Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Paul'll Fix It

For the past few years, my friend Tom has been asking me to draw a picture of him riding on a giant bee. As I usually enjoy ignoring him, I hadn't bothered ... until now!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! :-)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Its a me, Mari-snow!

So, while Snow-maggedon continues, I thought I'd draw a Nintendo-themed Christmas picture, just for fun...

Thursday, 16 December 2010

H&M Design Competiton

I recently entered a competition to design a poster for H&M's Recruitment Event at the University of Arts London, in collaboration with Arttemps. The winner gets a paid commission to produce their poster design, plus £100 of H&M vouchers.

Here's the draft version I submitted...

God rest ye merry, elephants, Let nothing you dismay...

I was asked by the Elephant Family – a UK-based charity working to protect Asian elephants and their habitat – to produce an illustration to use for their Christmas card.

They had enjoyed seeing the cartoons I'd produced during the Elephant Parade event in London earlier this year, and while they were coming up with ideas for their card, my name was mentioned.
I am very interested in the work that the Elephant Family do and pleased that they liked my previous drawings, so was more than happy to donate my time to create a new illustration for them.

They had come up with the idea of an iconic red London double decker bus, filled with some of the elephants from the Parade.
And because it is Christmas, I included a special bus driver for
the evening...

You can still sign the Elephant Family's online petition to help save the Asian elephant.

Café con sketche!

This evening I was waiting in the Café at Foyles to meet some friends and go for dinner. While I was waiting, I did a couple of quick sketches from photos in a free magazine I picked up, and added some colour when I got home...

Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables

Barack Obama

I enjoyed doing these, and it was a good way to pass the time. I might do some more next time I'm having a coffee somewhere...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The animals came in two by two...

[click strip to enlarge]

Okay, I promise this will be the last comic about the weather for a while! Maybe...

Friday, 12 November 2010

Rain rain go away, come again another day...

[click strip to enlarge]

I'm beginning to think I may be becoming a bit obsessed with the weather lately... How very English of me!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Brass monkeys...

[click strip to enlarge]

So I actually drew this last night after a particularly cold walk home spent contemplating the puffs of steam coming out of my mouth when I breathed. But then my internet wasn't working, so I wasn't able to post it until today when, ironically, it's not quite so cold.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Stupid, stupid rat creatures!

Yesterday morning I noticed on Twitter that Amelia's Magazine were producing an article about the naked mole rat – a freaky little critter affectionately referred to as the "sabre-toothed sausage" – and wanted some illustrations to accompany the text.

Unable to resist the chance to draw this slightly hideous creature, I decided to create an image based on B-movie horror posters...

You can read the full article here. And remember, a naked mole rat is for life, not just for Christmas...!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

London MCM Expo 2010

This weekend was the London MCM Expo at the Excel Centre in London which brings together all the best in comics, movies, games and manga under one gigantic roof, along with an abundance of cosplay.

I went along for the first time ever on the Saturday, and really enjoyed it, although after a while it all began to take its toll a little...

[click strip to enlarge]

In all seriousness though, the event did make me feel like making more comics again, so I should be posting up some more comics-related work on here very soon...!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Frank Einstien's Monster

No need to be rude...!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Dark Knight Rises ... at 7.00am

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Nolan has revealed that the title for his third Batman film will be The Dark Knight Rises, which made me imagine 180 minutes of Bruce Wayne waking up in the morning...

Well, it couldn't be worse than Batman & Robin...!

Monday, 25 October 2010

AccessArt Visual Encyclopedia

I've just finished drawing a bunch of objects for AccessArt's Visual Encyclopedia, which is part of The Big Draw 2010. This is an open submission project available to people of all ages and levels of artistic ability, which wants drawings of any non-animate objects, whatever it might be, and all the submissions will be compiled into an online encyclopedia recording the objects and drawings.

Looking around on my desk for inspiration I ended up drawing the following items:

My iPod...

A marker pen...

A stapler...

And a rubber duck...

Don't ask why I had a rubber duck on my desk. I have a lot of junk on my desk!

Anyway, I've emailed my drawings to AccessArt, so they should be included along with everyone else's illustrations when the Visual Encyclopedia is compiled. The deadline for submissions is the end of this week, so there's still time to join in...

Monday, 20 September 2010

UPside exhibition Private View tomorrow night!!

Just a quick reminder that the UPside exhibition is currently on at the Medcalf Gallery, 38–40 Exmouth Market and the Private View will be happening tomorrow night (21 September) from 6–9pm if you have a spare evening and fancy popping along to check out the show...

Here's a sneak peak at a section from one of my works in the exhibition featuring one of my personal reasons to be cheerful – eating sushi! *nom nom nom!*

Friday, 17 September 2010

Look what THEY drawed - Happy Birthday to me!

So yesterday was the 30th anniversary of my arrival into the world, and some of my very talented friends made me some amazing birthday cards!

I'm starting work at the National Gallery at the end of the month as a Gallery Assistant, although after seeing the gallery bought to life by Agustin Coll in this brilliant illustration, I'm a bit scared about starting work there... hehe

Aine Cassidy made me this gorgeous card...

Paul Giles (A.K.A. Mister Giles) drew this awesome portrait of me (complete with Super Mario mushrooms!).

Jo Cogan drew this great caricature of me...

...inspired by this photo of me when I was a kid (I haven't changed a bit...ahem)!

And Yuki Nishimura made me this amazing Scott Pilgrim-inspired card! Love it!! :-)

Thanks a lot! And to everyone else that sent me a card and wished me Happy Birthday yesterday!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Happy Birthday Mario!

Today is the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. being released, which is one of the greatest video games ever (and also included in my recent Influence Map)! To celebrate I decided to draw a picture of Mario playing Super Mario Bros. ...and losing!

UPside exhibition

I've been busy the last few weeks producing work for the UPside exhibition, a group show that I'm taking part in along with 13 other artists. Yesterday we went along and sorted out hanging the work in the gallery.

I've got two pieces of work in the show, my series of portraits of my friends faces and another new piece, which you can just about make out in the photo above...

The exhibition opens today at the Medcalf Gallery on Exmouth Market, and will be up until Sunday 7 November (Mon-Sat 12–11pm, Sun 12–4pm).

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Influence Map

While I usually steer clear of internet memes, I discovered this one today and subsequently spent more time than was probably healthy putting together my own Influence Map.

The idea is to put together a visual list of your creative influences. It was fun to sit and think about who and what have influenced me creatively over the years, and while the list is by no means definitive, I think it provides an interesting insight into where I draw some of my inspiration, with a mixture of cartoonists, illustrators, artists, comics and animations, as well as other mediums.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Apostrophe's Espresso Yourself competition

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to my work for the group exhibition I'm taking part in, but just wanted to take a moment to show you something else I've been working on.

The coffee chain Apostrophe have recently been running a competition to design an image to go on their special edition take-away coffee cups this winter. The design is limited to four colours (including white) and has to include the Apostrophe logo.

Here is my submission featuring a group of coffee-loving playful penguins...

Now comes the sales pitch. All the submissions are currently available to view on Apostrophe's Facebook page, and the five entries with the most "Likes" will join the five entries selected by the judges to go forward into the final ten. Obviously I'm hoping that the judges will like my entry enough to put it through on it's own merits, but just in case...

If you like my entry, please take a minute to go here and "Like" my drawing (You might need to join Apostrophe's Facebook page to do this) and who knows, you might be able to get a coffee with my drawing on the cup in time for Christmas! How cool would that be?!

Thanks! :-)

Thursday, 12 August 2010

UPside exhibition UPdate

Okay, so over the past few days I've been scribbling away working for the group exhibition that I'll be taking part in next month. You can read more about it here and here...

These are the first portraits of some of my friends that I've completed. I started working alphabetically through my list of friends, but quickly decided it would be more fun to work in a more haphazard approach and just draw people at random depending on my mood...

When I've completed all the portraits, I'll review the positioning of each portrait in relation to one another.

I'm enjoying the challenge of this project, to capture a good likeness of my friends and drawing a range of expressions, face shapes and hair styles. It's also quite interesting to concentrate solely on drawing a face with no added background details or elements.

The exhibition will be on from the 13 September until the 7 November at the Medcalf Gallery 40 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE.

Monday, 9 August 2010

UPside - reasons to be cheerful

I'm taking part in a group exhibition, to be held next month, alongside 13 other artists as part of our ongoing Playroom collective.

The exhibition is entitled UPside and aims to present a varied collection of private fascinations, small joys, curiosities and indulgences. In short, our reasons to be cheerful!

I've been doing some initial thinking about the project and decided that my own personal reason to be cheerful was my friends. Good friends are always there when you need them, and even when you don’t. They are there to share the good times and can help make a bad situation seem less so.

Or to put it another way...

Anyway, inspired by my recent illustration for Amelia's Magazine which involved a series of portraits, I decided to produce a number of portraits of my friends. My idea was for the final piece to be large in size (around A1) but the individual images to be relatively small, so that the work will reward closer viewing, while also providing a pleasing overall aesthetic.

I mocked-up a version of how I envisage the final piece to look, using a series of faces from recent birthday cards I've produced for friends...

I'm going to be working on this project over the next few weeks, and will post some more updates in the meantime.

The exhibition will be held at the Medcalf Gallery in Exmouth Market in September, and I will post the details of the dates and times of the exhibition as soon as we've finalised everything.

Amelia's Magazine - 123 Bethnal Green Road

Now this was a lot of fun!

I was asked to produce an illustration to accompany an Amelia's Magazine article on the opening of the Sustainable Fashion Concept Store at 123 Bethnal Green Road. I was sent reference photos of some of the weird and wonderful fashionistas in attendance and set to work.

First thing I did was produce some sketches of some of my favourite people in the photos (the guy in the middle especially reminded me of the bit where the Statue Of Liberty starts walking through the city in Ghostbusters 2...).

This sketch gave me an idea for the finished illustration, based on the poster for the film Trainspotting. As with my recent Latitude illustrations, I was a bit concerned about all the different clashing colours creating a bit of a jumble when presented together, so I quite liked the idea to present the images in black and white which balanced the image and prevented certain characters from dominating the scene...

However, there was also something I liked about the crazy mish-mash of styles of these colourful characters, so I also created a colour version of each individual, but after a few attempts, decided that they worked best in isolation, as opposed to interacting with one another.

Fortunately Matt Bramford at Amelia's Magazine liked them enough to include all my illustrations alongside his article. It also made me interested in drawing more portraits and likenesses of people, which feeds in to my next blog post...

Amelia's Magazine - Latitude Festival

During my absence from the blogosphere (...does anyone actually use the word "blogosphere"??) I was asked to produce some illustrations for Amelia's Magazine to accompany a couple of articles reviewing this year's Latitude festival.

The first of these was a round-up of the Thursday evening and included a scene-setting illustration of the Latitude crowds. I got sent some photos that Amelia Gregory had taken on-site, and produced a combination of characters from these photos with some background extras.

Because it was a very busy scene with a lot going on, I decided not to over-complicate it by using too many colours, and opted to use a very limited colour scheme of yellow and blue to represent the brilliant weather that weekend. Of course, whenever there's a crowd the question has to be asked: Where's Wally?

...There he is!

The second illustration I produced was for a review of Friday at the Festival, and a performance by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed accompanied by his all-female band, a ballet dancer, and projections of bums and willies. Again I received some photos for reference from Amelia of various parts of the performance and selected various elements to create my illustration. The performance used a lot of red and blue lighting, and I decided to treat the colouring in a similar way to my previous Latitude illustration.

Anita & Rishi - Just Married

Well, they were "Just Married" when I drew this, but it's been over a month now! So my friend Anita was getting married and having a party on board a boat that was sailing down the Thames. She commissioned me to draw an illustration for the front of the illustration and sent me details of what the bride and groom would be wearing, as well as some photos of her husband-to-be (as I hadn't actually met him). I worked on a few sketches and after a few emails back and forth between myself and Anita, we agreed that a portrait design would work best.

The drawing took a little while to get right – it was tricky drawing a likeness of someone from photographs alone, and my first attempts weren't entirely to the groom's liking, but after receiving some better photos for reference I was able to produce something we were both happy with. I also enjoyed working on the lettering, and particularly the ampersand (which incidentally is possibly my favourite word).

I was very pleased with the final result, as were the happy couple. I did show this illustration to a friend of mine who replied "Oh, it's just like Titanic!". Thankfully there aren't any icebergs in the Thames...

Happy Birthday To You...and You...and You etc.

A few of my friends have had birthdays in the last month (although thankfully the Summer months are a lot quieter for birthdays compared with the beginning and end of the year!), so here's a quick update on some recent birthday cards I've made...

My friend Priscilla lives in Melbourne. As such, I wasn't able to make it along to her Polka-dot themed birthday party, but I did send her this Polka-dot inspired drawing...

My dear old mother is a massive fan of Doctor Who, so I thought she would like this card of her in The Doctor's TARDIS... (she did!)

My friend Miriam came over to London from Barcelona for a few days just after her birthday, so I was able to give her this card in person! :-)

And finally, my friend Ami had a picnic and game of rounders in the park this weekend to celebrate her birthday. Despite not having played rounders since I was in Primary School, it was a lot of fun (although maybe not such a good idea to run on a full stomach...), but I think that was my exercise quota for the year...

I've recently added a section to my website with some of my previous card designs, and will be updating it soon with details of how to commission your own cards. More details soon!

Elephant Parade London: Gerald's Groupies

Okay, so I've neglected to update my blog in quite a while. But this doesn't mean that I haven't been working! Anyway, I'm now going to remedy this with a series of blog updates...

First off, an Elephant Parade update. One of the unexpected results of the recent Elephant Parade in London, was meeting with other fellow Elephant Spotters, either pounding the pavements in search of those elusive elephants, or online sharing information and tips to track down those last few Elephas Maximus.

A bunch of us formed a Facebook group to keep in touch, and met up to go and see the elephants one last time when they were on display in the grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital. We decided to call the group Gerald's Groupies, as for many of us Gerald was the final elephant out of the 258 that we were searching for. I was asked by Petra who started the group, and was instrumental in tracking down Gerald, if I could do an illustration to use for the Group photo, with Gerald still being hounded by those persistent Elephant Spotters...

I'm also planning to continue drawing more of the elephants from the Elephant Parade London, so watch this space...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Elephant Parade London: #181 Kubella - The Seaside Elephant

London has been experiencing insanely hot weather over the weekend. The perfect time to head to the beach with Kubella – The Seaside Elephant. Here she is enjoying an ice-cream down by the sea...

Please sign the petition to save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Family website.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Elephant Parade London: #228 Mr Cameron, #230 Mr Brown, #257 Mr Clegg

When the final votes were cast in the Elephant Parade auction, the results of the Political Pachyderm Prizefight ended up mirroring the General Election with Mr Cameron coming out on top with £9750, Mr Brown in second place with £8270 and Mr Clegg in last place with £7400.

But just like the General Election, Mr Clegg ended up joining forces with Mr Cameron and poor old Mr Brown got the boot. Poor Mr Brown!

Don't forget to cast your vote by signing the petition to save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Family website.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Elephant Parade London: #167 Elephish

There were a number of species-confused elephants in the Elephant Parade. One of my favourites (and among the first elephants I found) was Elephish. Is he an elephant, or is he a fish? Whatever the answer, I think he'd have some trouble staying afloat in the water...

Don't forget to sign the petition to save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Family website!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Elephant Parade London: #9 Simply Gold, #11 Simply Silver, #40 Simply Yellow

Sign the petition to help save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Family website.

Elephant Parade London: #53 Nana

I know some people didn't like Nana, but I thought she was rather sweet. Maybe because she reminded me of my own nan (...Because she always wore a scarf around her head when she went out, not because she looked like an elephant!).

If you haven't already, you can still sign the petition to help save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Family website.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Elephant Parade London: #255 The City In The Elephant

So the Elephant Parade London is now officially over, but I've decided to keep on drawing members of the Elephant Parade.

The City In The Elephant is a strange one. From the outside he appears fairly mundane – a plain red elephant covered in plastic domes. But when you look through the plastic domes you discover his secret: inside is a miniature city with even more miniature elephants filling its tiny streets and buildings.

But he looks a bit like a Dalek...

Thanks to Michelle Lee for giving me the idea! And don't forget to sign the petition to help save the Asian elephant over at the Elephant Parade website...