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    Artist Spotlight- Ben White

    Artist Spotlight- Ben White

     

     

     

    Creating playfully humorous illustrations, we're totally swooning over Ben White's style. 

     

     

    So as these Artist Spotlight's continue I'm slowly realising that the HUGE selection of artists I thought I knew about is actually incredibly small and I've basically exhausted my personal favourites... So asking the studio for help I was prompted to check out Ben White and I instantly LOVED what I was seeing.

     

    Ben's style is so polished and charming I find that I can't look away. I love the characterisation and the world Ben builds. Ben's unique style really fits his subject matter, the tongue-in-cheek naivety compliments the slightly more serious themes really well, it's just super nice to look at and we're now all obsessed here in the studio.

    You can find ben's work here

    So what's he made for us?

    We wanted Ben to make something that could really showcase his illustration style, so we thought greetings cards would be a neat little product that Ben could really sink his teeth into..

    And we were NOT disappointed, Ben's designed 3 cards for the club and each one is as funny and charming as the last and we're super duper pleased with them.

     

     

     

     

     

    Sketchbook Club Online, and what we're up to...

    Sketchbook Club Online, and what we're up to...

    Hi Ghosties, Lize here, I felt it was about time to fill you in on what we've been working towards this year!

    As some of you may know, we used to run a weekly Sketchbook Club workshop for young people at Off The Record, here in Bristol.

    We did it for nearly a year and loved every session, and the main thing we learnt was that sketching is better together. Which it is. And we wanted a way to share this workshop with our worldwide audience, not just Bristol (where we're based) so we figured, well, let's make an online workshop, which we did. We uploaded 10 Sketchbook Club Online videos, it was great fun and we got some nice response from you creative ghosties! (thank you <3)

    And then we thought, we're 4 artists/illustrators, all doing different things, (I'm running SGC, Nathan is an animator, Helen studied Fine Art and is just starting her freelance career, Robbie's just graduated and is doing the same) what if we took all of our knowledge and made a website? A site for beginners and professionals alike, full of resources and our current expertise and knowledge in the field, and so we started getting to work on this mythical website...

    It's currently still under development but we've spent the past 4/5 months creating as much content as possible, trying to ask every question we've ever been asked (my instagram inbox is full of these questions haha!) and provide some kind of 'hub' for creatives all over the world.

    It's being run by the four of us, but as a lot of my day goes to running SGC, Helen, Nathan and Robbie are taking the lead and let me tell you, it's going to be amazing. It's something that I never would have imagined and I feel like the proudest parent, and it's all because of you ghosties that we're able to do this. 

    Don't panic, Sad Ghost Club is going to be around for a long time yet, but for you creative ghosties we hope Sketchbook Club Online will help bridge the gap between beginners and professionals, and make the idea of a creative career a little less daunting.

    SGC has changed my entire life, having this job has truly improved my mental health and my knowledge of what's going on in my head. The response to every comic I make is always heart-warming and honestly, I just can't believe it. 

    So this gushy post is basically just to say thank you, not only has SGC changed my life but it's given me the opportunity to work with my closest friends and now we're able to put all our efforts into something we're all passionate about. 

    There's endless ways to get involved with Sketchbook Club Online - just email sketchbookclubonline@gmail.com if you're interested. We'll let you know when the website's launched and you can keep up with it over on the instagram (@sketchbookclubonline) and if you want to truly make our day, you can support SBCO on patreon <3 

     

    Doing creative things can be the most healing, soulful experience but it can also be the most isolating. We're hoping to change that. 

    Artist Spotlight - Donya Todd

    Artist Spotlight - Donya Todd

    Artist Spotlight - Donya Todd

    Creating magical worlds full of fierce women and spooky vibes, Donya's otherworldly illustration evokes a lot of feelings in all of us...

     

    We've known Donya for a good few years now, after meeting at a CBSP event back in 2012 and we've been die-hard fans ever since. Her unique character design and her way of communicating feelings in such a pleasing visual way is something that draws us to her work, and keeps us there. 

     

     

    We especially love the characters Donya creates, if it's not cute animals it's badass woman and we love them. The scenes she creates are so imaginative and interesting, we could look at them forever...

    Donya also makes comics, and her book Death And The Girls is absolutely fantastic, we highly recommend it!

     

    So what's she made for us?

    We knew we wanted Donya to create something to showcase her brilliant scenery and worlds, so it had to be something large, that we could hang up and give pride of place in our homes/studio, so we thought... Tea Towel! Well, it's technically a tea-twel but we are 100% hanging it up as a beautiful wall hanging.

     

     

    It's either the NICEST tea towel you've ever seen, or a beautiful wall hanging, the choice is up to you!

    Find Donya's product here

     

    So onto the questions!

    1) What's your favourite fictitious Ghost from popular media?

    This is tough! So much ghost love in my heart but top spot has to be Beetlejuice – a
    charismatic git who haunts the recently deceased, wants to marry goth teens and rides
    sandworms around the underwold. Special mentions to Corpse Bride & Thirteen ghosts.

    2) What's the best item in your pencil case?
    A Pentel Brush pen. So good for absolutely everything. Plus a mechanical pencil.
    3) Paint? Pencil? or Tablet?

    Pencil, then ink or watercolour paints. Love working with these materials. I wish I could
    draw digitally because scanning is the worst but have never gotten to grips with replicating
    hand drawn lines with a tablet (it’s actually impossible???) Although I have learnt how to
    ‘paint’ digitally in a way that I like, I don’t think I’ll ever give up on traditional media, it’s too
    satisfying.

    4) What's your go-to motivational album?

    Toxicity System of a down, Powerslave Iron Maiden, A kind of magic Queen & Bat out
    of hell Meatloaf. Rock and roll gets my blood pumping baby.

    5) How would you describe your work? Are there any common themes?

    Common themes are death, sex, god, emotional landscapes and the otherworldly.
    Everything you see is an internal narrative made fictional. Art is how I work through
    problems, secrets &amp; silly ideas. If I had to boil it down I would describe my work as magic – moving mountains, going on adventures, falling in love. Because I can.

    6) What’s your proudest piece that you've worked on?

    My graphic novel Death and the Girls with Blankslatebooks. It was my first book and I
    remember how excited I was, and how hard I worked on it. Right now I’m studying a masters and have just finished an illustrated poetry book, Taking Shape which I’m really excited about! It’s that same feeling. Seeing the two together I can see how far I’ve come, but also how it’s still the same themes and style. Everything is a refining process. It takes a long time.


    7) Do you have any/many artist rituals?

    My drawing process is pretty ritualistic / meditative. I don’t think or plan too much
    when making an image – it’s almost like a trance state. To get to this I need a quiet, clean and calm environment. I’ll quite often have a movie playing in the background, but it has to be one that I’ve seen a thousand times so it’s not distracting. My go to movies are Little shop of Horrors, The last unicorn, Rocky Horror & The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

    8) What motivates you?

    Every new book gives me such a buzz. A step forward with technique, a style change,
    and advancement in thinking. I love having a finished thing and seeing how far I’ve come
    since the last thing. Also, doing things like this artist spotlight and getting the boost of
    knowing that people want to see my work - who seem to like what I do helps to push on to
    the next big project.

    9) What do you do, that you think no one else does whilst working?

    I drive around a lot. I commute to my course in Falmouth, and am a pizza delivery girl
    in the evening so I have a lot of thinking time. I put on some fast paced music and animate
    stories in my head. Right now I’m into a huge battle. A pig princess fights the giant bird army she’s in love with to the death. Flowers turn into mountains, asteroids and lava to drown the planet in fire. A woman chases a villain on horseback across huge sweeping plains that are perilous and cosmic and changing. I don’t know if other people do this? Do other artists spend extended periods of time spaced out fantasizing about battles and other exciting things? I expect so, but only I can see what I see. So if you ever catch me spacing out you know where I am haha!

    9) Who are you inspired by?

    So many awesome things are inspiring me at the moment. Rick and Morty, Bruce
    Bickford, the strange sci-fi world of speculative poetry, terrible (addictive) anime, and comics. Specifically I’m loving Ralphie and Jeanie by Alabaster Pizzo, Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and textbooks on the meteorology of sailing in stormy weather. Generally though it’s my friends and family who inspire through their grit and talent and unyielding support and love.

    10) What's your favourite way to practice self care? (Especially after a busy week!)

    I get as much sleep as I need. If that means laying in bed till noon with my kitten then
    that’s cool. Working on something I’m excited about. If I’m not excited about it, what’s the
    point? Don’t do it man. I might go to the gym, or the beach if I’m bored - but mostly I’ll be
    the lazy slug I was born to be all the good day long. Play a game, or read a book and/or
    watch movies. I like nothing more than hanging out with my little family in the evening,
    drinking something boozy, watching something crap. Perfect.

     

    Artist Spotlight- Bee Mure

    Artist Spotlight- Bee Mure

    Artist Spotlight - Bee Mure 

    look at this little pixel pooch I made for my website (which I am gradually updating)
    B.Mure, self described as a "rowdy illustrator, comics artist and graphic facilitator" and we concur!  
    I often know when I'm about to bump into B.Mure, because, shortly before I see their pooch pal, Parsnip, a Jack Russell, Chihuahua mix. And just like Parsnip, Bee's work is both charming and comes with a message... ( Parsnip's message is that Bee is just around the corner.)
    The work that Bee produces is both whimsical storytelling and cultural obvservation. Their work, is sketched, with energy which conveys an ambiance.
    The colour choices show attitude, mood and emotion, and that's is why we are so drawn to Bee's work. We've been fans of their work for a long time, especially the tenderness and introspective insight B grants with their work, so we just knew they had to make something for the club! 
     

    So what have they made for the Spotlight?

    Bee has created these awesome Patches, great for  large spaces, such as a denim jacket, old or new. 

     Aren't they beautiful! Measuring 20x20cm these patches are delightfully detailed and depict our favourite aspect of SGC. Togetherness.

    Purchase one of B's amazing patches here

     

    Onto the Q and A's, with B.mure 

     
    What's your favourite fictitious Ghost from popular media?
      
    I don’t know if they’re strictly ghosts but the hattifatteners from the moomins are great. they’re spooky, grow from seeds and worship a barometer. they’re very relateable
     
    What's the best item in your pencil case?
     
    my friend Mish gave me some X-Files pencils recently. I have one that says ‘that’s why they put the I in FBI’ and it makes me happy. also I have this really good golden pencil sharpener from the huge stationary shop Modular in Berlin, it is really satisfyingly weighty.
     
    Paint? Pencil? or Tablet?
     
    all of them! most of my work has at least an element of hand drawing in it but not always and anything that needs doing faster/might need lots of edits tends to be totally digital. although I busted my scanner recently so I’m doing a lot more fully hand drawn stuff before scanning it in. it sucks not to have things but I think you use what you have. There’s a great Brandon Graham comic where he’s like “you can steal pens and paper and make the best comic ever! this is the trenches!” it’s fun to play with materials and to just make stuff with whatever there is.
     
    What's your go-to motivational album?
     
    it really depends on my mood and what I’m working on. I like to make playlists for certain projects though, like saying, “if this was a video game, this would totally be the overworld theme”. some albums I have been rinsing recently are Pieces in Space by Sammus and Oversleepers International from Emperor X. As I’m writing this I’ve thought of like ten more. new Sufjan Stevens is out as well and that tears my emotions apart in all the right ways.
     
    How would you describe your work? Are there any common themes?
     
    I think my work is like me, in that it is quite neurotic and erratic but sometimes a bit funny. I draw a lot of cute but depressed animals. I like things that are very sweet but deal with mortality, the human condition and surviving under capitalism. I also enjoy drawing cats farting
     
    What’s your proudest piece that you've worked on?
     
    I’m very bad at being proud of things I have done, at being able to look back and go, “that was good.” I drew a board about different kinds of milk in Cafe Kino and I am proud of that because it is useful. I think I am the proudest of the silly throwaway scribbles I do in the pub to make my friends laugh. I once drew a rabbit with a saddle on saying NEIGH and i basked in the warmth of that achievement for days
     
    Do you have any/many artist rituals?
     
    I drink unhealthy amounts of caffeine and I make pentagrams with the empty mugs. really helps me to concentrate
     
    What motivates you?
     
    the main thing is that I have to, that no matter what I do I will still think of things that could be drawn, of projects to do even if I am not doing them. I have also always been very motivated by this idea that creativity as a career path/subject choice and softness as a mentality is illegitimate or unreasonable in this world. I am stubborn and I like things to rail against.
     
    What do you do, that you think no one else does whilst working?
     
    I wish I could say I did something original or interesting but I only hire between 4 - 8 rats to do my work for me and then take a nap like everyone else
     
    Who are you inspired by? 
     
    everyone! my friend Remy Boydell is very inspiring and honest and good. I love my fellow Leanhounds. But also I am very inspired by lots of women and NB people doing things in DIY music especially in Bristol, by activists, co-workers and other worker’s cooperatives. I love seeing people carve out spaces for themselves and claim them (and contrary to this widely spread idea that a safe space is stale and exclusive I think it can encourage other people to carve out their own nooks, like a network of badass tunnels). I love seeing new and surprising things: what are the kids who are at school now gonna do? what about in 20 years? protect the arts and protect the people who could potentially make that art but might be told NO for a variety of reasons
     
    What's your favourite way to practice self care? (Especially after a busy week!)
     
    I love to cook, or take my dog Parsnip to a nice green space that we haven’t been to before and watch him snuffle everything or have a very nice cup of coffee.
     
     

    We're going away for a week!

    We're going away for a week!

    Hi Ghosties, just a heads up, Rob and I will be away for a week from Thursday 29th-July 10th as we're off to Berlin on a little holiday!

    Jumper pre-orders will be sent out as soon as they arrive with us! Normal orders might be slightly delayed compared to normal

    We'll back with new plans and new ideas and we're very VERY excited <3

     

    Lize xxx