Thursday, 6 May 2010

New Wallop Website & Blog

The new Wallop Illustration website has now launched, incorporating this blog along with Wallop information, gallery, contact details and 'Rubbish Pictures'. Check it out here: and please continue to follow me there as I will be winding down this blogger blog to concentrate on the one central site. Thanks for all your support so far and see you over there!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Get animated with 'Animates'

If you have children and happen to go into newsagent shops, chances are you'll have seen the new 'Top Dogs' from Animates. If you haven't, but you have children or just happen to go into newsagents shops, chances are that you soon will.
Dusted Design have just launched the newly designed Animates website, a fun environment for children to explore further the 'Top Dogs' world, with online voting, competitions, videos and a shop.

Dusted commissioned me to illustrate a series of doggy buildings, backgrounds and interiors and of course what every doggy needs: street furniture for those little doggy urges... Whilst it was quite an unusual brief, it's been a fun project to work on and I'm delighted to see the end results online. Check out the Animates website here to see the doggyness in all it's glory :-)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Self Promotion is key (I know, I know but it's a little cringey)

It's Spring time. I'm feeling motivated, I really am. Amazing what a bit of sunshine can do. With the new Wallop website launching very soon, it's the time to up things a notch and get out there promoting and marketing and all that stuff. Lovely new interesting clients and projects - here I am!

It's a tad overwhelming though.... huh?

It's all too easy I find, to stick with what you know best and to stay within your comfort zone when it comes to freelancing. So. This week, I downloaded a copy of the new e book from the Red Lemon Club, called :
'10 Steps to Powerful Online Self Promotion', an inspired wedge of advice from a freelance illustrator and designer, Alex Mathers, who also writes for the contemporary illustration blog: Ape on the moon. It's good. Straightforward advise on proven techniques. It's what you need to do and how you can do it. So, I've read. I've digested. Watch this space and let's see if it works...

Go get yourself a copy here, if you too need a bit of a kick up the bum on the promotional front. :-)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Ancient Greece recreated in Papier Mache ...and other things

This term I have been teaching weekly art workshops to a bunch of year 5 artists in the making. The theme this time around has been 'Ancient Greece' and we have had a whole lot of fun exploring everything from myths and legends, to Gods and monsters, to what on earth an Ancient Greek would have painted his shield with, and why...
We've made our own life sized replica Hoplite shields and designed family emblems to decorate them with, we've created a virtual treasure chest of 'ceramic' artefacts, decorated with mythical characters and stories. We researched and designed our own pack of Greek Legends Top Trumps cards and as a grand finale we created a vast Medusa head sculpture, complete with an array of 3D snakes.
I think we can safely say ' we did Ancient Greece justice this term.... and most of all we had a whole bundle of fun. I just hope the children enjoyed the sessions as much as I did... (follow this link to see the School website's photo gallery of some of the artists with their creations)

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Big Team Scribble

The Scribble project thinks that Doodling should be a team sport and a lot of doodlers seem to think so too!
The Big Team Scribble is a collaborative project where illustrators submit their doodles to create a large scale black and white scene, ready for colouring. I sent off my train carriages this morning, I was cutting it a bit fine as the last date for submissions is today.... ( A few hours left if anyone reading this is still keen to have a go!) but it's such a lovely idea, I couldn't not submit a quick doodle.
Last project over 100 people contributed to a giant totem pole and this time around its a long string of train carriages which will be produced as a zine. Keep an eye on the Big Team Scribble blog for first views of all the amazing entries flooding in...

My favourites so far include these glorious works of art by Uberkraft and Muxxi. Simply wonderful.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Annotate the Weekend

As 'WallopArt', I follow a lot of very creative and slightly bonkers arty type people on Twitter. One of whom is 'Mokuroku' aka Joe List, the creator of The Annotated Weekender : an awesome blog that does just what it says. It presents Annotations & doodles on The Gaurdian's Weekender magazine with some spectacular results. Check it out and I defy you not to have the urge for a quick doodle yourself. It's fun! (and cheaper than therapy).

Seeing as in our house, all copies of The Gaurdian end up as either 'Rubbish Pictures' or at the bottom of the Guinea pig cage, I think it's nothing less than a good thing to create one more stage in between the recycling process.

These pics are my day late doodles over this morning's coffee, but for a look at some quality annotations, go visit the blog, The Annotated Weekender. Great stuff.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Liberty Open Call. 'Best of British'

Yesterday saw the latest Open Call for Designers at Liberty's in London.
Entitled the 'Best of British' the day was an opportunity for artists & designers in all fields to showcase their ideas and designs to an expert panel of designers and buyers from the Liberty store and gain an insight into how to progress and market their wares. There was obviously also the very real opportunity to impress the buyers and for some the glimmer of hope that maybe one of their products might get noticed and snapped up.

Liberty, unfortunately isn't the most ideal market place for my own particular line of work, so I was not expecting too much. A rare opportunity for constructive advice from such experts for redirecting my Wallop Design work was just too good to miss though so I gathered up a selection of my Rubbish Pictures and a portfolio of my children's book mock ups using those same pictures and with a little trepidation set off to Regent Street.

The doors did not open until 10.00am but the grapevine whispered that queues would be long. It was right. As I arrived at 7.30am, at least 20 people were stood in the freezing cold already and the queue just grew and grew from that point on. The Starbucks opposite must have made a roaring trade from people clutching lattes just to keep their hands warm.

Queue time wasn't wasted time though. I was fortunate enough to be stood chatting with a fantastically talented pair of textile designers from Glasgow, PringleMurray who I have a feeling, will most definitely be featuring strongly on the Liberty shelves in the future, plus a couple of jewelry designers with a very beautiful and I'd say unique product for ladies, named 'shy' which I can definitely say had a certain buzz about it ;-)

We finally moved inside to the lovely union jack bunting bedecked upper gallery area of the store itself, where row upon row of gold chairs awaited, for a further (seated at least - phew) queue before we met our designated panel of experts.

After the somewhat nerve wracking wait, the actual designated presentation time went in a flash. The feedback I was given however, was very positive, the advice of which direction to head in next for optimum market appeal, just what I needed to hear and all in all - I left feeling very positive and encouraged.

Had I not been concentrating hard on lugging a ruddy great peacock against the tide on Oxford Street on a Saturday lunchtime, I may even have had a small skip in my step....

I believe Liberty hold Open Calls annually, for more information on the next one keep an eye on their blog

The day will also be featured on 'The buying Game' by Maverick TV, due to air on BBC2 this Autumn following the rise of the various designers who Liberty took on. I'll be watching, fascinated, to see how everybody gets on.