All of our illustrators are busy right now, please hold.

Here is some music to keep you entertained while you wait.

I have recently had a number of really annoying experiences which involve phoning call centres and navigating an endless maze of numerical menus. It seems that when listening to the options 'If you would like to proceed to the enquiries menu press 1. If you would like to be entered into a competition to win 1 million pounds (subject to terms and conditions you should not apply if you are pregnant, breast feeding, suffer from heart or liver disease or were born on a day ending in the letter y) please press 2 etc. I tend to lose focus and forget to listen to the options and find out which number to press so I can speak to a human in real time.

After listening to each menu 3 or 4 times, eventually my ears are greeted with a joyous ringing tone and my spirits are lifted only to be dropped and smashed into a thousand pieces by an automated voice telling me cooly to, 'please hold' because all of their agents are busy.

For some reason, people seem to think that the best way to appease the situation is to play a constant stream of frustratingly 'mellow' music. Their 'concern' for your patience, is akin to being smothered with a heaping pile of blankets when you are already overheating. What's more to add is that they always choose to drown your ears with a tune that has no definitive start, finish or climax and just loops in an endless cycle of lazy jazz that literally has the power to slow down time. From time to time, the 'melody' sounds like it is reaching a conclusion and you come out of your dozy elevator music induced trance, full of hope and expectation only to be told once more, 'All of our agents are busy right now, please hold.'

Yes I'm sorry, I realise that a lot of my posts start with 'I haven't written in a while because I've been very busy.' This is true, I have been busy, but also when I do get the occasional free time frankly I'd rather spend it at the pub or down at the climbing wall or better yet, as far away as possible from here and real life.

The reason I'm writing this now is not because I have finished all my work and done all of the above but because I have definitely not finished all my work and am procrastinating. Not to worry, I will soon finish my internship with EUSA and hopefully a few of my freelance projects which means that I will no longer be working 7 days a week and I will have all the time in the world to not tell you about all the exciting things I am not doing!

On the 13th, I will be going to see my family in Switzerland and while I am there I will attempt to do something creative or experimental every day and will write about it here. At the moment, I have been doing plenty of things but I can't show you everything just yet...

 There are some things I am able to show you however, and so I will do that now while you listen to the endless loop of terrible music.

A little while ago now I finished some merchandise illustrations for Couthie, a Scottish giftware company who was taken by my detailed pen and ink drawings at the degree show. They wanted 3 illustrations to print on some of their products, a stag, a thistle and some kind of Scottish bird. I suggested drawing a capercaillie as the bird. Also known as the wood grouse, the Scottish population had at one point gone completely extinct but they have been reintorduced from Sweden. These birds are still threatened however and so its good that they get a chance in the spotlight.

Red Stag


So there you are, that's that.

I've also been doing some work on the figurines which inspired my anthology of the 'Great' Outdoors. You remember the little bleps? Well as I might have said before, my illustration, 'Obligatory Viewpoint' was shortlisted in the AOI Illustration awards and so the image, alongside the 2 others I created in the series so far will be in a travelling exhibition starting with Somerset House in London from October 2nd to 27th. You will also be able to see the exhibition at Swansea Metropolitan University, Blackpool and Fylde College, Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery and Guilford House Gallery later in the year.

Obligatory Viewpoint, Don't Feed the Bears, Everest Circus

Alongside these illustrations I will also be displaying the figurines which were part of the inspiration for the idea. In an effort to make these stand out I have been working on making a display environment for them from paper. Here are some photos of a mock up!

That's all I have time to say and show for now but if you would like to see more of my work in the future, please press 1. If you think I should give up my career and start a job as a magician's assistant, please press 2. If you would like to know what the meaning of life is, hang up, go find out and phone me back when you have the answer.

Thank you for your patience.