Friday, 14 December 2012

Another card found - Batley

Here's another card found - this one by Kathryn Richardson, a student at Batley School of Art & Design, where I recently gave a talk about, and signed copies of, The Card. Kathryn told me that having spotted the card, she made her 9-year-old son stand over it while she went to fetch her phone to take this picture. The card turned out to be the king of diamonds.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cards found - not by me

I gave a talk at the Galley Club a couple of weeks ago. When I talk about my book, The Card, and card collecting, I like to tell the audience that on the way home one of them will find a playing card on the street. And of course, somebody usually does. Card no.1 was found by Neringa Pangonyte (who has just done an MA in Publishing at Kingston University) the day after she finished reading the book. The jack of clubs was lying face down on her walk home from the bus stop. Card no. 2 (also the jack of clubs, but a different design) was found by Shannon Ashley following a lecture I did at LCC last week as part of an forum organised by University College, Falmouth. Shannon's card, which was either photographed in a mirror or printed in reverse, was found on the street outside a pub the next day. Thanks to both of you for sending pictures. Coincidence? No such thing.
The cards are out there, but you have to keep your eyes and your mind open. Let me know if you find one.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Teesside University Interview

Here's a link to a short interview I did following a talk I did at Teesside University recently. Where? Here. You'll need to scroll down a bit to find it.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

What Are They Like?

Here's a picture I've just done for a charity auction at Sotheby's. It's for House of Illustration's project 'What Are They Like?' where illustrators are asked to create a portrait of a celebrity (mine was David Baddiel) based on their answers to eight questions - favourite food, book, weather etc. (David Baddiel hates melons - who knew?) Not sure when the auction is. Find out more at House of Illustration.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Byte the Book Event

I'm doing a Byte the Book thing at The Ivy Club tonight. Sorry for the last-minute posting again. Here are the details.

Time: 6:30 - 9:30pm
Date: Monday 19th November October 2012
Location: The Club at the Ivy, 9 West Street, WC2N 9NE

The Panel: our panel will consider the question 'What Will Books Look Like in the Future?'. We’ve got some great people to help us answer this question: Eric Huang (Director, New Business & IP Acquisitions at Penguin Books), Graham Rawle (author/illustrator of Lost Consonants and various novels including The Card), Chris Harris (Head of Mobile at Other Media, and developer of Harper Collins’ Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe app and Collins World Atlas app) and Tom Turcan (Launch COO of Pottermore).
In addition to our discussion, there will be time to network before and after the panel speaks. Attendees come from all across the industry and include authors, agents, publishers, illustrators and developers. The focus of the event is to help people get to know each other, share ideas, and find ways of working together in a relaxed environment.

Booking details here.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Galley Club

I'm giving a talk tonight at The Galley Club at The George opposite the Law Courts on Fleet Street. Here are the details.
Illustrator/designer Graham Rawle will talk about 'Writing with Scissors' at the Galley Club on Thursday 15 November at The George, Strand, London WC2, at 6.30pm. Non-members can attend by paying £5 (includes wine and buffet) on the night and notifying in advance.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Symposium. Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford.

On Monday 12th of November (sorry for the short notice; I should think of posting these things earlier) I will be taking part in a symposium about artists and writers.
Symposium. Artists and Writers: A Symbiotic Relationship
A unique opportunity to discuss artists and writers comes to North Devon.
Inspired by the exhibition of works by printmaker and illustrator Leonard Baskin, on loan from Heritage Collections Department at the University of Exeter to the Burton, 29th September – 12th November; this symposium brings together academics, writers, artists, researchers and those with an interest and love of illustrated writings to debate and discuss the unique relationship formed between artists and writers.
Do come along if you happen to be in North Devon on Monday. Find out more about it here.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Card found Middlesbrough - but not by me

I gave a lecture at Teesside University recently. I've noticed that after hearing me talk about The Card and the notion of finding cards on the street, someone in the audience often finds a playing card on the way home. The unconscious becomes attuned to the possibility and cards magically appear. This one was found by Bethany Poole, a graphics student, on her front doorstep.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Confessions of a Catastrophist

I've just done a book jacket for my very good friend Carlo G├ębler's excellent new book Confessions of a Catastrophist, in which he writes about being a writer. I think every writer should read it.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Reconsidering Amateur Photography

I'm giving a talk at a conference for Either/And at the National Media Museum on Friday 21st Sept at the University of Brighton with Roger Tooth, Stephen Bull, Karen Cross  Annabella Pollen and Juliet Baillie. Find out more about it here.

Here's my abstract for the talk.

Studio Studies: Photographic ‘artistry’ in 1950s men’s magazines 
Laws on pornography in the 1950s ruled that material appealing to prurient interest in sex that did not have serious artistic value could be banned as obscene. In an attempt to circumvent these rules, certain men’s magazines began to take their lead from the high art that seemed to elude the ban, dubbing themselves as guides for the amateur art photographer and adopting titles like ‘Line and Form’ and ‘Studio Studies’ to suggest artistic integrity rather than salacious titillation. The new publications ‘explored the curves of the female form to demonstrate the artistry of lighting’. Their tawdry ‘nude studies’ were now captioned with technical data - f11 at 125th of a second - to substantiate their serious intent. As the loophole in the law stretched, censors were forced to ask  ‘Is this Art?’ 
Meanwhile, the enthusiastic amateur photographer now had access to equipment that would allow him to process films in the privacy of his own home. No longer having to worry what the local chemist (who normally developed the amateur’s photographs) might think of their choice of subject, men could shut themselves away in a darkened cupboard under the stairs to print their own ‘artistic interpretations of the female form’. 
In his presentation, Graham Rawle will talk about his book, Diary of An Amateur Photographer and its protagonist – an aspiring glamour photographer caught in this seamy but colourful ‘grey’ area between 1950s art and pornography.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Byte the Book - Review

Lovely review of The Card from Justine Solomons at Byte the Book. See it here.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Edinburgh International Book Festival

On Monday August 20 I'll be giving a talk about The Card (and card collecting in general) at The Edinburgh International Book Festival. For this event I'll be teamed with Elizabeth Reeder, author of the novel, Ramshackle. (I've just started reading it - it's very good). Here's a link to give details of the venue, times and ticket prices. Do come along; it would be so nice to see you.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The Card - Kensington & Chelsea Review

There's an even bigger picture of my stupid face, a short twitter interview about The Card and lovely review from Danny Arter in the new Kensington & Chelsea Review. See it here. You'll need to scroll down to page 19, but you can read other interesting things on the way (or perhaps instead), like an interview with Peter Blake.

Monday, 9 July 2012

THE CARD review - Guardian

Lovely review in Saturday's Guardian from the funny and clever Alexander Masters. Read it here.

Friday, 6 July 2012

THE CARD review - The Independent

Here's a good (and generally positive) review by Leyla Sanai in The Independent on Wednesday. Click to enlarge or read it online here. There's also a Guardian book podcast here where people are talking about 'fiction that pushes the limits of design' here. There are some illustration of the various interesting books by other people. My section, during which I read out loud very, very badly (why am I unable to do this?) is in the last third. You might be better off listening to the other people, not me.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Lie still, I'm a doctor.

Yesterday I received my Honorary Doctorate from Norwich University College of the Arts. It's a great University, one I've always been particularly fond of. It was a lovely day, everyone was terribly kind to me and I even remembered most of my speech. I was dressed in my doctoral robes, which were fuchsia pink and purple - the kind of colours that might have been chosen by Barbie. And as Margaret (Mrs Rawle) pointed out, the velvet tudor hat and the black framed spectacles were never designed to be worn together (except by Eric Morecambe). I looked, perhaps fittingly, like an idiot. In due course I will supply pictorial evidence of this. But at least now it's official. The doctor will see you shortly.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

THE CARD Review - Scotsman

Very nice review by Lee Randall in the Scotsman last Saturday. Please excuse the awful photograph, which must have been taken several years ago. I never sit cross-legged on the kitchen counter; the photographer made me do it. Anyway here it is.

THE CARD Review - Manchester Evening News

Bubble gum card collector Riley Richardson has been assigned a coded mission by MI5 to protect the life of Princess Diana. Or so it seems. 
The Queen of Hearts playing card, dropped in a deserted alleyway by a mysterious grey-haired man, is Riley's starting point. More cards, and thus more clues, appear. But has Riley got what it takes to decipher the cards correctly?
And will he be able to solve the mystery of the illusive card 19, which has haunted him for 30 years? The answer, as they say, is in the cards.
The Card by Graham Rawle is engaging, thought-provoking, and at times laugh out loud funny. The use of typographical features to highlight parts of the text and Rawle's illustrations of the cards is also visually striking. This story about ephemera is in no way short-lived.
Review by Liz Ellis

Monday, 18 June 2012

5x15 Author Event - Shoreditch House

On Wednesday (June 20th) I'm giving a 15 minute talk about The Card as part of the 5x15 event at Shoreditch House where various speakers will be telling non-fiction stories. The other four (of the 5) are Maggi Hambling, Claudia Hammond, Elaine Proctor and Keith Khan-Harris. Here are the details.

Shoreditch House, The Biscuit Tin Bar  - Wednesday 20th June 6.30pm 
We have a one-off invitation for our most loyal supporters! On Wednesday June 20th we're putting on a very special event at Shoreditch House, one of our favourite venues in London. The evening features a stellar line-up including iconic British artist Maggi Hambling, award-winning broadcaster and writer Claudia Hammond, and Graham Rawle, the man who brought us the hugely popular 'Lost Consonants'. In keeping with the setting, we've come over all East London and will be hanging out in The Biscuit Tin, one of Shoreditch House's uber-cool bars, soaking up the atmosphere while listening to our five stimulating speakers.
Maggi Hambling - on a lifetime in art and her latest exhibition
Claudia Hammond - experiments with time and perception
South African filmmaker and writer Elaine Proctor - shares the stories behind her work
Keith Kahn-Harris - on big fish in small ponds
Graham Rawle - lays his new novel, The Card, on the table

Tickets for this event are FREE, and restricted to Season Ticket holders and friends of 5x15. To secure tickets for you and a friend, please email We will allocate tickets on a first come, first serve basis and anticipate high demand, so don't delay!

Shoreditch House
Ebor Street
London E1 6AW

• • • • •

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Card - Now available!

The Card is officially published on Friday June 1st, but it's available now on Amazon at half price. Yes, half price. You should order several copies immediately.  Go to Amazon now.
I have added some new pages to my website where you can read more about it, see the cards artwork as well as finished pages from the book. Have a look.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Woman's World review - Hyperallergic

Here's a well-written and insightful review/essay on Woman's World, one of the best I think, written by Michael Leong after a talk I gave recently in Nottingham and published on Hyperallergic. See it here.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

My Nottingham talk

There's a nice piece written by James Walker in Left Lion magazine about a talk I did recently at the Antenna Media Centre in Nottingham. One or two of the details are not quite accurate (don't go trying to order a copy of Woman's Own) but that doesn't matter. He makes some interesting points. Have a look.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Left or right?

Those of you who were unable to attend my little talk for the MA Design Writing Criticism course at London College of Communication a few weeks ago may still be anxious to know whether I parted my hair on the left or on the right. This, and other important questions are answered in this sharply observed and well-written piece by Sarah Snaith who was there (and clearly paying attention) so that she might record these details for your benefit on their blog here.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Art Workers Guild Talk

I'm giving a talk at the Art Workers Guild this Thursday (April 26). It's a members and guests kind of arrangement, so not open to the public. It's an incredible place and I'm flattered to be invited.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Talk in Nottingham

I'm giving a talk (and signing books) at Antenna Media Centre in Nottingham on Monday - in case you happen to be passing. The details are...
The novelist and collage artist Graham Rawle will give a talk called "Writing with Scissors", as part of our MA in Creative Writing Open Lecture series, at 6.00 on Monday 16 April at Antenna, 9A Beck Street, Nottingham. All welcome. Entry free.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Graphic Design: Now In Production

Here's the rather lovely catalogue for the Graphic Design: Now In Production exhibition (featuring my book Woman's World) that was at the Walker in Minneapolis earlier this summer and will be at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York this summer. More details on the show a couple of entries below.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Arvon Foundation

For anyone interested in telling stories using words and pictures, this course will help you explore the fascinating relationship between text and image and how one can be made to affect the other. We welcome writers and visual artists of all abilities, keen to investigate this subject through any medium, such as illustrated books for children or adults, cut & paste fiction, visual diaries, comics and experimental typography. More information about our course, other Arvon courses and booking details HERE. 
'In honour' of our course Arvon have organised a word art competition where you can win a week on an Arvon course of your choice worth £600. I will be judging entries. More details about that HERE.

THE CARD - Book jacket final choice

This is the book jacket for The Card as it finally ended up. I had a slightly different colour scheme and a different edge colour, but when the proof came back from the printers, I didn't like it and so decided to change it to this. I'm much happier with it.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Graphic Design: Now in Production

Woman's World is featured in a major exhibition, Graphic Design: Now In Production which was recently at the Walker Art Institute in Minneapolis. The show travels to the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York (May 26 - Sept 27 2012), the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (Sept 30, 2012 - January 6, 2013), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas (July 19 - September 29th, 2013) and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (October 24, 2013 - Feb 24, 2014). There's more about the exhibition with films, interviews etc at the Walker website hereThe exhibition is curated by Ellen Lupton along with Ian Albinson, Andrew Blauvelt, Jeremy Leslie and Armin Vit.

This major international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool. With the rise of user-generated content and new creative software, along with innovations in publishing and distribution systems, people outside the field are mobilizing the techniques and processes of design to create and publish visual media. At the same time, designers are becoming producers: authors, publishers, instigators, and entrepreneurs employing their creative skills as makers of content and shapers of experiences.
Featuring work produced since 2000 in the most vital sectors of communication design, Graphic Design: Now in Production explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, and posters as well as branding programs for corporations, subcultures, and nations. It also showcases a series of developments over the past decade, such as the entrepreneurial nature of designer-produced goods; the renaissance in digital typeface design; the storytelling potential of titling sequences for film and television; and the transformation of raw data into compelling information narratives.
Graphic Design: Now in Production is the largest museum exhibition on the subject since the Walker’s seminal 1989 exhibition Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, and the Cooper-Hewitt’s 1996 comprehensive survey, Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. Appropriately, this exhibition is co-organized by the two institutions. A comprehensive, illustrated catalogue produced by the Walker accompanies the exhibition.

Pick Me Up - Somerset House

I'm doing a weekend fact-gathering workshop with Peepshow on the weekend of 31 March and 1 April at PICK ME UP Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House. More about Pick Me Up here and what Peepshow will be doing during the rest of the event here.
This is the workshop. Do come along.

The Peepshow Encyclopaedia of Things We Didn’t Know

Did you know that emus can’t walk backwards or that Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button? We did. Did you know that Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise; that rabbits can’t vomit; or that Barry Manilow is an anagram of Library Woman? We knew all of those things too. Why don’t you tell us something we don’t already know?

In our quest to compile a comprehensive Encyclopaedia of Things We Didn’t Know, Peepshow and guest researcher Graham Rawle invite you to provide us with a fascinating fact to add to our archive. It can come from the world of science, history or nature––or it could be something personal: your father’s hat size, the opening hours of your local Costcutter, or what your Uncle Roy likes to spread on his toast. From the astounding to the trivial, all of the facts we collect will be gathered together in a giant Peepshow online encyclopaedia, providing a fountain of knowledge to delight and enthral all of humanity.

At the I Did Not Know That! workshop, each participant will be provided with an exciting jamboree bag ‘kit’ containing everything he or she might need to create a special collage, drawing, written message or mini-sculpture. Each completed piece of artwork will be photographed for inclusion in the online archive and displayed during the workshop in an ever-expanding wall frieze of little-known facts. Your contribution can play a vital part in building this extraordinary archive; The Peepshow Encyclopaedia of Things We Didn’t Know. Take part today!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Peepshow book

Peepshow's book, celebrating 10 years together as an illustration collective is out now, and a very lovely thing it is too. Beautifully designed by Emmi Salonen, it's jam-packed full of Peepshow pictures, info and fun. There are even introduction pieces by Alex Bec, Margaret Huber (Mrs Rawle) and me. Take a look here and at the review in Creative Review here.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The women, I mean, are not refined

I don't know what this title means, but here is a review of Woman's World by Modern Review.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Party Boy

I came across this picture the other day. I took it in 1998 during the 'party scene' shoot for my book, Diary Of An Amateur Photographer. It was supposed to look like it had been taken in 1959. The boy, as he was then, is Nick Wager, a friend of a friend who came in for the afternoon as one of the models. I think he was 14 at the time so he'd be about 28 now. When the picture I wanted was taken and everyone else had wandered away from the little set I'd built, Nick was left sitting there on his own with his orange squash and cheese on a stick so I took this picture of him. It was never used in the book, but I rather like it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Emblem Of My Work

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sterne's marbled page in Volume III of Tristram Shandy, which Sterne described as 'the motly emblem of my work', 169 artists and writers were invited to design the Emblem of their own work. Each contributor donated the result for an exhibition and auction to raise funds for the Laurence Sterne Trust. Here is my effort. 
I have a big cabinet full of old magazines I use for collage. I counted 169 magazines down from the top of the pile and 169 up from the bottom, then chose sections from the front cover of one (a 1944 Illustrated) and the back cover of the other (a 1952 Picture Post) to make the two sections of this motley picture."