A Whale of a Tale, Act 1

mobydick-header

The Bradford University Society of Operettas and Musicals – BUSOM for short – performed their 2015 main show last week. Moby Dick! The Musical sees a St. Trinian’s-like girls school (complete with headmistress played by a man in drag) putting on a musical version of Herman Melville’s novel to save their bankrupt institution; hockey sticks for harpoons and all.

BUSOM’s staple poster creator has graduated, moved away, and become very busy. I was picked to work on the main show this year. That meant it was up to me to get that ‘play within a play’ message across.

First up, posters for the cast auditions. Over the post-Xmas holidays I came up with the below pic, for the production team to surround with the relevant text. This was the birth of Audition Whale, drawn with Illustrator’s standard but useful Charcoal brush.

Audition Whale quickly gained fans.

Chalk drawing of cartoon whale on blackboard

Look at its stripy school tie!

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Take Any Heart

Header Image

This year’s Valentine’s Day celebration / penance wasn’t cards for selected individuals: It was a benevolent lucky dip for everyone at work. Here’s how it came together…

The first task was learning to make an origami heart – these are the instructions I followed.
I bought a roll of red paper, cutting it into 7cm squares.
Why a roll of paper? There needed to be one heart for every member of staff present that day, plus a few spares.
I assembled 121 of the things.
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Thought Bubble with a Vengeance

Jess Bradley Illustration

This was my third year visiting Thought Bubble Leeds comic art festival. Usually I will do a lap to see what’s there, then second time around buy items and get them signed. It took longer to get around this year: Firstly, they’ve gone from two large rooms to three. Secondly, I was taking notes…

This year's haul. All names and artists noted through the link.

There’s the old stereotype of guys who are always ‘working on their novel’. For me, it’s a comic book. Three short comics, actually. There are plans to get them done, self-published, sold. Those plans are currently like clay plonked on a mat; going though a lot of moulding before they’re stuck in the oven. So I talked to the experts attending and selling at Thought Bubble. The guys with book deals and large hardback editions, and the new starters, their baby fresh off the work photocopier. Picking up tips on process, production, contacts. Here’s a few simple pieces of advice gleaned…
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Inking All Month Long

Sketch Dailies and Inktober

There’s a chap who calls himself Grickle, who’s I discovered via his work on the Puzzle Agent games. Have you heard of recent film The Boxtrolls? He helped create the titular creatures.
One day, he tweeted the below swamp creature, with the hashtag #sketch_dailies.

Grickle on Twitter

Sketch Dailies (website / Twitter) tweet out one drawing suggestion every weekday, around 5:30pm UK time. They help lead an event called Inktober, where you do one drawing every day for a month (or you can do one every two days, etc.). You can take on Sketch Dailies’ proposal, or do your own thing. Despite the name, it’s not strictly limited to ink – People use their tablets, watercolours, whatever they please.
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