What The Scarecrow Sees
Keep up to date with what’s happening in my world, from art projects to the weird and wonderful.
Of all the classic creatures of the night, I’ve always been drawn to the werewolf the most. I love all the old Universal monster movies and more and more lately they’ve been creeping into my art. It was always going to happen I suppose and I have to say I’m enjoying the hell out of myself.
I remember like it was yesterday, the first horror film I was allowed to watch. Our house was being renovated at the time and my whole family (all eight of us) were living in two rooms while the building work was going on. It was approaching Hallowe’en which has always been celebrated in my house and we were getting into the spirit of things, pun firmly intended, as the scary movies started. Everyone sat around the telly to watch John Carpenter’s Halloween (how appropriate!) and I sat down too hoping my mother wouldn’t notice. She did but as there was nowhere to send me so she had to reluctantly let me watch it. She warned me I’d have nightmares and she was right but at that stage I didn’t care, I had seen my future, I had found my new favourite thing! Well, my new favourite thing has stayed with me my whole life, as have specific scenes from that film. Last year my wife and I went to Universal and Disneyworld for our honeymoon and on 30th October, the night before Hallowe’en, we were chased by Micheal Myers, all boiler-suited and booted and larger than life. A nightmare come true.
I’ve been developing an idea for a few months now and a short while ago decided it was time to take the plunge and kick it into action, otherwise I may never do anything with it and that would be a shame. I had been coming up with a way to celebrate the classic monsters but with a new twist. After a few scrapped ideas I created “The Hollowhill All-stars Monsters’ Sports Academy”!
February already! Where does the time go? Seems no time since I was sitting with my feet up, stuffing my face with jaffa cakes but I suppose I had to get back to the real world eventually. Well, as close to the real world as I need to. To be honest, I tend to keep it at arm’s length, it’s better for all concerned that way.
I have a few interesting things on the go at the moment but I decided, before I get stuck into commissioned work I’d get some long term plans rolling of my own. I have ideas for paintings and illustrations all the time. Usually I can’t work on them straight away as I’m in the middle of a job for someone else so I draw a quick sketch of write a short description in my notebook to refer back to later. Last year, that later never arrived. I just couldn’t find the time to work on anything long enough to see results. Now, I’m not complaining because I was busy, I’d be worried if I had too much time on my hands but it would have been nice to have struck a balance. I planned to use January to get a head start on some of those ideas before getting snowed under with orders. It’s a quiet time after Christmas anyway so was my best chance to make a dent in it.
The first thing I tackled was some illustrative work that has been on the back burner for way too long. I have recently started making some of my more “cartoony” artwork available on clothes and gifts as well as my usual prints. Some of my existing pieces suit being printed on T-shirts and hoodies etc but most of it only really works in the form it was originally intended. This means I had a fairly limited range of images suitable for clothes so I wanted to create some specifically for that job. With a notebook full of ideas I didn’t have to waste time thinking, except maybe, which one to start with.
Right, where do I start? It’s been almost two months since I wrote one of these and a lot has happened in that time.
My normal work, if it can be called that had to take a back seat for a while as there was something slightly more pressing coming up. At the end of October I married my partner in crime, Jolene and in our infinite wisdom we had decided to make everything ourselves for the wedding. For the four or so months leading up to the big day we sketched out ideas for table centrepieces, decorations, invitations, signs, outfits etc. and set about making them. The hammering and sawing could be heard for miles and we came out almost completely uninjured! Jo can’t look at a pallet now without getting glassy-eyed and rolling her sleeves up.
We knew from the word go we weren’t going to get bogged down in any “rules” or wedding etiquette we deemed silly or unnecessary. We wanted everything to reflect our personalities and most of all, we wanted us and our guests to be comfortable. A wedding can be a long day if you’re watching your P’s and Q’s, wandering round in ill-fitting tailcoats and obeying every command of your wedding planner or hotel master of ceremonies so we wouldn’t have any of that. We’re not great at taking orders at the best of times.