York River Art Market

41554401_291273618357660_7760193450678419456_nHello again!

It’s been a long summer, and I don’t think I’ve spent any of it on the beach (except for one lovely afternoon in Aldeburgh, on a detour to a fish-smoking hut). I’ve been working, moving house, and getting some serious art done. Among this serious art-ing was my first ever art market, the York River Art Market. This was a wonderful day spent in the sun (and a fair buffeting of that unique York wind), chatting to passersby about my monster prints and medieval mashup cards – all of which I took along to the riverside in an old cardboard suitcase.

The day was something of a success. For me, the challenge has always been getting my work to a standard where I feel comfortable showing it publicly. I viewed my stand, a makeshift affair of garden string and a little blue table, as my own outdoor gallery. As people passed by, they stopped and asked me about the prints – where had the ideas come from? what was the process behind making them? This feels like its own victory.

Almost a year of work went into getting those prints and cards ready. Coming up with the idea for a print series and making the drawings has only been half of it. This year, I’ve also had to learn how to digitally edit my work, how to present and market my work in a way that will stand out, and how to fight down that little voice telling me people are going to laugh at me for doing this. (Actually, some people did laugh, but, as all my art has a joke in it somewhere, I take this to be a very good sign.)

A year of work went into finally getting to the next step with my artwork, but it’s been four years since I started this blog. This blog was the first step: showing my art to the internet. If you scroll back through all these posts, you come to the first pen and ink drawings, done at a university desk and intended to amuse friends and family. What follows are the pages of sketchbooks, hauled across Europe throughout a year of travelling, and finally the medieval-inspired monsters I worked on alongside my MA.

Now, as I stare down the last week and a bit until I start a PhD in Medieval literature, I can’t wait to see where these “doodles” will go next. I have monster zines and graphic novels brewing in the back of my mind, illustrated field journals and thought journals to accompany my research. I’m morphing this blog, once again, to suit the way I am using drawing in my life: welcome to my illustrated journal. I can’t wait to share it with you.

 

Keep an eye out.

— Drake

 

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Medieval Monsters

Around this time last year I began an MA in Medieval Literatures. Safe to say it was an incredible year, and one of the best bits was an introduction into the weird and wonderful world of medieval marginalia.

I was fascinated by the thousands of illustrations enchanting the pages of the ancient books I was reading on my course, most of which made very little sense to my modern understanding. You might have come across the mystery of snails in medieval manuscripts. At some point the consensus of our great*-grandparents seems to have been that snails were evil critters who attacked knights and sometimes rabbits for no apparent reason. The British Library have a great blog about it and some conspiracy theories of their own.

Terminator snails are not the most fearsome monster to be found in the borders of medieval books. There are also contortionist dragons, fearsome rabbits, and yoga-practicing knights, among many others. All are beautifully drawn using rich pigments and illumination – where gold leaf is applied to the picture. The Book of Kells is a great example of the finest illumination. I couldn’t resist having a go at drawing some of the images I saw, as well as trying to interpret them from a modern point of view.

A year on, I have selected my favourites of my manuscript monsters. This is what happens when you take medieval art completely out of context.

Over and out,

Drake

Doodle 07.05.17

Another medieval monster from the realms of marginalia, based on Les grande heures de duc de Berry, Paris, 1409.

Obviously, there were cheerios in the fifteenth century.

Pen and ink, medieval monster, and a cheerio

Drake 🙂

Doodle 16.09.16

Hello again! A week ago I broke my arm. Unfortunately, it is my right arm, and I am right handed. Fortunately, I also have a left arm, and a left hand. So, this week I have been training my left hand to draw.

Here is the very first thing I ever drew with my left hand:

Left Hand: the birth


As you can see, at first Left Hand did not display any obvious signs of artistic ability. However, we persevered, and now I am happy to introduce you to my artistic alter ego, Left. 

Here you can see works by Right and a copy by Left. Their styles differ somewhat.

Lost Girl (right hand)

Lost Girl (left hand)

Old Man Bob (right hand)

Old Man Bob (left hand)

Right is slowly recovering, but Left might be taking over the blog for a few weeks. In the meantime, let me know what you think: how does my left hand compare?

Doodle 15.07.16

Hello and I hope your Friday was amazing! As promised, today there are monsters on Drake’s Doodles. Well, maybe not monsters of the scary roary type, but creatures from strange places anyway. 

Lost Girl


You might recognise this girl from here. She was raised by trolls and wears a trollish disguise.

The Explorer


This little explorer has escaped her treehouse city and is seeing the big old world for the first time.

Stuck


Unfortunately for this troll, it is stuck in a cave. It got stuck because it can fly up but not down, which isn’t great in confined spaces.

Door Man


I can’t tell you if Door Man was born with a door as a face or if he head-butted one and got stuck with it. Either way, he’s pretty happy with his visage.

See you next week!

Drake 🙂

Doodle 27.05.16

Good morning to you! You may have noticed: it is Friday. I have also noticed this. In fact, from now on I shall be posting new doodles on Fridays. This is in a concerted effort to put better doodles up for your perusal. Also, the drawings coming out of my head have been many and varied of late, so I am trying to group them in series which make more sense.

So, here is a group of drawings I have done this week, which I call The Renegade Brigade or Monster Mash.

The Renegade Brigade in the “studio” (aka very untidy little corner of a room).


This is a style you may recognise from Doodle 11.04.16. I call it the splodge and scratchy stick method, and I like it. You never know what creatures are going to emerge from the splodge until you start to use the scratchy stick!

The Really Scary Giant with Scared Inside

Feather Girl

The True Friends

The Lonely Dragon and the Tiny Mouse Man

Hairball

The Thinker who could only Balance with the Aid of his Coat

Little Girl Lost


There you are. A week of doodles, all squished up together. I hope you like them.

Doodle-pip!