Habibi, Secret Treasure

My cousin and I decided to go halves on Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Habibi as our Christmas present to each other this year. I’ve been eyeing it up for quite some time and it certainly doesn’t disappoint!

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From the outside it feels like a secret treasure with its thick, gold embossed covers. It is tactile and just the right weight, heavy, but still manageable for reading under the covers at night. Inside, every panel is beautiful. Rich patterns that tangle into the story, devouring characters; fantastic use of perspective and composition. On the Habibi website I was really pleased to find that Thompson has shared photos of his creative process. I love this behind the scenes stuff and find it so useful to see how other artists go about making things. He appears to start with a very rough sketch which he then works back into with pen. It looks as if he sometimes uses a computer to improve or double check composition. Then, like a total boss, he inks everything by hand!

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Before I saw these images, I felt sure that he must have used a computer to somehow help speed up the process of inking the huge number of panels that make up the book. Though certainly all the images have a heart and warmth to them that might be lost if not drawn by hand. I just can’t imagine the precision, dedication and time it must have taken to finish them all! Either way, by hand or computer it is a most excellent tome.

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Images used without permission from www.habibibook.com

Exploring in the East

I’m back from two and a half months of travel in China and New Zealand. An adventure I’d been dreaming about taking for years and it did not disappoint! I’m afraid that I let blog and twitter updates slip while I was away. I really wanted to focus on the moment, just being there. Painting on the Great Wall, sketching sumptuous temples, drawing mountains and rivers in the wilderness of New Zealand. Exploring, being outside, getting away from screens and using my body. And it felt really good to do so!

Everyone says it, but I definitely learned more about myself whilst travelling. There were sides of my personality that came out that I didn’t know existed. Sometimes positive, other times negative. But I think my main takeaway, was reminding myself of something I already knew; I love to be outside, I feel alive when I’m outside, in nature, rooted on the earth and surrounded by plants.

Now I’m back I want to hold onto those things and keep them in my mind so I can continue to work towards them and make sure they stay a constant part of my life. I’ll be sharing my travel sketchbook with you soon, but for now, here are a few of my stand out photographs from the trip. Mainly plucked from instagram as I do love a good filter!

Fickle Tattoos

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So way back in chilly December I was asked by the friendly folk at Fickle Tattoos if I would like to create some temporary tattoo designs for their new site. I said YESPLEASE and the exciting result is that you can now purchase Owlstation transfers to wear on you arm, leg, face or all of the above! I went for a Wild West theme so you can bag yourself a buffalo skull or pick up some feathery, crossed arrows. Me and my flat mate will do a photoshoot for you soon but in the meantime here are some piccies from Fickle tattoos, YAY!

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