Monday, February 28, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 59

Hiding from the weasels. One of the illustrations from my book of Cornish folk tales Henhwedhlow (see right for details). Click on the picture for a larger version.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 58

A sort of 3D doodle today. First attempt at painting one of my Party Animals sculpts. Moderately pleased. Reckon I can do better.

Artist of the Week #2 - Slinkachu

I first came across Slinkachu's fantastic miniature street art back in 2008 when my editor at Pan Macmillan, Jon Butler, sent me a copy of the book Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu (see here).
I love the humour and warmth of Slinkachu's work and the fact that you or I may have unknowingly walked past an installation many times without knowing it. The artist will be exhibiting photographs of his past work as well as new installations at the Andipa Gallery,162 Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2JL from the 3rd of March. I, for one, will be there.

Visit his website here.

All round champion

Alexander Overwijk draws a perfect freehand circle 1m in diameter in less than a second. He's the world champion. There are world championships.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 57

Designs for cheerleader squad T shirt logos for a police chief friend of mine who manages the Alexandria Mustangs, Kentucky, football team. I had to design an image for the coach's shirt as well (right).

Looks like him too (sorry Mike!).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Artist of the Week - Irina Werning

I bloody love this project. Irina Werning loves old photos. So what he/she's done (I'm so sorry but I have no idea what gender they are) is get people to re-sit for the identical photo now that they're older. The effect is amazing! Check out more pics on the website here.
Oddly enough, my photographer brother Simon and I did something similar back in 2002. Here are two photos of him with his childhood monkey toy just 30-something years apart. We didn't get the pose exactly right as we were doing it from memory. But fun all the same.

365 Doodles - Day 56


Is it really Day 56 already? Good grief.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 53

Following on from yesterday's litte excursion to my native Cornwall, here's a pencil sketch of the largest Quoit in Cornwall - Lanyon Quoit. And some photos I took for reference.

Monday, February 21, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 52

By way of a change, a little watercolour sketch of Chun Quoit in Cornwall. It's at Morvah, near Penzance, in Cornwall not far from other prehistoric man-made features such as Lanyon Quoit, Boskednan Stone Circle, the Men Scryfa and the Men-an-Tol. Not far either from where I spent a major chunk of my childhood. I get quite homesick at times. Here's what it actually looks like.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 51 - In glorious 3D!

By way of a change today, here are some 3D doodles.

These odd little fellows are sculpted in wax with hard parts (eyes etc.) made from Milliput. I've just made the moulds so that I can start cracking them out as limited edition hand-painted collectibles.

Going under the name of Party Animals (hence the party hats and red noses) they will eventually grow into a set of five sculptures.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 50

And so we reach landmark Day 50 in my utterly pointless quest to post some doodles every day for a year. I'm just under one fifth of the way there. Just 315 days to go. What better way to celebrate then, than some sketches for the design of a tree-living alien predator? As you do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 49

Two illustrations I knocked off in about two hours for the Unstruck blog run by the wonderfully monikered Alabaster Crippens.

Happy anniversary to me. Twice.

Today, February the 18th, is a significant anniversary for me. On this day in 1980, I woke in a hugely uncomfortable bed with starchy white sheets and a hairy grey blanket to the sound of someone hammering on the door and shouting 'Colgan!' I got up and pulled back the thin curtains of my fifth floor room and stared through bleary, slightly overhung eyes at a depressing set of 1960s buildings and a statue of Sir Robert Peel. In just a few hours I'd be sworn in as a police constable. But let's rewind 24 hours ...

I'd travelled all the way from Cornwall the day before and, after getting hideously lost on the Underground and being misdirected by some hardcore punks, I'd finally got to Hendon Police College where I was immediately shouted at for walking on the grass. I was assigned to room 506 in the men's accommodation tower block. A wave of terrible homesickness had suddenly washed over me. It was my first proper day away from home. I was 18.

Mum and Dad seeing me off at Redruth Station

I hung my clothes up and decided to drown my sorrows in the student bar. At least I’d meet some of my fellow newbies and I wondered whether they’d all be feeling as miserable and out-of-their-depth as I was. As I stepped out of my room, I nearly collided with a tall guy who was sticking an A4 flyer to the wall with sellotape. In fat marker pen it said, 'COME AND SEE! COME AND SEE! THE BIGGEST TURD IN THE WORLD!' An arrow beneath it pointed down the corridor. The flyposter grinned at me and headed off in the opposite direction. He had more posters in his hand. I followed the arrow along the corridor and came to another notice: 'GAZE IN WONDER! BE AMAZED! THE BIGGEST JOBBIE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM!' Further arrows took me to the stairwell and down two floors: 'YOU’RE SO CLOSE! THE WAIT IS NEARLY OVER!' and most intriguing of all: 'IT’S AS BIG AS A SALMON!'

I suddenly found myself joining the back of a queue. Yes, an actual queue of people had formed and was slowly shuffling forward towards the communal third floor toilets apparently to see the biggest turd in the world.

I can’t lie to you. The beast was impressive in a foul sort of way. It lay laterally across the toilet pan, its fat belly resting on the bottom with both ends emerging from the water as if it were trying to crawl out. And it really was the size of a salmon, albeit a smallish one. Maybe a trout. I have no idea how the creator of this monster managed to walk away from it. It must have felt like giving birth. And I also wondered who was going to be brave enough to flush the bugger away. Whoever it was, I reckoned that they’d need to break it up with a stick.

It was a depressing prospect that the height of entertainment in Hendon was bodily waste. And several pints of beer didn’t help to lift my maudlin mood. I drank alone as I simply wasn’t in the mood for company and, besides, the other drinkers all seemed to know each other. I assumed that they were from a previous intake and were already part-way through their training. A new intake came in every fortnight or so. With every fresh pint, I became more introspective and mawkish. Eventually, at Last Orders, I singled out a 10p piece from my pocket change and found a payphone. I dialled home. In my desire for the comfort of friendly voices, I hadn’t realised quite how late it was and I woke my parents up.

“Hello … it’s me … listen … I’ve given this some thought and I don’t think that it’s for me. Not for me at all. I’d like to come home please. Can you send me some money for the train ticket?”
“Listen Stevyn”, said Dad, “It always feels strange and scary the first time you move away from home. Give it a week before you make that kind of a decision.”
“But you don’t understand!” I said, “Everyone bloody shouts at me. They take the mickey out of my accent. They think that poo is funny.”
“Just one week”, said Dad. “Things will be different, you’ll see. Once you get to meet people and make friends. It was the same for me when I first moved away.”
“But you went back home.”
“Because your mum and I felt you’d have a better childhood here in Cornwall, that’s why. And we think that you did. Just give it a week. Okay?”
“Okay. Thanks. Bye.”

I carried on drinking until the Duty Officer kicked us all out of the bar and then staggered back to my room for a shallow, uncomfortable sleep. And having completely failed to set my alarm clock, the next thing I heard was the desperate knocking on my bedroom door.
The door opened and a red face peered around the frame.
“You Stevyn Colgan?”
“You’re late for parade. And on your first day too. You are in deep shit.”

This was not an auspicious start and set the tone for most of my police career thereafter. Maybe, if you're good, I'll share some more anecdotes some time.

That was 31 years ago today. I eventually completed 30 years as a copper which means that the other significant anniversary today is that I have been officially a 'civilian' for a year. A whole 365 days have passed since I hung up the helmet and boots. It's been an extraordinary year of ups and downs - I won't bore you by going over old ground covered in previous posts - but, on the whole, it's been an adventure. It's taken me a year to find my feet but I'm just about there.

I'd like to think it's all upwards from here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 48

Weird doodle that looks a bit like a Dr Seuss book. Or, at least, a scary Dr Seuss goes to war book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 47

Terrible colour sketch for a kid's book idea. The kid is just AWFUL. Must get my shit together. Still, worth posting just to show that we all have off-days. x

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011


Congratulations to an old school chum - Paul Gooch - who won a BAFTA last night for best hair and make up for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Nice one Goochy. And congrats to Valli O'Reilly too of course.

I dug out an old school year photo and couldn't help but be surprised at how little he's changed. He has slightly shorter hair admittedly ...

Meanwhile, I kept the appalling hair but added a few pounds to my frame ...

You can see Paul's getting his award and a short interview on the BAFTA site here. Congrats to him again on some great work. Couldn't have happened to a nicer chap.

365 Doodles - Day 45

Another friendly monster doodle. Well, friendly-ish.

Happy St Valentine's Day

The hauntingly beautiful 'Take me with you' by Elizabeth Fraser.

Have a wonderful day. Love and be loved.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Someday my prints will come ... if you order them

Hello my lovelies. Just to let you all know that I have a few sets of limited edition prints going for recession-friendly prices if you want them. There are three prints in the set:
Wonderwomen and Sithlords ...
Trekkers and Whovians ...
... and Buffyettes and Gaimanites.

These are all based on real cosplayers I saw at Comicon, San Diego, a couple of years ago - right down to the braces on Darth Maul's teeth.

Each print is slightly larger than A3 size (see top photo) and beautifully printed on high quality thick art paper stock. Each print costs £10 - that includes postage and packaging in a sturdy cardboard tube. If you buy all three, I'll charge you just £25 all in. Every print will be signed and numbered by me and each is a limited edition of just 150.

Interested? Email me or contact me via Twitter @stevyncolgan. I'll accept PayPal (my PayPal address is, cheque (made payable to S Colgan) or sexual favours. Okay, so one of those isn't true. Who writes cheques any more?

Some lovely artwork for less than the cost of a Chinese or two packets of fags? Go on ... I may be famous one day!

Alt Wycombe 4

I spent yesterday - or a goodly chunk of it anyway - at Alt Wycombe 4, a day of beer, music, fashion, tea and cupcakes at the historic Nag's Head pub in High Wycombe. The pub was always a favourite alt-rock venue and, in the past, has hosted gigs by bands like The Who, Blondie, Eddie and the Hot Rods and The Jam. It's also been known for famous artists to turn up on open mic nights and to jam with local bands.

But once a year, the pub gets turned over to the alternative community to celebrate diversity, originality and difference. There were fashion shows of corsetry, rubberwear and all manner of frilly things, a graffiti wall, live sessions by several bands and an over 18 photography exhibit.

I spent most of my day manning a stall selling prints of my artwork and live doodling which was tremendous fun. Sadly, I'd had a headache all morning and by mid-afternoon it was turning migraine-ish so I had to quit and head off at 7pm just before the real party started.

The event was organised by top glamour and erotic photographer Mark Page of Photoswithattitude and Neil Reynolds of Alternator promotions. The event raises money for charities that, in the past has included Sophie Lancaster Foundation charity. You may recall the appalling story a few years ago of a girl being kicked to death in a park in Lancashire. Sophie and her boyfriend were savagely attacked just for looking different. Since then the charity has worked hard to break down barriers between sub-cultures and to spread the word that, no matter how we choose to look, we're all the same inside. This year, the cause chosen was Rafe's Place, a group that works hard to provide meaningful and safe activities for local kids. It's named in honour of Rafe Chiles who died at the tragically young age of 23 after a fatal asthma attack. Rafe was dedicated to discovering new young talent and had formed Ultimate Solution - a promotions company that treated everyone as equals and gave everyone a chance. Some artists who played at early Ultimate Solution gigs have since gone on to have successful careers. Rafe's Place continues the good work. I'm going to be doing some work with them myself this year by volunteering with art installations and illustration classes.

It was a very entertaining day spent among genuinely lovely people. Everyone was just so unremittingly nice. I guess that when you spend half your life being judged and abused by others solely because of the way you dress or wear your hair and make-up you become pretty tolerant. Certainly, I've rarely spent such a good day among charming, friendly folks.

Would I go again next year? That's a resounding yes. But next year I'll go as an attendee rather than an exhibitor. I missed so much of the day by having to man a stall. That's why these few photos don't come anywhere near capturing the range of activities or the numbers of people there.

If the alternative community ran the world, what a happier world that would be. With peace and understanding and cupcakes for all.