?

Log in

No account? Create an account

June 3rd, 2014

fun with marker pens

Here's another Ugly Birthday Card, this time for Lauren O'Farrell (aka Deadly Knitshade).



The one problem with having a studio is that when I'm at home, and suddenly remember I want to draw a birthday card, I don't have any of my good art supplies lying around; I have to grab whatever I can find. So occasionally friends get hideous stuff cobbled together from the cardboard in tights packets or painted with tea. But awhile back, I bought a pack of Letraset marker pens - I think Posy Simmonds said she used them to colour Gemma Bovery - and I was playing around with them the other night.



They're good fun. Here's a picture of Stuart reading The Guardian:



And a fearsome selfie:

self portraits and awkwardness

About a month ago, a portrait photographer named Madeleine Waller visited me at the studio, on a mission to shoot series of portraits of children's book creators. I'd recently found a second-hand dress with a wonderfully over-the-top Princess Di collar and liked the way that it made me look a bit fussy and ornate, sort of like one of those old paintings you see in grand old houses, of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and the like.


Photo by Madeleine Waller

I love drawing from those sorts of paintings, so I made a drawing of this one, too. (With added Sea Monkeys.)



It was kind of strange looking at the photos, because I think Madeleine was quite keen to catch me in serious, reflective poses. It's is not something I do naturally when in front of the camera; I'm a bit nervous of pretentious-looking Serious Author photos. Like, look at me, see how deep and sensitive I am. My studio mates and I vy at least weekly to see who can look stoopidest in front of the camera.


Photo by Madeleine Waller

But my dress helped me with this, by making me look like a total bimbo. I'd never worn it before. While the collar looked loverly, the dress had been almost floor-length, and I'd taken it up to what I thought was just above the knee. I'm a bit bad with hemming, I never know quite what I'm going to get. This dress is made of some weird poly fabric that rides up whenever I lift my arms, which I would have realised on the day if there had been a mirror around. So I was having fun reclining on a studio sofa for the friendly photographer as she snapped and snapped. And then when I saw the photos later, I realised my skirt had ridden up so high that it was, well... quite racy.

ARRGGGGH. I mean, it doesn't look bad, exactly, but it wasn't quite the image I try to put forward as 'children's author'. And Madeleine didn't know me well enough to know that wasn't my intention. Red face.

I won't post those photos here, but you can see one on her website, where she has some really amazing work. My favourite is a shot of my friend Viviane Schwarz in the awesome superhero dress she made from a duvet cover.


Photo by Madeleine Waller

Learning how to be photographed is another one of Those Things They Don't Teach Us in Art College. I never realised how much it would be a part of being an illustrator. I used to be terrible with photos and avoided them. Then I thought I was getting better at it until my sister and friends started teasing me about always having the same rictus grin in every Facebook photo.

...But what is one supposed to DO? I'm still trying to figure this out [cue self-conscious laugh]. So many insecurities flit through our heads when we're being photographed: Do I look okay? Am I vain for trying to look better than in real life? Can I use this picture for one of those festival photos they're always asking for? Will this picture help sell my books? ...Am I being vain? They're kind of the same questions we ask ourselves when we draw our self portraits. Will everyone think I'm being vain? Is this just irritating self-indulgence? Should I displace the embarrassment by posting a photo of the cat instead?

But drawing self portraits is one of those basic things we're supposed to do to hone our drawing skills; Van Gogh did it, Rembrandt did it. Photographer Cindy Sherman does it, everyone does it. And then I read about people who have serious addiction problems with posting Internet selfies, and I think, right, it's time to book a slot with the therapist.

Check out Madeleine's two new books with Hoxton Mini Press:



These people are quite brave to pose for her - in their swimming costumes - and they're beautiful photos.

Profile

jabberworks
Sarah McIntyre

Latest Month

November 2019
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner