Friday, 28 October 2016

I'm living in projection 'purgatory'

“Projection means the expulsion of a subjective content into an object; it is the opposite of is a process of dissimilation, by which a subjective content becomes alienated from the subject and is....embodied in the object. The subject gets rid of painful, incompatible contents by projecting them.”(1)

Isn't this the entire issue behind all conflict in the world? It's always the 'other' that is at fault. And behind this the inability to integrate one's own dark side. I don't take the position that 'politicians' are driving this - they are simply giving the people what they want: absolution from responsibility. Which of course plays into the power-seeking hands of those who seek dominion over others to avoid taking responsibility for themselves. Perfect dance partners. I'd like to believe I am living in a time where consciousness is evolving - but on a world scale I don't see much evidence of that. If anyone can point me to some examples that contradict that view I would be happy to be wrong.

1. Jungcurrents: Jung: Collected Works 6, Paragraph 783

Saturday, 22 October 2016

'yaroma' completed

This is the third and final assessment task for study period 1 of the illustration course I am currently undertaking.  It feels good to have got this far and I am going to try and finish it - unlike the graphic design course. I have 1 year to go.

I could have polished this more but it was due last week and I had an extension. This was my favourite assessment - probably because I am much better at drawing figures than designing military helmets (yuk).

Sunday, 9 October 2016

final helmet design

This design is based on a traditional diver's helmet. Doesn't really fit the 'gamer' profile but I find it anathema to try and do that style of work. I think of it as post-modern Rococo - art based on art and ridiculously fussy.

I should be able to pass the assessment with this offering, once I have done a back view and applied some colour.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

visual satire: the art of social conscience

This is the work of Gunduz Aghayev. Interesting when you situate it alongside the illustration I did for the ANZAC exhibition 2 years ago. Gunduz's rendition is quite a bit more acerbic though.

I am champing at the bit to start doing this sort of work because I think images still have the power to move people - especially illustrations. There is something poetically synergistic when you combine the visual with sardonic satire. 

Completing the illustration diploma is the first part of my evil plan. Stay tuned as I move further into this new territory.

Friday, 16 September 2016

composition01 update

Still working on this. (I thought digital painting was supposed to be quicker then traditional *sigh*) 

Anyway, getting happier with it. This is one of the assessments so I need to put some care into it.

Monday, 29 August 2016

week 6 WIP

This illustration course is making me work hard, which is great. Wonderful to be able to indulge myself drawing all the time.

This one has been done from scratch - no paintovers here!

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, 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.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

sold x 2

I sold 2 small versions of my print for 'Square' (still on until Sunday at the Town Hall). It was very encouraging and helped me get through another horror week.

Monday, 8 February 2016

monkey year

Thank God it's the Year of the Monkey - I think that's good anyway. The Year of the Sheep was really hard - for a lot of people it seems. 2015 didn't go quietly though - last week I finally succumbed to the enormous stress I have been under for months, possibly years, and developed a stomach ulcer. It's been the worst summer surfing since I started 'cutting sick' (that's a joke) 14 years ago. The surf was shit so it probably didn't matter that I injured my back last week as well. I've been impatiently waiting for my fortunes to turn and today they have. For now at least.

Last Monday I was notified by the design school I am studying with that I won a competition. We were asked to submit 5 works and I sent in my hand/digital illustrations. The best 3 were chosen by industry mentors (I think) and then whoever got the most 'Likes' won the headphones. I assumed the field must have been small but apparently not. Turns out this old girl swept the field of young guns. I'm stoked and feel somewhat vindicated - not that others thought I needed to be. Just feeling may age sometimes. 

So I've been nursing a sore gut, a bad back and a serious case of feeling sorry for myself while sitting on this news since last Monday - waiting for Tractor to announce the winner officially and the Chinese new year to start. Things seem to get stuck in a time-warp between the Western (solar) and Eastern (lunar) new years. This year they were more stuck than usual.

Today I rearranged my study so I am actually doing a part-time load. I was supposed to be doing that since I started in 2014 but things got moved around and I ended up having to do units in 8 week periods which was just too difficult. My sore gut is thanking me already. 

Today I took Robin's 7' 6" Firewire around the bay and got some sick waves - one vertical head high takeoff. The water was green and cool in the 39 degree heat and there were only a couple of surfers where I was.

Let's hope this Monkey year continues to be kind.

Saturday, 2 January 2016


2016 - another year. They roll around so quickly now. 2015 was a mixed bag - lots of triumphs and some tragedies. It's been a long and exhausting year - lots of work, too many changes and little security. I am glad to see the back of it and I get the impression many others are too. Maybe we are all picking up on the same restless zeitgeist.

I'm at a bit of a cross-roads - between many things, in limbo. I want to take a step forward but I don't have too many options - well none that are practical anyway. It's been a struggle to keep my job and part of me wonders how much longer I should keep trying. My graphic design course has yielded some great results, but I regularly ask myself whether it is worth persevering. Moving into commercialism seems about 20 years too late. 

Another year and another business name - I think that's the fourth in as many years. Art_Geek wasn't doing it for me, so I've registered Qwerk Designs - because I'm quirky, the letters are unusual, the numerology works and it will look good on a T-shirt. It's a branding thing - I figure my best selling point, or 'point of difference' as it's known in the industry, is my 'rugged individuality' (as one person expressed it). I really wanted to use 'Munted Doll Designs' but I doubted many people would get  it - my ironic sense of humour is too obscure for most of them.

My real fantasy is to get some work as an illustrator.  I wouldn't expect to make a living from it but it would be wonderful to do some editorial illustrations, or drawings for a small book. It's probably just a pipe-dream but I'll keep moving in that direction.

Illustration: detail of a work in progress for 'Square' - a 2016 group exhibition for the Great Southern Festival (part of PIAF)

ends & beginnings

Today marks the end of 16 years of continuous study - starting with an arts degree, on to Honours, a Phd, then graphic design and concept ...