Sunday, 15 April 2018

Dunstable Library Manga Mania!

Over the last few weeks, I have been honoured to work on a series of workshops at Dunstable Library. Manga Mania is a 10-week project for 11-16-year-olds, focusing on different aspects of manga drawing. I have been very lucky to work with extremely talented and overall lovely young people, and have another great artist and person, Arkolina, as my mentee. (Yes indeed, I feel like I'm a proper adult now - a mentor, no less!) The project will run for another 5 weeks (until 19th May). Here are some highlights:

In other news, I've got a few things in the pipeline, including... a new graphic novel! Watch this space...


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Update + "But they don't teach manga at school..."

Hi everyone! How's your summer going? I've been quite busy both at home (with three kids out of school/nursery life can become a bit manic!) and art-wise. I've been leading manga workshops at Newmarket Library and have come across many young people who are genuinely interested in drawing, improving their skills, and manga/anime/comics. They have been a pleasure to teach!

In my workshops, I often come across people saying "I wish they taught manga at school", "but in art lessons we don't do anything manga/anime related" etc. First and foremost, I have to say - your art education doesn't finish the time your school day finishes. You can always continue to evolve and develop in your own time - practice, sketching, following video tutorials on YouTube, anything that helps you. If you want to draw manga - just do it!

Having said that, it's always nice to come across teachers/courses that are supportive towards budding manga artists. I have recently found out about Online College of Art and Design - it is part of Cambridge Online Education that offers a range of online courses, from GCSE level to Foundation degrees. But the main reason that this college caught my eye is that it offers manga as one of their Art&Design pathways! So if you want to work towards a GCSE/BTEC level qualification while pursuing your special interest in manga, this course enables you to do so. It's always great to see manga-style illustration to be more accepted! Please see the College's website for more info!

Another very good option is, of course, the Arts Award - I have been an Arts Award adviser for a number of years, and I have to say it's a really good programme to be a part of. Not only does it allow for creative freedom (you can practice any art form you choose!) and gives you a recognised qualification, it also lets you develop leadership skills. You can find a centre in your area and join up any time if you are up to 26 years old!

So don't limit yourself, explore your options - and #staycreative!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Project Bootcamp in Newmarket

A few weeks ago, I attended a Project Bootcamp - a day dedicated to bring artists and other creatives and arts organisations together to discuss community arts projects. It was the first event of its kind I attended and I really enjoyed it! The atmosphere was really friendly and productive (no phones allowed!) and the Market Place staff leading it really made the whole event a success. I've made some really interesting connections with other creatives - it was so great talking about art (and how little time we have to create...)
Here are more details about it (I can't believe they included my derpy feedback as well!). I have learned a great deal - but the three main points are:
1. Connecting with audiences. If you are planning a project, your first question should be not "What is my project going to be?", but "Who is it going to be for?".
2. There are so many interesting art-related things happening around us. Around you, wherever you are, there are exciting projects going on - just come off your customary Facebook-Twitter-Instagram route and search for arts organisations near you!
3. If you have a project in mind, it is possible to make it a reality. IT IS. Really. Whatever it is. There are opportunities and possibilities, people who are interested in the same thing. Connect with them, discuss your project with them, make it happen! #staycreative

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Happy 2017!

Hi everyone! Welcome to the new year!
I am planning my events calendar for 2017, please keep an eye on the Workshops and Events page ^^

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Many thanks for all those who came to Linton Children's Book Festival today! I enjoyed drawing portraits, and the drawing session was fantastic (and very lively). Hope you all had a good time ^^ Lots of photos from the festival are here!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hello! Happy 2016!

Hi everyone,

Just a little heads-up regarding what's been happening. As you know I had the second volume of Chemical Blue out in October 2015. Many thanks to all of you who bought and read it, it really means the world to me!
I am on a bit of a hiatus until Easter 2016 because... I had another baby! Yes, ANOTHER one! So I have 3 now... But I'll be back in action very soon! Watch this space, and enjoy the fresh new year.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

New book coming up! Chemical Blue Volume 2!

Hi all,

I have some fantastic news to share - the second volume of Chemical Blue has now been completed and printed! I'm sure there'll be more information from Sweatdrop Studios about it soon - but in the meantime, if you are going to London Comic-Con this October, it'll be available from Sweatdrop stall, and later on you can buy it online in the Sweatdrop shop and on Amazon!
I'm so happy I finished this story, it's been such a massive part of my life for so long. I feel like I've unlocked a tremendous achievement! (Although, on a personal level, I'll have an even bigger achievement to unlock in a few days' time T_T) Volume 2 has taken quite a few years to make, in-between kids, jobs, house moves etc. but I feel really happy that I persevered with it and never gave up on the story and characters. They are as real to me as any IRL people I know, and I love them to bits (so much that I even named my daughter after the protagonist :)) So please so check out the book if you can! Thanks ~*