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...