Thursday, 2 December 2010


DAMN HARD 640 x 960

THE STORY: SAD FACE was created on Saturday 21st August 2010. The inspiration for this illustration came simply to my minds eye one night at bed time the week previous. I was literally in bed and I saw SAD FACE's face in my minds eye. That is how it happened. At the time I thought to myself 'What a sad face'. Immediately I knew I wanted to draw him, and I also immediately understood what SAD FACE was. Or is. His name came with him, and is written all in capitals, because that is how my friend Jenni and I write it on Twitter when we are expressing profound disappointment with the hurdles life puts in front of us, and it seemed very right to do the same for SAD FACE.

A few days later I sat down with some paper, pencils and pens, and drew this very fist SAD FACE. That day I used a single black fine-liner (edding 1800 profipen 0.5) on some 6 x 4 gloss photo paper, which is why it looks a bit different to all the later SAD FACE illustrations (drawn on A5 brilliant white 135gsm sketching paper). When I first imagined him, SAD FACE was in colour; dark grey on light grey as we see him now. Wanting to reproduce him as faithfully as possible, I looked to my scanner and Photoshop for help, making SAD FACE a mixed media production. I have since tried to reproduce SAD FACE with both coloured pencils and marker pens, but have thus far been very disappointed with the results. I do continue to experiment with various media, and maybe one day I will find something I am happy with.

The sentiment behind this first illustration, DAMN HARD, sets the scene for many SAD FACE illustrations that follow. SAD FACE does not find life very easy, something I think all of us can relate to in some way. The decision to include text in the illustration was something that I gave some thought to, though the exact wording for this illustration was simple enough to decide upon. Not all SAD FACE illustrations have text, but the ones that do can require quite a bit of mulling over, and can keep me awake at night.  Seriously.


  1. Thanks for sharing how SAD FACE was born. I will be sure to use all caps in his name from now on, and apologize for the previous lapse.

  2. I'll let you off just this once.

  3. You are generosity personified.