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1. Teoh To Me (a reference you'll only get if you're British, unless the Chuckle Brothers have gone global)

Check out this lovely review of my book by Teoh of Parka Blogs. For those of you who haven't yet got a copy it'll tell you all you need to know about the book. Apart from the bit about me being French. I'm not. I've just always wanted to be!
Thanks so much Teoh.
You can get hold of a copy of my book HERE.

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2. Ink on Kinder

Hello, it's me and I'm blogging and I'm still doing daily inky things for #inktober. Yesterday I did inky things up a mountain. Or a Peak. On Kinder Scout to be precise. 
Landscape probably wouldn't be my subject matter of choice, but I'd never rule any subject out. These days I love to tackle something I wouldn't normally tackle. 
But I don't really know how to approach landscapes, that's the problem. Or the challenge. 
So, I approached these rocks and this landscapes in the way I know how, by seeing them as a 1950s textile design. Did it work? I dunno. 
To be honest, I don't care. I had fun trying. And that's what #inktober is about for me. That's what drawing is about. 

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3. Inky October

#Inktober Day 2 

In my quest to blog more (this always goes 'tits up' as we say in the UK) I've got on board with the whole Inktober thing. A day late, but I'm on board now. 
#Inktober Day 3 

Now, I'm truly rubbish at doing these things. Almost as soon as I commit I start resenting having to do a drawing a day for a month (or however long the thing is that you've signed up to) and then it just becomes a massive chore. But it has been a while since I've committed to any such thing, and I draw everyday anyway, so I'm giving it a bash. How hard can it be?
#Inktober Day 4

Another reason that participating in Inktober makes sense is that I am going to be taking a couple of Tracy Fennell's ink workshops during October. I really feel that need to push my work in a new direction. To take it somewhere exciting and I've always been a massive ink fan. So, no doubt, after the classes I'll be itching to experiment with all the new techniques.
#Inktober Day 5 

So that's the story so far. I'll post the rest as I go along. I will, I will, I will *trying to convince myself*. 

Some of my Inktober sketches are for sale, in my Etsy shop, HERE

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4. i got the blogging blues

No matter how many good intentions I have, I just can't keep  my blogging up. I sometimes even forget it's here. I can Facebook, Tweet, Instagram and even Flickr, but I just can't get into a blogging habit. 
Here, I bring you some flowers to apologise. Thanks to those of you who still visit. I'm not sure why you would. I hardly ever seem to. For those of you who keep up with yours; HOW do you do it?
Flowers for sale HERE

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5. what a difference a day makes

 What a difference a day makes up here in these hills. Or Peaks to be specific. I made these two drawings over a weekend. I was participating in the Buxton Art Trail weekend - where artists take over the town. with their creativity, and use shops and cafes and homes to exhibit, and hopefully sell, their work.
 I was upstairs in the Old Clubhouse pub. A venue we use for our Dr Sketchy events. It has the best view in the town, looking right out at the beautiful Buxton Opera House. The Saturday was bright, blue skies, sunny and very quiet.
 The Sunday was throwing it down. A very wet and chilly Buxton in July. I'm not sure whether people just wanted to get out of the rain or see my work, but I don't mind either way. I had the loveliest afternoon and met loads of really nice people. Hello if you're one of them.
You never know how these events are going to go. But after doing my fair share of them, I've learnt it's never about how much work you sell. Of course, that's great, it's the best, but it's also about lots of other things you get out of them; meeting new people, sharing your work, talking about your work. Plus, I signed up two fabulous new models for my alternative life drawing sessions and got two sketches of the Opera House. And who knows what else may come.

Get yourself out there.

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6. whippin' piccadilly

These are a few sketches I made today at Piccadilly Train Station in Manchester. They're of some of the buildings that surround the station.
And some more bikes (see my previous post).
I created these with the Manchester Urban Sketching Group, and there was a bit of a celebratory atmosphere in the air as Manchester has been chosen as the city that will host the 2016 Urban Sketchers Symposium.
Led by Simone Ridyard, who was the driving force behind the Manchester bid, we got sketching this amazing city.
And my piece of advice for visitors next July; bring an umbrella. And a coat. Maybe some gloves, a scarf, hat. Only joking.
But seriously, bring a coat.

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7. 100 Bicycles

Here's another of my current projects and obsessions. I'm not entirely sure where it came from but it's quickly taken over. Bikes, bikes and more bikes.
 It probably really took hold when I visited the Eroica Britannia festival this year. It's a festival and celebration of cycling. The cyclists ride through the gorgeous Peak District on pre 1987 bikes. So lots of wonderful vintage, classic and iconic bikes to look at and draw.
 The thing, I find with bikes is they are not easy to draw. With all their angles and proportions and round wheels and whatnot, they are difficult little blighters. But I love the challenge of something difficult. Once you get to grips with it and start getting it right there's a great feeling of satisfaction.
So, I think that's where this all started. The bike thing. I always remember reading, when I first started drawing, that you've never really got the handle on drawing something until you've drawn it a hundred times. Now I'd probably agree with that.
 And so in September I'll be holding an exhibition, with a friend of mine artist Kate Yorke, called 100 Bicycles. Yes, the title pretty much explains it. We'll be exhibiting one hundred bicycle drawings. Sketches mainly.
I really can't stop. I really mustn't stop. And while I'm loving it why stop? I'm adding some of these sketches to my Etsy shop at very reasonable prices (cheap!) so if you're into bicycles grab yourself a bargain HERE. You'd better hurry though, they're going quick!
 PLUS, for this weekend only, anyone who purchases my Andrea Joseph Bumper Pack will get a FREE bicycle sketch. Check that out HERE.

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8. come out to play now the light nights are here

A few of my bike drawings here. You know when something kind of unintentionally becomes a theme? Well, that. And when a theme comes knocking on my door I do love to go out to play with it. 
Watch this space if you like bikes, or art, and specifically bike art. 

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9. The Red Case

Wow what a ridiculously long time between blogs. Possibly the longest yet. I don't know what to do to fix it; this (non) blogging issue, that is. I don't know why it seems so hard to do. I'm drawing all the time. And have all sorts of projects on. But just never seem to get around to blogging about them.
But, I'm here now, and here's one such project that's been occupying my time and mind. It's a drawing session/class/event that I've been running at a local studios. Once a month I arrange for a great model to pose in various scenarios for a group of sketchers. The difference between this and a (clothed) life drawing session is that there is a story, a narrative, running through the sessions and is passed on from model to model via
We started in session, or chapter, one with a show girl...
(drawing by Steve King)
...who held a dark secret...
...no matter what she did...
(drawing by me)
...to try to forget...
...it was always there, so one night...
 Drawing by Kate Yorke
 ...after too much to drink, she wrote a letter...
 ...asking the only person she trusted...
...to pick up the red case...
(drawing by me)
...which she did...
(drawing by Paul Gent)
 ...and now she carried the burden...
...and now, no matter what she did...
 (drawing by me)
...to try to forget...
...or who she talked to...
 (drawing by Kate Yorke)
...she too now held the secret...
 (drawing by me)
...so she decided to dispose of the case...
(drawing by Lynne McPeake)
(drawing by Karrie Brown)
...she was caught in the act...
(drawing by Kate Yorke)
...and she was marched off to jail...
 ...which all proved too much for her mother...
...but her cousin was there to pick up the pieces, and the inheritance, including the red case.
It would be his undoing.
You can see where the story goes here;
Photography by Rod Walton
Showgirl played by Pinky DeVille
Edith played by Miriam Gent
Hector played by Mike Cross
Fancy joining my class? Get in touch.

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10. a bit about perseverance

At the half time break, at life drawing this evening, I was ready to give up forever. I wanted to sneak out, go home and never pick up my pens again. My drawings were an embarrassment and why was I even at life drawing? I shouldn't be there. I didn't deserve to be there - not with what I was producing. I, obviously, was getting ideas above my station going to life drawing. But I finished my cuppa and went back in. I persevered and I'm glad I did. I pulled this one out of the bag. And now I can carry on drawing for a bit longer. 

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11. WARNING: freaky ventriliquist dummy alert

If you follow my blog you may well know
that I draw anywhere and everywhere.
But where better than somewhere that combines your other interests. And I bloody love stuff. Old stuff. Which is why I love the antique auctions.
Which is why I love an antique auction house. Today I was at Adam Partridge's auction house in
Where else can you sit on an antique chair and draw surrounded  by spooky ventriloquist dummies and tiny chaise longue? 
And then there's the vast array of fabulous and insane subject matter. It's everything I love in one afternoon.
 And if I'm drawing I'm not bidding.
Although, I always end up bidding too. Not on the spooky dummy though. Not this time anyway.

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12. How to upcycle and old radio (drawing)

 As I may have already mentioned, I've been cleaning up my house recently. It fell into disrepair due to neglect (by me) and now I'm giving it some much needed attention. I've put a deadline on getting it done too; August. I have decided to do an Open House then, to show off all my hard work - decorating and drawing - and you're all invited. I need to, not only paint the whole place, but, get my work together to frame and hang. I came across this radio drawing whilst sorting through stuff. I made it, about six years ago, whilst in Italy. It was on that trip that I met lapin for the first time too. I also drew his hat. But that hangs in his home.
 Anyway, I decided I'd like this drawing to be at my Open House exhibition, so last night I played around with it a little. I upcycled this old radio, if you like. There were practical reasons for doing it; the brown pens I used back then (my beloved Pilot G-tec) are just not light fast, and so, as I wanted this radio hanging on my wall, in August, it too needed a little attention. I went over it all in brown light fast fine liners and added a little colour pencil. An improvement on the original? I don't know. That's all subjective.
Now, I haven't got time for all this. I've got walls to paint. AUGUST?! The whole house by August

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13. i'm going to clear out my head, i'm going to get myself straight

I've been cleaning up my house recently. And cleaning up my act. I've always kept stuff 'for drawing'. For that day when I finally sit down and draw my stamp, matchbox, buttons, receipts, doll's heads (really), cork collections. Amongst many others.
But, this isn't fitting in with my quest for minimalist living. So there's going to be a cull. Things are getting serious. But how can I get rid of these corks? They are thing of beauty. I've drawn them before (above and below) and I may want to draw them again. They all have their own characters and personalities. They're all slightly different. You can make rubber stamps out of them. They have sentimental.....

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14. I'm walking down your street again

Right, once again I haven't posted here in too long. So, here's a mega post. I won't bore you with words. I'll just show you in drawings and photos some of the things I've been doing (drawing) in all the gaps between posts.
I've been drawing in bars
and in antique showrooms
drawing bikes in galleries
and skeletons in museums,
drawing the guy at the bar of the brasserie
and the girl at the cafĂ©,
the chip van
and at lunch with my niece
at the cricket with friends
more bones at another museum
whilst working at the gallery
at another bar
on the high street
at a transport museum
and another bike
at another pub
with a sharply dressed man
at a bus station
at a flea market
and at another museum.
Which all tells me that I like old things and spend a lot of time eating out in bars and cafes. Yep, I think that pretty much sums it up.

Have you signed up to Sketchbook Skool yet? The course I teach on starts today. You too may end up drawing your life too if you do. Enrol on 'Seeing' HERE.

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15. How to Do It (self publishing) Yourself

Here's another of my passions folks. Zines. I am a fully fledged zine maker. A zinester, to use the technical term. What is it about making zines I love? Well, it is the whole process. But the main main thing is that it is DIY publishing which means you only answer to yourself. You write, draw, play, create whatever it is that you want to. Totally and utterly authentic. Nobody else has any say, influence or sway over what you want to produce. What can be better than that? Well, making money out of it would be nice. But, that's never the starting point. You'd be sorely disappointed if it was. They are a labour of love. No, the starting point is 'I'm going to make this because I want/need to'. 

It does, however, mean that sometimes we have to flog our creations. So, here's a bundle of my five current zines. Each has a run of 1000. No more no less. And, I've put a SALE on. Normally $50 but I've knocked 20% off so until the end of the week they're just $40.

This is the perfect inspiration kit for anyone who loves drawing or just loves to look at drawings.
Molezine 2
A collection of some of the drawings from my travel themed Moleskine sketchbook. Limited stock.
 How To Draw Like a Loon
Created with nothing but a four colour ballpoint. This zine is all about drawing and handwriting. Filled with lots of exercise for you to try. Including how to make a zine! Very limited stock.
An Idle Daydream
A zine that reviews my favourite (and not so favourite) pens. Also includes some of my favourite blog images from the last eight years.
How to Draw Like a Barmpot
Another tutorial zine. This one focuses on drawing with your imaginations. Includes lots of little exercises to get your imagination working.
The Daily Tamp
A tiny cut-out-and-make newspaper full of stories, film reviews, classified ads and all the usual features of a big full sized newspaper but just tiny.
If you'd like to purchase, or read more about this zine bundle you can do so HERE. You will be supporting an artist to create more publications that you won't find on the supermarket shelves.
Many thanks for listening.

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16. the fear of a people sketcher

Yesterday I went back to Gallery Oldham where I'd previously done research for the Museum job that I've talked about in my last posts. This time though I returned for a little mini sketch meet up with some friends.
When I was there last time I made this sketch, below, of the guy who worked in the gallery's lovely Naked Bean cafe. It was a sneaky sketch, I didn't show him but I did post the sketch on Twitter and the cafe saw it. They said that he loved it - even though i'd made him look pretty grumpy in it. Which he wasn't. He was the opposite to grumpy. 
Anyway, yesterday, when I returned and with the knowledge he was happy with the sketch I took the opportunity to get a photo of him with it. He said "I've never been drawn before. It made my day. I put it on Facebook and everything".
think the fear for all of us that sketch people is their response to it. Will they be offended? Will they hate it? I know it's my fear which is why I don't often show them. But his response made my day. This time it paid off.

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17. tamping!

My new zine, The Tamp, now has an advert. yes, I've hit the big time. This minature zine is not only a tiny newspaper but also a puzzle. The puzzle is putting the thing together and specifically getting the pages in the correct order. It'll only make sense if they are in the right order. I say 'make sense'...
The newspaper has a tiny comic strip, a tiny film and book review, tiny classified ads. So, as the man says 'READ ALL ABOUT IT!'. Limited print run, get your copy HERE.

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18. getting with the programme

So, I'll be honest, this is basically a test post. For a long time my blog has just been chugging along. There was a time, way back when, when I would blog, religiously, a few times a week. Then social media happened.
Like many people, I suppose, I started 'blogging' there. It seemed easier. I'm not really interested in sharing the ins and outs of my life online, or social media, but sharing my artwork through those platforms seemed to make sense. Blogging suddenly seemed like much more of an effort. I mean you had to switch in the laptop and all that palaver. 
I blamed blogging, and blogs, for that - for being behind the times. Not catching up with social media. But it was me that was behind the times and not keeping up with the technology. It hadn't even dawned in me to download the Blogger app. But now I have. 
I took these photos on Friday. My friend and I, Kate of Emily Pickle design (haven't worked out if it's possible to add a link when blogging on your phone. Anyone?) took her 'pencil case' out to the pub to draw. Her pencil case/make up bag is filled with all sorts of goodies I'd never have dreamtof using to draw with. The drawing above is made with glitter mascara, liquid eyeliner and Christmas wrapping tapes amongst other things. I loved experimenting with all this stuff. I'll never look at an old eyeliner in the same way again.

Right, I'm going to put the laptop on to see how this worked out....

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19. the clay pot against the iron pot

A little while back I was asked why my book was more expensive in my shop as opposed to on Amazon. It is a good question. It is a fair question. I tried to answer it in an illustration. How else?
It is an issue that faces all of us that run a small business. There's no way of competing with the big guys, no way at all, there is no point in trying. But we do have an advantage over them and that is the service we give.
I am not making big bucks off my book, hell, I forgot to even mention, in this illustration, that I have to buy my book off my publisher in the first place - as well as the currency conversion and bank charges that that entails too. That's before the, above, process even begins. No, I'm just scraping by. Always just scraping by.
But when you do buy from a small business or independent seller/artist you are also supporting them in creating their work. Thank you for that. I really don't mind where people buy my book from. It is an honour that they do buy it at all.  
I'm glad I was asked this question. It's an important one and it gave me the chance to try and answer it. Quite coincidentally, I was chatting with my publisher, whilst I was in the middle of this drawing, about the price issue when he said "in French we say 'le pot de terre contre le pot de fer'. It's a kind of  David and Goliath" and that's how this drawing got the title.

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20. i drew a car

The Jaguar E-type has recently been voted Britain's favourite classic cars in this poll. I was commissioned to produce a drawing of it. It's not surprising that it is in the number one spot as it really is a thing of beauty.

I used pencil (a soft thick 4B) and marker pens, to make this drawing, both of  which are drawing materials that I've recently started using. I've never been much of a pencil girl. It doesn't really do it for me, but I kinda like these soft pencils now and again. The marker pen has been a revelation and I can't get enough of them these days. I did all the darker tones and areas with the markers, and it struck me that at one point I would have filled all that in with tiny cross hatched fine lines. Just the thought of doing that, now, brings me to tears.

You can see the rest of the list of Britain's favourite cars, and if you vote you can actually win this drawing HERE.

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21. it's that time again

Sorry to have to pedal my wares here, guys. But, believe me, I have to.
There is free postage on a Bumper Pack of goodies on Etsy until Sunday. The Bumper Pack includes my book, 5 zines, badges, tote bag, postcards and stickers. Get yours HERE.

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22. a bit about creating poster artwork

Amongst all the other illustration work I do, I also co-run Dr Sketchy Sheffield and, so, being the sketching half of the team (my co-running partner is from the performance arts), I create the poster artwork. It's one of my favourite things to illustrate. Because it makes me feel closer to the poster artists, from days gone by, who's work I adore. I wish there were more call for poster artists. These days it's all done digitally so I like to buck that trend with purely illustrated posters (and I wouldn't have a clue how to do it digitally).

Now once we've set our theme for our Dr Sketchy event the idea for the poster image pretty much comes to me straight away. Sometimes without even having to think about it. Really, it's just there. I see it - the whole poster - fully formed. I then just need to put it onto paper.

Our next event (next Saturday, at the Greystones, Sheffield!) will be a celebration of dance. We have performers from different genres of dance modelling and, erm, dancing for us. We have a belly dancer, a breakdancer, a bhangra dancer amongst others. So, already I knew I had to get that info into the drawing. The first and original thought was of the kind of drawing in the image above. I think it's important to go with that initial idea if it has presented itself to you. I love those 'consequences' drawings. I've heard them called other things and somebody once told me that they were known as 'exquisite cadaver' drawings. I think that's such a great name, which conjures up all sorts of weird and wonderful images, so I'll be sticking with that.

I made a few exquisite cadaver sketches, like the one above, to try it out. To see if it worked. I'll be honest with you, I think the trial run above is still my favourite. I guess that's because it was the most spontaneous. Then when I'd got one that I felt would work as a poster image I sketched it out onto a 'proper' bit of paper. I always add the image first, leaving room for the text. Sometimes I will play around with where I want to place the image. I did with this one - I tried her on both sides of the page and central before settling on this composition.

For the text I always quickly research (Google) posters or fonts until I find something that fits. For example, I'll Google 'Bollywood poster fonts' or some such thing. This one was a combination of various fonts because of the variety of dance genres. When I find a font I like I loosely copy it. I don't measure out the letters, nothing technical happens, I just copy it by eye (is that even a saying? It looks odd now it's typed out). I don't want it to look exactly like the fonts I find. I want it to be my own version of them.

Anyway, that's a little (ish) explanation of how I create my posters. Now anyone want a poster illustration? I'm for hire. I'm always for hire.

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23. one of the issues of working with marker pens

That is all.

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24. something old something new something borowed...

I've a few original artworks, in my Etsy shop, going cheap.
The drawing above is brand new. I did it while waiting in the car park, in a local village, Hayfield, here in Derbyshire. It's the village where the BBC production called, funnily enough, The Village is filmed. Throughout the filming Hayfield was transformed into a village from 1914. Which basically means that they hardly did anything to it. It really hasn't changed much in a hundred years. 
Below, is an oldie.
You can find them both, and some others, HERE.

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25. Museum Week

 If you've followed my work in the past, you may know that a favourite subject matter of mine is collections. I've drawn collections of keys, badges, matchboxes, pens, buttons and souvenirs to name but a few. I've drawn souvenirs of all kinds, like in the drawing above, which comes from an entire sketchbook of collection drawings. Well, recently I've been commissioned by Greater Manchester Museum Group to create four drawings based on their collections from four of their museums.
I'm so thrilled about getting this gig. I've always wanted to draw museums' collections. I used to dream that I'd get a job cataloguing them all. It would be my perfect job, but unfortunately photography happened and then computers and so the call for museum collection illustrators and cataloguers waned. But, anyway, now I have the opportunity. My problem is how do you make just one drawing from each museum?
Well, firstly we narrowed it down by choosing the four museums from Greater Manchester's 21 venues. The first was Stockport's Hat Works Museum which is the building in the picture above. I already knew of, and love, this place. In fact we did a sketchcrawl there just a few weeks ago. It contains everything you need to know about hat making and the most amazing hats. But, not only do I get to visit the museums, but I also got the opportunity of looking through their archives and storage. This has been such a privilege, rooting through the stores, holding history (and antique top hats) in my hands.
 The second collection I'll be drawing is the Egyptology collection from Bolton Museum. They have an impressive collection of  Egyptology artefacts. Unfortunately, I didn't get the best photos from that trip but I did get a sketch of a dinosaur before I left the building!
 My third collection is from the natural History collections of Oldham Museum. I spent the best few hours with the curator, down in the cellar archives, surrounded by so many treasures of nature, whilst being educated on bugs and butterflies and birds nest. Actually, that too has been another joy and privilege of this whole experience, learning about, not just Natural History, the social history of this region and about the collectors. Learning from passionate people.
Again, I managed to sneak some sketching in before leaving the building. Well, what else do you do when waiting for the rain to stop?
 Today was my final visit and final collection. For that I went to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment to view their medal collections. I wasn't quite prepared by how touching an experience that would be. I shed a tear or two reading the heart breaking stories of the soldiers who lost their lives.
So, that's what I'm working on right now. My drawings were commissioned by the Museum Group for a new online shop they are building, which is coming soon. Very soon. Which reminds me, I don't have time to sit here blogging, I've got (a lot of) work to do.....
Oh, and unbeknownst to me, and quite coincidentally, this is actually Museum Week 2015. So Happy #MuseumWeek one and all. Go visit a museum because museums are great places. 

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