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..