8 Portraits

Before we begin, I have no ambitions as an illustrator, I’m drawing sketches of people because it’s a hobby. If you want to hire me to do something creative, I’m a hell of a writer.

From yesterday,
Martin Downey

I met Martin though Stephen. We’d begun working on Absence together and Stevie had just got engaged to Aimee. So, a wee swallie with the Downey clan, just a quick drink, turned to 4am and Martin and I smoking, dancing and laughing outside the Ramada. Martin was also doing a lot of singing. I’m sure at some point he took the nervous energies that always exist around me for some fear of stuff, but that past and we saw eye to eye and had a good time. Though I’m remembering another occassion, 4am, at Martin’s house, a Pizza order like a meeting of the U.N. in a situation comedy with James and Stephen. We were very drunk too and I don’t know which came first. Perhaps he’s always been there, craic of the party.

As a wean (wee one) I spent some weekends living with Joy Richmond, out in Ahoghill, a large village just outside Ballymena. The journey out to it is all fields, leading to me telling some friends I spent sometime living on a farm, and being hypnotised into believing that Slate (pronounced Sla’t) was a suburb of Ballymena.

Joy Richmond 1

I really wasn’t happy with that, so I tried another. I suck at drawing women more than I suck at drawing men?

Joy Richmond 2

Way back in 2005,  I suffered an overwhelming bout of claustrophobia. At the time, it seemed  I was required to live in my box room, so I took respite in webcam chat rooms. The sessions enhanced my love for music and widened my culture generally and evolved my social interaction skills. The people and relationships made there inspired a few arts such as my piece on Dierdre Ruane’s Maps project and the Camfrog Sketch Gallery. Weirdly today three people I met there share a birthday.


When I last knew Kubilay, he had a beard and was a silent, mature figure with occasional outbursts of anal sex jokes which I mistook for confectionery reviews.  He’s quite different now from how I pictured: a few years younger than I am rather than older. Getting old can include the most meaningful years of the existence of the world around us but all the same, may your energies never dull and your cognition never jam.


Sorry Megan. I’ll have another go at sketching you for tomorrow.

She’s a supremely beautiful woman. About the time we met she was setting up Just Fab Photography, away and add her on Flickr would you not?

Nicola Tweedle,


I’m still looking forward to meeting Nic one of these days.  A deeply caring, life-enriching and funny creature.

My degree at Brookes was probably the widest ranging undergrad program of the time, crossing into nine different fields. Of the two majors I took, Jenna seemed to be a recurring fixture across the years. While many ‘students’ infuriated me, Jenna was focussed, engaging and stoic, level headed, but not above indulging in some surrealism. I’ve not quite got all those qualities in the portrait, nor the full elfish cuteness, still she might like to use this for an 80s themed emoticon party. Though I can’t imagine just what that is.

And a happy birthday to Karen Wenborn.

Karen wenborn

This was my 5th attempt to draw Karen and I guess it does. Karen is a recent addition to my friends group, through her interest in the area of educational comics. Before illness took hold last year, It was a direction I’d hoped my multi-study Brookes time degree would be of some use in. From time to time Karen pops up in my FB feed with something earthy, humorous or engaging and I don’t mind that at all.

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