Monday, 31 January 2011

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Illustration Friday: Dusty

Okay please bear with me...

This week's Illustration Friday theme is Dusty. As I've decided to go with the very first thing that comes into my head upon seeing each week's theme, the word Dusty immediately made me think of Dusty Bin!

For the uninitiated, Dusty Bin (as the name suggests) was an anthropomorphic rubbish bin who appeared on the UK television game show 3-2-1, which appeared on ITV for ten years between 1978 and 1988. As well as being the mascot for the show, the losing contestants each week would win their own Dusty Bin to take home.

Anyway, all of which brings me to my drawing for this week's theme. A slightly melancholic image of Dusty Bin dusting and dreaming of happier times...

Friday, 21 January 2011

Asterix and the Taxman

I read a news article online today that Albert Uderzo – one of the creators of Asterix the Gaul – is being ordered to pay €203,000 (£171,000) in unpaid tax on the 24 Asterix comic books he and the late René Goscinny produced between 1959 and 1979.

Despite their publishing contract stating that while Uderzo signed off the drawings and Goscinny the texts, they were both recognised as the author, the French tax office is claiming that Uderzo was not entitled to claim tax breaks available only to "people who have participated in writing the texts of the comic strip".

I decided to do a drawing of how Asterix's friend Obelix might have dealt with the situation...

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Illustration Friday: Chicken

This week's Illustration Friday theme is Chicken.

The very first thing that came into my head was the scene from Back To The Future Part II, where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) reacts to being called "Chicken"...

You can see the original scene here, and if you haven't watched all three Back To The Future films before, then you really should do.

Embrace change

Recently I've been commenting quite a bit on Facebook about the new profile layout. This new design was introduced towards the end of last year but was optional, allowing you to keep the existing profile design if you prefered, which I did. This week however, I received notification from Facebook informing me that Democracy was no longer an option, and I would be upgraded to the new profile in the next few days, to offer me "more ways to show and tell [my] story".

I have a few issues with this. Firstly, I'm not Hans Christian Andersen. Secondly, one of my main reasons for using Facebook – other than to keep in touch with friends all over the world – is to help to publicise my illustration work and try to generate more traffic to my blog, website and Twitter account. My Facebook profile currently features links to all of these, plus my Facebook page dedicated to my illustration work, underneath my profile picture at the top of my profile. The new profile removes this information, so that it's hidden away out of sight. This makes me sad. All of which has led me to comment a few times about my dislike for The Change, which did make me sound a bit like a menopausal woman (Thanks for that, Tom!).

I would like to point out that my comments have been slightly tongue-in-cheek. I'm not some technology-fearing Luddite, smashing my iPod with a rock, using my laptop as a frisbee and howling at the moon! Facebook is a free service and as such I can't really complain too much. If somebody gave me a free cake, I couldn't really turn around and have a go at them because I didn't like the way the icing looked.

Anyway, to try and draw a line under all of this, I decided to create an image of myself based on President Obama's campaign poster...

Embrace change! Carpe diem! Zigga zig ah!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Spider-Man: The Musical? Really?!?

When I first heard about a Spider-Man musical written by Bono and The Edge from U2, I assumed it was a joke, and not a very good one at that. But amazingly it was true, and the horribly titled Spider-Man: Turn Off The Light is due to open on Broadway later this year.

But first there's just the small matter of all the accidents that have befallen the cast during rehearsals and preview perfomances. I hope that all the actors and stuntmen involved will make a speedy recovery, but it gave me an idea for a quick doodle...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Illustration Friday: Déjà-vu

This week's Illustration Friday theme is Déjà-vu.

Déjà-vu – meaning "already seen" – is the sensation of feeling sure that you've already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined.

When I was a child, I use to experience moments of Déjà-vu quite often. I would suddenly get an uncanny sense that I'd experienced a moment before, hearing a familiar conversation or viewing a scene I'd witnessed before. It usually only occured for a few seconds, yet in all these cases, there was no possible way I could have seen or heard these things in the exact same way before. It's hard to describe the sensation. As I grew older, these moments became a lot less frequent, but recently I have begun experiencing them again from time to time.

Earlier last year I went to Brighton for the day with some friends, and while we were sitting on the beach, I suddenly had a sense that I'd experienced this exact moment before, sat on Brighton beach with these exact same people, and hearing the conversation that was taking place. All of which finally brings me to my drawing for this week's Illustration Friday theme, which was an attempt to capture my own personal moment of Déjà-vu...



While I was producing this illustration, I was thinking a lot about the concept of Déjà-vu, and the sensation of feeling as though you've experienced something before, and I got an idea for another illustration for this theme.

Surely, with their supposed 3-second memories*, goldfish must spend their whole life with a feeling of Déjà-vu...

*Apparently, goldfish don't actually have 3-second memories. According to The Internet, it is more likely between 3–6 months.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and the Line of Beauty

"Just a line? But it is the basis of all art, with a single line we can express grandeur, nobility, sensuality, the line synthesises sensations and concentrates knowledge." (René Gruau)

Today I went to see the exhibition Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and the Line of Beauty at Somerset House. The exhibition featured a number of Gruau's original illustrations, sketches and artwork produced over 40 years for Christian Dior.

I don't normally have that much interest in fashion illustration,
but I was really impressed with the strength of Gruau's line undulating across the page. The high contrast between thick and thin strokes managed to create an appearance that was at the same time both delicate and robust. It's always exciting to gain inspiration from an unexpeced source!

Here are a few sketches I made in the exhibition...

Unfortunately, today was the last day of the exhibition, so if you haven't made it along before now, it's too late to go and see it.
But you can watch a short video about the exhibition here.

Happy Birthday Richy!!

This evening my friend and fellow comics-head Richy had a gathering for his birthday. Here's the Scott Pilgrim inspired card I made for him...

Happy Birthday Nanae!!

Today was my friend Nanae's birthday. She had an exhibition of her work in Brick Lane's Backyard Market and then we all went for dinner. Here's the birthday card I made for her...

The text down the side says "Happy Birthday" in Japanese... thanks to Yuki Nishimura for checking it for me (...and I only needed one correction)!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Dr. Seuss to the Emergency Ward...

When the weather outside is like it has been for the past two days, I always feel like I'm living in the opening page of The Cat In The Hat...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New Year – New Project!

I'm really excited about a special project I've started working on with the fantastically talented and hilarious Rachael Smith. So excited, that I couldn't wait to post a sneak peak!

We've been talking about collaborating on something together for a while now and the start of a new year seemed the perfect time to make a start! I'll hopefully be able to post some more news about our work together very soon, so stay tuned...

Happy Birthday Arina!!

Didn't you have a birthday this time last year?!?

So today was my friend Arina's birthday! As she recently spent a whole week watching all the Harry Potter films for the first time, I thought I'd make her a magical birthday card...

...she wasn't able to magically produce a birthday cake in real life though. What a shame.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

So I've been a bit lazy since the start of the New Year, but I justified this to myself by the fact that it was the weekend and today was a Bank Holiday, so it was only fair. Anyway, tomorrow I begin my Manifesto for 2011...!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Illustration Friday: Resolutions

One of my aims for 2011 is to really focus on my illustration work, and to this end I've decided to resume taking part in Illustration Friday – a weekly illustration challenge, where a new topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation of that week's theme. It's a good exercise to do, and I plan to take part every week during 2011.

This week's theme is Resolutions.
Hopefully everyone can achieve a small triumph of their own...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!! Hope that 2011 will be a terrific year for you all...