While I’m slowly dying of heat-related stress, have some more journal pictures!

Lots of illustrations from dreams in this set. Also something I labelled as a snake but discovered, watching Springwatch later, was probably a slow-worm, which is a legless lizard.


Thank you to everyone we saw at Manchester MCM Comic Con! It was a really great event. The stormy weather meant it was a soggy convention, but that didn’t seem to get in the way of the fun!

Most items in the photos are available to order from my Etsy shop or Sarah’s Etsy shop. (and the Adventure Time/Attack On Titan poster on the far right is by our table neighbour Ryuuza)

The next event we’re attending is Comica Comiket at The British Library on Saturday 16th August!

A preview of the new free mini-comic I’ll be taking to Manchester MCM with Sammy this weekend. If you want free mini-comics from me and Sammy, the secret password is ‘do you have a business card?’

I’ll also have the new Summer issue of What’s the Time, Mrs Woolf? and some new hardback notebooks, while Sammy will be launching issue 2 of Giant Rhinos In Space, so I hope you can come and see us there!

The Drawing Game


I want to tell you about The Drawing Game, it’s for everyone but mostly for people who have crippling sketchbook fear.  People who like to draw but as soon as there’s one ‘bad’ sketch in your notebook you cannot stand to see that notebook ever again. People who are so determined to create something ideal and perfect that they don’t even know where to begin. I was once one of these people too.

So! I developed The Drawing Game to overcome these ridiculous fears and actually sit down and draw things. It started out as just trying to overcome a stupid fear but it quickly became quite an addictive game. I will describe the game as I designed it but feel free to edit bits to better suit you.

What you will need to play:

  • A dice
  • A timer
  • A sketchbook /notebook
  • A source of images or objects  (Google Images, a magazine, the contents of a desk drawer)
  • A variety of mark making materials. (Pencils, charcoal, pastels, felt tips, crayons etc…)

In the game I designed there are 3 difficulty levels, easy, normal and hard. The difficulty is set by how many restrictions you set upon yourself. Sets of restrictions come in 6, and you use the dice to see which restriction you will end up with. Easy mode has only one restriction, normal mode has 2 and hard mode has 3. I usually play in normal mode, using a time restriction and one other restriction.

Dice Roll 1: (Time)

  • 1: 1 minutes
  • 2 – 3: 3 minutes
  • 4 – 5: 5 minutes
  • 6:  8 minutes.

Dice Roll 2: (Mark making)

  • 1: You are not allowed to use lines (only the flat side of a pencil)
  • 2:  Any pencil you want.
  • 3: Only charcoal/chalk/pastel/crayon.
  • 4: You can only use lines (Pencil, Biro or any pen)
  • 5: Close eyes, pick 2 coloured pencils. You can only use these.
  • 6: Draw with your other hand.

Dice Roll 3: (Perspective)

  • 1: You cannot look at the page while you draw.
  • 2: Turn the image upside down and draw from it like this.
  • 3: Turn the image side-ways and draw from it like this.
  • 4: Pick the most detailed area and magnify it. (Try to fill  the page so the image spills off the sides)
  • 5: Draw the subject extremely small.
  • 6: You can only shade in spaces around the object.

For example you might end up with something nice like 8 minutes to draw with any pencil you want. Or you might end up with something nasty like 1 minute to draw with your other hand. Having tried and testing this game many times however, I find it’s actually the ‘nasty’ ones that produce the best results, while the ‘nice’ ones are more terrifying because you feel “It has to be good.”

Most of the fun comes from the initial starting point of not knowing what I will be faced with. I try to start the timer as soon as I know what I’m doing without leaving myself time to plan or think and I have to say I think this is ideal because it does not allow you time to panic or worry about your sketching fate.

The aim of this game is to destroy the overly critical voice in your head and to practice drawing different things in different ways. I often find I am surprised with what comes out of my hand in this game, it is usually better than I anticipate it will be and when it’s  really really not I have the fallback of: “Yer but I only had 3 minutes to draw this so it’s not a big deal.”

Here are some of my drawings from playing this game:


No lines eagle


Grey and pink colouring pencils raven.



No lines bat.


I got the 2 colouring pencil limit twice in a row so I drew one ontop of another to save paper, but it actually looks more awesome.


Tried drawing and I just coulf not get the shape of the face so I played this round twice to see if my second  attempt would be better….. and it totally was! :D


Biro mushroom.


Magnified lips in pencil and 2 colouring pencils.


Was not allowed to look at the page while I drew this one. I actually really like it and it’s one of my favourites.

As you can see some bits are awful while other bits are pretty good. I found that playing this game with myself changed my feelings about drawing from “Oh god it will go horribly wrong! D:” to “I’m really not as bad as I thought I was, even the mistakes are cool in some way :D”

Another important reason this game works is because believe it or not, but restrictions or limits actually increase creativity and lateral thinking. When you are faced with a problem and you can tackle it however you want it becomes so scary and daunting. Like when you are faced with a blank canvas, blank page or an empty Microsoft Word page and you need to start working your mind is suddenly filled with ‘blankness’. How do I start? Where do I start? How do I end up with the thing I want to end up with? Are all big scary daunting questions. Limits combat this because they change “Where do I start?” into “How am I going to do this?” It’s a subtle difference, but the restrictions act like a framework for the rest of your thoughts, like a set of obstacles to overcome rather than a MASSIVE blankness.

So if you want to overcome Crippling Sketchbook Fear, you just want an excuse to play a fun game, or you want to improve your drawing skills, this is the game for you. Also if you know someone who has Crippling Sketchbook Fear or Terrible-sketch-phobia, forward them the instructions for how to play. Let’s get everyone to draw more and enjoy drawing more! It would also be extremely cool to see other peoples restriction drawings so image respond if you can :D


  • I plan to develop a digital drawing game version.
  • Plan to develop a Writing game version (for writing and poetry.)



I finished printing the Gorillaz Fanzine today, so it’s now available to order through Etsy. I’ll try and take some photos and get them online tonight or tomorrow. Thanks again to all the contributors!

I’ll also be launching the zine at Manchester MCM Comic Con next weekend. You can find our table in the Comic Village section and it should be listed on the map as Sammy Borras & Sarah Fogg. See you there!

$4.18 = £2.50 (approximately)
$2.50 = £1.50 (approximately)
International Shipping: $7

Gorillaz Fanzine includes illustration, cosplay, articles, comics, gig sketches and puzzles!

Contributors A-Z: 1000014, Abi Le Guilcher, Arthur Goodman, Chyphens, CJ Barrett, David Tolu Graham, Foxeye, Giuseppa Barresi, Gray Porter, Homiboo, Jules Valera, Kodi Kat, Laura Watton/PinkAppleJam, Morti, Rebecca Horner, Saffron-jay, Sammy Borras, Sarah Fogg & Toria McCallum

20 pages
Black & white
Blue card cover


I’ve printed 2 new books ready to take to Manchester MCM Comic Con on the 19th-20th July. Giant Rhinos In Space #2 and a open submissions Gorillaz Fanzine. I will be sharing a table with Sarah Fogg - we will also have some new free mini comics to hand out and the brand new summer pirate themed issue of What’s The Time Mrs. Woolf?

We have added a comics event over the summer - we will be at Comica Comiket at The British Library on Saturday 16th August 2014! (See the right hand side of the blog for current event list)

Giant Rhinos #2 and the Gorillaz Fanzine are now available to order through my Etsy Shop.

(Sorry about the hazy photographs - It’s very bright today and I tried my best with a phone camera and photoshop)

I remembered to scan some journal pictures!

Recently my co-worker paid me to make her some custom books. She wanted two in the same dimensions as a lined notebook she already had, but one which had plain paper so she could write in it horizontally, and one which opened at the short edge to form a very long, thin double page spread. That one also needed heavy paper, so she could paint in it if she wanted.

It was a lot of fun making something different to my usual A6 notebooks, but cutting the pages to a custom size left me with a lot of off-cuts. So, naturally, I made those into books too. I got four mini notebooks out of them, in two different sizes. (I photographed them with an A6 book for comparison.) I’ll have the minis to sell at Manchester MCM later this month.

Finally, things that aren’t fairies!

I was hired to make some designs for my old primary school (Barnabas Oley), that could be used either as certificates or as bookplates for excellence or progress in handwriting. I hand-wrote the text using the letter forms the children learn.