You might recall the first Wild In Art event in Norwich where they had groups decorate elephant statues to go on display then raise money for Break Charity. I was living in Hong Kong at the time so missed it, but did get hired to re-paint an elephant in 2012 which was fun. Post on that artwork is here.
So I applied for the GoGoDragons#GGD15 in 2014 (to be on-show 2015) but didn’t get as many designs in as I’d planned due to being pregnant and quite sick! I was delighted to hear 2 companies wanted to sponsor one of my designs (GoGoFlambeau – more on that later) so was asked to design a new Dragon for Mustard TV, a local channel I know well and enjoy working with.
They fancied a film-related design, and after lots of fails (either something similar was already commissioned or copyright got in the way), we settled on a James Bond theme. When the statue arrived we loved him – he has the nicest face and is very strokeable (but huge).
Some early design ideas here… excuse my very basic computer drawing/ colouring skills…
Challenge 1: The dragons are so high/ tall and have such low tummies that we couldn’t fit it through the side door to the dining room where I usually paint. Luckily the back door was a few inches wider so hubby (mainly on his own due to pregnant me being careful!) managed to squeeze him into our kitchen.
Challenge 2: I was now 6+ months pregnant and bending/ sitting for long periods was hard. (Plus early delivery kept threatening). Queue me mainly working whilst sat on a bouncy yoga ball, and hubby being asked often to tip/ move dragon or even help by painting the less detailed lower undercarriage bits.
Challenge 3: This was actually a hard statue to paint – there seemed to be some sort of covering that just let the paint scratch off even when dry even with just a finger pushed against it.
Challenge 4: Working out how to use the go-pro camera Mustard TV leant me as they fancied trying a stop-motion film. Typically my Macbook refused to recognise the camera card so I had no idea what I was painting the camera at/ how it looked for a few weeks. NOT a success I’m afraid, either I put it too far away or the lights Pete eventually rigged up after we realised the natural sun made it too contrasty made the film strobe! Ah well, live and learn.
But I got on with it. He was to be wearing a classic Bond tuxedo, and have gold skin like in Goldfinger. Metallics aren’t that opaque so there were over 5 layers of bronze then gold acrylic on those bits. Also for his ‘Golden eye’s.
The Union Jack parachute on his back (on her Majesty’s Service was that from?) took fewer layers,
…..as did the intricate jetpack on the outer wings. Lots of stencilling, sponging and tape used as well as freehand artwork!
Then when I thought I had a week or so to complete the details on his tail, I was asked to finish asap as they decided to launch him on April Fool’s Day – whoops! Typically I was fully booked with Paintopia etc bodypaints that weekend so ended up painting into the night just to get him to a ‘finished’ look so they could film their teaser. Martin from Break was fab, organising as late a collection as possible and getting 00Mustard spray varnished in time for filming
The video is brilliant – see Martin & dragon at the end!
This week (June) saw the launch of the trail at Waterside Norwich, and my lovely 00Mustard was 1 of the dragons on display.
Myself & my new 5 week-old baby had a fab time tasting nibbles from all the local eateries, gossiping with Mik & Tina & sponsors,etc, but as we were listening to the opening speeches, a bird whizzed overhead and poo’d on baby Euan’s face as he was sleeping on me in his sling!
Tina, Mik & I had hysterics – I hope you can’t hear us laughing on official films – but I wiped it off before getting a photo (see the spatters on the side of his sling!). Well, that is lucky I guess… maybe I can say it was 1 of the mini scrap dragons that did it!