(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a playing card of the suit chosen to rank above the others, which can win a trick where a card of a different suit has been led.
“come (or turn) up trumps”
Informal (of a person or situation) have a better performance or outcome than expected.
“trump something up”
Invent a false accusation or excuse.
(transitive) to proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare.
(intransitive) British slang – to expel intestinal gas through the anus.
Dan and I went back to Amsterdam for a week in October, the first real holiday we’ve had in ages.
From 2009 – 2011, he studied Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image at the university there, and I used to fly over to visit every couple of months. It was an intense, emotional and exciting time. Airport goodbyes were so painful, but being reunited was the best thing in the world. We would cycle around the city, see lots of films, go to gigs, visit lots of galleries together, and it all inspired me so much creatively.
Back at home I had just finished university, I had returned to living with my parents in my home town, I worked for the local university as a note-taker and I made drawings constantly in my free time, but when I stayed with Dan in Amsterdam I got to experience the city and all its culture, and for a little while I made illustrations for Unfold Magazine (a sort of fold out version of Time Out magazine) including a poster design for The Van Gogh Museum’s Picasso in Paris exhibition, which was my first real illustration job.
It was strange to return – Amsterdam is so familiar to us both and we both felt the ache of realising how much you have missed a place. We revisited a lot of our old haunts in new places – most of the comic book shops had moved locations but hadn’t changed at all (the staff in Lambiek still bring you a cup of coffee while you browse and give you a mini comic by Chris Ware with your purchases “he made it for us before he was famous”) and the Filmmuseum which was then at Vondelpark is now a ferry journey away to the north.
Here are some photographs I took with my harinezumi camera:
“What I had taken for a soft drink vending machine turned out to be the deputy chairman of the Rhohch delegation in full regalia”
I’m reading Stanisław Lem’s The Star Diaries at the moment – it’s so good. Mixing philosophy with humour and time / space travel, Lem is such an imaginative and inventive writer, and the Penguin Modern Classics edition includes some of his own illustrations, which have a similarly cheeky character to Spike Milligan’s drawings.
This is my interpretation of the Entropia terminal in The Fourteenth Voyage where our heroically naive protagonist Ijon Tichy unexpectedly has a “spare” made of himself in order to survive meteor showers.
I have become a machine that transcribes audio and translates photographs into portraits, when I used to have so much ambition and drive to push my work further in the direction of comics and narrative. I make the work too easily and I don’t feel like I am pushing myself any more. I have always had these moments of feeling mediocre, and I welcome them because they mean I will wake up and really strive to create something exciting. Eventually it will happen. Everyone who makes art is waiting for the moment when they make something that surprises them, that they didn’t know they were capable of.
I love Hampstead Heath. It’s my happy place.
Also: Hampstead Heath is a great place to draw dogs.
I plan on having a dedicated “Dogs of Hampstead Heath” sketchbook just for this purpose. Last Sunday they all looked so happy to be out and about, greeting other dogs and panting with joy in the sunshine. I have always thought of myself as a cat person, but there is something so infectiously cheerful about these dogs enjoying a sunny day in the park. I’ll keep you posted of any new dog drawings I do…
I was commissioned by Gentleman’s Journal to create a series of portraits for a piece on influential men in technology by Kojo Abudo. With thanks to AD Tara Ghazanfar.