Harry Potter-inspired tattoo

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Tattoo design for my friend and work colleague who is Harry Potter mad :). Original request was ‘a snowy owl with the deathly hallows symbol’, but this soon flourished to incorporate lilies and a Felix Felicis bottle. My friend loved the design and is taking it to see her tattooist very soon, I’m really looking forward to seeing the result!

Farewell to the bulletproof idea…

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‘Did you think to kill me? There’s no flesh and blood within this cloak to kill. There is only an IDEA. Ideas are BULLETPROOF. Farewell.’ – V, ‘V for Vendetta’ by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Being a huge fan of ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘V for Vendetta’ has been a graphic novel on my reading list for a long time. And now I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Written in the 1980s , V for Vendetta portrays a 1990s Britain where fascism rules and a corrupt government controls the population through the media and Big Brother-style observation. Enter V, a character more ‘ideal’ than ‘man’, whose aim is to destroy society in the name of freedom and fate.

As with 1984, V for Vendetta highlights the complacency that society so easily slips into. Wrongs are forgotten, corruption expected and ignored all for the pursuit of the easier path. Unlike 1984 however, V for Vendetta has a glimmer of hope in the final pages of a future that can be built brighter and better with the participation of all. 1984 just takes that hope and crushes it, laughing mercilessly at the reader in the process.

And I’m afraid I have to side with the reformed Winston Smith on this one, V. We may have had a voice once, but I believe Fate has constricted our thoughts and throats too much. They were clever, V, and we’ve become complacent, content to be distracted by the fads and whimsy of the ‘in-crowd’, the celebrities that dance for our curiosity while the shackles slowly tighten. And those of us that can feel it can only observe. Yes, a ripple grows in size but it takes far less than a tsunami to mask it.

We love you, V.

 

Depressing thoughts over, this piece was done in fineliners in tribute to the fantastic book V for Vendetta.

Illustration for ‘Trash Into Cash’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Trash Into Cash’. Becky Tipper’s tale sees the traditional ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ story being played out in today’s metropolis – the old miller may now be a scrap merchant, the king may be a sharp, clean-cut businessman and the threads of gold may now be made out of green paper – but the heroine’s desperation and love for her child are as strong as ever.

‘Trash Into Cash’ features alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘Little Lost Soul’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Little Lost Soul’. Marija Smits’ tale follows Dr. Yelena Belova, a psychologist and Direktor at the Chernobyl Robotics Facility, as she helps a young woman being physically abused in the facility. What starts as a story of compassion soon becomes a tale of suspicion and doubt that forces the reader to question what it actually means to be human.

Read more from Marija Smits at her online blog. ‘Little Lost Soul’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available on their website.

Illustration for ‘Fox Fires’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Fox Fires’. Jane Wright’s nighttime tale is beautifully eerie and one of my personal favourites from this collection of short stories. A tale of a young girl’s overwhelming grief, the ambiance of a cold winter in the far North creates a ‘silence’ that emphasises the emotions so much more strongly, from the sadness of loss to the glimmer of light that is hope.

‘Fox Fires’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their website.

Illustration for ‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2′ stories – ‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’ by Hannah Malhotra.
Mirrors – objects of vanity employed by women to preen and pamper and achieve a beauty with which to address the world. Used by women to check their appearance hasn’t faltered should society be paying attention.
Required by women to prove to themselves that they are still visible.
Mirrors – needed by women to convince themselves that the feeling of invisibility is just imagination.

‘How Women Came to Love Mirrors’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their online store.

Illustration for ‘Paths of Desire’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Paths of Desire’. Finola Scott’s fairytale tells the story of another young selkie, ripped from her ocean home to become a wife to a human male as the folklore dictates. He promises to do anything to make her happy but as she fails to bear him a child over the following months, the pressures of trying to conceive begin to take their toll…

‘Paths of Desire’ sits alongside 16 other short fairytale-inspired stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their online store.

Illustration for ‘The Worm’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘The Worm’. Sarah Hindmarsh’s tale retells the story of the Lambton Worm from English Folklore, an eel-like creature unwittingly caught by Lord John Lambton whilst fishing. Initially in fear of the monster, Lord John begins to feel a strange affection for the beast, but as the creature grows and becomes more vicious in its Master’s absence, the people of Lambton begin to suffer the consequences of John’s actions.

Sarah Hindmarsh is the author of the ‘Animal Adventures’ series and her first book ‘The Mouse Who Howled at the Moon’ was shortlisted for the SpaSpa independent book awards. ‘The Worm’ appears alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available from their online store.

Illustration for ‘Lilasette’

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2′ illustrations – ‘Lilasette’. Beneath a lilac tree, the flowers’ aroma sweet in the air, a young woman, Rose, gives birth to a baby girl. She names her ‘Lilasette’ and clutches her close for Rose knows the child will soon be taken away, and she herself will be killed…
Ronne Randall’s fairytale is one of hatred and happiness, utter devotion and supreme jealously and most of all portrays the strength of a mother’s love… for better or worse.

‘Lilasette’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available on their online store.

Illustration for ‘Icarus’

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2′ illustrations – ‘Icarus’.
‘Once there was a man who wanted to fly…’ Inspired by the real-life stories of Allied prisoners in World War II, N.J.Ramsden’s tale portrays the emotion and hardship suffered by imprisoned military personnel and their desperate desire for freedom.

N.J.Ramsden’s works include the novels ‘Nothing’s Oblong’ and ‘Scissors, Paper, Stone’ and screenplay ‘Tell Me Lies About Love’. ‘Icarus’ appears alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books and is available from their online store.
Visit N.J.Ramsden’s blog for more creative musings.