Jack Astro Kickstarter

The Kickstarter to help me publish a Jack Astro book launches tomorrow!

Jack Astro Kickstarter

Having a physical book was always the end goal of this project but it took FAR longer than I expected to get here. During the making of this book I’ve moved house at least once, if not twice. Got married, had a baby. There have been distractions 😀 

It is fairly nerve wracking launching a kickstarter and I apologise up-front about how much I will be talking about this for the next 30 days.  If you want to support the project please help spread the word to friends who might be interested. And if you are going to back it with cold hard cash then can I say big, massive THANK YOU! This project means a lot to me and I’d love to see it flourish.

I’m offering a limited number of early bird discounts to encourage early backers. Backing on the first day massively helps the campaign and feeds the almighty algorithms.

Here’s a sneak peek of the early bird reward tiers you’ll want to look for. The one above will be £20 and is essentially just the book but with a 5 postcard art card collection included for free.

And the other early bird offer is an upgrade to the colour sketchcard for the price of a black and white sketch. £35 instead of £50.

Thanks for taking a look and for your ongoing support. Passing on the word to friends who might be interested is super helpful to independent artists. Your support helps me spend more time doing the work I believe in! 

All the best,


Dune – Visualising and Drawing

Dune - Hardback
I decided to finally read the classic sci-fi novel Dune and try visualising and drawing some scenes from the book.

Dune is a science fiction classic. However, having started to read it once when I was younger, something didn’t click. So I ignored it for many years.

After watching the Documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, I went on a journey down the rabbit hole exploring things mentioned in and related to that film. I decided it was time to give it another shot, and I honestly don’t know how it didn’t grab me before!

The opening chapter of the book is one of the best opening scenes of any book I’ve ever read. It completely sucked me in and I was along for the ride.

I was having a discussion with a few people about visualising stories as they read books.

Weirdly I’d never really thought about it before. As an artist my training has been very animation focused rather than illustrative. So this is not something I’ve ever tried to do. However I really see the value in practicing this to train your visual imagination through drawing. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I do sort of visualise what I’m reading, but it is quite vague. When I start drawing I am exploring with shapes and visual language. I’m not just translating a vivid picture in my head onto the page. For this reason, I will usually go through several rough iterations of drawing before I find something that actually reflects what I imagine. 

It is a very good exercise and one that I think would develop an artist’s drawing skills quite a bit.

I would think the more you practice this, the clearer your imagination would become and you would arrive quicker at a good illustration.

I started doing all this before I realised there is a new Dune film in production. I think that is the other challenge here is finding reading material that has no visual associations for you. I’d never seen any Dune related art or film except a few book covers maybe.

I have to admit it’s not the most relaxing way to read a book but if you’re looking for ways to push your creativity, visualising and drawing skills it is worth a try.

Dune Artwork - Doug Wilson

An interesting post about Dune book covers HERE

Jodorowsky’s Dune – Down the Rabbit Hole

Jodorowsky’s Dune follows his attempt to bring the novel Dune to the cinema screen. It has sparked a huge journey down the rabbit hole for me. Along the way I’ve discovered artists and stories I didn’t know anything about.

The science fiction novel Dune is one that I’d never gotten around to reading. It’s regarded as a classic but until I watched this movie I had not read the book. Similarly Moebius is a hugely influential artist whose work I admired, but I had not actually read any of his books.

I’ve been falling headlong down the rabbit hole, investigating and discovering various works mentioned in the film. Each avenue I head down leads me on to more and more discoveries. I intend to cover each of these individually in more depth in later posts. For now though, if you’d like to join me down the rabbit hole, Jodorowsky’s Dune is a good entry point.

I am a huge fan of documentary filmmaking. It is similar to my love of reading biographies of artists and musicians. It gives such a great glimpse into the life and work of creative individuals.

Jodorowsky is a fascinating character. He is a true artistic visionary in the way that only a Frenchman can pull off. He is passionate and wildly eccentric. And he has a tendency to shoot from the hip which obviously gets him in trouble. This seems to be a major factor in why his film version of Dune never made it into production. Hollywood just did not know how to handle this man.  

What Jodorowsky did manage to do, was to corral and inspire a group of artists. These insanely talented individuals were his “Spiritual Warriors.”  H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud worked on pre-production art and storyboards.

As a Director, Jodorowsky was able to draw people into his world and vision. In the same way that Walt Disney inspired his artists, Jodorowsky seems to have been able to draw great work out of people. He attracted many like minded creatives onto the project, then he fuelled them to create some of the best work of their careers.

His cast included Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and even Salvador Dali whom he lured with the promise of being the highest paid actor of all time. He had Dan O’Bannon on board for visual effects. The only thing O’Bannon had done up to that point was Dark Star, and he went on to have an incredible career.

Check out my first piece of Dune inspired artwork here

Caution: Making recommendations to people is a bit of a minefield. Over hype something and you can ruin the person’s experience of it. Under-sell it and they won’t bother to track it down. Having said that, I’m going to use this blog to gently nudge you in the direction of some stuff that I believe is worth some consideration.