In November 2018 through to February 2019 I had the good fortune (thanks Sarah) to be offered a space in Hull city centre, on the quayside in old town. Basically to create a small gallery pop-up, in which I not only got to showcase some of my new large format giclee print work,
…but also got to use the space as an active comics production workspace, producing comics at a drawing board positioned in the window of the gallery under the gaze of mostly bemused passers by.
I felt like I produced a fair amount of work in the time I was there, from portfolio pieces, sample art for jobs, a one off comics commission, production art for an animation some friends were working on as part of the 48hr SF film challenge, through to all the actual pencils for both Coldwater Cove (for Vince Hunt) and Ymir’s Heart (with Rob Jones).
I’d also bought my iPad that same month and had a little fun getting to grips with that, in particular Procreate, which has, in hindsight, radically affected my output. For better or worse? I guess we’ll see.
But in the months that followed, I went on to produce the entirety of a freelance comic project, from thumbnails, working “pencils” through to final Inks, all in Procreate. So that was something.
After mostly working at home for the previous couple of months, having somewhere specific to go to to do work, as opposed to just working at my desk at home, was an interesting prospect. It had also been a relief to break what seemed like a fairly lengthy hiatus in social interaction, and chat to people about comics, the prints, drawing and art and making art in general.
There were a fair few students (from other towns and schools) that dropped in, and so it was fun to chat about processes and techniques (something I miss after leaving my teaching role), whether for practical production, or just for generating ideas and getting past that glare of a clean white page.
I made a few sales too, with one of my really large pieces getting picked up in the last week of having the space, as well as two other medium sized semi-original pieces (half giclee, half original Inks) going out the door just as I closed shop for the Christmas break purchased as gifts for someone.
It got me thinking about the relevance of a permanent public space to show work in. And what shape that might take and why. A space where the public can come to ask specific questions about the creation of work often overlooked in conventional art spaces. But this is something I’ll come back to at a later date.
But I have to say, I enjoyed running that pop-up while it lasted. And would gladly do something like it again given the chance.