Sketch in pen and marker from some time ago. That striated block fill effect is something which I’m only able to get with a marker pen which is just starting to run out of ink - quite tricky to get a constant supply of nearly-spent pens to use for this!
Ever the luddite, I eventually bought a smartphone only a couple of months ago. One of the unexpected joys of this new toy (notwithstanding a significant lessening of my tendency to get lost) is its camera, which I’ve had a lot of fun with in recent weeks. I’ve done very little photography at all in the last few months - the fancy DSLR I saved for for months was disappointing, ugly and horrible to use, but my phone camera is a joy simply because I expected almost nothing from it. It’s the digital equivalent of a disposable camera I suppose; it’s fun, expendable and easily pocketable - but I really wish someone would make a phone camera with manual shutter and aperture control!
Full-sized oak staircase from a French house of the 1500s - now at the V&A Museum. Drawn 06/08/13.
Some panels from a not-so-successful experiment in drawing my own comic book story. Still want to do this properly one day.
Radio can be a wonderful medium for conveying thoughts and ideas, and the BBC’s In Our Time has always used it brilliantly. Every week Melvyn Bragg invites a new set of academics to talk on a shared specialism, galloping through a magnificently esoteric selection of topics from show to show. Whether it’s antimatter, Zoroastrianism or any other subject, there’s always an engagingly unrefined simplicity to the format. It’s really just intelligent, passionate people sitting down and talking, and it stands up amazingly well to the razzmatazz and noisy effort of television. The improvised and technical nature of the discussions can sometimes make them hard to follow, and more than once I’ve found myself a little bit befuddled at the end of an episode. But in many ways that’s a wonderful thing; ideas and concepts are confusing sometimes, and that confusion is how we know we’re on the verge of learning something new.
This episode I’ve linked here is a discussion about the mathematical principles behind music. The strictest logic can breed the wildest creativity, and who better to show this than a panel of mathematicians who are all musicians too. An idea that stuck with me from this episode was the notion of the musical score as a coldly geometrical, almost graph-like mathematical structure which in fact works as the key to something very beautiful and expressive. Hence the image at the top of this post, from one of Beethoven’s hand-written scores. I can’t read music, but that doesn’t really matter in this case. His feverish scribblings are stunning to look at, and the raw excitement of creation is barely contained by the rules and strictures of proper notation.
This is a set of graphics and article illustrations I designed Life-Life Balance , a neat website full of work and life advice for young professionals. I’ve been doing lots of uncoloured drawings recently, so it was great fun to do something really vivid here.
This is something I made as a birthday present for my friend Hannah. Open the front door and inside you’ll find a carefully packaged USB stick pre-loaded with every single one of the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes radio dramatisations. This project needed a bit of everything; drawing, lettering, layout work, and some very careful making. My one regret? I set the text in Sabon when the obvious choice was Baskerville!
FUZZED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION
This is the prototype for the do-it-yourself fuzz pedal I’ve been trying to build for my guitar. Forget such fripperies as gain controls and on-off switches, this is minimalist making, and it actually works! The next step is to solder it down, build the casing and design some decals!