Strong Island Co.

Art, Craft & Design

Jack House Gallery x Petting Zoo Prints

Here is a preview of the extremely limited edition poster by Petting Zoo Prints & Collectables that’ll be printed by hand for the launch of the Jack House Gallery on the April 4th. The print itself will be available in three colours however there will only be fifteen in the edition.

Jack House Gallery is a new art space at 121 High Street, Old Portsmouth. The first show will feature Amartey Golding. Keep an eye out here on Strong Island to find out more, or you can find out more yourself by visiting To stay up to date on all things to do with the gallery check out their Facebook and Twitter @JackHouse.

Petting Zoo Jack House Gallery

Short Story Competition – Deadline Extended

We are really excited to announce that we have extended the deadline for you to submit your entry to our short story competition. The theme behind your short story must simply involve one of My Dog Sighs tin can men pictured at the bottom of the page. There is a word limit for each age group but apart from that, everything else is completely open to your own interpretation.

The entries will be split into three categories for the different age groups, each with a different word limit.

• 13 years and under (150 words)
• 14 years – 18 years (300 words)
• 18 years and above (500 words)

This event is open to everyone to enter and you don’t even have to be from Portsmouth to get involved. For the younger age groups we are looking for teachers who would be willing to lend a hand. This will involve going through some entries and maybe they would like to invite their school or class to get involved, maybe as part of a class project perhaps.

This competition will now run until Sunday 12th April, with the winner for each category being announced soon after. The three lucky winners will receive a copy of their story created by graphic designer Sam Barclay and personalised by My Dog himself. The winning entries will also be featured in an exhibition in our Strong Island Co shop which you can find at 12 Highland Road, Southsea.

If you or your are interested in getting involved with helping judge the winner you can drop me can email to Submissions should be sent to the same email address, please don’t forget to include your contact details and what category this is applicable to.

My Dog Sighs has a great talent for capturing character through the expressions on each piece of art, which should serve as an ideal inspiration for your short story. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

My Dog Sighs TCM 1

My Dog Sighs TCM 2

My Dog Sighs TCM 3

My Dog Sighs TCM 5


Nautical T-Shirt Design By Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield, 33, a local Portsmouth Illustrator, has recently released a new T shirt which has sparked the attention of many. The Seaside town themed alternative design is hot off the printer and the image is the first in what will be a series of nautical themed designs, which will be released later in the year.

Stuart’s T-shirts are 100% cotton and hand screen printed by him with plastisol inks at Brilens Custom Clothing.

T-Shirts are available on the last Saturday of every month at the Community Fusion Made with Hartt market at The Wedgewood Rooms or can be ordered via the Etsy store at Stu Linfield Illustration.

Stuart can be found at all sorts of local events and was just spotted at the Easter Art Fair at the King Street Tavern selling numerous T shirts including those featured here.

The design is new and fresh and a brilliant edition to our beach town fashion market. Pick up yours today!

Follow Stuart on Facebook or on Twitter.

Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield

Stuart Linfield

Stuart linfield




A New Hue #voff5

A New Hue is a short CG animation embracing a paper aesthetic, revolving around the introduction of two contrasting characters living in a paper world. The animation was created by George Rigby, Stephen Tucker and Portsmouth resident Jennifer Hardy.

This film follows the charming tale of a young girl, Lily, who lives alone in her bland paper world, until she meets an excitable blob of ink, Blot. At first, Lily doesn’t know what to make of him, however, they quickly become friends as he literally brings colour to her life. The piece delivers a pleasing, cohesive style with likeable characters and an understandable narrative suitable for all ages.

The beautiful animation has been shortlisted for the Viewster Online Film Festival. The animation is currently doing well and in fourth place, a top ten finish would lead to prize money for the team behind it. You can vote on the website HERE however social media also plays a part, if share the page and include the hastag #voff5.

I’m sure that you’ll agree this sweet and charming film deserves to be winning awards and claiming the international recognition it has been receiving.

A New Hue

A New Hue 1

A New Hue from George Rigby on Vimeo.

My Dog Sighs and Democracy Street Free Art Friday Workshops

Last Thursday and Friday saw My Dog Sighs run workshops linking Free Art Friday with a new web app Democracy Street at Make and Craft Cafe in Fratton. We featured Democracy Street recently (read HERE), a web app conceived and developed in Portsmouth that nationally allows people to discover the streets around them and the people through the ages that had the roads and streets named after them.

My Dog Sighs delivered two workshops that drew upon the popular Free Art Friday principles to artwork plus looked at how artwork can be site specific in inspiration as well as where it could be dropped off for people to view and take home. The participants of the workshop had a go at creating their own Everyman artwork with quotes and song lyrics that related to them, the streets they lived on and more. Democracy Street beta was used by everyone to help research their lyrics and also for places to place their finished work. The workshops really showed where creativity and new technology can work together in new, practical situations, with one inspiring the other.

At the end of the workshops people went out and dropped their artwork on the streets and then added photos of the work to Democracy Street, with the images now viewable on the web app when people access the maps and roads in the local area. Democracy Street will soon be out of beta and officially launched very soon.

Below is a set of photos from Friday’s workshop.

King Street Tavern – Easter Gift Fair

This Saturday coming see’s the Easter Art and Gift Fair at the King Street Tavern, Southsea. From 11am a collection of artists and designers will be taking over the pub to showcase and sell some of their products.

Kendal James who organises the event introduces the artists and designers involved…

Maggie Ambler – A self taught ceramic tile artist. Maggie enjoys experimenting with styles and effects of glazes to create beautiful one of a kind art. Her tiles have all kinds of suitable home ware uses and can even be formed in sequences to create larger pieces.

Vicky Tupper – From skulls to flowers, Sewing With Screwball creates lovingly stitched goods for you, your loved ones and your home.

Stu Linfield – A recognized Southsea Illustrator that creates series of original art works by hand and digital media. His pieces are frequently nautical or geek inspired and always well thought out and beautiful pieces of design.

Debra Wallace – Southsea based handmade card maker. One of a kind superhero themed felt greetings cards and soft toys. Lots of Easter and birthday gifts and greetings will be available at this fair.

Lou Bliss – A Portsmouth based fine artist working with a variety of media, generally found natural objects and recycled materials. Presenting a collection of unique framed prints created using the spores of collected fungi specimens.

Chantelle Cheshire – A mixed media illustrative and graphic artist living in Southsea. She makes all kinds of home and office wares and specialises in creating patterns.

Kate Smith – Hand crafted from felt, embroidery thread, and the occasional sequin or two, Gingerthread House products are a soft and fuzzy way to decorate your home this Spring time.

Kendal James – Inspired by old-school computer games and today’s (cute) Japanese film industry, Kendal creates pixel art accessories and home decorations as well as designing her own ultra soft and fluffy crochet (Amigurumi) toys.

For more information about the event of the artists involved, just visit the Facebook Event page HERE.

KST Easter Gift Fair

Created Local – Daniel Cook

Daniel J Cook a.k.a Scruffyhightops, 32 from Portsmouth is a local man who has contributed much to the local art culture. Working in animation, film, art and illustration he has just held his first exhibition at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.

Being part of the Portsmouth Creative Movement (PCM), Daniel has often described himself to fellow PCM goers as a ‘Pop Culture Blender’. He admits that this passion came to be after years of growing up with Star Wars, Star Trek and video games, all of which encouraged a highly imaginative and creative nature.

Daniel’s art work could be described as momentary in that he does what he feels or what comes to him at that moment in time. He tells us ‘ If I felt like drawing Godzilla then I just would. I don’t really have a prebuilt agenda or a signature image.’

A big inspiration in local music also inspired Daniel and he has recently worked on a project with Pilot Promotions called ‘The Dug Out Sessions’. They took three bands, SomaHigh, Electric Arms and The underground Pilots and filmed short sessions, collaborating them into a final piece of short films.

Daniel is up to all sorts this year and will be working on lots of local projects which can all be found on his social media. He can also be spotted at the infamous Southsea based Doodle Club where he admits he spends much time enjoying drawing nonsense and catching up with other local creative personalities. He can also be bumped into this year at London Super Comic Con, as well as the same event in San Diego and the MCM expo.

Daniel was also behind the UFO hoax that made it’s way onto Buzzfeed and say’s his proudest moments have been when he met William Shatner and Lance Guest and when a piece of his artwork was signed by Stan Lee, one of his heroes.

Follow Daniel on Facebook, YouTube, on his website or catch him at the Southsea Skatepark.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook Guardians

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook

Portsmouth in a New Children’s Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton

Monster‘, the third (with Rover and Howler) in a series of children’s books written by Michael Rosen and Southsea based illustrator Neal Layton will be published this month. The story is set in a school, and Neal based the pictures on drawings he did at Cumberland Infant School (where his daughter is in Year 2) here in Portsmouth. Some of the shops and pubs from Albert road also feature in artworks too!

To coincide with the publication of the new book Aspex Gallery are holding two exhibitions of Neal Layton’s children’s book work opening on Wednesday 18th March 2015.

The first, offsite at Portsmouth Guildhall shows artworks from the series of books Neal has done with Michael Rosen. The second exhibition held concurrently at Aspex Cafe Gallery concentrates on process and artifacts from Neal’s studio. Both exhibitions run until May.

Find more information about both exhibitions on Neal’s blog HERE, or Aspex’ website HERE.

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (1)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (2)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (4)

Portsmouth in a New Children's Book by Michael Rosen and Southsea Illustrator Neal Layton (3)

Design The America’s Cup World Series Poster

This July 23rd-26th Sir Ben Ainslie and the America’s Cup World Series is coming to Portsmouth. Aspex and Teamorigin, the organisers of the World Series event, are offering local artists the chance to design the official poster of the America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth event.

Artists are asked to submit an existing portfolio of work, limited to 10 pieces, in a single PDF document with a maximum file size of 20MB — along with an outline idea for their poster design.

From these submissions, they will commission one winning artist to create the official poster for the Portsmouth event. The commissioned artist will be paid a fee of £1,000 for this work. However please note that copyright of the poster will then be passed to Teamorigin Events.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 29th March. You can email your submissions to

Timeline and Key Stages

Sunday 29 March 2015 – Deadline for submissions

w/c 30 March – Artist selection

Early April – Selected artist notified and commission agreed

Early-mid May – Artwork delivered by artist

End May – Poster finalised/printed

23rd-26th July – ACWS event

Ben Ainslie Americas Cup Poster

Guerilla Press

Guerilla Press is a brand new online zine launched today by Joe Watson. Locally based gig photographers and designer Joe describes how “after years of wanting to do a printed zine so I could interview all of the great musicians, filmmakers, artists, photographers & creatives that I know…. I’ve buckled and started Guerilla Press”.

There will be content going up on a daily basis, but to kick things off you will find an interview with Yorkshire based artist Drew Millward as he prepares for his first solo show exhibition ‘Dust’.

Drew Millard

Also featured is the Gallows guitarist Laurent Barnard who talks about creating the soundtrack for new British horror film The Herd.

Once you’ve checked up on whats going on at Strong Island it is with our blessing that you can check out whats new on Guerilla Press. All joking aside, this is going to be an awesome zine to follow if you share an interest in art, music, film making and a whole lot more.

If you would like to get in touch with Joe you can via email e-mail at or tweet them at @guerilla_press.

Guerilla Press Logo

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Southsea Strong Island Celebrates

I just can’t find the right images for this! Strong Island is 1 whole year old this Sunday the 27th. Time surely does fly hey. Meet us for a beer if you’re out and about. I think there’s something going on Albert Road this Sunday too…


and on another note…


Created Local – Carl Partridge

Portsmouth’s Carl Partridge is a local artist and photographer currently studying MA Communication Design up in that there London at Central St Martins. As well as all the awesome artwork on his website we particularly liked his Lomo Diana photos from round Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Be sure to look through the good work over at



Above Western Parade

The other day I got to go up on to the roof of a house on Western parade with a great view over the common, Southsea and The Solent. Always interesting seeing Southsea in new ways. Below are some photos (click on ‘Read More’ to see more plus there are more over on Forever Circling).

The Abrooks

The infamous 1980s Southsea locals Mark & Barry Abrook, doubles on the halfpipe at the skatepark from 1990.


Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre in Southsea is continuing is restorations, this afternoon they were taking the roof top away, we’re assuming for some repairs and maintenance work.

Strong Island Clothing Co.