Sponsored Head Shave

Sara Kulman Paper Play


Sponsored Head Shave. 10th January 2015

A slight diversion from my usual posts but I am using this opportunity for my son to express his thanks for all those who have sponsored him for his Peru trip 2016.

If you would still like to donate please use theCOMMENT link to email me for information on how to do so. Thank you.

On Saturday, 10th January 2015 I shaved my dad’s hair. This was to raise money for my upcoming trip to Peru in the summer of 2016, in which I will be helping the local communities.

We were able to get this done thanks to the help ofSamaras hairdressers in Repton. As we entered, dread was on all our minds, especially dad’s, but that was soon going to be the only thing left! Sam the hairdresser showed me how to hold the clippers. It was weird…

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The India Report: Ahmedabad

Andrew Kulman in Ahmedabad

Andrew Kulman in Ahmedabad


Ahmedabad is one of those cities that speaks a thousand languages, its what you want from it and what you make of it. On my first visit I found that everything I had imagined of the place was true yet it could not be summed up in cliched misunderstandings of the culture. Everywhere `I turned was a beautiful photograph yet to be realised. ‘Stop the car i want to take a photo of that!’ you hear yourself thinking if not exactly saying, the textures of the seats of the rickshaws that defy the logic of normal transportation..you assume there are rules to driving but these are simply never followed. The walls are peeling to reveal history upon history, theres a patina of dirt and dust covering most surfaces yet street cleaners attempt to sweep the detritus from our sight only for a further wave to emerge to cover up their footprints. My Swiss friend Pierre suggests we need to reconfigure our whole notion of order and rules and understand that India is not ever going to be the same.

Andrew Kulman in the Market at the Old Town

Andrew Kulman in the Market at the Old Town

Spooked Out!

                      House of illustration/ Folio Society Book Illustration Competition

Reading Ghost Stories

Reading Ghost Stories

Why did I set myself the challenge of illustrating three ghost stories, let alone a design for the cover? Partly to show our Level 5 Illustration students that we lecturers are able to join in and in some ways to encourage them along the way. ‘What did you make of the stories?’ ‘Did we like them or did we even finish them?’ In some ways this seemed an easier challenge than Heart of Darkness ( 2013/14’s book from the same competition) if one ghost story writer didn’t do it for me then the other two might?   The Treasure of Abbot Thomas by M.R James In many ways James being the ‘classic’ author of this genre and in this instance the best known ghost writer, this should have been the story that impressed most. It took two readings to really grasp the essence of the story.   So for the benefit of those L5 students who are working on this project here are some thoughts

  • Its easy to focus on the toad like creature but I would steer clear as it would spoil the reader’s imaginative horror.
  • Consider the depth of the well, the rancid damp walls, the glints of moonlight…the moments before the ‘horror’
  • Avoid providing simple visual description and look for capturing the peculiar atmosphere inherent throughout, a sort of ancient evil, unleashed.


  The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford This story lends itself well to interpretation without explicit reference to the ‘creature’. There’s the actual bunk bed, the curtains, the porthole, the sea itself, all these elements could be focused on to imply fear.

  • Your task is to maintain consistency with the first story, the same medium must be used, almost the same emotive visual language. Look for repeating the qualities of the first story of the three.
  • You could look at doing this image from the viewpoint of someone/ something out at sea looking towards the vessel?
  • Like in the first story I would avoid featuring any of the protagonists as capturing the Victorian/ Edwardian costume and making a disturbing image are very difficult challenges.


  A Tale of an Empty House by E F Benson   Perhaps for me the best of the three and this is because it genuinely made me feel disturbed. The context of the story being told is relatable and there is a sense of evil throughout plus the sense of not wanting to return to the house. Plenty of great material to go on.

  • So if I were to approach this story there would be several things I would consider developing. The sense of an isolated cottage is the obvious image but I’d prefer the possibilities that the interior has, shadows and doors opening. On this occasion an isolated haunted figure staring out from within.
  • There are possibilities for shadows to depict the lame killer, there is also the imagery of a desolated interior, torn curtains, broken furniture. Again its as much about implying the sense of disquiet than showing people attacking each other.
  • I have to emphasise that the three images must work in conjunction with one another so whichever story you choose to illustrate first, the other two must be consistent in approach and style.


The Cover Artwork This is the difficult challenge. You can’t show a specific story or refer to a specific incident, therefore you need to find a generic approach that captures the atmosphere and mood and then can be translated into a graphic cover. Its suggested that the cover remains simple but don’t be put off working in the medium you’ve worked your other images in.   Last Thoughts… Be true to yourself, you’ll not do yourself any favours trying to second guess what the judges are looking for, but by all means refer to previous short list and winners. If you work in collage, stick with this medium. Personally I think a subtle collage treatment would work well.   Everything I refer to and suggest is only my opinion and you would be wise to take this on board but act independently, so if you have an approach which you’re keen to try then do so even if it goes against my advice.