The madness that was Chinese New Year

The beginning of each year always seems like a mad rush for me. There’s Christmas, and then New Year and pretty soon before you know it, Chinese New Year has come around, complete with cymbals, angpows and a good dose of firecrackers. (That video above perfectly illustrates what I feel like right now). I feel as though the beginning is just beginning – again – as the last of beginnings roll around.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Think about it – if you lost a bit of fair time recuperating for hectic year-end holiday season during New Year, you can always think of Chinese New Year as your much needed boost to wipe the slate clean (especially when your resolutions haven’t quite kicked in yet).

A resolution for resolutions perhaps?

All I know is, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Happy Chinese New Year all, and if you’re in need of some goat puns to ring it in (there’s just so many this year!), here’s a good recap of the ones that are currently running in South East Asia. And this.

I kid you not. (see what I did there?)

{ Video by Flatmind, credit goes to Elia Gardella and a team. See more details over at Behance. }

The Pikaland Gift Guide for All Seasons: part 6

giftguide Howdy folks! For part 6 of the gift guide, I’m taking a bit of break from books (although you can see it’s not a 100%) to show you what other fun stuff that’s perfect as gifts for all seasons. This list is a little off-beat, quirky and it’s made up of things I know a creative would love. While I know that Christmas may be the biggest gift season ever, but a surprise gift anytime of the year makes the heart grow fonder (this is definitely from my own experience!) Enjoy!

Dita Series Pocket Notebooks by Mossery

mossery From their description:

These special edition Pocket Notebooks was illustrated by Avinindita Nura from Bandung Indonesia, sold in a set of 3: School Kids, Daily Life and Dance Floor.

Available here.

The Best People Love Cats & Dogs print by Dick Vincent

dick Need I say more? Printed on 300gsm evolution stock, available here.

The Fantastic Fox backpack by littleoddforest

lof This backpack is fabulous for guys and girls, and was inspired by the Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. It’s made to order though, but perfect for the foxy someone in your life. Available here.

Make your own stag/reindeer full mask by Wintercroft

wintercroft The instant PDF download for this mask is great for last minute gifts – although assembly on your own will take approximately 3-4 hours. Time to get out your rulers, cardboard and scissors for a gift that’s truly handmade. More animal masks available too from Wintercroft, and this set is available here.

To-do notepad by boygirlparty

boygirlparty Writing things down never gets old – and my books are usually filled with to-do lists. If you like yours neat and organised, get this fun notepad by Susie Ghahremani to keep your list in check. Available here.

Living Things Series by Little Otsu combo pack

littleotsu I’ve been crushing on these art zines made by Little Otsu, and they have a combo pack available! Great for satisfying your illustration munchies and to get your juices flowing as each book has different artists each explore one idea based around the theme of living things. Get yours here.

Paints short shirt by Masha Reva x SNDCT

sndct I love clothes that are fun and bright. These collections – as a result of Ukranian brand’s SNDCT ongoing collaborations with artists and designers – will surely make you stand out in style. Available here.

3D Girls vase by Leah Goren

leah Hand built white stoneware vase with allover 3D girl heads by Leah Goren. Conversation starters? You bet. Available here.

Paper Mobile Kit by Faye Moorhouse

faye These funny looking people (and animals) are prints are from original gouache illustrations – seven in all – printed on heavy stock paper, punched and ready to hang. Some assembly is required, but that’s all part of the fun! Available here.

Pocket manfriends by Nicola Rowlands

manfriends My husband always mentions to me that he’d like to carry me in his pocket. Not because I’m little or anything, but because I’m entertaining (I think). I bet he’s never heard of Nicola’s pocket manfriends though – they’re really much more pocketable, and I bet they won’t keep asking him for food. Available here.

We’re almost coming to the end of the 2014 gift guide – so stay tuned for our final instalments! For the entire gift guide, check out this link!

Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld

I first came across Tom Gauld’s work on Flickr, and once I started looking, I couldn’t stop. Tom works in the UK as a cartoonist and illustrator; counting The Guardian and the New Yorker among his clients. His comics are filled with robots, astronauts hapless personalities that combines innocence with wry wit – there’s so much eloquence in his panels, delivered in a deft swift kick.  I read an interview from 2011 where he talks about what he does, and I wanted to share some snippets of the interview that I thought was really thought-provoking.

On  his working process:

I sit and think and doodle in my sketchbook until I have a good idea. Then I’ll make rough pencil sketches on copier paper till I have things worked out visually. Then I hone these sketches on paper and in photoshop till I have a rough version of the image which I can send to anyone who needs to approve it. Then I will print out the image and use a lightbox to trace an ink version which I crosshatch then scan back into the computer where I can clean it up, tweak bits and add any colour. I love using the computer but I try to stay away from it till I’ve done most of the thinking for an idea, looked at it from all sides, because I feel that once the computer is involved things are on an inevitable path to being finished. Whereas in my sketchbook the possibilities are endless.

 

Tom Gauld

 

On illustrating a book cover versus a cartoon:

I feel more pressure doing a book cover than almost anything else, I think “This author has probably spent years writing this book: I mustn’t mess it all up with a crap cover”. So I have to try and find a way to react to the book and make something which is suitable, but is also strong and interesting in its own way.

Tom Gauld

On how Edward Gorey has influenced his work:

I like that what he makes is unclassifiable: he makes picture books for adults which aren’t comics, many are self-published but they’re beautifully produced. I love his drawing, the odd narratives, the design of the books, the compositions, the hand drawn typography: everything really. The way I crosshatch (with small “patches” of short lines rather than long ones) I learned from Gorey.

On what he thinks is next for books and print:

One thing which might happen with the rise of e-books is that the books that DO get published in paper may have to justify themselves by being better made, designed and illustrated. That would make me happy.

Read the complete interview here. Also: another in-depth interview about his comic-drawing process that’s really good.

Links: Tom Gauld’s website | Flickr

His books: You’re All Just Jealous of My Backpack [Amazon link] | Goliath [Amazon link]

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