Wednesday 10 July 2024

College Town USA

Here's a recent cover and feature commission for the University of Maryland Medicine Bulletin to showcase the exciting new developments at their urban campus in Baltimore. The digitally collaged illustrations feature a mix of medical students, Baltimore landmarks and new campus architecture rendered in a bright palette. This job was a joy to work on and went super smoothly due to great art direction by Jim Gray who supplied me with an extensive array of really useful references and assets to go to (collage) town with as it were. You can see these on the main site here also.

Thursday 27 June 2024

Dance Tower

Here's a new flyer in the Dance Dance Dance series for the upcoming regular event at Margate Arts Club. More enjoyable sci-fi-delic shenanigans, this time under a Fernsehturm-ian tower with the city dwelling folk. Here's a sequence of progress from sketch through to colour rough, before a late date change for the final, and a horizontal comp. See all the posters on the site here.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

EVC Slinger

Here's a catch-up on commissions for long-time client Car and Driver from the last 6 months. The most recent was an unusual request to rustle up an EVC gunslinger for a piece on charger comparisons and was a lot of fun to do. Two further illustrations looked at the 10 Best collector-car investments and the editor's reminisces on cars from the past twenty years. Great to work on as always. You can see more illustrations for Car and Driver on the site here

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Anti-Ageing Diet

I've been neglecting the blog a little due to a freakishly busy few weeks so here's a post on a couple of recent pieces created for BBC Science Focus. These two didn't quite make it past the gatekeepers this time but were a lot of fun to work on. 

The first is an animation for Focus' first digital only issue for Apple News on the theme of The Anti-Ageing Diet. With a short turnaround time I worked up a few approaches, including a futuristic food blender/clock concept and an animated female figure picking up diet items, pictured here. The latter was chosen for development and I set about sourcing and animating 3d rigged models of an older woman and a younger woman to create a de-ageing effect as the diet items are collected. I used Mixamo for walk and run cycle loops to apply to the 3d models in Cinema 4d then keyframed a camera move before taking it all in to After Effects to composite with all the other elements. Quite a complicated learning curve this one but was pleased with the results. Turned out Apple News had been working on their own animated cover  and ran with that one, using only a still from the animation in the end. These things happen.

The second unused illustration was for a potential Focus print ad to promote their own website on a laptop screen with an appreciative android giving the metal 'devil horns' hand gesture. Was not to be. See more work for Focus on the blog here

Friday 26 April 2024

Dance Moves

This is the latest entry in the DanceDanceDance poster series promoting a regular night at Margate Arts Club hosted by Katie Barber and Joe Lye. For the fifth in the psychedelic/sci-fi inspired series I wanted to expand the world a little with new characters and hints of new places to venture into such as the distant tower. This one features a sort of psych-deco Amelia Earhart from Mars 2.0 and was fun to make as usual. Also a cheeky Death Star-esque orb that might have nothing to do with the May 4th (be with you) date. I've included the process roughs here from initial black and white scamp to colour test then back to monochrome for detailing before presenting the developed colour rough for approval. Elements get added,  removed and refined at each stage and for the final I tweaked the overall background colour for a more upbeat Spring feel. You can see the full series on the site here.

Drum Kit

Here's some new work for ABRSM and their Drum Kit Exam Pieces 2024 cover. The brief for this commission required quite a number of initial concepts that explored a more energetic stylistic approach to previous ABRSM outings. I've posted a selection of the works-in-progress here showing a range of varied comps and palettes based around collaged photo ref of drummers. After a few rounds the chosen image was settled on and I'm pleased with how it all turned out. You can see this and other ABRSM work on the site here.

Thursday 21 March 2024

Secret Swan

I was really happy to have my submission selected for this year's return of the Secret 7" exhibition and auction in aid of the charity Warchild. All artists involved were asked to choose from seven tracks to create a unique 7" vinyl single artwork and remained anonymous until close of the live auction. I chose Siouxsie and the Banshees' Lullaby to base my artwork on and found the evocative lyric 'The dream swan spins' as good an excuse as any to build that robot swan I've always wanted to! Using Cinema4D I designed and modelled the swan before taking it into Photoshop for some violet-hued cygnetpunk styling for the final piece. I've posted an unused alternate version here along with some of the untextured 3d model shots to see. Also included are a couple of photos of the final sleeve displayed in the exhibition at NOW Gallery in North Greenwich, courtesy of Clare Mallison and Al Heighton. You can see some of my previous Secret 7" submissions here.

Friday 23 February 2024

Dark Universe

Here's a new BBC Science Focus cover illustration and animation on the mysterious matter of The Dark Universe. The doozy of a brief involved visualising strange distortions in space and time that may reveal hidden forces controlling the cosmos. I was sent some specific reference of an abstract blob animation which was a helpful starting point for some exploration into Cinema 4D's volume builder dynamics. After some fun playing with various textures and organic animations I sent over first concepts, some of which are posted above. A stark and graphic black on white approach was preferred with a bulbous and jagged blob combo to give it an erratic feel. I was also tasked with creating headline typography that would interact with the undulating shape and added subtle grid elements to suggest an attempt to quantify the unquantifiable. The shape animation was created in Cinema 4d then composited in After Effects and was a very satisfying blob-job overall. See more Focus work here.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Making A Dance

Here's the fourth poster in the series for the regular Dance Dance Dance event at Margate Arts Club serving up a sci-chedelic soufflé with a dollop of hand rendered type and an acidic Spring palette cleanser. Fun to make!

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Future Home

Here are a couple of recent editorial illustrations for Good Housekeeping on the subject of the Home of the Future. With a quick turn-around I created these digital collages featuring numerous elements mentioned in the article from domesticated robots and auto-bins to smart eco-homes and hemp bricks. You can see another fun tech-based commission for Good Housekeeping here.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

What's Next?

Here's my first post for 2024, a brand new cover illustration and animation for BBC Science Focus' 400th issue on What's Next? for science in our lifetimes. The brief was to design a bold typographic illustration to convey the wide variety of themes in the issue from Mars colonies to weight-loss pills. I set about creating 3d text in Cinema 4D and wanted there to be elements, such as the planet and brain, that would interact with the typography and the internal backdrop design that the font acts as a window into. Once we'd settled on a modern font that worked I created the illustration in Photoshop then animated the 3d models in Cinema 4d and composited it all together in After Effects for the Apple edition moving cover. Another satisfying commission for one of my favourite clients. You can see more Focus work on the main site here.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Crablington House

I had so much fun last year creating Lido Crab for Margate's Crab Museum calendar 2023 that I couldn't resist submitting another local landmark/crab inspired artwork for the '24 edition. As I'd been developing some illustrations this year featuring the monolithic br-eauty Arlington House it seemed to be the ideal candidate for crab-ification. Working with a Cinema 4d model I'd already made of the building I added concrete pincers and legs along with some rooftop eyes before composting into a Margate Main Sands scene in Photoshop. Happy to say Crablington House was selected for the calendar along with some lovely entries and is available at the Crab Museum store here. Get your claws on one. 

Thursday 7 December 2023

Liar Liar

Here's a fun editorial feature for BBC Science Focus on the science of lie detection. I was asked to spruce up a photo piece with a more lively illustrative take on the selected stock imagery and create a title page in the style of a polygraph machine. For the opener I knocked up some Cinema 4d polygraph elements and rendered out a frame at the desired angle before moving to Photoshop for a bit of painstaking squiggly line font creation and paper texturing. For the main feature illustrations I enjoyed going to town on the digital collage style with eye-popping colour and distressed texturing. You can see more work for Focus here.