I’ve done my fair share of life drawing in the past - at college we used to go every week, and I had a couple of intensive days of it on my foundation course at Wimbledon UAL. I really believe it’s the best way of improving drawing skills, working under different time constraints and challenging my sense of perception. So, with plenty of reasonably priced classes and drop-in sessions...
The Secrets to Success in Illustration
I just experienced one of the most useful Saturdays I’ve had in a long time, all thanks to the Association of Illustrators. They held a day of talks on from some very talented and experienced illustrators and people working in the children’s book industry, and I was a lucky crowd member. It’s a scarily competitive world if you step foot down the path of children’s book...
Royal College of Art Show 2012
I was lucky enough to get a guest invite to the opening to the the Royal College of Art’s annual summer show (June 20th–July 1st) and thought I might share my favourite find. Samantha Donaldson is an incredibly talented artist who specialised in ceramics and glass for her Masters at the RCA. Her curiosity and fascination with rock collections and the interesting cross-sections of volcanic rocks is...
East London Comic & Arts Festival (ELCAF)
This weekend saw the first ever East London Comic & Arts Festival – and unsurprisingly, it was a massive success. I’m not sure if the organizers expected a queue to form that stretched the entire street, but I definitely didn’t! Luckily we were kept entertained by admiring McBess’s epic mural: (source) Anyway, it was well worth it. I walked into an interview with...
I’m currently working on a series of prints and tees featuring some of my favourite childhood nursery rhymes. It started with my submission to Doodlers Anonymous’ colouring Book Vol. 2 (of which I’m eagerly anticipating the release!) Still to come are the thrilling tales of Jack Horner, Miss Muffet, Humpty Dumpty and Cock Robin. I have just completed a personal favourite (and...
A Blessing of Unicorns
Collective nouns are fun. Some of my personal favourites: • A mischief of mice • A fall of lambs • A band of gorillas (bet that would sound amazing) • A prickle of porcupines Aaanyway… back to the unicorns! I’ve been working on this repeating pattern (trickier than I thought) and thought I’d give a sneak preview: More colours to come! I’d quite like to make it...
D is for Demonology
The fourth installment of my ongoing zine series is here! 25 copies of A4 b/w riso printed goodness. This issue compiles 12 illustrations of demons I made up (previously posted in there beginning stages here) with a map and bio’s lovingly created for each one. I really enjoyed the process of illustrating these guys – it came at a time when I hadn’t drawn exaclty what I wanted for...
The Other Art Fair
For once, a worthwhile Groupon purchase! The Other Art Fair began last year and returned again this week, a fantastic showcase of unrepresented artists, with work that you can actually afford to buy. It’s held in P3 Ambika, Marylebone Road, which was a great space to see, plus it isn’t just art – there’s a bar set up from Le Pain Quotidien (wine makes art even more fun, no?) as...
'Hypnagogia' by ROA at Stolen Space
This bank holiday weekend I headed east to soak up a bit of culture – and do some market shopping. Brick Lane was buzzing; I didn’t think it was possible to simultaneously desired a curry, donut, t-shirt, scarf, leather bag and fried plantain quite so much before. Anyway, I distracted myself from spending my months wages by checking out the Stolen Space gallery, in the Old Truman Brewery....
V&A: British Design 1948-2012 (part 2)
Following up from Part 1, I present you with more British design-candy for them eyes: source Shirley Craven ‘Simple Solar’ fabric source Martin Sharp ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ poster source John Maybury ‘Even to spark out now would be no pain’ poster source Mark Brazier Jones ‘Lyre Chair’ source Barney Bubbles ‘Blockheads on...
Directors Chair Upcycled
This chair has been around since I was wee – back when my sis fancied herself as the next Spielberg. Moving into my room (furnished with just a shelf and a wardrobe) I did realise bed frames are not a necessity, but a desk and decent chair is. Unwilling to spend any more at Ikea (this just depresses me) I got this chair dug from the recesses of the Neligan attic – a terrifying place on the...
V&A: British Design 1948-2012 (part 1)
With the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics taking place this year, it’s a pretty exciting year to hail from the Kingdom of GB. Boosting national pride that bit further is the V&A, which currently has a fantastic exhibit on British Design from the past 64 years. I love the V&A a silly amount (simple explanation: it’s the ultimate place to see lots of stuff for free) and...
Recently I had a birthday. Woop woop and all that. One of my presents was a starter kit for Linocut printing – and I have every intention to get some use out of it (rather than adding it to the list of birthday presents that never made it past the honeymoon period). So, introducing Cat the linocutter! Ahem… My reasons for wanting this new skill in the first place: 1) I like the idea of...
Let's have a Tee Party!
I’m such a fan of Ohh Deer’s products and artists who contribute to the collective. Naturally, I want to be a part of this awesomeness so got straight to work when I heard about their Tee Party competition. The winner gets their t-shirt design printed and sold in their store! Winning and glory aside, I’d love to get this printed for the summer either way, and would love to know...
Patterns for all!
The sunshine is putting me in a generous mood… so why not giveaway some repeating patterns from the Catillest archive? Five Free Fridays! Each Friday for the next 5 weeks I’ll be making a pattern available – free to use on websites, blogs… just keep up the karma with a link back to the creator ;) Starting with… Tree Cat! In the .zip you’ll get 5 colour alternatives...
Charles Bukowski (1920–1994)
I could write an essay on why I love this man’s writing, but all I want to do is share what I think will convince you of his genius: 1. He was an epic poet. The Genius Of The Crowd there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day and the best at murder are those who preach against it and the best at hate are those...
Ninety's Nickelodeon Nostalgia
Confession time. I had a serious addiction to Nickelodeon, the children’s TV channel, between the ages of 6–12. Before school I could get through a couple of cartoon over breakfast, and after school I would pack in 3 solid hours of Nick until the dinner – which would happily coincide with the last show on air each day. At the weekends I would try to get away another 3–4 per day, depending on...
Pick Me Up
Pick Me Up is a showcase of some of the freshest talent from designers and illustrators worldwide, held at Somerset House, and 2012 was it’s 3rd year running. I went last year too, and it was literally the biggest eye-feast I may have ever had. Some of my favourite creators were all shown in one place, I could talk to people who worked in fantastic studios and buy some reasonably priced...
A Prescription from Dr Seuss
Stumbling around the interwebs on a sleepy Saturday morning, I found a heart-warming-mind-motivating-soul-soothing illustration of 30 Dr Seuss quotes: So much better than ‘Keep calm and drink tea’ etc etc. So that put me on a Dr Seuss appreciation hunt, and I think I’ve found a new love. Quite a character. For proof, here are my Seven Somethings about Dr Seuss 1) He literally...
The Scaredy Cat(illest) Challenge Part 1
This challenge was inspired by an article in the first issue of Lionheart Magazine, (full review here) entiteled ‘7 Steps to Utter Fearlessness’. Freya Hardy set herself a series of challenges to complete in order to prevent her inner scaredy cat taking over (including trying jellied eels, catching a spider and walking a scarily big dog) and she did indeed tackle all of these like a...
Fantasy art is awesome. Fact. I love the idea of being able to conjure up a land that doesn’t exist and pack it with impossible creatures, and render it so it looks completely real. Here are some choicey picks from some of my favourite fantasy illustrators: Bruce Pennington Roger Dean Chris Foss Scott Fischer Daryl Mandryk With big thanks to my...
The Scale of the Universe: Then and Now
So I’m probably fairly late on the bandwagon to find this amazing flash site that lets you zoom right in/out on objects to illustrate the scale of the universe. You should be able to see it here. One thing I wasn’t aware of is just how long this concept goes back (ok the 1970s isn’t ancient history… but it feels that way in terms of technology) so from 1977 we have: ...
Zines in the mail
Thought it was high time I do a little showcase of some of the amazing zines I’ve received recently – not many things make me as happy as seeing a little package at my door that definitely isn’t a bank statement/bill/threat. So without further a do, I present: Fatbread magazine Fatbread is a collective of illustrators which includes Gino Cullen, John Thurbin and Vicky Samuel. I love...
Pollocks Toy Museum is a pretty special place in faire London town, and I’ve been meaning to make another visit to fuel my toy designing creativity. Pollocks takes its name from Benjamin Pollock, the last of the Victorian Toy Theatre printers. The museum is now based near Goodge Street tube station, on Scala Street, and the toy shop is in Covent Garden market. Both sites have an incredible...
Terror! The Masters of Horror
I keep coming back to this old collection of illustrations and info on the old horror pulp fiction from 1920s–60s and I never fail to feel inspired by it and see something new in it. Pretty crazy how I’ve seen bits from some of the illustrations turning up in various mutilated forms in my own work; good to know all my ‘research’ gets put to good use! Check out some of my faves,...
Demons in the works...
I may have mentioned (quite a bit…) that I’ve been working on my 4th zine, D is for Demonology. My latest triumph is finally completing the first drafts of the demons. So far they have names, and s little bio – but this still needs work. Any criticisms and suggestions are super welcome, it’s hard not to go a little blind to your own creations! Here they are: [caption...
Monday Mix #05
Quite a range this week, mostly recent loves – some of these tracks I need to hear on a daily basis, and will do until I ruin them for myself and anyone in listening distance. Hope you enjoy as much as I have! Download. Tracklist: 01 The Ballad by New Look 02 Smoke and Mirrors by Gotye 03 Watchlar by Cocteau Twins 04 Magne by Three Trapped Tigers 05 Sail Ft Kate...
Inspiration from the animal kingdom
Working from my imagination is all good and well when it comes to trying to create something fresh and visually exciting (hopefully!) but there’s nothing like studying what you can see in real life. Animals have been a particularly useful source of reference recently, especially when it comes to drawing my (imagined) demons. I think it lends them a reality that I wouldn’t have achieved...
I love coincidences. It makes me think that life really can be all tied up into a neat little package. As if I haven’t been harping on about it enough, I have been working on this set of my very own demons and myths for my next zine, and one of the creatures I conjured up is some kind of stag with rabbit hind limbs. Ok I’ll show you: So I finished this may be a week or two ago, and...
Toy painting practice
As I mentioned in this post I’ve been busy attempting my first custom toys. Before I invest in Munnys, Trexis and Bitbots galore I thought I’d have a go on some paper-covered animal models (meant for decoupage projects I believe). In theory, more difficult because of the lumpiness… in theory. Here they are from start to finish: Well that was fun. Looking...
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Toys for grown-ups
Well, toys for anyone really (but I’m pretty sure these would have been wasted on me as a child). Vinyl, plush, paper… artist/custom toys are quite clearly the shiznit. Kidrobot, My Plastic Heart, Artoyz are just some of the massive collections online (and offline, the Kidrobot store in Covent Garden makes for a super break from the office when I’m feeling less than inspired by...
Made up Maps
Maps. Yes I’m definitely a fan. As a non-smartphone user (ok, caveman then) I rely on those handy Boris Bike maps, bus maps, maps I’ve scribbled on a receipt… But of course I’ve criticized them too. It can’t be an easy job though, right? Transforming scale, potentially endless detail, balancing symbols and place names, maintaining legibility and clarity… Not...
Art I Heart #02
I haven’t done one of my ‘OMG I love these talented people so much’ posts in a while, but I feel in need for a little motivation and inspiration and feel this little showcase is definitely overdue. Beginning with Koralie. I know I’m not the first to feature this girls work, but it’s someone who I will always come back to and be genuinely shocked by how much I can...
Da Vinci = Da Man
Well he is. I did manage to snap up tickets for the infamous exhibition at the National Gallery (without realising the mint I could have made had I bought a bunch and flogged on ebay). I’m certainly no art critic (I generally get antsy after 30 minutes of gallery gawking – I blame the internet for my short attention… what was I talking about?) plus there are plenty of great...
The Frog Story
Well don’t let me get your hopes up if you’re expecting a gripping plot, well developed characters and a life changing message… but it does have a start, middle and end. The Frogs started out life as a nugget of an idea, developed in my search for inspiration (for my Demonology zine). The source of this inspiration was (as it often is) the animal kingdom – specifically, frogs and...
DIY: Beautifying Boxes
I think I have a bit of a fetish for boxes. I have since I was young… I remember getting pissed that the match boxes were never empty (think of the old Fairy liquid ads with the kid who couldn’t wait for the bottle to be empty so he could turn it into some kind of rocket… buy that kid some toys cheap bitch!) Aaanway, back to boxes. I like to decorate them, and now I actually have...
Monday Mix #04
The first mix of 2012, woot indeed. This is inspired by my determination to revisit older tracks that I spent days… weeks… months listening to on a regular basis before I got distracted by new sonical gems. Its so nice to revisit old tunes, especially with your buddies who loved them as much as you did. As well as these dusty finds I’ve stuck in a few of my most recent loves, as...
The Catillest News Bulletin #01
I must say 2012 has got off to a pretty impressive start – I’m as busy as a one legged bee and loving it. So a little update on what’s pushing my bedtime back a little more each day: 1) Submissions for Doodlers Anonymous’ Colouring Book vol. 2 (love this idea… need to get on it though! Ideas anyone…? Thinking something typographic…) Also for Ohh Deer’s...
Zine Giveaway! Yeah, for free!
Well it has been over 3 weeks since I’ve exercised my generosity, so I figured it was high time! Here’s the deal. For the next 48 hours I will be giving away all 3 of my zines in a neat little package to anyone who can do the following: 1) Like this ‘ere Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/catillest 2) Give this post a shout out on Twitter 3) Comment below and tell me you...
These were my best charity shop find ever, white pumps from Office, £4, and they’ve served me very well. Until last week when I misjudged the weather (it rains in England? Really!?) and they lost their sparkle. Decided to vamp them up and do a little practice on my Sharpie customising skills. After inhaling probably toxic fumes for a couple of hours, my trusty whiteys were given a make over....
The Big Skull Collab
This is the result of a collaborative project I took part in a little while back, then known as the Big Skull Collab. The idea was everyone would take the skull template supplied, and customise like crazy! I wanted to do something non-digitally (quite a change) and not drawn, and went for a beady approach… Anyway, all the fantastic entries have been featured in the pilot issue of VEAL zine!...
My next zine will be tackling the letter D. At first, I thought… Dance? That could be fun. Dance costumes, dance step floor patterns… I’m all out. Ok… Danger? Warning signs, dangerous animals, weapons, situations… Nah. So I went for something that allowed me to do something I love and could do all day… draw monstazz! Demons, to be precise and fitting with the...
With the guilty weight of the NYE hangover wearing off, its time to look ahead to the new year. I managed to achieve a fair bit in 2011; I made myself an online portfolio, blog and shop; learned how to screen print, met some fantastic illustrators, went to lots of exhibitions and landed my first freelance job (more on that later this month!). I’m not usually one for setting resolutions but...
Advent Alphabet Christmas Day Special! →
Advent Alphabet Christmas Day Special!
Seeing as it’s Christmas Day (and let’s face it, the alphabet becomes a lot less relevant tomorrow) I’m giving not one but TWO whole letters. I know, my generosity astonishes me too. Enjoy! And Meeeerrrrry Christmas! Y is for Yule Log. The story of the Advent Alphabet. If you’d like to use it on your blog or elsewhere, here’s the handy code to use to replace that special...
Advent Alphabet ‘X’ →
Advent Alphabet 'X'
X is for Xylophone. The story of the Advent Alphabet. If you’d like to use it on your blog or elsewhere, here’s the handy code to use to replace that special letter: <img src="http://www.catillest.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/X.png" title="Christmas Alphabet by Catillest" align="left" alt="Z"/> Original Article
Advent Alphabet ‘W’ →