Friday, 15 February 2019

ABRSM Movement

Time for a hefty catchup on my music exam book cover illustration work with the lovely folk at ABRSM and equally lovely designer Kate Benjamin. Here are two of the more recent designs for Piano and Guitar Exam Pieces 2019/20 that have some new 3d elements woven into the gradually evolving style and texture to keep it fresh. I've also included a whole slew of colourful Woodwind Syllabus covers from the previous year that I've yet to add to the blog. A real pleasure to work on all of these and happy to say there's more to come. You can see all the of the ABRSM work over on the site and here on the blog.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Raw Power Festival 2019

Here's a job I really enjoyed getting my teeth into recently, creating all the promotional material for a North London music event Raw Power Festival 2019. It's a festival I'm a fan and regular attendee of so was excited to tackle the relatively open brief from the promoter Baba Yaga's Hut. I saw it as a welcome opportunity to indulge my creative and musical leanings with the festival being a great showcase for 'the best psych heaviness, space rock, synth crazyness, left field electronica and much more'.

For the logo I looked for chunky typefaces to adapt into suitably psychedelic texture windows. The artwork came about after two flashes of inspiration, one of them retroactively. I modelled the central figure in 3d, initially thinking welding helmets and slinky robots and was reminded afterwards by my wife that it was probably all inspired by Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (1983). Probably. For the landscape I was thinking heavy-duty gig lighting and dry ice fog by way of Flash Gordon (1980) skies and strange floating droids.

Once the look was signed off I designed the posters announcing the partial and full festival line up then went to town animating a promo video in After Effects to the heavy strains of Gnod's Donovan's Daughter. I've included some of the promo stills here and a few of the initial poster designs beneath the finals to show the creative progress. You can also see the work on the site here with related work.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Barren Island

Here's a feature and spot illustration for a Hadassah Magazine extract from the 2018 Ribalow Prize winning novel 'Barren Island' by Carol Zoref. It's about an immigrant Jewish family growing up on Barren Shoal, a factory island in New York's Jamaica Bay, in the earlier half of the 20th century where the primary industry was rendering animal carcasses into glue and fertiliser. It's a very atmospheric read and I really enjoyed trying to capture the essence of it. You can see it on the site with previous work for Hadassah.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Poster Prize For Illustration 2019

Happy New Year to all! Just about kick-started my brain into gear for January so I'll open the 2019 blog chapter with some good news. Very pleased to have been accepted into this year's AOI Poster Prize for Illustration exhibition at the London Transport Museum opening on 8th February. The theme is 'London Stories' and, after racking my brains for an existing narrative to illustrate, I decided to go with one of my own personal experiences. This illustration, entitled 11/10/08, is a celebration of my wedding day on the London Eye to the woman I love in the city I love. Simples. You can see it on the site with previous Prize For Illustration entries here.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Focus Fest

Time for a BBC Focus magazine catch-up before the year is out. Here are the two most recent cover illustrations for BBC Focus Collection, on The Science Of True Crime and Health Breakthroughs, that continue the 3d minimal style I've been developing since the first issue earlier in the year. The third illustration is a cover for the main magazine for the theme 'Inside Mars' and required me to create a colourful new planet environment for the supplied 3d rendering of the Mars InSight lander. See further Focus cover work on my site here.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Anna Goodson Coaster Campaign 2018

Get your mugs at the ready as it's Anna Goodson Christmas coaster campaign time again! This year's theme is all about showing support for the protection of our environment and comes with the hashtag #Illustratorswhocare. I chose to illustrate wind power as a source of green renewable energy and created a stylised scene featuring 3d turbines. Once I'd created the 3d environment and illustration I had some fun bringing it to life for an animated gif and a short teaser animation you can watch above. Anna also asked me to edit a promo for the coaster campaign featuring all of the excellent contributions from the agency's illustrators. You can read the full news post on the campaign here and see the work on the main site, along with previous coasters, here.

Monday, 19 November 2018

In Transit

More transport-themed collage mayhem with this illustration for NYC's Transit Center. It's about how autonomous vehicles are falsely presented as a future solution to urban transportation problems and undermine investment in the struggling transit system. You can also see this on the main site here with related work.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Stock Cars

Here's a nice little mover for Car And Driver magazine on a new smartphone app, Rally Rd, that allows enthusiasts to buy and sell shares in classic cars. You can see it on the site with previous work for Car And Driver here.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Red Hot Brexit Peppers

Here's a recent illustration for the newly relaunched quarterly edition of Red Pepper, a political magazine that, in their words, has been spicing up the left for 20 years. I was commissioned to illustrate an article on the Brexit debacle and the original brief was to create an image that envisioned the mixed possibilities of a dystopian no-deal future and a potentially inspiring left case for the way forward. The final, John Martin-inspired, heaven/hell vision of the UK landscape developed as the magazine was being edited and ended up featuring alongside an article entitled 'Socialism starts at home' rather than representing a possible three viewpoints, hence an alternate sign-post version featured here. I've also included some initial ideas that I floated of Britannia facing an unknown future and a flying Boris-pig inflicting untold damage on the nation. You can also see the work on the site here with related illustrations.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Fit For Fun

I've recently worked on a couple of healthy editorial commissions for Germany's Fit For Fun magazine. The first was based on Chronotypes, the sleep routines of individuals with the animalistic labels of bear, wolf, lion, and dolphin, and how they effect daily training. The second commission was based on how hormones effect your workout and diet. Enjoyable exercises in collage and colour, as it were. See them on the site with related work here.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Marvelous Models

Here's a commission for Science magazine in the US for an article entitled 'Marvelous Models'. It's about the increasing availability of computational resources to create scientific models, loads of people accessing data simulations from computer servers, basically. Really enjoyed working on this one using traditional Photoshop methods with some 3d enhancements. You can see it on the site here with related work.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Lürzer's Archive 200 Best Illustrators Cover

Roar-ly pleased to have one of my illustrations selected for the cover of this year's Lürzer's Archive 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide. It's my entry, Brex The Lionheart, for last year's Great British Postcard Competition judged by John Lydon, in which it was a finalist. Chuffed to also have a few other pieces chosen for the new edition, an article on which you can read on the Lürzer's site here.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Mind-Bending Future Life

Here are the latest covers for the BBC Focus Collection series for the themes of Mind-Bending Science Simply Explained and the Scientific Guide To Your Future Life. The content for these usually covers a broad spectrum of topics so I tend to go for a simpler striking visual that sums up the theme and sits well with the established cover layout. Working with 3d allows me to focus on a central object then experiment with camera angles, light and colour. Bright eye-catching colours are generally preferred by the publisher so once my 3d renders are in Photoshop then I can enhance elements and ratchet up the palettes to my heart's content. I've included some of the early ideas and variations on the finals for these two covers. I was getting carried away with flying cars and neon cocktail cities for the Future Life theme but the 'simpler' billboard-only approach won out in the end. You can see these and previous work for BBC Focus on the site here.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Nature Photonics

I was recently approached by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, NY, to create illustrations based on their research into non-invasive laser vision correction. The aim was to submit them to Nature Photonics magazine to support their manuscript and be selected for a cover feature. Very happy to report one of the illustrations was chosen and is on the current issue as we speak!
I worked on four images based on some relatively jargon-heavy discussions and diagrams of the process and created three interpretations of the external eye and femtosecond laser and one micro view of crosslinks in collagen fibrils - still with me? I used some 3D modelling to create the laser and eye close-ups before bringing the renders into Photoshop to play with colours and texture. You can see them on the site with related work for Nature here.