Tag Archives: 2015

Picture Hooks – launch

Picture Hooks: Getting the Hang of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books.

I have been working on a series of illustrations for a children’s picture book idea, with the support and guidance of the amazing Debi Gliori. The launch was on Friday 30th October at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and runs until the end of February.

The Picture Hooks programme, funded by Creative Scotland, provides an opportunity for emerging Scottish illustrators to develop their practice under the guidance of established professional illustrators.

Here’s a few snaps from the night (photography courtesy of Picture Hooks):

Looking surprised with the Picture Hook’s mentees: Tracey, Catherine, me, Maisie and Hannah

Debi and me having a blether

The exhibition is located in the IT Gallery of the Scottish National Gallery (Princes Street Gardens entrance) until the 26th of February 2016. If you get a chance to visit, it would be great to get your thoughts on the whole show. There’s some amazing and diverse work featured and I feel really honoured to have been given the opportunity to show my work alongside such a great troop of illustrators.

Huge thanks to the whole Picture Hooks team, the staff at The National Gallery and Debi Gliori for her amazing guidance.

Museum Mouse

25thingsRotator

Museum mouse has been scampering about for a couple of months now, so I’m a little late in the day with this blog post. However I thought it might be a nice opportunity to share some of the prep work that went into mouses development.

This was a great project to work on for Glasgow Museums, and I was chuffed to get the gig, with mice popping up in other creative projects Grandad and Me this year too (more on that in the next post).

This mouse however, features in the ’25 Things To Do In Glasgow Museums Before You’re 5′ booklet and can be picked up from any of Glasgow’s museums. Here’s a bit of blurb from the Evening Times explaining it a little more….

The booklet follows a furry friend, Museum Mouse, around Glasgow’s nine museums.

As he goes, he suggests fun things to see and do in each free museum.

Children have been set a challenge – can they visit all nine museums, and complete the things listed, before they turn five?

Chairman of Glasgow Life, Archie Graham, said: “Visitors continue to flock to all nine Glasgow Museums, with over 3 million attendances recorded last year alone.

“A huge number of these are by families with small children.

“When you look at the incredible objects on display it is easy to see how with a little imagination and explanation the city’s museums can open up a whole new world to even the youngest of visitors.

“I know that if parents can spare a little time to help them enjoy the many adventures detailed in this new booklet, they could give their child a lifelong love of exploring, investigating and enjoying arts and culture.

“And I think that is a truly wonderful gift to give the next generation.”

Youngsters are encouraged to go on a dragon hunt at the Burrell, visit the peephole in GoMA inspired by the inside of a whale or dress up as characters from Sleeping Beauty at Kelvingrove Museum.

What’s not to love?

Here’s some of the prep work that went into finding the right mouse….

mouse montage

….and here’s a wee snap from the Daily Record, featuring Cameron, Molly and Eva, all taking part in the challenge.

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and here’s one of the drawings of our mouse, doing a bit of exploration of his own.

Mouse_Leaves2

For those interested, here’s a little more information on how to get your under 5 year olds started:

The booklets are available from any one of our nine venues and are free of charge. Just ask for one at the Enquiries Desk during your visit. Once your child has completed the activities for that venue, head back to the Enquiries Desk to get a sticker to put in your booklet.

Why not take on our challenge and try to visit all nine museums and complete ​the 25 activities listed?
Once you have finished all 25 things, download the certificate from the link at the side.

Links:

http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/about-glasgow-museums/Pages/25-Things.aspx

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/13306405.25_Things_To_Do_in_Glasgow____before_you_turn_FIVE/

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/forget-things-before-you-die-5559482

new year, new pencils

And so dusk settles in and the sun dips down on another year and I bravely set my alarm clock for the coming dawn. Well it’s already arrived actually, I should have written that a whole blinkin four days ago, but you see what I’m getting at….

2014 was a rather splendid year in a lot of ways and like everyone else, it was also a year of some pretty stinky downers. Thats the way this whole life system thingy works though isn’t it, the ebbs and flow, the tips, dips and doons, the peaks and troughs, the bottom and the…..I’ll stop there. Rather than focus on the bleak, black moments (or possibly even the ‘grey’ hue that I’m accustomed to), I shall shed a little info on the multicoloured rainbow moments of my 2014…..I can hear the bloggers yawning already.

Don’t worry though, I’m going to do it in trusty heartfelt bullet point format to keep it snappy….

  1. Co-created and performed in ‘Grandad and Me’, my first outing into children’s theatre
  2. Toured Scotland, (in a musical performance capacity, not just a self funded megabus excursion) and visited some delightful new places, the Isle of Eigg being one.
  3. Moved in to a super flat with the better half and bought all manner of grown up things, like my first roasting tin and potato masher.
  4. Extended the Grey Earl product range and invested in 1000 mugs (If it doesn’t work out, then I’ll never have to worry about finding a clean vessel for a brew again)
  5. Applied and got picked to be part of the Picture Hooks project for 2015 (more on this soon….I’m quite excited!
  6. Created a new set of cards (Party Animals) and learnt how to ‘animate’ (sort of/not really) in After Effects…..Watch the ‘animations’ here.

All in all, a very productive and creative year and somehow I managed to get through it all with paying all my bills and rent! Showaddywaddy wow wow.

To anyone who helped me out or supported the creative cause, investing in any of my work or just lending me a pencil sharpener in a time of need, I thank you. From the bottom of my little, pumping, ventrical laden heart, I thank you. I feel very blessed to be working creatively, enjoying it and able to make an honest crust.

And so onto 2015, what surprises will it have in store? what new drawings will I create? and which kitchen appliance will I next purchase in my attempts to be a proper, real life grown up….I’m hoping it’s going to be either an egg slicer or a toast rack.

Here’s a cheeky preview of a new set of cards and prints I’ll be launching in the very near future…..

chewie_small

The range is called ‘Stars are Braw’ (for legal purposes), and is a celebration of all things geeky and science fictiony….All chucked in the mix with a bit of my homegrown version of the Scottish dialect (sorry to anyone native to the fair country).

All the best for your 2015’s, may they be creative in all sorts of ways and filled with more peaks and tips and good bits than those troughs and dips and not so pleasant (but equally inevitable) segments.

Thanks for the support,

Jon