Wednesday, 30 July 2014

15 things in my Summer Sketchpad

Hello. In this post are scans from my current A5 sketchpad, mostly done before I add a bit of colour. I am about to run out of time (from tomorrow) to do anything extra like internet documentation so thought I'd share them here to show I still live. Also the coffee shop zine I've done for International Zine Month will be at the printers tomorrow and I hope to distribute it round Newcastle's coffee shops on Friday. A few of the pages here will be included in that zine.

You can either read this as a blog post for my brief bits of description, or just click on the photos to go through them. I'm quite happy with this - the limitations of the blogger/blogspot format - but I'm thinking of other internet ways to present things next year, too.

1. Despite aiming to not spend money, I spent a lot on train journeys here and there.

2. I went to a conference in Huddersfield, about Unofficial Histories.

3. I went to the Weekend Film Retreat at Burnlaw. The films were generally awful but the experience spending time with people was great. I also saw my first snipe of the year.

4. I went to another funeral, and again learnt more about the chap by attending, and learning more reasons why my knowing them was precious.

5. I also went to the Star & Shadow's Big Announcement Meeting, where I was taking minutes so only did a super-rushed sketch, and recorded the things that people said they loved about the place.

6. I went do to Leeds to see Tune-yards, very happily bumping into friends I don't see so often, and fulfilling a promise I made to myself last year when I couldn't afford to see them at the very same venue.

7. I drew a couple of friends in coffee shops, something I wish I did regularly for all the people I value and want to spend time with.

8. I went down to Bradford for a free gig here, and then next day for the last day of Jean McEwan's market hangout. We made a zine together, there were collections for Bradford Food Bank, and she discussed memories and images with people as they wandered in. Bradford's on the up this year. I think I preferred it last year when it was still full of nothing EXCEPT for the cool DIY stuff I went down for - this year the general commerce and hanging around drinking lager in casual fashions seems to have caught up.

9. I went down to the British Library to hear Steve Bell & Posy Simmond talk about their cartooning. It's the kind of easy thing to access that we never get round to cos of the distance (& therefore money). But I'm glad I went, meeting an old pal Ben who doesn't look quite so much like a wonky goose in real life. The both of them looked and spoke pretty much exactly as you'd expect them to.


10. I went to see a gig in Durham (Erica Freas). The river Wear was full of fish and a lovely contemplative place to linger.

11. This is probably my most successful coffeeshop sketch, and I think that's because I let myself go across two pages, and avoided the temptation to fill in too much detail. Nigel did a picture of me in situ that will also be in the zine.

12. With the zine in mind, I popped into such hangouts as the Writers' CafĂ© and Newbridge Books, feeling uncommonly upbeat & optimistic. A little bit of our conversation at the former was recorded for a potential basicfm show.

 13. On the way back from another trip down to Bradford, I drew the hills and such that passed by.

I couldn't draw this young chap's tanned leathery face - he is very much of our time, with his hip tattoos and daft quiff - because it would mean staring at his face.

14. Bellingham has flushed out the ladies loo problem. I often scrapbook stories from the Hexham Courant, it is my favourite newspaper and handily only comes out once a week.

15. I went to yet another Star & Shadow AGM - I wonder if I've been to them all. It's having to move by Christmas, so I would like to do some group documentation of what's been done within that big old building. Keep yer eyes open for a callout.

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