San Cris felt souvenirs

Would you buy a multi-coloured felt cow with goggly orange-rimmed eyes? Of course! They are endearing! These marvels of creativity are sold by scores of handicraft sellers in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, and once you start looking, you start noticing how amazing they are. The quality of the felt, the sense of colour combination, the finishing, the creativity… Felt bulls and chickens are classics, and the current fashion is for felt unicorns and Tyrannosaurus Rexes.

Sketch of the day: Scarf fashions croquis

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I was waiting for someone outside a mall in eastern Turkey and started noticing the women’s fashion, specifically the clothes of the ones following an Islamic dresscode with hair and limbs covered (lots dressed in the same way as women in secular places). At a first glance they all looked like they followed the same dress code: headscarf tucked in, overcoat buttoned over dress. But it quickly became apparent that the details matter. Older, more conservative-looking women had the ends of their scarf hanging down under their chin, younger and trendier ones tucked the ends into the scarf. Some had cardigans, others that strange overcoat with a double row of buttons, some floaty long vests. Skinny jeans and ballerinas were much in evidence. Muslim dresscode – here’s yet another example of how it’s not an oppressive imposition. Here are my three-second croquis done standing up in a little notebook.

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Sustainable coasts maps

It’s been a real pleasure and a privilege to draw and illustrate maps for a friend’s forthcoming book proposal. The book is about coastal communities that manage their marine resources in sustainable ways. It was a pretty excting and positive read. Fingers crossed that it finds a publisher!

Meanwhile, here are some sketch versions of the illustrations. They’re done in nib and ink. Just imagine the book that includes puffins, otters, coral reefs, electronic fish quota swaps, a successful protest movement 40 years ago for the right to access the coast, whales, and seafood harvesting. You want to read it right? Yes!!

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Mussel harvesting
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Kelp
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Fishermen 1
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More mussel harvesting
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Other fishermen
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A puffin.

 

Ethiopia field trip

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Ethiopian schoolkids

These guys were watching us visit the beekeeping centre. They work for ADHENO, but Tarike is the kebede (village) manager.
These guys were watching us visit the beekeeping centre. They work for ADHENO, but Tarike is the kebede (village) manager.

The All We Can partnership conference involved a field trip to two of their Ethiopian partner organsations. I went to ADHENO’s project where they’ve spent twelve years developing conservation agriculture and reforestation. We saw beekeeping, the fuel-efficient stove workshop and the church where the project began. A great day with great people.

Festival session in – Batman!

This month sees Development Cartoons in action in Turkey. Here are some photos from the end-of-project festival of ‘Start with Sports‘ in the delightfully named city Batman. 400 project-participant kids had to be entertained and edified and I, with Eija and Cihan on the team, ran a series of 20-minute sessions for them on ‘Drawing sports’. We used stick figures to draw action poses. The sprogs behaved admirably well and produced some expressive football, basketball and badminton drawings.

Heads down - there's only ten minutes to draw!
Heads down – there’s only ten minutes to draw!
Development Cartoons in action!
Development Cartoons in action.
Not enough space at the big tables for the whole group!
Not enough space at the big tables for the whole group…
Over-shoulder peek
Over-shoulder peek

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Drawing materials after the end of the festival.
Drawing materials after the end of the festival.

Smoother lines, smoother moves

The vector graphics are turning out nice… smooth as a pleasant workout. This pilates image is one of a series for the Social Inclusion through Sports programme’s end-of-project festivals, to be shown on the signs around the festival areas. These graphics can be blown up to the required size – a meter square – without looking pixelated.
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For how many minutes can you hold the plank position?