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The Doodler's Blog

Scribblings from the Artful Doodler

Adjusting to the Little Doodler

Wow, parenting. They always say it can take a lot out of you but I doubt any parents to be are really prepared for the onslaught of sleepless nights, smelly nappies and ear piercing screams that become a regular part of life.

For someone that spends half his week working from home I had been under the assumption that my wife would look after the baby in one room while I would work in the office. She of course is completely able and happy to do this while I work but the slightest whimper from the baby and I find myself running to her aid, which is rarely needed.

Commissions and my ongoing third book Dr Ripper’s Sinister Shipmates are something I tackle when the baby sleeps, that is after I have spent 15 minutes, sometimes more,  admiring her little sleeping form. I was saying the book would be released in time for Christmas and I still think there is hope, though I say that with less certainty every day.

There is of course also the distraction of horror stories, subtley provided by doctors and health visitors.. and the odd unwise google search. “Don’t let the baby sleep on the sofa as they will suffocate” “make sure they get tummy time 15 minutes a day or they won’t grow properly” .. these are things that haunt me all day as I draw!

The other distraction is the lovely part.. the fact that our little one is at her best from 5am to 9am, where I spend that time making her giggle and pulling stupider faces than my natural one all morning. All good fun but not aiding in sleep.

Forgive me if you see me at events and my hair seems thinner, my eyes more bloodshot or I slur the occasional stupid comment.. I’m not drunk or having a breakdown, I’m a new Dad.

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Photo Books of your day!

For a while now when I attend weddings and events I have brought a camera along and took snaps of the guests with their doodles.

I’m no genius when it comes to photography but it’s nice when I upload pics to my Facebook page so that brides, grooms or whoever has booked me can get to see their guests with their cartoony counterparts in hand. Indeed it always gives me a laugh to see reactions once more in the comments under each picture.

This week I stumbled on a relatively cheap way to make photo books for those that have booked me, so will now be offering that after each event is completed. At the moment with an introductory price I am making next to nothing from this venture but it is nice to have it on offer in any case.

If you’ve booked me for an event please wait until after I have uploaded photos to Facebook before ordering a book, as with it being a third party creating them I want to make sure they are still available when your date comes.

Always fun to ever expand the world of The Artful Doodler.. of course you never know, in 15 years or so it may be The Artful Doodler & Daughter!

The Doodler’s Mini-Me

Working as a Cartoonist is a bit like trying to be an eternal child. I’ve avoided all sense of responsibility by having a job that couldn’t be further from a 9 til 5.

But eventually in life responsibility is something you can’t avoid, and I’m quite pleased about it. For on Monday my wonderful wife gave birth to my baby daughter, Skye Harper Nairn.

I never really saw myself becoming a dad and didn’t really believe all these parents I met that said it is the best thing in life. But it’s so true, and it’s a sentiment I truly believe can only be fully understood once you have heard your child’s first whimper.

After a difficult birth and a few days in hospital, we drove home with our beautiful (and I don’t say this just because I’m her dad.. she is gorgeous) baby girl in the car seat. I looked to my wife and said that I don’t ever remember being this happy. It’s a wonderful feeling and I’m looking forward to watching this little beauty grow up.

Maybe in a decade or so there will be a mini Doodler to take up the mantle of my business. The Artful Doodler & Daughter.. it has a ring to it. 

Dr Ripper’s Malevolent Mansion

Book release!

In 2016 I released my book Dr Ripper’s Fabricated Freaks which is a selection of 13 adult humour horror stories written in verse.

Despite me pushing the boundaries of good taste they seemed to go down well. The experience was also so fun as I drew the illustrations (of which there were many) live on Periscope.

So I began work on another, once again loosely based on friends of mine and set in a household called Malevolence Mansion, each tale telling a story of how the staff members came to be there.

Today I’m pleased to announce that book has been released!

Dr Ripper’s Malevolent Mansion is available on Amazon in most countries and I will also soon be selling signed copies from my site. Email richnairn@hotmail.com for details.

Right, time to start writing the next one… 

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Periscope’s 2nd Birthday 

About 6 months into its life I discovered the wonder that is Periscope, an app that allows the user to broadcast live footage of whatever they do to the wide world.

I’d always loved using twitter as it could get me in touch with a much wider audience than before. My Random Doodle Time cartoons proved to be a fun little gimmick where people could suggest cartoons for me to draw and of course the aspect of sending celebrities cartoons was a great feature.

But Periscope was something brand new. My twitter friends Frank and Amy (@TheDaftPrawns on Periscope) brought the app to my attention and it opened up a whole new world to me, literally.

All of a sudden I had at my hands a tool where I could draw in the Doodle Cave while chatting to people all over the world. Dr Ripper’s Fabricated Freaks was almost completely created on Periscope and the following books will be too.

Periscope also got me in touch with some great scopers from across the water, @marty888nyc and @MaryNYC1 giving wonderful tours of New York, the hilarious Doug & Ally from @FrameableFaces with their morning show from their studio. There’s also @Claesgens scoping for Floscopetv, a mellow and refreshing show from the beaches of Florida. 

It’s also a great place for watching creative peeps, @serensketches creating awesome illustrations that she sells, @karensilbergceramics, a potter creating an amazing selection of products, all the while having fun with her audience.

These are just a few but there’s a whole world out there to discover and I highly recommend it. Yeah, there’s Facebook Live and Busker but in my opinion they don’t really come close.

To celebrate yesterday’s two year anniversary I scoped an illustration that people could suggest ideas for.. the result was a strange collection of weirdness. You can now buy the original here.


You can also watch the whole bizarre creation on the link below, just watch out for the odd bit of bad language..

Random Periscope Illustration

Walker Stalker Con London

A couple of weekends back  I had the pleasure of attending Walker Stalker Con, a convention dedicated to The Walking Dead. 

I had attended last year and had been pleasantly surprised by what a great event it was, despite hearing about queues and all sorts of horror stories. But that’s the way of a convention, to meet the stars you have to queue and that’s the way of it.

This year we drove all the way as I didn’t want my heavily pregnant wife struggling with the underground, and we parked at Olympia’s ample parking.

Once inside we were greeted with all sorts of gory and bloody stalls featuring Walking Dead merchandise, one doing zombie makeup, another to my surprise doing zombie tattoos. There were also people dressed as the undead staggering around scaring the visitors and you’d hear screams coming from all directions. At one point to my wife’s disbelief, I actually recognised one of these undead people, a friend of mine who runs a zombie training school called Zombie Business. Felt bad that he had to break character momentarily to say hello..

My main reason for visiting all this hideousness is to meet the celebrities and give them a copy of my Walking Dead artwork. First up was Scott Wilson, the actor who plays Hershel in the series. A really nice guy. After saying hello and getting him to sign my copy we wanderered off to find him chasing us to get my contact details, hopefully not in order to sue me for drawing him as a disembodied head laying on the floor.


We followed up with meeting Denis O’Hare, star of the brilliant American Horror Story. I’ll admit I was a little sick I didn’t know he was there, always nice to give stars a caricature. Maybe he’ll return and I can get one created in time. Meeting him made my wife’s day..


Incidentally the tshirt/dress we were wearing above got a lot of interest from our fellow attendees which was nice, made sure I gave these people the link to my Redbubble store… always the businessman, in the nicest possible way of course.


Also on the list of Walking Dead stars we got the chance to say hello to were the stunning Alexandra Breckenridge (who is something of a selfie master) the lovely Lauren Cohan and the awesome Christian Serratos who took a long time to chat with us and after a chat with her partner said she’d be putting my caricature up in her games room. Music to a caricaturist’s ears.


We did intend to meet up with Michael Cudlitz who we had met last year and found him a real pleasure to chat to. I was going to give him a copy of my latest design (above) but after queuing for around two hours I decided it best to take the pregnant one home. Fanboying can only go so far. I did hear he stayed til the very end to meet his fans to which I tip my cap to him, that’s gotta be a seriously exhausting day.

All in all a fun day had. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead you really must make a visit.. just start putting money in the zombie piggy bank in preparation.

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