The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Review

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This was a gift from the lovely Justine on one of those wishlist shares, and I had heard a lot of good things about the book.

It was tempting me since it has a fox in it, it is ink drawings and just a positive type of book, so it felt like a book to have at hand when sadness hits and when life just feels a bit not great.

I have to say, it is an easy soothing read with heavy pages and a lot of care, so I can see a lot of care in making it. As it says, you can technically read without an order and I didn’t try it this time round but as I read I noticed it does lend to an orderly or disorderly reading.

I think what got me the most was that the art is simple and yet so emotive and there’s a lot of detail and care. I was fascinated by it and the words go along well.

For some reason it reminded me a lot of Winnie the Pooh and old artwork in the books but also that kind of timeless quotes about life and friendships and just everything. It has a poetic way to it and I just found it soothing, a bit short if anything.

If you want a book that is art, coffee table material but also will make you feel good for reading it, then this is the one for you. Plus it has cute animals, particularly a fox…

The Fire Never Goes Out Review

The Fire Never Goes Out by Noelle Stevenson

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

If you’ve been following Noelle Stevenson since the tumblr days and the Broship of the Ring, then this book will be like a walk through memory lane with a selection of comics/doodles/etc from those times. And the summary posts of her year that she had on her blog. Which may make this book feel a bit too familiar and maybe not that surprising/new.

However, for me, despite being one of those from way back then, I enjoyed it a lot. It was a refresher of whereshe was (and a reminder of her age and what she’s done so far), but it was also, a reminder of my own ghosts, successes and battles. Because in some ways I had similar things happen to me, grand things and then that fear of “will this be the last grand thing because I have used all the grand-thing-points alloted to me during this lifetime already?”. She is way better at wording this and even illustrating.

And it is a memoir of where she was before she realised a lot of her identity, but also, as her career in art got a massive kickstart and also what pushed her to find the way into it.

Reading it was fun and when I finished it (it was relatively fast since it’s art and short posts on how her year had gone and what was accomplished/not done/etc), I felt inspired to draw, to put some of my own experiences to paper. And at the same time I wanted to give her a hug. And maybe just sit down and talk because I have similar fears, I have had similar fears.

Afterwards, I even had a deep conversation with my husband pondering if I had done the most amazing thing I could’ve done already and how I felt I may have wasted that chance because life happened and well, I am relatively happy where I am, but I am doing less amazing stuff now than I was 5-10 years ago. I won’t go all into it but it was an interesting talk, and I can only recommend reading this book. Or if not the memoir, maybe give Nimona a go?

Sketch Every Day Kickstarter “Review”

I call this a review because I want to talk about the whole package but it isn’t a “formal” review like I do for other books. Why? Because this is a Kickstarter project I backed and I have been following Simone for too many years, from DeviantArt to Instagram and then playing Deponia and wanting eagerly to have her draw my outfit of the day (OOTD).

So when Kickstarter and 3D Publishing sent me an email saying “you may like this” it was a no brainer. I was going to back it. And so I did. And I do not regret it.

The cardboard box it came in is gorgeous, protected well the book and other contents and is a nice keepsake. ~There were four prints included (the three with the children and animals are used as examples in the book), a set of stickers, a sketchbook (it is really nice, has a pen/pencil holding elastic loop and an elastic “ribbon” to close or select a page, a small Inktober drawings booklet, a prompt bookmark and finally the main thing, the book.

In the book Simone covers her whole story of how she got to where she is, and does so with drawings to show progress and to match style. She talks about her jobs, her studies, her life. Whcih helps give background and a view into the artist.

Then she moves onto how to do things, what she does, and how she chooses what she draws. Sometimes something from her day, sometimes a concept, something funny.

Reading through it I just wanted to start drawing (which I did afterwards) and it is very inspiring but also very normal. She doesn’t pose as the perfect drawing machine and instead talks about the truths and realities of life getting in the way and all of that.

Highly recommended book but sdefinitely have a sketchbook nearby because you’ll get to a point you just feel like you need to draw!

Galaxy Girls Review

Another informal review because I couldn’t even add this book to my Goodreads challenge, woops.

Lydia Fenwick is an illustrator I have been following for a while, so whne she offered her Galaxy Girls as a Kickstarter, I only had one question and it was “what tier should I choose?”. [I am pro supporting artists/creators, so I try to spend in Kickstarter, Etsy, other small businesses when I can.]

I actually can’t remember what the tier I chose exactly was, but somehow I ended up with an amazing amount of goodies (I love the whole “unlock new bonuses for everyone if we go past our goal and this amount”). Amongst them, the original book with gorgeous holographic pages and a “this is how I do it, and this are the materials” plus I am in the backers page at the back :). There were was also a collection of postcards, as you can see, there are so many they have holographic stuff and foiled too, best quality (it was so hard to take a good picture because of all the shiny). There’s also a collection if gorgeous stickers, a print of the cover illustration, a bookmark (bottom center, it has gold around her head) and a pin (on top of the bookmark).

The quality fo everything is top notch and I couldn’t ask for more. And the artwork as you can already see is wonderful. I wish I could draw and paint as gorgeously as that.

Hope this small review/showcase makes you follow her as she’s an awesome artist (plus she keeps chameleons and other critters, they’re really fun too).

Moon Draws: Inktober 2017

Because I am never late to the party, right?

So the first year I did Inktober was 2016 and I decided to do it last year (it feels so odd to say this about 2017). So here’s my round up of artwork (I did NOT complete the 31 days, but I am pleased with the ones I did do).

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A swiftly jumping Moire Fox (this is kind of a rework of a previous sketch I had made but with a little more detail.

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A cosy fox sleeping and enjoying time off.

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Underwater kiss between Dalv Le Wot and Rose Vered. I had fun drawing this…

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Long stretch of a fox.

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I have been on a Horizon Zero Dawn loving rampage and so it took 3 days to actually finish this one (you can see the work in progress) but it was absolutely a pleasure to do it. The only thing is that I drew it in an A5 piece of paper, so the details are tiny!

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This was an easy prompt to play with, Inej from Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom.

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Another two day videogame inspired piece, this time it is about bioshock and it included several prompts. As you can see I enjoy steampunk/mechanical/techie bits as part of the challenge. (You can also see how small it is by comparing to the pens on the side).

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This was the first videogame (not PC game) that spurred my love for them. Alice Madness Returns (there is a lot of violence, and difficult topics so it is for rated M/R).

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This was a piece I had sketched in 2014 after some difficult events in my life, and it took a few days to complete too. It is meant to be me surrounded by my characters, the creations and stories that helped me stay sane and keep going.

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See if you can name all of the characters found in this piece. A prize for the person that does.

Meet The Character: Knit Anele

On my previous post about Meet the Character, I introduced you to the Wig Bag Trio. So today I will expand on one of the characters from it.

World, meet Knit Anele (and Mischief).

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The Wig Bag bestowed her with Mischief, and most of her powers are based on dreams and sleep. Anyone want to guess what Mischief does?

No?

Do you maybe wanna count sheep?

Yes indeed! Mischief can “replicate” itself and as soon as Mischief (or any of the replicas) jumps in front of someone that person will fall asleep there and then. This can be toned down, but Mischief isn’t named Mischief because of its innocence. Life isn’t easy with Mischief around.

And to top that off, Knit’s powers mean she can affect the dreams of others. She can choose to give people certain dreams she must craft, maybe to remind them of something, to make them reflect on thigs, etc. And she also is in charge of keeping a record of their adventures.

ChildKnit

This is Child Knit. She is a bit of a paradox. The real past Knit lived in a farm most of her life until she moved to the city to study and get a job. So her childhood involved farm animals, and fresh crops, and other settings. However, Child Knit as pictured above, is the paradox. She isn’t exactly part of the story but gets drawn when there are difficult topics to be dealt with.

In this particular depiction, she is wearing The Captain’s coat, which is odd, as they never meet and she shouldn’t have it at hand. (Enter paradox). She has also been drawn firing a gun towards the viewer. All in all, Child Knit represents the loss of innocence and growing up.

And Knit in general has a lot to work through, between trusting, carrying guilt and trying to become the superhero she is meant ot be, it is interesting to see her move around.

And of course, it doesn’t help that she has Mischief ‘helping’.

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Until next time and the next character!

Meet the Character + Inktober Art

Keeping up with Meet The Character, I know I promised more Wig Bag Trio on my previous post, but I recently drew a “collection” of my characters so I thought it’d be a good quick introduction to them.

This piece shows all the characters that pop up most in my drawings (there are several missing).

First, let me show you a sketch. I drew this in October 2014, after a series of events that meant my first ever “I am unable to draw or create anything” (not artist’s block, but shock and PTSD). This particular sketch alongisde a counterpart where some of the first drawings I did once I could draw again..

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And of course, I deviated from my Inktober prompts (the deviation started with drawing characters from games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Bioshock…) and had to sketch, and ink a fresh take on this.

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This is the finished piece (it may be coloured at some point):

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And now let’s meet the Characters!

The girl in the middle with a bee tattoo and glasses is actually me (so this is also a “meet the artist”). The idea is I am backed by all the characters and stories inside my head.

To the left, you can see Star Fawn kneeling. She is a Fasquee, part of the native species of Deema.

Behind her are Dalv and Naj (recognise them?) from Wig Bag Trio storyline. And then there’s Knit, Mischief (the lamb/sheep) and The Captain. Mischief is very mischievous so it keeps getting in the way, there’s a reason that it has that name.

Conjuring souls in the middle over my head is Cyx Red, The Collector. She featured in 2016’s Halloween-HQ event on DeviantArt (Sadly, you can’t play last year’s adventure but you can do this year’s. She features in several storylines so she is more of an “omniscient” flitting character.

Then you can see Child Knit, she doesn’t really feature in the main WBT storyline but appears in my sketches, usually wearing The Captain’s jacket which is a paradox since she couldn’t have met him as a child.

Then under Child Knit, are the Lestrange triplets. They do not feature as much in my sketches, but are part of the Eveniengate and Deema storylines (Eveniengate occurs within Deema). They are probably the oldest characters in this drawing (they came to life around 2004-2006).

The “archer” is Moire Fox, another Fasquee. She is the second oldest here, as her story came to me around 2007. She is the character that has had the most name changes since her conception. At first she was “Fox Girl”, then Unay, which became She Without A Name, then Ella, and finally Moire Fox.

Underneath Moire is Vixy/Little Fox, this is one of the position I first tried as a logo, but that slowly evolved into my logo. She is also quite old, 2007-2008 I think.

Missing in this picture are most of Eveniengate storyline characters (very few of them have actually been drawn), MD the queen of the dream world, Yves Oswald, Oniria & Insomnio, Kit (Black Cat design for a video game), Rose Vered and Ava from WBT, and Moire’s younger sister Roisin.

So there we go. Which character are you most excited to learn more about?

 

Moon Draws: Book Box Club Bookmarks Pt. 2

On part 1, I showed the penciled sketches for the bookmarks, which didn’t have the right proportions for bookmark sizing nor did they include a hidden fox MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey.

After some working on them, a few progress shots shared through my Instagram stories, and several late nights and early mornings working on them, they are finally done.

Each one has elements from the book they are based from, and elements based on the theme of the box they were featured in. Each one also has the hidden fox logo in them (in some it is very easy to spot in some it isn’t as easy).

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Pictured above are the first four bookmarks. Enchanted Forest (The Call), Freedom Squad (The Hypnotist), Secrets & Sisterhood (The Stranger Game) and Magic by Night (Bone Gap).

The completion of them also means some news, the opening of my shop! At the moment the only thing available is a preorder of the bookmarks. The preorder closes on the 15th of October. That week, the bookmarks will be shipped to all those that preordered. After that preorder, bookmarks will be made available for individual purchase (so if you only want one bookmark or one of the designs, you can choose that particular one).

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Immortal Stories (Ink), Troublemakers (All About Mia), Time Travel (Waking in Time), and Belles & Beasts (Hunted).

The designs have been digitally inked and done at high resolution (1200dpi) to ensure high quality when printing. They are one sided so that any art supply can be used without feeling guilty about it bleeding to the other side (not that it should since it is cardstock but it may).

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Wizards at War (Spellslinger), Schoolroom Scandals (One of Us is Lying), Spells & Remedies (The Disappearances) and Fearless Females (Things A Bright Girl Can Do).

I enjoyed doing them and have plans for making one per box coming out. There is also the availability of custom colouring designs if you want to promote your book or are just a big fan of certain series.

If you would like to preorder a bookmark set, head out to Moon Kestrel Designs.