Referendum 2014: Undecided Independence

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The home stretch is upon us! 18/09/2014- a  date that shall live in infamy- the United Kingdom was suddenly and deliberately voted upon by YES and NO forces of Scotland. Yes, it’s now 2 days until the big decision. If we vote YES, come October negotiations start between the Scottish and UK governments, Scottish Independence Day will arrive on the 24th of March 2016, and on May 5th the Independent Scottish General Election will take place, cementing a place in the history books forever. If we vote NO, Cross party talks will commence on greater powers in Hollyrood, April 1st will see the Scotland Act 2012 come in, giving extra Tax raising powers to the Scottish Parliament and come May 7th, the General election occurs, with Scotland voting on it as part of the union.

So! A lot to take in huh? A lot of unknowns, a lot of promises and claims on both sides. Walking through the streets of most cities and towns there seems to be a strange air hanging over the country, with independence in every conversation, campaigners on every street, claims and promises printed on every leaflet, flier and poster. I can’t say with certainty if it’s an air of excitement or one of fear, but I somehow imagine it’s probably a 51/49% split depending on which you poll you look at. It’s very strange how quickly we’ve gone from a people who so often would joke about those getting too involved in politics, a certain grumpy pride in not getting overly passionate, serious or patriotic about such affairs, to a country bubbling like revolutionary Revolutionary Catalonia in the 1930s. It’s certainly great to see, certainly, in a time when voter turnout rates were plummeting across the board (and in true hipster style I do often wonder where half these people complaining about representation were in 2011, when the pathetic turnout for the Scottish Elections was barely 50% and the winning party only received 45% of that), people becoming interested and passionate about politics again is very encouraging. My hope at least is that this same passion sticks with us no matter which way we vote, but I can already feel the discontent and disillusionment with a vast majority of campaigners if their referendum horse happens to come in last. It with this in mind, and a horrible feeling I’m going to be bombarded with campaigning and articles to read, I have to admit I still haven’t decided what to vote.

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Short Story! A Boy in the Woods One Day

Hey folks! So, I’m working on a  secret(ish) project that involves a lot of script writing and story work, and I’m hoping I can talk a lot more about it at length very soon. However, I can show you this, which is a short story I’ve been working on that features the main character. I wrote this mainly as a kind of writing exercise and to see if I could create a kind of unhinged, crazy character and really make the reader feel  ‘inside’ his head. Writing it in first person did make me feel slightly disturbed however… Anyway! I didn’t want to push out the boat to far and let you guys kind of read between the lines at what really happened, but we’ll see how well that worked!

Now, as I’ve said before, my spelling and grammar suuuuuucks, so please excuse & call me about on it! But otherwise I hope you enjoy A Boy in the Woods One Day

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I’m Writing a Story!

Well, trying at least. Look, grammar and spelling are my two pet hates in the world- I try to get things down on paper so fast with my imagination racing at a mile a minute that it leaves ample time to see if everything actually reads well. But I love writing, and I’ve always loved writing stories, scripts, poems or whatever takes my fancy. I’ve been working on a new idea for quite some time now, spending a lot of time both planning it (something I’m also notoriously bad at) and creating the world and setting that has both continuity and life outside of the story.

Pictured: Planning. Or Alternatively; evidence of an insane man.

Pictured: Planning. Or Alternatively; evidence of an insane man.

 

So, what I figure is posting the first part of my story here, as well as the rest of the story as I write it. It’s only a first draft, but I figure I’ll update it as I go on my blog so that I can keep track of it better myself. Since the story is presented a bit like a diary, I figure it works on the blog quite well. I don’t want to let on anything about the wider plot, but what I’m presenting is essentially the character of Jamie, his journey and an accompanying history of an Island. Give me feedback! I want to know what I’m doing wrong!

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“Some Shenanigans of Thrones”

Light A Game of Thrones Spoilers ahead!

 

So I’ve started a a digital piece that’s probably my most ambitious and largest artwork yet. Drawn on 630x890mm canvas, I hope to include as many of the Game of Thrones characters, locations and references as possible. I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far, but I still have a while to go with it. This is probably about 3/4 hours of work so far.

 

Robert Baratheon is my favourite.

‘ol fatty Robert Baratheon is my favourite.

I’m trying to put as much detail into the castles and locations as possible, and stuff it with injokes and references from the books (without spoiling too much)

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King’s Landing. Complete with Fleabottom and the start of Stannis’s attack on the walls!

That tower is basically just the journey of bran stark. Plus Maester Luwin's sleeves with flying scrolls!

That tower is basically just the journey of bran stark. Plus Maester Luwin’s sleeves with flying scrolls!

Either way, I still have a loooooong way to go. However, once I finish it’s going to my my favourite piece by far. I’ll update you guys as I go!

Lucky I don't have to worry about ink this time.

Lucky I don’t have to worry about ink this time.

 

Sketchbook Archive 02/04/14

Hey hey! Figure I’ll stick up a few pictures from my past few years, just as a way to show off the development of my artwork and so I can keep track of them myself! Just nitpicking certain pieces I’ve done, both freehand and computer work. I’ll try and post them now and then when I have some spare time!

Without much further ado, let’s gooooooo!

"Alexis". The last thing big A2 piece I've done. I made it for the birthday of my cousin back in 2012 (albeit 3-4 months late!) and it's a combination of a famous Mucha girl and some of my own designs. Pretty proud of it- I just wish I had a better picture of it!

“Alexis”. The last thing big A2 piece I’ve done. I made it for the birthday of my cousin back in 2012 (albeit 3-4 months late!) and it’s a combination of a famous Mucha girl and some of my own designs. Pretty proud of it- I just wish I had a better picture of it!

"Runnyunder Jazz Festival". This was the very first artwork I ever did in photoshop! It's from around 2009/10 when I finally got access to Photoshop on my high school computer. As you can see, I've hardly improved!

“Runnyunder Jazz Festival”. This was the very first artwork I ever did in photoshop! It’s from around 2009/10 when I finally got access to Photoshop on my high school computer. As you can see, I’ve hardly improved!

"Green Godzilla". A pen and ink piece on A4 paper that I actually sold on Etsy. I think it's somewhere in America now. If someone ever comes across it, tell me!

“Green Godzilla”. A pen and ink piece on A4 paper that I actually sold on Etsy back in 2009/10. I think it’s somewhere in America now. If someone ever comes across it, tell me!

These, along with the "Godzilla" sketch were part of a big series of "city spaces" I drew, but many of them I forgot to take photos of/gave away. I need to track them down! Some of my favourite work. I really want to return to it later.

Untitled sketch. This, along with the “Godzilla” sketch were part of a big series of “City Spaces” I drew, but many of them I forgot to take photos of/gave away. I need to track them down! Some of my favourite work. I really want to return to the idea later.

I don't even really know what this was for. My dream house, maybe?

I don’t even really know what this was for. My dream house, maybe?

"Nothing in particular". The first logo I ever did with my sketchpad. Turned out pretty well. It was for a podcast that I made (and still have... unreleased!)

“Nothing in particular”. The first logo I ever did with my sketchpad back in 2011. Turned out pretty well. It was for a podcast that I made (and still have… unreleased!)

And a drawing of a horse. Pretty sure I traced/stole the idea from somewhere. The shading is all me though!

And a drawing of a horse. Pretty sure I traced/stole the idea from somewhere. The shading is all me though!

A (poorly edited) Blast From The Past

Well since I’ve not been doing much drawing and thus my Sunday Night Sketchbooks have been a bit thin, I figure I’ll leave you with an old sketch I made years ago that I found while cleaning out my laptop today. I know, the editing AND acting is terrible, but I was belle of the ball in my college class when I made this! How far we’ve come… It was for a radio show I did with a friend called “Ali and Ewan On”, which lasted only three episodes as it turns out scripting out an entire 30 minute episode each week for a comedy show is DIFFICULT. Either way, enjoy and revel in my terrible acting abilities:

Flobathon!

So one of my favourite YouTubers KurtJMac celebrated the “Flobathon” this weekend, a mammoth 12 hour livestream celebrating the end of the forth season of Far Lands or Bust, as he continued to walk through the world of minecraft toward the Farlands in the name of charity. You can still donate over at Farlands or Bust, and you can of course find his videos on his YouTube channel. I’ve been subscribed to Kurt since about episode 5 or 6 of his Minecraft LP (just before he started his adventure to the farlands) and it was his series that introduced me to Mindcrack and inspired me to start making videos. Since then, he’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and has been featured in a  multitude of news and magazine articles. So for all those reasons and more, go Kurt! However the main point to all this was to show off some awesome artwork a buddy of mine Sebs did, depicting a bunch of us who were hanging out in IRC watching the Flobathon and eating pizza like a bunch of collective badasses. I can now tick off “Featured in Seb’s art” from my bucketlist. Find more great artwork here!

Life made

EssRec-Bee and Puppycat

Welcome to Essential Recommendations! My occasional blog post in which I recommend you guys books, films, videos games or anything really that I find cool. Last time, I recommended the brilliant Killing Is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Linean essay detailing the nuances of a video game that challenges the current perception of military first person shooters, the depiction of violence in entertainment and even the portrayal of post traumatic Stress disorder. This time, it’s an online cartoon about Bee, an out-of-work twenty-something who has a life-changing collision with a mysterious creature she names PuppyCat. So yeah, not exactly keeping to a  theme.

Bee and PuppyCat

By Natasha Allegri and Frederator Studios

Available on YouTube, Kickstarter Page (funded)

This is pretty much required watching for anyone who is a fan of Adventure Time and the similarities are clear from the start: magical pets, crazy adventures and a childish psychedelic art style bordering on a drug trip. It’s no coincidence: series creator Natasha Allegri is a crew member on Adventure Time and it well-known within the community. However, as someone who is categorically not a fan of Adventure Time, I wanted to post this so encourage people who maybe wrote off Bee and Puppycat for its similar AT ‘vibe’.

Source: http://jailboticus.deviantart.com/art/Bee-and-Puppycat-in-Fishbowl-Space-392317801

You might write off B&P as a Adventure Time rip off, but you’d be oh-so wrong.

The series has a beautiful art style that’s almost impossible to describe (and probably why I keep referring to its closest relative, Adventure Time). Every frame has this beautiful fluid motion to it, and the characters are wonderful animated and expressive. What drew me in was the sound however- it’s crazy and over the top but so beautifully made and pitch perfect. The voice acting is also wonderfully crisp, simple and soft-spoken. It doesn’t feel jarring or out-of-place like I’ve found Adventure Time to sometimes suffer from. To someone studying sound design, it’s really inspiring to see something so detailed and unique sounding in a cartoon. Either way, keep an eye out for new episodes soon- a whole series was funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign and I couldn’t be happier. You can find an Ask me Anything interview on Reddit by Natasha and the executive producer Fred Seibert here. Also check out Bravest Warriors by the same studio if you’d like something similar.

Scott Waker- my new favourite drawing!

Lb7ZEov

So I drew this for GreatScottLP, a twitch.tv streamer and pretty rad guy. It was his birthday last week, so I spend a few hours drawing Scott’s character on an adventure in the famous boat from his favourite game, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. For me, it went from being a quick doodle to one of my best works I’ve done digitally! This picture is of course based on this, one of Wind Waker‘s most famous posters.  I’ve never played an Nintendo games (I know, I know- my secret shame!) but Wind Waker always appealed to me for its gameplay, setting and especially striking art style.

Using the picture as a template, I traced it over in Photoshop, before colouring it closely enough so that it was recognisable but not simply a ‘copy and paste’ of the original. I  also decided to take out the island for this same reason, as I felt it would feel like to much of a ‘reskin’ if I did. I was originally going to go with a clear blue sky, but the sunset gradients worked much better than I thought, so I decided to add in the stars and clouds. I love drawing clouds, but I had always failed to make them look appealing digitally, however I think this is my first step to success with it in the future. I did want to add in the evil moon from Majoras Mask as a little reference, but I felt it would look too cluttered so I ditched it. Overall, from concept to uploading it took me about 2 and half hours to make.

My favourite part is the boat head, which I changed to a dragon with sunglasses and moustache because he’s a damn cool mother trucker. Also  notice the sail? I changed the tribal symbol to a stylised GS, which I felt look better and more subtle than writing ‘Great Scott’ Somewhere.  His character is based on Sixelonas profile picture she made for him.

The Raasay Mines

Yep

As you guys may or may not know, I come from a very small and relatively remote island called Raasay. It’s an awesome place to have grown up, and it’s stuffed full of history and interesting sites. One such obsession I’ve had is with the Raasay Iron Mines, which were worked on the island during the First World War. There are miles of mineshafts running underneath the island, and my friend recently went exploring in some of them. These tunnels are almost 100 years old, and have probably only been seen a handful of times since the mines were closed. You can look through the album below on the Raasay Facebook page I help run, and I’ve included a history of the mines in the captions of the photos. Enjoy! I love the history of the Islands, and hopefully I’ll post more stuff here soon. Until then, there’s a new post on the Raasay Facebook page every day- photos, history and news, so if you enjoy that kind of stuff, give us a like! We’ve already got over twice as many likes as there are people living on the island as it is.

https://www.facebook.com/IsleOfRaasay/posts/628129707224120?stream_ref=10

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