The Boy Crying for the Moon

councillers pointing

A number of years ago when I got a redundancy, I tried my hand at getting into illustration. I didn’t make it cause frankly I don’t know how to go about approaching anyone, I was just unable to crack into it, and I was way too timid to do things like I’m doing now (displaying pictures for the world to see!). I gave up trying.


I had sat down and illustrated my butt off for quite a while.

I got a portfolio of various illustrations up, plus I’ve written some stories and illustrated them myself (more on that in another post!).

I went and showed my portfolio to some people who ran a service of giving feedback to people like me, they gave me feedback, good feedback on design and market, but i just didn’t get anywhere with it, other than i did some drawings around Oscar Wilde’s Happy Prince story**, to show what I could do.

**This post is brought to you by Happy Prince Illustrations of 2006

boy crying for moon

I’ve discovered a course via Holmesglen which guides you through the publishing industry – it’s on my list of things to do this year. I’ve decided it will happen.

The thing that is both flattering and annoying is people saying ‘You should illustrate kids’ books’.

Well, EARTH TO YOU, I WOULD LOVE TO BUT CAN YOU SUGGEST HOW I GO ABOUT THAT. It’s like trying to change jobs mid career, it’s hard to get anyone to look at you. I guess it’s my choice to pursue this, and now I’ve chosen to pursue it again, and i need to actually persist and be a bit more loud this time, once I’ve figured out how to do this.

Hence the course, which should show me at least where the doors ARE before i can open them and go through.

Hard work, but.

I’m also writing a novel. I’m on the second revision, where I am chopping out entire self indulgent crappy sections and putting in some action. My characters seem to soliloquize a bit. WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK THAT.

Then i will try again for publishing stuff.  Novel. It will happen!

lovers on balcony

Anyhoo, back to talking about art, which is why you’re all here, righto.

I enjoyed doing these paintings. They are all drawn on paper, then inked in, then water colour and gouache. (No, spell checker, i do NOT mean gauche – though i left out a few of the bad ones that were pretty gauche).

prince on tower

I can see where some of them I’ve gone a bit wrong with symmetry, and if i was doing them again I’d take more care with getting some of the backgrounds a bit better drawn, but I’m happy with how they turned out.


See, the guy here, his hands are totally out of proportion. But the camel is rocking it. Oh yeah, that camel knows it’s Boss.

If you’ve never read Oscar Wildes’ short stories, I advise you to do so. They are bittersweet in the tradition of the best British Novelists, they are also a bit nasty and also super clever.


OOOh i fubbed this guys’ feet didn’t I! Yetch. And the wings need a total rethink.

That’s the problem with looking back at stuff you did ages ago, with a fresh pair of eyes you can go ‘OMG THAT IS EMBARRASSING’.

That being said, i found a bundle of deeply shameful oil paintings I did in my high school years when I was obsessed with Dragonlance books, and also Lawrence of Arabia. So as soon as I can bear to scan those in, you’re going to be taken on a highlights tour of what was essentially painting fanfic….It amuses me to share…