Linocut & oil paint illustrations for MA book project

Linocut & oil paint illustrations for MA book project

It’s taken me a while to get these up on my website but that’s no reflection about how I feel about them – these weird smeary monochrome images helped me show who I was and where I was going.

I’d started an MA because I knew my illustration work could be so much more than it was, and I hadn’t quite found out what I wanted to do with it. The curse of being able to draw well means that I could create with pencil, brush pen, dip pen, acrylics and oil paints but none quite gave the feel that I was trying to reach – until I tried Pfeil woodcutting tools on lino and something exploded.

The book itself is 33 passages, each of 333 words, around identity, being trans, the blurry nature of the self, magic and grief. It’s a book about losing my mother, coming out, and the impossibility of representing a personality through words. The illustrations were a third oil paint, a third linoprint and a third oils over lino print. Each passage runs over a double-page spread and the illustration is printed onto tracing paper which allows some of the words to show through, and there is a playfulness there. I successfully crowdfunded to have the pages professionally printed and I hand-bound 50 copies (I must have been mad to decide to do this!) and sold them all.

image of cover of Being Frank book by south Wales illustrator Frank Duffy, with macbook, ruler, pencil, pfeil lino tool and cup of tea
Lino print oil paint and collage illustration of a bear and a lion-headed person meeting by illustrator Frank Duffy in South Wales
oil painting illustration portrait of Marsha P Johnson in book by illustrator Frank Duffy
oil painting illustration of helicopter in smeary sky in book by Carmarthen illustrator Frank Duffy
oil painting illustration of Garth Mountain Cardiff south Wales in book by illustrator Frank Duffy

I won the course’s creative writing award (no small thing – there were some excellent writers on the degree) and was awarded an MA with Distinction in September 2018.

linocut illustration of lion and god, black and white, in book
oil painting illustration of sunrise in book

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