Sunday, 31 July 2011

Happy Unbirthday Yuki Nishimura!

Today my friend Yuki Nishimura had a picnic in London Fields to celebrate her birthday. Except it wasn't actually her birthday. Her birthday is in 2 weeks time! (But she did something today because some of her friends won't be around for her actual birthday).

Anyway, I thought I would make her a card to celebrate her Unbirthday today. And as she likes dinosaurs and Harry Potter, I ended up drawing Jurassic Potter...

I tried out the watercolours I bought the other week to colour the card, and am pleased with the results for a first attempt. I'll have to experiment a bit more with them...

Friday, 29 July 2011

The Scottish Penguin

I was recently contacted about a commission by Sarah Christie who – in her own words on her Twitter page – is a "London based, IT working, gig going, penguin obsessed Scottish person" and also makes things. She is currently in the process of setting up an online shop in order to sell some of her craft work under the title of The Scottish Penguin and after seeing my recent penguin comics online, wanted me to design a Scottish penguin that she could use on her blog and online shop.

I had a bit of a think and came up with a few initial sketches based around the idea of Scottish-ness...

Obviously, some of them were a bit more serious than others, but it at least gave us a starting point. Sarah liked the idea of a tartan penguin. She also suggested trying something using The Saltire. I must confess to being a bit unsure of what this was, but one google-search later and I was sat at my computer going "Oh! The Scottish flag!".

I did try out using The Saltire, but the results made it look like the penguin was a member of the Marvel Comics mutant group X-Factor (Nothing to do with Simon Cowell!)...

So deciding to focus on the tartan design, I worked on creating a tartan pattern that Sarah was happy with, and finally came up with The Scottish Penguin!

You can visit The Scottish Penguin online shop here!

Monday, 25 July 2011

"I'm a god. I'm not THE God... I don't think."

I've been spending the last few days updating my website, adding some new images to my portfolio and revising some of the sections, and have finally finished!

You can view the results over at

One section I wanted to revise was the Contact section. Given how important the presence of social media sites has become to publicising my work, I wanted to add details of my Twitter and Facebook profiles.

I also wanted to include a new illustration to the Contact page and after scribbling down some ideas, eventually came up with this...

Now obviously the composition is based on Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, but it was only when I had already started drawing the picture that I suddenly realised that I was drawing myself in the position of God...

I would just like to point out that I was in no way suggesting that I'm like God.

Still, I guess we do both have beards...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Ghost of Drawings Past: Episode Four

One more old-skool drawing I found! This was a cartoon I drew for a student magazine to accompany an article about the number of movie sequels – Men In Black 2, Spider-man 2, Scooby Doo 2, Stuart Little 2 – being released that summer (2002)...

The Ghost of Drawings Past: Episode Three

I've been thinking a bit about my online presence recently, and what people can see when they search for me online. As part of this, I deleted my MySpace account which I hadn't really logged on to in over three years, because I didn't really have time to maintain it, and would prefer people get directed to my current social networking profiles. But before I did, I made sure to copy my old illustrations that I had loaded up on my profile. I posted some of these old drawings to my blog a few years ago now, but here are a few more that I didn't previously post.

Band On The Run

So this was one of the first images I posted online I think. A drawing for my friend's brother's band... I'm not sure if they're even still together now... And I forget the name of their band. But I like the limited colour!

ASBO Koala

A drawing I did for my friend Mel. I often would ask people for suggestions of things to draw...

The Lion, The Which? And The Wardrobe

My friend Janice suggested drawing Mr Tumnus being mauled by Aslan. As you do!


She also suggested this drawing. But I haven't got a clue what her original suggestion actually was...

I'd rather have a bowl of JOCOpops

Jo Cogan is a talented designer/illustrator who I first met on MySpace. This was a drawing of her I did based on her profile photo at the time.

The Future's Bright...

And here's my version (bottom) of an illustration she produced (top) for the mobile phone company Orange.

Me, Myself and I...

I think this was around the time that I began drawing myself...

...and I didn't have a beard back then.

Happy Birthday Kavita

And finally, here's a birthday card I drew for my friend Kavita who was studying to become a doctor. She wasn't actually training to be a surgeon... But I think she had to do some surgery training... Or else I just thought it was a good idea for a drawing. I forget which...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ghost Poet, Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam

In amongst all the phone-hacking, job-resigning and pie-flinging that has been going on lately, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011 Albums of the Year nominations were announced today.

Having a look at the list of nominations, I was struck by the fact that I didn't have a clue who most of them were! Yes, I saw PJ Harvey at the Reading Festival one year and I liked her album Stories From The City, Songs From The Sea, and I have at least heard of Elbow and Adele, even if I couldn't name you any of their songs, but most of the other names on the list left me none-the-wiser...

Is Katy B related to Scary Spice? Is Tinie Tempah a dyslexic dwarf with a short fuse? And how exactly do you pronounce Gwilym Simcock's first name?

But one nomination stood out for me, based purely on the name, and immediately gave me an idea for a drawing! I have no idea what they're music sounds like (and part of me doesn't want to hear it, as I'd probably only be disappointed), but this is my illustrated impression of Ghost Poet, Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam...

In space no one can eat ice cream.

I've just completed my submission for the SPACE exhibition which will be happening as part of the Cardiff Design Festival 2011 in October. They are currently taking submissions for inclusion in the show (Deadline: Monday 1 August 2011) which will then be featured on their online showcase, with selected entries being printed and exhibited at the event in October.

My illustration is entitled "In space no one can eat ice cream" – a deviation from the tagline to the Ridley Scott film Alien – and highlights the impracticalities of attempting to eat an ice cream while wearing a space helmet. I've also included a number of references to various science fiction concepts from film and television...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Endangered Creature Alphabet

After a few months of maintaining radio silence, I'm pleased to finally be able to talk about my involvement in the Endangered Creature Alphabet – a collaborative project organised by Matt Witt of creaturemag, an online arts blog dedicated to displaying the work of talented upcoming and established artists.

Officially launched today, the Endangered Creature Alphabet is "an illustrated collection of 26 threatened species, drawn by 26 talented artists". And I'm one of those artists!

Responding to a message put out on Twitter back in May for artists who wanted to be involved in the project, I emailed Matt expressing my interest, and was pleased to be selected to take part.

Each of the selected artists was given a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding animal to draw. The letter selected for me was M and my designated animal was the Mandrill. I was pleased with my selection – I'm always happy to draw a monkey – and enjoyed capturing this fierce but funny-looking creature. I was slightly suprised to learn that the mandrill was facing the possible threat of extinction, which I guess is one of the aims of this project, and hopefully it will help to educate more people about the plight of endangered species.

The completed illustrations have been gathered together and collected as an e-book, alongside a foreword by John Farndon, with each page giving some insight into the level of risk that each of these animals is facing.

To view the book, click on the image below and you'll be able to read through the pages online...

I was pleased to be asked to get involved with this project and to have the chance to work with other artists from across the globe. It's great that the current boom in social networking has made it so much easier to interact with other creative people and opens up new opportunities.

Thanks to Matt Witt and Creaturemag for devising the project, and I hope that it will help to enlighten and educate people to the plight of endangered species.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is my Mum's birthday. And as she is now 64 years old, I drew her a card based on The Beatles song "When I'm Sixty-Four"...

(I should probably point out that my Mum is not actually bald or an alchoholic. And she's normally tucked up in bed by quarter to three. But I did make her a cake!)

Despite the fact that she is now 64, my Mum isn't one for playing bingo and shouting at buses (or whatever it is old people normally do...).

She is a big fan of Doctor Who, and is old enough to have watched it from when it first started back in November 1963. So for her birthday I drew a picture of my Mum alongside the current Doctor Who, about to take on various bad guys from the show, and got it printed and framed...

Happy Birthday Mum! :-)


Oh, and as a little bit of a DVD-style bonus feature, here's my initial thumbnail sketch I produced for the drawing. I was pleased of the fact that I managed to capture the idea on my first attempt...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

You're Fired!

I really don't watch that much television these days, but one show that I do watch religiously is The Apprentice on BBC1, which I figure is probably as close as I'll get to doing a Business Studies degree...

Anyway, after 11 weeks, they are now down to the final four contestants, and with the Final being shown this Sunday, I thought
I would do a few drawings of the remaining contestants...

(clockwise from top-left: Jim, Helen, Susan and Tom)

My money is on Susan to win! Even though she has the uncanny ability to be amazingly stupid and then brilliantly clever in a single sentence (which may well be down to the show's editing), she's shown that she knows a lot about business and also seems to be the most ambitious of the four. I like Tom, but he just doesn't seem like he could actually run a business. Jim is too manipulative of other people and Helen... I don't really have any opinion about Helen. She's been on the winning team the most number of times, but I don't think that's always been particularly due to her contribution.

Anyway, apologies for anyone who reads this blog and doesn't watch The Apprentice... but it IS my blog, so stop your moaning! x

Tom won.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

Look what they writed...

I'm currently working on a couple of projects which I can't quite blog about yet, so things are likely to be a bit quiet from me over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Illustration Rally website has just posted an extremely flattering Artist Feature all about me, which you can read here!

Thanks very much to Natsuki Otani and everyone at Illustration Rally. After you've finsihed reading all about me, you should definitely take some time to have a look around the site as they have a lot of interesting features and really amazing artwork. Plus they've done a lot of great work in support of the Japanese Tsunami Appeal with their Ganbare Nippon appeal. I'm really happy to be featured on their site...

I was browsing through the stats for my website earlier to see where the traffic to my site was coming from and was amazed to discover another article about me and my work over on the Comics Alliance website! It was posted a few months ago, but this was the first I'd heard of it. I guess online articles are like buses, you wait ages for one and then two come along at once!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

HP7.2 (Harry Potter and the Half-Cut Prince)

The final Harry Potter film is released very soon and in an interview with GQ magazine, Daniel Radcliffe has revealed how he recently gave up drinking after becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol during the filming of the last few films in the franchise.

Obviously, alchoholism IS a serious subject, but I can't help imagining what a drunk Harry Potter would be like...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Born On the Fourth of July

Today is the Fourth of July – Independence Day – a public holiday in the United States, where they celebrate the time that the actor Will Smith saved Earth from an alien invasion...

Happy Independence Day to all my American friends!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Happy Birth Day Isla!

Recently my friend Shirlene gave birth to an adorable baby girl and I decided to draw her little cartoon to celebrate the special occassion...