It’s been a tough week. Whatever about the good weather outside; it’s been snowed-under here in the studio. Preparation, which is almost complete for my onslaught on France through the Marie Bastille Agency and projects for American clients have kept me slaving over my drawing boards. Then the Irish Times presented me with a mind-warping piece of financial text. Anyway, between the editor and myself we fixed on an idea over the phone, which I quickly scribbled onto a receipt. Whoever heard of an illustrator who had decent pads of paper handy?
That evening, on the settee in front of the telly, I worked up the idea into a more finished sketch and squared the drawing up for the following morning. Luckily, summer TV schedules determined that there was bugger-all worth watching on the idiot’s lantern [as my old French teacher, Mr. Dansie used to call the telly – Me: ‘What does ‘bateau’ mean, Mr. Dansie?’ Dansie: ‘It means you haven’t been listening, McSherry’ followed by, ‘I suppose you’ve been glued to the idiot’s lantern again’.].
Finally, I managed to get the final art into the old lady of D’Olier Street at lunchtime. Now, what’s on the lantern…?
Dunmore East, from the Waterford Tourism site
We’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Dunmore East -and once again, I don’t have a single sketch to show for it. This is a recurrent theme in my life, good intentions thwarted by indolence. It is a lovely, lovely spot, no doubt about it and kick-started another little ongoing theme -thoughts of relocation away from the big smoke. However, the reverie was broken at the long weekend by hordes of city heads, intent on relocating their rubbish onto the beach. Why do people do that?
But, hey -the water was goooood. I encountered a couple of good-natured jellyfish [they didn’t sting me] and we chatted about where to site the blue flag. There’s also a cave adjacent to the beach where there’s some of the best-carved graffiti I’ve ever seen. From as far back as 1823. Forget your black markers -a couple of these messages looked as if they had hired a stone mason to realise them.
Lately, I’ve been working on a few projects that have been over A3 in physical size. Notably a suite of illustrations for brand developers Island Bridge and for the Royal Canadian Mint [That’s money, not sweets; though confusingly it did feature a polar bear]. Confident in my reprographic background, I thought they could all go straight down to my local repro bureau for digitising on their high-end drum-scanner. Well, it seems that things have changed somewhat since I left my last full-time job in a repro house, 11 years ago. Apparently, most of the old scanning behemoths have bitten the dust, been sold to China or shagged out into skips. Imagine that! These things must have cost about half a million squid when I were a lad and now they’ve been drummed out, much like myself, [only they lasted longer]. All the Crosfields have gone to Hell, it might be said, and been replaced with tiny little desktop scanners that you can buy out of petty cash.
Ah, but there’s a catch…just try scanning flat-art that’s bigger than A3 -even in your A3 desktop. You’ll get a pain in your face stitching those files together. That’s why I was relieved when I discovered that Master Photo. still have their Crosfield 640 running -and I saw it today when I dropped in the art. What a beast. What reassuring solidity. What the Hell are we going to do when the old dinosaur finally lays down her old head and dies?