Latest Entries »

My Toy Collection

What’s this? I am not dead? YES! *scrapes off mold*

I have returned after all these years, just to tell you that I have created a separate blog for my toy and doll collection. WHAT WHAT? You collect dolls? YES I DO!

Come take a look if you wish.







My personal Art Blog

If anyone is interested, I have a second blog where I post my sketches and general mad scribblings with the bit of paint splashed here and there.

So if you want to have a look, heres the link ūüôā

Notes taken from when I was at the Creative Futures lectures.

(Sorry I took forever to get round to doing this, this will be shorter cos I was spending to much time writing these)

Day 4: March 8th.

Lecture 1= Post Graduate Study. Steve Keegan/ Andrea Hilditch

This lecture was about post-graduate study. Not much to say here really, I took notes on what sites to look up and small bits of info that might help me if I wanted to carry on and do masters, which i did consider, but I don’t think I would be ready to do so.

Lecture 2= The Chip Shop Story. Andy Cheetham.

The title of this lecture interested me, i had no clue what to expect so i decided to go along to it to find out. Andy tells us that this is a story that has never been told. Andy  graduated in 1986. He got a job in  advertising, but because of multiple downturns he kept getting made redundant. He eventually had 5 years work experience. He decided to get a reputation.

“If no agency will employ me I’ll start my own” he said to himself at 25, because he wasn’t finding a job. Get involved with people, creativity is collaboration. His mum owned Barnacles Fish and Chip shop at the time, he started doing posters for it like the ones below


His posters won awards, he won 12 Roses awards and others. He also did a poster to go on buses. They were simple ads but the goal was also to keep them entertaining. Many didn’t like the fact he was winning all these awards, apparent uproar. Because of the amounts of awards he was getting for his Barnacles posters, any ad for a small brand started to become a ‘Chip Shop ad’. One year later no more Barnacles ads were allowed to be submitted to the awards because of the amounts of complaints from the other creative contestants. 20 years later, people didn’t know why ads for small businesses are called ‘Chip Shop ads’ because of him.

ChipShop Awards. He takes no part in this.

His site!/andycheetham¬†his company, 1992-2012. His company is one of the top UK agencies outside London. He’s part of the JWT world-wide creative council. He’s won 300 plus awards.

He wanted to become a sailor years ago, but professional sailors didn’t buy their own boats back then.¬†Eventually after he became succesful 20 years later, he bought a boat, fulfilling the dream. But he later sold it.

Things have changed now from back then when he started. The worlds become digital now, there wasn’t digital cameras or internet back then. Things are easier and cheaper to make now then ever. People still love great ideas. He looks for people with drive, creative people with determination. If you entre awards, entre your absolute best, because only the best wins, always play to win. If you see a fault in your work, the creative director will to. Edit the hell out of your work untill you deem it perfect.

Lecture 3= A Career in Children’s Illustration. Helen Papworth.

She’s an ex student here from 6 years ago. She is not a published illustrator of this country. Her influences are Arther Rackham and Shaun Tan. A site that was mentioned that you could put your work on is¬†, I will keep in mind to check that out more often in future.

When a 2nd¬†year student she did ‘Study of influences of Ethiopia illustrations in books’. She kept going back to Ethiopia, eventually realising she was more interested in the research then the illustrations. She gathered many photo’s. She liked writing and illustrating for the Ethiopian children. She did a book “Back in Time” about a phone which can take these two children back in time, and they went back in time in Ethiopia. Isn’t an actual¬†held book but a kindal book.

Another book she is either working on or has already worked on that has something to do with donkeys (my notes weren’t totally clear, i¬†wrote to quickly) is or will be an actual published book. Apparently¬†Ethiopia is full of donkeys. She see’s her career more on researching illustrations¬†for books for Ethiopia. She found it hard to create children’s¬†books for Ethiopia, she sent them to the Ethiopia publishers, but they kept rejecting her because she didn’t know enough about Ethiopia. The future is electronic. You’ll find there are now more opportunities to publish work in electronic form, E Books for example.

What I got out of that lecture really was that she loves going to Ethiopia, while her husband hates it, yet he loves sailing and she hates it. So instead of forcing each other to go to their fav places, she lets him go off sailing instead of forcing him to come with her, and vice versa. ūüėÄ

Lecture 4 = Going in to Business as a Young Entrepreneur. Charli Dickenson

She went to Swansea uni and graduated in 2010. The most important point about starting your own business¬†is actually having an idea, a strong one. The important thing to consider, is will your idea get¬†customers? Also research if your idea has been done before, look out for the competition. If there isn’t then look up why there is not. Where is your potential customers? You have to pay attention to your research. What do you need to spend money on? What is going to cost you to start your business. How much money would you need? The cost of the products, material cost. Working out what you need to do to make your idea into reality. Where is your audience? For certain aspects that are relevent¬†to your potential business, find your potential audience. you’ve got to go where they are. Is there enough of them. There is a certain amount of the audience¬†that will potentially buy, only a small portion actually will.¬† The marketing, you’ve got to start researching tem. Think of it as an investment to your business, you have to do it or no one will know about your business. She recommends¬†having your own business¬†cards. People prefer thicker business cards. The finance bit is the most awkward, but the most important. Price your product. Whatever price you need to sell your product so you don’t lose¬†money, charge extra on top for benefit. You need money to make the thing before you earn money. It is hard work, but in the end it is rewarding. It’s important to not feel¬†to down¬†if your business fails, not all work out at first.


More notes from the lectures I went to in Creative Futures.

Day 3 : 7th March

Lecture 1= Professional Development.  Jason Minsky

He is an former¬†student at my uni. He works multidisciplinary. He chooses the most appropriate media for his ideas, he doesn’t stick to one media. He’s been self employed¬†for around 10 years. You have to navigate through life to get where you want to be, it’s¬†not a straight path to your goal. He had 6 years out between graduating and then going on to do his Masters degree. Go out there and find who’s work you love and companies you love. Any publicity you get, collect evidence of it, create a folder of your publications. Do not underestimate the power of publicity. He likes to know who buys his work, he doesn’t like auctions because he doesn’t know who buys his pieces, where they are going to end up. One of the pieces of art of his he showed us was a photo of a glowing Nike symbol on, what he calls, the healthiest tree in that tree farm, if I remember right he said it was meant to represent Nike is good enough for nature? His work has featured in some magazines. His work has appeared in The Sun’s August 2008 edition of “Fabulous” magazine, some celebrity was showing what pieces he had in his home, and Jason’s work was one of them.

Jason is very interested in advertising.¬†He’s made glass work, sculptures, jewellery, photography and¬†furniture. ¬†He not only does do sculptures, but also active art, performance art. He asks¬†when does a signature become¬†an autograph?¬†When you are going for an interview, when they ask for 10 images of your work to look at, don’t send 11, don’t send more than what they ask for. Send the best pieces, even if it’s less than 10. Do what you do, believe in yourself. Another piece of his below is called “Carnegie 3rd Team”, Framed photograph, year 2007. He isvery ¬†interested in sports.

Another piece of his is a guy dressed as a soldier with a shovel, standing next to sandcastle that is surrounded by sandbags to protect it from the tide, but the sea does eventually destroy it, all the while the soldier stood his ground as the waves crashed against his legs. This was done on the border of Scotland, in an area that apparently is the most invaded part of Britain, because England and Scotland kept fighting for it. This was a series of photographs that lined a gallery wall that shows the same spot and the time passing up till the castle got destroyed. And in the gallery was a rebuilt sandcastle surrounded with sandbags to show people what the soldier was guarding. Jason said he thought he could use the same sandbags that were used in the shot, but after they were swept away he realised he couldn’t. The piece is called “An English Mans Home”. He says work out what you can afford to do, can you afford to do free work anymore? You can extend what your view of art is. What is holding you back? When doing your work, go for it, just go for it.

“An English mans home”

Lecture 2= Putting a portfolio together.  Jason Minsky. (again)

He didn’t know what he wanted to do when he graduated from uni, he graduated in 1992. Find people who¬†inspire you, ask to work for them. He painted gallery walls. Things that interest you might not interest others, but have what your passionate¬†about in your portfolio, they can see how you work and what your art aims are. What makes you different? Show what you are like and what makes you, you. He claims not to be a photographer or a sculptor, but he will use them if relevent. He also works in film, and his wife is a graphic designer.¬†In your portfolio, put your work in a order¬†that keeps the person your showing¬†your¬†art to interested. Invest in yourself, present your work professionally. Get publicity. You will get rejected, but still apply to many¬†things, it’s the trying that counts. Who are you showing your work to? He showed us (i¬†wish I had an image) a table he made that was a commission, he had an argument with who he was making the table for, on that¬†shape the top of the table should me. He thought it looked better one way, but the commissioner wanted it differently. He did make it the way the commissioner wanted, but Jason later made another version with the table top shape he wanted for himself. He did an art¬†film, it’s a short film of the football guy on a small football patch that is floating on the sea. It took planning 3 months ahead.He could only film this on a Monday because¬†the local fisherman told him that the Monday would be the only day he could, because all the other days would be stormy, and he was right. Under the guys football shirt was a life jacket, Jason worried that life jacket would show under the shirt.¬†The film is called “Mare Liberum” (Freedom of the Sea). ¬†He did a small advert offering free artwork (which was a badge he was wearing¬†in said advert), out of around 1000 that saw the advert, only 8 turned up at “The Green Room” to get the artwork (badge). Art residency is a good experience and good for your portfolio. News letters are good, it’s advertising for work.

Another piece he showed was of a massive line of paper attached both ends to typewriters that was on desks on moveable platforms, and as each end of the paper was being used, the two people at each end were slowly being pulled closer together.

His website

Lecture 3=  Working with and in art galleries: Oriel Davies (Newtown). Amanda Farr. 

I went to this lecture not only because I was somewhat¬†interested as to how I could get my work in a gallery if I decided I want to do that, and because I¬†was a Newtown College student¬†for 3 years and often visited that gallery, so I went for memories sake really. ūüėÄ It is quite small but the exhibition space is very reasonable, does look rather smaller on the outside then it does on the inside, bit like the Tardis.

Amanda Farr is the director of that art gallery, the Artistic director oversee everything. Apparently it is an important art gallery in Wales. They look for contemporary¬†at, work from artists from Wales.¬†They¬†put on¬†education programs and exhibitions, providing a platform for Wales based artists. Oriel Davies is an independent public art gallery. They are a registered charity, they are not for profit. They don’t have an art collection of their own. They are a regularly funded organization funded by the Art Council of Wales and from Powys County Council. Oriel¬†Davies gallery was built in¬†1967. They are governed by a board of trustees. Oriel¬†Davies has¬†20 staff, most work part time. Additional being the Cafe Staff. (Yes they are a small Cafe and a small shops also). You need good organisation¬†skills to be a curator. Good way to work is in workshops and with schools. Research the gallery and what type of work they are showing¬†follow the guidelines. Oriel¬†Davies has guidelines for artists submitting to the Test Bed gallery space, which is the smallest room to display work.

¬† <—– Smallest exhibition space.

They ask for your CV, statement of 200-300 words, a proposal of how you’d use the space (I think?) and 6-10 images of your work. They have 5 main exhibitions a year, they range from group shows to one person shows. They also do calls for artist for specific projects, open exhibitions etc. Oriel Davies website.

A piece she showed us was “Clad” by artist Steve Messam¬†. The piece is a house with the outer walls covered in sheep’s¬†wool, copying the pattern of the actual wall under it using the white and black wool. It was apparently quite popular, though the house itself now has burnt down sadly.

Now speaking from personal experience¬†with visiting Oriel¬†Davies gallery, nothing to do with the lecture now. One of the exhibitions I went to in 2007 was of Roland Hicks work, I had seen many¬†other work but I remembered¬†his because I was fascinated¬†at how realistic his paintings were. The paintings were of chewing gum under foot, they looked seriously like photographs, and also realistic paintings of washing up liquid caps with bubbles on them. I remember talking to him and I asked why doesn’t he paint blue chewing gum for his next chewing gum foot piece, he gave me a look and said that blue chewing¬†gum isn’t a traditional chewing gum colour, pink and white are though. I mentioned it would be nice and he pulled a face at me, letting me know on no certain terms was he going to paint blue chewing¬†gum. ūüėÄ Oh well I¬†tried. haha.

Rolands website


Another artist I encounterd¬†at Oriel¬†Davies was Jennifer Collier, my class was doing a workshops with her there, she was teaching us the basics of how she does her art, but she wasn’t telling us all her secrets as to how she does her work, for she doesn’t want anyone else coping her work. She makes dresses and shoes out of teabags and maps and other papery¬†bits and bobs. At the workshop she was showing us the basic of what she does with her teabags, which involved having empty teabags and having small items in them like stamps to display in them, and sealing them up and solidifying them using something or another that I totally forgot about, might have been wax.

Jennifer’s website





Another artists work i¬†remember seeing at the Oriel¬†Davies, but I didn’t get to meet the artist, was the work of Philippa Lawrence.¬†I found it quite unusual¬†and¬†I rather liked it, so that’s¬†why it stuck in my mind, her work is definitely the most rememberable. One piece¬†I most remember was¬†that it appeared that the wall had blood seeping out from under it,¬†I wondered where on earth it was coming from at the time. ¬†Website of some of her work


Lecture 4= Funding for artists. Tracy Simson.

Tracy is the director of a company called Addo.

She worked for Wrexham council. She gave told¬†us basics about funding, what I¬†wrote down¬†makes little sence so¬†I won’t put most of it on here. Her work is in visual Arts. Basic Principals for Funding and Grants: Grants are usually time¬†specific and /or aim specific. ¬†You rarely get the amount of money you ask for, normally people have to be funded by more than¬†one company. Slightly over-estimate¬†the cost, because you’re most likely will get less anyway.¬†Won’t find things that have already started, can’t get refunds. Make another account.¬†Not everything gets funded even if it’s a good application. Some funding won’t fund students, or those who graduated, within 2 years of graduating. Don’t be tempted to fit your work/project to the funding stream (whatever that means). Gather some basic information about your project proposal before contacting the funding body for advice. Be careful, don’t ring them straight away, because it’s most likely the conversation will be recorded. Look them up first, do deep research. Copy your latest CV and images of your previous artistic work, use only brilliant images. Late applications will not be accepted. You will be informed of the short listing decision or you may be asked to give a brief presentation of your project to the decision¬†making group. Any additional conditions of grant will need to be satisfied to allow payments to be made. Project officers may attend your project and provide a feedback report as part of their quality monitoring process. If holding an exhibition, remember to invite the funders to the opening, because they most likely would like to come. What is your exit strategy, what is your plan if you are no longer being funded. Advice is free, use it.¬† Local library business link (from accounts to tax to business planning). We were told to look up The Directory of Social Change¬†. Funding further study: Career development Loans, Bursaries, Grants charitable foundations, sponsorship. Don’t have to pay back unless it’s a loan.

Websites she mentioned= Bursaries:  (£2,500 to fees and £10,000 maintenance)

(got one more blog on Creative Futures to go, yay!)

Creative Futures Day 2, 2012

Day 2. 6th March.   Notes I took while at the lectures.

Lecture 1 = After Your Degree: The First Steps (games). Dave Boydell.

He is a former student at my uni. He got first class in Digital Art for Computer Games. He said that Digital Sculpting and 3D modeling are important in game¬†design. He is a concept artist.¬† Character Designer, Environmental designer, Prop Designer, 3D modeller. He’s currently working for a company called Dreadnaught.¬† After you graduate what do you do next? Practice your art! Sketch Books, practice your digital art, explore new medias and technologies. Keep track of your work all the time, don’t chuck any of your work away. It is good to have a goal to aim towards. Get networking. Get yourself business cards, stationary could work as a business card for it’d would get used and won’t be just a boring card.

The agents he’s with at the moment is Ardvark Swift¬†. He showed these websites¬† ,¬†,¬†,¬†.

Your website can work as your portfolio . Apply to studio’s. Get your portfolio looking good, sell yourself on the first page. Don’t waffle on aimlessly and don’t be needy. Be flexible, go to where the work is. Be prepared to make the coffee, as he says, don’t expect to be treated as a professional straight away, you have to kiss a few asses on the way (i think he was saying). You may not be what you want to be at the beginning. Get your resume looking good! A well presented, good looking resume goes far. A resume geared to specific job types is always a good idea.¬† Reference is important but do not copy others work. It may/will take a while to find a job when you graduate. You can look for a long time, when you see a job opening go for it. Be a bit brutal, get your foot in the door. And keep in mind that every interview is different. When one company says your piece is shit, it doesn’t mean you are shit, it’s that the piece isn’t to their standard.

¬†<——¬†His dream job.

Dave is doing small 2D games which he’s not totally enjoying, you would love to work for the game company Valve, apparently they are multitasked. He says to be open and try not to shy away from other styles from your own.¬† He then quoted Confucius,

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” = Confucius

Lecture 2 = Getting a Job. BBC Wales. Wendy Rees.

She came up all the way from Cardiff to talk to us about how to possibly get a job at BBC Wales. She studied Law at Aberystwyth uni. She took every opportunity¬†that came, which meant she gained much work experience.¬†Flexibility will go along way. BBC work is a global market, around 20,000 work for them in Britain¬†(i¬†think), there are a variety¬†of different jobs and people that¬†work for the BBC. They are looking for people who are passionate¬†about what they do. They would be more interested in the portfolio then the degree certificate. They also have work experience¬†placements. Don’t underestimate work experience. In interviews they would ask for evidence, they would ask about when you create something. Interviews would be based on experience. You would apply for an application, be straight to the point for theres¬†not much room on them. Answer the questions to the point. They look through 1000 applications, so you need to show that you are different.¬†What makes you stand out from the crowd? They are looking for people who can work in more then¬†one area, you need to be able to multitask, it’s no good just being a photographer for example, you’d need to be able to do a lot¬†more, like editing. Working from 9am to 5 pm is not really the case anymore, you need to adapt. You’d be faced with competitions to get jobs, it is hard. Demonstrate¬†to them that you are the person they want to employ. The BBC¬†has help on seeking jobs on their¬†site. It is not compulsory, but it doesn help if you could actually speak Welsh¬†while working for BBC Wales, for they create most of their content in Welsh.

She ended her lecture by showing us clips of shows that BBC Wales made, and I was delighted because i recognised some of them and most that I did recognise happen to be my most most favourite shows of all time, and I had no clue that it was BBC Wales that made them. The shows i knew being

Dr Who


Crimewatch¬†(only one I don’t actual watch but i know of)


and Sherlock

Other shows were listed but I didnt know them, or care for them.

Lecture 3 = Character Design and Social Networking. Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan had come in before, I remember him from around 2 years ago, he was the best thing in creative futures i think, really enjoyed listening to what he’s been up to since the last time we talked to us, and it seems within this short time he’s done a lot, it’s been action packed. He was a student in Wrexham, he’s been doing illustration for 20 years. Last time he was here he mentioned a character of his he wanted to make into a toy called Inspector Cumulus, well this year he showed us how it was actually made now, and the process it went through to get it right.

He created the character my accident. Inspector Cumulus was originally a doodle of a body and a random doodle of a cloud shape on top, weren’t meant to be added together but it worked. Jonathan says people wait to be asked to have their toys made, which is a mistake, you’ve got to go out and be active and get it done, don’t wait for others to find you. He not only designed the toy, which has movable arms and¬†a removable pipe, but he also designed the box it comes in.


He mentioned he wanted the box the box came in to look somewhat like a tatty¬†paper bag (if i remember right) but not everyone would find it appealing. The toy is sold all over the world. You should have twitter, a website and a blog, him and his misses had got a job thanks to a post of theirs on twitter, sometimes it’s down to luck who sees your posts sometimes. He’s done designs for hoodies and t-shirts. He designs monsters and his misses makes them, each one is different, and has sold over 200.

He had their monster plushies displayed in Oxford Street, and they were there for 2 months.

One of his monster drawing designs was made as a repeat pattern on a kimono.


He thinks he’ll do very well selling his plushies¬†in Japan, they are heavy on mascots over there and have a avatar¬†for mostly everything apparently. Japan is strong on character design. Jonathan keeps a sketch book on himself all the time, and his misses will sometimes make his characters. She uses real glasses on some of them. The plushies¬†are very detailed, down to their clothes, with inner pockets and underwear and all, they can do into the finer details with each monsters cos they are all unique and not mass produced. All his monsters have detailed back stories and they are all linked somehow in their own life story. When he has an idea block, he sets himself a goal, setting a goal is good at clearing a mental block. Some of his creations can start as random ideas, he tends to make shapes, and then makes characters from the shapes. He uses pentel colour brush pens. He mentioned that he would love to do an animated series, but he’s like to do them with puppets. He’s considering doing comics about the characters, possibly a children’s book.

His website

Lecture 4= Illustration and Key Graphics: Work Realities & Copyright. Dave Newell.

Back in his student days he did studied science cos art was seen as something hippies did. He later did arts, then went back to science and went back to art and design again. He showed us airbrush¬†work he’s done. He said there wasn’t computers to do art on back then, so if you could’nt do the art by hand then it simply couldn’t get done. one of his first jobs was painting on the shutters of a certain workshop, when it first opened he went to the manager and offered to design and paint the shutters, and it remained on the shutters 10 years after. He carried on doing work for them for a bit. He designed logo’s for other companies (I did write down the names at the time but I can’t read my own handwriting so i¬†have no clue what they are), one was about energy and the other company was computer technology, and he did this before he had a computer himself. He got his first Mac in 1992. For his¬†work he uses Illustrator now. He designed the cover for a Play Station 1 game called “The Misadventures of Tron Bonne”

Drawing is a very important part of illustration. He enjoys drawing with pencil, it’s not quite the same feel when drawing straight on the computer tablet. He did a¬†¬†about¬†fashion/ for a magazine and he got in trouble with copyright because his drawing looked very similar¬†to another artists style that was on a music CD at the time. It took him months to do his drawings because he was giving so many¬†references because his clients were fussy and precise with what they wanted. Was for Clothesshow live if my notes are correct¬†. Keep all your sketches and concept designs and references you have and are giving by the clients. He designs packaging¬†also. He designed one for Supacell digital batteries.

He drew an image of a bunny being zapped by the battery as a joke, but it was liked so much it was then used as their poster for advertisement.¬† He¬†did a design for a condom box as well with a quick access lid so there’s no fiddling to get the condoms.

He designed tooth brush¬†boxes and the boxes that holds the tooth brush¬†boxes. the name of the tooth brush¬†was Ultra Contour, or something like that. It’s a small company, but despite that they still wanted quality, not cheaply made rubbish. I think if i remember right he is currently designing tooth paste boxes? He’s still working for them. Another package he’s designed is for this super glue called Ultra Loc, precision power.

He mentioned that they copyrighted the precision power saying for that product, but he did later see it on some other brand, knowing where they got that from. He designed the cover for a DS game called Clueless, but according to him the game never came out, but he doesn’t care much cos he got his money. ūüôā

Random little fact, he’s learnt to speak japanese.¬† He did a leaflet for “The Witches Ball”, which was for a Halloween night for this place if my notes are correct.¬†¬†

A career in dream is hard. Just ideas is not enough.¬†You need a lot¬†of determination.¬†¬†At the end of the lecture you gave us a few freebies of the products that packaging he designed. Some being the ones I’ve mention and these two below.

(I’ve got two other blogs to write now, fun fun fun….not)

Creative Business Cards.

We have to look up funky out of the norm business cards to give us inspiration to design our own in order to show how creative we are and such. I have found a few blogs that I’ve found awesome ones already.


Who says business cards had to be on card? ūüėÄ

I had found some really borning business cards in the local super market which left nothing to the imagination, but I picked them up anyway to tell myself to not to¬†design anything as boring. ¬†It’s a shame I can’t get my hands on any really creative business cards. ūüė¶

Another year has gone by, and so has another Creative Futures week. I’m just going to write down which lectures I went to on those days and the notes i took. Should have done this sooner but I just tended to go to sleep as soon as I got home after the lectures.

Day One : 5th March.

Lecture 1: Opening Address. Professor Michael Scott, vice-chancellor of Glyndwr Uni.

This was the very first lecture that everyone had to attend, it was strange seeing all the art students in one room. We¬†‘re hermits so it’s rare to have a whole pile of us in one place, did make me wonder where they all hide when I linger in the corridors like a trapped blue-bottle.

Anyways the person who was meant to give this lecture had come down with an illness, so our vice chancellor¬†was kind enough to step in for him. We were told that 94% of graduates from this uni last year got a job within 6 months, that’s promising. Most of the lecture we where told¬†a story¬†about and around Shakespeare, how he was the best business man that¬†ever existed. I took notes quickly but since I wrote slower then he talked, I missed out huge chunks of what he said, so the notes probably make no sence and are probably not accurate.

Shakespeare’s business is the oldest business that is still going and his making over ¬£8 millions. (again don’t hurt me if this is totally wrong, I’m just putting down what I heard him say) Shakespeare’s books are still being sold around the world.

We don’t know much about Shakespeare. When he was 10, Queen Elizabeth when to visit her love Robert Dudley, and Dudley had to put on entertainment.¬†There was a mermaid riding on a dolphin’s¬†back carved out of wood, not sure why little Shakespeare was around but he saw it. James Burbage had a part in doing the entertainment.


Burbage went down to London after to see how he could make money, and money was in bear baiting at the time, when bears where tied to a stake and had dogs set on it.

Burbage had an idea, in 1576 he applied for a licence to build a theatre, but he couldn’t build it in central London because the Puritans who ruled London at the time were total douchbags¬†and wouldn’t allow it, because music and performance, and anything really that was considered ‘fun’ was sinful. So Burbage opened it way up in North London and was the first one built in¬†London. People flocked to it. His son started to act in the plays. A law was regulated so companies needed to be licensed in order to perform. In 1590’s Shakespeare turns up, he starts off my stealing others plays and re-writes them, and he started getting a reputation. He was there to make money, he needed to because he had got his girlfriend preggers¬†and his dad was bankrupt. He started writing plays about royalty of history. He started with Henry 6th, then the 4th then the 5th. In 1596 Shakespeare’s son Hamnet dies. James Burbage dies also. Shakespeare faces the fate of his father. He had a stare actor William Kempe, but his style was different from Shakespeare so he left. First business of it’s kind¬†next, (i¬†think it was Shakespeare) got 6/7 people from the company, moved the theatre across London and built it again in South London. He said we’ll have two companies, we’ll be shareholders of our companies, the actors would have to pay rent to be on theatre, Shakespeare was the first to do this in 1598. He nicked the play Hamlet and rewrote it, and he puts up another plat called “As You Like It”. The¬†Puritans won’t allow him to play in London. Henry Evans realised that the Puritans have no control on parts owned by the Church. So he suggested that plays be held in churches. 6p¬†a seat for the important people. (notes really stop making sence now cos he was talking to fast for me to catch up) John Marston starts having a go at his fellow dramatists.¬†Some other men (couldn’t catch their names, Marston, Johnson and Chapman i¬†think) wrote their plays in a different way to stop people like Shakespeare from nicking them. The wrote lines down and gave them to the actors to play the parts. John Marston somehow got in trouble, he pissed the king off somewhat, and he had two choices of punishment and 30 seconds to decide. Either get killed or marry this woman who fell in love with him who was related to someone the king knew. John decided to marry, and isn’t allowed to write anymore plays and joins the church. Shakespeare then buys his company so he is now top dog. Shakespeare gets land, lends money out to people and makes a fortune. Shakespeare wrote plays just out of business, to make money. He created his art for the market. (apparently)

After the Shakespeare talk, he mentioned artist Rembrandt, and his self-portrait that is in Edinburgh. Apparently it is haunting because he painted it shortly before he become bankrupt. According to my uni’s vice-chancellor, this is the best painting held in Britain. You see the haunting dispar in the paintings eyes, yet the artist still painted.

What I got out of this lecture was that at the moments of dispar, Rembrandt and Shakespeare created the most fantastic pieces, maybe it was because of their situation that their work turned out well? So was the whole message of that lecture that we’ll create the best pieces when our lives are in total shit? And to get anywhere we might as well steal others work and redo them? (not a brilliant message I must say)

Lecture 2 : Key Note Speaker. Angus Montgomery. Editor of Design Week.

(notes taken from that lecture)

He is a journalist, and has been for 10 years. He envy designers, he said we are lucky to have that creative skill. Try promoting yourself, not just your work. All designers are business people, you’ve got to think about what you are doing in a professional level. Collaborate, go to studios, get out there and be creative, surround yourself with creative people, don’t isolate yourself.¬†As a business person you need to know how to collaborate. Design thinking, solving problems.¬†You must love what you do, it pushes it. Be passionate, show that you are passionate and professional.¬†Designers where asked about studio fee’s. Would they rather spend ¬£9000 on a degree, or a block of gold. They all opted for the degree. They would have loved to have been in higher education, for they had to work really hard to get where they are now. Though it is still tough for graduates to break into the industry.

This $100 laptop was mentioned. I remember seeing it on display in Manchester a few years ago. It’s a small green laptop for children in schools in less fortunate countries. It has apparently been going for 4 years. If i remember right, the handle on the side is the charger which you spin around to charge up the battery.

We are then shown images of the first designer energy saving light bulbs, because apparently the normal ones ain’t pretty enough. We are then shown A&E poster charts for waiting rooms that shows the stages the patient has to go through in order to actually get seen, and shows are how busy they are, apparently was designed by a furniture company.

Then he mentioned a thing called St George’s Crypt. Annual report and 6 Accounts. A book/ document of homeless or just unfortunate people. The book is A3, the size of a homeless person makeshift blanket.

In these images for Resonate advertising, apparently they had ¬£1000 worth of flowers, froze them in liquid nitrogen, and literally blew them up and took photo’s of the petals shatter, creating something quite beautiful.

He shows some posters someone created pieces called Vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling that the world is spinning around you, people often mistake that for Acrophbia, the fear of heights. He also showed us some images of people with musical instruments¬†next to a wall with colourful lines coming off them, representing music and sound they produce. The images are meant to show their individual personalities. I quite liked them, shame I don’t have images to show.

Lecture 3 : Building an audience: Making a living from comics. John Allison.

He was inspired from comics like that of Garfield. He showed us a Garfield comic that highlights that you throw your work out their, and you won’t know who your audience will be. Example being that you might want it to attract a certain class of people but you might get totally unexpected class of people that¬†become interested in it. (This was not mentioned in the lecture but I’ll give an example I know of. My little Pony, it is aimed at little girls, but since the 4th generation “Friendship is Magic”, it has become popular with the older audience, this includes full grown men.)

John started comics in 1997. He sent some of his comics to companies like the one that does Garfield, and he was then told to clear up his text and stuff along those lines. He was doing 5 comics a week in 2000 while he was working. He mentioned that your audience is important, if you lose them you most likely won’t get them back. He had put up comic strips online for free till then. For 3 weeks he was on a subscription. 2003 to 2010 he was mostly likely (my notes where shit, forgive the shittyness) he was the only one making a living out of his comics. He would loose¬†readers when he kept changing his style, because he was still practising and experimenting with his style. The more he drew in traditional the better he got at drawing, he felt he wasn’t improving much when he was just drawing on Illustrator, but he likes the control he had with Illustrator. He then started using Manga Studio. Someone commented about the ‘big baby head’ he was drawing on the characters and didn’t even realise it, so he says not to draw massive baby like heads on adult characters. When he started doing comics with kids as main characters, half his audience did not approve and he lost many views, which surprised and upset him. Always aim for your audience, there is always an audience in mind, don’t aim it just for yourself if you have a wide range of people who read your stuff. You need to connect with your audience.¬†John’s in the process of signing a contact for a book. Don’t be shy. Shy people who don’t want to show their comics are most likely the most talented, they can see the faults in their own work. People who aren’t sky about showing their comics and see no fault, normally are not as talented. John then talks about a guy he calls Mr X who’s work¬†he hates and wonders why he sells more of his shitty comics then John sells of his. Make contacts. Go to conventions, make friends with people doing similar things to you. Have you tried selling your work at conventions? They are the best place to make friends. Be realistic. You need to build up to meeting your heroes. He then showed us webcomics that work.

Hark! A Vagrant. By Kate Beaton. She made comics and showed them to her friends. She put them on her website and they took off from there. Her drawing style can be easily copied, but the content of her comics, the in depth¬†history research that helps with it’s content, can’t be copied. (says John)


Achewood.¬†The art isn’t as important, it’s the words and content of the story which is important.

Unshelved by Gene Ambum and Bill Barnes. Apparently their stories aims towards liberies and they are doing well because of it.

If want to make a book, do it yourself. Be determined, why wait for others? If you really want it then go ahead and do it.¬†John made coasters, tea towels and t-shirts, it was a way that people could buy his art. Advertising is free money.¬†Ad’s are ugly and you get pennies, but it is free money, but it can help keeping up the cost of hosting your site.¬†With 10,000 potential customers, he could probably sell around 1000 books. Always battle to get things done as cheaply as possible, pinch the pennies. Do you research on the successful people. Your work is valuable, “exposure” is meaningless. No such thing as a great exposure. Keep on learning. If you stay at home playing Xbox then you will learn nothing. The lower the price of a job, the more difficult the client will be. Always charge work for what you think your work is worth, not what you think they can afford. Don’t sell your work for less it’s worth. Fake mistakes? Be careful, don’t sign bad contracts. Be careful what you sign. Business cards get thrown away. They are there so people know your details, not that they know your there. You should try to be remembered, and they will remember you by your card. John was inspired by many different comics he used to read, but his style does not mimic them. A graphic novel to him is a long comic. Start with shorter stories first, then eventually work up to writing longer stories. When he started putting comics online, it was before blogs. He said he would have loved to have had internet blogs back then when he started putting comics online.

Lecture 4: A freelance career in animation and illustration. Karen Chueng

She graduated from Bristol Uni. She is a freelance illustrator who lives in Wales. She started off studying science, not art. She likes to draw dead things. She got more compliments on your drawings then she did on her essays, so she then went on to study art. She is grateful she had her parents to support her. She says to push yourself, do more work then what you’ve been giving to do in uni. She showed us an animation of hers “Headache Hotel” done in 2005. About a bird playing the piano, and the animals in the rooms next door were banging on the walls to the beat, and all the while the hotel they were in was in someone head. Sent it to BBC New Animator, she was listed in the top 12 but didn’t win, but her animation has been shown in London and other places. The majority of her last year she just drew loads of dead animals, because she wasn’t to sure what she was doing. She did detailed coloured illustrations she aimed at kids, done in pencil, ink and watercolour. It never got published because the publishers thought it would scare kids. It was of a boy who goes into his own body to find out why he can’t sleep. A hamster like creature helps him, which he had sneezed out. She won the Macmillan prize for it. The inside of the boy was full of sheep, which where the sheep the boy tried to count to try and help him sleep.¬† She then showed us another animation of hers called “Welcome to the Zoo”. It gave a narration to you/ the unseen animal, on life at the zoo and the benefits of living there, it was trying to convince you/ the animal to move there and shows it’s not as bad as it may seem. Was done in 2006. When you choose an agent, look at who they’ve already got, what artist they already work for. Don’t be similar to those other artists or you’ll be fighting for similar jobs. The best thing to do is not hanging around waiting for work to come to you. She went knocking on doors. Paramount Comedy asked her to design characters for them.¬†¬† She spent two years with a company 12foot6,¬†and it was like a family with similar humor. She had went off now and again doing other jobs. Working for animations for children’s shows is good money.¬†Her agent is called Jelly.¬† The industry and be brutal. Grow a thicker skin, you will get rejected on some work you have spent hours on. Jelly brings lots of work to her. Sometimes it’s best to be flexible, you won’t always get jobs where you draw in your own style. If you can do it and it pays the bills then go for it. As long as you know you can¬†do it. You limit yourself if you are stubborn. Meet deadlines. Good thing about agents, they will look for the work for you if you don’t like knocking on doors or talking about money with clients. Trouble is you have to pay them a certain cut of what you earn from the work they get you. Jelly charges her 30% of what she earns.

While in uni = work hard, trust yourself, listen, have fun.

After uni =¬†be brave, work even harder, don’t take it personally when your works rejected.

Self promotion = websites and blogs, selling work, take part.

And = don’t forget your tax return. The least fun thing about being self employed.

Out of the 10 company’s¬†she knocked on the door of, one got back to her. Don’t tale it personally, it’s just you ain’t right for that company. Don’t stop taken part, keep in contact with friends you make at uni. It’s a lovely job, but it’s a tough one to get into and the deadlines can be tough. She has started a comic. She then listed some websites.

Her blog

Her twitter!/cheungkaren

(This blog literally¬†took me 9 hours to write, I’m not joking)

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

My collection of Childrens Books

These are the Childrens books that I actually own, ones I don’t have to return to the libery later. ūüėÄ I totally forgot to blog them before, so here’s the list.

Our Cat Flossie. By Ruth Brown 

Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets. By Jeanne Willis. Illustrated by Tony Ross.

Ginger. By Charlotte Voake

Enid Blyton’s Santa’s Workshop. Illustrated by Sue Pearson.

The Tabitha Stories. By A.N. Wilson. Illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies.

Tales From Wrescal Lane. By Mick Foley. Illustrated by Jill Thompson. #

Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide To The Fantastical World Around¬†You. By H. Black and T.DiTerlizzi.

(The best book in my collection, EVER)

The Tooth Fairy. By Shirley Barber.

My childhood favourite which is still in my possession.