Sunday 18 October 2009

Freedom of speech

This week's Indy illo is about freedom of speech, and more specifically about the recent Jan Moir Daily Mail article and the upcoming appearance of Nick Griffin (the BNP leader) on Question Time.

The rationale presented to me was that Jan Moir has been labelled homophobic and taken to task by the blogging, commenting and twittering community for her article about Stephen Gately. Yet in contrast the BNP get away with much more openly offensive comments and actions with a lot less furore.

Interestingly and unusually I considered my personal response to this statement before I began my ideas, just because the argument had piqued my interest. I wasn't sure how I felt as I think the BNP do get a lot of negative media coverage and I also thought Jan Moir's comments were nasty and snide and I agreed (in principle) with the shocked response (if not the faux outrage that accompanies these things once the mainstream media report it) but of course I could see the point of the argument. As much as the Daily Mail article is hurtful to friends and family of Stephen Gately and offensive to a wider audience by its very nature as an opinion piece it has limited influence and is much less dangerous then the BNP, who as a political party have the potential to affect and influence Government and the wider European community. Thus the response to the two things should technically be proportional to their power. But that's not how things work, emotionally charged arguments always win out and the entertainment industry will always trump the political arena when it comes to popularity.

So these were the thoughts swimming around my head as I worked out my roughs. It took me almost double the time this week as I tried to create a composition that would effectively convey the argument and be visually interesting and not repeat any of the elements I featured in my recent illustration about free speech.

Finally I settled on an image set in Trafalgar Square, imagining a scenario with a large outdoor BBC screen I set about creating a world where Nick Griffin on Question Time was ignored in favour of protesting against Jan Moir. This image gave me a chance to reference the two points made in the brief and hopefully sits well when given the context of the article.

I'm writing this blog post without the final article for reference, so I am not sure how pointedly Jan Moir or Nick Griffin will be referred to, or if the article will be more generalised. Hopefully the article will do enough to ensure my image makes sense. I'd also like to point out that I am not attempting to link Jan Moir and the BNP or commenting on the death of Stephen Gately. As I've discussed on this blog previously my visual responses are just that, visual responses to the brief I am set, this one may have caused me to consider whether I agree or not, but that has no real bearing on the images I produce.

On another note after completing the illustration above I settled in for a night of XFactor and noted this beautiful advert for American Express during the commercials. I think it's gorgeous and wanted to share so click the screengrab to see the full advert over at the 'Add A Dog' website, credits can be found there.

Finally the website update is underway, should be live by Tuesday.
Updated: the article is here now.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

A random tuesday

or if we are to be exact Tuesday 13th September, the birthday of one of my good friends and two days before my sister's birthday (an event akin to the Queen's birthday in her eyes!) so this week I have been mostly present ordering and card buying (to steal an old Fast Show line).

However, inbetween that and my little jaunt to Paris I did my illustration for the Independent. I can't say this is one of my recent favourites, sometimes an image that works well with the brief just doesn't inspire the same affection as a piece that resonates with your personal interests or develops over a longer time frame. But both the Art Director and I were happy with the outcome and it looked good in print yesterday, so that is the main thing.

The article for this image discussed the lack of ethnic representation in the recent party conferences and subsequently it seemed silly not to work in a two colour image, with white being one colour and using a slightly murky red (to suggest the blue of the Tories mixed in to Labour's red) as the other.

Besides the Independent I am back at Loughborough teaching there and things are hectic as they always are at the beginning of term, I am also still working at Oil. But I intend to do a full update of the website this weekend as I have both my macs working and ready to go! So check the website at the beginning of next week to see all my recent work.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Yesterday's Indy

Internet access is a bit of an issue at the moment so my apologies for the continued lack of updates, I do intend to update the website and this blog with non-Indy images but for now I'm afraid you'll have to make do with the limited posts.

This week's image centred around the economic ideas and opinions of George Osborne and resultingly I was asked to focus on imagery that communicated the idea of economic policy and how central this will be to the Tory party in the next few months.

I came up with a few roughs and the art director was really keen on the image of a fruit machine, designed to suggest the idea of gambling and taking a chance on change and raising the question as to whether George Osborne will be able to 'hit the jackpot' with his policy and help the Tories gain power at the next election.

I was pleased that the art director went with this idea and I was also happy with my execution, I think I managed to get a sense of energy into the artwork and I also had fun with the elements of typography. Overall this was a fun image to create and it is always pleasing when a good idea fits with the text and also allows me to have fun with the artwork.

As always you can see the article here and the image below: