Thursday, December 28, 2006

Seagull Party

The advertisements have changed from food and toys to gyms and self-help, so I guess Christmas is over. This is bad news for the Christmas card market. Next I'm going to do some more general cards, and not necessarily just Brighton ones. Like horoscopes, the more general cards they are, the more people they fit, and the more they sell.
Having said that, here's a Brighton one. It hasn't turned out too well. I think the lines on the birds are too heavy, and they don't look like they're dancing or enjoying themselves. Maybe I should have given them beers and fags, but beers and fags don't guarantee a fun party atmosphere. Do seagulls even do hard drugs? Probably. I planned on putting a small boy in the bottom left corner, gazing up in amazement, but forgot. Perhaps that would have livened it all up, I don't know. I do like the shadows, reflections and photographic elements though, they're fun.

Also, I recently rejigged my myspace page to act as a kind of web-portfolio. I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it though. Any comments would appreciated.

Don't Panic: Dreams

Another Don't Panic entry. I may as well squeeze these out before I have the chance to lose the public vote and get all tearful and dispirited and don't want to enter again. This one is for the theme that got promoted ahead of Work, Dreams.
Dreams are all built up out of personal elements from the subconscious, they say, so I used this as an excuse to lift old sketches out of my sketchbook- to put along with some new ones: the Ninja warehouse, Jessie our dog, a frog from the garden, friend Archie playing crazy golf in the Summer time, frying bacon in the pan. And that's supposed to be Michael Stipe twice at the top. From REM. REM! Eh! Geddit? Not my usual style of image, but I like it and may start doing more this way. It basically involves creating one image and reflecting it, which theoretically is only half the work, if not practically.

If this is past 3rd January, you can vote if you want by clicking here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Don't Panic: Work

I've been meaning to enter the monthly Don't Panic poster competition for a while now. The public vote for their favourite image and then Don't Panic put it on a poster and give it away in those flyer packs that get pushed into your hands when you leave clubs, like the party bags you get at kids partys. They're always worth looking in because sometimes they have free gifts in them- the kind of stuff they think the people that go to clubs and stay till the end might like: big Rizlas, Guarana bars, condoms. Not that I smoke, like those bars or ever have sex, of course. I'm waiting for the pack with a sample bottle of a nice balsamic vinegar for brunch the next day, or a Radio4 schedule, something like that.
I did several with the upcoming theme of Work in mind. Annoyingly though after I entered them they told me the theme has now been put right back to February some time. This is annoying because a) I'll now have to wait even longer to discover I've lost, and b) there will be more entrants. I assume what happened is that the theme seemed so mundane, not many good people entered and so they panicked and pushed the deadline back. How ironic.

First I did this, but I really don't like it. The only good thing about it is the colour scheme which I stole entirely from a much better illustration by some Italian guy whose name I can't pronounce.

After a two day grump following my bastard first attempt, I I went back to the drawing board. This time I tried to remember it was supposed to be a poster, and so should at least be moderately interesting. Kids these days like big robot monsters, I thought to myself, so I decided to represent work, or the company at least, as a gargantuan robo-monster that feeds off the staff and their time and effort, with necessity but no obvious gain to them. A bit like this:

But it all looks a bit bleak, and dull. And anyway, kids these days like happy-slapping and Ketamine, not silly monsters. Some bold cropping left my image not-quite poster size so I added some black stripes and then put the whole thing in garish neons in a bid to jump on this "new-rave" band wagon. This one I quite like and entered it to the competition.

Then later the same day we had a friend called Hannah over for dinner and whilst I spoke to her I drew this, and coloured it the next morning and put in a scan from the business section of the Guardian in the background. It took a fraction of the time of the monster, but I much prefer it. In fact, it's one of my favourite things I've done. It all just works for me kind of. Plus, the reams of paper at the top kind of spell out W-O-R-K. It does work you could say. If you're a tosser.

The nice guys at DP even gave me this nice button to promote myself, but don't feel obliged to press it.

Don't Panic

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Snow Child

The Introduction to Illustration course I was doing has finished finally. It's a shame, but more because now I'm actually doing nothing rather than anything else.
This is the last thing I did, the only thing resembling a 'piece' to emerge from the course. It's an illustration for this magical realist story, The Snow Child, by Angela Carter. Here, you can read it if you're that bored. It's quite good.


Maddy asked me to help out with the artwork for her new EP or whatever it is. She has a lovely singing voice, a kind of Nina Simone meets Scooby-doo in Beth Ortons basement, all lit by candles, and then they discuss true love through blinks and stomach rumbles. That sounds rediculous but when I was at Ninja Tune that's how some of the people actually spoke. It was doubly confusing when all I'd asked is if they take sugar in their tea.
So here it is (I didn't take the photo though). Seagull's for Brighton, umbrellas for the constant weather metaphors and pink flowers for the fact that she's a girl.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Charles M. Schulz, of peanuts fame, said that "Creativity is all about making mistakes. Art is knowing which one's to keep." I read it on a record sleeve a few weeks ago and now quote it at Charlotte several times a day. "You left the front door wide open when you came in last night, and now there's a homeless man eating toast in our kitchen" "Well, Char, Charles M. Schulz, of peanuts fame, ..." Hilarity ensues every time, and all is forgiven.
This picture is really just several mistakes, but I don't mind.