Displaying : illustration
A drawing I did for an exhibition of Midland’s based artists called ‘Once Upon a Time in The Midlands’. The theme was fairytales. I wanted to have a bit more of ‘The Midlands’ in there thematically, and was originally drawing a troll at a rusty Tamworth bus stop, but that picture went a bit long and I just did this instead.
Other artists in the exhibition were Lizz Lunney (who made a really cool Bogmen comic), James Bourne, Lee Crutchley, Herman Inclusus (Stuart Kolakovic), Mark Long, Mr Millerchip, Sarah Ray, Paul Roberts and Steven Silverwood.
You can see a few other pieces from the show here.
Cover design for the Penguin Essentials series. It’s actually a wraparound cover, but I’m not sure which version has ended up on the back yet so I’ll hold off from posting it. I was so pleased to get to do this as I’ve wanted to do a book cover for probably my whole life (I’ve done a couple more that should be out soon too). In taking on Lucky Jim, I’m also super proud to be following feebly in the footsteps of Edward Gorey and Quentin Blake.
Here’s the text from the back.
‘His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as a mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.’
Jix Dixon has a terrible job at a second-rate university. His life is full of things he could happily do without: the tedious and ridiculous Professor Welch, a neurotic and unstable girlfriend, Margaret, burnt sheets, medieval recorder music and over-enthusiastic students. If he can just deliver a lecture on ‘Merrie England’, a moderately successful career surely awaits him. But without luck, life is never simple . . .
This version is available now.
About a year ago I was very close to announcing a project entitled ’100 Horses’ or ‘The One Hundred Horses Project’, the aim of which would be to draw 100 wildly unique horses. I thought this would be a cool project, a challenge in variation and in mastering the depiction of an animal I’ve traditionally struggled to accurately portray. Thankfully however, I did not announce it, as I only got to six before realising it was a silly idea and that there are way better ways to spend your time than drawing 100 stupid horses.
For the November issue of Wired Magazine (UK) I illustrated a number of panels for a comic strip article about the latest case of Donald Olson, an astrophysicist who ‘uses astronomical references in painting and literature as clues to academic puzzles.’
The investigation (published in Sky and Telescope Journal) covered in the article involves the precise origin date of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Using a combination of lunar references from the diaries of those present (when Shelley woke from the dream that inspired the book, she noted that the moon was shining outside her window), GPS (Olson calculated that the slope of the hill behind Villa Diodati was 15 degrees) and planetarium computer programs to chart the position and phases of the moon, Olson was able to calculate exactly when the moon would have been visible from Shelley’s bedroom window and therefore when the inspirational dream took place: between 2 and 3am, June 16th, 1816.
Above are a few of my favourite panels. The top one is Lord Byron suggesting to Shelley and Co that they should all try and write a ghost story (a suggestion that was ultimately responsible for Frankenstein and Dracula), the second of Villa Diodati where they were staying and the third of Donald Olson, doing his thing.
Below is how the spread appeared in the magazine (excuse the arrows, I nicked it from Wired’s digital preview of the issue). There’s also a partially animated version for the Wired iPad app but I have no idea how that turned out as I’m not blessed with said pad.
I was extremely pleased to be invited by David Huyck to take part in his excellent Cloudy Collection series of prints. I’ve been following the project from the start and gunning for a spot in there all along. The set I contributed to is the 2012 Calendar of the Impending Apocalypse, for which I had to illustrate the end of the world as a three-colour screen print while also making it a functioning calendar for my month.
I went for a post-apocalyptic flood scenario and by sheer entertaining coincidence, Kali Ciesemier (who is amazing, check her out) illustrated September with what appears to be the flood that preceded it.
You can see the other months and buy the set here!
This is my contribution to the ‘Ghosts of Gone Birds’ exhibition. Over 120 artists, writers and musicians have contributed to this project, each choosing an extinct species of bird to represent and commemorate. My bird of choice is the Tahitian Sandpiper, which became extinct in the 19th century.
I should have posted this some time ago, but the file was trapped on a PC that went a bit funny and I still haven’t found time to fix and re-gain access to. But then I remembered every file I’ve ever sent is still happily sat in my Gmail account. I have mixed feelings about this one as I decided to submit an original piece and my lineart doesn’t usually go far enough in my opinion. So I feel it’s a bit rough around the edges, but I was extremely pleased to have been able to lend my hand to such a great project with an honourable conservationist cause.
The exhibition is currently on display at the Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, E2 7ES, until the 23rd of November.