Friday, 17 February 2012

seventhirtyeight at the International Drawing Project Launch

Some images taken the morning after the night before. Craig Atkinson kindly invited my newspaper to make a guest appearance at his exhibition the International Drawing Project which opened last night in UCLan's Victoria Building. The newspaper was available free of charge to previewers. My original sketchbooks are in cases on the first floor mezzanine level, if you would like to peer into them without touching? The opening was very busy and the wine was warm.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Newspaper delivery

The newspaper was uploaded to last Thursday astonishingly 500 copies arrived on Monday! Here it is! I will start to deliver them early next week.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Hebden Bridge - Burnley Manchester Road

Hello welcome to seventhirtyeight this is an illustration drawing project published by Steve Wilkin, that will be distributed in February 2012. It was funded by the contemporary arts development group (CADG) at the University of Central Lancashire. I am an illustrator and an illustration lecturer.

I live near Hebden Bridge and I have been drawing people on my daily train commute to preston now for over ten years. I have often wondered what to do with these drawings, if anything, they are simply something I do to keep me drawing. I occasionally show these drawings to interested people; designers, other illustrators, etc. They are not really meant for public consumption, they have no commercial value to me, so I almost never show them to the public. Now I have about thirty sketchbooks full of drawings, (not all of commuters, but increasingly so). Over the past few years the drawings of people have become the main subject of my work.

On my hour long train journey as well as drawing people, listening to music, paperwork etc. like many other commuters I usually pick up and browse through the Metro paper on my journey so I thought - what about publishing these drawings in a free newspaper so that commuters could see them.
I picked over the several hundred drawings, some just don't make the grade. I selected around a hundred to a hundred and fifty that I consider to be good drawings for one reason or another.
I photographed the sketchbooks, and I designed a 16 page tabloid newspaper over several railway journeys on my laptop. On selecting drawings of people from my journey, I have tried to choose good drawings, well those I think are good. That capture something, sometimes a likeness of someone I know well, sometimes the resigned gesture of a tired traveller, sleeping, reading, texting, staring out of the window. This was the main criteria for selection. I have also tried to select a mix of people; some I know, some people I recognise, and others I don't know and have never seen again.

I uploaded my newspaper design to the printers at and in a staggeringly fast three days they had printed and delivered 500 copies of a sixteen page tabloid newspaper. Not only were they fast but I couldn't have asked for a better quality of print and I will be posting images of the paper itself shortly.

seventhirtyeight is a record of about seventy sketchbook drawings that I have made on my daily commute to Preston from Hebden Bridge and back over the past ten years. I hope you like them. I will be handing the newspaper out free next week. You can pick one up on the train I hope, and in one or two venues on my way to work. I will also hand some out on campus from the 14th February.
If you would like a copy drop me a line:
and I will see what I can do.

Seven thirty eight is the time of the train service I regularly travel on...