Category Archives: Writings

I Luv Voxels is here

Don’t you just love WordPress! I had been thinking about moving my 3d blog over to this one for a while just to make it easier to manage, and had thought it was gonna be very difficult and messy. After having done a bit of researching on the WordPress help sections, and a little experimentation, I discovered it was actually really easy merging two blogs together. For anyone wanting to do the same it’s a simple process: over on the left sidebar of your Dashboard, you’ll find Import and Export options in the Tools section. When you export your blog, it will be exported as an .xml file (it doesn’t do any harm to use this for backup your blog to your hard drive every so often too), then you can just go into Import and go to the WordPress option. Simples! All your content, from dates to comments will be imported into your target blog and formatted into it’s css styles. One warning though, you should back up or download all your media before you wipe your old blog since the transfer sometimes won’t happen immediately. You can check out the official procedure for Exporting here and Importing here.

The Shimnavore’s Daily Deviation

So today’s I’ve had a bit of excitement on my deviantArt account. Drop-asd suggested my Shimnavore pic for a Daily Deviation today which was duly picked. So I’ve spent the day watching the fav’s and pageviews just piling up. At the minute, views on the image are up to over 13,000 and the favs are up to 870!!! Unbelievable, it also brought a lot of traffic (nearly 300 hits, an alltime record) over to my wordpress blog today.
So this is a entry to say a big, BIG thanks to Drop-asd for the DD. And while I’ve got your attention I’m going to plug her group, Digiversity, a digital art group concentrating on events, challenges and collaboration rather than art collection. If you like contests, features, cooperative work and would like to actively take part in the digital art community, you are welcome on board! It’s a great group if you want to get more involved with other artists or writers on dA.
So once again, thanks for the DD!

Woohoo! I am iPhone..

At last, I finally became the proud owner of a iPhone today. It’s obviously gonna take a wee while to get used to but I’m getting there. I haven’t gotten round to downloading any new apps yet, so I’m just typing this up in Safari.
So, to celebrate, and in the usual tradition of me creating wallpaper anytime I get a new mobile, I decided to make myself a couple of new ones. Feel free to download and use them if you want, just leave me a comment if you download them. And no selling them off please!

The end of a chapter

I paid a visit to my local second hand bookshop yesterday, for a good old browse around, something I love doing every now and again, if I can get up early enough on a Saturday morning. The shop has been there for a long time, longer than the ten years that I’ve been living in this area. In fact, a mate of mine who grew up around here told me that he used to go into it as a kid, so that’s a good thirty five or so years ago.

It’s everything you would imagine a second hand bookshop to be, shelves to the ceiling full of books, various boxes on the floor full of books and comics and magazines, that old stale paper smell. There’s been times I’ve gone in and come out with thirty quids worth of books, maybe ten or so. Some books I’ll buy because I want to read them, others maybe because of some reference pics I think might be useful for drawing from. Others maybe I just like their cover, and some I’ll buy for other people, a bit of Catherine Cookson for my mum perhaps. I’m sure there are other second hand bookshops in Belfast, but this one is just around the corner from me, and you can’t argue with it’s name – ‘World of Books’. I’ve chatted with the woman in the shop, and she’s explained to me that the two floors above are full of books as well, in black bin liners, just waiting patiently to be released into the shop and have their ‘raison d’être’ returned. What I wouldn’t give to have access to those two floors; my imagination is limitless at the wonders which might be found among those dusty bags.

However, the shop is currently having a closing down sale. After some extensive investigation, (well actually, I just went in and asked) I discovered it’s simply because of rising rates! So once again our council is ruining something that has existed for so long. What do we do, nothing! When money talks, people only listen, they don’t talk back. I just needed to get that off my chest!

The Lonely Unicorn

I’d forgotten I’d written this story to go along with the ‘Sunicorn’ pic in my first post. Here’s the story in all it’s glory:

The Unicorn danced for joy in the rain. The owl had told him that she had seen another of his kind galloping along the beach in the eastern kingdom. He decided that as soon as dusk came he would make the journey to try and find her. he slept for now, and had a beautiful dream of the two of them playing together.He was the most handsome unicorn you’ve ever seen (or imagine). Every morning he bathed under the cool waterfall which fell from the mountains, and the kingfishers helped by grooming his long white mane and flowing tail. But he was always lonely. He so hoped that the owl was telling the truth. They do sometimes tend to lie.

The sun was just starting to fall behind the purple hills, it’s pink glow glittering along the unicorns velvety, white coat. He stood to his feet and shook off the sleep. He didn’t want to waste any time; after a drink in the pool, he set off into the east. It wasn’t long before the sun had gone completely, and now his way was lit by a full moon.

Unicorns are nocturnal animals, that’s why we never see them, mainly because they are hunted for their pearly-blue horns. Men believe they have magical powers. This is true, but once the horn is cut from the unicorn, both die, along with the magic. But still the stupid men hunted, because they thought the horns had healing powers.

The Unicorn galloped on in the moonlight as fast as he his legs could carry him. The trees whizzed past as he raced through the wide forest, until he came to a clearing, where a bear slept. The bear awoke as soon as he heard the sound of hooves approaching, and he stood up on his hind legs as tall as he could and growled…

When the bear saw it was just the unicorn, because unicorns have no enemies other than man, he settled back down again, and asked “Unicorn, where are fleeing to so late at night?” The unicorn told him about the owl’s news, and the bear nodded. “The owl could be lying, you know?” said the bear. But the unicorn was gone again.

The unicorn raced on out of the forest and across the long poppy fields, until he came to a wide river, too wide to jump. He stood wondering what to do, “How will I cross? It will take too long to find a bridge.” Suddenly there was a loud splash and a crocodile appeared from the water, bearing his teeth, and uttering a low rumble deep from his belly.

The crocodile smiled at the unicorn. “Can I help you, unicorn?” asked the crocodile. The unicorn told his tale. “But I’m stuck here and don’t know how to cross!” Instantly, the crocodile disappeared under the water. After a few minutes, he reappeared, and to the unicorns delight he had brought his family. The crocodiles laid themselves across the river, like stepping stones, and the unicorn carefully walked across. He thanked the crocodiles then continued on his way.

The moon was high in the sky now, and the unicorn had reached the base of the hills. He sat down. “I’ve ran so hard this night, I think I will have to rest, I’ll never make it over these hills tonight!” The king of the eagles was flying high above and heard the unicorn with his keen ears. With a flap of his large wings, which were as big as a horse, he landed beside the unicorn.

“You seem so sad!” said the king of the eagles. The unicorn told him his story “But I am too tired to continue my journey tonight, the hills are too tall.” “Then let me help!” offered the eagle. With that, he rose off the ground, beating his tremendous wings, and lifted the unicorn carefully in his talons. He flew over the hills and put him down on the other side. The unicorn thanked him and journeyed on.

Soon the unicorn finally came to the beach where the owl had told him to go. It was midnight now and the moon was shining high and sparkling off the sea. But the unicorn could see nothing. He strolled along through the waves for a while until finally, he heard a noise in the distance. It was the cry of another unicorn.

He darted through the wash towards the sound, and came upon a grey unicorn. But she was surrounded by six men, and had a rope around her neck. The men had torches and pitchforks, and the grey unicorn whinnied and struggled to get away, but to no avail. The white unicorn was infuriated and charged towards them, teeth bared.

The Unicorn reared up and struck one of the men with his hoof, knocking him to the ground, but there were too many. Just when the unicorn thought all hope was lost all the animals he’d met on his journey came charging along the beach. The bear swung his claws, the crocodiles bared their teeth and the eagle grasped with his large talons, even the owl was there swooping down on the men hooting loudly. The men were terrified and ran for their lives. The unicorns were safe at last. But the white unicorn said, “My love, we can’t stay here the men will come again!”

At that, the grey unicorn made a noise that sounded like a whistle, and when he looked to the sea, the white unicorn saw two dolphins, splashing their tales amongst the waves and leaping high in the air. The grey unicorn said “They will take us somewhere safe and we will never be troubled again.” The unicorns thanked the other animals, then stepped carefully onto the backs of the dolphins, who took them to a far away island, where they happily live to this day.

I’m hoping some of these days to maybe do some illustrations for this, then try it out on my nieces. So no stealing! :p

A Brave New World…?

This is my first ever finished digital painting in Photoshop, make of it what you will!

Sunicorn small

I know, I know, everyone’s been blogging for a long time now, and it’s no big thing. But it is to me, how are you supposed to find something interesting to say every other day to keep people entertained or at least slightly interested. How is it possible to stand out among the millions, billions of blogs that are probably out there. And how should it be written, should it be like a diary, or should it be like the things I tell my parents when I go visit, or maybe I should talk about the stuff we talk about in the pub when we’re a bit drunk (maybe not, I don’t want it getting closed down!)

The basic underlying theme, at least, will be my art, which I’ve just recently gotten back into after years out in the wilderness of drawing nothing. Specifically my digital art, mostly fantasy and sci-fi, drawn and painted mostly in either Photoshop and Painter with a wacom tablet. I drew all the time when I was a younger, up until the age of  about 23 when I started  working in Television as a Graphic Designer and Editor, then it all stopped. Yes, every now and again I would lift a pen and paper and try and draw something, but it seemed I’d gotten worse. The stupid thing was, I had a Wacom tablet and Photoshop all those years while working in TV, and not once did I think to try and paint something in it! I realise now it was just because I was out of practice. Since getting back into art in the past couple of years, I’ve started to wonder how I survived for over ten years without drawing, I’m doing about one drawing a month now and feels like I never stopped (I’ve started about 5 or 6 a month but thats for another post) .

I had one of my pics printed in ImagineFX last year, and that really gave me a boost for keeping going with my art. Here’s the little blurb that I’d written to go along with it. It was edited in the final print, but this is what I’d sent them:

‘I’ve been drawing since the early days, it’s in the blood, my mum and dad’s walls are covered in my dad’s oil and watercolour landscapes and portraits. And there were always plenty of art books, paints and pencils lying around the house to play with, I was always encouraged to draw. I spent most of my teenage years collecting 2000AD, and copying people like Glenn Fabry, Bryan Talbot, Simon Bisley, Steve Dillon and Brian Bolland. My mum always used to complain, “Why couldn’t you draw nice landscapes instead of guns and monsters all the time!”
I started designing motion graphics for television in my 20’s, mainly because I wanted to work in 3D animation, and have been doing that ever since, and now co-own a television post production company, which takes up a lot of time. Drawing stopped for a long period, until about three years ago, when I started messing around with my Wacom in work, and started to enjoy it again. Then I saw ImagineFX, fell in love and started to actually try a few things out again, based on the tips, workshops and tutorials.
It wasn’t until I joined the site and had a go at a few of the challenges that I started to really get addicted to it, the encouragement and help from everyone else in the community there is a big help. I even managed to get to meet Chris and Martin a few weeks ago for a few pints.’

So that pretty much summed everything up nicely. Hopefully I’ll be posting other nonsense other than my art, but we’ll play it by ear.