the ever reliable Nay McArdle of Harmless Noise who, while we're talking of supporting music, could possibly be my favourite thing about Irish independent music today.

Thank you for listening. Now here's Bouts, from their awesome new E.P.;

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


These days I'm all about patterns. Particularly the kind found in or inspired by folk-based ornamental textiles. Such as this lovely work, which I believe is from Owen Jones's The Grammar of Ornament ;

via butdoesitfloat

I've never been great with that aspect of design, so it's always something I try to get my head around. But most of the time the focus of where I seek inspiration has some sort of purpose, linked in some way to what I'm working on. A lot of my drawings are based around my sometimes tree-limbed, sometimes bird-faced, sometimes plain old Emily character, and more so lately, I've been working on developing her story, which is all there floating around the nether regions of my head, but is simply a matter of translating into some sort of coherent shareable form (I'm not really known for my communication skills). But I am easily distracted by the details. Delayed. In one or two "stories" there is a house.

And lately I've been decorating the house (you know, in my head). In particular, I find I need to design the rug, a particular rug.

some pattern/design sketches
storyboard thumbs

watercolour in progress with aforementioned photoshopped rug

But the rug is also another story itself. As is the wallpaper and a long taspestry in the hall in the style of an old chinese watercolour. I'm terribly confused by the whole thing myself. Needless to say, it's a slow process.

Anyway, while we're talking about patterns, check out Denise Nestor's latest work. Work in progress, I believe, but it's still wonderful.

If you haven't come across her stuff before, check out her site. She's one of those people who makes drawing seem effortlessly beautiful.

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