Monday, 15 November 2010

Hachigatsu no Serenade

^^ I love that song.

Anyways... just thought i'd let you know:

I'm on the V&A website. ^_^

Lol, it's probably not a big deal to most people, but i'm just glad my work is up on the site. There must be hundreds of students applying to this, so i'm glad mine got up there. I don't know whether it's by chance or not, but i'm guessing prospective clients will be looking on this site, so it's a good thing i'm there. ^_^

Unfortuntately, the link keeps changing, so I can't really link it here. I tried linking it on Facebook, but since they keep changing, that link now links to someone else's link. Link. Stop saying link.

I've also been working on some easter designs for my characters - i've decided to give them all names:

Momo, Kiki, Scratch and Napoleon. ^_^

I'm aiming to get these into a shop or something as decorations, I'm going to send this to my agent as well as some other people, just to see where I get with them. If none of this gets me anywhere, then I might decide to sell them on T-Shirts. It all depends really. It's hard for me to concentrate on things like this when i'm constantly looking for a part time job. ._.

Now, normally i'd be suggesting an artist here, but I'm actually just writing this before shooting back up to Plymouth on the train, so I don't have time. Normal service will resume next week though. =]

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Everything will surely be alright!

I'm just posting this here because I don't want to lose it.

V&A Student Illustrator Awards

Not that I think I have the remotest shot at winning, but I just think it would be fun. =]

Other than that, not much to report - just updated the portfolio section of the site and the contact page where you can now find the contact information for my agent, Advocate Art.

So, I know it's only been a day since the last update, but I may as well post an illustrator. =]


ChibiYuuto Fan Blog:

One of my biggest influences, I've loved CLAMP ever since I figured out who it was who created that cartoon I watched on CITV when I was 12; Cardcaptors.

Of course, after reading the manga of Cardcaptor Sakura, I realised that Cardcaptors was just an americanised, toned-down version of a really amazing manga, in fact, one of the best-selling manga of all time. The anime was just as good, and introduced me to anime and manga's official cutest couple in the world, Sakura and Syaoran.

CLAMP consists of four manga creators (although in it's lifetime it's had about seven overall). It's current members are Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, Satsuki Igarashi and their leader and story writer, Nanase Ohkawa. They debuted with RG Veda in 1989, and have gone from strength to strength, right up until their most recent manga hits, Kobato., Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic. Although Shojo (girls' manga) is not all that these girls can do, they really do know their stuff when it comes to romance, it being one of their favourite topics to write about. Infact, they quite literally wrote the book on romance; The One I Love is a series of short manga stories about all different kinds of love and relationships.

However, one of my guilty pleasures at the moment is collecting xxxHolic volumes. xxxHolic is a crossover series with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles that, like Tsubasa, includes characters from CLAMP's earlier series. The main characters of Tsubasa are Syaoran and Sakura, incarnations of the characters from Cardcaptor Sakura. xxxHolic, however, focuses on a seemingly new character; Kimihiro Watanuki and his fickle yet hilariously drunken employer who goes by the fake name of Yuuko Ichihara, or the Space-Time Witch.

Poor Watanuki has had the ability to see and attract spirits for as long as he can remember. This makes for a difficult life when evil spirits constantly find you delicious. So, one day, while trying to run away from a particularly large spirit, Watanuki happens upon Yuuko's shop, which instantly makes the spirit vanish. Going inside, he meets Yuuko, along with Maru and Moro (later joined by the insanely perky Mokona) and strikes a deal with the shop owner; if he works at her shop, she'll grant his wish to not see spirits anymore. Because that is what the shop provides, it grants wishes. CLAMP then tells the stories of the different customers of Yuuko's, how Watanuki faces each problem and deals with people such as his unlucky love-interest Himawari and his self-proclaimed rival, Doumeki, and begins to unravel a bit more of Watanuki's own mysteries about himself.

This particular series' artwork is interesting because it specifically draws on the Ukiyo-e wood block style of the Edo period, something that has been another recent big influence of mine. However, CLAMP's style always seems to follow the more traditional manga styles compared to some other big manga creators; their soft colours and lines could be said to be reminiscent of traditional Japanese art with a twist of Art Nouveau, and their forms quite resemble the style of manga god Osamu Tezuka.

Top: CLAMP - RG Veda
Bottom: Osamu Tezuka - Ribbon Knight

Friday, 15 October 2010

Like a black swallowtail butterfly, I want to fly on magnificent wings!

I went up to London on Wednesday to meet with my agent. All went very well - I seem to have a knack for navigating London, lol. I had to get the tube from Hammersmith to Wimbledon, which seems like a relatively out of the way place if the tube map is anything to go by. I almost got lost at one point, but then I had the good idea of looking on the bus stops to see where I was. =3

So I eventually found it; a small little gallery on the outskirts of Wimbledon Village, and went inside to be greeted by 'Patch', the gallery dog. I met Ed shortly after and he was very nice, very friendly. He was very pleased (as am I, lol) that we'd finished our first job, and showed me some of the other artists they have - one artist actually did all the Halloween decorations for Asda. We talked about my portfolio - I have to get on and send him some more stuff, when I can manage the internet, lol, and my next step is to design some character designs. Easy peasy!

I then met the rest of the team, and they were all really lovely and complimentary. I was nervous enough, and it really helped to have such friendly people there. I'm looking forwards to the next job. =D

After that, I did a bit of shopping at Tokyo Toys and Forbidden Planet, then sat in the middle of Central London for the better part of an hour and a half waiting for Dan and the others, who had managed to get themselves lost.

And that's that. =D

So... the illustrator I want to mention this time is not a manga artist. I thought i'd mix it up a little just to show that not ALL of my influences are manga. =D

Jhonen Vasquez

Have you ever seen that cartoon, Invader Zim? Well, JV is the mastermind behind it. I first heard of JV from my friend Joe who, one day, brought into school a strange looking black book with just 'Z?!' on the cover. After actually reading the book, I was a bit worried that i'd actually gained a weird kind of empathy for serial killers.

'Z?!' is actually the Directors' Cut of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, which tells the story of Johnny ('Nny' to his friends), a guy who is trying to figure out the psychological/supernatural reasons that make him a serial killer. His friends are a talking, floating, dead bunny-head called Nailbunny, two styrofoam figures, Psychodoughboy and Mr. Eff, who act as a kind of angel/devil device for Johnny (disregarding the fact that neither of them have good intentions), and a terminally hopeless and scared-witless little boy for a neighbour, who Johnny likes to call 'Squee'. Squee was given his own four-issue series later on. Johnny also has a brief romance with a female character caled Devi (one date that ended badly with Johnny trying to 'immortalise the moment' by killing them both), who was also given her own little series. The thing that makes the series so funny, however, is the brash, black humour that plays on the readers' own revenge fantasies, making Johnny so completely relatable.

My favourite character has to be Devi - mostly because she's the character most similar to myself. In I Feel Sick. Devi is an artist, who works for a company that likes to suck the creativity out of all she does. She has no time to work on her own work, and can feel herself slowly going insane.

Enter Sickness. The strange little doll that Devi painted once and left to work on actual work. Only now, it's talking, and starting to come out of the painting. And it's telling her to do things.

Jhonen Vasquez has a really good, quirky style that's just on the good side of being totally inappropriate, and the geometric art style suits the black comedy of the narrative. He does, however, like to include a smily face here and there just to show that the world is not all doom and gloom, as his characters would make you believe.

His animated series, Invader Zim, is a lot lighter and smoother, since it was made for Nickelodeon. It's all about a hopeless alien named Zim and his inept attempts to exterminate the Earth. He's accompanied by his malfunctioning pet robot, GIR, who dresses in a dog suit so as to not be noticed by the slightly satirical and oblivious humans. However, Zim, despite his weak disguise, is recognised for what he is by Dib, a boy from his school. It then becomes Dib's main mission in life to foil all of Zim's attempts at annihilating the Earth.

The series still retains some of JV's quirky humour, only a lot less dark and without the extensive amount of expletives that JtHM has.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mary the Snow-deer, I hate you, you're much more popular than me.

So... big news, I guess, lol.

I have just finished my first ever paid illustration job. And it went absolutely swimmingly.

The job was for a book cover and two spread illos for a book that's being released in Frankfurt, by Calcium Creative. I had to draw two vikings, one for a cover and one for a spread illo, and a longboat, and they seemed to really like what I did. =] Let's hope it gets good reception in Frankfurt, lol.

So i'm really looking forwards to the next job - I hope it won't be too long! I'm planning on popping up to London in the next couple of weeks to meet my agent, and hopefully get my portfolio properly sorted so that they can start passing it around to clients. Yay!

That's pretty much it from me.

But I think, starting from this entry, i'm going to post about an illustrator I like on every entry I make. It's helpful for me, and hopefully other people might find it inspiring.

This entry is:

Yun Kouga

Official Japanese site: here.
Anime News Network site: here.

I think anyone who knows me on Facebook will know how I love to draw Ritsuka, who is the main character from Yun Kouga's manga, Loveless. 12 year old Ritsuka suddenly becomes involved with a shady character named Soubi who, after the death of Seimei, Ritsuka's older brother, appears from nowhere and constantly tells Ritsuka that he loves him. It turns out that Soubi was linked with Seimei through a secret world of spell battles and secret names; Ritsuka's secret name being Loveless. Soubi and Seimei were Fighter and Sacrifice; the components of which the battle system in Loveless is constructed. The Fighter does the damage, the Sacrifice takes the damage. This manga is interesting in it's ideals of innocence, loyalty and virginity, the latter of which being shown by the outrageously cute cat ears sprouting from characters' heads, making social relationships between characters obvious. For example, the 28 year old school teacher, Shinonome Hitomi, often gets teased because she still has her ears. It also makes Ritsuka wary of Soubi at first, as Soubi has no ears when he meets Ritsuka. It's a very cute manga, but with some adult subtexts such as the dysfunctional relationship between Ritsuka and Soubi (no matter how cute it is, a 19 year old kissing a 12 year old is a little bit weird), and Soubi's strange feelings towards pain and ownership. I think Loveless is definitely one of Yun Kouga's most popular manga - it was made into an anime series with a very pretty intro and animation style in 2005 by J.C Staff.

The main thing I find appealing about her style, however, is it's clarity; every panel is clear and distinct and she doesn't go overboard with the screen tone, yet she somehow manages to make nearly every panel look absolutely stunning. The way she uses colour is just so pretty too, with muted, soft colours. She started her career as a doujinka (fan manga artist) doing doujinshi for series like Captain Tsubasa, then debuted with her first original manga; Metal Heart. She currently has several ongoing series, Loveless being one of them, as well as Gestalt, Crown of Love and Tenshicho.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Stay hard to find.

Well, I thought i'd update with some exciting news - I've been accepted by an illustration agency. =D

I was actually approached by them after my exhibition in London, well... saying that, I was approached by quite a few but not a lot of them seemed actually genuine. This one checked out however, so I decided to send them some stuff and they loved it. They're called Advocate Art, and they promote your work all around the world in different art trade fairs and with over 700 art buyers. So it's looking pretty hopeful. However, i'm trying to keep an even head over it - it might not even work out, so we'll see. It's good news, though, right?

So after I send them back the contracts, we sort of sort my Advocate portfolio out between us, which they then take round to clients, and it's also advertised on their site, but they say they are by no means just an online company. So it's looking really hopeful. Some of their artists have had huge deals with people like Expedia, Discovery Channel and Taylor Swift. =D

In other news, Moonlet and the Love-Monks have now started to accept gigs, which means they'll be playing in and around Cornwall. I have to design some stage props for them to use - they already have the massive frog I had for my exhibition. They're a really original sounding band with interesing instruments, so I fully recommend you check them out if they're in your area. I promise a very good night out! Their first gig is at the Live Bar in Truro on the 4th of October. Be good to see you there!

Thirdly, just a quick note to say that i've updated my website, and it now has a web design pricing page. So if you know anyone who would like a portfolio website for cheap, please direct them to my page.

I think that's pretty much it. Off back to Plymouth later for a little while - I now need to find a part time job to fund my manga habit. =3

Thursday, 2 September 2010

1000 Words

Thought i'd better update this, since it's been bloody ages. =3

Believe it or not, i've been busy. Unfortunately, it's more to do with surviving than drawing, but i'm getting back on track now and sorting myself out. I'm in the process of finishing up some projects that I started a while ago and kind of let them drag out.

First up is Vinita's new website: !

Vinita Hemachandra is a friend of mine (another illustrator =3) who graduated in the same class as me. Her style is really lovely - flowing, feminine, and really deep-rooted in all the things she believes in. Check out her site and have a look at her new shop. All built by yours truly. =]

Next up, which is something I feel incredibly guilty for, is starting the MBMedia website. MBMedia (previously MBPhotos) is a cornish based photography/media company formed by my old school friends Marc Macnab and Ben Lean. They're very very good at what they do, and considering i've already recieved the payment (they took some amazing body reference photos for me!), I'm planning on getting this done as quickly as my standards will let me. Please consider them for any weddings, parties, occasions, whatever. They're really very good. =]

And the third thing on my list is creating some new designs for greetings cards, which I will be sending to lots of different card publishing companies, and some greetings cards magazines. Hopefully, they'll sell and I can finally get some money coming in! Wish me luck!

So, that's all. I'd better get off before Dad goes ape on me. =£

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Tracing patterns in the maze of your back...

So, I have now officially graduated. Huzzah!

The day went fairly well... I won't go into detail, lol.

So today I was in St. Ives with my Ma, happily eating some chips down on the slipway, when one evil bugger of a seagull flew at me! He smacked me in the head with his wing then bit my little finger trying to get at my chips! So I stood up and the chips went everywhere, which of course attracted the rest of the group to my feet where they frantically started pecking at my toes. It was horrible, and I ended up with no chips.

I used this kind of character yesterday too, in a kind of tribute to like-minded people;

For all those people who are, like me, a little bit prickly, without intending to be. I'm not a people person and I never have been, but it dosen't mean I won't like you, i'll just be very 'prickly' until I get to know you. =]

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Little Bird, Little Bird, Little Bird, what can we do? A think tank rescue, Simon says Etch a Sketch.

So we've just had our summer show at PCA, and I think it went quite well. I was really pleased with my space:

I really loved the huge prints I had done - in all of the... *thinks* 4? 4. In all of the 4 exhibitions I've been a part of, I've never really had the opportunity to have my pictures displayed so largely and clearly, so I was quite impressed with how... good... they looked (not to toot my own horn, of course). Ma and Pa loved it, and I always love it when they're impressed with my work, so that's a good thing.

Everyone else did very well too, the whole exhibition looked really good, I thought. I particularly liked Lindy Lewis' animal prints. Google her if you get a chance, since i'm not sure if she has a website. =3

The exhibition is up until next friday, so if you're in the Plymouth area, go have a look!

In other news, Moonlet & the Love-monks have released their new EP that features my artwork. You can buy it from their website, . I also do some vocals on the last track which I did kind of grudgingly, but I did actually enjoy it despite what I may say sometimes. I'm even kind of enjoying hearing myself back, plus I'll admit, i'm enjoying the little ego boost i'm getting from people commenting on it. I've been getting quite a few nice comments about my work recently, and it's doing wonders for my self-confidence. I do feel quite good about myself at the moment, which is a very big thing considering the year I've had.

So the week after next is the New Designers exhibit in London - I'm not sure if any of my work will be shown (I hope it is), but i'm sure it's going to look great anyway. I'm really looking forwards to going shopping in Camden Market again (I'm getting my birthday money a week early, lol).

I've been playing around with felt this weekend - we went to Mazey Day on saturday which always puts me in an artistic mood. I made a Kero-chan (from Cardcaptor Sakura) ^^

And a sun. ^^ I also made a white whale for Dan, a cloud for myself, a little star for my Ma and a fish for my Pa (my old man's a fisherman).

And the last piece of news is that I've been working on Vinita Hemachandra's website: . I haven't finished yet, i've just been doing it in between all the other things i've been doing lately (which isn't really a whole lot). However, I do think that this will have to be the last website I do for free - I need to start asking people for money for doing this soon, lol.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Even tears dry up, Jellybean...

^^ I love it when Japanese lyrics get translated into English, don't you? They always have this 'not quite right' feeling about them, but it makes them seem so much more poetic. No? Maybe it's just me. =3

So... I haven't written on this journal in a while... probably because I've been so busy it's not even funny.

But I am pleased to say that I have finished my Japanese Jisei poem book.

I'm very pleased with it, so I hope you like it too. You can buy it from Hint Hint. =D

Also, I've finished the animation part of Moonlet & the Love-monks' Lillipad Lover animation. All that's left now is to somehow export it into a file format that will be compatible with my video editing software... apparently, out of 3 different video editors, none of them will take the files I always have. ¬_¬ But don't worry, i'm sure i'll sort it out.

I finish work for college completely on friday, but I do have a couple of projects lined up to carry on with afterwards. I have a few websites lined up (I just have to learn to ask for money next time I say yes to doing a site, lol) and I've got a good idea for a small comic which I'll take to my new friend at the comic book store in town to see if I can get it out there. It comes from a weird dream I had about a Rabbit and a Panda with no spots. I won't ruin it all for you just yet. (I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats.) I've also got plans to send off a couple of greetings cards designs to companies like Hallmark, so I can at least get a bit of money coming in, even if it's not a lot. Although I'll have to look into sorting out contracts because I don't even have the first clue how to go about all that sort of thing. That's one (of many, many, MANY) drawbacks of joining a degree course in the last year; I seem to have missed a lot and I don't really see any way of catching up. I'll just have to learn it for myself, I guess.

So... if I can just stop playing Halo and get back to work, it'll all be gravy. =D

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Wow, so lots has been happening this week - I'll start with the most exciting news -

Moonlet and the Love Monks were on BBC Radio Cornwall this week!

They were on the BBC Introducing show on friday night, and they'll be on it again on sunday at 5pm. Make sure you listen!

And, good news for me, they even used my picture on the BBC website! Yay!

How exciting. =] Obviously everyone is very pleased and proud of Dan, Joe, Marc and Moonlet. The radio DJ had high praise for their song, saying it was 'Fabulous' and that they liked it. (They got the most praise out of all the other bands!)

So, that said, the next news flash for you is...

I finished the websites I was doing. =D

My own website, is up and running, and the links above ^^^^ will take you to other pages on my site.

I have also finished designing the Moonlet and the Love Monks site, but the content still needs to go in and due to... certain circumstances (I fell out with the hosting company), it's not up just yet. But it will be soon. =] So look forward to it.

And the last piece of news, which is probably not something i'll be posting about a lot here, because it's a personal project, is that I've started collaborating with a writer to create a Shojo Manga. This is something i've always wanted to do, and the writer and I have been talking to each other through email and livejournal for a long time (she lives in America), so we know what we both like and everything. So, although I probably won't be posting up much about it, I thought i'd just show you some character designs for the main female character, Aya.

Yes, so that's that.

Oh! One last bit of news, for those of you that have facebook:

I have a new facebook group. I thought i'd test the waters a bit and see how many people actually like my work (call it an ego boost if you will, but to be honest, I think I need one after this year '-_-), so here it is: Moonlily Design and Illustration.

Well, that's about it I think. =]

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Another go at a Haiku illustration :-

People, when you see the smoke,
do not think
it is fields they're burning.
I finished designing and coding the website for Moonlet and the Love-Monks this week - however, it's not up because we're all incredibly poor and can't afford the £30 it takes to set it up. (That goes for both me and M&theLM, lol). But I did set up their blog, which took absolutely AGES because Blogger is so adamant that it won't let you do things it dosen't like.

You can find it here, please check it out:

They have a donate button on their website, so if you have any change to spare, please donate!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Friday, 2 April 2010

Did lips, painted with poison, just come into my room?

Yeah, fourth post in the same day... but I don't like blogs being bare. =P

I love this video, it's so fun to watch. =3

I really liked this thing I did for my website... it was only supposed to be a bit of an experiment with what Ben suggested for me on thursday, but I actually quite like it. Maybe I can make the pics i've already done for this project look similar?

Kiss me down by the broken tree house...

^^ I have a habit of using song lyrics for titles on my blogs. =]

So... I thought it looked a bit bare in here... so I thought i'd post a picture.

These are from the project i'm doing at the moment; i've decided to go with a different style, but these were... stepping stones, if you will.

This was to illustrate Baika's Jisei poem:

People, when you see the smoke,
do not think
it is fields they're burning.


Next one:

This is for Baiko's Jisei poem:

Plum petals falling
I look up - the sky,
a clear crisp moon.

Also, something else kind of good, I'm doing a website for Marc's Photography company, MB Photos. That's their deviantart portfolio page, so i'll be designing their website in return for some photos. Yay. =3


Um, yeah. This is my blog. Well, it's ONE of my blogs. The one that isn't filled up with a load of grumbling and griping.

I'll be posting Illustrationy stuff here, so... look forward to it. Or don't. It's up to you. =3