Trip to Belfast….

I recently had the fun job to go to Belfast for a work conference. While I was there I took the opportunity to do some sketching using an iPad pro and apple pencil (which I can thoroughly recommend) and the drawing app Procreate (amazing!).

I am still really feeling my way doing drawings like these but I am really happy to be learning and to be slowly getting to grips with things like perspective.

I have been massively inspired by the ‘urban sketcher’ community. These are folk who go out with their moleskins and favourite pens (and water colours) and sketch urban scenes. Some of the more confident amongst them even post videos of the process. Some are simply jaw dropping. Anyway these are my first few attempts below.

Titanic quarterH-and-W-cranes

I found my old blog!

I found my old blog (the very popular!!) Alfred martin and the cheese factory…. I decided to share one of the posts I found there which is a very scientific dissection of going to the cinema, enjoy…..

I love going to the cinema. Despite the fact that you can watch movies at home on gigantic television screens, there is something special about a trip to the multiplex. What is it about going out to watch a movie that is so good? I have tried to break down this leisure time activity into it’s component parts to produce a step by step guide for maximum cinema enjoyment.

  1. Park your car in the planet size car park and immediately forget where you have put it. After the movie this will provide great entertainment as a trip to the cinema is not complete without thinking that your car has been stolen. When you do eventually find it, mutter to yourself that it probably was stolen and simply returned to a different part of the car park.
  2.  Walk into the foyer of the cinema and bask in ADHD heaven. Let the bright flashing lights and advertising wash over you Note how many televisions there are all showing different clips from up coming movies and all involving explosions. Also note how many gangs of teenagers there are all screaming whilst topping up on sugar and E numbers prior to having to sit still for two hours.
  3. Hand over a weeks salary for your tickets or two weeks salary if the movie is in 3D. Sign some mortgage papers if you decide to have anything from the food counter and don’t bother to make sarcastic remarks about it being expensive as the cinema staff have become desensitised to the mythical pricing structure.
  4. Head over to the ‘Pic n mix’ and start the hunt for the special plastic sweet tongs. Try to ignore the fact that no one else is using them and the implications this has on the hygienic quality of what you are about to eat. Again, don’t be sarcastic to the person who weighs your bag, they don’t care that a couple of cola bottles and some flying saucers has cost you the equivalent of the GDP of Greece.
  5. Once you are fully ‘snacked up’ (hotdog, bucket of pepsi max, one cola bottle, one jelly snake) you must immediately proceed to the toilet. It doesn’t matter if you think you don’t need to go, the minute the film starts you will. How desperately you need to go is directly proportional to how difficult it is to get out of the row. Practice saying “excuse me, sorry about this, excuse me”.
  6. Now find the perfect seat. You don’t want to be too close to the front as you will develop whip lash and feel sea sick, and you don’t want to be too far back as this is supposed to be a ‘big screen’ experience. In addition the back row can be populated by people on dates who might not be concentrating on the movie. Remember that the seats flip up when you get off them, which means If you stand up to let someone past the seat might not be there for you when you sit down. This is great to witness, less fun to experience.
  7. If you do need to leave the auditorium mid film, make a mental note of where you were sitting. When you return your eyes will have adjusted to the stadium lighting of the toilets and you will not be able to see a thing in the dark. Having to feel your way along a row of heads until you recognise one of your friends hairstyles is an unreliable way of finding your way back to your seat.
  8. Give yourself a strict limit on the number of questions you are allowed to ask during the film. Some films are just confusing and you will find your self going alone to the cinema if you keep asking whether this scene is a dream sequence or how the elderly Chinese gentleman became a karate expert.
  9. No matter how good the film is resist the urge to clap at the end. None of the cast or the production team are there in the cinema with you, only the employees of the showcase cinema chain. Clapping should be reserved for live performances and if you land safely when flying with budget airlines.
  10. Think of something insightful to say to you friends as you leave the cinema. Try to avoid the extremes of opinion, as if you hated it there will inevitably be someone with you who has found deep meaning and purpose from the films narrative. Who are we to dismiss the underlying themes of ‘Snakes on a plane’.

After you have completed all the above steps, walk straight to where you think your car should be then call ‘999’ to report that it has been stolen.

New Facebook page

I have a new facebook page where I will be posting much more regularly than I have been (not too difficult!). If you want to follow what is happening with notatalljack then head on over and like my page….you can click on the post below

Progressive greetings again!

So chuffed to be featured in another edition of Progressive Greetings (see below), this time with one of my Cat cards. Really grateful for their support of the little guy!

I have been busy designing and printing some new card designs which I will put up on the greetings card sections of this site. Sales seem to be really good at the moment with some very fun shops being happy to have ‘Not at all jack’ wares clogging up precious retail space!

I have been in the wonderful Hand made Nottingham shop (adjoined to the Malt Cross in Nottingham city centre) since the new year and have really enjoyed being a part of that. It is really interesting to see what other makers are doing and to be inspired to try out new things. On that front I have become slightly obsessed with having badges printed and will have my first badge based card out very soon.

Progressive greetings, cat cards, not-at-all-jack




Featured in Progressive greetings magazine!

Okay so my bit is tiny as you can see in the image below and I cant say the phones have been off the hook, but it was still nice to have one of my Christmas range featured in this magazine. One of the editors Gale was very encouraging and it is possible I might be in next months edition too, with a bit more of a write up!

Progressive greetings article

What’s been happening in 2015

I have been really awful at updating this blog but consider this a turning over of a leaf….I will now be much better! I thought it might be good to have a quick catch up on what’s been going down in 2015 and what better place to start then my exhibition at the amazing Embrace arts in Leicester….yes you heard correctly ‘a real exhibition’!

Not at all jack, exhibition marmite print

Embrace arts exhibition-marmite love

I was asked by the arts centre (where I have been selling greetings cards for a couple of years) to put on this exhibition and that it could be of my quirky drawings….which is good because I don’t do anything but quirky drawings! More

A stone’s throw…..

There is a wonderful gift shop in Sherwood Nottingham called A ‘Stone’s throw’. They have stocked my cards for a while now and recently they asked if I would like to provide some prints for Sherwood art week. Obviously I was delighted and if I do say so myself they look super (and just a bit like giant greetings cards).

A stones throw, nottingham

Not at all jack prints

Ohh deer competition entry

This is the second year that I have entered the ohh deer competition to find a new illustrator. Last time I came 8th out of several thousand for a cushion design with a marmite design.

This year no more sissy cushions……a whole load of cars instead. I liked the idea of the cars forming a mosaic of sorts and within the thousands of cars there is hidden my own, a kia cee’d estate. An automotive where’s Wally (or Waldo if you speak American). See if you can find it or maybe you could go to the pub instead.

wheres wlly but not cee'd estate

Where’s kia cee’d estate?

New home!

Continuing to try my best at designing cards that people might actually need to send! In that spirit Here's one for the house movers. We are currently embroiled in this very activity and I can tell you first hand that boxes feature heavily.

Greetings card for moving home featuring lots of boxes

Super brain

I have thinking about creating some more 'occasions' based cards recently.This is not my normal tendancy as I prefer the freedom to create more random obscure designs (ones I know my wife will not approve of!). However if I am to dominate the world of greetings cards then I will have to provide for things like weddings and other such events.

With this in mind I set about trying to create a card for academic situations like graduations or passing tests.

Picture of a brain that turns into super brain