The blog of Hannah Robinson, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

F is for Fagin ...

I haven't stopped my A-Z  Literary Project but Fagin has been giving me no end of trouble! I'm still not sure how I feel about this piece but here he is anyway, pocketing a trifle from his latest thieving spree, in the dark slums of London.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Going to France to relax and soak some rays! See you all when I get back :-)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Drink and Draw - July 2013

There have been Drink and Draw nights in Peterborough before now, in various locations. I first heard about the concept about a year ago, and thought it sounded brilliant. Arty people sketching round a table in a pub, with drinks. What's not to like?

With the event of Find me Keep Me in Peterborough this May, I met loads of people in the arts community, and the idea for a drink and draw was tossed about then. People seemed keen. I was keen. So when the dust had settled in my new home, I decided to take tentative steps towards organising it.
I've never organised anything before. Well, not strictly true, but I had never organised anything completely on my own, where I stood what felt like a very real chance of no one turning up. 
Firstly I put out feelers on the Creative Peterborough Facebook page. After just 24 hours I had some encouraging 'likes' and the offer of a pub to host it. Following a Friday night drink there with a friend and a chat with the landlord, Ian, I had myself a venue. Nice. Now for getting people to come.
I shouted out on Facebook and a couple of other sites, and Ian also did his bit of promoting. But in typical fashion, I felt I'd left it a bit late to spread the word, and when Wednesday night came, I sat down in the pub, heart pounding, and waited.
If only one or two people turn up, then that's fine, I told myself as I sat there, still beetroot red from the bike ride. Better than nothing. Slow grow, etc. Besides, it's your own fault for being so shoddy with promotion. Then the first person turned up!

In the end, 11 people came. Some left early and others came later on. I had advertised it as a laid back, do-your-own-thing kind of night, but I'd also made up miniature projects on little slips of paper, which people could pick up if they wanted. These turned out to be well received - one obvious danger is that Drink and Draw can easily become Drink and Talk, with very little drawing being done, but people said the mini projects were good procrastination-busters, and I tried to cater for the doodler as well as the more experienced artist -  we had both types last night, which was so lovely.

Ruth from Metal came along and interviewed me about the night for the website with a camcorder. I squirmed my way through a little explanation about what Drink and Draw is about, smiling fixedly and making far too many hand gestures. I met some great people and really enjoyed chatting and drawing, getting to know people and seeing different styles (or 'visual languages', as my old lecturer used to insist). Cycled home with a huge smile on my face and already looking forward to the next one - after the success of last night, hopefully it can become a monthly thing. 

Peterborough Drink and Draw, every first Wednesday, The Palmerston Arms, Oundle Rd, Pboro. Facebook page coming soon. :-) 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Moar stuff?!?

I have finally got round to listing new products in my NOTHS shop - my weeks-in-the-making Colouring Book for Grown Ups, a new sympathy card, a congratulations on passing your driving test card, and some lovely black and white illustrated postcards.

I have been delayed somewhat in my entry for F in the literary alphabet I am doing, but here is a preliminary sketch. Can you guess which character it is?

Sunday, 26 May 2013

E is for Esther...

Esther Greenwood, sinking into bleak depression in New York, in Sylvia Plath's the Bell Jar.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

D is for Dark Lord...

...Trapped in the body of a teenage boy and sent to our world, having to endure indignities such as school, homework and detention. He befriends his complete opposite: a sweet, innocent boy named Christopher who tries to help him regain his terrifying form and return home. I’m a couple of decades out of the target reading age for this book but it didn’t stop me enjoying it. I think what I loved best is how much the two main characters seem to truly care about each other (deep deep down) and rely on each other. Like Harry Potter, this book appears at first glance to be about magic and fantasy, but to me it was equally about friendship. Dark Lord: The Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson


Sunday, 12 May 2013

C is for Cat

This week’s illustration is of The Cat That Walked By Himself, by Rudyard Kipling. So far this project has made me look around and read new material, or re-read old books I used to love. Youd think that not having a TV would leave me more time to read, but actually I seem to spend a lot of time up in my studio doing art! Which is still great.

I absolutely love cats and it’s surprising they don’t find their way into more of my illustrations. Now that I have a garden Ive been enjoying the birds visiting, so when I see a cat, my feelings are mixed. But I’ll always be a cat girl...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

B is for Bilbo

As part of my A-Z literary alphabet, here is poor Bilbo, running away from Smaug's deadly flames!

Monday, 29 April 2013

A is for Anne

Myself and my good friend and awesome illustrator buddy Carlydraws are currently doing a literary alphabet, with each letter connected to something in literature. My first letter is dedicated to Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I think my alphabet will be largely character based, but we will wait and see.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Harry Potter and the Graphic Design Awe

I went to the Warner Brothers studio tour yesterday with some friends from university. As a big HP fan, I walked in with a huge smile on my face which stayed on all day, and was even still there this morning when I woke up. 

I was with friends from my university days, who all studied Illustration or Graphic design with me, and one of the highlights for us was the display of all the design used in the film. I was so glad they included this. 

These displays show copies of the Quibbler magazine, the Daily Prophet, Quidditch World Cup programmes, train tickets, letters... it is amazing when you consider these things were only on screen for a second at a time. 

I bought myself a copy of The Quibbler in the shop at the end of the tour, I was really pleased you can buy this. I also bought a book which includes fun pull-outs, such as Umbridge’s decrees, Honeydukes packaging and a mini marauder’s map. If you’re not into Harry Potter, sorry if that just made no sense!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

New studio!

Here’s my new workspace, the stuff of my dreams now made reality. Big thanks to Karen for coming over and sitting on the carpet keeping me company whilst I built the tables, and helping me make the big inspiration collage over the desk!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Find Me Keep Me - Peterborough 2013

What a buzzy Easter weekend. I was involved with an Arts Council funded project last week: Find Me Keep Me. It was a month in the making, and involved hiding art in the centre of Peterborough, UK, for members of the public to find. It was inspired by Free Art Friday in London, which you can educate yourself about on Youtube, should the mood take you.
There were 52 artists involved, and we were divided into teams according to our discipline - I was put into the 2D art team. We met each week in the pub to discuss potential themes for our art, promotion and how we would hide our art on the special day. Do I even need to say that there was much more laughter and messing around than proper discussion?

But we DID manage to come up with a nifty promtion idea - a folding zine that showcased all our work, to be given out and hidden on the day. Here’s us with scalpels and stuff, showing off our folding skills.

Our theme was ’treasure’, and I produced this illustration of various keys.

On the day I hid it on the steps of the Guildhall in the square... turned my back for 30 seconds, and it had gone. Excited shiver...

On the day we alternated between hiding the art, and telling the pubic about  Find Me Keep Me. We had all leafleted beforehand, as well as facebooking and tweeting about the project, but I was still amazed at the level of response. People had come into town especially to take part in the hunt, and I saw people running across the square with a map when they thought they’d found something! The whole thing was amazing, and I was lucky enough to see some delighted people discovering some art. 

So, so cool. Thanks to the organisers of this, I want to keep meeting up with all the people I met on this project, and hopefully organise some other stuff off the back of it! I hope it happens next year!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

5 Books / Publications I find inspiring

(Yeah, I did publish this on my other blog, but it fits nicely on both and anyway I have different readers so hopefully no one minds!)

I thought I’d share some of the books I turn to again and again when I need inspiration. Over the years I’ve accrued a great selection that keeps growing all the time. The following books inspire me in different ways. To try something new, to be myself, to have fun, to think carefully about composition, colour, character... I could go on and on. Instead, have a look at five of my favourite tomes:  

This is for You by Rob Ryan

Maybe not the most original of choices, after all, Rob Ryan has enjoyed massive popularity in recent years and rightly so, his papercut artwork is everywhere now. BUT the real thing to admire about this little book is that it grips you from start to finish, even when you’ve read it a few times before. The artwork is so beautiful and so intricate, but also interesting, in that the nature of the cut-out words means your eyes have to work harder to read it, so you find yourself really looking at the imagery instead of just skating over it. 

This book teaches me that time, thought and developed skill really can’t be beaten, and that’s why this book can be found on coffee tables and inside wrapping paper across the land.

Ms. Rubenstein’s Beauty by Pep Montserrat

I found this in a small book shop in Indiana, back when I lived in the States for a short while. This was in between terms at university so I was always on the lookout for gorgeous imagery to add to my collection. I won’t ruin the story for you but it centres on inner beauty and true love. 

Best thing about this book? The AMAZING limited colour palette. I think this was the first piece of illustration that really sold me on the impact of limited colour. The prose is also pretty and eloquent, I think it’s a translation from Spanish, either way it’s lovely. The paint-y textures are lovely too, and all the little people populating the backgrounds.... basically it’s great, OK? Buy it!

Okido - The Arts and Science Magazine for Kids 

I first saw this magazine for sale in one of the big London galleries - it might have been the Tate Modern or the V&A Museum, both of which have amazing gift shops that I could spend a lot of money in if I had it! I’ve also seen this magazine in The Museum of Childhood in the East End. It’s cute, bright, and packed with really alternative illustrations aimed at learning. Each issue has a theme - growth, weather, etc. I don’t have every issue but I pick it up when I can.

They’ve got a website too which is well worth a look.

Hand Job by Michael Perry

Aaaarggghhhh this book is SO COOL! And probably the most well-thumbed and stared at and generally drooled over book in my collection. I’m really into typography, more so in recent years, and this book is stuffed with amazing examples of type from many talented illustrators.

Everything about this book is gorgeous. It’s colourful, printed on beautiful heavy paper stock, it even has blank bits for you to draw your own stuff in! Brilliant! 

And lastly....

I have a couple of friends who just seem to have a knack for finding amazing things in charity shops. My friend Karen found this book in a charity shop and bought it for me a couple of years back. I think it’s one of those illustration sample catalogues that agencies send out to their clients. I like to get it out and look through it from time to time, it’s packed full of weird and wonderful imagery. And the great thing about looking at illustration from other cultures is you get a fresh look at the creative process, with a completely different angle.

I could definitely have made this post "50+ books Hannah likes to look at", but you can have too much of a good thing. I think I’ll definitely be doing another Top 5 post on books again at some point!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Literary A-Z: C is for Chronicle

I’m taking part in a liteary A-Z project with my fellow illustrator and friend Carly Allen Fletcher, a very prolific and talented artist. I won’t be posting every entry here as I’m hoping people visit the PirateUnicorn blog to see for themselves. In true Hannah style I’ve had to submit some of mine rather late, but this is C - Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

This Thursday I’ll be attending a meeting in a pub (where better?) to discuss the next stage of the Find Me Keep Me project I’m glad to be part of with Creative Peterborough and Arts Council England. More to follow! Hope you all had a good weekend. :-)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cool stuff is going to happen

Tonight I went to a meeting with a bunch of other artists, poets, performers and sculptors, about a great new project that's launching next month in Peterborough: Find Me, Keep Me, organised in conjunction with Creative Peterborough, and with funding from the Arts Council England. The idea is we all create a piece of art and leave it somewhere in the city for people to find. Tonight we divided into groups and discussed what we would do, and how we would promote it. Very exciting and I can't wait to get started! If you follow my other blog, you'll see I love to hide bits of art in places for people to find already. At university I used to hide drawings or poetry in parks, fastened in jars, hidden in trees or under benches. It's going to be so great to do this with a group of other creative lovely people. Only 4 weeks to create, promote and hide, so I'd better get planning. :-)

It's about time I shared some of my 365 day project on here as well, seeing as it's nearly March!

This has been an excellent project so far, even though some days I've fallen off the wagon and had to play catch-up. It's worked like a journal, so when I flick back I can remember what I was up to at the time. The first few days were hard whilst I struggled to get over the 'mustn't ruin the new sketchbook' hang-up, now I love it. Some sketches are rubbish but other days I produce something I'd really love to take further, so it's completely worth it. :-)

Lastly, if you're intrigued by the concept of found things, you might find this book interesting: