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The Travelling Man

Posted by: CSHoldsworth

Tagged in: woods , wood , weird , Unknown , trees , traveller , the travelling man , story , spooky , sketch , portrait , pencil , Myths , imagery , image , illustration , fiction , drawing , Draw , demonic , art


'The Travelling Man'

A story I wrote whilst in my Foundation year:

The Travelling Man

Written and illustrated by Christopher Holdsworth
This is the face of The Travelling Man
I’ll tell his tale as best I can.
Mysterious, strange and sinister is he,
It was one fateful night this all came to be.
He travels by night,
Few think that’s quite right.
Yet the secret to his tales,
Is in the darkness he prevails
Why is this I hear you ask?
And to explain is quite the task.
For you see once upon a time,
Before you heard this dark rhyme,
The Travelling Man made a deal with a most terrifying soul.

Now begins a story that will make your skin crawl.
This tale begins with a cold winters wind, howling at the face of this bard.

He stumbled upon a wood,
He’d take shelter if he could,
But the forest made him recoil as if he’d been stabbed by a shard.
He had no choice but to venture inside
As in the cold this old man would surely have died.
His feelings of this place made his withered heart race.
As the evil in this place made his tracks pick up pace.
Deeper and further trudged The Travelling Man into the forest of old.
The Twisted faces of the trees made his blood run cold.
Once familiar and friendly in light,
Now gave even the bravest of men a fright.
Stories say the forest was dead,
But that was all just a myth in his head.
For something here most frightful stirred,
Yet it could not be seen, barely even heard.
Deep in the forest a whisper made him shake,
‘What could it be?’ he thought
‘A bird? A snake?’
The whisper appeared again once more,
But this time it howled like a ghoulish groan.
The Travelling Man now knew
That in this lonely old forest he wasn’t alone.

Up in front of him a shadow appeared,
A demon it was, what he had most feared.
The shadow spoke in a most vicious voice,
Giving the man the eventual option of choice.
‘You’ve entered my forest, you’ve trespassed my wood,
And on this cold winters night, I shall drain your blood’.
‘What brought you here? What is it you do?’
Mockingly asked the shadow, as he already knew.
You see the shadows see all,
The past, the present and new
‘I travel and tell tales of foreign land’
Handing the shadow books with a tremble of his hand.

The Travelling Man fell to his knees with a thud,
Looking at the stars past the tree tops above.
Remembering times of travelling with his clan,
He came up with a most evil plan.
The bard asked the shadow ‘Why eat me when you could have more?’
With a little more confidence he rose from the floor.
‘You’d sacrifice your family and friends for your life?’
The demon knew the honesty of his story was quite strife.
The shadow looked deep into the Traveling mans eyes and announced,
‘You’re a man full of deceit, betrayal and lies’

‘I’ll give you a choice, your life or your soul’
To which he replied without hesitation ‘My soul! My soul!’
‘Your ignorance is your down fall old fool,
Soon you’ll rather have died, now I’m going to get really cruel.
I will follow you forever until the end of your days,
In your sleep, in your nightmares
You’ll be trapped in a never ending maze.
Around each corner I’ll always be there,
It’ll drive you so mad, it will be too much to bare.
With me by your side you needn’t worry,
You won’t be bothered in much of a hurry.
You tried to offer me your family and friends,
Now I’ll cut off your social ends.
I’ll throw them all into a bottomless canyon,
From now on I’m your only companion.
You’ll feel forever alone but never alone you’ll be.
Now go sit upon your lonesome throne beside me’
The Travelling Man left the forest that night,
Been stripped of all his will and his might.
Forever will the old man travel in the dark,
Having been banished from the light for his foolish remark.
He had become a wandering drone,
Forever the shadow in his side a thorn.

Now you know the story of The Travelling Man,
Try to get some sleep as best you can.


When I was young, I had the opportunity to know a real artist. Before I knew of any famous artists, both modern and historical, I had my uncle, Dwight Donarski, to look up to. He is an incredible illustrator and gave my parents a drawing of my brother and I. I was always amazed at his talent with the pencil and hoped that one day I would grow up to be like him. I still don't think I have the technical skill that he controls. He was the first to teach me how to shade with crayons when was a child. I have been encouraged and inspired by him since. I had an interview with him so that others may be inspired by him as well. I'm the younger one in this drawing from 1988:
Brothers illustration

What was the first creative or artistic thing you remember creating? I think it was when I was in early grade school, I was outside on break and I was by myself.  I was playing in the mud/clay and started modeling it. A teacher saw it and told me that it was very good, and showed it to other teachers.  That surprised me as a kid.

What made you want to go into an artistic field?
Well, I always enjoyed drawing and working with my hands.  I guess I just have a love for it.

What education have you received?
I have a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design and Illustration.

How did you first find work and what was your first illustration job?
Well, the job I currently have and have had for the past 20 years is not in my field.  it's in technical illustration (cad).  Designing windows. Took the job to be close to family.


What made you go into a technical illustration field as opposed to something like advertising or even fine art?
Well, when I first went back to school, I applied for the Fine Arts Degree and was accepted the first time (not an easy task).  After two years, much to the dismay of my adviser, I switched to a technical degree, (it's all about, where will the money come from)

What was the most inspirational thing or moment in your life?
I don't think it's one thing or one moment, it's a combination of many thinks that inspire us.

Who or what inspires you regularly?
Look around, everything inspires you. I had an instructor in college that told me something once that has always stuck with me, he was looking at one of my works and said "you see things many people don't see".  cool!

Rick & Elli

What kind of materials do you use, are you still traditional or have you moved to the computer?
When it comes to fine art I'm strictly traditional.  I'm not saying that are not great things created on computer, it's just a preference.

Do you have a favorite work?
Well not a favorite, but I do love the old masters, Titian, DaVinci, Michelangelo.

Do you work from life or from photographs or a combination?
Well, I mostly work from photographs, basically because most of my work take so long.  I do love to work with the live model (figure drawing) don't have that option.

Amy, John, Elli

How long does it typically take to draw a portrait?
2 to 3 weeks, on and off of course.  I take my time.

What would you suggest to an illustrator just starting in the field?

Practice, practice, practice.  I believe it was once asked of Mozart "I wish I had your talent" his answer was, "if you play for 10 hours a day for 30 years you will"

And most importantly, cake or pie?
Pie, definitely.....humble pie! Huge thank you to Dwight for answering these questions. If you have a suggestion on someone I should interview, drop a name or any other comment below. I also have more featured artists interviews on my website blog.

Two new typography illustrations

Posted by: chrislanephoto

Tagged in: typography , name , illustration , drawing , custom


A while ago I had a contest on my website to win a custom name illustration to one subscriber to my blog. Tanner L was the winner and a while ago I finished that illustration. It is a good example that the style illustration that I do can have any kind of names or words, not just family names. Tanner chose four directors, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorcese, whose work influences him. I am quite happy with the end product and Tanner was also. He let me choose the colors, so I thought it fit his (and the directors' work) personality to use various shades of red on a black background.

Tanner's name illustration © Chris Lane Photo

Jenni, my sister-in-law (thus the same last name), also hired me to draw a custom illustration for her family, the more traditional route for these typographical illustrations. It worked as good timing since they recently had a new baby, young Dylan. Her decor is black and white, so to match that she had me use grey and black on a white background for the design. I thought it turned out splendidly. Jenni very much liked the illustration and said she would promote it to her friends, of which I am very appreciative of.

Jenni's name illustration © Chris Lane Photo

I'm glad that I could create two new happy clients with the illustrations.

Chris Lane

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