Friday, 30 September 2011

The Marvels!

This is just a shout out to "The Marvels". I designed their logo...
but they're also awesome!

 Check out their great website at:

But why not go one step further, and check out their amazing repetoir of rockin' tunes and their fantastically produced and super fun video! I love these guys! They do a christmas message each year too! Can't wait for this years one! 

Here's their video... Enjoy!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Buttons and Bows Craft Fair (21st August)

Sorry about the delay in getting the info up about the craft market I did. I had photos of the stuff I was selling, but I was waiting to hear back from a few folks who had taken photos of myself behind the stall, working away. Finally today the photos arrived! So this is me and my friend Courtney at the Buttons and Bows craft market in Crumlin.
It was only the 2nd Buttons and Bows market, so it still isn't very well known and hasn't quite taken off yet. Regardless of that, it was a nice day out (bar the lack of sandwiches, which I'd a huge craving for all day!) I sold quite a bit, and it was definitely worth the experience too. So here I am, hocking my wares to who ever will have them!

On a seperate note, I was painting ceramic piggies at the Lucan Festival on Sunday. It was a horrendous day until about 4 o'clock, so sales were slow. But the weather picked up then, and business picked up a bit too. You can see examples of my pig painting here: 

I'll leave it at that for now. Thanks for reading!

PS: Here is some of the stuff I made to sell. I also sold my paintings which are in a previous post, if you so wanted to see them, they are at this web linky:


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Googles Doodle honours Jim Hensons Brithday

Google have done it again. After the amazing Queen tribute doodle (link below) which I thought was amazing, they've gone one step further on the awesome scale and made interactive muppets on their doodle today, in honour of Jim Hensons birthday. I was playing with them thinking "what a shame they don't make noise when you click on them" but as I continued playing with them, adding my own muppet-esque sound track, I realized not adding sound was something they must have done on purpose to make wierdos like me make silly muppet sounds as the mouths open and close! Anyway, I figured I'd do a few screen grabs and post them up incase any of you guys missed this epic doodle at the time. Each muppet could be controlled one at a time, but I've merged the resulting actions together on indiviual panels, as it would be silly to have a panel for each. Enjoy!

main screen
when you hover the cursor over each hand option
(with this option, you could make the muppets follow the cursor)

when you click on the hand option for each muppet

additonal fun options
additonal fun options

Queen Google Doodle

Long live Google doodles!

Culture Night 23rd of September

Culture Night in Dublin is a great night where a majority (if not all!) cultural events in Dublin are free. Musuems that might normally cost an arm and a leg to get into suddenly open their doors to the public. Although some of these open doors require booking, so as to avoid a million people turning up. Nevertheless, I booked some places in a workshop called "Artist Trading Card Workshop". The info from the Culture night brochure described it as "a tiny, original piece of art created with the intention of trading it with another artist." The artist running the event, Adrienne Geoghegan, usually runs illustration boot camps during the year, so I guess this was her equivelent of a taster of what she usually offers. It seemed a fun idea so I went ahead and booked a few from the class of us in. Places where very limited and when we arrived it was easy to see why. The event was in the artists house! Her crazy but lovable dog was roaming around with a stick in his mouth and her children were hyper with the excitement of all the strangers in their house. It was a wonderful kind of madness! 

We were the second group of the night. As it was difficult to find the house (as a majority of people probably thought "this can't be right" and turned around after entering the housing estate) the first group had started late so we had to wait in the sitting room. Some of Adrienne's work was on the wall, and it was fascinating. It was quite varied so at first I wasn't sure if it was all her work. It was a nice experience to see inside an artists house. I even enjoyed looking at the collection of books she owned. I'd like to think some day I'd have a house covered in work I'm proud of, and an equally great collection of books. There was really interesting 3d pieces on the wall, as well as 2d ones. Here's some examples of work shes done.


Check out her website for more examples:

When we finally went through, we were offered tea and cake. Not just any kind of cake, Mr. Kipling french fancies! And not even just regular tea (in a way). It was served in the most fantastic crockery! Proper Alice in Wonderland tea party stuff! I was afraid I'd break mine! Even the tea pot was the most beautiful tea pot I've ever seen! I digress.. 

In front of us was almost every art material imaginable. Paper, scissors, paint, water-colours, water colour crayons, pastels, oil pastels, pencils, glue, stamps, ink, paint brushes of various sizes. I'm probably forgetting something.. Anyway, it was like being in a craft shop where you want to play with everything but can't. Well, I could today! She said that we could do whatever we'd like, but that if we needed a theme, the theme was "urban". She showed us a few examples of cards she'd made up and then we were away. Instantly, the word "urban" ironically made me think "country" and then I thought of the country mouse coming to town, so I painted him using water colour crayons, which I hadn't used before and will definitely be buying a set! I then used oil pastels to draw a sophisticated town pig. This was obvious by his monocle and top hat. I then felt I was being a bit too silly, so then I drew a rather nice graceful simplistic swan on some gold metallic card. I was surprised how nice it looked. I'm usually not good at "sophisticated".  

Adrienne had had a special stamp made up so that when we were finished, we stamped the back of our card, which left a template for us to title the piece and write our name, which was a nice touch. I managed to trade all my cards, but unfortunately, I think because so many of us from the class went, that it resulted in us being a bit insular and not trading with many other people at the event. Never the less, I'm really happy to own some of everyone else's work, even if it is only a little card. It's odd to work along side great artists, but yet never own any of their work, which is a shame. Anyway, I best get back to work. Tomorrow I'm painting pigs in a pub in Lucan, so fingers crossed I can get a few bob out of the locals! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Attempt at a caricature of me

I did a wee caricature of myself... I've my hair being the biggest thing in the picture, as its stupidly thick and hard to control. I made it look nice in this caricature though, but in reality a bit of wind and I look a total mess. Ah well. I've included the word "Mawsy", which is a nick name many of my friends and family use. 


I've been meaning to scan these layouts properly, and get them up on the web for a while. Finally, after many a metaphorical scraps with my contrary scanner, I finally got them scanned. I plan to use them as a learning excerise for photoshop, and colour them up. Fingers crossed it isn't too tricky. Anyway, hope you don't mind the  vertical posting of them, it's just its so difficult to see the entire layout otherwise. So fingers crossed I'll be posting up lovely painterly versions of these soon enough.

Pegbar event: 16th of September

Well, it's a slightly delayed update on the Pegbar event, but I'd a busy weekend and then spent a majority of yesterday trying to get my stubborn scanner to work. Anyway, as always, it was a cozy collection of animators and people in the industry admiring the work of their peers, contemporaries and knowledgeable elders who've made a recognizable impact in the animation world. 

The first speaker (though a man of few words) was Barry O'Donaghue, the director of Barley Films. He showed us a collection of short films that he was involved in. One of the most mermorbale was a short entitled " The Rooster, the Crocodile and the Night Sky".

 It's a charming story about a Rooster that goes on a search for the night sky, which has been stolen by a greedy crocodile that wasnts to cut it up and make it into clothes. The funniest of all the characters is the sea, which starts to go crazy without the moon and the night sky to calm and control it. It's wonderfully animated with a mixture of textures, live action , stop motion and computer animation.

Another wonderful short was the "The Agricultural Report". A charming little story about a cow that overhears a report about foot and mouth, and becomes extremely panicked about the increasing risks of him becominig infected. The cow finally crushes the radio under its own weight, as he tries to avoid touching the grass. He slowly becomes aware of the fact that you can't life your life in fear and relaxes back into his old way of life as if he'd never heard the report. It's a subtle reflection on the madness of terrorist threats in America, with the country seemingly in a constant state of fear. 

Next up was Emmet O'Neill the director of Creative and Interactive Design with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. He told us about his wonderful job at Rothco (where drinking a beer at your desk was the norm) and how he was initially heart broken when he left this great job and took up his current position at the "suit and tie" environment at HMH. This turned out to benefit both him and the company as he was completely free to be creative with his work as he wasn't worried about losing his job as his old position at Rothco was still available. With this freedom, he went on to create, what he referred to as "Sin City for 6 year olds!". This film noir-esque educational computer game completely revamped what the company was already using and was massively sucessful. The "Carmen Sandiego" character/product, who investigates educational quandaries is now one of the most well known  educational tools in the whole of america. The frnachaise has now spread to several formats, including the internet, ds games, mac/pc, playstation online and xbox live games and more. 

This reminded me a lot of Jason Tammemagi's talk at the last Pegbar event. He too threw caution to the wind and when he was asked to fill out a survey in work about how the animation company he was working for was being run, he went all out and tore the business to shreds. Instead of being punished, the manager took all he said on board and even promoted him to creative director at Monster. So sometimes putting your neck on the line and showing some courage can  pay off. He then went on to create the wonderful "Fluffy Gardens". He was told the show wouldn't be successful as the characters of the show change in each episode (there's no central chacarters in each episode). Regardless, he went on with the idea and is now a very  successful cartoon and has been sold in over 100 countries. 

Slightly getting off topic there... Fraser MacLean was next up. He reiterated a lot of what he said when he visited us in Ballyfermot, but again he is a termendously animated and passionate man and a joy to listen to. He showed us a few more pages of his beautiful book and I guarantee everyone in that room has that book on their Christmas list! So fingers crossed he'll break even at least.

Thinking about the last Pegbar event, makes me want to write about Norton Virgien as well, who also did a wonderful talk, but I think I'll get my head around that another day.

Check out for more info on previous and coming events

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fraser MacLean talk

Fraser MacLean was good enough to come and have a chat with us at college today. The man has had a varied and fascinating career and was an absolute pleasure to listen to. He kept asking if we had any questions, and I felt like putting up my hand and saying "just keep talking, you're career and experience is fantastic to hear about!" The guy has just written a book, which we were lucky enough to get a sneaky preview of. It looks like a wonderful book and even if I had not seen some of the wonderful art work inside, I'd have still definitely sought the book out just on the grounds that Fraser himself was so informative, that the book must also be full of nuggets of fantastic information. I found it on the Waterstones website and Amazon, but I'll have to budget for a few weeks to get the cash together for it. I've a birthday coming up, so maybe someone will buy it for me... hehe.

Hopefully his talk at the peg bar event tomorrow will be just as informative. Hopefully the peg bar talk will be just as good as the previous one! It's great to hear from all these great people and companies, about their humble beginnings and how they went about getting where they are. It's nice to know that even the big wigs had to start somewhere. Anywho, I've a lot of college work to do, so I'm off.  

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New Blogo! (logo and blog combined!)

This is my shiney and new Blog Logo, or "Blogo". I'm not 100percent happy with it, but no doubt I'll tinker with it in the future again. It'll do for now anyway! I went with the plain pink frog in the end as I felt the colourful frog was a little bit over the top. Anyway, hope you like it and thanks for popping by! 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Title blogger thingy-ma-jig

I'm currently thinking about a good typeface and which poison arrow froggy to use. The colourdy one or the plain pink one... I kinda like them both... This won't be the layout of the title box of course. Just throwing this up here for now as I might take a break from it for this evening. Hitting a wall with regards layout and things. Fresh eyes tomorrow might help.


These are some paintings I did for the craft market I did a few weeks back, which I mentioned in my weebly blog ( I sold quite a few, and I kinda miss them actually! I regret not getting good scans of them before parting ways with them, instead of the shoddy camera phone pictures I have. Oh well. Live and learn. Hope you like them! 

The final picture (The Moose painting) I did for my nephew who loves all things Canadian. He developed a feel of bears from the quite scary book "Going on a bear hunt". So his mum (my sister) told him that bears and everything else scary only live in Canada. Now that he's a little older, Canada just seems like the most fun place ever understandably! All the fun animals are there. The picture includes a little step by step process of how I went about painting it. Hope you like the moose and his buddies! Thanks for visiting/reading/looking!


This is Squidgie. I made him as a visual response (our first assignment of the new college year) to a culture event. The event I went to was the Dublin Contemporary Art Exhibition at Earlsfort Terrace.

 I'd read about a set of sculptures in particular interested me by a German-based artist named David Zink Yi. He created a series of sculptures in the likenesses of dead giant squids. Looking like tons of dead animal protein, Zink Yi’s giant squid is in fact a 660-pound ceramic object, surrounded by a pool of blue ink. He used a mixture of lead and copper glazes to create a varied metallic sheen on each of his ceramic colossal cephalopods.

On a separate note, I've tried to see the preserved giant squid in the natural history musuem in London twice now, but have yet to see it.  The squid is kept in a non-public area of the musuem, so you even have to pre-book places on the tour. The first time, the tour guide called in sick, so the tour didn't take part. The second time, the whole area was being re-vamped, so again, I didn't get to see it. Third time lucky hopefully!

The thing that interested me about this piece, is that though it a piece of art, it also represents reality too, as we only ever see giant squids when they die and wash up onto our shores.  Zink Yi’s piece allows us to feel a sense of how someone who found one of these creatures on the beach might have felt. It is no wonder that many myths and folklore were influenced by these finds.

As I looked at the piece, I couldn’t help but feel that is was a waste to have merely recreated reality, when creating an animated squid would have been much more fun. One of the great things about animation is the worlds and characters you can create are limitless, so my visual response was to create an illustration that shows a giant squid being friendly with a human diver. I also created the worst animation known to man to accompany it.

Finally, I called him Squidgie, as this is how my nephew pronounces squid, and its super cute. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I have returned!

I was away in Marrakech Morocco for the last week, and boy was it a culture shock! Took a bit of getting used to, but once I did, it was a doddle and a wonder. There was so much to take in! In the Medina (the central square of the city centre within the walls) is where all the stall owners set up and try sell their wares. 

Transvestite Moroccan Dancer!

This ranges from story telling, snake charming, transvestite dancers, traditional dancers, musicians, henna tattoo artists, food, drink (mostly delicious sugary mint tea and orange juice), herbs, spices, animals, etc.It was especially exciting at night with the wonderful smell of food and spices being cooked and the wonderful sight of seeing the smoke rise into the skyline from the fires.

My chameleon friend and I!
I didn't get a picture of the monkey that was put on me by a crazy man, as I had only just gotten off the bus and was petrified! But once I relaxed, I wasn't quite as jumpy, so I was happy enough to pose with my new chameleon buddy here.

Medina at night
And then "The Souks" are even more specialised again. These are the merchants that occupy the tiny winding busy streets in the Souk area, were they sell jewelery, lamps, ceramics, rugs,  clothes, food, shoes, everything really! Haggling is a massive part of their culture so accepting the first offer is a rookie mistake. 

The culture is fascinating and I genuinely found myself envying it. There is no drink culture, (which I thought I'd dread, but ended up loving!) and there is a massive sense of community and family togetherness apparent from everyone. There were groups of people everywhere socialising, drinking Moroccan tea, talking and laughing. This continued well into the night (as it was often still very warm through the night) with these groups sprinkled across many of the beautiful gardens, streets and even along the stretches of roads leading out of the city. One such garden has the remains of Yves Saint Laurent, because he loved it so much there. The vibrant colours and mix of plants was beuatiful. it was also so near the city, yet a totally peaceful haven from the madness. Well worth a visit.

The Majorelle Gardens
The main Mosque in Marrakech.
The architecture is beautiful. The King insisted that newer buildings etc., must be built outside the city walls, keeping the Medina, the local shops, the Souks and side streets preserved culturally and historically. Outside the city walls (Gueliz) is like a second city. It is more westernised but it is still hugely influenced by the traditional moroccan architecture. I couldn't help but feel ashamed of how they  committed so much to their history, while we in Ireland we built apartments over the remains of the original Viking built Dublin and built a monstrous modern building right in front of Dublin Castle. Even their modern hotels fit seamlessly into the cityscape.

We then ventured dangerously up the atlas mountains to see the 7 waterfalls of the Ourika valley. The locals were quite blaise about the dangers of the climb, which was frightening. They even had young children with them! Though I witnessed a few falls, no one ever seemed seriously hurt and they mostly seemed to laugh it off (even though it scared the bejaysus out of me!). I wish I could have gotten some photos of the treacherous climb up, but i was too scared to get my camera out in case I lost my balance! It was worth it to see the beautiful waterfall though.

Ourika Valley Waterfall.

Our camel for a bit!

Brian and I on a camel!

The camel ride was an experience too! My god they are big animals! And when they're teetering near the edge of a sharp decline on the Atlas mountains, its not the most reassuring thing in the world! But it was fun all the same! They're lovely creatures. Not angry and spitty like I thought they'd be. 

Another thing I found quite interesting as well is that everyone is completely equal, in the sense they're all wearing comfortable robes. Men, women and children! While I was rambling around sweaty and uncomfortable, all the locals were comfy in their attire, protected from the sun and happy as can be. I can completely see the benefit of their clothes, and would love if I could head out on the town even a fraction as comfortable as they all were. Though I was a westerner myself, I even found myself gawking at westerners in disgust. I tried to remain respectful (covering my legs, shoulders etc., as the guidebooks say) but I felt ashamed of the westerners so blatantly ignoring the culture. Why visit such an exotic place without first learning about it? This made me think more about our society at home. How nice it must be to be were women aren't objectified for their bodies, pressurised to remain thin etc. (well, that is the way it is in Marrakech! I realise some other Arab countries have different laws with regards forced marriages etc).  

What I found refreshing too were the children. They play and laugh exactly as kids in Ireland do! I wish I could round up every racist there is and show them the light-hearted fun I saw and show them that all cultures races and creeds are the exactly the same. I also noticed that all the kids under 7-ish, wore western clothes, even though their parents wore traditional attire. I couldn't help but think that the kids had chosen to wear the clothes, favouring the bright colours etc., but then as the grew older, they probably realised that their own cultures attire was much more sensible, comfortable and simply better! (All of the traditional clothes were extremely soft, made with beautiful cotton... I bought one and I love it! I'd have worn it if I had been sure I wouldn't have offended anyone.)   

Okey Dokey! That's enough waffle for now! I'm sure I've bored your eyes to tears!
It mightn't be the end of my Morocco babling, but it'll be all for today!