Our Parents’ Armour – Animation Workshop

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I took part in the creation of an animation project led by animator Evan Wilkinson. I came in for two sessions as an illustrator and fellow animator to talk about character design.

This is the final result of a mixed media animation project at The Connaught School in Aldershot, for Hampshire County Council and Strong Island Media.

‘Our Parents’ Armour’ is a poem that is written and animated by young people from The Connaught School, who are all children of military personnel. They created a suit of armour for their parents out of memories of home and messages of support. This project was funded by the MOD Community Covenant and formed part of the Hampshire Forces Film Festival.  Nine groups took part in the project, each making an animation about life in the MOD.

A documentary about the making of these films can be seen at http://hampshireyouthforcesfilms.co.uk

For more information about Evan and his workshops and projects please visit http://evanwilkinson.co.uk

Bearology Artisan Dolls

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Here are the new Artisan dolls I’ve created for my ongoing serialisation, Bearology.

They’re handsewn based on original character designs from the book. It was a challenge sewing them to look like the illustrations, but wonderful to see them in 3D! I think Smoke looks very handsome in his uniform, and it was a good reason to rewatch Due South to examine Mountie uniforms (Did you guess that I’m a Due South fan?).

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Doll making – Dublin from ‘Bearology’

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This is my first attempt at dollmaking! I decided to make Dublin, from Bearology. I didn’t use a pattern, I just drew the limbs and head by hand onto the fabric then cut the pieces out. I think she looks beautiful, imperfections and all. As a designer it’s amazing to see your character in 3D! I’d make definite changes to her in the future- I didn’t capture her lovely round face shape as well as I’d have liked, and I’m going to make her limbs much plumper.

I made her a Hudson bay blanket dress like she wears in the book. Dublin is homeless; she lives in the airport and then travels for the rest of the book. She doesn’t have any money so she just makes do with what she finds to wear. I’d like to do more outfits for her based on items left behind at the airport during her life there. She especially likes her Hudson bay blanket because it’s while and soft like polar bear fur and it makes her feel closer to her bear family.

 

‘Make Hirstory’ Time Travellers Series (digital Illustration)

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I designed these characters to go with my ‘Make Hirstory’ scarf collection. The collection was based around the idea of time travelling and making your own history.

The characters all identify as genderqueer; some are crossdressers, some vary their gender presentation, some identify as both or neither genders and present as either/or/neither gender. I couldn’t hope to represent everyone or focus in on a particular group; so I focussed on dreaming up individual personalities who are celebrating their gender according to what they feel is right for themselves.

Gender is personal and unique to each person, whether it be being a tomboy who prefers to wear boy’s clothes in the 1700’s, a man who likes his gender presentation but adores wearing female shoes.

There are no blueprints, just people.

 

Trystan (Character Design)

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Trystan is a character I’ve had for 10 years and I obsessively draw. I doubt I will ever perfect his design, and to be honest, I really enjoy developing him, and dressing him and styling him in whatever art styles or fashions I’m into at the time.

Trystan is the protagonist of my gay sci-fi novel, How to Keep Good Time with Rare Cogs and Orphan Springs.

 

 

 

Piper

Piper is a character from an upcoming novel by author Nicole Fleming. Much of the design was  dictated by Nicole’s descriptions within the text, then rendered by me into an illustration.

Piper is a mermaid without the traditional fins you normally see. I wanted to show her at home in the water, and wearing jewellery that suggested her heritage.

The character and her likeness is copyrighted to Nicole Fleming.