Saturday, 19 January 2013

3 rare little goblins looking for new homes

After a year of very little action, due mostly to illness, I've finally added some new items to my ETSY store! It was nice to get outside recently and take some pictures of my latest characters. Now that I have the energy, I'm finishing a few of my multitude of half-finished creatures, so hopefuly more things to add to EtSy over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out :)


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Espiritus de la Naturaleza: ... Argentinian fantasy artist

Espiritus de la Naturaleza:

Check out this great fantasy artist from Argentina, she makes wonderful magical creatures and characters! :) Elves, imps, witches and wizards with loads of character. The hand-painted eyes are wonderful and really bring them to life!






LOve these Witchy characters, they're so cool!





Saturday, 15 December 2012

Watch it now! Guillermo Del Toro's PACIFIC RIM trailer goes online!

Rocketpunch! PACIFIC RIM trailer goes online!

It's been such a long wait, but next year Guillermo Del Toro's newest film is released! It's been a really, really long wait since Hellboy 2 (which was awesome, with numerous setbacks and disapointments, but Pacific Rim looks amazing and hopefully it's worth the wait! Can't wait to see this movie but have to pray it performs well, It's a massive Blockbuster-style film so if it suceeds, Del Toro will find it easier to get his projects financed in the future. Looks like a massive rumble basically, between robot and kaiju! Cool times!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Gravlax?: The Bigfoots Are Finished!!!!!!!!

Gravlax?: The Bigfoots Are Finished!!!!!!!!: It was raining out so they had to play inside. No one knows what to do when Carl plays dead. Family portrait!  And this is a...

Monday, 12 November 2012

Lesson of the Week - Make a Monster - Plastic Bag Technology with Steve ...

Wow, look at this hideous puupet creature, made from plastic bags! truly creepy and totally realistic! This is from the excellent Stan Winston school of Character arts, which you can subscribe to with a free 7 day trial!! This puppet would have been great for halloween!


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Steampunk Game concept art and ideas

One of my latest strange projects, is an ideas for an arty steampunky board-game. I've always wanted to make a game, and I've been experimenting with different ideas for a while. It'll be an rpg/wargame but with fairly simple rules, to make it fun and easy to pick up and get started. The main idea is that it's a hand-made game, so all the pieces, rules, dice etc can be downloaded and printed out, then used to play! It'll have a scruffy style, using mixed-media to create the pieces and the overall appearence. Here are a few different ideas I've been thinking of for game-pieces...


The different factions in the game will have distinct themes and styles. So the above, Lovecraftian character with bright, eerie coloring would represent one faction, whilst the lantern-fish below would represent another, art nouveau inspired group. I'm having fun thinking up the names and character of each faction, and writing background stories to start the game.



So far it's just an idea and some doodles, but hopefully it'll come together soon; I'll eventually stick it on Etsy as a pdf file, once I get the rules properly sorted out!


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

World of Steam

Check out this new show, a Steampunk series; the concept looks great, and they're trying to get it funded through Kickstarter... Hope it happens!


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Websites back up!



My websites been stuck in limbo for a couple of months, but it's finally sorted and back online :) Needs a bit of TLC to get it up-to-date, with lots of new creatures to be added!

http://www.junkpunk.co.uk/






Thursday, 12 July 2012

TOYSREVIL: I Like Resin Toys

TOYSREVIL: I Like Resin Toys: The acceptance and flourishing of the material " resin " has become more and more relevant in this day and age. And as well fast becoming a ...

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goffin Sculpture

http://virginiegoffinsculpture.daportfolio.com/

I really like the work of Virginie Goffin, her work is simple and unique, and inspiring too. I always find it irritating that polymer clay artists and sculptors tend to stick to the same thing. Polymer clay is a very versatile medium, but it's often used either for simple fairy dolls, or for sculpting maquettes. Once you've seen one fairy, you've seen them all, so it's cool to find artists exploring the different uses of this new medium.

Virginie's characters are theatrical, with an animated feel, but also look strangely alive. They are detailed, but not overly so, and always have wonderful expressions on their faces!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Melvin the garden goblin

I haven't posted any of my creatures for a while, I've been really busy with a few different projects. I recently had a stall at a couple of Christmas fairs, for which I made a load of little Christmas pixies...


 

I've also been working on some commissions for different people. But here's a creature I 'discovered' a while ago in a nearby garden; he's a goblin called Melvin!

This guy's a garden goblin; a grumpy and tough individual that lives hidden in a nearby backyard. He likes nothing better than a fight, and is very protective of his territory, regularly beating up cats, birds, gnomes and anything else silly enough to get in his way. He doesn't use weapons, just his hands and teeth. He gave me a vicious kick in the shins, until I persuaded his I was friendly. His ginger hair reminds me of Ludo out of 'Labyrinth', but he's nowhere near as friendly, he's a moody little bugger!

Rosemarys Baby

I recently watched Roman Polanski’s famous 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, a tale of Satanic worship and paranoia set in a Manhattan apartment complex. It is often lauded as a classic and “masterful” tale that causes mounting terror as the macabre plot unwinds….


This is definitely a film that hasn’t aged well. That was my first response, which isn’t great for a horror film. As a fan of classic horror, I was always recommended this film but never really got round to watching it. It’s very dramatic, very well acted and has good moments, but actually isn’t scary at all. It is probably a victim of time, whilst we can see it’s a well made movie, it’s very hard to actually feel the connection it would have once had. Mia Farrow is a total wet-lettuce, and as the plot unwinds it’s easy to see where it’s all going.



Many archetypal horror films remain scary and atmospheric; from Nosferatu, to The Wickerman and Don’t Look Now. Whilst we may be much more desensitized to blood, gore and violent shocks as an audience, few modern films manage to create anything approaching a spine-chilling creepy atmosphere. These classic horrors combine atmosphere with classic shocks, which might not be subtle compared to Rosemary’s Baby, but are much more effective when watched today. 



This is a meticulously crafted film, but I felt little fear or concern over the characters involved, and couldn’t connect with the story. Considering the issues it deals with, including our archetypal fears and paranoia about childbirth, it does little to disturb or challenge the fears of a modern audience. I have a collection of old books on folklore and fairytales. When you actually read many old fairytales they contain similar stories about fear of the unknown, with similar twists and turns. 

This felt like a very old fashioned story, and the big “payoff” at the end felt a bit na├»ve to me, as if we were supposed to never have imagined anything so dark. If you are a newcomer to horror, or not too keen on jumping out of your seat, then this might be the sinister story for you. But if you have as dark an imagination as me, you’ll be used to things being much much scarier!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Attack the Block

This is a great alien attack movie, set in a grimey London tower block. It's not new, subtle or revolutionary, but it's a great ride for anyone with a couple of hours spare. And there are some great alien creatures too...


 I'm a great fan of Joe Cornish, the comedian/first-time director of this movie. I was thinking of writing a long-winded review about this, but, well, there's no point really. It's exactly what it says on the tin. The aspect I did really like though, were the alien creatures. Instead of going with low-budget cgi beasts, like those used in numerous tv shows and movies, the makers used some real imagination and created some brilliant scary beasts. They're black, totally black so all you see is a dark furry outline, but then the beasts open their mouths to reveal amazing glowing blue fangs! Like in  many classic creature horror films, they used imagination and originality in the place of generic snore-inducing effects.
 


 I'd love to rave about this, but it's not really that kind of film. It has the feel of an old favourite, that you'll watch whenever it comes on the tv, but probably won't rush to go and buy. Saying that, those who're fans of creatures, like me, should definitely seek this out. I liked the setting and the characters; a gang of 'hoodies' in a rough London estate, but the antithesis of grimey modern life and hollywood sci-fi concept didn't really have the novelty factor that it wanted. Anyone who's watched Shaun of the Dead, the first 2 seasons of the TV show Misfits, or many other cult films will have seen this scenario before so it's not quite as funny as it could be.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Labyrinth: Why this is the greatest children’s film of all time…



My local independent cinema recently showed the amazing cult-classic children’s movie Labyrinth. I grew up idolizing this incredible film, and like many, am still totally in love with it.  It’s a funny, heart-warming and quirky film, in which the creatures and monsters of imagination are brought to life by fantastic puppetry and beautiful set designs. The magical Labyrinth, full of grumpy goblins, scary fairies and the terrifying “Bog of Eternal Stench!” has quietly seared itself into the conscience of a generation of youngsters. Quite simply, you either love this film, or don’t know about it.



If you have never come across this film, you will still be more than familiar with the work of many of those involved. It could be Jim Henson’s Muppets, Terry Jones in Monty Python, George Lucas’ Star Wars or, of course, the legendary David Bowie. Along with director Frank Oz, artists Brian and Wendy Froud and actress Jennifer Connelly, these people have all had a huge impact on modern culture.

Unusually for a cult favourite, this film never seems to get the love and attention it deserves online. It only gets rated at 62% on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, and there isn’t really too much information out there for fans. Here’s the less than enticing  information from Labyrinth’s Wikipedia page:

“Labyrinth is a 1986 British/American fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas, and designed by Brian Froud. Henson collaborated on the screenwriting with children's author Dennis Lee, Terry Jones from Monty Python, and Elaine May (although only Jones received screen credit).

The film stars David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams. The plot revolves around Sarah's quest to find the way through an enormous otherworldly maze so that she can rescue her little brother, Toby, from Jareth. Most of the other significant roles are played by puppets or by a combination of puppetry and human performance. It was shot on location in New York and at Elstree Studios and Hampstead Heath in the UK. It was the last feature film directed by Henson before his death in 1990”.


So I think this film deserves so much more recognition. For some reason, perhaps simply because it’s a children’s film, because of it’s fairytale theme, or because it’s so idiosyncratic and fantastical, it has never reached the iconic status of the likes of Star Wars or even The Muppets.  Well, over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about why this movie is, without a doubt, the greatest children’s film of all time and why it, and the artists and techniques used to make it, deserves to be regarded with tremendous respect along with nostalgia and affection.



If you agree with me please get in touch, or if you disagree let me know too!
Coming up first will be:

The Froudian artwork 


Monday, 7 November 2011

Great Films I've seen recently

Okay, so this blog is nothing if not random, so randomly, here's some of the best, most unusual films I've seen recently. Check it out!!!!!



Troll Hunter

This is a fantastic Norwegian "Black Comedy" in the style of The Blair Witch Project. It follows a gang of student documentary film makers as they track a hunter illegally killing bears in the Norwegian mountains. What they don't expect is that he's really working for the government "managing" the Troll outbreaks in the Norwegian countryside.

Rather than remind me of Blair Witch, I thought it had more of a feel of a fairytale Deliverance...It also seemed to have similar themes and issues, such as the clash between nature and modern life, but with a much more absurd and cutting edge to it.

The fact that the Trolls themselves, rendered in some of the most effective (at times subtle, at other times magnificent) CGI I have ever seen, feel real arnd strangely familiar adds to the impact of the film. Most importantly, when the different Trolls are glimpsed, they are nothing like the terrifying Giger inspired Alien, or the supernatural and unseen "Blair Witch", or event the primitive redneck stereotypes of Deliverence, the Trolls are the magnificent, primeval god-like creatures of Norwegian folkore. Fairytales and folklore, when you actually read them, are often incredibly dark and ancient tales, teaching lessons about respecing and fearing nature and it's beauty, wonder and danger.



This film is one of the most effective creature films I've ever seen. The Troll Hunter himself is an amazingly brilliant character, living in a world where primeval, archetypal creatures from nature clash against the banal burocracy with which it is often managed. Whilst reminding me of the artwork of John Bauer with the movies Jaws, Moby Dick, Deliverance, Monsters and even Let the Right One In, this film remains completely fresh and unique, and must be seen to be believed. Of course, if you are one of the boring bureaucrats this will all go straight over your head...still, cool cgi though!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Latest creature Creations...

These are some of my newest creations:

A wise twig creature.

A Tropical Dangler: this colourful creature likes to dangle in the sun. They are very rare in Britain!

The Jeweled Sprite: A fabulous pink creature that eats beetles!

more to come soon...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cabinet of Curiosities

I haven't put any of my work up for sale for a while now, mostly due to health reasons, but I have loads of stuff finished and ready to sell online soon. I've been experimenting on making rooty creatures, which are great for practicing sculpting weird faces. I really like Dave Jones' carved faces: http://woodwosecarving.blogspot.com/ They've inspired me to try some different faces:)
 
I've also now got a "Cabinet of Curiosities" in a local art and craft shop called "Warehouse 13". Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/13-The-Warehouse-Queen-Street-Morecambe/168432496515276
This is a really cool shop, full of handmade art, crafts and fairtrade gifts. My stuff's so weird I'm not sure if I'll actually sell anything, but it'll be great to see what people make of it! I've filled a cabinet with magical creatures and stuff made from junk :)

I've also been commissioned  to make a giant centipede creature to display in the store. I'm thinking of making it multi-coloured version of the worm from Labyrinth! (Made from junk of course!)



Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Emerald Hopper

This is the latest update from my website, with one of my newer creatures. I've been trying to think of a name for these creatures, because I've made quite a few, in different shapes and colours. So far I've got "fairy gobblers" or "Pond People".

I like the idea of giving them all individual species names, like Dragonflies; which have some really cool and eccentric names like the "Great Pondhawk", the "Dancing Jewel" and the "Yellow-faced Sprite"! So far I've got the "Emerald Hopper", the "Moss Gobbler", the "Thorny Blue" and the "Rainbow dazzler" Pictures to come!

 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

fairy hollow

I've been searching for magical places to take pictures of my puppets and creatures. I remember going around the Trough of Bowland as a kid, and imagining creatures living in the woods, roots and twisty trees. That's why Arthur Rackhams work is so wonderful:


I love the wonderful goblins and creatures, and the grotesque faces in the trees. It feels like the land is coming to life. I've also been looking for hollows and holes, to hide my creatures in.


My plan is to create a storybook from these pictures, and anyone who'd like to collaborate and send ideas, just get in touch :) Here's some more ideas and inspiration.






Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Thunder

Recently I've been working on some puppets, to make a story using a graphic novel style approach. This is the first character with some practice shots. He's made from a poseable wire armature, paper-clay and epoxy. His fingers, elbows, wrists, knee and neck are all fully poseable. I'm really happy how he came out, he has a jolly face, flame coloured hair and a rustic feel which I love!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Junk lady mixed media sculpture

This is my latest creation, a new junk lady. I love making these characters, but they do take a while to finish. They're like little scrap books, constructed using lots of junk and found materials, with hand sculpted feet, hands and head. I made her for my friend Kamila, who is moving to Czech, to remind her of the uk (so all the junk is uk related).

I love to imagine these little goblins going around gardens and streets at night, collecting our thrown away  discarded items, like little magpies. Anyone who's seen the movie Labyrinth will recognise the idea of a junk lady goblin, there's a great puppet in that movie, that lives on a junk heap. I've always loved that character from the movie, so combined the idea with childhood memories of "little people", I came up with these up-to-date fairytale creatures.

. There was always something evocative about stories about little people, such as The Borrowers or Man by Raymond Briggs. I also love the artist Slinkachu, who designs little people and hides them around London. I think this must be an archetypal ideas, because it seems to appear in culture across the world and throughout history. Every culture has little people, either good or bad, they symbolise vulnerability, fragility of nature and the mystery of our environments.



 In the future I would love to build more of these, maybe ones from different areas; such as the beach or forest. Hopefully this would make people think about what exactly is being dumped and where, how our environment is becoming more and more defined by what we have left there and how much damage has been done. The whimsical fairies and elves of old, running through woodland, would most likely struggle to survive, and jusk like foxes or squirrels would probably have to adapt and urbanise.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

It Takes A Village...: Meet Dexter Nyamainashe - A Truly Gifted Artist

It Takes A Village...: Meet Dexter Nyamainashe - A Truly Gifted Artist: "Dexter Nyamainashe of Chiweshe, Zimbabwe"

Check out this amazing artist! I love people who create totally unique and eccentric art, not for money or fame but for their own reasons and self expression. Creating a whole "Global Village of Peace" using scrap, Dexter really is crazy but awesome too!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pond creatures

Recently I've been making a big batch of Pond Creatures. I still need to think of a better name for them, but I love the idea of these bloated little critters flying around the pond, eating flies and plopping into the water. They're obviously inspired by Brian Froud, who's quirky fairies and goblins inspire all my work. They're also my own invention though, creatures that have been flying around in my imagination for a good few years.

It seems like every time I have a spare moment, i'm doodling these critters. Because I suffer from CFS, I don't have much concentration or energy to sculpt and make my creatures, which can be very upsetting and frustrating. But when I do have a good day and feel up to making a creature, it feels like I'm taking these valuable sketches and bringing them to life. It shows that magic can come from the most ordinary or horrible situations, and that even the most difficult illnesses cannot suppress creativity and human spirit.


I have loads of these Pond creatures half finished, so as soon as I'ts a sunny day, and I'm feeling a little better, I'll be out in the garden snapping them to upload here :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Pictures from our art group


Cathartic is an art group we set up at our local Library, for people who are Long-term ill or disabled. We won some funding for equipment and workshops, and have been getting around 10 people per week. It's really laid back and fun, and hopefully anyone of any level can enjoy it.

I'm totally not a natural painter at all, I'm more into crafts than art, but I am really pleased with how these went. As an ME sufferer, I find it very hard to concentrate and follow lessons, or find the energy and enthusiasm to learn something new. Starting with the basics, such as how to mix colours, is really helpful and rewarding.

Hopefully our group will continue and we can create some great artwork, I will have more of our work to post soon :)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Saturday, 12 February 2011