Friday, 25 October 2013


I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking 'Sam, how come you don't do no sketches about town no more?'.  Surely it can't all be moustaches and pointing animals?  
Well in truth, yes it largely is at the moment.  But I have been doing a fair bit of observational drawing on the sly too.  Here is a quick sketch of a guy who walked past the pub I was sat in the other day.  Yes the cigarette was that long.  
This is a holding picture whilst I riffle through my sketchbooks to scan in the fruits of my labours...more soon...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Monday, 14 October 2013

Mo Live drawing!!

As I'm nothing if quick off the mark - here's some news about the cracking night I had, er, last Tuesday at  Movember 13's launch night at Koko in Camden!

I've gobbed off about Movember very recently, but I'll do it again...last year they raised (if memory serves) £92 million worldwide to raise awareness and fund research into Prostate and Testicular Cancer, and are now focussing their attentions on mental health as well...can't be bad.  So I was proud to boot on down to London (along with regular partner in crime Lauren Tobia) to be one for the artists doing live Gallery of Mo portraits for their launch night.

Before I go on, I have to confess to robbing many of these photos from GAllery of Mo's facebook page - check them all HERE!   The rest come from Lauren Tobia - click here! YOU CAN GET A MOTRAIT DONE OR OFFER YOUR ARTISTIC SERVICES HERE:

So back to it - There were a lot of VERY talented artists working peddle to the metal, but still (and quite rightly!) the queues were mahoosive.  So armed with pocket sketchbooks me and Lauren decided to entertain the waiting punters with speedy be-tached mug shots.  As you can see I also entertained them by looking like Bez with a sketchbook.
See what I mean...

I have a World's End Moment 
The Gallery of Mo crew did an ace job of running it all in the face of big crowds and deafening metal (thanks to house band Obey).

They also gave us beer and a T Shirt...

Lauren getting deep with her purpose...

Some satisfied (or at least not angry!) customers posing with me squiggles.
I have slight unfinished business, in that I didn't get to do any 'big' pics.  Bring on November 30th then - Bristol's Movember Gala night!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wild Place...

Picked this up today at the zoo so am having fun colouring... will notice a slght Smurfette motif, but actually I had more of a 'Boy from Mars' (mildly disturbing series included on kids educational program 'Words and Pictures' in early 80s) theme in mind.

It also really reminded me I should tell you about the stuff I did for Wild Place Project, which is Bristol Zoo's new (only opened in July) conservation's not every day you get asked to design mascots for a major tourist attraction!  You can see my handywork all over their website and leaflet (and colouring sheets), but more importantly... you enter...
 ...walk around...

and leave the park...

All continues the theme of working a bit bigger...more on that soon!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Movember is nearly upon us...

..well sort of... this year has been ranting by!  Got my email invite to join in the Gallery of Mo fun this year, and will definitely be getting involved (they mentioned live events too which is intriguing...).  You should too!
Here's a link to their site explaining how it works, although here're a few examples of my stuff from last year making it fairly self explanitory!!

As you can see last year I liked to keep it old school - but you know, I'm a child of the wind (almost certain my kids would make an inappropriate joke at this juncture) so who knows what I'll do this year...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Your miserable and most unworthy scribe goes to Durham!

What a day I had yesterday!!  I was very honoured to be asked up to the Palace Green Library in Durham to do a workshop as part of their Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition (which is amazing by the way, as is its region wide programme of events - well worth checking out!).

When I arrived in Durham it was clear that this exhibition is a very big deal - there are signs and banners for it everywhere, and the town, which I'm getting to know and love more with each visit, has a really nice buzz about it.

Anyway, here's what I did - a live drawn Lindisfarne Gospels timeline, taking you through the background of why it was made, who made it and how, and the ripping yarn of how it came to settle in Durham for hundreds of years...

Now, I say 'here's what I did'...but it should read 'here's what we did'.  The whole point of it was that large parts of it would be filled in by kids, parents, grandparents (and exhibition staff!) who popped in, and they really didn't let me down!

I also brought quill pens, reed pens and silverpoint for kids to try out, but as you can imagine didn't have much time for photogramaphising, so you'll have to imagine the chaos that entailed.

Oooh and another thing - I got a brief ten minutes to look around the exhibition itself, and I'll say again, it is absolutely fantastic.  I got the history bug doing the 'Discover The Lindisfarne Gospels' book, and I learnt so much more in just a few minutes wandering round.  I saw the big book itself which was amazing, but my fave bit was seeing St Cuthbert's pocket bible, which was taken from his coffin when he was exhumed and (I think!) is the oldest book in England (Europe? The world? Calling all experts!!)  to have survived with it's original leather binding intact....kinda lovely.  Click here for some more 'must see's .  A top exhibition, staffed by people who love the subject, which has some kind of intrigue at most turns...I thoroughly recommend it.

A big thank you is in order to everyone there for an absolutely fantastic day.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Wot I did this Spring...

Ohmygoshkit's July and I haven't blogged anything for a ages (as some of my mates have politely pointed out!).  So where have I been?  Well I've been working innit, and over the next few days I'll fill you in on what I've been doing.

First up, today is the launch of the very exciting Lindisfarne Gospels Durham exhibition, whereby for 3 months this beautiful Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscript returns (on loan from the lovely folks at the British Library) to its one time home in Durham.  It isn't understating things to say that this is one of the most beautiful and important books in this country's history, so I was very honoured when I was asked by Durham University to co-write and illustrate a kids book about it.

The book arrived on my doormat recently, and I have endeavoured to take the prerequisite idyllic bloggy photos, but it has been made difficult by major building work in my house and high winds in my garden. Apologies in advance!!

The book tells the story of how and why the book was made, and the 200 yr odyssey it went on before settling in Durham.  Your guides for the book are these two...based on illustrations that can be found in the manuscript itself.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on it, largely as I found the subject fascinating, but also because of the endless enthusiasm and support of Dr Sarah Price, who co-wrote the book with me (and was really the brains behind the operation!).

A typical scene in my 'studio'
Heh hem ...and another one...
I am very proud of the book, but it's always hard to be objective about your own work.  It does however seem to have passed the child test!

 I'll be going up to Durham at some point in August to do some live drawing (not to be confused with life drawing!) and workshops - I can't wait!  I thoroughly recommend a trip to Durham, as this exhibition will be fascinating...but also because I love the place.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Website Website Website!

Erm yeah...hi guys...I've got a website!  Go check - it does exactly what it says on the tin.  In the meantime here a photo; a pencil that makes me chuckle....

Monday, 21 January 2013

Brillustration take Marksbury Road!

On Saturday morning a crack squad of Brillustrators turned up at Marksbury Road Library to set up our 'Brillustration Saturday Scribble'..but conditions was icy, so it was anyones guess as to whether anyone would come.  

So did they?  Blimey..yes they did!

The next 3 hours were a frenzy of drawing, cutting out, story telling, badge making, clandestine biscuit eating and even snowman making.  The library reckons we had about 70 'paying punters' (50p each with squash and a biccy chucked in can't be bad!), and it felt like all of them got stuck in.

There was the normal riot of colour, cool pictures and requests to draw dinosaurs (you know who you are!)...

....and we also managed to jazz up the (already pretty snazzy) kids area, with a rabble of cut-out characters parading all round the tops of the bookshelves.

Sean Julian explains how he always likes to get into character before drawing a bear.
Some kids deciding to 'go 3D'

A MASSIVE THANKS to the Friends of Marksbury Road Library and library staff for inviting us, making us feel so welcome and putting in a considerable amount of legwork themselves.  

HATS OFF also to Brillustrators Sean JulianLauren TobiaPaula Bowles, Rob StarlingSam Church and Louise Cunningham, and all the kids and parents who turned up and drew like fiends- YOU ARE ACE!