Monday, 31 August 2009


Nine Dangerous Mammals. And yes badgers are dangerous.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Rope & Waves

Shawn Sheu takes beautiful photos. His portraits are lovely but his landscape work is astounding. To me this looks more like a Turner painting than anything that could exist for real. (via Amy Borrell @ All the Mountains)

Love love love this rope knot bracelet from Tanya Aguiniga

Forgot to mention that there's a wee interview with me on Paper Shelters. If you've ever read an interview that i've given before you'll see that I haven't said anything groundbreaking...i'm not a very exciting interviewee.

Catch Up/Sum Up

(I am seriously never going to tire of our new view)

Oops. Totally neglected this blog recently. It has literally been the craziest month ever. What with going back and forth to London, moving house, Edinburgh Festival, having friends to stay, impromptu lodgers, my sister visiting and trying to do work I've barely had time to pause for breathe! Hopefully things are finally back to some semblance of normality now and I can get on with things a slightly more leisurely pace!

First up a new (ish) project that I've been working on with my very good friend (and lexicography magician) Jane Solomon. I met Jane when she studied in Edinburgh back when I was a first year (she has no returned to Chicago. Boo) and we've stewed on various projects since then (the ill-fated period drama review blog, kid's books etc) but finally got going on one we both enjoy. Sum-Up Stories is a blog in which Jane writes rather charming flash fiction and I try and come up with an illustration to go with it. We've done a few (and there are some i'm yet to illustrate) so far and you can see them here. The goal is to do things quickly and instinctively and to try not to lose interest! Hooray for that.

Second head over to the awesome
FormFiftyFive to see the banner I drew to celebrate their 3000th post (thus the MMM not FFF)

I think thats it for now. See you soon!

Monday, 17 August 2009


Still waiting on an internet connection in our flat so in the meantime I'll be hard at work at my nice new desk! Back soon!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

New Print!

OK OK I'm on hiatus till monday BUT I have a new print in my shop. Its a super fancy digital one rather than a gocco or screen print but its still signed and numbered.

Monday, 10 August 2009


We moved house this morning. At 8.30am. From a third floor flat to a fourth floor flat. I am shattered. Moving all of our stuff would have been challenge enough but the 19 boxes of Friction books really tipped it over the edge. Anyway just wanted to say that due to to being in a new place in amongst a thousand boxes, it being the Edinburgh Festival and thus everywhere being swamped and hectic AND having no internet connection blogging will be suspended for the next week. After that I'll be back and on top form I hope. Hello to all the people who've started following my blog recently. There are 131 of you know and thats amazing. Slightly bewildering by amazing nonetheless.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Friction Prints

So these are my images for We Are The Friction. If you like they are available to buy as high quality digital prints for £20 (about $33) + P&P. Prints are 14 x 21.5 cm plus border for framing. Contact us at to order.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

My two cents

So I've plenty of time to think on yesterday's revelations now and I guess here's what I want to say. It's a long 'un and sadly image free, normal posting to resume shortly.

When i first opened my emails and read about Samantha Beeston presenting Lauren Nassef's and my own work as her own I felt a bit sick. It was a real sudden punch in the gut and sat in the middle of a starbucks on Marylebone high street it was one i wasn't expecting. One of the things I worry about as an illustrator who has a website, a blog and a flickr is that my work is accessable to anyone and that is both a blessing and a curse. Whilst it allows me, and thousands of other artists, to present work and connect with people all over the world it also throws my work into the public domain where anyone can find it, post it, print it, or copy it. The internet is a largely anonymous place, sites like ffffound although often enjoyable and useful, regurgitate images, often without crediting their creator which renders them orphans to many viewers. They appear totally without origin. As a result it is far too easy for people to take their 'inspiration' that bit too far.
In this case the culprit was clearly aware of who created the images concerned (the handwriting that was lifted from me was posted only on my blog which is a far from anonymous source and the images from Lauren's 'A drawing a day' project are only available on her personal site) which sadly makes it a far less innocent crime. It is one thing to copy someone's work and keep it hidden in a sketchbook, (when I was at school I loved drawing paintings from The Art Book, it seemed like good practice) but it is quite another to present it as your own publically and then to enter it into a competition. Alas short of her tutors and the competition's judges following every illustration website and blog going how on earth were they ever going to know? I guess that is what made this all so easy. I'm sure that there are hundreds of people out there presenting other people's work as their own. In fact I know a fair few people who have fallen victim to it recently. I can consider myself lucky that someone spotted this when it could quite easily have gone unnoticed. In that respect the internet and the community of people who follow illustration blogs like my own are invaluable.
This whole thing has raised many questions (not least over at BBIC) about copyright and ownership. As someone just starting out professionally I am hardly equipped to answer them (but Julia Rothman is!) however it is safe to say that if you are taking heavily from someone else's work then you are likely in breach of copyright. It is never ok to rip off other artists, especially if you intend to make that work public.
My advice, though no one has asked for it and I am not really licensed to give it, would be to look at things other than illustration if you are an illustrator, look at fine art or film or read some good books that way you can feel safe in the knowledge that your inspiration has come from an emotional reaction rather than a desire to ape something you've already seen. Listen to conversations on buses, draw in unlikely places and avoid the internet when trying to start work!
I would also emplore people to put notices on your blogs claiming possession of your work...when posting to flickr make sure it is clear that this is your work and not for other people to copy. It seems anal but it could well help. I know that from now on i'll be making sure I tag everything I ever did as my own!

OK. I'm done. Apologies to those who come to this blog for cheery posts about drawing bears. I assure you this is a one off musing and hopefully we'll have no more of this nonsense! Thanks again to everyone who has contacted me about this and offered kind words of support. Knowing that people are keeping an eye out for each other is the only reason I am happy to keep on posting my work online.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


I'm away in London and on a bit of a timed internet connection BUT i had to post about this.


and then HERE before you read the rest of my post.

I'm feeling pretty hurt by this. The fact that someone believed they could trace my work is pretty awful but that she then went on to enter it into a competition which she won is devastating. As most of you know I graduated at the start of the month. I am likely the same age as Samantha Beeson and with a similar amount of professional experience, to start my career with this is pretty disheartening. My heart goes out to Lauren Nassef who is an incredibly talented illustrator and absolutely doesn't deserve to have to had this happen (who does i guess?)
I will post on this properly when I get back. Copyright is a difficult issue and I need to have time to process all of this and then try and sort something out.
Thanks to everyone who has contacted me about this. It is good to know that there are so many people looking out for each other on this here internet.

On a lesser note she also stole my handwriting. Who doesn't have even enough creativity to write the word 'hello'? Urgh.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Festival Build Up

(jez enjoys our new rooftop view)

Evenin' all. Its very nearly festival time here in Edinburgh. The tourists are flooding in and the streets are filling up. It takes progressively longer to get from one end of the high st to another and its only going to get busier! argh! Saying that the festival is always an exciting time up here and we've got tickets to a few exciting shows. Are any of you heading to the fringe this year?

Anyway here's some nice stuff.....

Animation 1 from jaakko ghostbuster on Vimeo.

Jaako Pallasvuo does amazing work. I love his recent animation experiments. (via AAA)

I would really like this supercool bathplug please (though it is perhaps a little pricey. for a plug). From Panik.

King of all he surveys Stuart Kolakovic has just done this AMAZING book cover for 'Along the Enchanted Way' by William Blacker. If you don't check Stu's blog go and have a look at all the awesome work he's being doing lately.

Illustrative Young Illustrators Award 2009

Have you bought a copy of 'We are the Friction'? No? You should. Its well good.