What’s happening this week?

Today was the last day of Inktober. In as much as it is a challenge, I guess I aced it? It was good to post something every day, plus, Instagram likes that too so I saw my follower numbers and engagement etc go up, for what it’s worth.

The downside, of course, is that time spent on Inktober was time away from Satin and Tat, but what can you do?

Now my plan is to draw another 19 placards to bring the number up to 50 and offer some pictures I haven’t already shared (there sure are plenty more meaningful and/or witty slogans in my collection to choose from), add some extra content around protest, and get it printed up as a low-cost pamphlet/zine.

Will I be able to do all that before Christmas? Because that sounds like an excellent stocking stuffer to me. Since I was sharing the pics mainly on Instagram, I’m going to look into selling via their marketplace features for the first time.

Check out my pencils: in some cases I like these as much as, or more than, the finished coloured pics.

I’m continuing to nurture my interest in fashion history, a realisation about myself that really only came out of starting to depict 80s fashions and hairstyles in Satin and Tat. My most recent reminder came in the form of a post from @fatfashionhistory on Instagram talking about how few ‘plus size’ garments are held in fashion museum collections.

I briefly thought about entering this year’s Observer/Cape graphic short story contest – something of a white whale for me, as longterm readers of this blog may remember. I started working up an idea but realised it was going to be a massive time sink on something that’s always proven to be fruitless for me in the past so… once again I’m shelving it and thinking maybe next year.

An interesting invitation to speak about Draw The Line came by email this week. As the event will probably be during my normal working hours, it prompted me to think through a few questions, like: how much of my own time and expense do I want to spend on spreading the word about the project? It’d possibly involve taking a day off work and travelling up to London, and while it might be reasonable to ask for travel expenses, asking them to make up a day’s pay would be less so (it’s not like the place where I’d be speaking is a money-making enterprise itself).

On the other hand, I do want as many people to know about Draw the Line as possible, and if it results in more sales of the book that means more money ultimately going to help refugees. It’s a privilege to be able to ‘donate’ money in the form of time and effort, far more than I would be able to justify diverting from my own meagre funds, but I guess there’s a balance to be struck somewhere.

Anyway, it might be possible to speak virtually, which would answer many of these questions.

All the comics I bought at the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2021

This is the collection of comics I brought back from LICAF, including quite a few freebies and aademic reportts from the conference day. High points are definitely the comics by Cathy Brett (oh to have her drawing skills), Peter Morey’s Endswell series, and Jenny Robins’ Biscuits, Assorted – which I’ve known about for ages, so have no excuse for having left it so long to purchase.

Elsewhere I clearly still need to refine my selection process, or maybe just calm down a bit and stop treating comic festivals like a supermarket sweep :). I’ve already read some of these and decided not to use up precious shelf space on them, donating them instead to our neighbourhood bookswap library.

That’s not a disaster; it’s useful to read comics that don’t work as well as those that do – you still learn from them. The Kurt Cobain one I picked up in the Kendal Oxfam bookshop, thinking it’d have some parallels to Satin and Tat since it deals with suicide and a famous rockstar. It was ok, but I didn’t really care for it.

Others are worth keeping not because they’re perfect but because they still have something. A graphic novel is of course a book of two parts, and it’s common for the visual style to be wonderful but the narrative lacking, or vice versa. Or more subtly: the subject matter can be rich and thought provoking, but somehow not have reached its full potential.

Progress on Satin and Tat is still slow. I did at least start working on it again and have done about half of page 81. It’s a night scene so I’m getting to employ a favourite technique of covering the whole thing in darkness and then erasing highlights. On the other hand, there’s a car front and centre, and I hate cars, so that’s a bit less fun.

Published by Myfanwy Tristram

I am an illustrator, situated in Brighton on the south coast of England, and with a special interest in comics and graphic memoir. I also work for a non-profit which encourages people to be active in democracy and to exercise rights such as the right to information through FOIA.

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