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Category Archive: Design

Springtime is here… get out in the countryside

April 30, 2016

Helping British tourism where I can.


Just keep calm and don’t look behind you.

Bring on the laser (cutter)

April 21, 2016

Every year I promise myself I’m going to stop buying people Christmas presents and start making them then I remember about two weeks before Christmas and realise I have not the time, the requisite skills, the time to learn the requisite skills or the inspiration to actually do this. This year I sort of managed to edge towards this ideal, although massively misjudged by needing to order some stuff in which took far longer than expected.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting some stuff laser cut for a while, I’ve got a big bunch of sketches and ideas for a variety of homewares and entertaining tat and I’d been talking to Paul about some ideas we may at some point work on together so thought I would give making some Christmas decorations for friends a go.

I had two made up (see pics below) for my friends Tim and Caitlin who are keen on (hopefully) Christmas tat and animals. I was hoping the process would be simple enough that I could start selling decorations on my Etsy store but unfortunately the production cost has slightly killed that for now. The material costs were incredibly low but the cutting cost was really high (for the size of decoration), excluding shipping it worked out at just under £20 for both decorations, which is great for a one off gift for a friend but not viable for retailing.

As it happens the cost is driven up by the number of curves in the designs. Straight lines are quick and easy to cut, curves expend far more energy. All of my current designs are quite curvy and I don’t have the energy to come up with new designs right now. We did investigate buying our own laser cutter but that’s currently way outside our financial reach for a couple of ideas which may never generate any cash, also it looks like the power consumption may be the real killer.

You can see in the photos where I skated underneath the minimum width for parts of the design and ended up with some very fine cuts, they look quite cool but are fairly fragile.

The two here were cut by RazorLab out of 3mm MDF. I was going to paint them but the burn marks made by the cutter give them quite a nice handmade look anyway.

I would still like to have a crack at making some bits to sell but will need to find out if I can get the production cost down a bit first.

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Laser Cut Personalised Cat/Dog Xmas Decorations

Jo Hall – Artist Website

August 24, 2015

Just a quick update! I recently put together a website for the Maidenhead artist Jo Hall. She has a wonderful selection of art and covers many different styles and mediums with an apparent ease of which I’m greatly jealous. Jo runs workshops in the Maidenhead area (often at Norden Farm) and regularly has pieces both in local exhibitions (Maidenhead, Cookham, etc) and around the country. I’m particularly fond of the Natural Forms gallery.

Jo Hall, Artist’s website – www.jo-hall.co.uk

It was really lovely working with Jo and great to work on a project I could really invest myself in. I’ve generally avoided working on websites for artists (aside from musicians) in the past as expected them to be quite high maintenance but am rethinking this point of view now. Do drop me a line if you fancy a custom website for your art.

Category: Design
Tags: Art, websites
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Actual T-shirts!

March 25, 2015

The absolutely wonderful people at More T Vicar have very kindly agreed to stock a bunch of my designs as t-shirts. They are beautiful digitally printed, available in a technicolour yawn of colours in a various selection of sizes and styles.

There’s only a handful up there at the moment but I’ll be going through my archive and adapting some old designs as well as creating some new ones over the next few weeks.

Here’s what’s up there right now, each design is available in Ladies and Mens styles in a range of sizes from Small to XXL, each one comes in a different set of colours to match the design.

Lower Your Expectations
The cat of lowering expectations

FUCK EVERYTHING with the exasperated owl

A less exasperated owl, for those who like owls but not swearing

A slightly disconcerting steampunk robot living it up in the roaring twenties

Political Correctness – also known as – consideration for others

I tell it like it is – I have no social filter and lack compassion

Feedback so far has been really positive, it’s given me a real self-esteem lift to know that people not only like something I’ve created but like it enough to buy one. More to come soon.

Building Walls

January 24, 2011

So, let’s say you hire a builder to build a wall in your garden. The builder gives you some advice about where he thinks the wall should go, how high it should be and what sort of bricks it should be made of. You ignore his advice because it’s your garden and you know your garden better than he does.

He builds the wall where you ask, using the materials you requested and at the height you felt appropriate. You decide you don’t like the position so he knocks it down and starts again in the new position.

This time you decide the wall is too high, so he does some builder stuff and makes it lower. But then, suddenly, you realise it looks stupid at that height in that position so you ask him to move it elsewhere. He knocks it down and starts again.

Oh no! It’s the wrong sort of bricks. It clashes horribly with the shed where it is now. You ask the builder to change the type of bricks in your wall to nice yellow ones. He knocks it down and starts again.

Damn! It’s too low, you can see the neighbours ugly child over it. Not a problem, the builder makes it a bit higher.

So you’ve got a nice yellow wall that carefully obscures the ugly children next door but doesn’t clash with the shed. But something’s not quite right. Oh, you can no longer see out of your kitchen window. You are sure the builder mentioned something about this previously but you opted to ignore him because you know your garden better than he does (silly builder).

One last time. You ask the builder where it was he thought the wall should go (and how high, and in what colour), he tells you again what he said at the start and you agree to it (of course it was completely your idea all along, he knows NOTHING of your garden). You finally have a nice wall that obscures whatever you need obscuring while not obscuring whatever it is you don’t want obscuring. You are happy, the builder is happy.

The question is, how many walls should you have to pay for? You only have one new wall in your garden so surely you only have to pay for the one wall?

Needs More Robots

January 23, 2010

Work in progress for the new Shinytastic site.  Definitely needs some robots and rabbits adding.


Invitation Design Rough

January 11, 2010

Rough design submitted for an invite to a local formal event.



Two Trees

October 12, 2008

Sick of coding tonight. I’ve been on a massive coding binge the last couple of weeks, amongst other things researching and writing a Best Practice Manual for Shinytastic, drastically improving my OO skills and coding patterns and other such stuff. Part of me wishes I could just drop coding and stick to design work but right now the coding pays the bills.

Working on a possible logo for a possible project I may possibly be involved in as a bit of light relief, here’s two of tonights sketches.

Work in progress.

Work in progress.

Got some more History of Guns artwork to sink my teeth into soon, started it a month or so back but need to find the time to get working on it again, this whole house-moving/new business nonsense doesn’t half eat your life.

See you in the trees.

Category: Design
Tags: Logos, Trees
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Holding page of wonder

October 2, 2008

A quick holding page that appeared to transform into something a little more flamboyant than expected. For Moonshine PR

Moonshine PR Holding Page

Moonshine PR Holding Page

Hopefully Emily doesn’t beat me to death when she sees what I’ve done to her website. I very nearly animated it in flash but fortunately (for you and her) time is short tonight.

I dun a template

September 30, 2008

I have finally found the time to do a template for my own WP blog, and in the process have an even greater love of WordPress, I was quite fond already.

Been fighting to find time to learn to do WP templates for months, since before I started this site. I have done one template before (Cuban Sow), but in the interim had completely forgotten everything through cramming plenty of other crap in my head (Actionscript 3, Joomla, and all the other crap I spend my life forcing into by brain via the medium of my eyes). Anyway, such is the goddamn simplicity of WP that I pretty much managed to re-learn + learn more and knock the whole thing together in an evening. Which is nice.

I know it’s far from perfect, let’s call it a ‘Work In Progress’ but I’d rather stick it up in it’s current state and fiddle with it over time than hold off until I think it’s 100% perfect and hence never launch the damn thing.

I say it took an evening to do, I had to install LAMP on my graphics PC so I could play with the design offline, the LAMP install took about 30 minutes, then getting mysql and php to talk to each other took another half a day, which was entirely my fault for trying to be lazy and use the installers. Eventually just uninstalled everything and redid php and apache manually (always the better method).

The graphics have been kicking around for ages to the extent that I’m a bit sick of it all already, but will live with it for now. The face was inspired by Tara McPherson (who is awesome). I suspect the boundary between inspired/infringing may be a little close, but I did draw it myself. The horribly over-the-top horizontal rule flourishes came from a pack (I’ll dig the link out later), everything else was drawn by my own hand. The colour scheme was an accident, I like it, I care not if others do not. The mass of grunge textures were either from my photos or Machine Wash and inspired by Tim keep banging on at me about using more grunge textures in my design.

Anxious Silence WordPress Theme

Anxious Silence WordPress Theme

Next up is getting a grip on Joomla extensions, how exciting.

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I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).

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Currently Reading

A Bookkeepers Guide to Practical Sorcery

Why? -+*Because it's brilliant.

The Daily Stoic

Why? -+*It was one of the best gifts in a while. I read it every morning.

Light: Science and Magic

Why? -+*I'm learning to be a better photographer.

How to write a novel using the snowflake method

Why? -+*I'm learning to write and reading any book on the subject that looks interesting.

Symmetry: The Ordering Principle

Why? -+*Inspiration and research.

Dungeon Master’s Guide

Why? -+*Because I'm a massive geek in the middle of a nostalgia episode

What Ho Guvnor! Spiffing robot t-shirts to hide your nipples.

I’m on Patreon

I’m on Patreon

-+*Come visit me on Patreon for further art and photography.
Organic Contrast Nature Art Postcards

Organic Contrast Nature Art Postcards

-+*Silhouettes of nature in stasis combined with geometric forms. On actual card!
Winter Branch Snowflake T-shirt Forest Shrine – T-shirt and Mug

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