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Happy Halloween!

This year I improved the costume I had last year and went as the Mad Hatter (again).

Below; the hat is the finished version of the one I posted a while ago and there is also my own attempt at making a tailcoat.

I tried to take a photo of myself in costume using a mirror, but the lighting in the photo below wasn’t very good. I tried to fix it when I uploaded it but couldn’t fix it properly, however I kept the resulting picture because it looked fairly spooky anyway!

hat(4)

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

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Where do Tweedles Come From?

Before you read this article, you must first understand that some of it isn’t going to make much sense without some explanation. So, for any of this to make any sense, may I invite you a few thousand years into the future, to a strange new world.

  • Where the past has been forgotten and replaced by a collection of Lewis Carroll’s books, which are the basis of a theocratic city.
  • Where ecosystems were artificially crafted centuries ago through bio-engineering out of necessity.
  • Where technology has radically changed and clockwork and circuitry are married into an efficient hybrid that runs everything from kettles to computers.
  • Where robotic ravens are hunted for parts that power flying craft that navigate above the skyscrapers.
  • Let me invite your imagination into this city. A city called Wonderland.

*  *  *

In previous posts, I’ve explained very briefly what my Tweedles are, but in the next few posts, I would like to go into much more detail. I want to clarify what they are. They’re origins. How they think. What they’re made of. In this post, I will discuss how Tweedles are made, where they come from and why.

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So where to begin?

 “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

In the beginning, there was a pile of scrap electronics and clockwork on someone’s desk. This someone wanted to create something to assist him with his plans. This someone hired a mechanic to build this something, and this something was the first Tweedle. How is a Tweedle made? Scrap materials are turned into small pistons, hinges and other moving parts controlled by thin wires that wrap most of these parts and conceal them. Fluid-wires (a technology found in various household appliances in Wonderland) are added to create the hands and parts of arms and legs, that are too small for pistons to fit. Small sensor parts are used for the eyes. Not every part of a Tweedle is easily made… Advanced robots, in the guise of ravens, fly around everywhere. No-one knows where they came from or what they do. These ‘ravens’ are hunted for various reasons by various people. Some people use the levitation devices that keep these robots afloat are used to build flying ships, and some people use it’s parts to make Tweedles. When building a Tweedle, there are two parts you would want to take from a raven:

  • Small, powerful batteries are scavenged because they provide an almost infinite supply of power.
  • Fragments of a microscale supercomputer that are used to help made the Tweedle’s brain.

How do you build it’s brain? Their brain is actually made up of living brain cells that are integrated into the microscopic supercomputer parts. The brain cells are home grown with what is left of the bioengineering technologies created a few centuries ago. The supercomputer parts contain vast quantities of information and knowledge, and the brain cells allow the Tweedle to feel some degree of emotion. This combination of living tissue and artifical processing power provides the Tweedle with a form of artificial intelligence. Finally, Tweedles need something to keep all the brain/computer parts safe. This is done by wrapping the parts in a piece of cloth, with holes for the eyes to stick out through. A smile is stitched on to help hold the fabric in place. And voila… you end up with a Tweedle!

tweedle without mask - Copy

A Tweedle with it’s cloth removed, exposing the insides.

Where do they come from?

Tweedles are built by mechanics working for revolutionaries in workshops, hidden across the city. They are released into the streets to perform tasks for these revolutionaries.

Why build a Tweedle in the first place?

The man who ordered the construction of Tweedles is the leader of a revolutionary group who want to expose the secrets that Wonderland’s government have been hiding and freeing the people of their influence. They plan on doing this by sabotaging and deconstructing important machines that the military and police are dependent on, and assassinating the leaders, then broadcasting the truth for all to hear. The problem is, a revolutionary group consisting only of a few hundred people isn’t capable of taking on the military. They would need a expendable army of their own. And that’s what the Tweedles are. Tweedles can sneak undetected into armouries and dismantle guns. They can bring the pieces back to their masters to build more Tweedles. At a later stage, when Tweedles became more intelligent, they could build and control their own large exosuits and act as soldiers.

 * * *

So now you know about the origins of Tweedles.

I think I’ll discuss the Tweedles’ development as they learn and become more aware, and the culture they start to form among themselves in a later post. Thanks for reading!

I’ve Been a Bad Blogger

My portfolio work took me a lot longer than I thought it would. I haven’t posted anything in ages. I haven’t really looked at WordPress either. Yes, I could have scheduled posts, but I’ve had trouble with them appearing beforehand on other blogs. Anyhow, I finally have all my coursework done, so now I can get back to blogging!

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I’ll have to get used to typing on this site again! I’ve written a bit more on my story, but story writing and typing a blog are strangely similar yet different things.

Because my portfolio is currently under assessment, I can’t post any images of the works online until later in the year, so I’ll be showing you my other works. However, if you’re in the locality, a few of my portfolio works will be displayed in the ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ exhibition at Colaiste Stiofan Naofa, Cork.

Anyhow, at the moment I’ve been trying to imitate the style my art was before I did the PLC course. Like a lot of my artwork at the moment, the drawing below is related to the city of Wonderland depicted in my story.

I hope you enjoy it and I’d like to say a big hello to all my followers and visitors! It’s good to be back! 🙂

Through Tweedles’ Eyes

This is going to be a short post today. I was going to post about my tweedle sculptures because I’ve finally completed one, but I cannot find the SD Card reader I use to upload my photos. I wanted to post something to stick to my schedule. Ironically, I ended up posting some photography today.

I found a load of photographs I took a while ago and chose ones that captured views my tweedles would encounter. Then I enhanced them on a photoshop editor to demonstrate them through the eyes of a tweedle. I hope you enjoy them!

Sunrise in the Royal Gardens

Through Tweedle's Eyes 3

Crane Pistons

Through Tweedle's Eyes 4

Clockwork Core

Through Tweedle's Eyes 1

Tweedles’ Gathered MaterialsThrough Tweedle's Eyes 2 

Music and a Sneak Preview of my Novel

Today, I thought I’d share two more of my songs with you. One based on Tweedledum, and the other is fairly self explanatory. I also thought I’d give you a sneak preview of the first draft of my novel, which you can find a link to at the bottom of this page.

Be aware that the following website is still under construction, and will be updated in accordance with the completion of chapters of my novel: Book Excerpt Link

Back in Time for Christmas!

As you may have noticed, I haven’t updated for a while. A long while. This was mainly due to essay and project deadlines in college, and I thought it best to choose my college work over my blog, understandably.

In the rest of my time, I have been working on my latest pieces of art, which I created using Linux Multimedia Studio. In the last few weeks I have been creating and composing my very own music.

I have always liked instrumental music because it really leaves your imagination open, as there are no words to influence it, only sounds. That’s why these works are not so visual, but aural works that accompany the picture that they are shown with. The accompanying image is a mere basis for the imagination to start. I am still a very visual artist, but wanted to bring a new dimension to my Tweedles, and have now done so with music.

I don’t know why, but the picture quality seems to diminish when saved in a video; any suggestions on how to fix that are very welcome. Anyhow without any further adieu, these are the first three songs in my Tweedle Soundtrack…

 I hope you enjoy the clips below, and HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!! 🙂

Tweedledum

Here is a picture of a Tweedle.

tweedle 1

Built for sabotage, Tweedles are clever and agile machines, but they are also small and easily broken. They are often seen as mere pests that scurry in and out of the clockwork mechanisms that fill the cities of Wonderland. To most people, they barely pose any threat at all. Some people even consider Tweedles as cute, capturing and hacking them so they act as pets.

* * *

While there are thousands of Tweedles scuttling along the streets, a few hundred Tweedledums roam around too. And Tweedledums are anything but cute.

tweedledum

They hide in alleyways during the daytime, aggressively protecting groups of Tweedles that as they share information and repair each other.

At night, the Tweedles scatter off to perform their jobs and the Tweedledums carry out the more heavy duty jobs, such as break ins and bank robberies, stealing things that could be useful to Tweedles, or their secretive masters. They have a retractable, mechanical claw, a flamethrower and even explosive ‘hedgehog’ ammunition to help them in their tasks.

Although the Tweedledums appear to be bigger, stronger Tweedles, they are in fact exosuits. A Tweedle will climb into the back of the exosuit’s head and pilot the Tweedledum with the levers and controls inside it using either one or both of their hands (depending on the Tweedle). Once a Tweedle begins to operate a Tweedledum, it will develop a strong attachment to the suit, even losing its self awareness to the point that it believes it is the suit.

When a Tweedledum becomes severely damaged, or if the Tweedle inside is knocked about too much and is broken, groups of Tweedles will help repair the suit, and another Tweedle will take the place as a pilot Tweedle.

Overall, Tweedledums are powerful metal giants, just a little taller than the average human. Each one is capable of holding their ground against a small army. They can take direct hits from cannons and still stand. They are the protectors of the Tweedles, and everyone else’s worst nightmare…

A Tweedle is Born…

Wonderland is a dangerous and mysterious place, but it’s dark, criminal underworld is even more so. Here’s a drawing of one of the many underground workshops where the Tweedles are created by hand:

tweedle workshop

Originally built for sabotage, each Tweedle has one working hand, and one blade-hand for cutting wires and breaking mechanisms. Each Tweedle is unique, with a different face, body and blade-hand. The working hand is virtually the same for all Tweedles, however, to operate the infamous mechanical Tweedledee and Tweedledum soldiers (which will be revealed in a later post…).

The scientist in the picture has genetically grafted arms onto himself to aid him in his work. A spare arm in a tube can be seen next to his desk. Each scientist and inventor assigned to making Tweedles has a different approach to his or her Tweedles, leading to subtle differences in their Tweedles’ appearance, size and personalities.

If YOU were one of the inventors making a Tweedle,

what characteristics would you give it?

Helpful Hints for Creating Characters

As the exams are now over and I have finished school, I am more free to do what I like. However, because I’ll be on holidays in the next week or two I will be unable to blog for a while. I was going to post another drawing, but since I’m going to be gone for a while more, I may as well make this post useful. So, without any further delay, I will share with you some of my hints on how to construct characters, creatures and other people in your artwork:

1. When creating a character in a picture, always start with pencil when draw them. As you develop them you can add or erase anything you want to until they look right. A lot of my drawings are completely pencil-drawn. By allowing yourself to make mistakes and changing or accepting them, you will be able to create interesting characters for your pictures.

tweedle 12. Don’t plan your characters initially – Sometimes I draw some rough lines for human figures to get the proportions right, but usually I just draw. Start drawing either the head or torso and expand your character from there. After a few minutes, the character will start to emerge.

hatter close

3. Once you’ve drawn the basic character, give them personality. Whether they’re shy, evil, mad, or confident, observers of your artwork won’t know that you’re character possesses any of these without some sort of visual evidence. My mischievous Tweedle character wouldn’t look so mischievous without the smile stitched onto his face.

4. Now that you’ve sculpted your character this far, you need to think about their background.  How did they get to be the character they are? Where do they come from? For example, the Tweedle on your right was built by some sort of mad scientist for an unknown purpose. Simply knowing your character’s history will help you to really understand how to draw them.

5. Finally, attention to detail can really bring out your characters. While not entirely necessary, even the small pocket watch chain on the hatter or the teabag hanging off his arm, for example, can improve the overall look of the character.

These tips are simply based on the way I create my own characters in my pictures and drawings. They might work for you, they might not, but I hope they are useful to you in one way or another.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with my Tweedle characters recently (based loosely upon Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland). I recently gave a leaving present to my school principal (who has helped me a lot throughout my time in secondary school) which consisted of the school logo being built by Tweedles. Although it came up a bit dark on the scanner, the original was drawn on the back of watercolour paper, mounted and put into a frame:

logoschool

Logo built by Tweedles

I hope this post provides good advice for both budding artists and people in general, and hope you’ve enjoyed this short insight into how I create the beings that populate my artwork.

Evil Tweedle

Yesterday, I sat my Art History exam and my next exam isn’t until Monday, which gives me a bit of time to draw another Wonderland drawing today:

TweedledumOne of the Tweedle-twins is on the run from the playing cards, having escaped from the laboratory in which he was built. In the world of my drawings he is one of many other mechanical ‘twins’, constructed for an unknown, perhaps sinister cause…

Although my drawings are loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s books, I think I’ve diverged quite a lot from his fictional universe, creating my own version of his Wonderland. Like many authors and artists before me, I have twisted and distorted Wonderland to my own design.

I don’t really plan what I draw; instead I discover the worlds and landscapes I create through my drawings, and the results can certainly be interesting. Some of my drawings are happy, however some of them can be a little bit dark or creepy, like the above picture or the war related picture in my last post. I’m not sure why some of my pictures are dark; maybe I’m intrigued by the mysteriousness and strangeness of the wacky world of Wonderland.

War in Wonderland

My Leaving Cert. exams have just begun, which means that I won’t be able to post much until the 18th of June. I’ll try to post during the weekends, but I really must focus on my studies. Although study helps me prepare for my exams, it destroys the amount of time I have to spend on artwork.

Anyway, I must make this post short, so my readers I leave you with this picture to dwell upon for now:

war

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