While I love creating graphic designs, I also love writing and since I moved town late last year, I’ve been focussing on writing a book. It’s not the first one I’ve written, but will hopefully be the first one that I publish.
This is the first in a series of three fiction books, with the first book set in 1904 in Sussex, United Kingdom. I’m endeavouring to keep the information as historically accurate as possible. That in itself is extremely challenging because oftentimes the specific information I am chasing is simply not available, even when I go directly to the source. This is sometimes because their historical records simply don’t go back that far.
With the writing , and the follow-up months of editing completed, it’s now been passed onto an Editor for the final version before I put it online as an e-book.
Writing is such a personal thing, and anyone else who writes knows how vulnerable to criticism we can be. I’m fine with feedback about how a story can be improved, or editing in general, but it’s scary to put it out there for people to read who may or may not like it.
There are several interesting twists and turns coming up in books two and three and I’m keen to get into writing again. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the tedious, research stage of book two at the moment and finding it difficult once again, to obtain specific information that I need to get a good start on it.
Meantime though, that means the graphic designs are on hold … but I will get back to them some time soon hopefully.
NB: the title “Sea that Tastes Like Green” is copyrighted.
I LOVE to create quirky and unusual images, not just because they’re fun, but because I think it would be great to wear or have something unique and attention grabbing that makes you stand out from the crowd. Following are some of the images that I have created that I thought you might enjoy. These are available on a multitude of items in the various shops.
First is the cute frog in a tux. As you can see here, it’s available in a mousepad.
I found an image of the fellow in the top-hat in a balloon – a genuine photo from the early 20th century that I repaired, edited and coloured. I wondered how I could make it quirkier still, and eventually came up with the following:
For some reason, I wanted to make a crazy piglet, and here he is:
I began my quest into really quirky territory when I came across this little chipmunk photo and wondered how I could feature chipmunks and squirrels in quirky images.
The next step was to put a squirrel into space.
Since I was already into a squirrel theme, I thought it might be funny to make a squirrel the monster or creature in an old-fashioned horror movie.
This naturally led into ideas of classic horror movies combined with the squirrel theme:
Finally, a parody of the movie classed as one of the worst horror movies of all times, I went a little overboard with “Invasion of the Killer Tomato Squirrels”:
I still have other squirrel ideas swirling around in my head, but I decided to take a break from squirrel horror movie themes for a while. I love it though, when I come across quirky old, black and white photos. Sometimes ideas dance around in my mind for months before I come up with a concept that I think will do it justice. Here for example is one such image that I am yet to colour and place into an appropriate scene:
That’s about all for the moment – my mind is unfortunately, very focussed on packing and moving house and all the myriad tasks I need to complete. So, my creative juices will have to be put on hold for a bit.
I look forward to catching up with you soon.
Sometimes the ideas and inspiration for new images can be difficult to find. Some weeks I get heaps of ideas, although they are not necessarily all translatable into the digital world, while at other times it’s like trying to get blood out of a stone. One of my greatest resources for inspiration lies in old paintings, and this week’s image is just that: 2 old paintings combined into one.
I obtained an uncopyrighted photo of an old painting of an angel. The painting itself must be very dirty because there were a significant number of scuffs and dirt-marks on it. In addition, the top third of the angel’s wings weren’t there. So I put in quite a few hours cleaning up the dirtiness of the image and adding in the tops of the angel’s wings. I also changed the eyes and the lips as I thought the young girl in the original image looked rather unhappy, even a little grumpy!
Then the second biggest challenge was trying to find a suitable image for a background. Searching through page after page of paintings of scenery, I eventually found a mountain top image I thought would suit. It too was dirty and even damaged and I tried very hard to repair it digitally which took a considerable amount of time.
The final result was the following image which I have now uploaded to all the stores:
There are a variety of items in the different stores and here are a few samples:
There’s a Mountain Angel notebook:
This lovely cushion:
And here’s the image in a wallclock from CafePress:
I’ll be looking for some more inspiration for my next image, and sharing them with you later. Catch you then!
Up until this point in time, I have been focussing on my older images, but today thought I would share some of my latest ones with you.
I have been having a little fun with quilt (duvet) covers, blankets, pillowcases and towels. These are available in one of the USA shops and the Australian shop. You’ll find the links directly after each of the images.
If you’ve always loved a good western, how about this cowboy quilt/duvet cover and pillowcase?
Perhaps you’re more into the groovy 60s – then check out this hippy quilt/duvet cover and hippy hair pillowcase:
Or you might like to jump further back into the past with this Knight/King quilt cover and pillowcase:
Get into law enforcement with this Mounted Policeman quilt/duvet cover and pillowcase:And here’s a bathing beauty from the past, on your very own quilt/duvet cover and pillowcase:
If you have any other ideas or suggestions for quilt/duvet covers, beach towels etc, I would love to hear from you.
Let’s catch up soon.
While my earlier images were very retro, such as the ones from the Art Deco era, for the past few months I have been focussing on quirky designs. More specifically recently, I have undertaken a series of images in the horror movie poster theme with squirrels as the main focus. I thought it would be quite funny to have squirrels as the villains because they are among the cutest and sweetest little creatures around.
Here is the latest image which is a parody of the classic horror movie and musical “Phantom of the Opera” – it’s now available in the online shops:
On a similar theme, I created the following image as a parody of the iconic movie “Silence of the Lambs.” I’m not 100% happy with it at this stage, though it looks similar to the original movie poster. I may come back to this one at a later time and see what more I can do with it.
One of the most time-consuming chores associated with owning online shops is the actual addition of the items in the shops themselves. It often works out that I spend around 2-3 days uploading and updating everything into the stores. Unfortunately that leaves me just 2 days or so to research, find uncopyrighted images if I need them, and then create the new image. That of course doesn’t include the time I spend developing the ideas in the first place.
Over the coming weeks/months I will continue to share earlier images that I’ve created including the remaining squirrel horror parodies.
Following are more images that I created from photos dating from the early 20th century. These were cut out, coloured and merged with other images. All of the images that I use have been released into the public domain, or their copyright has expired are are my own photos.
After working with these older photos, I began an exploration of fantasy images before beginning my foray into quirky territory.
The following image was created using the young woman’s photo from the early 1920s, and merging with more recent images to create this gorgeous piece “A Girl and Her Unicorn.” I even asked a friend of mine to be the hand model for it.
And this is the only dragon image that I have ever created. It was quite a challenge, especially endeavouring to create realistic looking scale colours and patterns, and in the end I settled on something simple.
When I first started creating graphic designs I focussed a lot on old photos and found some amazing images that I just couldn’t resist working on. Many of these dated from the early 1900s through to 1940s, with a special focus on the art deco era.
Many of these photos required intensive work, especially when they’d been damaged or had lost some quality. My initial task is to cut the person out of the original photo before I began working on repairing and recolouring it. Once I am satisfied with the work, I then have to create various levels of colour which is quite painstaking. After that, I either create or find an appropriate background to add in.
Some, like the following two images, required hours of painstaking fine work, selecting individual pearls or coins and colouring them individually. But the hard work was worth it in the end, don’t you think?
The thing that drew me to the following image was not so much the beauty of this young woman, but her trapped expression, bordering on despair, as she prepares for her wedding. Dating back to around 1923, I image this Tunisian bride had very little, if any choice in her bridegroom.
Thanks for dropping by.
If you’re looking for original, creative designs on items from t-shirts to mugs, clocks to phone covers, then may I encourage you to hop across to an online store in your part of the world:
Creating graphics is one of my passions and there are several places online where one can set up a shop where the manufacturer produces a variety of items using my designs.
I also create specialised graphic designs to your own specific requirements: just let me know what you would like and as long as the product is available in any of the shops, I can make it for you. (There are some limitations, ie I cannot use copyrighted images, icons, photos or images.)