In the early 80’s my portfolio went missing from an art studio in Toronto, I never saw it again. All my Biba work and much more was gone forever. With very little copied and a few remnants left I felt like a door had closed forever. I only had one copy of the Biba colouring book and that was in the portfolio.
The publication of Steve Thomas and Alwyn W Turner’s book ‘Welcome to Big Biba’ in 2006 was like having my portfolio back. I remembered how much I loved drawing the pinups and for the first time since then I have an urge to draw some again. Back then, I did all line work with rapidograph pens which were very frustrating instruments. They had a fine needlelike nib and had a cartridge that had to be filled with ink. If they ran smoothly they were great but the ink often dried and you had to tap the pen repeatedly to get it going again.
For all the Biba logos and drawings I started with a selected pencil rough which we then printed on cartridge paper. This initial rough contained the ‘life’ of the drawing which I worked on inking in and smoothing out lines until it was perfect. My approach this time is very different, I have used Staedtler liner pens and worked directly over pencil on parchment paper, any tweaking can be done on a computer
So here are three new girls, not much different than the old ones and hopefully a lot more to come.