Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I'm feeling rather under the weather at the moment, the combination of a drop in temperature and my weak tonsils saw me succumb to tonsillitis over the weekend. But being a seasoned veteran of such attacks I've just about seen it off without having to go to the doctors, so fingers crossed it clears up soon.

Before that though I'd completed a couple of illustration commissions including this one on behalf of The Design Mill for the TUC's Congress Guide 2010:

This was a really nice commission and I was pleased with the energy in the outcome. I was asked to show 'people fighting the threatened swarm of [Government spending] cuts' in several situations and this automatically suggested a swarm of bees or flying ants or locusts, something buzzing around threateningly, so I decided to recreate this with scissors.
It's a little more literal than I am normally, but I could see the image so clearly as soon as I got the brief that I decided not to fight against it and instead concentrate on making the image energetic and dynamic.

I originally intended to use real figures, but I couldn't really have the scissors hacking at the figures then. So I went with a paper chain of people, the intent behind this was to show the faceless (to the Government at least) masses of people affected by the proposed cuts. By joining them together I was trying to represent the rallying groups and bodies like the TUC who are fighting against the proposed cuts.

I think this is a pretty straightforward image (note the scissors are blue and yellow to represent the coalition Government), but it's one of my recent favourites, mainly because the colours and all of the elements hang together really nicely.

I've also done an illustration for Learning Disability Practice, but I'm not sure that has been published yet, so I'll pop it online when it is 'live'.

Right back to my Lemsip I think...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Images 34

Hello again,

it seems like everytime I make bold promises to return to blogging weekly I get knocked sideways by work and the intention crumbles into dust. Not something to complain about though!

I'm still working at Oil Studios, where a really nice project that I've illustrated and animated will go live soon, as well as picture researching two books for Laurence King. I've had a couple of illustration commissions too, which I'll showcase now.

I did a nice simple image for Media magazine in Hong Kong about Motoring Websites (and their popularity). This was quite heavily art directed, but the image works and is a little different to the usual photography that the magazine makes use of:

An image at the complete opposite end of the spectrum now, I did an illustration for a Mental Health magazine about men who self harm and that was an interesting topic to work with, the article itself was fascinating. My task with this commission was to show the isolation of the male in the image and I tried to achieve this through a very narrow, cold colour palette and the sense that the other characters in the composition are moving around, whereas he is very still. Again this had quite a lot of direction but the key thing with a commission like this (for me) is to try and create atmosphere and tell the story rather than try and do anything clever with the composition:

I also wanted to show a recent commission that came through my agents, which was in a slightly different style to usual, given that it was inspired by Russian revolutionary posters. Alas my big Mac (my iMac) has recently blown up - something that is too sad to even talk about!! - and I need to get access to the hard drive to get at that file (as I did it after my last back up) so unfortunately I can't post that yet. I do have an illustration for the T.U.C to post too, but I'm not sure that has been published yet so I'll hang fire with that one.

Now to the point of this entry, Images 34, I popped along on Tuesday night to the LCC to collect my copy of the book, cheer the winners as they received their awards and see my Manhattan piece in the exhibition. Here's a picture of the introduction to the awards ceremony:

And here's me looking slightly windswept besides my artwork:

This is the book itself and what follows is my spread within it (the digital version, not a photograph):

It's always cool to get your work into an annual and to get three images into this year's book was a real honour. All of these images can be seen in more detail on the website and if you have a spare hour the exhibition is on until the 14th September and the details are here.

That's all for now..

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A new beginning..

of blog posting after an unexpectedly long absence!

I didn't intend to take such a break from the blog but my poor broken arm caused much more disturbance to my daily routine then I could have ever anticipated (even with the experience of having injured the other arm last year!) and I've been running to catch up ever since.

But enough moaning, I'm just about fully fit now and I have plenty to share. I've continued to work at Oil Studios and we've been pitching and formulating and visualising several new projects over the last month or so. Alas all of them are top secret so there is nothing I can show, but the minute I can I'll get it on here.

Mostly I've been picture researching for Guerrilla Advertising 2, again I can't really give away the content of what I've been hunting down but it promises to be a great collection of visuals. If you haven't bought the first Guerrilla Advertising book you can get it here. I'm also just about to start on another animation book with author Andrew Selby, which promises to be fun.

On the illustration front my agents NB have been working hard on my behalf, you may have seen their full page advert in the recent Creative Review and I even had to turn down a commission last week as my schedule just wouldn't stretch to fit it in. Again I'm not yet able to post the illustration I've just completed, but I did do one for Management Today magazine a few weeks ago about managing pregnancy in business, which can be seen below:

You can also see it in context here:

Finally (for now) I've just been notified that the interview I recently gave to Photoshop Creative Magazine can be seen in the current edition of the magazine, which looks like this:

and my interview looks like this:

So please do go out and buy a copy or listen to the podcast of the interview online here.

Time to sign off I think, but I'll return with a bigger round up as soon as I have some new imagery to post. I'm going to Greece for a few days later this week so I'll try to take my sketchbook along and create something that I can turn into a piece of personal work as it's been a long time since I've been able to do any non-commissioned illustrations.


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Return of the blog (well, nearly)


I know the blog has been a little quiet of late, I can only apologise for this and blame my recently broken left wrist. Despite not being my drawing hand (thankfully) it has slowed me down quite a lot and most importantly (for this blog) has made typing painful and slow!

So I decided to step away from the keyboard as much as possible until it's fixed. My cast comes off on Tuesday and hopefully I'll be able to get back up to speed from then onwards. I have some new images to post and lots of things to blog about.

For now though I'll leave you with a really nice animation by Rhiannon Evans that I stumbled across recently and I'll be back next week to fully update the blog:

(click image to open video in a new window)
Original Format: Digital
Year of Production: 2009
Running Time: 2 mins 51 secs
Director: Rhiannon Evans
Producer: International Film School Wales
Screenwriter: Rhiannon Evans
Music: Gareth Bonello

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

This blog has moved

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Monday, 19 April 2010

Website updated

Just a quick note to say I've updated the website with a few new images, if you're a regular visitor to the blog then you'll probably have seen most of the new stuff, but it's always useful to have all my work in one place.

I'm a little concerned about the loading times, I'm going to tweak it to speed it up a little, but I'd appreciate feedback if you found it unbearably slow!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Back to life, back to reality..

not only a Soul II Soul reference but also a fair reflection of how I've spent my time since returning from the U.S.A. Accounts have been sorted, meetings had and various bits of administration dealt with.

Amongst all of that I had some excellent news on the Illustration front, I found out that my Pedal To Enlightenment image for the Ride Journal has been selected for American Illustration 29. Here's the blurb around that:

"From an impressive 8,033 pictures...the jury selected only 388 images by a majority vote or better to appear in the book and represent the best images from 2009. AI29 will be printed in full color and distributed world-wide in hard-cover immediately after The Party, November 11, 2010, again as part of Illustration Week in New York City...
A slide presentation announcing the winning images will be sent to all entrants and to our member list of over 30,000 creative professionals in May."

Obviously I was pleased to be selected as previously I've only been 'chosen' which means you get to be on the website, but not in the book. Alongside the kudos of being selected it also helps on the promotional front as hopefully a lot more people in the US (and the rest of the world) will get to see my work now and fingers crossed it will lead to some commissions. Here's the image again as a reminder:

I think this means another trip to New York is on the cards for November, it sounds like Illustration Week in the city could provide good promotional opportunities.

In other news I've also done some new work for the Indy, this week I was asked to create an army of Tories in suits using the Tory Party rosette as a pseudo shield. It was a straightforward brief as the writer had this visual in his head as he was writing the article so all I had to do was bring it to life. I was really pleased with the result, especially as it was tricky doing that many people in such a short space of time!

The article is here and unusually my illustration is also online alongside it.

I think that's it for now, I'm currently in the process of updating the website in preparation for a massive promotional push, but if you like what you see you don't have to wait for that, instead just commission me now!!

Enjoy your Thursday (and don't forget the televised pre-election debate on ITV).

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Houston we have a problem..

Greetings from the floor of departure gate E10 at George Bush Intercontinental airport, Houston, Texas.

It's 2:07am as I type this and I've been stuck here since 8pm after missing my connecting flight to New York through no fault of my own and after landing from Grand Cayman 5 minutes early. A combination of poor staffing, poor scheduling and a denial of information and then the presentation of incorrect information as fact has seriously dented my belief in America as the home of good service. But onwards and upwards, I have 4 hours to kill until my new flight leaves and nowhere to sleep so it makes sense to spend that time productively!

I'm in transit back to the UK after several weeks of international travel, some of which has been documented on here and on flickr and some not so much, but I'll endeavour to keep the blog work related and save the travel tales for family and friends.

First up is an Indy from a week ago about the Irish Catholic priest scandal and how it was covered up. I think this is the article but having not seen the paper yet I can't be 100% sure, but it seems likely. My idea was all to do with generating atmosphere, creating a sense of hidden instances that occurred behind closed doors and were kept there by the Church's inability to embrace transparency, so in my image the Rosary Beads literally hold the doors closed as the Priest and young boy disappear.

I was happy with this image, especially with the eerie feel I managed to generate. It was a tricky topic to visualise without using the obvious iconography in a stereotypical manner, but I'm pretty confident that you don't get too many illustrators using Rosary Beads to secure door handles!

The Indy image that appeared in Monday's paper dealt with a very different topic and consequently provided me with a new challenge. I felt this image is much more conceptual, despite also being scene-based. With this weekend's brief I was asked to visualise how the 'special relationship' between the UK and USA was no longer so special. The full article is here and my illustration centered on the notion of the 'marriage' between the two countries breaking down.

It was Winston Churchill who first referred to the special relationship in his 1946 Sinews of Peace address and I started with this as the basis of my interpretation. I translated this ethereal notion of a relationship into an object, in this case a wedding band, designed to denote the ties between the two countries and worked with the premise that the band was to be returned to sender now that it had lost its meaning. Much as a divorcee removes their ring to signify a break with the marital state, the hand in the image is seen holding the ring rather then wearing it. The visual suggests that Gordon Brown is returning the ring to the U.S in the same envelope in which it was originally sent to Winston Churchill. The ring also has the motto of the USA inscribed in it. This was designed to say that it is the UK that has recognised it is no longer special to the USA, rather then the other way around, and that by returning the ring the country is embracing a new period of life, as a single country striking out on its own and free to disagree with the choices made by the U.S.

On a less serious note it gave me plenty of excuses to do some fun research into the correct stamps used for airmail in 1946 and have a go at recreating an aged envelope complete with weathered postage. This was great fun and again I was really pleased with the final image:

Besides the Indy I also had an image in the Daily Mail at the weekend, unfortunately the image wasn't credited to me, which is always disappointing, but it was definitely mine:

This image was for the Bel Mooney advice column again and responded to a reader's letter in which the author talked about her fears for her unborn child in a world that she believed was full of dangers (exemplified by the James Bulger case) and her inability to protect the potential 1/10 children who (according to statistics) are abused in her role as a teacher to 40 children. I think that summary sums up what the image was trying to convey, 4 of the 40 children shown are marked out in red, as the women cowers in the centre hiding and simultaneously protecting her child. The full article is here

I also wanted to quickly upload two sketches I did whilst out and about with blogging buddy Bowerbird in Grand Cayman. The first is a sketch at Smiths Cove in Grand Cayman, as we watched an American family contemplating the waves and their ability to jump into them and the second is at the Turtle Farm, looking out onto the fresh water pool. It might not be the sort of thing I normally seek out but there was something extremely relaxing about sitting in companionable silence sketching in the sunshine (or, as in the first image, under some potentially stormy clouds).

My apologies for the poor photography, I've just shot these on the airport floor (I'm sat down here as it's comfier then the chairs!) as I thought it would be nice to show some 'rougher' drawing in contrast to the more polished final illustrations.

Happily writing this blog post has taken over an hour, which has brought me a lot closer to my flight's departure time. It's a weird limbo here at the airport, with the abundance of overhead lighting reflected against a large mirrored window one can almost imagine it is daytime instead of the early hours. I'm not sure this will help prevent jetlag. I would photograph the space, in fact I tried earlier, but it's really rather bland and the lighting strips it of any sense of atmosphere, which as a lone female traveller I'm actually quite happy about. I can't always be thinking about the visual properties of an environment!

I guess I should also take a moment to give a nod to the fabulous fast wifi provided by Boingo, I really don't mind paying for internet provision when it's super efficient, easy and fast. Plus it's helped pass the time... Luckily there are also plenty of these Samsung Mobile Charging Stations about:

I am totally in love with Samsung for these and it has definitely made me think more favourably of a brand I normally associate with my football team's main rivals. Now it's back to listening to Ellie Goulding, who is the current soundtrack to my travels as I sit firmly on the bandwagon. My week in the Cayman Islands was also accompanied by the wonderfully quirky track "Eat That Up, It's Good For you" by Two Door Cinema Club, check it out if you fancy a summery tune infused with Mario Bros. type sound effects.


*delete as appropriate!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

St Patrick's Day in NYC

I promise I'm not just blogging to show off about my travels, seriously!

I'm now in NYC and although I didn't get around to finishing off my chatter about Chicago I wanted to do a quick post today of some drawings I've done at the parade this morning just in case the sketches get too smudged by the time I make it back to my hotel.

I wasn't particularly prepared for drawing this morning, but I managed to cobble together some quick reference drawings using the 3 pencils I had available and a lined notebook. I was trying to catch the things that stood out to me, the empty Fifth Avenue (in terms of cars) before the parade began and the shadows falling on the buildings as the parade occurred. As well as the helicopters whirring overhead and the different people that passed by on parade. I did quite a few pages, it was tricky, trying to lean my book against the barriers, look, record and keep my balance as people pressed into my back but I just about managed it and really enjoyed being able to work in my sketchbook live, which is a real rarity.

Here are some (admittedly dodgy) photos of my pages, forgive the photography, I've taken these in Bryant Park and haven't had time to crop or adjust as my battery is low. Off to see the Tim Burton exhibition at MOMA this afternoon, trying to avoid the hordes of drunken 'Irish' people on route.

Before the Parade began

Passing troops

Looking down 5th Avenue

Looking up

Looking on

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Hello from the windy city

So this week in March finds me in Chicago, the windy city, which actually isn't too windy for this time of year according to the locals. It is a little grey and drizzly, but that didn't stop me from picking up some new sunglasses on my trip to Wicker Park yesterday!

I came to Chicago last year and didn't get chance to head over to the Wicker Park area, so yesterday we took a trip on the blue line of the El to Damen and wandered around. I loved it over there as it was characterised by all of the elements that make a visit to a city worthwhile for me; lots of interesting aged signage, a mishmash of architectural styles and a sense of discovery.

As well as taking pictures of the area I also spent a bit of time browsing in book stores, first up was the second hand store Myopic Books. I only made one purchase here picking up Ogilvy on Advertising, the 1983 book by David Ogilvy, the extraordinary founder of Ogilvy Mather (as it's now called). Although over 20 years old the book discusses principles that still hold true today and should be an interesting read, if only to show how different (or similar..) the world is now to how he predicted it might be when writing in the early eighties. It's also worth confessing that my current binge watching of Mad Men has stoked my interest in American advertising agencies through the ages, which may have also influenced my purchase.

Speaking of American advertising I keep seeing adverts for U.S Cellular and I am really taken by their use of typography. It feels very European, contemporary and trendy which is not something one traditionally associates with American cellphone companies (as a broad generalisation).

The website is similarly styled and a quick click on the about section of the website shows the company is based in Chicago, which explains the ubiquity of the advertising and also informs me the company was founded in 1983, the same year Ogilvy published his book and (more importantly, some might say) the year I was born! The advertising for U.S Cellular is credited to Publicis and Hal Riney, a San Fransisco based agency, whose website is currently under construction unfortunately, but some of the TV ads they've done for the brand can be seen here. For the type lovers amongst us apparently the typeface is Rosewood filled, although that may be proven incorrect (I read it on another blog) and if you'd like a different opinion on the adverts this guy here isn't a fan! Readers of Grazia and those living in the U.K might think they've seen this sort of thing before, which we have, but it was more the fact that I'm in the U.S right now that made this stand out as it looks rather different to a lot of the other stuff on the billboards.

I shall continue my tales of Wicker Park, including my purchases from Quimby's bookstore later. Right now I have to go and get ready to register the students, run a crit on their sketchbooks/visual documentation and then get to the Chicago Gangsters tour!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Independent 22nd February

It's unusual to be thankful for this as a freelancer, but last week was a quiet one and I have to say I enjoyed the breathing space. It gave me time to get stuck into some Laurence King work and finally wrap some projects up, as well as prepare for my upcoming trips to the USA. I'll be jetting off to Chicago and New York with my Second Year students at Loughborough, for the Illustration and Graphic Communication study trips respectively. It's a great experience for the students and usually has a profoundly beneficial effect on their work, making them more ambitious and (as much as it's a cliche) opens their minds to a whole new world of possibilities. Most of the students have travelled to the States before, but holidays are different to study trips and visiting a city with your 'studio' head on, surrounded by your peers, makes you see it in a different way and ensures you really start to connect your method of communicating visually with the environment you find yourself in.

As a student my study trip was to New York and it kicked off my love affair with the city, so of course I'm excited to return. Hopefully it will give me an opportunity to create some personal work inspired by the city just like it did last summer. Excitingly I'm then flying onto the Cayman Islands to visit my friend, sometimes-collaborator and regular blog commentator Bowerbird in her new Caribbean home and to have some deserved R&R time. We have plans to discuss a new online project, so watch this space for details of that.

Finally I'll get round to this week's Indy illustration. It was about Israel, and its self image in the wake of the recent revelations about Mossad. This was a nice graphic representation of the Star of David made from Israeli weapons. It doesn't really need much more explanation, so here's the image:

Article here.

Enjoy the week!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Super round up


today is an action packed, image-tastic blog post incorporating a bit of the Indy, some U.S work and a new magazine cover.

First things first, today's Indy illustration is attached to an article with a striking title, "We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty". As awful as it may sound articles like this are much more 'fun' to work with, given that they have a greater range of visual connotations then your average Westminster policy article. I decided to go with a strong, simple spot illustration rather then a busy scene based image. My intention was to show the connection between the Union Jack and the alleged torture of prisoners in relation to the War on Terror. The British Intelligence Agencies may not directly engage in torture, but the addition of the flag as a gag on top of the hooded prisoner is meant to show that Great Britain has received information gained through torture, which it has then hidden. Our Government may not have put the hood on the prisoner, but we have helped to keep it/him quiet.

In complete contrast last week's Independent illustration was about David Cameron and how it was his time to step up and stamp his authority on the Houses of Parliament and ensure that Brown's wobbling was turned into a topple and Cameron could lead the Tories to power. I was asked to show Cameron as a sort of invincible Superhero ready to march into power, complete with Comic book style shining light. Because of this the image was a little more graphic then usual, but I think I managed to combine the vector based shapes with my more painterly style.

Inbetween these two illustrations I found that my oft-mentioned, never before shown, illustration for the Urban Land Institute in the USA had finally gone live on their website and thus I could now showcase it. The image was designed for the 2010 Annual Conference poster but will also grace the conference itself in the form of extra large promotion boards to welcome the delegates to the event.

The brief was to use my illustrative language to create a vision of what Washington (the home of the conference) might look like when the visitors descend and wrap it up in bold, bright colours. Given that the client was the Urban Land Institute it was a dream brief for me, as they really wanted to place a lot of emphasis on the urban environment and the infrastructure inherent in a city, so signage for the buses and metro was a necessity!

I was really, really happy with the outcome and enjoyed working at a large scale as I could squeeze in all my layers of detail and actually have them seen by the average viewer, a real luxury given most of my work appears in print at A4 or less. Unfortunately it won't be clear on here given the size restrictions in posting stuff securely on the web, but I may do an update to this post later on and put some zoomed in versions on the blog. But for now here is the image itself and a screengrab of the final poster as seen on the ULI website:

Phew, o.k not too much more visual goodness to go now. Just before Christmas I was approached to create the cover artwork for a new publication that was launching in late January. The magazine is called 'The Beat Book' and is affiliated to this website. The magazine is about drumming, in a word, and is designed to be a one stop shop for everything British drummers might need to know about, covering equipment, set-up and insight from musicians and teachers. My brief was to create a Jazz club scene, with a dirty, grimy vibe, focusing on a drummer. Again another brief that completely played to my strengths of creating atmospheric, slightly decaying environments. This is one of my recent favourite images and I'm just waiting on the arrival of my magazine copy so I can see how it looks in real life, but in the interim here's the artwork:

And finally, as you may have seen on twitter, I had an illustration in this weekend's Daily Mail. It was for Bel Mooney's 'agony aunt column' and the article is here, although I'd prefer it if you looked at my illustration here as the image has been cropped online and the colours aren't great. I was given an open brief for my image, which was nice, so I chose to create an image based around the idea that the woman in the middle is trapped by the need to work, when she is envious of the women 'who have it all' but the shadows are cast by her family who she needs to support. This is a bit of a quieter image for me, but I was pleased to get the opportunity to respond to a different type of article and work with more emotional content.

And we're done. I told you it was a comprehensive round-up!

Monday, 1 February 2010

February 1st Independent

February already, wow! I can't believe how quickly this year is speeding by, only 6 weeks now until I'm back in my favourite city in the world (sorry London), New York.

This week is a busy one, lots of work at Oil and a networking event at Wieden + Kennedy, as well as some urban golfing..! A day in the life of Jemillo is always pretty varied. I have a day off this week due to it being Assessment period at Loughborough so I'm hoping to update the website and do a big promotion push, as I've neglected the promotion a little in the last few months.

So today's Independent is about Tony Blair and the Chilcot inquiry. The article is a lot broader then that and a really interesting read (see it here).

I was asked to create an image about Tony Blair that suggested that with regards to Iraq he saw himself on a 'mission of enlightenment' and a 'Christian warrior charging forth'. I came up with a few roughs, some more literal then others, and it was decided to press ahead with the following image which is more atmospheric and suggestive. As it's meant to be a loose interpretation of the brief I'm not going to heavily analyse it here. So take a look at the image below and see what you think:

Monday, 25 January 2010

Indy Monday 25th Jan

Just a quick post to show today's Indy image, no need to labour (ha) this one as the idea is self explanatory. The article is about Education, so I wanted to create quite a graphic image that showed enthusiasm for the topic and would sit well within the page. This came to mind straight away and then I created the artwork.

The colours on this version are slightly different to the press version, but it gives the same impression.

The article isn't online at the moment, so you'll just have to buy the paper!

In related news I'm back in London now after my extended stay in the North, I'm hoping to get to the V&A this week for the Decode exhibition so I'll post about it here if I do.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Indy 18th January

As is to be expected the front pages of today's Independent are dominated by stories about Haiti; the earthquake, the aftermath, the politics and the recovery. Since my association with the paper began the depth and readability of its international news coverage has been the thing that has impressed me most and the coverage of Haiti has been first rate. The other thing about the Independent that really appeals to me is the bold use of the front page, the paper isn't afraid to make a statement with both picture and words and today's cover is no exception:

But enough of the Independent love-in and instead let's move onto me! So as you may have guessed my illustration yesterday was about Haiti and the brief I was given focused on the notion that Haiti was a disaster area long before the earthquake. Not knowing enough about Haiti, beyond it being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, I decided to do a little research on the topic so that I was better able to visualise how and why the country would be described in such a fashion. I discovered some truly awful statistics: Haiti is approximately 98% deforested, with most of the land reduced to rubble, meaning food is scarce and approximately 80% of the population live below the poverty line, with a 75% unemployment rate. A legacy of corruption and political instability contrives to hamper any attempts to push forward, thus the country was ill-equipped in terms of infrastructure (both physical and political) to deal with another natural disaster.

Armed with this information I tried to generate roughs that would loosely suggest such points without contradicting an article that may follow a different narrative. I presented an idea that depicted the Presidential Palace with piles and piles of shacks, huts and crumbling homes perched precariously on top (in a Jenga fashion) with cracks rushing towards it to suggest that there was a physical instability relating to the country's leadership over the years. I also showed a map of Haiti being squeezed by a fist and cracking to suggest how violent dictatorships had weakened it.

But the idea the art director preferred was more suggestive. It shows a hand reaching up and out for help, a hand which shows roughly healed scars and badly stitched up wounds and one large open gash that is bleeding. This image was intended to be a visual representation of Haiti's problems, the old scars being the legacy of french occupation, which still looms large over the country today and the badly stitched wounds representing the democracy that replaced dictatorship and hasn't really solved the problems. Of course the open, bleeding gash is a symbol of the earthquake, currently an open wound and occurring within the same physical boundaries of the previous issues. As an extra touch I tried to make the hand roughly resemble the shape of the country, at least in terms of the thumb's position, and have the cut be vaguely in the area of Port-Au-Prince.

I was really pleased with the way it turned out (considering I found out that scarring is a really tricky thing to recreate quickly) and happily the layout of the column really enhances the image (as I hoped it would) all in all creating rather a dramatic spread.

I'm sure many casual readers will just assume the hand is meant to show someone reaching out for help, someone trapped in the rubble, which is fine, it kind of does and I always intend for my images to work immediately. But the thought process leading up to the artwork was more complex then that and it's nice that having a blog such as this allows me to share that.

The full article is here and if you should wish to donate to the International Aid effort then the Global Giving website is a good place to go for more information and to make a donation.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Independent 11th Jan


I'm back on the blog with today's Indy image and last week's too. It's election fever in the opinion columns (and will continue to be so for a while) so the images I've been asked to create recently have been quite abstract visuals alluding to power; more specifically the inability to grasp it completely (David Cameron) and the ability to hold onto it (Gordon Brown) despite multiple attacks on the leadership.

The political climate is really rather interesting at the moment, it reminds me of studying European Politics in my History A Level. Though I have to say the attempted coup last week was a lot less bloody then those of the French Revolution!

Without any further ado here is today's image:

This was quite highly art directed, I was specifically asked to show a rose (symbolising Labour) growing tall and strong despite axes attempting to chop it down. With the image functioning as a spot illo (in the paper text flows close to it) I decided to have the axes broken and wrapped up in the flower, rather then hacking in the air, as I thought this would work better.

This is definitely one of those images that works better in context and I'll take and upload a picture of the paper later today. The article is here

Last week the focus was on Cameron and that he "still has yet to show his authority/ convince the electorate that he is a leader in the making". Often when the brief is centred around the personality rather then the party or wider society I am asked to try and avoid drawing the protagonist, as my illustration's proximity to the daily cartoon in the newspaper can mean that it becomes a little repetitive. This was one such case, hence I was asked to focus more on the action of asserting one's authority. The resulting image was a pounding fist, simple, but again due to the layout, effective in context.

This is the image:

That's all for now. I must now attend to my various portfolio sites and update them with all of the work I have done in the last few months.