Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Shaun Tan talk

Tonight I went to a talk at Waterstone's Piccadilly by Shaun Tan in conversation with Paul Gravett. Tan is an award winning author and illustrator and I'm a big fan of his work. He was a really interesting and humourous speaker and it was good to get an insight into how he works, as well as what inspires him.

Here's a quick sketch I did during the talk of Shaun, along with his character Eric who featured in his book Tales From Outer Suburbia...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Disco 2000 (and 11)

Here's a quick sketch of Jarvis Cocker I just did while watching Pulp performing at Reading Festival on BBC3...

Happy Birthday Welmoet!

It was my friend Welmoet's birthday on Thursday. Welmoet was studying at Camberwell the same time as me doing an MA in Book Arts, so I made her a book-based card...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Happy Birthday Kazu!

Today was my friend Kazu's birthday. And she also recently got married. So I decided to combine the two and draw her a multi-tasking birthday/wedding card...

It cuts down on paper waste, so I'm being environmentally friendly!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Old Skool Scribbling: Episode IV - A Scanner Darko

Okay, so this is the last of these retro-themed blog posts for today, although I do have a few other bits and pieces that I want to share.

I really liked the 2001 film Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular character, who goes out sleep walking, meets a demonic-looking rabbit called Frank who tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds, and returns home the next morning to discover that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom. As you do!

I drew this picture imagining what Donnie Darko would be like if it was a Looney Tunes cartoon...

When I found this drawing in my sketchbook, I actually had all the different parts – the individual characters and items, and the background – drawn seperately. So scanned them and pasted it all together in Photoshop, as I must have originally intended to do.

Old Skool Scribbling: Episode III - Se7en

Hmm... It seems that I quite liked drawing group shots in 2006.

Seven Soldiers was a comic book series published by DC Comics in 2005–2006. Written by Grant Morrison, and featuring art by J. H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook, Frazer Irving, Pascal Ferry, Yanick Paquette, and Doug Mahnke, it consisted of seven loosely interconnected titles, each of which featured one of the titular Seven Solidiers: Shining Knight, The Manhattan Guardian, Klarion the Witch Boy, Mister Miracle, Bulleteer, Zatanna and Frankenstien. Although events in one title would sometimes impact upon another title, the characters themselves never meet and aren't aware of the fact that they all eventually play a role in the final battle against the Queen of the Sheeda.

Anyway, in complete contrast to the tone of the series, I decided to draw a picture of all of the seven characters together...

Old Skool Scribbling: Episode II - Why So Serious?

The second of my retro-themed blog posts for today is a bit silly, but it made me laugh.

As far as I can remember – all the way back to two thousand and six – sitting and drawing some stationery items led to me developing a brand new Batman villain...

DC Comics never returned my calls.

Old Skool Scribbling: Episode I - Hadoken!

So last Monday I went to turn on my laptop only to be greeted with... nothing! No image on the screen, no reassuring sound effect as my Mac turns on, just a slight whirr of the fan and then a glowing light on the front as if it was in Sleep mode. But it wasn't in Sleep mode!! After rushing to the Apple Store I was told that there was nobody available to see me today, but I could make an appointment... for Wednesday afternoon! Two Mac-less days later, I went to the Apple Store and they told me not to worry, it was a problem with the graphics chip and not only could they repair it, but I would also not lose any data (which was my main worry!). They didn't have the parts there, so they took my laptop away to the iHospital (...not to be confused with the Eye Hospital, which is where you go if you get Glaucoma), and two more Mac-less days later I got a call to let me know my laptop was repaired and ready to collect!

Which is a long way of saying that I wasn't really able to do any illustration work last week. I did do some drawing in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook, but there were a lot of other things I wanted to do which involved scanning or Photoshop, and so had to wait. But while I was in my low-fi existence I had some time to sort out a couple of boxes of stuff that I'd been meaning to look through for ages now. And in them I found a couple of old sketchbooks from the dim and distant past of 2006AD. Flipping through them I found some old drawings which I quite liked, so now with my computer back, I scanned them in so I can share them here.

Street Fighter is probably one of my favourite computer games. In October 2005 Udon Comics released a comic book series based on Street Fighter 2 and I drew this picture featuring all* of the characters from the game desperate to get a look at the first issue...

On my original drawing I'd left a blank space for the cover of the comic to be scanned and placed in Photoshop, so I finally got to complete the image as originally intended.

*I just realised as I was writing this that I didn't in fact include ALL of the characters, and left out Dee Jay and Ken, which I was quite surprised to discover as Ken is my favourite character...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Happy Birthday Yuki Nishimura!

Today was my friend Yuki's actual birthday and to celebrate we went to see Watch Me Move: The Animation Show exhibition at the Barbican, and then out for dinner and drinks afterwards.
Here's a card I drew for Yuki...

Thursday, 11 August 2011


A lot has been written online about the London riots which occured at the start of the week, and sadly spread to other parts of the country in the days that followed. I don't want to dwell too much on the senseless violence, but instead highlight something which made me smile in the face of such mindless destruction.

On Monday night, gangs of around 100-200 people were gathering in cities across London, destroying property, looting shops, and setting fire to vehicles and buildings. As I sat at home watching the footage on the news, and hearing the police sirens outside the window, the situation really did feel quite helpless...

And then the next day there was news of groups of more than 400-600 people turning up at the sights of the previous nights riots, with brooms and bin bags in hand, ready to help with the clean up!

Seeing this reaffirmed my love for the city of London and the people who live here and made me feel that everything would be alright in the end. Suddenly the rioting gangs were shown for what they really were: a small minority, something it was easy to lose sight of when watching endless footage of the rioting on Monday night. The majority of people in London did not decide to go out and loot and riot. Instead they chose to come out and do something positive to help to clean up the mess others had created!

After a surreal few days, I wanted to get back to drawing again, and to create an image which somehow reflected on recent events. While it is important that we don't loose sight of what happened on Monday night, I think it is more important to remain positive and to focus on how the city responded the next day, and how I hope the whole country will respond in the days and weeks to come...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

(Belated) Congratulations Lynsay & Matt!

My friend Lynsay got married at the beginning of last month. It was a really nice day and miraculously the sun was shining! I had planned to draw them a wedding card featuring the happy couple, but then I realised that I'd only briefly met her husband-to-be once before, a few years ago now, and couldn't really remember what he looked like to draw him...!

My options were:
a) Not to include him on the card (but that might have seemed a little weird).
b) To draw a generic male figure (but that might have seemed even weirder).
c) To draw the card, but leave a blank space where his face would be and finish the drawing during the wedding.
d) To go along to the wedding minus a card, make sure I took some photos which included the groom, then use them for reference to draw the card when I got home and give it to them later.

In the end I decided to go for the last option, and today met up with Lynsay and gave her the card, so I can finally blog about it without ruining the surprise!

You can check out some great photos of the wedding by photographer Emma Case over at her blog, which also includes a rather amusing photograph of me!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Well Done Little Brother!

My brother recently completed his Legal Practice Course (LPC) and passed with a Distinction, so to celebrate I drew a picture of him as Judge Dredd...

My First Sleeping Beauty

I spotted a competition online to create a poster for the English National Ballet's performance of My First Sleeping Beauty, the first in a series of classic ballets for children, which will tour the UK in 2012. I was scribbling down some ideas, and came up with this image of a sleeping ballerina, happily dreaming, but continuing to dance. How professional! ...

The chosen poster design will have extra information added to it, including performance dates and times, and company logos, so I decided to keep it quite minimal and not include too much superfluous detail.

The winning entry will be chosen by the English National Ballet along with cartoonist and illustrator Gerald Scarfe on the 21 September. There will also be an online vote from 1–7 September, with the top voted entries given special consideration during the final selection.

So if you like my image, please head over to the talenthouse website and cast your vote!