Friday 11 June 2010

The inspiration and the methods

I just wanted to talk here about the inspiration and the methods behind this project - there has actually been 2 main people who have made this come to be!

Firstly after seeing Glamourpuss for reasons I still do not entirely know I thought I would try my hand at following what Dave Sim showed in his making of here:-

But I figured as I have never really even tried to draw that I would do it all on the cheap so I got a plain paper pad with paper thin enough to see through that was the same size as the "handbag" glamour magazine, a hb pencil, a handwriting pen and a eraser.

I then just would hold the bit of plain paper over the photo from the magazine up to a light blub in one hand while I traced what I could see with the other hand.

And then I would send a bunch to Dave Sim in a letter.

And I did this consistently for nearly a year and my focus was on treating doing a tracing as being a way to wind down after work I find it relaxing and  id did not even contemplate on the results.

Quantity not quality is the key when you start.

And it seemed to work as by being consistent my ability was improving (very slowly) but none the less I could see I was actually getting somewhere which is a bonus I was not expecting and that helped me put more effort into each bit of work I slowly found that the time I spent on each piece and the quality was getting higher.

Then came Glamourpuss 12 like a shot out of the blue, Dave Sim had been telling me about it for nearly a year but I just thought that Dave was kidding, who would want to feature my art I thought!

Until I saw how that was going to be done as a riposte to serious art magazines with their overblown dialog and high priced yet low quality featured creations.

Well that was the second inspiration and it made me attempt to seriously up my game, I started off with the George and Lynne panels and as soon as I saw how good (relatively speaking) they was coming out it became a joy to do more and this continued to expand as I went along, with panels appearing nothing like I thought they would considering what I had done just literally days beforehand.

But that was the start- where it got crazy is when I tried to do actual glamourpuss figures, of course I had to do the same ones that are in 12 the question being -how far could I go?

Again the envelope of time spent and quality increased but it went as far as I possibly could, the last tracing I did represented a whole week of effort and I don't think I could have spent another second on it .

This does show in quite a few places on the finished piece that this was an attempt where I failed to meet the standard and the mistakes crept in as I kept on pushing on regardless.

But I had a brilliant lesson that has informed everything I have done since; I had to push myself as hard as I possibly could to really see what I was capable of.

And now I find doing anything both a joy and a education as well as fun.

And then came along Matt Senca - Matt saw something I never saw myself in what I was doing - that’s one of those things about me - I wont see what I am doing I wont even know how I am doing it, but somehow it just happens and Matts words of my efforts after less than a year of tracing was the most recent inspiration which has shaped and informed this project.

So this is what I would like you to take from this:-

1) Anyone of any ability can produce art that has some potential - with potential there is the hope that it can improve - the only bad bit of art that can be done is to not try a drawing at all.

2) Drawing can be both fun and relaxing, focus on this, not the results to start with - given time you will improve naturally.

3) If your lucky all kinds of strange and wonderful things can happen - but you have to share what you are doing in order for that to happen - I know I found that bit to be the most difficult - certainly not without including reams of text saying how bad what I was doing is - the lesson I have had to learn is to not worry - people will either like what you have done or they wont - just focus on having fun and then share it – don’t add commentary as to how it sucks! (or even how brilliant it is – let it stand alone as it is - a act of creation).

4) It pays great dividends to occasionally attempt an experiment where you completely push the boundaries of everything you have done up to and possibly even beyond breaking point, you will surprise yourself at how well you can do and this informs everything you do past that point.

So come on - this is all part of the reason why I started this project in response to Matts brilliant inspiration.

Have a try - that’s what it’s all about.

I will never fault anyone for trying - so what are you waiting for?


Sunday 6 June 2010

James MacDougall

Now James has done something rather radical and has reshaped the experiment in progress!

How so, you ask - simple by downloading and submitting all 5 available drawings.

2 of these had already gone through the hands of someone else, so we are now getting into the land of degradation!

While the other 3 appear for the first time (including the first appearance here of the rather infamous "Sophie-Ellis Bextor").

James has a very good and well defined pen style, I like his line and James provided his own little flourish on each - I particularly like the window with the eyes - and dig this:-

James says :- "My method was to print out the pdfs of the tracings and then hold them up to the window and trace over another piece of paper with a Sharpie"

Now there is a man after my own heart, until rather recently I also used similarly low budget methods via my rooms light bulb!

James adds: - "in a few cases I drew right over the print-out. I then scanned all the images back into pdfs and adjusted the levels to get a good black/white contrast."

Well there you go - James has thoughtfully provided a how to guide - so you can try this yourself but of course you are not just limited to this method of working!

and what about James himself?

"About me: I am a Web designer/graphic artist/anthropologist living in Ottawa, Ontario. I have a web site at there isn't a lot to see there at the moment as I'm currently redoing the entire thing, but there is a bit.

I'm interested in how information in general gets transformed in it's reinterpretation whether it is oral narrative, gossip, folklore, song or as is the case with this project visual art. i'm also interested in visual art as group participation, such as comic jams, exquisite corpse and the like. Even super-hero comics are group efforts as people reinterpret characters over decades.

It's going to be interesting to see how the images evolve (devolve)."

Well I could not agree more and James has given us a flying start by re-interpreting everything - James will get his Glamourpuss 12 and  1 glossy print of each of his submissions (This is being done for all submissions now, if your keeping track)

So who is going to take the challenge of working from one of James's pieces?

They all all here waiting to be downloaded

Hey - have fun - that is what its all about!


Saturday 5 June 2010

Matt Senca!

This time we have a submission from none other than the person who came up with the concept of Images Degrading Forever - designed the cool Masthead and has very kindly promoted it over on his uber-blog:-

Images Degrading Forever By Matt Senca

And Matt as well as showing some real artistic flair - has also shown his sense of humour - have a look here:-

That this great! Well you guessed it this image has now replaced the 5th penciled original - now who is going to take the challenge of working from Matts work?

Just to remind you the PDFs to download and work from are here:-


Oh - As someone asked - Yes you can make as many submissions as you wish - however I can only give away 1 copy of Glamourpuss 12 per person - I hope that is okay - to make up for that I will also be giving away a glossy printed copy of each submission to the person who submitted it!


Friday 4 June 2010

Matthew J. Brady

First off the block in this experiment we have Matthew J. Brady - who took on the 2nd set of Pencils to produce this interesting variation:-

This is is what Matt had to say himself:-

"Hi Robin, here's my contribution to the art project.  I did it on my Iphone, and was experimenting with the drawing app I downloaded while doing so, and I thought it ended up being surprisingly decent, considering how terrible I am as an artist!"

Well I thought this was a great piece of work - I hope you like it as well! 

Matt is just being humble ;-)

Submissions of any type using any tool are all welcomed - mind you it has to be a upload-able file so that will put some limits on this unfortunately!

This now means that the 2nd set of pencils have been removed and Matt's finished version now appears in its place, now who is going to take the challenge of working from Matt's version?!

Matt himself has a great blog over at which most recently features a Peter Bagge article - now that is a man after my tastes - i dug Apocalypse nerd! 

Why not give his blog a visit?


Tuesday 1 June 2010

The Experiment Begins - What is it?

Matt Senca upon reviewing the “drawings” that appear in “Glamour, not!” my first attempt at a comic on his excellent blog “Death to the Universe”

Said “I want to see these pictures degrading forever. Imagine if a page of Kirby pencils was passed to inkers from Joe Sinnott to Mike Royer to Vince Colletta -- on and on, down through Kirbyites like Scioli and Erik Larsen, down until it was being traced and traced by random SVA students, each new set of inks going over the old until it wasn't images at all anymore, just random things a mass of different people had made, just a block of art.”

This Blog has been launched in the hopes of seeing if this experiment is actually possible and I would love you to take part – yes you – experience of drawings is not necessary – in fact the less experience you have the more interesting the results will be!

All you have to do is visit and download at least one of the PDFS here:-

– print it out and let you imagination go wild – you can literally do anything you want there are no rules, you could ink in stripes like a zebra pattern, you could just throw ink on the page randomly, you can pay homage to any number of inking styles, apply your own and or be as true or untrue to the originals as you want to be and once done email the end result to me

Once someone has done 1 of the 5 the originals – the original will then be replaced with the submission for the next person to download and so on - here is an example I made earlier:-

Now for taking part – I will be more than happy to give each individual person who takes part – at least all of the following all free of charge:-

Complete ownership and copyright to the finished work to remain with the author in return for publication on this blog and downloading for another artist to have a go and for one off publication

A copy of Glamourpuss 12 – featuring my awful art

A copy of a one –off publication containing all the finished pieces as submitted

So let’s get started

I will be doing 1 piece and Matt Senca will hopefully take a turn on one as well, so the game is already afoot – let’s see how far the experiment goes – I am sure it will be interesting!