Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Life In Macs.

The other day I found a photo of my friend's baby, 'tapping away' on my keyboard. I emailed it to her and wrote, 'Hey look Jules! It's George on my Mac!'
She sent back the message 'actually, that's Isabelle.'
To which I, gormlessly, replied '...are you sure?'

Of course she's sure - it's her daughter. I on the other hand remain confused about exactly when the PowerMac 4400 was replaced by the G4 (which was like a thousand Christmases at once) and when the 4400 replaced the Quadra 950. The Quadra my Mum and I bought between us - not realising this was a super-powerful server machine capable of running a vast network and built like a tank - and the 4400 was bought with my own money. Gosh.

Every Mac I've owned has been passed on to a family member, sparing me the pain of 'recycling' it or (shudder) 'harvesting' it for parts. The Quadra stayed with Mum. The G4 went to Dad. The 24" iMac went to my sister. The MacMini went to my other sister, but has come back home now for use as a music station. The only one I sold was a little black Powerbook, which ran my other company's* office for two years.
*and that's another story.

I've loved all of them and it's no secret I'm horribly sentimental about them, as each one is irrevocably connected with life events. The Quadra meant leaving college and moving into no. 6. The PowerMac was buying my own house, and George and Isabelle coming into the world. The G4 was finally earning enough to buy a brand new one. And so on.

But there is only so much the house can take. The PowerMac 4400 and the Quadra have to go. They still spring into life when I switch them on.

2 x Classic Macs, a colour Apple monitor, a modem, keyboard, mouse and assorted cable madness plus various geeky bits where I've upgraded.

Anyone, by any chance, want to adopt?

Saturday, November 28, 2009


In the unlikely event that anyone's on the lookout for one, I'm selling my lovely Eavestaff piano. Back in the day it was Art vs. Music. Art won, but I still have my piano. It's got to go to a loving home, in order to make space for the new studio, and it's a beaut.
See it on eBay here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Central Illustration 'ACE' Calendar 2010

The new Central Illustration calendar is out! Printed on recycled Colourset Light Grey 120gsm stock, with Trojan Whiteback and Tridon Greyboard card stand, with vegetable based inks, except for the 'Holo' effect foil on the cover. Limited edition of 600 only, 14cm x 14cm.

£7 UK / £12 elsewhere inc. postage

Get one now before they're all gone! (And I'm told they do go quick)

Letter Playground

Type fans will love this. I've contributed some of my letters to Letter Playground run by Nate Williams.

Delicious piles of As to Zs by fellow type geeks! Send some in, why don't you?

Here are some of mine!

Friday, November 20, 2009

You probably weren't thinking about Christmas cards in February, but...

Since it IS only a few weeks away, here's a blatant reminder that you can buy Inkymole Christmas cards to order - any quantity, any amount of different images - from I'm often asked to design Christmas cards for people and much as I'd like to, many people leave it just too late - I'm usually working on Christmas between February and September - so if you fancy some easy-does-it cards, with all the print buying taken care of, get stuck in!

See the collection here.

Moo's print is all done in the UK and they're a British company, so you'll be supporting the right kind of firm. They keep an environmental eyeball on all their processes too. (If you're REALLY organised, there's Valentine stuff already on there too...)

'6 weeks to go'

The Co-op have used the 'That's The Spirit' campaign again that I did for them last Christmas. Apparently they loved it! Watch out for Gabriela Cilmi's infectious tune on TV as my favourite supermarket (well, the only supermarket I'll patronise) counts down the weeks to the Big C. (You might also notice it on the Somerfield ads, since the Co-op have bought the firm).

Watch a Co-op TV ad (directed by Luke Scott, son of Ridley!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

600 pictures and two: Images 34

I was a judge on the Association of Illustrators' 'Images 34' competition this year, which involved looking through almost 600 illustrations (and that was just the Design and self-Promo Sections!) I saw some breathtaking work, chose some well-deserved prize winners and got to gorge myself on pictures for hours on end all in the name of 'work'.

Needless to say, I wasn't allowed to vote for myself, which is why I'm pleased I got two pieces accepted: 'Snowtrees', last year's Christmas print with words by Ed Garland, and 'Housing Works Birthday', one of those quick illustrations for a US client which turned out to be strangely popular.

They'll be in the Images Exhibition next year (usually around June time).

I'm annoyed I didn't get time to enter the Society of Illustrators competition (our New York counterpart) this year, but I suppose you just can't do everything...

The Witches

We've just come back from hosting The Witches at the East Gallery in Brick Lane. You'll know this of course as I've been talking about little else for the last six weeks or so!

Never been a team to do things by halves, we firmly believe in giving anyone who comes along - clients, family and friends - a good show. I'm usually to be found wide awake in the small hours for a week or so beforehand, worrying about whether the work is OK, is there enough of it, will everyone enjoy it, will it just look weird? and so on. A day or so before, most of the logistics are usually sorted and by the time it comes to putting the show up - well, you've done everything you can by then.

I needn't have worried. The Witches opening night was a lovely, chatty, buzzing evening where new faces were put to familiar names, and old friends, family and colleagues mingled and enjoyed the medievel-inspired tasties and plentiful Pendle Witches Brew, which was supplied by the amazingly generous David Grant of Moorhouses Brewery, up in Burnley. Chef Jed Smith, who had been left largely to his own culinary devices and has catered admirably for Inkymole events before, produced tiny bowls of hot pumpkin soup decorated with popcorn which surprised everyone, and was gulped down. The same went for his delicious almond tasties and 'Satan's Seitan' - tiny triangles of fiery home-made seitan, all served by Kate on little black trays. Both Jed and his team Clement and Kate get a big hot-handed hi-5!

Sean Canty aka Demdike Stare on music had been instructed to keep it dingy, and darken the room he certainly did - but in a retro-vampire-BBC-sound-effect-sub-bass-where's-that-noise-coming-from? kind of way. Having travelled alone due to the other half of Demdike being hours away from becoming a father, he steered the tuneship solo. The illustration, photography, words and wicker combined with these and the many glowing pumpkins and candles to create a gratifyingly seasonal atmosphere. Outside was eerily warm - I travelled to the gallery in just a corset and skirt (oh, I did actually have some shoes on), and felt not a twinge of autumn chill - and this meant people were to be found hanging outside the gallery and chatting in a summer-eve manner.

The most memorable thing for me will be the learning curve of working with several other people - Tom Hare, the willow artist, Anthony, the photographer, and Ed, who did the writing. I'm an uneasy collaborator, finding my work comes most naturally when in solitude and with plenty of direction, and although there were the logistics of being separated by anything between 3 and 3000 miles, we drew together a body of work which many commented 'hung together' perfectly, the pieces of which reflected and expanded on each other to reveal more and more. Other visitors commented that 'there was such a lot to see' and 'so many stories' and indeed, I'd put a lot of work into making sure the show flowed and the narrative was clear and plentiful.

Cards were taken, phone numbers exchanged, emails written down, meetings and liaisons organised.

There is already, of course, a list of things I'd do differently next time (and there is bound to be a next time!) but this show was most satisfying. It would only have been half as good without all the people who came along to it both on the opening night and down the week, so a warm and pumpkin-sticky 'thanks again' to everyone who did!

Photos: > click 'The Artwork' tab

What's next?

Tom Hare - currently building a 12ft reindeer for Westonbirt Arboretum, and showing again at Kew Gardens in 2010.

Anthony Saint James - working on video production back home in NYC, and undertaking fatherly duties from Match 2010.

Ed Garland - writing things that sound like this, and probably going abroad for more mind-widening soon.


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