Work for a show.


 I'm working on some pictures for an exhibition with Jess and some other clever folks.
I'm using a collection of old frames to limit size and using a loose them of folkore and witchcraft. It's dead nice. As the collection grows I change the existing ones slightly so they all speak to each other in some small way. When the mandrake came along with it's bright blue sky the bottle of charms had to get a new yellow background, which then also echoed the legs on Baba Yaga's house. It's nice to make sets of things!

A quick exercise in childbirth


Anybody out there done any hypnobirthing? I'm on the course at the mo and it's really brilliant.
Towards the end of your pregnancy there's a picture you pin up to remind yourself the position the baby should be in. Last night I decided to make my own version of the picture, which was a really nice exercise: trying to make something somewhere between a diagram and an illustration.
It has the nice, peaceful feel I wanted - without being too soppy.
But - when I look at it this morning, I realise the body's a bit . . . nice. And I feel disappointed in myself, I didn't really think about it and as a result the boobs came out all perky and the arms all toned and the bum all round. Honestly - what a yawn-fest. I think I need to get to some life drawing classes, it's amazing how much you can internalise all the 'ideal body' stuff without even realising.

Penguins and fish

My fishes got a real nice starring role in Anna Maltz's new knit book recently. I'm really proud, its a very beautiful book. You can buy one on her website.





An Uplifting quote

I was recently sent an email from a very fine Bristol chum: one of those 'forward this email to 20 people' emails (is it called a chain letter?), not had one in a while. This one was a nice one, asking for Uplifting quotes or statements. So I joined in: sending off my statement and receiving a nice crop back.
I thought I'd share my quote with you here too.
My top motto for any creative person is: BETTER OUT THAN IN
It's one from my granny that I heard via my uncle, and I like it a lot. I use it to spur myself on when I'm not sure about the thing I'm making or drawing. To make me keep on creating in spite of doubt.
I use it to comfort myself when I think I might have over shared. (I'm quite good at expressing opinions and then realising I might not agree with them myself as they sail out of my mouth, oh well - better out than in)
And I also use it when I've done a particularly violent trump. Super handy!


Holiday jottings

I've just been hunting through some old sketchbooks and I found these little pictures I did when we were in Vietnam last year. They are of some things I noticed . . .
Thing 1: a man smoking a cigarette whilst out for a run.

Thing 2: a guide at the art gallery running his hand over the oil paintings.

Thing 3: A woman having her forehead shaved at the beauty salon.

Good stuff eh?


Valentines Cards

I spent a happy Saturday in the studio over the weekend - working on the big ol' squishing machine. And the result is these Valentine's cards: not too bad eh?
You can buy one in the shop. I'm also popping a free one in to all orders that go out between now and February 14th, just so you know. So you can treat the one you love, or yourself - or you can treat yourself to a bag or a cushion and give just the card to your loved one and they'll probably be none-the-wiser. Unless I call them up and let them know of course.


The elements of Christmas

I'm just tidying out my computer files a bit (there's a kitten asleep on me so I don't want to move from computer). I found all these scans that I used to build my Christmas cards from and I thought I'd share them before I delete them because they're pretty satisfying in their own right.
I always have a bit of a tussle when doing illustrative work - between communicating well enough and using really nice shapes. When I was making the Krampus card I didn't want to give the beast any arms because it made it that little bit fussier, Jack had to get firm with me: 'it needs arms so it's rucksack doesn't fall off Jo'. And he was right. Maybe that is why I need to make textiles as well as illustrate: to spoil the shape lover in me.







A visit to The Three Legs

I was lucky enough this week to pay a visit to The Three Legs Brewery, who I did some design work for last year. And whilst I was there I got to see some of my beer labels going off in the hands of customers. Very satisfying. I also got to do some important brewing work: which involved adding some hops to a vat then stirring it . . . oh yeah! I'm going to add master brewer to my CV.
It's a brilliant small business (and growing) if you're ever near Rye you should certainly pop in - especially as this year they're going to be gaining a handsome great mural by me. Can't wait.

A gift box with my labels

Jars for niffling


Dog face

My Wheat pattern - would make a pretty good wallpaper no?


Prints looking nice above the bar

This is the old brewery that they worked from before upgrading.

Jolly brewer



Master brewer


Local drunks

Smart shelves of goodies

And finally . . . check out the size of that spoon!

Maggie's here

There's a kitten in the house - a new friend. And we're totally besotted naturally. We're pretty sure she's the most intelligent, kind, empathetic kitten ever to exist on this planet. Jack springs out of bed without hitting his snooze so he can spend an early morning half hour wiggling her favourite bit of orange string for her. It's pretty damn nice. Only area I think she might not be a prodigy in is personal hygiene: those little white gloves are pretty filthy and she likes getting into small dusty spaces (like inside Jack's favourite chair) and has a penchant for scratching herself against oily bike chains. What a monster.



For the love of Brain Pickings

I recently gave up Facebook - I was going on too many adventures in other peoples lives.
Now I go on internet adventures that solidify my own life: remind me what I like, not what other people did.
And one of my favourite internet places to go is Brain Pickings: do you know it? It's incredible, I can't recommend it highly enough.