Thursday, 13 December 2012

Peace and joy

Greetings from frosty London!
Recently I have been working on some Christmas designs to mail out to friends and family as a festive e-card. It is the first year I haven't made a physical card and that fact does sadden me a little. It is a small, delightful pleasure to receive letters and cards in the post and I hope it doesn't die out entirely as a practice. I am between homes at the moment and doing some stints of travel. This is all very exciting but with all my papers and materials boxed up I resorted to some digital creativity instead. I shall endeavour to make an extra effort next Christmas to get back to making some home made cards. Until then here are some digital messages of goodwill. I created two images, unable to decide which one I prefer. Perhaps the first. You can decide for yourself!
Wishing you all a happy holiday of peace and joy. And gingerbread.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Stopgap Dance Pack

Recently I have been working on some illustrations for a resource pack for the dance company - StopgapStopgap is the UK’s leading integrated company for dancers with and without disabilities. The resource pack is for dance teachers to aid them in including dancers with physical disabilities into their classes.  Here are some examples of the work I produced to accompany and support the text. I am still working on the cover and also doing all the layout too!

So if anyone would like to get involved in dance - whether you are able bodied or not - check out Stopgap's website - and see some clips: and be inspired! It is amazing what people can do!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sport hangover and DoeDeMee update

London goes back to work with a bit of a sport hangover.

A glorious summer of sport has left us elated here in London and wondering if it really happened?! So much to celebrate. Yesterday I went to the athletes' parade in town as the last hoorah of the games. Yet again Games Makers were out in force, encouraging endless mexican waves. I think they, like the rest of us, don't want this vibrant and happy feeling to end. So it's spontaneous mexican waves and foam finger high fives on the work commute from now on. Here is an illustration of a Games Maker going back to work but full of happy memories. Yes - it really did happen, hooray! 

My Moby Dick cover design (see earlier blog entry) is featured in an exhibition currently in Antwerp City Hall. The exhibition called - DoeDeMee ('join in' in Dutch) features all 100 designs from a list of 100 greatest books of all time. The original concept for the project is to create artwork inspired by these books and use the results to promote literacy around the world. The exhibition was launched on International Literacy Day 2012 (8th Sept) and is on until the 16th of Sept. 
Click here for exhibition information.
 As part of the promotion my image was one of a selection from the show to be featured in the national newspaper de Standaard:

All the posters in the show are available to buy here.  A percentage of the proceeds go to charities that promote reading. This venture is endorsed by UNESCO who run the International Literacy Day amongst many other global science and cultural initiatives.

The DoeDeMee team behind the exhibition are hoping to launch the show in other cities including London so watch this space for more news.  More information can be found on facebook here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Olympic legacy and meatballs

I've been working for a while on some animation projects and then the 2012 Olympics came along so my mind has been a little diverted from illustrating for a few months.

The Olympics were a great time to be in London. I think I am still in a post Olympic funk. So in trying to get back to reality, this is a picture of how happy and obsessed I was when the Olympics were on - Looking at the world through an Olympic Haze;

I've been going back into my picture book projects and here is an element I have made for possible inclusion in a spread.  Anyone for meatballs?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Fun in the park

Here are some sketches of little people I encountered in the local park the other day.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Swallows and Arrows

I was recently asked by Ferment magazine to create an illustration in response to a poem on the theme of upside down.
The poem entitled; 'This Way Up' is by Ted Piker.
I drew lots of things but eventually it became whittled down to quite a simple image:

Ferment magazine is published quarterly in Oxford. 
Ferment is a quarterly non-profit zine combining original creative writing with complementary illustrations.
We invite writers and illustrators whose work we admire to make contributions on a theme that is chosen for each issue.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Moby Dick

I recently took part in a project called DoeDeMee (Dutch for "Are you in").  It involved lots of international artists, designing a selection of classic book covers from a list of 'The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time' (list originally from The Observer newspaper in the UK).  The idea was conceived by the talented graphic designers at Beshart in Belgium.

The main idea is to promote reading and celebrating well loved classic stories and to hold an exhibition of the resulting covers as posters.  I was selected and chose Moby Dick as my book.

I read Moby Dick a couple of years ago and loved the depictions of life on a whaling ship. It is very visceral and dramatic. A time and lifestyle far removed from me. It is a layered book with lots of symbolism with themes of obsession, religion, mortality, might and progress. I was inspired by the whaling log books I saw scans of online, with their beautiful calligraphy and the whale stamps that they used to depict their haul (you can see my reference to that in the sea in my image). Moby Dick and his perceived evil barbarism is infact entirely projected by the Captain Ahab. A creation of mind and word and since Moby Dick is also a rare albino whale he is shown in my image with bright white lettering. It is a complex and rewarding story of adventure. Well worth a read!

Here is my finished version:

I got out my random selection of letterpress letters and my lino tools. It was messy and great fun.  I made lino cut outs of whale shapes (some of which you can see in the sea section of the image). As I was washing off my ink i did a print of the ink running down the plate and that became the sea texture you can see in the image!  You never know what will be useful in a picture!

Here is another version I did and liked but it didn't have quite the right balance. There are already quite alot of covers out there with huge whales bursting from the sea:

Here is a picture of me at work, printing in my kitchen!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mermaid & Dragon

Another image for Essex Council from the series - The Giants are Coming! 

This image will be used as a flyer (with additional information overlaid) by libraries, to promote workshops for children featuring mermaids and dragons.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Big delivery & Clementine Reading

Here is a picture inspired by my love of stamps.  Let's hope stamps stick around for at least a while longer.  Poor postman.

And another recent picture in tribute to my friend's daughter Clementine. At the moment Clementine is not even 1yr old so this is assuming she will one day love reading and not be into riding bikes and eating worms instead.

Here is a sketch I did recently of the actual Clementine:
(can you see the ghostly image of King George VI in the background that was drawn on the next page of my sketchbook?)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Plush Monster!

I made this little chap with my own fair hands.  He is based on my Monster characters and is my first foray into sewing for a long time!  I've seen lots of plush toys around and thought I'd have a go.  I'm pleased with the results.  All that remains is to give him a name.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Here is an adaptation of a previous image I created for Essex Council for their storytelling event - The Giants Are Coming!  This will be used as a flyer to invite children to a woodland walk event.