Category Archives: Books

Owls, Pussycats & Imperfections.

A quick paper cut I did for the missus for valentines day. I don’t really subscribe to all that to be honest, especially not the ‘off the shelf’ affection we all get rammed down our throats every year by every supermarket, restaurant, gift shop and florist. Still, all that said, it’s a nice excuse to make a little something different that will put a smile on someone’s face. I’ll be experimenting on lots of little projects like this this year, nice little affordable ‘bits’ that will be available to buy in the Freak Show online shop. Hopefully a nice style will be developed over time but in the meantime it’s just nice to be working on completely different things in very different ways.

The type is a little rough around the edges, but I’m learning to be more forgiving with little things like that, especially after reading a great book called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I seriously recommend this book to anyone involved in creating any type of art, very well written, funny and extremely inspiring. Some great sections in there about the negative effects and often fruitless nature of striving for perfection. Humans by nature are far from perfect, and with your art being a reflection of yourself you should also allow your work to reflect those imperfections and concentrate more on simply producing more work instead of sweating over making a single piece as perfect as possible. I think that the presence of imperfections are what gives something originality, you needn’t bend over backwards to iron out such flaws, accept them and allow them to add character to whatever it is you’re making.

Speaking of imperfections, I recently finished a brilliant book by one of my favourite authors, John Wyndham. The Chrysalids is a tale narrated by a young boy named David, living in a simple, God fearing  farming community many years after the Earth has been left devastated by a nuclear disaster. The effects of the fall-out have a firm hold not only on farm life, but on the people born into this post-apocalyptic world. Whole fields of ‘imperfect’ crops are burned and children born with any sign of a mutation are seen as an act against God and are banished, or worse. As David and his friends grow older, they become aware that they have been born very different to the rest of their community and live in fear of discovery, communicating between themselves in a very secret and unique way. It’s a fantastic book and as with most of Wyndham’s books, (Day of the Triffids, Midwhich Cuckoos) it comes in a great selection of covers if you can be bothered shopping around.

Never Judge…?

There’s only 1 thing I love more than books, and that’s book covers, so I was pretty excited when the nice people at Stolen Space Gallery asked me to be part of their next group show ‘Never Judge…?’ In conjunction with Penguin books, the gallery will be filled with book covers created exclusively by a great list of artists and looks to be a great show.

Here’s my contribution, taken from one of my all time favourite books, War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells.

I wanted a simple but classic feel and decided to try my hand at a bit of paper cutting. Loved the process and the concentration needed and it’s something I’ll now be doing a lot more of in the future.

So if you’re in London and free on Thursday night, I’ll see you at Stolen Space. Click the image below for full details.

And the winner is…

So here we have it, the results of the Vader Project competition. The question was What’s one of my earliest memories as a snot nosed kid…’ 60 of you guessed the right answer, which was………C. Me being lifted out of my pushchair by Darth Vader when I was about 3 or 4. Although someone quite rightly commented on what I was still doing in a pushchair at the age of 4, which is a good point. I’m afraid I have no answer to that. Moving on…

Using an online random number generator to select 4 numbers between 1 and 60, the following numbers were chosen.

And those numbers match up to the 4 people below, so well done to you!

1. benoups.
2. spud.
3. fullproof.
4. Kes.

I’ll be dropping you 4 an email shortly and your signed copies of the awesome Vader Project book will be sent out asap. A big thanks to everyone who registered with the blog and took part. Will probably do more of this kind of thing from now on so if you didn’t get lucky this time, don’t get tear stains all down that nice new blouse you’ve got on, you’ll get another chance to put free stuff on ebay soon enough.

Vader Project Competition.

A long time ago, in a galaxy…well, this galaxy, 100 artists were asked to customize 100 Darth Vader helmets. You can see the results via the links at the bottom of the previous post. If you’d like to get your sticky little fingers on a copy of the project catalogue, I’ve got 4 that I’ll sign and give away if you can answer the following question.

Q: What’s one of my earliest memories as a snot nosed kid…

A: Discovering I had the Force when I paralysed next door’s cat with mind bullets.
B: Coming home to find my house on fire and my aunt and uncle burned to a crisp.
C: Being lifted out of my pushchair by Darth Vader when I was about 3 or 4.

Just leave your answer, A,B or C as a comment to this post and in exactly 1 weeks time I’ll randomly select 4 winners who will get a signed copy of the catalogue.

Good luck!