Imitation isn’t So Flattering

Sunday July 31st, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 5 days ago

Left: My original illustration, 2005. Right: My illustration stolen by the Shanghai Art Museum, 2007.

I really don’t want to take up blog space dwelling on negatives, but I think it’s worthwhile to open up a discussion about copyright infringement. Being on the receiving end can cause a lot of grief, exasperation & heartache. For instance, the image above… To the left we have an original illustration that I made way back in 2005. To the right, we have an extremely bizarre & badly put together poster design, featuring my illustration, advertising a 2007 exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum. I was not asked for permission or offered a fee – in fact, I would not have licensed this particular image because it’s my logo, but I was denied the right to refuse. What makes it even more difficult to accept is that the person who stole my artwork is presumably an artist or designer themselves, & should know better; if not from a legal standpoint, from an ethical one. And this is just one example of the many, many times that my work has been used without my permission.

Grrr… Anyway, deep breaths

What confounds me is when I’ve talked to other independent creative-type people about copyright infringement, quite a lot of them seem to have either a blasé or fatalistic attitude about it. What are your thoughts on copyright & protecting your work? Have you had any of your work stolen before? I’m really interested to hear about other people’s experiences.

Please continue reading…

Posted in Soapbox

Billie and Amy

Monday July 25th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 1 week ago

Please continue reading…

Posted in Videos

Memory Lane: It’s Cracker Night!

Sunday July 24th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 1 week ago

After Christmas & birthdays, there was nothing so exciting to my younger self as Cracker Night, when the suburbs were aglow with catherine wheels, sparklers, roman candles & bonfires. Cracker Night was held in late-autumn here in Australia (a lingering tradition of the Empire Day holiday of May 24th that were phased out in the 1960s), & it was commonplace to set off fireworks on the abandoned circle of sand in your backyard that, come summer, lay beneath your 3-foot swimming pool.

We also observed Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. I recall an exciting evening at my primary school, where they assembled (what seemed to me) a gigantic bonfire on the school oval & burnt a floppy effigy made of newspaper-stuffed pantihose. I had no idea what the Gunpowder Plot was all about, but it was all very thrilling nevertheless!

Sadly, Cracker Night came to an end in the mid-70s, but I still have fond memories of the excitement of backyard fireworks. To celebrate the exuberant packaging design & advertising of the fireworks of my early childhood, I thought I’d dedicate a series of blog posts to them. This first one is devoted to the beautiful patterns & colours of fireworks labels, & coming up will be a post packed full of fireworks typography, & another about posters & advertising.

I think fireworks packaging & branding was absolute genius – so evocative & exciting – I’m sure you’ll agree these patterns are gorgeous. I love that so much attention to detail was lavished on something that would eventually be set alight & explode! But what an explosion…raining stars, fizzy, sparkly, noisy & glorious.

Please continue reading…


My Favourite Circus Fonts: Round #2

Thursday July 21st, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 2 weeks ago

A long time ago I posted a list of some of my favourite typefaces of the circus/carnival/sideshow/wild west persuasion (which you can take a look at here). Since there are so many fabulous fonts to choose from, I thought I’d post some more for your typographic pleasure! The fonts marked with an asterisk in the list below are for personal use only, but the rest are free to use in commercial projects; but just to be sure, please read each individual designer’s licensing agreement. (By the way, the pointy hands are actually part of the Joe Clement font – the left & right angle brackets).

I shall be posting a list of some of my favourite vintage & script fonts soon too.

I hope you have fun using these in some of your projects!  :)

And here are a couple more beauties…

  • Tightrope (Lost Type Co-op)
  • Nelma (Lost Type Co-op – .eps & .ai format only, but a beautiful display typeface)

I Love…Shuzo Ikeda

Wednesday July 20th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 2 weeks ago

Shuzo Ikeda 1922-2004 Japanese Printmaker

Left: Rose, 1977. Centre: Girl & Snow, 1973. Right: Camelia, 1975. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Left: Under the Tree, 1972. Right: Red Seed, 1972. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Left: Bird & Boy, 1974. Centre: Ring Dancing, 1966. Right: Portrait No. 501, 1962. Woodblock Prints by Shuzo Ikeda.

Flag Procession, 1987. Woodblock Print by Shuzo Ikeda.

Posted in Art, I Love..., Inspiration

Memory Lane: In the Toy Box

Sunday July 17th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 2 weeks ago

1. Finest Water Colours, Crab Apple Design on Flickr
2. Tin Teacups, SushiPotParts on Etsy
3. Cra-O-Tec Crayons, PeddlersFinds on Etsy
4. Tin Seaside Pail, BennyInkWell on Flickr
5. Milky Marbles, MissUFO on Etsy
6. Wooden Circus Seal, Amber E on Flickr
7. Tin Owl Clicker, BennyInkWell on Flickr
8. Nesting Block Set, AppelJar on Etsy
9. Wonderland Super Paint Box, PopKulture on Flickr
10. Milton Bradley Memory Game, O Pistachio on Flickr
11. Playhour Annual 1967, Gale47 on Flickr

Posted in Memory Lane

Welcome to my new blog!

Saturday July 16th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 2 weeks ago

Hello! Welcome to the new Magic Jelly blog! :) Whew, what a relief to finally launch it!

My site is still very much a work in progress. You’ll see that the other sections, such as my shop, aren’t ready yet – but I was so eager to start blogging again, I couldn’t wait any longer! My contact page should be up in a few days, & my brand new online shop some time in August, with a whole range of new products. Busy times ahead…

Creating this blog has been an enormous project because it has been totally customised, right down to the very last pixel. I could not have done it without my Craft Cult partner & good friend Julian Lievano, who is not only a super-creative glassblower, but also a talented web developer. So with me designing everything & Julian taking care of all the brainy technical stuff, I finally have the blog of my dreams. Thank you so much Julian, for all your hard work & generosity – I am so happy with Magic Jelly’s new home!

(We’re still tweaking a few things here & there, so if you happen to find anything odd or buggy going on, please leave me a comment.)

If you cast your eye over to the right, you’ll see a sign-up form where you can subscribe to my newsletter, & also to my blog by email – everyone’s welcome! I’m transferring my existing Feedburner subscribers & Google Group list over to my new blog feed & mailing list, so if you happen to have joined previously, there’s no need to join again. You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest (love Pinterest so much!), Flickr & Tumblr (do you like my little flag-waving bunnies in the sidebar?) & I’ve just joined Google Plus too. Come & say hi!

Now I just have to hope that the world hasn’t forgotten me – I’ve been working hard for the last couple of years, but haven’t had much of an online presence. I’m a little worried I’ve been left behind, the market has grown so much, particularly here in Australia – there are so many artists & illustrators who’ve sprung up since I was last blogging & selling my wares online. I hope there’s still a little Magic Jelly sized space left for me!

Anyway, enough of the neurotic rambling… Welcome! I hope you like Magic Jelly’s new home & pop by to say hello! I’ll be posting regularly, so I’ll see you all soon.

Posted in Musing

Giant Mermaids, a UFO, and a Flying Whale

Thursday July 14th, 2011, 3 years, 3 months and 3 weeks ago

I’m lucky enough to live by the sea, in beautiful, sunny Semaphore. A few months ago, at the end of summer, we took a stroll down to the esplanade (after a yummy lunch at the local tapas café), to see the kites breezin’ along with the breeze as part of the annual Semaphore Kite Festival. It was a lovely day (apart from forgetting my sunscreen & coming home as red & shiny as a ripe tomato). Looking at these bright summery pics makes me look forward to spring!

Posted in Snaps