Wednesday, 29 February 2012

1. to move sideways. 2. to advance in an unobtrusive, furtive or coy way.

I'm looking for contributors to the first issue of Sidle zine.

Within illustration there is a fine tradition of social commentary, satire and reflection, and I'd like to bring together illustrators working in this way.

This is partly in response to a recent article in Creative Review "where is the content? where is the comment?" which takes the view that illustration has become an insular, self-indulgent craft, lacking engagement with political issues. 

The brief:

Create an illustration dealing with a contemporary issue which you feel strongly about.


A4 dimensions, 300dpi

landscape or portrait (bearing in mind it will fold in centre to form an A5 booklet)

Colour or black and white (original colour pages will be uploaded to a blog while a paper copy will use black and white photocopies of these images, so bear in mind that your image/text will need to work well tonally)

Aside from that, it is completely open, and you can use whatever media/techniques you like.

I'd like to involve as many talented illustrators as possible - the more the merrier!

The final collected works will be displayed on a Sidle Zine blog with links to each contributor's web-site or blog, and a final printed edition of Sidle will be sent to Salford Zine Library

E-mail your contributions (or any questions or suggestions you might have) to:

The deadline is: April 3rd 2012

After a few requests for more time, I have decided to extend the deadline

The new deadline is April 17th 2012

Monday, 27 February 2012


another illustration for The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr

From the cover sleeve: "Tomcat Murr is a loveable, self-taught animal who has written his own autobiography. But a printer's error causes his story to be accidentally mixed and spliced with a book about the composer Johannes Kreisler. As the two versions break off and alternate at dramatic moments, two wildly different characters emerge from the confusion - Murr, the confident scholar, lover, carouser and brawler, and the moody, hypochondriac genius Kreisler. In his exuberant and bizarre novel, Hoffmann brilliantly evokes the fantastic, the ridiculous and the sublime within the humdrum bustle of daily life, making "The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr" (1820–22) one of the funniest and strangest novels of the nineteenth century."

Sunday, 26 February 2012

"Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess" - Goethe

An illustration for New Empress Magazine for a review of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 
(pictured: Tom Wilkinson and Dame Maggie Smith)
Only given a day to create this but it was a nice opportunity to use colour. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tomcat Murr

"Another difficult problem was dipping my pen in the ink well, for as I dipped it I couldn't contrive to keep my paw clean; it kept getting into the ink too, so the first few characters, written more with paw than the pen, were bound to be rather big and broad. Consequently, the ignorant might take my first manuscripts for little more than paper splashed with ink. "

- from The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Monday, 6 February 2012

"Can the idea of instinct as a blind involuntary urge be reconciled with the ability to dream?"

A terrible lack of blog posts, as I've been away masquerading as a receptionist for a couple of months whilst developing a voracious appetite for reading - at the moment: The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr by E.T.A. Hoffman (which was written about 200 years ago but is funny and surprisingly fresh) and  The Quay Brothers: Into a Metaphysical Playroom by Suzanne Buchan (fascinating insights into the Quays influences and working processes, as well as tiny snapshots of their early illustration work)

Anyway, I've just updated my website after about three years of letting the moss grow over it:

(a drawing of Tomcat Murr from my sketchbook)