Abersychan Illustrated Poetry Project

3 posters abersychan school.jpg

Posters and illustrated poetry collection written in writing and illustration workshops with a group of five (from year 7 and 8) at Abersychan School, with writer Mike Church. The project was organised and funded by Literature Wales.

Screen Shot 2019-07-11 at 12.54.20.png

When I first arrived on the project, Mike had already had a couple of writing sessions with the group who at that stage were still pushing for slime to be made in the workshops.

So far they had been writing poems that if I remember correctly would eventually be turned into the poem ‘Where Do Ideas Come From?’. This had been done by Mike bringing in stock photographs (a door in a tree, a person begging on the street) and images which the group responded to.

In my first session with them, some seemed more forwards in coming up with ideas than others and they were mostly reluctant to read aloud although they were good at reading once encouraged to have a go.

As the sessions went on the group quickly took to short quick responsive tasks, especially with the drawing, which they did in thick charcoal so it got quite messy but it worked as the mess meant that the drawings had to be very simple at communicating what they were.

In the early workshops it wasn’t clear what end form the writing and drawings would end up taking, but as the workshops went on, the strength of the group came from the mix of humorous lines about foods and the like,  and emotive sentences about the basic needs and goals in life. From this the sessions proceeded to create poems line by line, with everyone chipping in responses to prompts from Mike.

“Where do ideas come from?
Will they come from teachers laughing too much?
Do they exist in a raised eyebrow?
Or do they come upon you when you’re clipping your toenails?”
(A Jungle of Ideas, 2019)


When some of the early poems had been worked on the group set about drawing the ideas from some of the lines and came up with some unique responses.

The screaming swings and cheeky monster interpretations, as well as butterflies with tails that grew people were all in keeping with the dreamlike world that they had created in the poetry. Everything worked towards communicating a totally bonkers world within an imagination which stayed grounded only in some of the more melancholic lines about homemaking, family, and friendship.

By the last session the group were a lot more confident with bouncing ideas off eachother and by the showing of the book, and posters they were very proud and happy to read their poems out loud.

Personally I’m very pleased to have got to work on this project – the group were lovely to work with and I think what came from it is a really beautiful collection.

“When I leave here I will go and get pizza
I will find a missing person
Someday I will be a person with no hair
and glasses on my head
When i leave here
I will say hello to everyone
I will pray to my oven
and find infinity itself
I will become confused
And jump up and down on teachers
I might climb Mount Everest
Or maybe meet with green eyed monsters
I will leave here through a window
And with slime in my toes
I will fly on the back of a rhino to the ground floor
And get myself a wooden leg
But whatever happens
I will leave here”
(When I leave here by Bethany,
A Jungle of Ideas, 2019)

Dancing in the rain abersychan.jpg


poster page 01 abersychan with yellow.jpg


Poster page 2 abersychan with yellow.jpg

Back cover for my book


Back cover for my book by osian grifford

‘2146’ Graphic Novel

The year 2146. Flat-Earthers have taken control of the globe. Knowledge is scarce. Superstition is rife. Geoff Tate is a land worker who’s curiosity overpowers his fear.  



‘2146’  written by The Innovative programme, Aberbargoed with writer Mike Church, printed by Petra Publishing. Illustrated by osian grifford.

2146 was written with Mike Church in workshops in Aberbargoed in mid 2018 with the Innovative Programme. I attended some of the later workshops and the group came up with some visual ideas for the world of the story also. The narrative is a darkly comic dystopian satire. The Illustrations needed to carry this mood. 

I’m really pleased to have got to work on this book. One of my favourite projects so far. 

#flatearth #flatearthsociety #illustration #writing #workshops #petrapublishing #aberbargoed #bargoed #illustrator #knowledge #storytelling #farming #cardiff #caerdydd #welshart #drawing #dystopia #thegoodlife #scifi #comics #graphicnovel


Bargoed Miracle: Online Graphic Novel

‘Nobody expected Jesus to rock up in Bargoed. He arrived one friday night dressed in a Wales shirt’
A man carrying a halo walks into Bargoed. An observant beggar sits on the highstreet. Mrs Hargreeves is stressing out trying to get her seven kids home from the shop. Cato is chopping garlic in his shed with an eye on the armageddon clock.
Tomorrow, the world’s media will come to town to find out what went down.

‘The Bargoed Miracle’, a graphic novel I was hired to illustrate over the winter by Literature Wales, who instigated the project alongside Caerphilly Arts Development.

Link to online version posted by South Wales Literature here:


And the following images are edits of some of my favourite pages




It was a brilliant experience to get to work on visualising such a unique (and bizarre) story and to work with the writing group at the Innovative Project in Rhymney, and witness the energy of writer/perfomer Mike Church.

The Bargoed Miracle written by: Mike Church, Mcauley wheeton, Alisha Michael, Angharad Price, dylan Reynolds, Jake James, Keiron Connick, Callum Thomas, John Goddard, Myomi Clear, India Davies, Corey Emmot, and Libbie Jones.

Happy New Year / Blwyddyn Newydd Dda 2017 )last doodle of 2016)


Regurgitate (sketchbook drawing) by Osian Grifford

Riot ‘Reiat’ Performance and Zine

Below is the tiny Zine I made which was distributed at our riot performance at Jimmy Cauty’s ADP Container’s visit to Cardiff’s School of Art and Design (CSAD) which is also documented in the photographs below. .

Zine: The charcoal city was drawn live as I sat in different parts of Cardiff. The context of a riot performance that referenced Welsh riots of the past (the Rebecca Riots) made me want to reference potential riots of the future. London-based writers are predicting that it will be as a reaction to the housing crisis.



Cardiff Met

Riot Performance 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met University


Riot Performance, 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met University. Here is Myself (osian Grifford) with Ian Cook Tapia and Lloyd Huston grinding our own banana barricades into the concrete using bricks.

Riot Performance 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met UniversityCardiff Met

Photographs by James Fraser:

riot osian griffordriot osian


Boomtown 2016 (live drawing)

Live sketch of Boomtown 2016 from Mayfair hilltop. Best boomtown show yet.
After some light probing from security I even managed to get my Guarana in – Rock and Roll contribution complete.


Boomtown sketch

Degree show exhib 2015

My degree show exhibition photos from June 2015 (photos just found on Mair’s camera). My work at the time dealt with uncomfortable subject matters with (separately) comedy, music and painting.





Dalis Cayo Evans, Osian Grifford, Mair Morel, and Norman Raistrick at end-of degree show, (Illustration section CSAD 2015)


‘The Bargoed Miracle’



Earlier this week was the book launch for ‘The Bargoed Miracle’, a graphic novel I was hired to illustrate by Literature Wales, who instigated the project alongside Caerphilly Arts Development. Written by a group from ‘The Innovative Project’, an Educated Other Than School provision project in Rhymney, the opening line of the story is:

‘Nobody expected Jesus to rock up in Bargoed. He arrived one friday night dressed in a Wales shirt’

and the story continuous through a peculiar depiction of the valleys town and it’s characters. I would say the theme of the short tale is sensationalism through hearsay, told by looking at charming but atmospherically odd people within the setting familiar to semi-rural welsh residents.

cover image with text


I had a lot of fun illustrating this book. It was done through workshops hosted by an energetic and inspiring Mike church, (writer/performer). Through engaging with the group in the workshops over the period of about 5 weeks, I was able to picture a visual representation of the story that would hopefully cement itself into the reader’s mind.  I took this unique opportunity to work very hard at creating a comic strip that was unique, but also clear. One that was creatively conveying an event and setting, whilst grounded in a modernly traditional storytelling technique. The story and characters were a gift to work with. after some visual character designs I was able to confidently move through the story using different mediums (paint, ink, charcoal, fine liners) to keep the visuals surreal and entertaining.




Literature Wales will soon be uploading an online version of the graphic novel, so I’ll post a link to that when they do. Until then, here are some photographs of the original artwork and then the printed final project.


Online Meat Man


“‘A nut who couldn’t get a newspaper to publish any of his letters to it can reach thousands or even millions of people over the internet at virtually zero cost’.

What this means is that damaging speech can be much more dangerous than at any point in history. This is undeniable. Yet, the possibility of publishing responses swiftly and with just as large a readership to some degree counters this. Speech can be met with counter speech and far fewer possible contributors  to any debates are excluded. Also, a wider range of views can be expressed than would be possible in mainstream conventional media.”

– Nigel Warburton (2009.p84) ‘FREE SPEECH : A Very Short Introduction’