Illustration Weekend

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This past weekend I took a train back up to Denmark to spend three days collaborating with other illustrators for an anthology. It was spontaneous and open and full of beautiful ideas and work, and I found myself so excited to be re-immersed in an artists' environment. 

We had almost no restrictions to the anthology, beyond a colour palette and the prompt word "Wunderkammer" (cabinet of curiosities). I thought about the things I collect, stones, and the beautiful elongated shape of the ones I collected while visiting Lake Baikal, in Russia. They are eroded by the tides of the lake (Baikal, with 20% of the world's fresh water, is large enough to have tides, unlike smaller lakes!), and have these entrancingly long oblong shapes. Thus this short comic, on the collecting of stones.

I made the following two images as well, inspired by some of the objects other participants brought in or described. I didn't ultimately use them for my final submission to the anthology, but perhaps they'll show up in future work!

Campground mice, beer festivals, and bus doodles

Over the weekend I went to the Mikkeller Beer Celebration in Copenhagen (You may recall that I made a comic about it, which you can read here), and stayed at a campground. Since I do a daily comic, I was intending to finish it ahead of time for those days, so that I could enjoy my beer and my tent with complete peace of mind. But of course, humans make loads of fancy plans and god guffaws, or however the saying goes, and I left Viborg having completely failed to draw any mice.

BUT buses were made for catching up on all the pencil sketches you failed to do before getting on them, and campgrounds were made for sitting at picnic tables and inking comics at dawn, and I would like to present the following three issues of The Mouse Tales as an example of what is still manageable on the go.

Read more on Instagram  @themousetales !

Read more on Instagram @themousetales!

Meanwhile the beer festival was amazing and camping was fantastic. It rained a bit overnight, so I had to do some air-drying of my tent in the sun the next day before I could pack it up - but waiting for the tent to dry provided a perfect opportunity for inking some campground comics!


And some bus doodles. Is it kosher for people to put their feet up on the window of the bus?!?


Snorkelling, zines, and a comment about sharks

Here's another short comic that I printed out as a zine! The folding process is very fun and actually quite meditative with a good audiobook (HP and the Half Blood Prince at the moment, if I'm being completely honest - or rather, HP und der Halbblutprinz).

The challenge for this comic was to draw four panels that tell a stand-alone story, and then add in an extra three that are also stand-alone, and which add another layer to the first story. My first story was quite simply me enjoying the experience of snorkeling in the tropics, but bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have my contacts in to be able to see all the colours. The second story is the shark looking up and seeing someone swimming up above - extra scary since that person has just admitted to not being able to see anything!

When I compiled it I removed the text, as I thought that the watercolours make this a predominantly visual experience that benefits from being text-free.

The shark in question is a tiger shark, and although there have been reports of attacks or bites by these sharks, they are incredibly rare! For the most part sharks are either scared of humans or recognize that we’re not their normal food source, so they either steer clear, or only come in close to investigate & satiate their curiosity. Indeed, google tiger sharks and you’ll find lovely videos of divers befriending them. So despite me using this one as a scary device, it is actually a very low risk - in fact, sharks are at far greater risk from humans than we are from them. Let’s love us some tiger sharks!



craft beer and comics

Last year I attended the Mikkeller Beer Celebration in Copenhagen and fell head over heels in love with craft beer. I cannot even begin to claim to know the first thing about beer, other than to be awed by how many wildly different types there are (wild and otherwise), but I was lucky enough to attend with friends who are brewers and who could afford me at least some insight into the wonderful world of hops, malts, and ferments. (Spoiler: it is an exciting and delicious world!)

Suffice to say, I am pretty excited to be going back this year! I have channelled all that raging enthusiasm into a short 6-page comic, which is also among my first forays into making zines. May it be the first of many zines, many delicious beers, and many illustrated beer reviews!