Remarket - Artist Talks


Tomorrow (Wednesday 17th December), a small group of artists, including myself, will be giving short talks about their work at the Remarket show on Gordon St. in Glasgow. Instead of PowerPoint, we'll be using the work on the walls to illustrate our (power) points.

I'm not great at these things but, with people like Kirsty Whiten, Jennifer Argo, Suzi Plunkett/ Little Dot Creations, Hannah Grace Ryan and Gabriella Marcella DiTano/ Risotto on board, it'll be worth coming along.

Best of all, Remarket have partnered with the Bier Halle across the street and there's gonna be a wee get-together afterwards for everyone in attendance. It's a chance to have a drink and to chat with the artists (or not, it's ok to chat to your pals instead). I've heard rumours of free pizza*.

The Facebook page, Remarket - Artist Talks, has some more info and lets you see who's coming along. Feel free to share, promote and pester.



REMARKET Artist Talks A series of short talks by Remarket artists including Kirsty Whiten, Jennifer Argo, David Galletly, Suzi Plunkett/ Little Dot Creations, Hannah Grace Ryan and Gabriella Marcella DiTano/ Risotto.

Wednesday 17th Nov, 6 - 8pm

RBS, 10 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3PL

RSVP: All welcome. To attend, simply email with 'Glasgow Event' as the title.

After Party outside in the Bier Halle's heated Christmas tents for everyone who attends. 7 Gordon St. from 8pm.


* I don't wanna build up the free pizza thing too much in case there's no free pizza or not enough free pizza to go around. There is a chance of free pizza, though. Maybe even a good chance of free pizza. Come and get your free pizza.

Remarket Glasgow - Christmas Show

After a year off, Recoat's Christmas show is back and bigger than ever. Kicking off in Glasgow town centre this Friday (28th November) at the RBS on Gordon St., Remarket, a collaboration with Saltmarket, will feature a TON of work from a bunch of artists from all over the place, myself included.

Originals, prints, jewellery, live painting and installations all under one roof throughout December - come along and find some Christmas presents. I've dropped off 17(!) framed drawings, some old, some new. The space is looking amazing.

The opening night is the best place to get first dibs on the work, say hello to the artists and have a wee drink. Remarket is open to all but a wee RSVP is required before you come along (email your name, number and ‘company’ to - easy). Make a night of it. Everyone'll no doubt be heading to a nearby pub afterwards.

Here's the details:

A group exhibition of art, design and jewellery by Recoat & Saltmarket

Opening Night: Friday 28th Nov 5.30 - 7.30pm (remember to RSVP)
RBS, 10 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3PL
Runs: Saturday 30th Nov till Saturday 20th Dec 2014

More information is available over on the Remarket Facebook page. A second exhibition will open in Edinburgh in December. Stay tuned.

Jonnie Common Album Launch at The Glad Cafe

Jonnie Common Glad Cafe poster

This is a call to everyone who'll be in (or who can be in) Glasgow on Saturday the 15th of November. Come to The Glad Cafe here on the Southside to see the always-fantastic Jonnie Common launch his new record Trapped in Amber.

If you've never seen Jonnie live before, you're in for a treat. He's been the highlight of every line-up I've seen him on. Don't miss it.

I'll be providing animated visuals for the gig, support comes from WOLF (aka Kim Moore, formerly of the excellent Zoey Van Goey) and Ross Sutherland who I've never seen live before so I'm excited to see what he's about. My new skate-mate Miaoux Miaoux will also be DJing, all-vinyl style.

The Glad Cafe is a great venue and worth a visit in its own right. Come early and grab a drink (or earlier still and have some food) to make a night of it. Say hello!

Tickets are available via The Glad Cafe and you can find out more and let the world know your intentions via the Jonnie Common Album Launch! Facebook page.



Jonnie Common Album Launch! Presented by Save As Collective
With WOLF + Ross Sutherland & Miaoux Miaoux DJ set

Opening: Saturday 15th November 2014 from 7.30pm
The Glad Cafe, 1006a Pollokshaws Road, Shawlands, G41 2HG

Tickets: £6 adv from The Glad Cafe (£7 on the door)
RSVP: via Facebook (if you want)


If you're coming from the town and are unfamiliar with the Southside, grab a train from Central to Crossmyloof (takes like 4 minutes and is a £2 return) and take the short walk up Minard Road when you get there. Alternatively, grab a bus or a taxi (which won't cost much either). Gimmie a shout if you need help / a friend.

Jonnie is also playing gigs in Aberdeen on Thursday the 13th and Edinburgh on Friday 14th. His album, Trapped in Amber is available from Song, by Toad Records.

Beth Dawson - After Life

Read full comic »

My friend Beth came joint runner up in this year's Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize with her comic After Life. It's an amazing piece of work and it shoulda won.

Beth makes stuff - Illustration, animation, sculpture and jewellery. We've know each other since old times and, from the get-go, her projects have always been personal and full of imagination.

After Life is no exception. A quiet, melancholic short story that perfectly captures the weird ubiquitousness of loss. There's always comfort in seeing these feelings that everyone knows, or will know, on the page (or said out loud).

I've uploaded a nice big version of After Life to accompany this post. Once Beth gets her finger out and puts it on her own site, I'll point my links there. You can also read The Observer's piece on the competition which features short interviews with the winners and links to their entries.

Because I know Beth, I can ask her stupid questions. Here follows a short interview.


Interview With Beth Dawson

Hello. Well done.

Thanks David! I am chuffed.

Also hello.

Do you hate Alexis Deacon for beating you?

Hahaha, cheers. I don't hate anyone! Hate is so ugly and never good for you or useful.

No I feel pretty good about being beaten by a guy with such a good reputation in the field. Until I got told I had won I wasn't even sure if my story was any good so I didn't have any massive expectations. It's cool to think that if Alexis hadn't bothered entering I coulda been joint first. I wouldn't mind splitting a grand with someone. But no.. I love Alexis' work, I spent some time today getting to know what he does and has done and I think he has a really interesting way of thinking and tells a good story. His drawings are really beautiful too. Hey we both studied at the University of Brighton too (ten years apart) which makes me collectively proud of the both of us despite the fact I've never met him.

A panel from The River by Alexis Deacon

A panel from The River by Alexis Deacon

As far as I know, you've never drawn comics before After Life, is that right?

I've not drawn any comics I'd be happy to show people before this one, nope. I have been thinking about this one for a long time though.. About 3 years or more since I wrote it and started to draw ideas for it.

I think though that once you reach a certain level of crafting skills and creative thinking you can transfer some skills and figure things out a lot more quickly. I also made a lot of animations when I was studying and the story boarding process for this is quite similar. I've had a few people say they can imagine my comic animated which is great to hear because I really wanted there to be a bit of "imaginative space" for the reader to bring the story to life.

Have you considered animating it?

Considered yes. Having done a bit of animation though I know how much work it would be. Maybe if someone wanted to take it on I’d be happy to work with them. I’ve also considered putting it online as a bit of an interactive comic but it may be some time before I get a chance to do anything like that. I think it could look really beautiful animated though and I’d like to see how it worked with music.

Do you read comics?

I do like to read comics.. I fell in love with the medium after being given a copy of Black Hole by Charles Burns "Black Hole on Wikipedia"). Such a satisfying reading experience, I remember being so in awe of how that book was constructed and how it affected me. I love that with a book you can take your time to read and study certain parts and you can pick them up and put them down. Though it's often a linear reading experience you're not bound by the time constraints and keeping up with the story like you might be with a film and there's an economy to the imagery and a special way of looking that you can get from a graphic story. It's a great medium. I especially like the meatier books that tackle big subjects. My comic strip is really about capturing a very physical experience and feeling, it's very personal and I think the format makes it a comfortable space to explore that kind of subject matter in your own time.

Black Hole by Charles Burns / Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs / Dinner at Eight by Kristyna Baczynski

Black Hole by Charles Burns / Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs / Dinner at Eight by Kristyna Baczynski

I could reel off a bunch of comic artists that I love but they are pretty much the same list as what I've read other people referencing (Ware, Spiegelman, Satrapi) I was aware that the few I picked for my Observer interview might've been a bit obvious too but I think that Raymond Briggs story was really formative and Audrey Niffenegger.. Well I just love that she has done both graphic stories and novels too. I also love Graham Rawle's stories and how he doesn't draw but works with ephemera. I find it really interesting how with his work the materials he uses really flavour the language of his books so much.

Also some contemporary illustrators who I think make stunning work and deserve to have praise heaped upon them: Lizzy Stewart, Kristyna Baczynski and Kaye Blegvad.

I think you should recommend some other people who do comics too.. Just a friendly plug for the community.

OK, 3 quickies: 1, Friends of the blog, Carolyn Alexander and Coll Hamilton put out a brilliant collaborative comic called Amber and Chelsea (pt.2 out at Thought Bubble next week). 2, I recently found that The Hand of Gold by Jordan Crane was online - it's a brilliant wee short story that I've loved for years. 3, If you give it time, Achewood by Chris Onstad is the funniest comic ever written.

Amber & Chelsea by Carolyn Alexander and Coll Hamilton / The Hand of Gold by Jordan Crane / Achewood by Chris Onstad

Amber & Chelsea by Carolyn Alexander and Coll Hamilton / The Hand of Gold by Jordan Crane / Achewood by Chris Onstad

Can you talk a little about the process of drawing the comic? Does it exist as an original or as separate parts?

Well the process was quite lengthy. I started out with just the words, highlighting bits of text I thought were the best to turn into key panels and making notes about the certain scenes and locations I wanted to include. I then started to draw the panels that I could imagine most clearly. I think the initial image I drew was the couple in bed together. When I first made my notes I’d considered having dual narrators, so I drew the scenes from both the girl and boy’s perspective but visually this narrative was a bit muddled so I chose to draw it instead from just the girl’s perspective with the shift at the end. It took me a bit of time to warm into how to go about constructing the scenes and initially I think I was trying to draw too much detail.

After Life work-in-progress

After Life work-in-progress

The first issue I had was figuring out a way to convey a sense of sadness throughout the whole comic, it would have been incredibly repetitive to draw just the girl’s glum face over and over, so I had to find more ways of expressing her feelings or a sense of her vulnerability. I knew I didn’t want to draw her crying so I began to focus on her hands and once I’d got into this I found it a lot easier. I drew a lot of the panels directly onto either layout paper or brown paper and there were lots of goes of figuring out how much of the story I should put on each page and how I should divide it up. Each page was then drawn on white using a very fine felt tip type marker, scanned in and cleaned up. I then laser printed it in just black and orange onto brown kraft paper and coloured the white layer by hand with a posca pen. So there is an original of sorts; a print with a hand coloured white layer and this is what’s going to be on display in the exhibition along with the winner, other runner up and the 5 shortlisted entries at Central St Martins.

After Life work-in-progress

After Life work-in-progress

The things you make, from illustrations to jewellery to sculptures often feel like they're little pieces of bigger stories. Looking back, can you spot any themes or interesting overlaps between the projects you've worked on?

Yeah absolutely I think I've been gnawing at the same bone for years really.. It all skirts around similar ideas and I think that was why I wanted to do the comic because I consider myself an illustrator but most of my output is object based. The way I put my comic together is the same way I think about my sculpture or jewellery.. It's all about capturing something or communicating quite oblique or nuanced ideas. Whichever way I work or the medium I use all boils down to the same thing, they are all just props or triggers for the notions and feelings many of us have swimming around our heads. Childhood, memory, nostalgia blah blah etc blah.

Three Little Mementos by Beth Dawson

Three Little Mementos by Beth Dawson

Yeah my work is definitely nodding to a kind of hyper textual or meta fictive type experience. Going back to the idea of the objects I create being quite "prop-like" what I'm interested in making are pieces of work that give just enough of a sense of a story or character or moment to the audience for them to take it in a direction that works best and allows them to feel more like it's their story not mine. With a book there's a start and a finish too , a definite articulated experience between the first page and the last but with an object.. Well it's interactive and can be explored from many angles within different times and contexts. So really now I know I can do comics, it's a natural progression to see how the two worlds might collide. I’ve been considering the idea of making comics that relate to the object work I do since I was last studying. I’d like to give some of the pieces I make a backstory and context - like personal myths or folklore.

Marble necklaces by Beth Dawson

Marble necklaces by Beth Dawson

There’s a little bit of this in the story I made for the competition with the drawings of the marble. I’m keen to continue with this.. I think some people might consider this 'merchandising' but perhaps that's just the term we've come to consider these things under. In reality, the notion of a souvenir or a real object that is linked to a pertinent experience or story is actually quite a deeply entrenched and emotive part of how we exist and how we navigate our lives and material culture.. It could just be tat or it could be a jumping off point for many other stories and shared experiences, I guess that's up to the viewer.

Tell a story in 10 emoji or less

👫 💀 💔 👖 😩 😫 🌊 🐱 ✨ 👌 👎

That's 11 ..I'm giving myself a 10% word allowance .. That's After Life right there in emoji. If I'd have known it was that simple I would have downloaded them to my keyboard sooner and saved myself a lot of effort.

What's next?

Comics wise, I’m working on a story with my sister which is again about relationships but focussed on emotional manipulation and the darker side of a loving relationship. I’d like to do a funny comic in-between though (I've got a few sketched ideas for a bit of a coming of age anthology).. Something just to lighten things up a bit. I’m a pretty goofy and chipper person in real life.

Cool. Thanks for answering my questions.

Thanks! Um, bye.

You can find Beth around the web:

and with Christmas coming up, Beth's shop is a good place to buy (or be bought) some nice stuff.

Jonnie Common - Crumbs

This is the first of what'll be a few posts over the next month or so about to my friend and longtime collaborator, the bold Jonnie Common.

Jonnie has a new album, Trapped in Amber, coming out in November. I'll go into that properly later. For now we've got a single: Crumbs.

Crumbs is Jonnie at his best - a funny, inventive, reflective and playful piece of music that sounds bloody awesome. You can listen to it over here or on the player below.

I'm super proud to be on artwork duties for all the Trapped in Amber releases and related materials (*cough* animation *cough*). It's been a blast working on this stuff over the past wee while and I'm looking forward to seeing it out there in the real world. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the launch. If you're convinced already, you can pre-order Trapped in Amber today.

You can find Jonnie on Song, by Toad Records, on Twitter as @jonniecommon and on his personal Bandcamp page. He'll also be playing shows around the country to promote the record and you'll hopefully catch a tune or two on the radio. Any shares, spins and tickets bought are much appreciated.

(also, apologies if my website is being flakey - I'm in the process of redesigning it)

Ello, Is It Me You're Looking for?

Ello illustration by David Galletly

Like lots of people, I'm trying out Ello. My profile is here:

According to Ello's About page, Ello is "a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers" and, after a look, that sounds about right. Yeah it could (and probably will) all fall apart in no time but let's play with the new toy anyway, eh?

My first impressions are good. Well, good-ish. From what I can tell there's a Twitter + Tumblr + LiveJournal mash-up thing going on. It's an endless-stream-of-stuff-from-people-you-follow kinda deal but with a neat friends & noise system for managing clutter. Two thumbs up. I've never enjoyed the "here's a bunch of photos I think are cool" side of Tumblr and being able to filter that stuff out is, um, cool.

However, social networks are only as good as the people you follow and, on Ello, the (few) people I'm following are pretty quiet right now. That'll hopefully change. @garrymac (AKA ace comic artist Garry McLaughlin) has written a wee post that I agree with hoping that folk'll use Ello for talking and journaling instead of just photo sharing. The death of Google Reader killed blogging for a lot of my art / illustration friends and I'd love to see them writing more.

So until we're all sold out in a billion dollar cash grab, I'll stay optimistic. The name is a good sign - "'ello" is a hell of a way to start a conversation.

If you're signed up and if you're that way inclined, gimmie a follow. If you're not and you'd like an invite (especially if we're friends), gimmie a shout. You gotta write something though, jeez.

Edinburgh Art Festival Illustrated Map

Edinburgh Art Festival 2014 is in full swing, running from the 31st July to the 31st August in galleries, museums, art spaces and public places throughout the city. The UK's largest annual celebration of visual art is one of a billion reasons to visit Scotland's capital this summer.

Each year, a different artist, designer or illustrator draws the festival map. J. Maizlish kicked things off in 2011, Peter Arkle in 2012, Hannah Waldron in 2013 and, in 2014, me!

Drawing Edinburgh as a functional map, rather than as an anything-goes illustrated cityscape was tricky. The city is a jumble of winding streets, alleyways and bridges that can easily confuse.

My starting point was to draw a mostly* accurate street plan using Google Maps and some good ol' legwork. I then plotted the venue locations and added a few key landmarks. This outline made sure that, even if the details of my final illustration didn't exactly match reality (and they didn't), the map'd still work for navigating the city.

Edinburgh map drawing work in progress

Rather than trying to tackle the whole map at once, I broke the layout down into smaller sections using Photoshop. I made a couple of fill patterns to show the main areas ('grass' and 'buildings'), printed everything out and improvised the linework over the top. Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99, buy a lightbox. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, a lightbox would be it.

After scanning, jigsawing the pieces back together and colouring, the job's a good 'un. You can pick up a free copy of the map from participating venues around Edinburgh. There's also an awesome social-mediarific version over at (cheers Andy!).

Edinburgh Art Festival merchandise

Also, also, also, in addition to the map, I've put together a range of merchandise for the festival. A natty tote bag, card wallet, exercise book, badges, a range of postcards and a alternative colour print of the map are all available from the Edinburgh Art Festival kiosk from 10am to 6pm on George St. (between Frederick Street and Castle Street) and at the City Art Centre next to Waverly Station. I've not had a chance to take proper photos of the merch yet, but I'll post them here and/or on my Instagram when I do.

Big thanks to Jessica, Helena and Andy for all their help and patience.

* A street or two got squashed a little to make room for some of the less central venues.

Brothers of The Stripe: Lo-Fi Sci-Fi

Brothers of The Stripe, Lo-Fi Sci-Fi in Glasgow

Glasgow folks - the wonderful art collective Brothers of The Stripe are having a show in Glasgow and have asked me to be a part of it. Lo-Fi Sci-Fi opens tonight (Wednesday 21st May) at The Good Spirits Co. on Bath St. (just off Buchanan St, so dead easy from the town centre).

I have a few pieces in the show - 2 drawings from Wee, my faithful old Rockets screenprint (I found 2 copies that I thought I’d lost!) and a new drawing called Walker that I’ll share here soon.

All are welcome tonight for the opening party. If you’re old enough, Auchentoshan Mixologist Cocktails will be providing free cocktails from 7 - 9pm. The show runs until 19th June 2014. Details:


The Brothers of the Stripe - Lo-Fi Sci-Fi

A show of Sci-fi based graphic art, featuring special guest brother : David Galletly! This show will consist of prints, drawings and paintings based on the theme of lo-fi sci-fi.

Opening: Wednesday 21st May 2014, 7pm - 9pm
Drinks: Auchentoshan Mixologist Cocktails
Exhibition Runs Until: 19th June 2014

The Good Spirits Co. 23 Bath Street : Glasgow G2 1HW


Register your attendance on the Lo-Fi Sci-Fi Facebook page. Come along if you can, it’s a lovely night for a drink. Big thanks to Ben for all his help.

Paolo Rivera's Studio

The bold Elph shared this a few days back and I've watched it a couple of times since. Part 1 and part 2 are on YouTube.

Comic books are not something I'm too clued up on, so I have to confess my ignorance - I had no idea who Paolo Rivera was before watching this video. More fool me. Dang he's an amazing artist. Seems like a good dude too.

As someone who can spend 60+ hours working on a painting, Rivera has shaped his workspace to be super efficient. His pens, pencils and erasers all stick to his drawing board with magnets, he's made a wire doodad for keeping his brushes off the table (totally stealing that one) and his one-handed brush wringer is beautiful. He also shows off a bunch of nifty tools and techniques.

Being mindful of stuff you do over-and-over when you're working, even the stupid stuff, can be useful. It took me months of awkwardly stretching for the just-out-of-reach volume dial on my radio before realising that if it was, like, right beside my computer, I wouldn't give myself a hernia every time I watch a YouTube video (and I watch a lot of YouTube videos). It didn't make me better at drawing, but it made day a little easier.

The 3-part Making of "The Twelve" Cover with Paolo Rivera series by the same folks is worth a nerd out on too. His process is fascinating. There's a surprising amount of tech going into a fairly small gouache painting, but it's all there to help him make the image he wants to make. Rivera's workflow, like his studio, has been refined by doing his job over-and-over again.

Pringle 1815 Illustrations and Animation

Pringle 1815, the Japanese wing of Pringle of Scotland asked me to draw some illustrations for them! Everything has been done and dusted since January but I had to wait a wee while before sharing the work here.

Rather than repeat everything in multiple places, I've put together a page about the project with the main images, information and links.


That said, I want to draw specific attention to the above. Pringle 1815 also wanted me to create an animation to accompany the ad campaign, which is nuts. Despite not being an animator, I gave it a go and, after a lot of long nights, managed to put together something I'm pretty happy with. I've given The Dancing Lion its own page if you'd like to see it a little larger.

Music and sound by the phenomenally talented Jonnie Common.

WIRED Memes: Illustration Roughs

This spot illustration appeared in the April 2012 issue of WIRED accompanying a piece about memes by Mary K. Choi. While browsing through my old files, I found a few roughs from the project and figured the process was interesting enough to post about.


I don't draw in my sketchbook as often as I should. Over the last couple of years it has mostly worked as a scratchpad that sits on my desk while working on the computer or loose paper. WIRED briefs always had a fairly short turnaround too, so sketchbook work was particularly minimal. Here it looks like I've written a couple of lists while reading the rough draft, sketched out some cats (probably while drawing the final artwork) and called it a day.

That's not to say I don't plan and develop ideas, it's just that my thinking tends to live in text files and doodles on my phone or computer. This isn't as romantic as carrying around a collection of beautiful or fascinating things, but it works for me. I don't like people to see my ugly and embarrassing sketchbook. It's not one for Pinterest.

After I've bashed together 4 or 5 ideas in my head, I'll usually grab a pen and a pile of thin white card and start scribbling down thumbnails. I use the card because it's dead easy to scan and colour.

10 minutes per rough with little or no pencil work is plenty. If a particular idea starts to come together nicely, I'll maybe take a second or third attempt. If it doesn't do much for me (like the exploding Mentos + Cola drawing above), I'll quickly throw some colour on it anyway on the chance that it'll spark the art director's imagination*.

I try to send over a variety of different ideas. I'm not precious about any of them and stress that they can be used as starting points for different approaches. Maybe they can be tweaked, added-to or combined to get something better. Maybe they need to be thrown out entirely. That's ok.

I like how this guy turned out. I want to punch him.


Cats? Hmm.


A big pile of memes? Maybe, but it's unclear what the hell they're supposed to be, even if I added a bunch more and tidied everything up in the final artwork. How about combining this idea with the cats-in-a-trashcan above...


Now we're cooking.

I was fairly confident that this was the best idea when I sent everything over to WIRED. They agreed. My feedback was to stress that the character was swamped with memes (in this case Lolcats) and had given up hope.


In the final drawing I moved the character down inside the pile and gave him a wee 'surrender' flag. After colouring, the art director asked me to add a little 'LOL' up top to hammer the message home.

The process behind the Memes illustration is fairly typical for me. Some are easier - going straight from scribble to final artwork, some are harder - endless roughs, final artwork scrapped by an editor at the last minute. Still better than having a proper job, though.


* Beware! This is a dumb idea. I do this because I'm not smart and want to look like I've done a whole bunch of work. Clients will often pick a rough you hate and you'll have a miserable time with the final drawing.