I was always fairly keen on drawing in my childhood and youth, but now seem to have neglected matters. When I was in my early teens I discovered that black and white line drawings, with no shades of grey, were great because they could be photocopied. This had several advantages: I could sell copies; get copies published; and I could get a drawing to a stage when I was worried about spoiling it if I went any further, photocopy it at that point for safety, and then carry on. Often the photocopies looked better than the originals, although frustratingly it often proved difficult to get good photocopies, because copiers were moody things. Such was my delight with photocopying, however, that I neglected other forms of drawing somewhat.

I have several sketch books filled with drawings from my youth. The subject matter tended to involve dark-age warriors hitting each other, or fantasy scenes with dragons, orcs, and not entirely historical military equipment. I recall my parents talking to my art teacher at school at an open day. My art teacher was being complimentary about my art. She was presumably pleased that I drew a lot. My parents, though, felt that she was neglectful of her duty. My mother said, "Yes, but he can only draw one thing." This was an attitude that certainly annoyed me. I was able to draw perspective, folds in clothing, human figures, movement, horses, different textures, trees, depth, shading, I could compose a picture and suggest narrative, and one might from this imagine that I was fairly capable of drawing many things, but just because of the recurrent themes in my pictures, my parents wrongly assumed that if I tried to draw anyone in modern clothing, that my pens would shatter. I felt like handing my teacher a bouquet when she looked at my parents as though they were completely mad.

Anyway, recently, I unearthed a old box of stuff including my school certificates (see one here), and some old drawings. I am now in a new age: the age of the scanner. The modern scanner can cope with grey scales, and even colours, and so I may over time add quite a bit to this section, but for the moment it displays the results of just one afternoon's rediscovering and scanning.

In recent years, I have been drawing typically one drawing a year. Throughout my teens and into my twenties, I used to go to the trouble of drawing individual Christmas cards for people. I then changed policy and drew one black line drawing and photocopied it for the masses. I later downgraded again to doing on-line cards, and then streamlined operations to a simple "Bah humbug!" and have now achieved the ultimate efficiency of ignoring Christmas altogether.

My youthful drawings of dark ages, fantasy, dark fantasy, and fantasy ages. ▼

Drawings: dark-age and / or fantasy


This is a scene I drew after coming back from inter-railing. I had seen Pompeii (where there were raised street crossings like this - perhaps to keep people above piles of dung not shown here) and many Classical sites in Greece and so felt inspired. I drew the scene with a Rotring technical drawing pen, and then photocopied it, and coloured the copy in with pencils.

This drawing is a couple of years older, done when I was somewhere in my mid teens. The setting is supposedly dark-age Britain, but most of the details are made up. The quality of the photocopy that I coloured in is quite poor.

This is a version in my head I had of Arthur (you know - king of the Britons), sitting in a chair looking a bit anxious. The chair looks rather modern to me now.

I used to be an avid reader of 2000A.D. magazine when I was sixteen, and I sent in these three drawings, all of which they printed. Judge Pink (as in Panther), Judge Eastwood (as in Clint), and Judge Slaine, Strontium Trooper (as in a combination of Judge Dredd, Slaine, Rogue Trooper, and Johnny Alpha the Strontium Dog).

"Good Lord Lloyd! Why are you bothering to show us rubbish like this? Don't you think it's a bit amateur?" Well, you didn't have to put it quite so harshly, but yes I agree, this is not a great drawing. Indeed, none of them is. I think I was mainly just pleased with the way the scan came out, so I may do more of these. I did this pretty quickly when I was about fourteen, so with that in view it isn't bad, and I still like the composition and narrative. Perhaps I'll draw it again one day with a bit more skill.

This one I called "Pensive Mercenary" and I drew it entirely with my steadfast Rotring pen, which had a very fine nib (0.25mm if memory serves), when I was sixteen. The main fault I see with it now is that his legs are disproportionately small, especially the lower leg, and I don't think that this was deliberate, although I could excuse it as a sign of malnutrition in a medieval low-status man.

This picture I did some years later for a fantasy role-play gaming magazine, and I think it combines thicker darker lines with the fine ones reasonably successfully.

Higher contrast again, here - the head of a shaman for a RuneQuest magazine.

Some initiates of Pamaltela, based on a picture of African tribesmen I saw in a copy of National Geographic.

Also for the same magazine: a man on a horse with a big hat.

Last for now, a scene from my imagination conjured while listening to some of Mike Oldfield's music: The Wind Chimes (from the album Islands). This man's flying car has stopped not quite where he would have chosen, but he is on the run from villains and having an adventurous time of it, so he climbs into it where it is rather than risk delay. Were this in colour, the sky would be yellow. It isn't Earth.

Christmas card designs. ▼

Drawings: Christmas card designs


This I think was the first of the mass-production designs, and as you can see it is not very funny. The rest are funnier, or at least attempt to be. I want you to know now that I was doing Celtic designs before they became insufferably trendy. I did some nice lettering for the inside, and signed off with my Lloyd logo. I think that the slightly imprecise nature of the lines improves it, although there is something wrong about having used a felt-tip pen.

Here you see the 1994 design. This one was quite a success, and I wonder if any card manufacturer would be interested in it.

This one is possibly my favourite. I recall that it took me ages to come up with the idea. Causing me some amazement, many people seemed unable to read what I had written on the inside (right). If you are having trouble deciphering the Arabic and the buildings at the bottom, just squint and it should become clearer. I suspect that this design is not tremendously commercial.

This one was possibly my most popular card, but I suspect only because it was three cards in one. Inside the main card was the message you see above these words. Astonishingly, almost every recipient suffered immediate primary card failure and had to reach inside the folded A4 sheet to retrieve the second card which was a folded quarter A4 (A6), which then in every case failed too, and the recipients reported having to reach inside the second card to retrieve the third, which was only a sixteenth of A4 size (A8). Thank goodness I had taken so many precautions.

Front and inside design of emergency back-up card:

Front design of special contingency card.

1997 was the year of the Spice Girls and the Telletubbies. You couldn't escape them. Here I dealt with both at once:

Here you see the front.

Image below was on the inside left.

This message was on the back of the card.

This one was not a great success. I thought that it was tolerably funny, but it seems that most people didn't get it. In case you don't either, I shall explain: the inn-keeper is about to say "Look, we're full" but he then notices those who have turned up wanting a room are three kings, and he is jolly pleased at this and changes his tune. Mary and Joseph did not get this treatment, and things are about to get worse for them... I think some people thought that the three kings were speaking, and that they were about to swear. Possibly I should get brighter friends.

Oh dear. This design was another failure. Again, people just didn't seem to get the gag. A man is walking into the picture with a dictionary. Shortly, he will break the bad news to Bob that his spectacular dynamiting of the Monument Valley mesa into the words "Third Millenium" contains a spelling error. Millennium, you see, has two Ns, which catches lots of people out. A friend of mine worked for a greetings card maker, and at the last meeting before their entire millennium range went to print, she spotted, after a conversation with me on this topic, that they all needed to be changed. A rather posh friend of mine who got this card said that correctness of spelling was a rather bourgeois concern.

After years of failure, I was determined to make a card that people understood. The Lord of the Rings was all the rage, as Peter Jackson was mangling his way through them in the cinemas. Gandalf looks a bit like Father Christmas, and hobbits look a bit like his little helpers, but Boromir doesn't look much like a reindeer. There. That's the gag.

The play The Adventures of Stoke Mandeville, Astronaut and Gentleman was the inspiration for this one. Here we see a portrait of Stoke in a typical pose: with his foot on a pile of dead Frenchmen, his astral carriage in the background on the surface of New Milton Keynes (fourth moon of Jupiter).

Just before Christmas 2003 Saddam Hussein was captured and we all watched pictures of him with long greying hair, being examined by a medic. I'm sure I'm not the only one to remark that he looked like Santa in that famous scene.

The 2005 effort. I imagine that being Christmassy is a challenge in orbit. Candles don't burn in zero-G, and every tiny particle that flew into the air from a party popper would continue to fly around for some while. I would be interested to see a shaken champagne bottle opened in zero-G, but I wouldn't want to be relying on any nearby life support systems that were not thoroughly champagne-proofed, nor would I want to be given the task of clearing up afterwards, although if it would get me a free trip into space, I'd volunteer.

And it is to this that things degenerated: a photo montage. To be honest, though, this did probably reflect my festive feelings better than most of what went before.

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