As I said previously I’ve had some really interesting commissions in 2021, including this one of 3 pivotal female mathematicians. It was commissioned for use in presentations on mathematics and features the mathematical titans of Sofya Kovalevskaya, Sophie Germain, and Emmy Noether. My client explained they’re not given enough prominence in the field of mathematics, and that Emmy Noether in particular “did Einstein’s homework for him”! It was one of the first pieces I completed digitally since investing in that bit of tech, it was interesting unlocking the painterly potential of it (albeit in black and white!)
Another piece I did for the Galway City Museum for this year’s online St. Patrick’s Day in Galway. These are traditional Saint Patrick’s Day crosses that Irish children used to make themselves in the run up to Saint Patrick’s Day. These illustrations are based on a couple of badges that are in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland. Over on the Galway City Museum’s website there are instructions on how to make your own traditional St. Patrick’s Day crosses!
These illustrations also appeared in Galway City Council’s special pull-out St. Patrick’s Day supplement in the current issue of the Galway Advertiser. You can also find Galway City Museum’s colouring in page of Saint Patrick banishing the snake and the Galway Cartoon Festival’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade colouring in/activity page, both drawn by me. No parades this year so get the kids to make their own!
The Illustrated Guide to Brexit: what a brilliant concept, and brilliantly executed. Great to see the cartoon medium employed in a fresh way that accounts for the limits and possibilities of online articles. Crisp black and white illustrations by on-assignment Christoph Niemann explaining the Brexit mess. Click through and have a look.
A dispatch from Brexit-crazed London.
This is very cool. You can now create 3D images on Facebook via browser.
Previously Facebook 3D images could be done with iPhone cameras that had portrait mode but now you can upload them yourself using your browser facebook application.
You just need to create a depth map of the image you want to 3D-ify. I tried it out using my clocks going forward cartoon.
You simply build up areas of your image in shades of grey, the darker the area, the “further back” it will be in the final image. The writing in white will appear in the “foreground”.
I just built this up in layers and flattened it at the end. You save both as png or jpeg (I used png here) and save both with the same file name, except you amend “_depth” to the name of your depth image. For example
The underscore is important here.
Then you upload both as a status on Facebook in your browser, and Facebook automatically combines them!
Very cool! (The embed might not work on every browser but if you’re reading on a desktop computer you should see the effect.)
I’d seen these pop on Facebook and I thought there was third party software involved where you define planes using polygons and layers and the program extrapolates data from each layer to fill in the detail “behind” the foreground subject but it’s actually a much simpler process! Was fun figuring out how grey something should be for its “distance”. If you look at the treees in the midground you can see I even gave the ones in the background slightly more depth than the trees in the foreground. I’m not sure of the applications for this other than a cool thing to try but sometimes that’s enough!
Axel Scheffler at The British Book Awards 2018: I came across this speech from Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler yesterday via Nosy Crow. It is incredibly sad to hear an illustrator (in partnership with British author Julia Donaldson) who has brought joy to two generations of kids feels unwelcome in the country he has lived in since he was a student. The Gruffalo was a bedtime staple when my big ones were littler and it is again with my small one until he gets biggerer. We’re used to hearing about the financial and political repercussions from Brexit but the cultural implications are absolutely massive. Watch the whole speech, it’s only a few minutes long.