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: