Thursday, December 15, 2011

I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus

I was helping raise some funds for the Salvation Army by doing Christmas Gift wrapping at the Yeppoon shopping centre, and to keep me company, there was an older guy with me, playing Christmas songs on his cornet. I was surprised by the youth of Yeppoon. Two young lads came out of the adjacent Surf Shop and one said 'listen to the old guy on the trumpet!' The other boy said 'it's not a trumpet. That's a cornet!' See, not many people can tell the difference, so I was duly impressed.

Anyway, my cornet playing friend would've played "I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus" at least three times, and in the quiet times between gift wrapping, I worked on this.

Might see if I can get it done as a T-Shirt for next year, maybe...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

just the FAQs

frequently asked questions...

How may I help you? 
How long is a piece of string? 
Who do you think you are? 
Why is it so? 
What time is it?

What about me? 
Do you want fries with that? 
What are you lookin’ at?

Is there a God? 

And what does he want of me?
Who's on first? 
Do you even know what day it is?

Excuse me sir, do you know how fast you were going just now?

Does it come in red?

Do you really want to hurt me? 

Would I lie to you? 
Who are you?
How do you do?
How dare you? 
Is that all? 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I've just glanced over the things I’ve done for Illustration Friday this last month or so. I hadn’t realised that there was such a variety of styles and techniques! Going backwards from here we have
  • ·         paper sculpture combined with carved MDF to create a kinetic artwork
  • ·         drawings done in Flash using only the shapes tools
  • ·         a cartoon done with a fineline pen and markers
  • ·         a cartoon cat scanned, vectorised and coloured in Flash
  • ·         a watercolour
  • ·         two photos and some drawn elements combined in photoshop
  • ·         a gouache painted paper sculpture mounted on a flash back ground
  • ·         another cartoon scanned and coloured in Flash
  • ·         my old blog header, done in photoshop, probably, with photo of my head which I traced and cartoonified, probably in Flash using my old Wacom tablet
  • ·         scan of my sketch pad with other graphic elements added
  • ·         fineline drawing
  • ·         google sketchup 3d graphics
  • ·         and a drawing done with a biro

I have a bunch of other vector drawing programs, but I still like the style that Flash mx gives me. But then, I guess I’m a little weird…

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Round and round

Round and round.

After I made my last post, I remembered this guy, an unfinished automaton that I started a few years back, but who now resides in another part of the continent. His hair goes round and round.
He is carved out of medium density fibreboard (MDF) using a computer controlled routing machine and painted with acrylics. Note the articulated eyebrows and ping pong ball eyes.

The suave, and civilised little devil and the ratbaggy little angel are made of components printed on photo paper, cut out and assembled. The devil's arms and pitchfork move to animate the jabbing action.

The story line goes as followed. The angel is  grabbing our hero by the ear and trying to show him all the hurts in the world, the injustice that needs to be dealt with; the last, the lost, the least of the human race that need some mercy and compassion.

Eventually he starts to listen and feel moved to do something but then, JAB! the little devil gives him a quick poke with his pitchfork. Suddenly his focus is back on himself, rather than the plight of others. 'Its all too hard! What will the neighbours think...'

And around it goes...

I could imagine him singing the Delirious song Gravity

This generation is full of religion
Fed up with a diet of nothing
Give me the real thing flowing through my veins
This is the day, this is the hour
Show me the truth cos I want to be blinded
I wanna run, which way should I go

Gravity's pulling me, but heaven is calling me and
My head's spinning the world's twisted
My head's twisted the world's spinning
My head's spinning the world's twisted
My head's twisted the world's spinning round, around

What do they say? Evil happens when good people do nothing...

So, if you feel a little angel prompting you to do right, do it! But be prepared for distractions from that 'civilising' little devil...


Round. Circles. Songs that overlap and never end. Balloons. Fat ladies. Billowy clouds. Round, the very sound in my mouth is round. RRrrrrrroooouuund.... So I though, how much of an illustration could I do using as much as I could circles and ellipses. No pre-drawing, or scanning sketches. Just throw a bunch of curves together and see what happens. Hmm. See what happens? A Weird looking Zeppelin (a non-round sounding word, its full of spikes, not really suiting its lighter than air elegant but dangerous grace), and a rather rotund angel, suspended below. A fun exercise, but I dunno....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

you have the right to remain SILENT

I've been on a jury all week and the judge tells us what an important right this is, the right to remain silent. It has been an interesting week so far, but has left little time to work on illo's or get them on-line. So, here's a quick one i did a couple of days ago, but haven't uploaded til now. Hope it'll do!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Stripes 2

Here's another cat in stripes. This one however, is probably a little too nerdy to dream of being a tiger...

Tiger Dreaming – Stripes

Do you ever dream that you were something you’re not? Perhaps richer, better looking, taller, thinner, fitter? Or more patient or more assertive or less prone to anger? Perhaps you are a small cat dreaming of tiger stripes? Obviously, there are things you can change and things you cannot and you need to know the difference. As it says in the Good Book "Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch?” Matt 6:27. But as for being a bit fitter, or thinner, I can work on that.

Who are your heroes? Who are the people you admire? Martin Luther King? George Scott Railton? Frederick Booth Tucker? (and not just for their double-barrelled names!) Desmond Tutu or Bono? Or Indiana Jones or Han Solo? Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc or Amy Johnson? Or do you like the way Bugs Bunny can come through any situation unruffled? Or is there a family member, a mentor or a close friend? What is it you admire in these people? I’ve been told that what you admire in another person is actually inherent in you. So look at your heroes and discover that thing in them that you admire, and find that is also in you. The little cat may never become a tiger, but she has big cat instincts within her makeup. So be encouraged to develop those admirable character traits, and you could become my hero too!

An analogue illo this week, I pulled out my old gouaches (found that they’d actually dried up…) and attempted a bit of water colour. There’s no undo button in real life, and more cleaning up to do, but I find it satisfying in a different way to the digital stuff I’ve been doing lately. 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

What really IS Scary...

I submitted an illustration for Illustration Friday a few days ago for the topic of scary. It was a fun image of an elephant, a haunted house, and hang gliding mice. Scary indeed... 
But today I was confronted by something scarier. The town I live in has a reputation for its high rates in youth suicide. In fact the suicide levels for 10-14 year olds is among the highest in this country. I was just this morning talking to a young lady I know at the local High School's Breakfast Club, where I help at twice a week. She was telling me about her big sister, who is in hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. Why this loss of hope? 
As I come in contact with young people in this town, I hear stories of family break down and kids living in complicated situations. Its really not easy for a lot of them an it manifests in all sorts of ways. Suicide is one way; disaffected youth, and homelessness are others things that happen here.
This is a T-shirt design I am working on to raise awareness of Youth Homeless issues. Yes, there is a Banksy influence in it, but I thought that was relevant. Why is it that disaffected and homeless kids are always shown in hoodies? 
And another scary thought is that these young people are the future of this country. A lot of them really great kids with a lot of potential, but how many will be able to realise this potential. Despite the huge coal and iron ore mining industries here, people are our greatest and best resource, but so much possible goodness is being lost.
But there is hope. And I try to be part of that, shining my light in the dark.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Haunted houses are supposed to be scary, aren't they? 

Not so, thought Eddie, I can stay in that one all night. I'm not scared of any ectoplasmic visitations!

 And as it was, that wasn't the problem, nor the thunderstorm, or the creaky doors and cob webs. Not even the cat that walked across the keyboard of the ancient pipe organ. 

No, it was the bats, plain and simple. 

No, wait, not bats, bats aren't scary.

 It was the mice. 

Mice, with hang gliders!

Or, if you prefer German: Fledermäuse, Nicht!! Fliegenmäuse mit Fallsegelflugzeugen! 

This is an elephant I sculpted out of paper, and painted a long time ago. But only today have I completed the haunted house and hang-gliding mice to put his terror in context. Elephants are apparently known for their fear of mice. What are you scared of?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuel - Bicycle Gasoline

Bananas are yummy, and full of potassiummy goodness, as my friend Murray would say. But he's a gorilla, and slightly biased. I like bananas, and I live in the state of the Banana Benders, ie, Queensland, but last summer's floods and cyclones wiped out much of the banana crop and as a result, they have been horribly expensive all year, up to $12 a kg... A friend of mine has recently visited London, where she got to eat bananas at a good cheap price, kind of ironic as they don't even grow them there. I remember visiting eastern Germany during the last banana shortage in 2006, and eating lots of even more ironic bananas there. Because, back in the day, bananas where virtually unobtainable there, a symbol of the decadent west. I daresay they are cheaper there now than they are here...

Anyway, bananas are terrific fuel for cycling, it is said a single banana can give you enough energy for another 10km! According to the how stuff works website ' will find that a person riding a bicycle at 15 miles per hour (24 km per hour) burns 0.049 calories per pound per minute. So a 175-pound (77-kg) person burns 515 calories in an hour, or about 34 calories per mile (about 21 calories per km).
A gallon of gasoline (about 4 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline, then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter). Considering that a normal car gets about 30 miles per gallon, that's pretty impressive!

Actually the average banana contains around 172 calories, so, do the maths, how far could you go? At 21Cal per km, that's... well, only 8.19km, but bananas convert energy much more efficiently than do mars bars for example.

As I was doing this weird little illo for illustration friday, I had the Delirious song going through my mind, the one that goes:
 'She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.
She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.'

Brilliant song, very clever, slightly weird, but I like it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

time for a new look

Time to say goodbye to the classic Honzablog header and freshen the place up a bit. What do you think? 

Monday, October 17, 2011


Scattered. That's the Illustration Friday challenge this week. I was a bit stuck by this one, not wanting to do anything too literal. So instead of an illustration, I ironically ended up with literature, well, an attempt at poetry anyway. I didn't know where it was going when I started it, I just made a collection of words that rhymed with 'scattered and battered them into some sort of shape. How many allusions can you pick? Anyway, I scanned my sketchbook, and then collaged a few bits to it to make it a bit more illustrative. Ah well...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

IF - Contraptions part ii

Well, I already added the drawing of a masculine butterfly as my entry into Illustration Friday's Contraption challenge, but I was not convinced by it. I mean, I like the design, and I think it has a future to be developed into a future project, but it's not what I would really call a contraption. A contraption is something, in my book, that is cobbled together by an inventor, without the additional benefits of industrial design. Now, I'm a big fan of good industrial design, but I love contraptions too. I grew up reading the adventure of Professor Branestawm, looking at Heath Robinson drawings, wishing I had a mousetrap game and making stuff. 
And later on, what about Wallace and Gromit? I love that stuff! But, alas, my butterfly was more Buck Rogers than Heath Robinson.
But this is a contraption. How better for a young man to plight his troth by serenading his princess with his sackbut? A steam powered winch, a grappling hook (launched by a harpoon gun) and eight legs to climb her tower. She would be impressed! 
This is quite an old, but unfinished sketch - I finished inking it just now so I could scan it for my blog, but the design evolved and I actually made a working model which really did climb,  once I rearranged the centre of gravity and such! I moved the story into the thirties, and had my hero playing his trombone to the heiress of the BaconBitz empire in her penthouse suite of the BaconBitz ArtDeco Skyscraper from his 'Arachnoflyvver', which got industrial designed in the 1930's streamlined style. Hmm, not such a contraption now! But a definite Buckminster Fuller, rather than Buck Rogers influence! I was planning on even making a 3m tall art deco Skyscraper facade for it to climb. Maybe I will some day... I couldn't find the actual model, it's lost in transit somewhere, but here is a representation of it done in Google Sketch-up.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

IF - Contraption

This biro drawing was inspired by the phrase 'Masculine Butterfly'. What would a masculine butterfly look like? Hence this slightly gangsta sci-fi contraption. One day I would like to make a scale model of this, and mount it in a display case as if it were an exotic lepidopteric exhibit from the Amazon or some such place. Or is it a tiny Alien spacecraft designed to blend in in natural Earth conditions, although this may only be possible in a garden of artificial flowers...

Monday, October 03, 2011

IF - Hibernate

Why do so many people live their lives as if they are hibernating? As I wander around my local shopping centre I wonder at all the people there with dead eyes, going through the motions. If they look up they may see wonderful things all around them. Look again at the world with child-like wonder, maybe you won't see a roller-skating elephant in a pink tutu, but you may see something that will make you smile, make you think, make you live again...

The image that this illo is based on is the classic Australian painting Collins St, 5pm by John Brack,_5_pm

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Ah, well, appearances are deceiving. He's not really ferocious. Just his natural shortsightedness is further blurred by love at first sight, and there aren't that many eligible female dinosaurs around any more. As a result, in about three seconds time he is going to be mistaken for a hideous, fire-breathing Dragon. Yes, smoking is not good for you, and, as you can guess, led to the demise of the dinosaur...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out of Balance

It's time to update the blog. A month or so back I won my local library's Children's Book Week Competition, not a huge prize, but it encouraged me to dust off an old project I started ages ago, a look at that old stereotype that elephants are scared of mice. I take it to its illogical conclusion and attempt a story that combines deep seated prejudices with elephant jokes. In a few weeks, I might send something off to a few publishers to see if we can do business. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I'll never know if I don't give it a go!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Haven't done Illustration Friday for a few weeks, so I thought it was time I dashed off a quick sketch while watching Eurovision Song Contest.
I haven't looked at any of the other entries, so maybe everyone has done their version of this idea.
Not everyone will be able to go on a Safari in Africa, but I'm sure the cat wouldn't mind a bit more space...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bicycle 2

After two Dawn services in two days, this afternoon could've been spent snoozing. Instead I hopped on to my trusty deadly treadly and rode across town to the airport. There were no planes due to land within an hour, so I rode home again.
Anyway, two Dawn Services? Well, on Sunday at 6am, people from the Rocky Baptist Tab, and the Cap Region Salvo's hosted an Easter Morning Sunrise service on Mount Archer. A beautiful morning remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus, a time to contemplate sacrifice and suffering and affirm life.
And then today, at 4:27am we commemorated the the ill-fated landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915, and two nations being tried by fire and coming to age as nations on the world stage. A time to contemplate sacrifice and suffering and affirm life.
'Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends...' Not often do Easter and Anzac day coincide, but they do provide a chance to really think about what life is all about, and what is it we are living for.

Life is too short to have prejudices, to judge others without even knowing who they are. Who knows? Elephants may find that mice CAN be their friends. And maybe cars and bikes can even share the same roads. Utopian dream? Maybe, but that doesn't mean we don't try for it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I ride my bike around town a lot, not actually having a car, and I find Rocky is such a friendly town, drivers are often so courteous, and passengers often wind down windows to yell out helpful advice, like, 'Hey mate, yer wheels. They're going 'round!' or just an encouraging 'aaaaargh!'
Anyway, many years ago now, I drew a sketch of an Elephant on a bicycle, and I thought, what would be a nerve-wracking scenario for him, and I thought, it had to be a big car full of mice giving him a hard time. This gradually morphed into an idea for a picture book, featuring a heap of mice vs elephant scenarios, an examination of prejudice and stereotyping.
This is a rough mock-up of the bicycle page, with an early attempt of mine of paper sculpture. I'd love to re-do this properly one day, in good quality paper and really paint instead of markers and coloured pencils. Maybe I should pull out the old book and give it another shot. It's mostly written, but has lain dormant for far too long...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Journey Man

Strip off Uberdude's muscle suit and super powers, and beneath lies Journeyman, a mild mannered ordinary guy, who nevertheless does what he can with what he has to make the world a better place. No special abilities or extraordinary talents, unable to leap even reasonable short towers, less powerful that a resting locomotive, quite a bit slower than a speeding bullet and yet, through Journeyman, and people just like him, just doing the best they can, the world IS a better place, and that makes him a real hero.
Thank you Journeyman, your work here is not done, but you are not about to to fly of to your Fortress of Solicitude, or your Bat Cavern. You're here for the long run. Because, changing the world IS a journey...

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Aye, it's hideous, I grant ye, But what I really want to know is, how did they get something that big out of the bottle?

It's all about perspective. It's been said that we don't see the world how it is, we see the world how we are. Our view is the world is coloured by our culture, our attitudes and our experiences. Mercy is the ability to see the world from someone else's perspective, to walk a mile in their shoes, to really empathise with them, not just sympathise. How many people really know how life is for you? And how many people do you know what life is really like for? That's a measure of the level of community you are currently experiencing.

So, what are you waiting for? Look at life through new lenses. Realise your viewpoint isn't the only one. Get out of your bottle and live life!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

IF - Duets

Back in January I went to the fabulous Faith and the Arts week in Poatina, Tasmania to hang out with and be inspired by creative people from many disciplines including drama, music, painting, photography, creative writing (Slam Poetry!) and print making. I've never tried print making before, so I gave it a go, and really loved it. Come to Tassie next Jan to experience it for yourself, or if you can't wait that long, there's the Canada edition in a few months.

Anyway, two of the stars of the week were Eric and Spike, who, despite not having met before inspired us with their duets. Amazing jazz. Check out my Youtube video. And when Spike's wife Lea joined them, there was magic in the air.

So what better subject for Illustration Friday's Duet challenge than Eric and Spike.

It gave me a chance to play with my new Wacom Tablet (a bit easier to draw with than my laptop's scratch pad...) and play around with a demo version of Artrage software. This is a lot looser than what I normally come up with, but I liked the energy of it and had to resist the temptation to clean it up too much in GIMP! Hope you like it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

big boys toys

All these sf movies that like the idea of big mechanical walking machines, from Star Wars, District 9, The Wrong Trousers, Avatar, and many many more, it must be fun stomping around alien landscapes with big metal legs. Obviously a case of toys for big boys. But once alien lands are conquered, and you've finished stomping on the Rebel alliance, there are still chores to be done... So stop playing, and Do Some Work! Ok?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

IF - Toy

a few years ago I worked at a signage company that had a lot of very cool computerised machinery that could do wondrous things. Unfortunately I couldn't do wondrous things with them very often, there was more mundane work to do. And Laser engravers and huge 3d NC routing machines apparently aren't toys... Frustrating! However, occasionally I was able to do something.
Fish on a Stick is the result of one of those times. his head is airbrushed styrofoam, scales are felt and his internal structure is laser cut acrylic. His whole body was fully articulated and he could move his tail with a flick of the wrist.
His jaw was held shut with a mouse trap spring, and opened by pulling on a piece of (ironically) fishing line which was fed down the blue handle, which Fish sat on like a rod topper.
He was a lot of fun, to play with, too, a nice, almost magical puppet. But the real toy was my laser engraver. I wish I still had access to one...

Monday, March 14, 2011

IF - Warning

This is a piece that really speaks to me. Notice the artist's use of bold colours and composition; the way that the raw meaning of the words is subsumed in the context of the dichotomy of the post-modern other as he tries to catch the zeitgeist of mundane everyday reality yet inject some whimsical, phantasy to instill in us a sense of urgency, even, impending doom. Yes, this artist has something very profound that he is trying to communicate with us, and I think has succeeded admirably.

Illustration Friday is a weekly challenge where readers are asked to come up with an illustration inspired by the word of the week. Last week's word was warning. note, I said LAST week's word... yup, I'm a few days late to post this. This week's word is stir. I might have something here in three weeks for that! Or maybe not.
Alternative idea was also a sign -
This Sign has SHARP EDGES!
(Also, the Bridge is out...)

Saturday, January 29, 2011