The Wire's Dream: Inaugural Issue • Art & Combinación

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Inaugural Issue • Art & Combinación

The Wire’s Dream

whimsical • experimental • minimalistic • genre-blending • traditional

The Wire’s Dream Š 2016-2017 The Black Lion Journal & Christina Lydia. All rights reserved. All contributor copyrights are reverted to respected owners on publication, both in print and online.

General Questions & Submissions







Founder Administrator Creative Deviser Christina Lydia

Artists & Illustrators Sissh Romany & Ellis


featured artists Romany & Ellis

20 Knight’s Duel 32 Sissh Sketch Work


6 26 38


Drawing, Collaboration, & Tips For Early Illustrators On Sketching People & Using Watercolors

art & business ArtPal RedBubble


Drawing, Collaboration, & Tips For Early Illustrators

How and when did you two get started in illustration? And how do I you two make time to do what you love to do?

’ve naturally been interested in drawing and illustration from a very young age and this has always been something of an interest throughout my years. I became more interested in illustration as an art form though when I was introduced to comics and graphic novels in my teens, which sparked an interest for me to create my own. Before my illustration course, most of my drawings usually consisted of characters or creatures I’d made up as well as animals, however, I think it is really important to sketch from life to hone your artistic and imaginative skills. Finding time for art isn’t too difficult for us as we both live in the family home, so we are constantly bouncing ideas of each other during mealtimes and we share a car journey to University. It’s also really important to draw every day and taking a sketchbook with you everywhere helps. ROMANY


Panel 1 of illustrative story “Child’s Play” 7


ven from a young age I have found other subjects difficult; unless it was something creative, I found it hard to become interested. I’ve always enjoyed drawing and art. After finishing my foundation (pre-degree) course, I searched for an art form that suited me and I think I found it in illustration. I think you have to be very disciplined; I ensure I find time to draw in my sketchbook at least once a day to help me improve my artwork. ELLIS


Original pencil & ink sketch from Documentary Project: Violin Workshop 9

Do each of you have a medium of choice–a form of illustration that you each prefer? And does this preference, if any, shape how you approach your illustration process?


nitially I was only using pencil before starting my illustration course, as I found other materials hard to get used to or didn’t like the outcome. I was really into watercolour but it was quite difficult to make it look great and I felt that I had a lot more to learn before I could use it effectively. When joining the course, I started using Indian ink and dip pen as well as a variety of brush pens as it complimented my way of working. For this collaboration, however, I decided to use colouring pencils as it best suited the theme I was portraying. It’s also good to use materials that suit the subject. During this project, I’ve started using ‘H’ pencils; these are great for planning where you want to draw and map things out. Unlike the ordinary ‘HB’ pencil, they’re easy to rub out no matter how many mistakes you’ve made which is great for a perfectionist like me! ROMANY


try to vary but pen and ink is properly my medium of choice. I mainly start with pencil drawing rough layouts before inking stuff down. Then I either use water colour, or use pro markers to give some tones. But for ‘Knights Duel’, I scanned my ink drawings onto Photoshop to add spot colour and other adjustments. ELLIS


Collie: black ink and pencil from Project At Vets 11

From “Drawing A Day 2016 – February” 12

You both approach illustration in different and unique ways. How does collaboration work for you two? Do you have advice or suggestions for those who want to work on a collaborative project with someone whose interests or techniques are different from what she/ he is used to?


t’s interesting as it’s something that both Ellis and I haven’t done before. We did consider before University whether we should collaborate on a story together but the idea never got off the ground. It was only recently for our course project on self-promotion that we had the idea of doing a collaborative piece together. It was quite a nice idea as it promoted both our individual works and demonstrated how we could collaborate despite our different styles. I think what made the collaboration work well for us is as siblings born just one year and a day apart, our closeness mean we intuitively know how we can

help each other out in areas either of us find difficult. Having such a close bond as siblings perhaps gave us an advantage over other collaborators and helped us to work together towards a common goal. Illustration by its very nature can be an isolated profession therefore it’s important that collaborators should be like-minded and achieve a connection, otherwise it could be a really daunting experience. The experience has provided a good start for us and we know now what to expect working in a collaborative environment! ROMANY 13


e knew that collaborations weren’t easy from our earlier experience. Even though we know each other well, we have identified areas where we could have done better. That’s what’s important, learning from experience and we’re glad we did the collaboration. It’s certainly easier if both collaborators have the same or similar interests; otherwise it could be more challenging. How we worked with our different styles? In the short comic, I took our styles into account and made it a part of the story. Romany did the imaginative knight duel sequences while I did the kids in reality panels. We also used different mediums to showcase even more of the differences and hopefully it has an interesting transition that makes sense for the story. ELLIS


Panel 4 of illustrative story “Child’s Play” 15

Do you each have any advice/suggestions for novice artists who would like to get started in illustration?


unny you ask that as I still feel like a novice as I’m still learning about illustration as a profession! What I’d like to say about illustration is that it isn’t just all about pen, ink or other two-dimensional materials. Illustration can include almost anything, for example, earlier students on my course included taxidermy in their submission. I feel though that if you’re passionate about drawing then studying illustration is a good thing to do. I also find that to make your work stronger, research is pretty key. ROMANY


here’s almost no limitation and that’s great for anyone who can come up with wacky ideas, just make sure you have great research behind it. Very simple advice is to just keep learning and improving your artwork. Don’t stick with one medium. You can always come back to that medium but you’ll notice improvements when you have been using different tools in your artwork. Maybe you’ll even discover your new favourite medium that you didn’t think you would use. Build great portfolios (either online or physical) that show the variety of your artwork to share with others. It’s obviously very important to keep drawing every day and experiment with different mediums. Constructive criticism from professionals is invaluable. ELLIS 16

From “Drawing 2016 – Week 4” Wood Mouse (Pencil) 17

Panel 2 of illustrative story “Child’s Play” 18

From Documentary Project: Violin Workshop Row of Violins. pencil, watercolour & ink on paper

Where would you each like see yourself in 5 years with your art?


’d like to see myself become a freelance illustrator. Possibly starting with some short comics until I feel comfortable in developing my own story. Hopefully my drawings would have developed a lot by then! ROMANY


arning a living doing something I love, hopefully! I hope that my University course will help me build some connections to help me get a job. Perhaps starting as an illustrator for a company and then freelancing? I have lots of other interests so who knows, I’d like to see where my creativity takes me. ELLIS 19

Feature: Knight’s Duel

Romany Wixon Gibbs


omany is a British illustration student in the middle of her degree. Although still discovering her style, she works with her naive, loose and energetic way of drawing. Her interests and subjects involve the imagination, animals, comics, wildlife and mythology. In future, she hopes to become a freelance illustrator and hopefully create her stories into comics or graphic novels.


Ellis Wixon Gibbs


llis is an Illustration degree student in his third year based in the UK. He’s working hard on finishing his degree while doing side projects. He likes to get lost in graphic novels and has a soft spot for animated films and also quite enjoys Indie and unusual films.







On Sketching People & Using Watercolors

How and when did you get started? And how do you make time to do what you love to do?



ell I’ve always had the urge to create. My earliest memories reach back to when I was about 4 years old watching and helping my grandmother make recycled craft mats and other things. Later in my life I would paint and crochet and do crafts whenever I had the chance and I had it in mind that it would be great if I could spend my life just making things all day.

I also studied art at University but this didn’t work out for me. I love that I had the opportunity to try different mediums like ceramics, print making, and digital art, among others. But it wasn’t until more recently (early 2015) that I thought to try watercolours. It had been a good few years since I painted and watercolours seemed the simplest to ease into and the convenience was a plus since I have to be at work most of the day I could easily slip them in my handbag. These days; watercolours have kind of taken over my life – I paint during my lunchtimes and make time again in the evenings sometimes waking up extra early to fit a little touch up or sketch in. I sketch as often as I can in-between work, chores and life and find it’s a great way to unwind. SISSH

The Last Sip 27

Floral Rhapsody 28

What advice and/or suggestions can you give on sketching people?


’ve read a lot of books and online articles about sketching/drawing and they all say similar things. The techniques I’ve used are to simplify the subject as much as I can by doing a preliminary sketch on which to build – building onto basic shapes and lines. But sometimes I start directly – with lines starting from any one point that interests me and adjusting proportions as I go – it really depends on the subject. I feel an artist shouldn’t be afraid to try any way that makes them comfortable and definitely not be afraid to start over a couple times maybe using multiple techniques. It’s all about learning to enjoy the process and being patient with yourself. The best feeling is when you break past the “this is horrible; I should just quit it” part and keep at it – I almost always surprise myself with a drawing I’m happy with, if not at least I learn how NOT to draw a nose/ear/whatever. SISSH

Facial Expressions: Day 7 29

What quick advice and/ or suggestions do you have for novice artists? Regarding inspiration and using watercolors as a main medium?


atercolours are pretty tricky, but versatile and very forgiving. There is a slight learning curve to using them but nothing a little attentive practise won’t help. Painting as often as you can also goes a long way – as with anything the more you do it the more intuitive it becomes. SISSH

Minimal watercolour II | Day 4 World Watercolor Month 30

Where would you like see yourself in 5 years with your art?


see myself being able to work full time as an artist; painting my travels, inspirations and illustrating books (both my own and others’). With my own proper studio which a part of would be open to fellow artists to make use of as well. SISSH

“Ink Landscape I [Inktober Day 4]” • Acrylic ink on 250gsm paper. 31

Feature: Sketch Work

Sihlengile Gwamanda


issh is a South African aspiring artist whose full name is Sihlengile Gwamanda. Choosing watercolor, as her main medium, for their compact ease of use; but more so for their luminosity and experiment ability. She creates work that expresses her avid love of nature and the human form. She enjoys realistic depictions; but sometimes her love for experimenting with the abstract shows through. More often than not, she will start with a rough or detailed sketch to get the gist of the idea/inspiration out. She also uses sketching to wind down and also to gain inspiration for that next painting.







ArtPal & Redbubble

art & business


s an artist, it can be tricky to find a way for art and business to coexist. Below are a few places artists can start making money from their talent and hard work.

shop on ArtPal as her way to promote her work and her name as an artist.

Artist Sissh has established herself as a creative business women, opening up shop with ArtPal and Redbubble. She is well-known on her blog and well-valued in the online art space for her talented sketches and beautiful watercolors. Her go-to forums have placed her among the rising talents in art and illustration. She’s used ArtPal and Redbubble as spaces to sell her art while also expanding her personal brand.



xposure to artists and great art is as easy as setting up an account. ArtPal is a free and easy website that offers artists a space to create their own online art galleries. Artist Sissh has opened 38

Seaside Landscape Print On Sale At ArtPal /sisshart



imilar to ArtPal, RedBubble offers artists a communal space to interact with other artists while also giving them a place to establish their own marketplace.

“With artists and designers hailing from every corner of the globe, displaying eye opening talent, skill, passion and enthusiasm for all forms of creativity, there really is no better place for you to get your artistic kicks.” -- Redbubble Redbubble’s marketplace offers consumers different buying options, instead of the usual prints. Artwork can be printed on items, such as: wall art, iPhone cases, tote bags, and t-shirts, to name a few.

“Focus on the good” Tote Bag On Sale At RedBubble /people/sisshart

“We’re here to present an alternative to the mass producing hordes rudely hawking your individuality back to you on the main street.” -- Redbubble Whichever you choose, ArtPal and RedBubble are spaces made for art, artists, and business to work harmoniously.

TWD 39

Special thanks... To Artists and Illustrators Sissh, Romany, and Ellis for having your work be a part of the inaugural edition of The Wire’s Dream. I truly couldn’t have done this without all of you. Thank you to the readers and supporters of The Black Lion Journal -- you all have given me hope and desire to pursue the best possible for the Journal. I hope that you enjoy what’s in store and that you have enjoyed this special art and combinación edition of The Wire’s Dream. Christina Lydia Founder, Administrator, Creative Deviser


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