It’s October. The season of black cats! The season of weird orangey-pink cats!
When I came up with the little AoC cat face designs I absolutely knew I’d end up making lil pins out of them at some point. Well, here they are – Hard enamel smiling cat faces, outlined in shiny gold trim. Available in the Big Cartel shop now.
Lots going on at Army of Cats HQ at the moment. Working away at some stuff for clients, editing a process video I’m really excited about, and got some new work from me to reveal also.
As usual world contains many things to feel anxious about. I’m still battling with that. But there’s lots of positive and progressive things happening too, and I hope in some small way my little bits of stuff and words and photos help contribute to the good side of existence.
It’s always a cool feeling to hold something featuring your logo or design work but this is the first time I’ve had my work on a game like this – I have to say the overall package is very, very satisfying.
The game is designed and wonderfully illustrated by Haakon Hoel Gaarder and sees you as a founder of a new village during the middle ages, in the years following a great plague.
There is a solo mode but I haven’t quite had the time to delve into it properly yet. I’m still in the stage of admiring all the cards and pieces and playing Scrooge McDuck with the coins.
I do play board games from time to time (currently in the middle of the Tainted Grail campaign) but haven’t been able to meet with the guys I play with for a number of months due to the pandemic. At some point we’ll hopefully be able to try out Villagers and see how we get on.
For the next week, you can also get 15% off your order with the code: NEWSHOP15.
My Etsy shop will continue to exist, as I get do get decent traffic for certain products, but Etsy have pushed a number of changes over the past couple of years which I haven’t really liked.
It feels like they’re pushing for shops to be as Amazon-like as possible, with free shipping and quantity of sales over quality of service. They also keep increasing the cut they take.
It’s their right, of course, to run their platform however they’d like but I feel like there’s been a marked change in their values and who they want to appeal to.
For now, my Etsy is still down while I update prices, shipping costs and images…
By contrast, Big Cartel has always been very good at supporting smaller, genuinely independent artists and sellers. I like their style.
The new Big Cartel shopfront will be the main shop – new prints and items will go up here first… Please do click on over and have a mooch around! If you’ve wanted to pick up any bits of my work, now’s a great time to support me (and don’t forget the NEWSHOP15 code!).
The owner of the setup, CheekiSkrub, has done a very nice job! You can watch the video here.
I regularly get messages about whether these posters are still available. They have long since sold out and while I’d love to hook people up who are trying to track them down, unfortunately that’s the nature of limited editions!
I work with the band to produce this kind of work, so I can’t just bash out reprints without their permission. That said, there has been some talk of doing a reprint of the very first poster in different colours… we’ll see; watch this space.
Well, by way of an update since last time, there were a whole host of spanners in the works when it came to the rest of the merch production but I’m happy to say we got there in the end and shipping has been in full swing for a few weeks.
The external stresses & general bullshittery has still been a source of anxiety but I’ve actually found some solace in my new life of tubes and packing materials.
It’s satisfying to carefully package these up and send them on their way to new homes. And I have to say the emails and messages from happy recipients have been really appreciated — there’s a lovely sense of community around the HPL Literary Podcast and the patience and goodwill of such folk is refreshing in our instant gratification Amazon era.
If you haven’t received a shipping notification yet, apologies and thanks for bearing with me. My collection of Old Ones is keeping several eyes on production so I’m sure I’ll get to your order soon…
The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast posters are starting to ship out. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on the tote bags and t-shirts, so people who ordered just a poster are inadvertently getting an earlier shipping date. Sorry for any upset!
This is affecting the shipping costs of the HP Podcraft orders, since the pre-paid postage reflects rates that are now out of date. This sucks but we’re just going to eat the costs, as it doesn’t seem fair to pass on the bad luck to the lovely people who’re already supporting the project.
In related news, my Etsy Shop is currently in Holiday mode while I concentrate on fulfilling HP Podcraft orders. Once I figure out the new US postage costs, it’ll be updated and back online. Thanks for the support up until now and for your understanding during the temporary break.
How is everyone doing anyway? I hope you’re all coping okay and staying safe. Can I be honest with you? I’m struggling with a few things at the moment. There are problems in my street with drugs and criminal activity and they are very slow to being resolved… it’s getting me down.
Thankfully there are a number of things keeping me going. Such as the great painting seen above, by British Sci-Fi art stalwart Bruce Pennington, which I came across via the highly explorable70’s Sci-Fi Art Tumblr.
I’m also enjoying new music by my friend Paul Rafferty, who has done a solo thing called Doomshakalaka; and watching random YouTube videos of drummer Larnell Lewis, who’s chops are really superb indeed.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Stay well. Keep Going. Be kind.
I recently picked up the finished HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast 10th Anniversary Screenprints.
It’s always a thrill seeing the final printed product after designing something on the screen, even when I do the screenprinting myself. I have to say, my good buddy Tommy at Prints of Thieves has absolutely excelled himself – these turned out beautifully! The colour matching, the detail, and the sharpness of the print are just spot on.
The other items should be here soon and the pre-orders will begin shipping straight away. Thanks so much for people’s support and patience with this project, I can’t wait for you to see them in person.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Like so many people at the moment, I feel like I’ve cycled through the entire gamut of human emotion while witnessing recent events around the world. There is a lot to process right now.
Although there continues to be issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken centre stage. Perhaps rightly so, as the issues it raises have been around a lot longer.
Because I think it’s important to be vocal about this issue, I want to share how recent events have impacted my own activism and personal ethics.
My wife and I have been going for evening walks over the past couple of weeks.
We spend a lot of time outdoors already but evening walks are a bit of a new thing and something we’re really enjoying; places are generally less busy, the light is different (that golden ‘magic hour’ much loved by photographers), and you can hear the owls and other nocturnal critters getting more active.
I’ve really enjoyed taking photos of weird shaped trees.
It got stuck in my head. I really wanted to draw it and realised I’d been thinking about this bloody tree off and on for the past few days before I finally sat down and sketched it out this morning.
You’ll notice if you look at the original photo, I haven’t drawn in the pine tree right behind. It’s quite dense with foliage and is competing with the focal point of my study – the texture of the bark in the subject tree.
I did want to add in a tonal background element, so some loose texturing with a Copic marker did the trick.
I often see people perhaps just starting out sketching feel the need to put everything into a scene, sometimes to the detriment of the overall composition. Remember, it’s fine to modify a scene to bring out the elements you want to be the focal points.
This isn’t perfect. Just a sketch. I’m already spotting a few areas where I feel the pull to add lines or thicken a shape but I’m trying to be less precious about things like that and, much like my evening walks themselves, just enjoy the process.