Chatter Oks

Dear Eleanor Smith MP

Dear Eleanor Smith MP

Dear Eleanor Smith (Newly-elected Wolverhampton South West MP) ,

I am writing this open letter to you regarding The Black Country Flag design.

In my opinion I find it very distasteful that you brand the flag with racist connotations , you do realise this was created by a 12 year old girl Gracie Sheppard? She took elements of The Black Country and brought it together in a brilliant design. So let's break it down for you, the chains represent the chain makers a big part of our history, something we were known for yes, chains were used to keep slaves in shackles and yes, this is unfortunate but do you really think that was going through Gracie's head as she was designing this? No, because she was a 12 year old girl.

If you're worried about chains and what they represent in history take off the jewellery round your neck.

Gracie cleverly took a quote from Elihu Burret in 1862 “black by day and red by night” this was said because in the day furnaces would churn out smoke covering the area with soot and then in the night they would keep on burning giving The Black Country a glow. Gracie even added the Redhouse Glass cone, because we're known for our glass blowing skills .

The design is well balanced , but no you're concerned about and to quote you "The white on black imagery " nobody uses language like that if you pointed to a zebra and asked me " what colour is that ?" I'd say it's black and white !

Coventry is a prime example of how they used black and white in their designs , the two tone movement that represented blacks and whites coming together to make wonderful music and giving up fighting and uniting , not white on black , or black on white. Black and White. Equals.

So let's wrap this letter up....I think it's a shame that you think the flag has racist connotations , I think it very sad that you refused to pose with the flag, a flag that represents The Black Country and it's people , the people who you are representing.

But the thing that annoys me the most and it really, really annoys me is you have taken away a proud moment for Gracie Sheppard a young girl who probably ran back home from school excited to inform her parents that she'd won a competition and you have tried to tarnish her design. 

I hope you take in what I've said , I'm not trying to be confrontational , The world is a shitty place at the moment , we don't have to make everything a race issue especially in something where there isn't one. we all need to unite and be as one. As the great Bob Marley said One love.

And to Gracie if you're reading this well done bab, it's a bostin design and I hope you are successful in everything that you do.


Ps. And if you think that I'm coming from this as white person who knows nothing about race. I'm not , half Chinese , half English , brought up in the Black Country and proud of where I am from.  I also know a bit about design too. 

Pps, Eleanor , please pop to The Black Country Museum , you could learn quite a bit...their chips are really good too... oh and the suck. 

To read what prompted this open letter please go here.

Express and star
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Animations/ Pokemon / gaffer tape / emojis and other things

Animations/ Pokemon / gaffer tape / emojis and other things

Hello there , I know it's been quite some time since I posted a blog , the reason I haven't posted has been good, I've been pretty busy!

So I'm going to use this post to tell you what's been going down in Okse Town! (do not try and google maps it,there is no such place)

Now where do I start Art in the Park was good , if you don't know what Art in The Park is, it's a yearly event held in Leamington Spa where many creatives gather together and showcase their works, it's just buzzing with creativity you can smell it and it smells of hot dogs...but saying that it could have been the hotdogs they were selling ...did I not tell you there's food too?

My mate Kate asked me if I'd like to join her at The LSA ( Leamington Studio Artists) tent , she said I would be able to showcase my art, she was like "do some caricatures or something".So I decided to draw Pokemon Trainers and their favourite Pokemon.  I thought it'd be quite went cra cra (that's how the yoot are speaking ) 

I ended up doing loads my time management was rubbish so I was glad to have Kate by my side helping us out. Kates got an Art Gallery by the way ,it's very cool She runs it with her business partner Kate , luckily there isn't a third partner called Kate, KKK thats be awkward! ...Anyway here's their site 

Was also great to hang out with Artist Caroline Shotton and her lads.She's a Cow Lady..She paints cows not that she's literally a cow that'd be strange and rude.

Pokemon Trainer drawings are available here on the site

Art in The Park 2016

What else has been happening?

Pep and Jose

Middle of August I was asked by BBC Manchester if I'd be up for doing a weekly animation based on the rivalry between Man United and Man City. Pep and Jose. 

Now a lot of my friends know that I'm not that big on football I know who Gazza  ( he cried ) , Lee Sharp (he went to my school and Emlyn "I know it  , I know it , I know it " Hughes ( Question of Sport )are so I jumped at the chance.

I brought my mate Scott Gibson on board who is an editing wizard and we did the business. 9 weeks of getting the script Wednesday night, Thursday morning would be spent creating assets for the visual gags, audio at 12 pm , then to the studio creating all the lip sync and secondary motion, While Scott would put the visual gags together all ready for Friday morning.

Working with our mystery writer was great ( he's like Banksy, though I reckon he's either a Blue or a Red so wants to keep schtumb). The voices were provided by The Mimic Men ..."hang on Okse" I hear you say "I've heard of them" , yes you have they've been on BGT doing The A-Z of Impressions, very funny and great impersonators... "Ooh betty" is about all I can muster. Oh and by the way ,don't worry I couldn't really hear you

It was just a good bit of fun, I learned loads mainly about pies and other Northern food.

oof, Wigen Kebab.. I wont explain.. just google it :)

if you want to see Pep and Jose they can be seen here 

Pep and Jose Episodes

That was a very busy time and it lead to more work in collaboration with a great team of professionals based in Cornwall creating an explainer video. 

We're going to be adding this as another service The Art of Okse can provide,so if its something your business is interested in please dont hestitate to drop us a line.


from Elbury Design 

As well as doing all this cool work there has also been time to have fun , I went to see Tape Face, for those of you haven't seen him he's the Boy With Tape on His Face (literally ) who got through to the final of America's Got Talent, I've known him for years and had painted him many moons ago. So when I saw him I started drawing cartoons of him on Instagram that he reposted and they got a lot of attention.

So I took my friend Neil along to see him, such a funny act, he's a mime artist who does a lot of audience participation. "Okse that sounds hideous audience participation!" No it's brilliant , you won't have seen anything like it and everyone who goes up on stage end up being a mime, it's so clever!

I gave him some framed versions of the art and he was very happy, well it think he was, he had tape on his face.

He's  given me a lot of exposure social networking wise and for that I am truly thankful. 

Me and Tape Face...or Tape Face and I 

I feel like I'm waffling loads but a lot has gone on I've just created a series of emojis for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire , thought it was going to be a small local thing but it's gone world wide.

A  lovely lady called Diane Hill was telling the BBC CW That there weren't emojis for her generation so they asked me to come on board and create them , here,s a news clipping with the story 

 We've been interviewed by loads of people all over the world and I've been on the tele which is quite cool. So if you've come to the site via the news story "hiya" 

another thing I've been doing inktober on Instagram , if you search #zoeyandthezombie you'll see what I've been up to. 

I think that enough for you, it's been a cool productive couple of months .

I'm taking orders for Christmas so drop us a line,

We've also released a new Sid James print  along with others.

These can be purchased here .


Take care , I'll do another update in couple of months. 







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Candace Payne Breaks The Internet Webs!

Candace Payne Breaks The Internet Webs!

It's been a bit of a crazy week social networking wise, the Internet has been broken by the wonderful Candace Payne, who is that? You ask.

Well, if you don't know who she is you've obviously been hiding under a rock... or you don't have Internet access. Candace is the Chewbacca mask lady who unboxed said mask in her car, filmed it for her friends on Facebook live and it blew up... and I mean really blew up as I write this I think it's up to 150 million views and it's growing and growing.

When I watched it, I think it was at a couple of million, I was in tears , laughing like proper lolling! At the get go you know you're going to like this lady, her persona is just amazing and when she puts the mask on it is Joy, she is a Joy Spreader.

I thought to myself, I'd like to give Candace something back, make her laugh too, so I created the this comic strip and hashtagged it with #chewbaccamasklollady , one of her friends saw it and tagged her into the comments and then she shared it! Thank you that friend .

And in the words of Candace O- M - Goodness! 

People started liking my page, I've gone from 400 to over 2k!

That is amazing, and I am so grateful to her and all the people who have liked my page as a small business starting out, it's hard to get your name out and about and that one share has changed things.

We're getting orders in for comic strips and we're making people happy.

We've got people sharing stories for competitions, hilarious stories might I add.

It's really good, so once again I say thank you Candace Payne you deserve all the good things that are coming to you!




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Okse's Recommended Books

Okse's Recommended Books

I get asked if there's any books I can recommend and the answer is "yes, yes I can!" I'm going to recommend you three books that have been very useful to me.

I believe that anyone can draw cartoons, if you can write, you can draw, it's just learning where to put those magical special lines. I've taught folks how to draw a simple cartoon head just using 1, 2 , 3 and 4! But we'll leave that for another blog post.

Animation by Preston Blair 

When I was about 5 my God father, Danny gave me the book Animation by Preston Blair, it's an amazing book that teaches you how to construct characters and it also shows you the fundamentals of animation. Now, as a 6 year old the reading parts did not interest me, I was still kind of learning.

It also taught you about expressions, mouth shapes, hand gestures, it's definitely worth getting hold of a copy.

How to Draw Comics The Marvel Way By Stan Lee and John Buscema.

The next book is How to Draw Comics The Marvel Way . This book shows you how the guys at Marvel does it. It's full of lessons on perspective, character construction, composition , camera angles. John Buscema is a legend in the comic world so you're being guided by one of the best.

it gives you a good list of tools you need to become a comic book artist.

I remember my sister buying this for her then boyfriends little brother for his birthday, he was in the same year as me at school and not being one to spoil a surprise, I told him "I'm not going to tell you what my sister got you for your birthday, but I've read it."

It really helped me learn about anatomy, well the anatomy of a Marvel character.

ive seen it in The Works a few times so if you see it, grab a copy.

Draw Comic Book Action by Lee Garbett

And the final book is " Draw Comic Book Action " by the very talented Lee Garbett. I had the pleasure of working with Lee during my days working in the games industry. He was very good at adapting to any style, one of the best concept artists I've ever met.
Lee's book focuses on the action... hence the title, it's like a modern day HTDCTMW , he shows you what materials to use and also goes down the more technical side too using 'puters , photoshop and that.

He teaches you how to construct characters and shows you great poses and how to put together powerful action shots .

Lee is and always has been great at drawing women too, something that I used to find difficult, so if you find that hard it'll definitely help.

Lee has gathered a nice portfolio working as a comic book artist for Marvel and DC I'm very proud of him, his success is well deserved, proper cool chap.

You can visit Lee's site here to see all things Garbett.

I think whenever reading how to guides, take what's on board and try to adapt your own thing , don't try and be a copy of some one else.

So there you go, three cool books that'll help you on your artistic journey.

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