Tuesday, 2 August 2016


This is the updated version of the scene paintover. The illustration course is challenging and difficult at times but I'm learning a lot. I can't articulate just how right digital drawing is for me.

It is ironic that at this stage of my life, I am forcing myself to engage with the physical world in ways I have been avoiding most of my life. The world is still an illusion to me, but the process of looking harder at it and examining how light works is strangely liberating. Maybe because I still get to create my own reality. Or maybe because I am engaging with the light.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

'ill-winds' can be liberating

They say it's an ill-wind that blows nobody any good - there are always positives to come from what at the time seems like a bit of a disaster. For the past 2 years I have been studying for a graphic design qualification to keep my job at TAFE. Losing that job meant I no longer needed to continue with that particular course. I have learnt enough to do small design jobs anyway. I felt sad about chucking it in but also liberated - because it meant I was free to do what I wanted (as long as I can keep enough work to pay the bills).

So I have switched to another course in concept development and illustration which trains people for jobs in the 3D gaming and film industries. I have no ambition to work in those areas but the course encourages me to indulge my love of illustration and at this late stage in my life - I am honing my digital drawing skills and getting great tuition.

The image above is called a 'paintover' - it's the sort of work illustrators do in the industry. The 3D guys make the basic environment and concept illustrators add the narrative. We were given the screen shot (top) and asked to reset the time of day to sunrise or sunset and make any other changes we wanted to. Most of this was done with adustment layers and blending modes in Photoshop, but more imaginative decisions will follow.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Friday, 17 June 2016

digital satirist/illustrator

I have been very quiet on the blogosphere for a long time for a couple of reasons. Life has generally been a bit tumultuous but I was also thinking 'Why bother? Nobody follows my blog anyway'.

The other reason is I have been going through some personal changes - my job for one, but also my art practice - where do I fit now that I have moved over to the dark side? I had an epiphany recently and have updated the intro blurb on my website to share it.

Lately I have been developing my digital illustration skills as a medium for social commentary. I love satire and have an offbeat sense of humour (just ask my friends). My theory is that 'cartoon' and illustration is one of the best ways to share my thoughts about the state of humanity.

I feel like this is the beginning of an exciting new era in my evolution as an artist.

Stay tuned.

Monday, 9 May 2016


It's a cliche because it's true - the only certainty, is that nothing is certain. Life has taken an expected but nevertheless challenging turn. Rather than let others decide my fate I've made the decision myself. In a few weeks I will be cranking up my graphic design business - Dr GrafixGraphic design is different to visual art but it isn't a completely new field - it's more of a parallel lane than a completely new highway.

But first I need to nurture my creative soul after what has been a very difficult 3 years in my 10+ year career as a TAFE lecturer. There are some difficult emotions to work through and I am feeling battered but I don't think it will take long to rid myself of the feeling of oppression I have been living under - I feel lighter already. I may even start to blog regularly again. Unfortunately when you work for the government it is necessary to self-censor.

I will keep studying for my Diploma of Graphic Design. I am doing quite well. I won a student competition with 5 illustrations and am often asked by tutors if they can use my work as an example for other students. I also need to create a new website and finally get my portfolio sorted out before taking on some self-promotion.

The prospect of a new career at my age is daunting but I am feeling reasonably confident I can make the transition. I am used to jumping off the cliff but it gets harder as you get older because you don't bounce quite as well. Stay tuned.