Friday, 29 May 2015

Inspiration, cartoons and the damn right rude!!!!

Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it being a single chord from a song, a flower emerging through the snow or a simple phrase you hear in passing. It can be as simple as A, B, C but also as difficult as the hardest equation you can imagine. As Pablo Picasso once said,

'Inspiration Exists,
but it has to find you working'

When I first started drawing, way way back when I was tiny, my inspiration came from my family. I remember watching my mum draw these amazing portraits of people using all sorts of materials from pencils to oil. They were and still are beautiful and captured the character of the people within them. 
I would also see the artwork on my grandparents walls of a stunning plane in a grey and blue sky, which my grandma had painted. Capturing each shade of colour and detail within the image. 
My Grandad had a completely different style and I remember sitting down for ages as i discovered his caricatures/ cartoons within the pages of his sketchbooks. Or how him and my grandma used to call them 'the funnies'. 

Next came the comics, the main one being 'The Beano'. One of the longest British comics going and always my favourite. I loved Dennis and Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids and The Numskulls. I remember spending time re-drawing these lovable characters and even started writing and drawing my own little short strips including a little guide on how to be the perfect menace. 

When I became a teen i found that music and graphic design was invading my head allowing me to take a closer look at caricatures (after getting our family caricatures done at alton towers) and band artwork, but it wasn't until i reached college that i found magazines such as 'Juxtapoz' and '3x3' which delved into 'lowbrow' art. This type of art allowed the gritty, rude and outrageous images to wow the public and I loved it!!! Greg Craola Simkins was one of the first to grab my attention with his artwork 'Night Knight' alongside his poem: 
'I'm Scared when the bunnies are plotting in silence
Those damn little bunnies are going to cause violence.

They'll sneak out of the garden and go to the place,
where bad bunnies go to bring them disgrace.

Through the leaves and ivy they'll cover their tracks,
and hide all their footprints, lest some-one attacks.

They want only one thing, it's true you will see, 
because bunnies don't eat trix, they eat you and me!

I'm scared of the stomach ache that will occur
down deep in the bunny, all covered in fur,

I'm scared when I burst out, there won't be much left,
but a big pile of bunny and a big bunny mess'

I loved how gruesome the imagery and writing was and how open the boundaries were. What am I saying?? There are no boundaries! In the lowbrow world, the world is your oyster. I started to follow artists like Alex Pardee, Yuko Shimizu (who i have lately come back to as she designs the beautiful covers of one of my favourite comics 'The Unwritten') and Tara McPherson, plus many more.

Since University my inspiration still comes from all sorts of avenues. My main inspiration is found through the 'Suicide Girls' and alternative models. After picking up my first suicide girl magazine I was hooked. The photography and poses gave the images and artistic flair and showed the womanly figure in all it's glory. And how much more fun is it to draw curves! I followed my pursuit with 'Bizarre Magazine' and then "Front'. I liked the Kick ass look! Not the conventional big boobed, fake tanned barbie dolls. They were boring! These ladies were exciting and conveyed a 'Tank Girl' (we don't care what you think) type of attitude which made them fun to draw and inspiring. I find myself wanting to be like these women, as they are proud to be who they are and show their personalities through their own art. Whether it be modelling, photography, art or the tattoos and experiences they have. It's something that i admire and respect.  Alongside these and the 'Tank Girl' comics and artists such as 'David Mack', 'Dave McKean' and 'Lora Zombie' plus the earlier mentioned artists have brought my artwork to where it is now. 

Lowbrow art will always be my calling, it's risqué, fun and the only place where you can draw horror villains as semi nude girls. I definitely prefer this movement. 

I do apologise as I've completely rambled on about my own work and inspiration. I would love to hear yours. What inspires you? What gets those cogs turning and those thoughts flowing? Whose your favourite artist or musician and why? I'd love to hear from you and get that creativity and inspiration spread. Now to leave you with a little quote from one of my favourite classic films.

'We are the Music Makers....
We are the Dreamers of Dreams'
-Willy Wonka (from the poem 'Ode)

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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#womancrushwednesday part 2

I've been a little quiet of late whilst i finished a commission piece. But now I'm back and I'll be showing you sneak previews as I work through some very interesting pieces in these next few months :) I've also got a few ideas up my sleeve for some personal work too :) So keep your eyes peeled.

So here's a couple more of my #womancrushwednesday sketches to keep you going until then :)

A tattooed version of the 'Bride of Frankenstein' 

 Nina Kate, Model and owner/designer of the beautiful Jane Doe Latex and Hollywood Villains  

Alice La Vie, Alternative model from Cornwall now living in London

A lot of my work starts off as simple sketches like these before I work into them with a pen. The pen simplifies the lines slightly before the texture is added. So would you guys like to add the texture? Would this be something you'd be interested in? A small colouring book of my sexy pin-ups?? Let me know :) 

Thank you for taking your time to read this :) 

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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee told his grandson:

My son, there is a battle 
between two wolves inside us all.

One is evil.
It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, 
regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity,
guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, 
false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence, 
generosity, empathy and truth.
The grandson thought about 
this for a minute and then 
asked the grandfather, 

Which wolf wins?

The old cherokee simply replied....

The one you feed.

I recently bought myself the book 'Calm' to treat myself and stumbled across this beautiful cherokee proverb. Most of you will be able to relate to one of these wolves... if not both and I think this proverb is the perfect way to look at the battle we all feel at least once in our lives. 

We all constantly have that fight inside us, where the first wolf will take over, and with the constant hustle and bustle of the world around us, we can find it hard to switch our mind off and enjoy the true nature of life. Social media keeps us staring at our phones and laptops. New technology makes it way too easy for distractions. We constantly spend our days staring at screens waiting for new notifications, obsessing over what everyone else is doing in the world, instead of focussing on us.

I'm a sucker for it too, and I can spend all my free time flicking my way through Instagram, Facebook and twitter, whilst wondering what I'm doing with my own life. 

So I stopped. I took some time away from social media and started my investigation into 'mindfulness.' 

It's silly how we no longer exercise our mind. It's a muscle so we should be building it and taking control. Focusing on the now and how our own body feels. I'm not an expert on the subject but it's something I want to learn. It has so many benefits and helps your stress levels aswell as your creativity. I recently wrote a post about an app called 'headspace' which you can find here, which can help you with a 10 minute meditation course over 10 days. Perfect for beginners like me.

I would also like to recommend an awesome blog that can help you through mindfulness. Check out my dear friend Kimberley Robinson and her blog 'Keepin' it Real'. Along with some beautiful dotwork illustration and her upcoming 'Keep Real' brand who donates money to the charity 'Mind'. Kimberley writes with positivity and understanding of how mindfulness works. Her blog posts are inspirational and informative and well worth the read.

So I'm beginning a new journey into 'mindfulness' it's going to be a tough one but I hope I can let the second wolf grow. I'll be feeding him through meditation, healthy eating, decluttering, exercise and writing. As the saying goes 'A dog is a human's best friend' so i hope my inner wolf can bring me creativity and happiness.

I sound like a hippy but hell why not!!

If you guys have any awesome blogs or books you would like to recommend, please don't hesitate to send me a message :) 

Thank you for taking your time to read this :) 

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