Another Challenge: The Little Apple Dolls Advent Calendar

I've set myself the challenge of illustrating one Little Apple Doll everyday and posting it under the guise of a festive advent. Not sure why I thought adding this to my already heaving plate of things to do was a good idea...but, well the first one's up now so I must commit! If enough people like them, we'll sell them as art prints/ lithographs next year!

I call him Unkie Al!

So! The social media challenge ended and guess what? It was not a terrible experience! In fact I quite enjoyed it! I can't tell if it was successful or not: I set out to share more things about what we do in an attempt to shed our 'Faceless Company'... and I think we did that. Social Media is weird anyway. Weird but good. But also weird. Let me explain:

The Facebooks like to throw adverts at you like drunks in a pub chucking darts. Changing your settings does nothing. So I do what I always do: ignore them, move along and seek other riveting content. BUT alas, on the morning of 7th November, I was scrolling for my life down, down, down into the sprawling abyss of 'fluff news' from the last 5 days when something caught my eye. The Guardian, the go to broadsheet for liberals and culture loving arty types (me) had announced that comic book behemoth Alan Moore was appearing for ONE NIGHT ONLY in central London to talk about his new book, Jerusalem. I don't mind admitting that this induced a spit take of epic proportions. (I managed to get the salted caramel crumbs out of my keyboard with the mini pet hair vacuum once I came to. Although the 'K' will never be the same) I was even more excited to find out that tickets were still available!  The money I had in my account was meant to cover the energy bill but... well candles work too and cold showers are meant to be good for you... so the ticket was bought. 

I read reviews of the new book. Some people love it and and some loathe it, claiming the sheer volume of it is off-putting, overly verbose and practically inpenetratable. (I can relate). It's set in Moore's native Northampton and details events surrounding his brother's near death experience as a child. Problem solving ghost children, a freed slave, time travel, multiple dimension overlaps, pool playing angels and dog poop all feature! That description wasn't very good: go to The Google Machine for a better synopsis.

After listening to the author himself discuss the book with comedian Stewart Lee - I was sold. I learnt more in that 90 minutes than I did in the entire first year of university. Not an overstatement. A lot of what Moore said about writing really resonated with me. He made a point about writing, finding your voice, enjoying it and seeking to truly understand the world around us which will ultimately feed us in ways we could not imagine! (Testify Brother Moore!) He also spoke about being super wordy but not giving a crap. It's device he purposely used in this book to discourage future opportunists from attempting to adapt it into a feature length film (an experience which he is all to familiar with).  He waxed about how there will be critics and naysayers who will critique the first third of the book to death and not bother with the rest. He says the payoff is for the people who stay with it, who are there till the end. I fecking love this dude!  (It's how I feel about fans of the dolls to be honest)

In an anecdote preceded by his response to why he cast himself as woman in the book,  THE Alan Moore revealed soap retailers, Lush, are trying to produce a range of products based on his personality!! And he's chuffed about it 'cos he likes all the fancy soaps! Who knew? It's cool because he is such an unlikely candidate! I'd absolutely buy it!

Yeah, so...I wish Alan Moore was my uncle: I'd call him Unkie Al. Majickal Unkie Al.

(Note: I got a freelance job the following day to design a flyer- so the energy bill was paid on time and we didn't have to live in darkness, which doesn't sound so bad. I mean: what's wrong with the dark? Excellent things happen in the dark. Oh? Name three things? Easy: sleeping, camping and fireworks.)