A few bits of paper…

With a few bits of paper, some scissors and some time, I can make some awesome things.

Give Eric Standley a few bits of paper, something to cut with (lasers, in this case!) and some time, and he makes this:

Ornate window-style art made from layered paper

Ornate window-style art made with cut paper


I especially like the way he brings together some of my favourite aspects of Eastern and Western art into something that – because of the laser cutting – is extraordinarily modern.

Ornate window-style ornamentation made of cut paper

The one below is a personal favourite – my mind conjures the blue threads in the middle into fibre optic cables, completely changing the meaning of the image.




An ornate, window-style ornamentation made from layered paper


This really makes me think again about what’s possible with my art if I think about the bigger picture.


Books, wonderful books

I know a lot of you are book lovers, and most of you who are book lovers enjoy fantasy and sci-fi.

If you’re one of those nerds among us, take a look at Tor. It’s the  community-face of the Tor book publishing label, and it’s brilliantly run. A perfect example of this is their website structure – the money-making publishing label runs its site at tor-forge.com, giving the core tor.com site to the label’s community.

The crew there do the usual work of a good publisher: they put advance chapters and free short fictions up online, show off great new authors and illustrators, and run some great competitions. But they also go the extra step with popular series re-reads, events coverage and other community-related culture.

If you want to check out the website, this Ministry of Changes short story is a good place to start. I haven’t read it yet to judge the quality of the story, but the illustration should look familiar from my women in fiction post last week.

Showing stories

Stories are human. They’re a deep part of what makes us people, and of how people learn. Everyone can tell a story (though some can do it better than others). But only a special few can show a story.

Edgar Wright is one of those people. He’s the storyteller behind the Cornetto Trilogy (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End), as well as a range of other movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The Adventures of Tintin. As this video so beautifully shows, he’s an expert at showing people a story so they can have the fun of putting the pieces together (without hiding the pieces in the next room over, arthouse style).

Folks, I recommend to you: Edgar Wright.



I’ve gone to bed without blogging tonight, so I’m sharing this ‘zentangle’ as a quick post. The idea of a zentangle seems to be to fill small spaces with quick, often colourful patterns to add liveliness and texture to a picture. This is more a practice pattern than a zentangle in itself,  but I found it was a good way to get a feel for the idea and practice the simple drawing skills that I’m occasionally working on.

If you’re interested in knowing/seeing more of zentangle, there’s a wealth of examples and instructions on Pinterest.

Books about Town

London is giving a clever nod to its literary history with a new set of benches/public art displays around the country called ‘Books about Town’.

A bench painted with an early scene from C S Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

50 book-shaped benches have been painted to reference a well known book by a British author. There are some favourites – Dr Seuss, Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett – some famous – Stephen Hawking, P L TraversGeoffrey Chaucer – and some I plan to find out more about, like Monica Ali.

A bench showing an artistic impression of a wormhole with scientific and chronological notation

The project is a team-up between the National Literacy Trust and Wild In Art, who have done similar projects for the Taronga Zoo with rhinos in Sydney and for Bristol Children’s Hospital with Gromit Unleashed. I enjoyed what their artists did with Gromit Unleashed, so it’s exciting to see a similar project done with the books I love.

A bench showing the Librarian from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series

A real-life interplanetary space ship

NASA doing amazing space work isn’t an unusual thing to hear, but this project is especially cool.

Some of their scientists have been working on a possible way to build a real-world warp drive for months. Not just a ‘move through space fast’ drive, but an actual faster-than-light, warps-from-one-place-to-another drive.

Which is sweet, and even sweeter now that someone’s shown us what the ship could look like:

NASA warp drive concept image

Gizmodo have all the juicy details (and more pictures!)