Sunday, 28 December 2008

Coming in from the Cold

After a lovely, quiet Christmas at home I'm heading back to Edinburgh tomorrow for New Year. Expect regular blogging to resume shortly but for now here are some photos from a wonderful afternoon at the beach with my family.

Friday, 19 December 2008

White Winter Hymnal

This is some artwork I did for Edinburgh based band The Kays Lavelle a while back. I'm yet to do the back cover as the tracklist is still up in the air but I thought I'd share it as this picture pretty much sums up the weather outside my window today. So nothingy and cold.

Charlotte X. C. Sullivan has done some lovely bubble drawings. I remember doing this when I was really young. You mix ink with washing up liquid or bubble solution or whatever and blow bubbles onto your page and eventually they just pop and dry to your paper. I love all the ghostly greys in hers.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas Joy!

After a not so enjoyable nine hour train journey I'm back home in the South West for Christmas
. Its really wet and cold (colder than Scotland!) but its nice to be home and I'm very much looking forward to some festive-ness. I'm smug in the knowledge that I've done all my Christmas shopping (thankyou internet) but just in case you haven't here are some nice UK based treats...

Roddy & Ginger make beautiful vintage inspired bags and homewares. I want pretty much everything in their lovely wee store. (via Bloesem) Gemma Correll makes awesome stuff. Seriously everything she does is dangerously cute and really fun. I LOVE these tattoo transfers (so pretty). And her matroishka badges are lovely too.

New badges
from Sir Kolakovic. King of slightly bizarre but always amazing illustrator merchandise (chocolate anyone?)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Jessica Hische is amazing

I have many illustrative crushes. Too many in fact (although the most enduring will always be for Carson Ellis who is easily to blame for my switch from fine art to illustration) but that doesn't stop me adding more every now and again. My newest crush is Jessica Hische who does everything amazingly. Her type is the stuff of dreams. Honestly. Go and have a look and swoon.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Nice Things

Nous Vous
have got their new site up and running. Its great to see all their exciting new work. I particularly loved this record cover for Mount Analog when I saw it After School Club.

Ashley G has made these amazing ceramic pieces. They look so beautiful all hung together!

Poketo Sale! Nice!

east kingsley

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

6x10 Out Now

Hurrah! The first issue of 6X10 is OUT NOW. Hand screen printed, folded and bound this is a lovely wee publication put out by FormFiftyFive with the expert help of Eddy & Isabelle at the lovely Owl&Lion Gallery. Its £10 +p&p and has one of my illustrations in alongside others by a handful of very talented artists.

Monday, 8 December 2008

December Work

Here's an drawing from a couple of weeks ago for a christmas brief we got. Its not massively christmassy I'm afraid but I guess thats not really my thing anyway.

And here are some painty doodles that I scanned to piece together into something else.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


LinkI've been reading Said the Gramaphone for a couple of years now so it was a wonderful surprise when I visited this evening to see my name there. Sean had some very nice things to say about 'I Am The Friction'

"But more beautiful still - and I'm very belated in writing about it, - is [Jez Burrows] and Lizzy Stewart's I Am The Friction. They are stories inspired by drawings & drawings inspired by stories, and while the works are funny and weird and melancholy, more than anything it feels like a love-letter from friend to friend, a shared smile, the kind of collaboration that comes from many hours by the same lamps. It's a handsome thing to hold in your hand, to read and enjoy, but it also makes you long to slip into the moments of its making; eyeglints, gifts, ink on fingers."

This kind of sums the book up to me and for someone else to see it too makes me feel pretty happy.

By the way there are like four copies left or something crazy like that. They'd make a nice christmas present. Maybe. I don't know.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Tomorrow is the opening of 'None the Less' at Analogue Books. Its an exhibition of 60+ prints from the Tiny Showcase archive (including mine) and its going to be pretty awesome. Fact.

I really love Leanne Shapton's work. Her lettering and book design stuff especially. That cover for 'The Cylist' is particularly tasty. I love those colours together.

Lovely necklace from Cursive Design

Monday, 1 December 2008

Hey Mama Wolf

An image for an editorial project from an article about Devendra Banhart (who does his own lovely drawings).

Nice work by James Datz

and from Will Bryant too! (colours!)

I am intrigued by the H&M home collection.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Edinburgh (and London to Brighton)

Today we walked round Edinburgh in the freezing cold (stopping for coffee and cake to refuel). I love Edinburgh in the cold and I feel sad that it is quite possible that this is the last year that I might live here. When the castle looks this nice it is completely futile to try not to be in love with this city. A few more photos on flickr.

I saw this on BBC4 last night. Its London To Brighton in four minutes. I'm quite fond of this journey as over the last couple of years I've done it a fair few times when going to see himself. Its lovely go watch.

This is. not. cool. kids. not cool at all. However I do feel glad that the illustration internet community will look out for each other in this way and try and stop these things happening. Go internet!

Friday, 28 November 2008


(these are the things we keep on our fridge)

Oh my gosh I finally updated my website and deleted a couple of the old stuff clogging the place up. Go there and have a look. I also have some nice new custom screen prints (not gocco actual real screen prints) in my shop too!

Also something exciting is happening very soon that may well involve these wonderful folk.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Yeah! Oh Yeah!

This is a little image I did as part of a self promotion project we're doing this week set by Jill Calder. Its been the most constructive week for a long while at college and I'm feeling excited about doing work and even about the prospect of graduating in summer, so hurrah. Go illustration.

I love this piece by Kate McGwire (via wrongdistance)

Thanks to all the people who said HELLO earlier this week. Its nice to know who's reading my nonsense. Oh and Alice I've been keeping an eye on your blog too!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Top Tips for a Wednesday Evening

This animation is lovely. Put together by FashionBuddha using illustrations by one of my favourite artists Evan B. Harris. I thoroughly recommend you watch (especially if you like folky sea based nonsense as I do).

Today I've been enjoying Au's Verbs not least because I love the album artwork but because they sound like a wonderful amalgamation of plenty of my favourite bands (menomena, animal collective and grizzly bear). Its on itunes. Get it yo.

And finally I really like the work of Glasgow School of Art student Joseph Mann. His 300 bits of tape project in particular and the lovely animation 'Taller Than Trees' which was all over the internets a while back.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Just a quick post today (its turning into one of those busy weeks, in fact all of fourth year thus far has been far too busy) to say HELLO! If you're new to my silly blog now is a fine chance to say hello and if you've been monitoring my nonsense for a should say hi too. From here on I'm hoping to be a bit more social on the blogging front and try and follow up comments and so on (not to mention stepping out from the shadows and commenting on the many many other blogs i read). So yeah...hi!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Biff Store

If you would like to buy one of the many many christmas cards we screenprinted last week they're now on sale on the brand new Biff Etsy Store! They're lovely and handmade and in all sorts of colours, perfect for a handmade, original christmas. If you cant stretch to buying a whole pack (they're hand printed and totally original! its a bargain!) we'll be putting up individual cards to buy in the next few days.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


Beautifully peculiar and totally endearing hats from Dadaya on Etsy.

Love love love this bow tie from Lark (via A Cup of Jo). I'm bound to love anything in nice grey wool though.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Weekends & Bleak Days

Today its is COLD. In this weather I would really like to have a Yokoo scarf and this hat from Toast.

I have an image in the upcoming first ever issue of 6x10 which has been put together by the gang at FormFiftyFive. It was screenprinted this week and should hoepfully be out at the start of December. My image is the building thing on the second row from the left Go here to see a list of all ten of the people involved.

This is a really great outfit. Via Sally Jane Vintage


My illustration class have put together a wee pack of lovely Christmas cards to sell at the GCM christmas market. Its this Sunday at Mono in Glasgow from 1pm and we'll be selling all manner of amazing illustrative goods. Come say hi!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

New Print

New prints will be appearing in my shop very very soon.

Monday, 17 November 2008


Nice new business type cards from

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Fox Confessor

This evening I've been playing with homemade stamps inspired, of course, by the wonderful Lena Corwin and her book 'Printing By Hand'. I cut out my foam shapes and stuck them to an acrylic block and inked away. The bags look a bit festive (its the green I think) but I guess its just that time of year. Anyway the bags will be on sale alongside prints and so on at the GCM
christmas market at Mono in Glasgow on November 23rd. There'll be stuff on sale from the whole fourth year illustration gang and we've made a nice pack of screen printed christmas cards including designs from all of us to raise money for our degree show. If you're near Glasgow next Sunday you should definitely pop by.


Oops. We indulged our inner fifteen year olds last night and went to see Death Cab For Cutie so I missed my final After School Club related post. Fail. So here it is.

I love all the work coming out of the Plats gang at the moment, there's so much to see on their site. Emily and Sophia from the collective came by to talk about collaboration, curation and destruction and showed off some photos from their most recent exhibition in London (which looks great...sometimes Scotland is just too far away). They also bought along all manner of treat to buy from bags and prints to books, I was so sad to have put all the money I had into organising the event. Oh well. Above is an image from Emily's personal work (inverted pencil drawings are one of y favourite things) and below something from Sophia (nice ink).

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Lizzie Fortunata

Lizzie Fortunata
is amazing. If I was going to spend all the money I had on high-end jewellery I'd definitely go for this over anything jewel based. Wow.

Nous Vous & Alex Ostrowski

Oops. So I completely forgot to post yesterday so today I have two talented types to talk about.
The first is the Nous Vous Collective; a design supergroup based in Leeds who have a habit of turning out really exciting work. I think their talk was intriguing to many students because of the whole collective thing (I guess we had no idea how that would work) and they definitely delivered. It was great to hear about the process behind their work and all the stuff they're trying to do. It seems like they're definitely for making design and illustration more social and collaborative and thats a good thing. Their website is down for reconstruction at the moment but I definitely suggest you follow the links to their individual work because there are so many nice things going on there.

Alex Ostrowski
is the nicest guy and his talk was a really positive insight insight into a working portfolio and starting out in Graphic Design. We all enjoyed leafing through his work and hearing about how he puts together projects and tries to get the most out of briefs. Alex is in the currently trying to work out what he wants from his career and I think it was reassuring for students to see that you dont need to have reached an absolute decision on what you want to do after college as long as you care about the work you make. The chance to nose through his books was awesome too. I will be forever jealous that I didnt come up with 'Note to Self'. Sigh.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Stuart Kolakovic and Little Bighorn

Next up on the rostrum of totally amazing people who took part in the After School Club is Stuart Kolakovic. Stu's talk was an excellent lesson in professional practice and treating illustration as a job rather than something that defines who you are (I know that I am prone to romanticising the whole thing in a way that guarantees i'll never get paid for my work). Alongside lots of useful insight (I think everyone enjoyed his views on the AOI and YCN) it was also a chance to see a tonne of his awesome work. Which was a treat. Because yeah...awesome. I am now the proud owned of one the above screenprints which was exchanged for all sorts of printed rubbish from me and the most poorly constructed zine ever.

In other news I'm aiming to be super constructive this week (so far its not going so bad and I'm kind of enjoying it...though I did pass out on the sofa when I got in from college...I dont think I'd quite recovered from the weekend). With any luck I'll be able to post a BRAND NEW drawing everyday this week. Today is a little painting of the battle of little big be honest I was probably a little over enthusiastic with the lines that represent the american indians.

Monday, 10 November 2008

We were like deer

This is the image that will lie opposite the one I posted the other day in the book that I'm working on this term.

Jez Burrows

OK so the first of my posts on the folk that took part in the After School Club this weekend. I'm going to go alphabetically so it all starts with Jez Burrows. Jez's talk followed his work from Uni to now and explained how the things he did at Uni have led to exciting things now that he's freelancing. He also had good things to say about the importance of artists having websites (how annoying is it when you see something exciting at a degree show and you cant follow it up?) and self promotion ideas. He was great (I'm biased) and were I not quite so well acquainted with Jez and his work it would have been the perfect introduction to professional life, BUT as I live with him and have been watching his work for a few years now it was more a chance for me to feel super proud of him. Yay. Jez has just released the second run of the Destroyer prints he did for his degree show...they're on pre-order right now and going fast so i suggest you get on it promptly.

p.s Jez Burrows was robbed

Sunday, 9 November 2008


So i've been away from the blog all week trying to get the first draft of my dissertation done and preparing for the after school club which happened yesterday but now i'm back and hopefully I'll get plenty of work done in the next couple of weeks to show you. I hope.
SO After School Club. Wow. First off thankyou to any of you who came, the turnout was pretty great for what was really an educational event on a saturday night. So thankyou, really, it was nice to see people and meet people (like Jen, who is a lovely illustrator who shares my love of bears and has a great blog too) and it was nice to hear that so many people were inspired to go out and do things. One of my flatmates (a history student) came out of it deciding that she wanted to be an illustrator which was awesome.
Secondly massive thanks go to all the artists involved. They were incredible. It was great to hear from people doing the things that we, as students, are hoping to do in a matter of months and to see their work. Above is a photo of Alex Ostrowski doing his talk which was really fun and happy-making but also incredibly useful (look at all those interested looking people), i dont know if we'd ever seen a real portfolio before and his was a super example ! Which is crazy. All of the other were amazing too. But rather than make this post crazy long I think i'll post on each of the artists involved throughout this week instead. Thats the plan.
So yeah. Thankyou. I feel really proud of it and thats completely down to all the other people involved. You're all awesome.
Back to regular blogging this week.

(p.s thanks to those people who got in touch about it too. If i had loads of money I'd take my merry band of designers and illustrators on the road to impart their wisdom to everyone but alas...)

Monday, 3 November 2008

"they were like bears we were like deer"

This is another image from my project on Dee Brown's book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. This one is a part bear General Custer inspired by the quote in the title of this post.
It's going to be a stunted week on the blogging front I feel as I'm going to be manically churning out the first draft of my dissertation for friday whilst simultaneously tearing out my hair trying to get everything sorted for After School Club on saturday. In between these things I'll be attending a US election party, a gig by my friend Sarah's overtly amazing band Come On Gang and swooning over Nigel Peake's new book Maps when its launched at Analogue on thursday. Busy week.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

After School Club (its a long one)

OK So I figure its about time I did a real post on the thing thats been eating up a fair chunk of my time recently. For my dissertation (aaargh final year etc etc) I'm organising an event affectionally deemed 'After School Club' which is taking place next saturday (november 8th) here in the fine city of Edinburgh. The idea is that a fairly exciting bunch of young designers and illustrators will chat about their work and their experiences since graduating from uni/college and us young, impressionable student types will take it all in and hopefully learn something and feel a little bit better equipped for professional life. If I'm honest its sort of a response to frustrations with my own course and things I have heard other people complain about (and also a chance to meet some people whose work i really admire).
Anyhow its next saturday at the GRV in Edinburgh and I urge anyone withing train ride distance of edinburgh (and of course anyone further afield with a complete disregard for money but an admirable commitment to design) to come as I really think it could be quite fun. Really. Just to hammer home how ace this could potentially be here's a wee rundown of who is involved.

Jez Burrows is absolutely my favourite graphic designer (not only because he's my man but also because his work is so tasty and completely and utterly him) and he lives and works in Edinburgh having graduated from Brighton Uni this summer. He has worked for many admirable people including the New York Times, Time Magazine and Bad Idea magazine. He is also my cohort in Sing Statistics.

The Nous Vous collective are a design supergroup from Leeds who have turned their hand at pretty much everything including illustration, graphic design, art direction, animation, installation and film making. They've got skills.

Alex Ostrowski graduated from UWE this summer and is now racing through every design studio in London leaving awesome work in his wake. I am totally enamoured with one of his final Uni projects Note To Self and quite frankly I wish I'd done it first.

Plats are a merry band of illustrators and photographers who have done all sorts of magical things. Emily and Sophia who founded the collective are coming along to show off their lovely illustration work and chat about the ins and outs of being in a totally cool gang.

FINALLY you are all probably aware of my awe over the work of mr Stuart Kolakovic. Not only does he totally own anything eastern european when it comes to illustration but he also has a fairly nice grasp of lovely colours and lettering. He also (apparently) only eats sweets.

SO thats it. Twenty points if you actually managed to read all that and an added thirty points if you actually come. Please come!