Sunday, 24 June 2012



Marriage has always been central to storytelling which isn't surprising since it's one of the biggest things that can happen to people.

But when your son insists that nobody is good enough for him what can a mother do?
Clearly the Grimm Brothers have pondered this very question and reached the same conclusion that I have.  But since they got there first and in German I'll let them take the credit (1)

As many of these stories begin with the traditional 'Once upon a time' and as the staff of Jabberwockery are certainly not about to buck the trend our tale must therefore start with those immortal words. 
Once, as they say, upon a time...
There was a prince who wanted to marry a princess.  Now you'd think that this would be simple enough not only was this the olden days but it's also a story which means that all he had to do is wait until his two older brothers didn't return from their travels. But here's the problem.  This prince is an only child which practically makes him unique amongst his royal brethren (2)
The problem was that no matter how far he travelled he couldn't find a genuine princess and he complained to his mother about this while they sat of front of the fire.
"I'm sure someone will turn up" his mother assured him "listen to that storm outside.  I hope nobody suddenly suffers a blowout"

At that moment there was a loud knocking at the castle door and the prince opened the door to reveal a very regal visitor

"Is it all right if I stay here for the night?  I ask because the road has washed out and my horse suddenly has a flat tyre"
"Um pardon?"
"I'm a princess just so you know" she said as she swept past him "it's just that I've had the worse day ever"
"Just a minute how do I know you're a real princess?" the prince demanded "do you have a seal of authenticity?"
"Left it at home"
"Family tree?"
"Several fine ones but the horse ate them"
"Family retainers?"
"No I had braces until I was 12"
"Loyal knights?"
"They're all out questing"

"Who's your friend dear?" The queen looked up as the pair entered royal room for receiving unexpected guests on a rainy night.
"She says she's a princess" the prince said doubtfully “but a genuine princess doesn’t let herself get wet.  They’ve got servants to get wet for them”
“Don’t you worry my son” There are ways and means of determining whether or not she is a princess" (4)
And so the queen unlocked the treasury and retrieved the Genuine Princess Spotter which looked amazingly like a pea because that is, in fact, what it was.
In the guest bedroom the queen placed the GPS underneath 20 mattresses’ and let the princess know that her rooms had been prepared.

In the morning the storm had passed and everything was shining with morning dew that had been dipped in extra strength Disney magic

With the entire cast seated around the breakfast table the queen began the royal breakfast conversation as was tradition.
"So, how did you sleep my dear?"
The princess drank her coffee, while this was technically a breach of royal etiquette it was politely overlooked by all present since coffee people are notoriously difficult to talk to before that first taste of morning goodness. “Oh it was terrible!  First I was sleeping on 20 mattresses for no apparent reason and then I just couldn't get comfortable.  I'm sure that I'm going to be black and blue all over"

At the sound of this the prince knew that he'd found a genuine princess because only a genuine princess could have felt the pea beneath all those mattresses.

The prince and princess were married and the pea was placed in the royal museum for all to see.
and this is a true tale.


·         Why is the prince so damn picky?
Because if he wasn't then he'd already have a royal girlfriend when Princess, Really A turned up and that might be a little awkward.

·         Why does the queen use 20 mattresses?
It's such a weird number and also how thick are these things?  This castle was clearly designed by Escher.

·         Why a pea?
It just doesn't work without magic and I'll accept a magic pea when you can produce a witch who is also a militant vegan. 
Personally I'd want my wife to be a little more robust than this 'princess' if only to stop each night being a recitation of the things that hurt her.
You want to know why nobody in the world has this story as part of their official history?
Because any country where the main qualification for royal marriage is "the ability to feel a pea through a bunch of mattresses" will soon find themselves taken over by their next door kingdom where the qualification is the more traditional "I've got a great big sword" method.

The more I read this story the more obvious it is that the Princess and the Queen have gotten together and worked out this plan.  This is most likely under pressure from the other kings to stop the prince from travelling around and "testing whether or not their princesses are genuine"

1.       Because insane theories are easy but German is hard.

2.       That he personally didn't have but if he did he would have been.  Except he wouldn't have been

3.       She could start sobbing at this point, if she didn't want to set womanhood back 20 years that is.

4.       Fetch the royal duck!"

5.       It cost extra but nothings too good for my readers

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Portfolio - 3D Work

[Note to self: go back and fix up the links etc but for now just get it up and running]


Project: Kite.

The first group project.  Due to its size it was neither at home in the air or the sea.  It lived out its days hanging from a classroom pillar and catching the unsuspecting with a vengeful fin.

Project Mask:
For a long time the only decoration was the black around the eyes but through an odd mix of kabuki and Brazilian football I was inspired to add more and brighter colours.
This mask is typical of the kind worn in the Great Southern Empire of the novel Harts Blood.  Due to religious obligation every citizen wears a mask and appearing in public without one is the equivalent of wandering down the road without any pants on.

The rough and gaudy decoration tells us that this is worn by the lower class of imperial citizen.  After everything goes pear shaped at the imperial court this will be the society that the heroes are going to be interacting with most of all.
In direct contrast to this, the mask of the Empress is a masterpiece of gold, jewels and the finest silks.

Portfolio - Digital Section

Note to self: go back and edit links but for now just get everything loaded.

A concept comic that I abandoned long ago.  This would have been the front page of a manual which had been hurriedly photocopied by a machine that was one step away from the scrap heap.  An inky fingerprint left behind after the big robot heist, would have been the first real lead for the detective in charge of the case.

Designed to have the look of a summer book that had been picked up a few times but, due to bad writing and a terrible plot, was never worth finishing.
[note from me:  For some reason the red insisted on bleeding out when this poster was printed but since it added to the effect I didn't try and fix it]

A collection of title images that I’ve created for my blog.They generally stay until I get bitten by the mosquito of redesign, yet again.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

At last. The end is here...[begin sad music]


Well the Certificate in Design course has come to an end at long last. 
The final project, that of our portfolio has finally been completed, handed in and, even as you read this (1), is being marked.
Like everyone else on the course it is my fervant hope that someone is rushing my work over to Peter Jackson who will, naturally, take one look at it and exclaim "Why this is amazing!  Someone hire this man at once!  In fact hire the entire class!" (2)

As they say.  Hope springs eternal.

So whats happening with you now?
The marks I've been getting at this level are high and I plan to continue this with Creative Technologies which is the next level.  Since this starts fairly soon I'll have a short break from studying (3)
From what I've been told the biggest difference in the two courses is that the Creative Technologies has alot more theory as well as a larger projects to classroom time ratio. 
We're also going to have to do another portfolio for this one but it's not going to be as big as the first one (4)

What's all this bit then?
I thought, since I haven't been posting much lately, I'd upload the great beast onto Jabberwockery (5)
Being, more or less a review of the art I've done there isn't alot of writing to it except for a line or two below each peace and there is only so much information you can get in before it starts getting crowded and you are forced to hack the three paragraphs about the study of blue to pieces and start all over again. (6) 

Since it's scaled for A3 size I've had to shift things round quite a bit but you can get the general idea of it all.

  1. If you've stumbled upon this post in Roboctober of 2015 then you can take it as read that they've finished marking everything and, like the rest of us, cower in fear of our Robot Overlords.
  2. "Because I'm Peter Jackson and I say so!"
  3. an official one that is. I'm still working on my anatomy (boom boom)
  4. Considering I got this information from one of the tutors I'll take it with a grain of salt. These guys are notorious for saying thing.
  5. Which, if you think about it is another great beast of mine. Perhaps they'll destroy Tokyo as they battle, perhaps not.
  6. Then you decide to leave the study of blue out and move onto the study of red whereupon the whole torture begins once again!