Wednesday, December 29, 2010

more bus trippiness...

the first one from august 24th was a bit tricky as my drawing at the time was a bit uninspired and i was in a flat-out rush to buy camping supplies in readiness for greenbelt - feeling very unprepared and a bit all-over the place and not really in the best place mentally with the whole project. turned out ok though i think. i like the way that the check pattern repeats across the two figures' clothes.

the second is from a trip into town with jonah to get the train to barnsley. i was a bit migraine-addled, which was why i wasn't driving. joe drew the pics for me as i couldn't focus on the page too well, and this is basically an enlarged version of the sketch he made of a kid on a bike outside the shops opposite eddie's school.
he can really draw, can joe :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

upside down christmas...

i have a confession to make - i'm not feeling very christmassy this year.

some years it's like that i guess - work piles up, there's too much stuff to do and even though advent is a time for waiting, and for preparation, somehow there's just no time or space to focus on what it's actually all about.

so today i've got all my festive music on itunes shuffle and will be trying hard to get into a more yuletide-like mood.

one of the tracks that will probably come up is this mp3 which i wrote when we lived down south and which leesun and justin then recorded for us a few years back [for a revive advent event up here i think...]

it chimes in with something that simon hall and i have spoken about a few times recently - written right through the whole jesus-story is the idea that wherever he went and whoever he met, christ turned everything on it's head.
i like that idea a lot.

and so i'm left wondering if maybe i need my life turned a little bit upside-down a bit this christmas :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

more album artwork...

go have a listen here...

album cover...

bus trips 57 & 61

i'm still way behind schedule with these bus prints.
there are currently twelve of them waiting to be done!

but, as i only ever planned to do this for a year, the end is in sight... :-)

here's the latest two - smaller than before as my stocks of lino are running a bit low...
this is another view of an almost empty bus. when i've done these before i've used more colours, this is an attempt to see how it might work with line and a single colour...

this is a girl i spotted outside thomas danby college on my way into town. it's a good place for people watching, even from a passing bus, as the students hang around outside a lot and you get to see a lot of tribes all gathered together in one place. when i was [a lot] younger, a shop near my saturday job in leicester had a pair of boxer's boots in the window and i really loved the look of them, whilst knowing that i'd never have the courage to buy and wear them in public. they probably didn't do them in size 12 anyway :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010


this new anthology looks pretty great.
it's been in the offing for a couple of years now and after a series of publishing hassles and delays it's finally arrived...

looks like you can buy it from here...

there's already a second volume in the pipeline and i'll have a piece in that [written by caleb monroe]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

etsy discount code...

apologies for these etsy-related posts but i'm trying to sort my store out a bit...
and so i'm just trying their automated coupon deal out - if use the code LEEDSBUS66 when you buy stuff from my etsy store you should get a 20% discount...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

bus trip 55. errr...

so this is a bit of a weird one, and probably needs some explanation...

firstly, i lost the details in a sketchbook somewhere, so i couldn't find the timings to include on the print :-(

but it was a trip into town with jonah to buy boots, and i was pretty uninspired with the whole project at the time - the journey and the route and the bus itself all seemed a bit dull and over-familiar. and i was having this conversation with joe about what the worst disaster might befall us on that trip - i was thinking crazy-amazing disaster movies, hence this image.
and jonah's [very much] worst-case-scenario for the trip was that dennis wise might get on and come sit next to us...

thankfully, the journey was very uneventful.
[it didn't actually happen. honest. there were no actual alien squid. or meetings with short, unpleasant ex-footballers]

so this print is made up of two separate blocks - one in two colours to create the green layer and then a block for the black over the top...
i cocked up with the lettering a bit, so that's not come out quite how i'd have liked it.
and there are some lessons to be learnt about positioning the black layer if/when i try this again...

so i'm not overly chuffed with how it's turned out, in all honesty. but then part of the project is to show everything, the good and the bad, and to learn from both...

Monday, November 22, 2010

dank and cold. bus trip no.62...

work's got all hectic again, but i eked out a little time this weekend to make this print - it's a bloke i spotted leaning up against a bus stop on my way home from town. it's pretty simple, but i quite like that.

i've been adding a little mars black into the colours that i'm mixing up for these recent prints and it seems to work well, muting them down a bit without muddying them too much.

and the lettering's quite pleasing on this one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

lovely freebie music about women called Gloria...

i heard a track off the 'jonny' ep on marc riley's 6music show the other week and tracked it down here... jonny are norman blake [teenage fanclub] and euros child [gorky's zygotic mynky] and if you like either of those bands, you'll probably love this. it's quite slight, but great.

also available for download is a demo from leeds band 'the rosie taylor project' who i like a lot - you can grab it from here...

Friday, November 12, 2010

fold-up comic print thingy...

bus trip 51 - colours and layouts may differ to the one in these snaps...

and i need a shave...:-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

last-gasp etsy plug...

so, earlier this year i set up an online etsy shop to see if i could sell some of my bus prints.

whilst it's not been a roaring success, it was worth doing i think, and i just noticed that on the 27th of november [ie in a couple of weeks] a whole load of my listings on there expire and i'll have to renew them...

so here comes the big advertising push...

why not bob over to the shop there and have a browse, and maybe buy yerself a print or two?
they'd make ideal christmas presents for all your print-and/or-bus-loving friends and family members...

and also, as a little incentive, the first dozen or so buyers before the 27th will also get a bonus copy of bus print 51 [which won't be on sale, so it's kind of exclusive] - a little printed fold-up comic of six bloke observed from the number 3, early in the afternoon on august 24th... bargain!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

a quick advert for all northern-types - i just recently iworked on this leeds charity advent calendar - it's a quid [bargain] with scratch-off panels that reveal thoughtful stuff to do each day through december. and all the cash raised goes to local charities [as listed on the back]

ok comics are stocking it, as are a number other retailers throughout the city...
go seek one out!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

two more prints...

half-term's over, and *proper* work kicks back in on monday [it'll be back to late nights and weekend working again for a bit]

so these couple of prints will probably be the last for a while.

no.48 is the bus stop on brackenwood green, just round the corner from where we live, and where i spent a frustrating half hour in anticipation of a bus to take me into town en route to see the handsome family at the HPPH...
some of the details may not be entirely accurate - this image is compiled from about four or five separate drawings made while i was waiting there...

no.52 documents people that i sketched on a trip into town to meet with ric stott, cheryl lawrie and her aussie team just after greenbelt [and i will post something about greenbelt soon-ish. probably]
the composition is maybe not the best here, but the colour works quite well, i think, and it's getting back to the sort of composite images of people sketched that i was doing earlier in the project...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

schoolboy error...

this bus-trip-print documents a trip into town with our jonah - i picked him up from school and we set off to buy football boots for his academy trial at barnsley fc...
this is from the journey back home.
i was very pleased with the print until i took one down from the drying line to pencil in the details under the image - that's when i spotted a black line that i'd erroneously left in. i should have spotted it, it's a very frustrating mistake to have made, but the lesson to be learned is to spend a little more time and care examining the image each time i print a new layer... :-(

anyway, back to that academy trial - it went very well, and as a result jonah's been accepted into the academy. we signed his forms last thursday and are very proud of him. and he's quite chuffed about it too :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 more bus prints...

i'm digging deep into my bus trip lino print backlog now.
progress will slow next week when i have *proper* work to do, but in the meantime it's full steam ahead with these.

i'm very pleased withy this one [above] though for some reason the black layer is taking an age to dry out...

...and this next one started out as this very spidery pen drawing of a bloke stood in front on the bus.

then the plan was to create a two colour print based on this design [worked up in photoshop ready to transfer to the lino] - a grey-ish background with a black layer of line over the top to delineate the figure and the bus fittings...

but then during the printing of the background grey/blue layer i decided to leave it at that - i think it works well enough as it is... sometimes less is more :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

more greenbelt comics...

so at greenbelt we did this big collaborative comic thing, and it was great.
i blogged about it previously here...

the only downside to it was that so many frames of artwork had to be left out of the finished strip - we only had space for 24 panels and that meant that some really good work never made it into print.

but now all the work done has been assembled into eight additional versions of the strip and made available for download on the festival site
[cue much joy in our household as not only are all three of the panels that eddie drew up now viewable, but they also chose one of his as the main image advertising the thing on the website there]

go have a look and see if you can spot them... :-)

and i will get around to blogging properly about the festival sometime soon-ish, promise...

Monday, October 18, 2010

burmantofts lass...

drawn on the bus on my way to jimmy's hospital for an annual clinic visit [nothing to worry about, honest!]
sometimes these short, quick journeys give me the best drawings to work from - maybe there's just not enough time to worry about it. anyway, this was a lass i saw walking past the bus.

i'm currently very happy with this print... :-)

back on the buses... :-)

i've had a weird last-twelve-months.

nov/dec '09 was all about the triumph of the advent exhibition and the despair of a very significant mate's death.
so i began 2010 a bit shattered and floundering, and then a big project that i'd signed up to vanished in january and it looked like the recession had finally hit the markets that i tend to work in [educational publishing, mainly]

that gave me time for the bus print project, which has been great, but there are bills to be paid, and for a while it was all a bit tight.

thankfully, things picked up, particularly via my lovely agent who's been brilliant, and put a lot of stuff my way, including a couple of books for the usa which were a joy to work on [i'll post pics when they're published in jan.]...
but those six months of relatively little coming in has meant i've been left working seriously/stupidly hard since april playing catch-up, and trying to appease my sceptical bank manager.

so i've just emerged from a period of working seven days a week, fifteen or sixteen hours a day, with little or no breathing space between jobs.
it feels weirdly like the end of something - if not the year, then a significant season or something...

during that manically-busy-time the bus project has been pretty much shelved - ridiculous working hours mean that i've actually not been out much anyway, and so there have been way less journeys to document - but i've suddenly found myself with sixteen prints to make, dating back to june 28th [see below]

this week, i have a neat little window to start to work on the backlog, but what sort of order they'll get done in is anybody's guess [this one is number 49, the last one previous to this was, i think, no.44*, and number 58 is currently drying on a line in the office here]

anyhow, it's nice to be back making these prints, and re-learning the processes.
and of course they're all still available via my etsy store :-)

this one relates to my trip out to see the handsome family at the HPPH with simon hall - a quick trip from town out up the burley road when i very nearly forgot to draw. this old-ish guy with the pony tail and the novel was very friendly, letting me on ahead of him. this is the second attempt i made at this print. in the end i decided to just get it done and not worry too much about it; treat it as a bit of a 'loosener' to get me back in the swing of printing again :-)

*made on june 11th!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ask for wonder...

ric stott is "a Methodist Minister, art psychotherapist and artist, working in Sheffield exploring Christian spirituality and community based around the creative arts..."

but more than that, he's a top bloke; his energy and enthusiasm for the arts are infectious, and he has a new blog -'i ask for wonder' - which is well worth bookmarking or subscribing to...

go have a look and if you leave a comment there, say 'hi' from me :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

eighties footy caricature help required...

right then.

i'm doing this caricature and it's not going so great. or maybe it is - i've been staring at it so long that i can't really see it anymore, if that makes sense.

so. here's where i'm at with it.

can you recognise him? [if not it's back to the drawing board in a big way - rip it up and start again]

and where am i going wrong?
eyes? nose? hair? [i know that the kit is right - i've done me research!]

cheers bro, gary and mark [but not minty - "paul mariner"???!] via facebook.
here's a revised version with stubble and a squarer chin...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

summer's over...

...and in truth it kind of passed me by.

work-wise this year has been one of feast and famine - barely anything coming in between last november and this april, but a positive glut of stuff since the beginning of may. the poor start to the year has left me playing financial catch-up, so i've not really been able to turn much down.
and cashflow issues mean that even whilst i've been working absolutely flat out, fifteen and sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, the bank have been sending doom-laden and threatening letters.

the bulk of the work over the summer has been a series of six educational book projects, and the final artwork deadlines for these have all fallen in the last four or five weeks. factor in a week away in wales and greenbelt* and it's been a real challenge to get everything done; well and on time. but today i finished the fifth job and began inking on the final one - a day and a half ahead of schedule.

the end is in sight.

and when it's all done i'll be taking a few days out to catch up on the bus prints, and i'm really looking forward to that...

i'll maybe post some images from these books sometime soon, though sadly i'm not allowed to upload some of the best images until after their publication... contractual restrictions and all that...

meantime, i have some work in the first issue of this new magazine.
well worth a look, though be warned, it is a bit NSFW :-)

*more about greenbelt soon.

sign the petition, save the arts [watch the david shrigley video]

Sunday, September 5, 2010

greenbelt comic...

while we were at greenbelt, we made a comic.

it was written by mike maddox, illustrated by a range of festival punters - amateurs and professionals alike - expertly assembled by john lloyd, and printed as a supplement in the festival paper which was handed out on the monday morning.

it was lovely and remarkable and you can get it as a download here

lack of posts...

...there's not been much on here for a while - that's down to a caravan holiday in cardigan bay [cardigan bay good, caravans bad] greenbelt [more about that later, if i can wangle the time and assemble my thoughts into any kind of order] and a ridiculous workload which has seen me working 16 hour days, seven days a week since the middle of july.

it's not good for the soul, but it will appease the bank manager [who was getting a bit snotty with me for a while]

it's also not good for the bus prints project as i'm not getting out and about much [just the two journeys during august] and have found myself with a backlog of 30-odd prints to cut and make [i just don't have the time spare at the mo to get on with them - paying jobs take priority]

in lieu of anything more exciting, here's some photos from cardigan bay.

normal service will be resumed at the end of the month, when the deadlines are met and i can get back to worrying about not having enough paid work on the books again... :-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Greenbelt Photoflash Swap - shameless plugging...

from the festival website - "This year at Greenbelt we’re again inviting festival goers to bring along a print of a photograph that they have taken for an open exhibition in the Hub.

Then at the end of the festival we’ll host a special photo flash swap event, when everyone who has work on display there can exchange it for one of the other prints in the show.

How it works:

The flash swap is open to all ages and abilities.
It’s one print per person, so choose an image that you’re really pleased with.
Mounted prints would be great, as that’ll make them easier to display, but unmounted work is acceptable. No framed pieces though, please :-)
All photos must be printed on photographic paper.

Prints for the show must be delivered to the Hub between 4 and 6pm on the Friday, where a team of volunteers will assemble the exhibition.
Everyone who leaves a print will register and be assigned a number [we’ll keep a list]
You'll also need to provide some details about yourself and your image. Click to download the form so you can do this in advance, or pick on up on the day.

At 5.30pm on the Monday we’ll host the flash swap – there’ll be refreshments and a short and pithy address… At the swap, everyone registered will be given a sticker with their number on it, and at the given signal you’ll be invited to go put your sticker on the print that you would most like to take away with you.

Then once the dust has settled and the swapping's all done, everyone gets to take their chosen photo away with them..."

this is something that i'm involved in organising. we ran it last year, and it was utterly brilliant - definitely one of my all-time festival highlights. so if you're coming to the festival this year, i'd really recommend that you bring a snap and get involved... it'd be great to have you on board :-)

greenbelt visual arts...

greenbelt has lurched onto the horizon already - tons of prep to do and not much time to do it in.

here's a video of what we did on the visual arts side of things at last year's festival - to whet your appetite and also to remind me of what makes all the hassle worthwhile ;-)

Greenbelt Visual Arts from John Peter Idris Bowen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


i have an etsy shop

[if you've never heard of etsy, it's an online market place for folks selling handmade and vintage items, and it's great...]

so. my shop's currently a bit of a work in progress - i'm still getting my head around how it all works and uploading the bus prints and stuff...
and it needs some sort of home page profile explanation thing to give the prints some sort of context.

but i already chalked up a sale :-)

[feel free to pass the the url on to your mates...]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

need a copywriter...?

years ago i worked on a weird and wonderful book called the space cadet's treasury of football nostalgia 2097

it was a comedy football/sci-fi crossover kids annual spoof, the idea being that everyone who loved footy would buy it and everyone who loved sci-fi would too. in the end, only folk who loved footy and sci-fi bought it, and as it turns out that's quite a small demographic...

it was a great thing to work on though [and i am, of course, slap bang in the middle of that demographic!]
some of my favourite images were drawn for that book, things that i'm still really quite proud of...

anyway, derek hammond, one of that books authors, has a burgeoning copywriting business going, so i promised him a plug...

it's called words to order - if you need copywriting [or proof-reading, or editing] then del's your man.


sorry for the lack of posts again.

it tends to happen when my schedule busies up and right now i've got work and deadlines stacking up all over the shop.

here's some badge designs...

the bus project's taken a bit of a back seat lately - that's largely because i'm away from the desk a lot less at the mo and therefore not using the buses much recently [just two trips in june - on the 2nd and the 29th - and none so far this month]
but also because i've no time free to mess about with lino until the *proper* work's all done. [the lino for the 29th is still sat waiting for me to get stuck into it]
and now greenbelt is looming too.

normal levels of regular blog-inanity will be resumed asap, i promise...

Friday, June 25, 2010

old block, chips off; apples fallen from the tree [etc]

joe's lino-print birthday card portrait of eddie...

eddie's four-colour angry manga print [at the time he did this i'd only dared try a couple of colours...]

joe's football heroes-inspired maradona lino.

more sneaky preview-ness

Friday, June 18, 2010

wayne rooney

so wayne rooney doesn't like being booed [like gary neville before him - maybe it's a man utd thing]

firstly, a lot of people have spent a lot of money to follow the team over there.

and for those of us watching on tv, every game we have to sit through that self-aggrandising nike advert with rooney [and others] bigging themselves up. and generally celebrating their own greatness.

seems a bit rum for wayne to then turn round and complain about supporters expressing their frustrations when he's not remotely lived up to the hype that he's happily bought into...

and he's been very, very poor so far this tournament.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

world cup questions

1. is the cameroonian national anthem the least african-sounding piece of music ever written?

2. where does alan shearer buy his shirts [and why]?

3. emmanuel adebayor - subtitles please?

meanwhile if you haven't already seen it [and whether you like your footy or not] this remarkable bbc piece about football on robben island is really worth a watch.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

world cup coverage...

...interesting to compare and contrast the bbc and itv world coverage.

itv is always going to struggle because it's utterly blighted with adverts.
but historically they are always a bit rubbish anyway - somehow the pundits are just that little bit less credible and even des lynam couldn't lift their game when he defected from the beeb. [so i don't rate adrian chiles' chances...]
and tonight they were calling that performance "very, very good. not top-notch, but very good" [kevin keegan]

whereas on bbc radio they were savaging the team - chris waddle was especially critical, but then he always is.

it strikes me that the truth is somewhere inbetween those two extremes.

against the usa it was always going to be tough [they beat spain last year] and not losing is a good start. we're always a bit slow getting out of the blocks at these tournaments - '66 and '90 where we also only drew the openers; euro '96 too.
so it's no tragedy...
we retained possession much better after half time, and carved out some good chances. a point gives us a base to build on.

but you have to wonder if the broadcasters come to it with their agendas already set - itv with their blind optimism [no matter how many times you say it andy townsend, we can see for ourselves - we were NOT on top in that first half] and against that there's the beeb's whingey pessimism [the tactics are all wrong, the substitutions didn't work, we won't get out of the group unless capello changes everything, carragher's too slow, ledley's too injury-prone, our kit's rubbish... blahblahblah]

i'm looking forward to seeing what lineker and co. make of it tonight on the highlights show...

it's always great fun watching england isn't it...?!]

lineker and co - largely critical, but a bit more measured than the radio lot. there's an agenda there though - four years ago they were clamouring for carrick over hargreaves, and this time the pundits've seemingly all decided that they want rooney up front on his own with gerrard just behind, so it looks like everything's gonna be viewed through that lens until/unless fabio changes things...

coming back from barnsley, on the last bus...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my old man

Moonlight in Vermont by Watlingtonjazz

that'll be my dad playing guitar there...
and if you like that, then there's more here :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

on the desk lately...

lino cuts tidied up a bit in photoshop for a new magazine - more info when it's out... :-)