Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Creative activity seems to be off the agenda for the next few weeks or so while home becomes a building site. Much preparation to do before the builders start; stuff to sort out and get rid of, furniture to move, prints to take off the walls… we are in chaos. So, all I can do at the moment is think about my work, which is no bad thing as I feel I’ve come to a bit of a sticking point anyway.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to find a niche for my work. Galleries aren’t keen on it because it’s too illustrative and although I have had good selling years, private collectors seem to find it too dark for their walls, once they get the references. I’d like to get into book illustration but again, where do I fit? Too dark for children’s books and there just aren’t many illustrated books for adults (not nearly enough) – apart from graphic novels which isn’t the way I see my work going. Other than writing my own books to illustrate, and then trying to get them published (yeah right), I don’t know which way to go. Then I get caught up in my own little dilemma about whether it’s right to put my images in people’s heads when they should be forming their own from the text… but that’s another post for another day.

So, I’m hoping these next few weeks will give me time and head space to at least think about where my work is going, even if I can’t actually make any.


  1. Being an illustrative sort myself, I haven't much advice to offer, but I know the questions you're asking! Good luck with the building prep.

  2. Thanks Annie. It can be a lonely old business can't it.

  3. Hi! Jo

    So good to see you at the Red Hot Press waysgoose. Thank you for encouraging me to visit your site and add an entry.

    I thought what do I write and here goes with best wishes.

    I read your blog titled Hiatus and I sense you are on a fresh voyage of great discovery. You have your new workshop. You are experimenting with new techniques and substances. You are writing your own stories with fascinating characters.

    On the other hand you are being told your work is too dark and is not being selected for exhibitions or being bought. In my experience it gets really tough just before you make that breakthrough.

    You are highly skilled and put amazing detail into your work. Getting inspiration from history and you create your own stories and characters.

    I liked the close focus on Red Scars eyes and mask. Creating the different perspective, close up or focus on a particular item or part, worked better for me and I feel less is more.

    May I suggest taking your prints to where the action and emotions are in your stories?

    I wanted your red scar print to grab me by the throat. Red scar is a robber. Where is the danger, the excitement, the fear, the colour? Metaphorically speaking I want to be staring down the barrel of his pistol. “your money or your life” or the necklace gripped by a gloved hand before being ripped away or the necklace breaks as it is ripped away and a flash of light / colour glints from the jewels as they fall.

    I’ll stop there before I get carried away.

    Follow your passion.