Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Work work

I've been doing some fun stuff at work recently.

I work for a group of international colleges (teaching foreign students English), and one of our English teachers at our London colleges has been writing a series of blogs about slang, idioms and suchlike. I've been creating illustrations for these articles, a portrait 'thumbnail' with explanatory words, and a main landscape image without the words to display on the article page. It's been fun.



Food metaphors 
 


Beauty metaphors



Compliments and insults



Register (Formal/Informal)



Words for when you can't think of the word (yet to be published)



Weather related idioms



Body metaphors

They've also been doing a 'word of the week' feature on the Facebook page, where various members of staff pick their favourite word and I illustrate it.
Here are a few!






I picked bottom. Obvs.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Febtember

Oh February! Short and sweet! Payday comes around so fast! In some ways, February is my favourite month.


For starters, I WON A THING. I know everyone always says this, but... I don't know if I've ever won a thing before! Definitely not a thing this fun. Expect to see my design on a t-shirt at Boulder Brighton soon! (Also, I am genuinely delighted to share the winning glory with Sofia, because they just couldn't choose between us because we're both TOO AWESOME.)


We went to Torquay. I like Torquay. It feels far enough away from everything that it reminds me of where I grew up, but crucially, isn't where I grew up, so it feels like a faintly exotic adventure.


We went to visit Alex’s parents there. Alex’s Dad reads my blog (Hi Tony!) and has somehow become convinced that I'm really good at drawing people. It's not true. I'm fairly good at drawing me and Alex because me and Alex both have ridiculous distinguishing features that make us easily identifiable no matter how crude the drawing. Actual normal people? Not so. Alex's dad tried to persuade me to draw him and I did a fairly poor job. On the bright side, the drawing does look like a human man. On the downside, it doesn't look like Alex's dad. Oh well.


I still can’t even really draw myself to look like myself, but I am STILL TRYING different styles and different ways, and one day I will achieve an accurate self portrait. But not yet.


After we got back from Torquay I'd booked myself an extra day off work to relax. Days off work are great sometimes. Even when they're mundane. But Wagamama ruined it by tricking me into eating chicken, gross gross gross gross


Now is really not a good time to be a butterfly. I feel a bit bad that I chucked him out in the cold but I didn’t want him to land on my face while I was sleeping.


Why do I procrastinate even the fun things?


Bouldering is still fun. But I worry that my rate of progress is a bit slow. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough? (I am really trying quite hard though, harder than I have tried at any other sport ever I think) Or maybe I'm just not very good?! This is something I may have to come to terms with.


So a friend of a friend saw my blog about our house cook book, and asked if she could have one in exchange for something knitted. SKILL SWAP! I love skill swaps. She knitted me this amazing pair of mittens and they're SO GOOD I have basically been wearing them all the time ever since. Can't draw hands very well, and frankly barely even tried here because I was too busy concentrating on the mittens.


We got loads of delicious vegan chinese takeaway for Chinese new year. It was great. (Vegans of Brighton: ‘Oriental’ on Lewes road is a mediocre Chinese takeaway for the most part, but they offer LOADS of weird crazy vegan ‘meats’, and their vegan crispy duck pancakes are quite something.)


We and Alex missed our train home from Shoreham by SECONDS and had to spend 40 minutes sitting in cold Shoreham station late at night. We were grumpy but Ticket to Ride saved the day.


I had a really good climb that saturday which eased my bad feels somewhat. Chalk! I was previously cynical but it genuinely helps, or at the very least tricks my brain into being braver.


Half marathon! Went to cheer on three separate friends who were running it, LJ, Hannah and Marina, all of whom I was lucky enough to see, and all of whom, I’m pleased to say, looked TOTALLY CHILL, just coasting along like pros. Unlike loads of other people who looked like the might actually drop down and die. It’s a faintly distressing experience watching people suffer that much (although not nearly as distressing as it is for them, I’m sure)


Alex is getting new glasses and I am SO EXCITED. (He’s ordered them on the internet and they will be here any day now. Eeeeee!)


Baked a great orange cake. Bought an orange to go in it, and it came wrapped in this pretty tissue paper which made me oddly nostalgic. This was how my mum used to be able to trick me into eating fruit, because it came in a pretty wrapper.

Anyway, March is here now and I am SO EXCITED FOR SPRING.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Kids and the IoT

I worked with Scott Smith (AKA Changeist) last year on some TOP SECRET fun stuff which maybe I'll be able to talk about at some point in the future...

But now here's something new and altogether more visible:
A good/important read for parents, children, maybe-one-day-parents and anyone with even the slightest interest in the way that technology is going. 

I got invited to illustrate. Welcome to the future! Maybe.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Cookbook D'arc Manche

In a remarkable feat of last-minute motivation, I managed to put together a 20-page vegan cookbook/zine as a Christmas present for lots of friends who regularly visit our house. We like cooking for people and people often say kind things about our food and ask for recipes, so I figured a cookbook would be a nice (if slightly egotistical) thing to do.

People have been incredibly kind about them, and if you know me and you'd like a hard copy, let me know and I'll get one to you somehow!

Anyway, here are a selection of food illustrations from the book... They probably look a bit rubbish out of context, but I'm going to share them anyway, because I had fun doing them.






We like weird things on toast.
Talk to me about my mexican red cabbage salad. It’s fairly hard to believe raw red cabbage can taste this good.


Justin’s only recipe contribution to the book. It’s a good one though. So good I decided to give it a kale border.

And girls. Everyone. My dumplings. So good. If I do say so myself.

One of my very regular recipes is peanut and lime udon noodles with leeks, broccoli and fried tofu.

Hoi sin sauce is THIS EASY you guys.


Can't go wrong with a good aubergine. (Actually you quite easily can. But let's not talk about that.)

In addition to the illustrations, there are a whole bunch of delicious photos, including...





Whoever thinks vegans don't eat well needs to get over here RIGHT NOW and let me pile some of this onto their plates.