Sunday, 12 December 2010

Brie harrison and Supermarket Sarah!

The talented illustrator, designer of flower patterned goodness and all round good egg Brie Harrison has curated a wall over at Supermarket Sarah and has done gone and put some of my stuff in there too. For those of you not in the know (like I was until Brie told me) Supermarket Sarah invites designers, illustrators and artists to curate a wall in her studio with anything they fancy (usually prints, clothes, items of curio) you can then buy said items by clicking on the picture. Clever huh? Yes it is. Alongside Brie's great work and some prints, cards and tattoos from me there's goodies from Jim Stoten, Luke Best, Mike Perry and Landfill to name but a few.
You should go there and buy christmas presents for your nearest and dearest . If you want to I mean.

Supermarket Sarah will be taking her wall to selfridges in the new year and will be stocking some of my fake tattoos which is nice of her. It's only a matter of time before selfridges invite me to create my own Fake Tattoo Emporium where people will come from all over the world to have my drawings stuck onto their body for huge sums of money before returning a week later saying
" My tattoo came off. Can I have my money back?" and I will say " Well, they're fake tattoos so they're only temporary. That's how they work. They are meant to come off." and they'll say " Oh, I didn't realise." and I'll say " Well perhaps I should make the 'Fake' bit on my sign a bit larger then." Perhaps.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Graphic Cosmogony Launches this thursday the 25th November!

If you are in London this thursday eve head on down to the Nobrow Gallery where along with the fantastic looking Jon Mcnaught and Rob Hunter exhibition 'Murmuring Landscapes' there will be the very first copies of 'The Graphic Cosmogony' for sale. Word on the street is it's as good as it smells. I have yet to smell it but I reckon it smells lush. I think there will be a fair few of the contributors there to sign copies and to enjoy the rum cocktails too. Head to the Nobrow website for more details and to their facebook page to RSVP.

I will explain more about my story in the Cosmogony when it's out in the shops but until then here is the first page for yous.

*Gosh! Since I posted this this morning Nobrow have done and gone posted pictures on their website head here to see them and head here to see what Mr Ben Newman has to say about it!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Bloomberg Businessweek Cover - Coke In Africa

Last week I was lucky enough to illustrate the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek over in the U.S of A. The cover is based on Duane Stanford's article about Coke in Africa (as you may well have been able to tell what with the big red and white writing.) The piece looks into the fact that Africa is the last place for Coca cola to conquer in terms of sales and the subsequent plus points and minus points of this. Obviously I had to show both these sides as well as making the cover intriguing to the viewer but without it looking too much like a Coke ad. I think I pulled it off and am real pleased with the outcome. I had some great art direction from Richard Turley the creative director at Businessweek who knew what he wanted but didn't say "now draw this in that corner and put some red here...' rather letting me come up with my own solutions that fitted the brief.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Combination of... November and December 2010.

The fine fellows over at The Combination Of... are back from hiding / hibernation / holding ham sandwiches with two more fantastisch nights of live musical entertainment for people with ears and eyes and mouths and hands. To both celebrate and promote these evenings of splendor they asked me to create 2 posters which I done gone and did. Here they be.

As you can see for the November poster I took my inspiration from this inspirational piece of artwork from Ben Newman and included circles of varying colour and sizes.

For the December one I just turned a picture of a kid's torso upside down so his jumper made a face and his hands became feet and had stuff jumping out of it. Yeah, believe it.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

That's Novel! That's a Comic!

Nobrow will be exhibiting excerpts from the forthcoming 'A Graphic Cosmogony' at 'That's Novel!' a comics exhibition at London Print Studio and I am lucky enough to be one of the 6 artists whose art work is featured. The exhibition opens Thursday the 21st at 6pm and will run from 22nd October to the 18th of September. It looks like it will be real fun and very yellow.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Beatrice & Virgil / Man or Monkey

A wee while ago I was commissioned by the LA Times to do an illustration for a review of the new Yann Martel book 'Beatrice & Virgil'. As the two namesakes from the title of the book are a donkey and a monkey I was asked specifically to draw the head of a donkey and the head of a monkey. Normally when an art director asks you to draw something specific it can be somewhat frustrating as it's much more preferable to come up with your own idea. But this isn't the case when asked to draw a donkey head and monkey head. In that case it's usually ''How many do you want?'' As you can see from the following roughs I got pretty carried away with drawing these heads and so numbered them up so one of each animal could be chosen.

Even then I ended up handing in 2 versions of each. In the end they went for the more 'donkey looking' Beatrice rather 'horse -looking' Beatrice and the not so sad Virgil.

A couple of months later I was approached by Anorak the foremost kids magazine to contribute a game or puzzle for their upcoming activity book. I decided to make a classic game of 'Man or Monkey' whereby I could draw some more monkeys and some men too.

Although my spread won't be in the first Anorak activity book it will be in the second one which is coming out shortly.

I then thought ''Yeah that game of Man or Monkey would make a sweet limited edition screen print, printed in various colours on A3 paper and sold at the reasonable price of £10!'' So that is what I am doing and here is what it will look like in yellow. I'll let you and everyone else know when it's up for sale. Yeah.

Monday, 6 September 2010


I recently did this illo for the LA Times for a review of 'Baked' by Mark Haskell Smith. The book is about cannabis, a special kind of cannabis called 'Elephant Crush' and gangsters. Hence the gun, the cannabis leaf and the elephants in suits. (Wow I am clever.) For a more thorough review head over to the LA Times.

It made me think as to whether this was really the first time I had drawn a cannabis leaf. Surely I must have drawn one with tippex on my school bag as a 14 year old boy? Or if I told the 14 year old version of myself that in the future - you / I would get paid money to draw a cannabis leaf coming out of a gun would I believe the future me? Would I be impressed? Should I be impressed? I suppose I'm having these thoughts as it is a ridiculous thing to draw. Isn't it?

All I know is that the 10 year old me would probably be slightly impressed with the gun at least. Though perhaps would recognise that it's not even a proper hand gun but an air pistol. Not that I was obsessed with guns as a child but when my brother and I first joined the library next to Safeways in cheltenham the first books we got out were two giant books about guns that contained hundreds of pictures of guns. We then took these books home where our mum was hugely unimpressed with our dad for allowing us said books while we snuck off and carefully reproduced these guns in pencil in our sketchpads. I think I cockily started to copy a large, meticulously detailed photo of the insides of a hand gun and then subsequently gave up when I realised I hadn't left enough space for the trigger or something. So in actual fact I think Rich and I were only obsessed with guns for a weekend at the most and probably went back to copying super heroes from Marvel comics. My mum was even less impressed when she had to take the mostly unread books back to the library where she was greeted with substantial late fines.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Graphic Cosmogony / Never show Knees In Public

I recently finished my 7 page comic for the upcoming Nobrow published "Graphic Cosmogony". Which looks to be another wonder of printed goodness from the artwork I have seen from a couple of fellow contributors. I am mainly talking about Mr Newman and Mr Best. Who as it happens were also incredibly helpful with the editing and colouring of my comic. So a big thank you to those two. More on this when it is published later on this year!

However rather than posting pages from said Comic I am posting some pages from a book I made a couple of weeks ago called 'Never show knees in public'. I decided to make this book so that (a) I had something to sell at the recent E.L.P summer fete and (B) as a warm up for the cosmogony and (3) because I wanted to. Ok? Sheesh.

But like I said it ended up being valuable project for the 'Cosmogony' as I developed characters and ways of working that then fed directly into my comic. As well as creating some images that will end up as screenprints.

I only ended up printing five copies of the book before my printer ran out of ink and so am now looking into other means to make the book as well as working on a few more pages that I'd like to add.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

E.L.P Summer Fete!

Hey Hey Hey!

If you are wondering what the Heckings you should do this Saturday then let me tell you what. (you should do this saturday).

You should come to the East London Printmakers Summer Fete where I will have a stall with the genius that is Sam Rees. I have been working on a limited edition book especially for the event and finally got some A2 posters covered in heads printed up!

There are some great stalls and things going down (see above). Though I am particularly excited to see the Giant Lino Cut being printed with a steam roller. Anyone who has ever done any lino cut printing will know this isn't the usual method of printing.

Also it mentions that we will have an amazing game just for the fete. We have been trying to create our own version of the Zoltar machine from 'Big' enabling any wish you make to come true (as long as the wish Is 'I wish I was Tom Hanks acting childish'.') So far it has been harder than we thought.

Come on down if you can and want.



Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Talking talking!

Hello. Hay fever permitting I will be chatting about how I make work this thursday 24th June from 6.30 Pm at Nobrow HQ (62 Great Eastern street). I will explain how I mix paint, my favourite pencil brand and snacks I eat while working. Or more likely I'll be showing photos of boxes full of cut-out bits of paper and saying "Here is a box full of cut-out bits of paper. And here's another"

I will also be signing copies of 'People I've Never met & Conversations I've never had' after the talk.

To RSVP go to Nobrow's Facebook page or if like me you're not on Facebook i'm sure you can give 'em an email or write them a letter or leave a post it note somewhere with your name on.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Heavy Pencil is Dead Long Live Heavy Pencil.

Andrew Rae has done it again and organised a cream cracker of an evening with Heavy Pencil East at Catch. I'm gonna embarrass me self again by pretending I can sing and play guitar at the same time. Then do a bit of live drawing to calm my nerves.


Thursday, 29 April 2010

Pick Me Up at Somerset House

If you are at loose end this bank holiday weekend head on down to Somerset House for 'Pick Me Up' their graphic art fair. Its full of great illustration and design with a plethora of collectives /studios / artists / shops and publishers all showing lovely stuff for your eyes to look at. There are some great stalls from Peepshow, Nobrow, Evening Tweed and Landfill Editions among others. I was there yesterday doing some drawing for Landfill who are making a catalogue of imagined items once on show at Somerset House and will be printed using their immense Risograph machine which is reason enough to go down to see. Here I am concentrating on drawing a jug and Marcus Oakley concentrating on a scottish man on a plinth. Thanks very much to Hugh from landfill for a fun day and for taking this photo which i stole from his flickr.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Recent Editorial Jobs.

Here's a few editorial bits and bobs I have done recently.

The above was for the current issue of the V&A magazine. To coordinate with the museums new exhibition 'Quilts 1700-2010' they invited author Tracy Chevalier to create a story based on an amazing Quilt from early 1800 in turn I had to create an illustration based on said story as well as taking inspiration from the original quilt .

Black and white illo for the LA Times for a review of 'The Unnamed' by Joshua Ferris.

Another one for the LA Times book review this time for Eva Hoffman’s book 'Time'.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Non Narrative Drawings or Comics what don't make no sense.

I've been thinking recently about making some comics and so I started writing out some ideas but they quickly turned into just me writing out conversations similar to the ones I've never had featured in my book. Which in itself is fine, I can draw some little people chatting with speech bubbles above their heads quickly realising they have misunderstood what the other is chatting about with hilarious consequences. However there wouldn't be much to draw apart from a scene / background to place them in. So instead I decided to just start drawing / painting anything I could think of but place them in panels to see if at least I could make something that looks like a comic even if it doesn't really tell a story. Below is what I came up with. Some parts work, some don't, some I like, others I'm not too bothered about. I'm sure if I wanted I could try and figure out a narrative from it. Perhaps by covering up some sections or reordering it. I even tried to start a very simple panel narrative with some small guys wearing pointy hats but the first panel I drew was the one in the middle and then drew characters leaving to the right and left forgetting the first rule of comics being you read from left to right. Oh well, it's a start of something even if I'm not sure what.

From the looks of this post my favourite word is some. I think used it at least 28 times.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bit of a show off.

I recently found out that I have won an award of excellence from the Society for New Design. It was for the above illustration for the book review of Brian Evenson's 'Fugue State' made for the Los Angeles Times. I'd like to thank Paul Gonzales the deputy design director at the L A Times who commissioned the drawing and subsequently put it forward for the awards. Below is the rough for the image which isn't too far away from the final.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Happy Late February 2010!

Well my new years resolution of blogging more is going really well. It has only taken me 7 and a bit weeks into the year of 2010 to get around to doing my round up of 2009. Pretty good huh? Yeah. So here are all the bits and pieces I forgot to post about last year so I can get onto posting some new stuff!

I was in an Exhibition up at The Royal Standard in Liverpool at the start of the year. The show was called 'SALE' and it was like a big ol art supermarket where you could buy the art work straight off the wall. The prices of said works would go up and down depending on inflation and the artists profiles. I was selling some screenprints and some heads. At one point you could buy an original Nick White head for as little as 20 pence other times it was a huge amount like a tenner or something.

One of the screenprints shown at SALE. The show went on tour in November to the Liverpool Tourist Information Centre.

At Easter Laura and I flew over to Turkey and traveled around looking at many mighty man made and natural feats of beauty. One day I'll do a proper post on this as it was pretty darn amazing just look at the fairy chimneys of Goreme.

In the meantime here is a picture from Pamukale that looks like snow and ice but it's not.

A very old piece graffiti depicting a chicken-man fighting a cross.

And Superman, Spiderman and Batman (with red cape).

At the end of April as posted on this blog I was involved in a lovely exhibition with Mr Tom Hicks, Miss Clare Mallison and Mr Paddy Molloy. Having gone to uni with these fine animator / illustrator peoples it was about time we had a show together. We collaborated on a large drawing of 2 rabbit headed Vincent Steinbecks and showed a variety of drawings and prints. The launch was a busy and grand affair even if Tom did miss it. Above is a photo of one of the pieces I had on show.

As previously mentioned I was invited to take part in the first issue of Nobrow, a journal released bi-annually by the lovely people at Nobrow. Here is my submission for the 'Gods and monsters' themed issue.

The conversation that never made it into the piece.

To coincide with the release of 'Gods and Monsters' and the start of Nobrow as publishing house proper a new website was designed. Sam and Alex originally asked various artists to design a banner including the name and logo for the site. These banners would change every time you visited the site as Is the done thing. Though the banners weren't used in the end I still like the one I did.

A large portion of 2009 was spent making and designing books which was very much down to other people helping me get my act together. One of these people is Sam Rees (see above) - zine maker and drawer extraordinaire who along with his equally extraordinary wife Marina Rees (see also above) signed us up to various book fairs. It's good to have deadlines and these fairs made sure I made stuff otherwise our table would look pretty sparse and no one likes a sparse table unless your selling sparseness.

Sam, Marina and Laura Wardfrost rightfully ignore a customer at the Alternative Press Fair August 2010.

Luke Best and some guy looking pretty darn pleased with their spread.

Shifty stall holders at Handmade and Bound 2010. Photo stolen from Sam Rees's blog.

In the latter part of the year Sam, Luke and I collaborated on a limited edition hand screenprinted tea towel.

The other people giving me a big helping hand and a whole lot of support and back patting were of course Alex and Sam from Nobrow. (Not sure If I've mentioned them in this post yet) But thanks to them I had my first book published and my first solo show. Here are some pics of the exhibition and private view. A very belated cheers to everyone who came before the fuse went.

Photos stolen fair and square from Concrete Hermit's flickr page. Cheers Chris.

Limited edition poster made for the launch and exhibition.

In October I was invited up to Dundee to do a talk at the university about my work and Illustration. I showed them a pretty snazy powerpoint presentation of - my work, how I did my work, where i did my work, why i did my work and some shopping lists. Thankfully this event was split in two so only half of the students dozed off.

I showed them this carefully styled picture of my desk.

Whereas it usually looks like this.

Earlier in the year I was asked to contribute to the latest Taschen 'Illustration Now!' Vol 3. It was released in November and subsequently they sent me a copy which was nice.

To coincide with Dufus's autumn / winter tour of the UK and Europe I made this limited edition of 25 stencil cut screenprint to sell at their gigs for money. It's inspired by the artwork I did for their classic album 'The last classed blast.' yup yup.

Varoom! The magazine made by the Association Of Illustrators did a review of 'People I've never met...' in their winter issue. The review appears on the same page as a review of Peter Blake's new ABC book which I was just as chuffed about.

To round off the year I was invited by the good man that is Andrew Rae to take part in the first East end version of 'Heavy Pencil'. I sang songs and drew alongside other Peepshow greats as Mr Luke Best and Spencer Wilson. Despite it being pretty darn cold and all the pictures suddenly disappearing at the end, twas a great night indeed. Snaps taken by paper folder extraordinaire Chrissie Macdonald.

Thanks and apologies to anyone who read this far for the horrendously large and self indulgent post but that's it I'll shut up now. Good.