Friday, 28 October 2016

I'm living in projection 'purgatory'

“Projection means the expulsion of a subjective content into an object; it is the opposite of is a process of dissimilation, by which a subjective content becomes alienated from the subject and is....embodied in the object. The subject gets rid of painful, incompatible contents by projecting them.”(1)

Isn't this the entire issue behind all conflict in the world? It's always the 'other' that is at fault. And behind this the inability to integrate one's own dark side. I don't take the position that 'politicians' are driving this - they are simply giving the people what they want: absolution from responsibility. Which of course plays into the power-seeking hands of those who seek dominion over others to avoid taking responsibility for themselves. Perfect dance partners. I'd like to believe I am living in a time where consciousness is evolving - but on a world scale I don't see much evidence of that. If anyone can point me to some examples that contradict that view I would be happy to be wrong.

1. Jungcurrents: Jung: Collected Works 6, Paragraph 783

Sunday, 9 October 2016

final helmet design

This design is based on a traditional diver's helmet. Doesn't really fit the 'gamer' profile but I find it anathema to try and do that style of work. I think of it as post-modern Rococo - art based on art and ridiculously fussy.

I should be able to pass the assessment with this offering, once I have done a back view and applied some colour.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

visual satire: the art of social conscience

This is the work of Gunduz Aghayev. Interesting when you situate it alongside the illustration I did for the ANZAC exhibition 2 years ago. Gunduz's rendition is quite a bit more acerbic though.

I am champing at the bit to start doing this sort of work because I think images still have the power to move people - especially illustrations. There is something poetically synergistic when you combine the visual with sardonic satire. 

Completing the illustration diploma is the first part of my evil plan. Stay tuned as I move further into this new territory.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


This is the updated version of the scene paintover. The illustration course is challenging and difficult at times but I'm learning a lot. I can't articulate just how right digital drawing is for me.

It is ironic that at this stage of my life, I am forcing myself to engage with the physical world in ways I have been avoiding most of my life. The world is still an illusion to me, but the process of looking harder at it and examining how light works is strangely liberating. Maybe because I still get to create my own reality. Or maybe because I am engaging with the light.

Monday, 9 May 2016


It's a cliche because it's true - the only certainty, is that nothing is certain. Life has taken an expected but nevertheless challenging turn. Rather than let others decide my fate I've made the decision myself. In a few weeks I will be cranking up my graphic design business - Dr GrafixGraphic design is different to visual art but it isn't a completely new field - it's more of a parallel lane than a completely new highway.

But first I need to nurture my creative soul after what has been a very difficult 3 years in my 10+ year career as a TAFE lecturer. There are some difficult emotions to work through and I am feeling battered but I don't think it will take long to rid myself of the feeling of oppression I have been living under - I feel lighter already. I may even start to blog regularly again. Unfortunately when you work for the government it is necessary to self-censor.

I will keep studying for my Diploma of Graphic Design. I am doing quite well. I won a student competition with 5 illustrations and am often asked by tutors if they can use my work as an example for other students. I also need to create a new website and finally get my portfolio sorted out before taking on some self-promotion.

The prospect of a new career at my age is daunting but I am feeling reasonably confident I can make the transition. I am used to jumping off the cliff but it gets harder as you get older because you don't bounce quite as well. Stay tuned.

Monday, 8 February 2016

monkey year

Thank God it's the Year of the Monkey - I think that's good anyway. The Year of the Sheep was really hard - for a lot of people it seems. 2015 didn't go quietly though - last week I finally succumbed to the enormous stress I have been under for months, possibly years, and developed a stomach ulcer. It's been the worst summer surfing since I started 'cutting sick' (that's a joke) 14 years ago. The surf was shit so it probably didn't matter that I injured my back last week as well. I've been impatiently waiting for my fortunes to turn and today they have. For now at least.

Last Monday I was notified by the design school I am studying with that I won a competition. We were asked to submit 5 works and I sent in my hand/digital illustrations. The best 3 were chosen by industry mentors (I think) and then whoever got the most 'Likes' won the headphones. I assumed the field must have been small but apparently not. Turns out this old girl swept the field of young guns. I'm stoked and feel somewhat vindicated - not that others thought I needed to be. Just feeling may age sometimes. 

So I've been nursing a sore gut, a bad back and a serious case of feeling sorry for myself while sitting on this news since last Monday - waiting for Tractor to announce the winner officially and the Chinese new year to start. Things seem to get stuck in a time-warp between the Western (solar) and Eastern (lunar) new years. This year they were more stuck than usual.

Today I rearranged my study so I am actually doing a part-time load. I was supposed to be doing that since I started in 2014 but things got moved around and I ended up having to do units in 8 week periods which was just too difficult. My sore gut is thanking me already. 

Today I took Robin's 7' 6" Firewire around the bay and got some sick waves - one vertical head high takeoff. The water was green and cool in the 39 degree heat and there were only a couple of surfers where I was.

Let's hope this Monkey year continues to be kind.

Saturday, 2 January 2016


2016 - another year. They roll around so quickly now. 2015 was a mixed bag - lots of triumphs and some tragedies. It's been a long and exhausting year - lots of work, too many changes and little security. I am glad to see the back of it and I get the impression many others are too. Maybe we are all picking up on the same restless zeitgeist.

I'm at a bit of a cross-roads - between many things, in limbo. I want to take a step forward but I don't have too many options - well none that are practical anyway. It's been a struggle to keep my job and part of me wonders how much longer I should keep trying. My graphic design course has yielded some great results, but I regularly ask myself whether it is worth persevering. Moving into commercialism seems about 20 years too late. 

Another year and another business name - I think that's the fourth in as many years. Art_Geek wasn't doing it for me, so I've registered Qwerk Designs - because I'm quirky, the letters are unusual, the numerology works and it will look good on a T-shirt. It's a branding thing - I figure my best selling point, or 'point of difference' as it's known in the industry, is my 'rugged individuality' (as one person expressed it). I really wanted to use 'Munted Doll Designs' but I doubted many people would get  it - my ironic sense of humour is too obscure for most of them.

My real fantasy is to get some work as an illustrator.  I wouldn't expect to make a living from it but it would be wonderful to do some editorial illustrations, or drawings for a small book. It's probably just a pipe-dream but I'll keep moving in that direction.

Illustration: detail of a work in progress for 'Square' - a 2016 group exhibition for the Great Southern Festival (part of PIAF)