Friday 18 December 2020

The Future Of Work


Here's a recent and weighty commission for Virginia Tech Magazine on the Future Of Work no less. Virginia Tech are at the forefront of technological research and innovation across multiple disciplines so it was a joy for me to interpret the institution's future in my own 'tech-centric' style. The colourful cover and feature illustration collages are a mash-up of students, campus buildings, history, science and tech from disciplines such as medicine, construction and the arts. Overall, a very satisfying commission to work on, right up my strasse as they say. You can check out some of my other technology illustrations on the blog here.

Monday 14 December 2020

ABRSM Crescendo

It's been a bumper year for ABRSM illustration commissions and here's a mega-post to catch up on all of them. The bulk of the work was rebranding ABRSM's Music Theory series which required a new visual concept that could be used across the 5 grades of Work and Answer books. I presented a few approaches before settling on an organic design that emanated from a large central  grade number featuring 3d notation, textures and patterns. The illustration had to be versatile enough to work with the five colour schemes and for the Answer book I inverted the tones of the numbers and background imagery to differentiate them. Monochrome versions were also provided for the Sample Paper covers. Aside from that I created new covers for Piano Exam Pieces and Scales & Arpeggios with designer Kate Benjamin. Great jobs to work on as always. You can see all the previous work for ABRSM here.

Monday 7 December 2020

Bowery Bronze

Very pleased to discover last week that my recent 3d animated music video, Kilder's 'Down For Whatever Feat. Friday Night Plans' picked up a Bronze award at New York's Bowery Awards in the animation category for Film Craft / Motion Video. Really pushed my puny 3d skills on that one so I'm chuffed with the acknowledgement.

Thursday 19 November 2020

The Case of the Sherlock Stamp Proposal

Here's some Sherlock Holmes related unpublished work from last year that I produced as unadopted stamp proposals for the Royal Mail. The brief was to create scenes from famous Sherlock stories for a commemorative stamp collection, these two are from The Adventure of the Speckled Band and The Red-Headed League. They were a natural stylistic progression from my illustrated Sherlock submission for the Folio Society in 2018 which you can see here. The chosen illustrator, Karolis Strautniekas did a cracking job on the final set of stamps that were released in August, online here

Unadopted stamp proposals © Royal Mail Ltd.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Red, White and Boom

Here's a recent-ish illustration for Car And Driver with an appropriately US flavoured celebratory theme befitting the current geo-political mood. This is actually about a guy saving cancelled public Fourth of July celebrations in his home state by bringing the bang with his Mustang. You can see more Car And Driver illustrations here.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Atlanta Pride

Here's a new editorial illustration on the upcoming Atlanta Pride Celebration this weekend for Atlanta Magazine's calendar section. It's the fiftieth anniversary of the festival, one of the longest running in America, and due to the pandemic it'll be more of a virtual event this year so the brief called for a digital/online vibe to the collage of celebratory imagery.

Thursday 1 October 2020

Immunity Ocean

Here are two new cover illustrations for the current issues of BBC Science Focus magazine and the Collection edition. The main magazine needed an image for their Immunity Special Report and, after trying out a few ideas, this bemasked individual protected from virus invaders by a glowing antibody shield seemed to do the trick. The covid and antibody elements were created in Cinema 4D and comped together in Photoshop. The illustration was also used for a feature spread inside. The second illustration for the Oceans themed Collection edition is a digital collage of supplied stock elements textured and enhanced in Photoshop.

Thursday 17 September 2020

Mill Town

Here's a recent commission for the Boston Globe's Books section reviewing Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault. The book looks at the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine, where the author and generations of her family grew up. It charts the social, economic and environmental impact of the declining paper mill at the heart of the area for over a hundred years. Really enjoy working on illustrations based on literary sources with a sense of place and atmosphere.

Monday 7 September 2020

Barron's Covid Report

Here are a couple of recent Covid-themed finance and investment illustrations for Barron's. A cover for a 'Coping with Covid' report and an editorial on the 'Race to a Vaccine'. Enjoyed experimenting with colours and collage on these in relatively short turnaround times.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Mapping the Tree of Life

Here's a recent cover illustration for the Natural History Museum's magazine Evolve for a feature on sequencing the DNA of every British species. The brief was to create a collection of various creatures within a tree design that referenced the DNA helix shape. The digital illustration was a collage of 3d designed helix tree trunk, animal photography and various sky/tree imagery layered and treated in Photoshop with a magic hour palette. Now, how to get them down from there?

Friday 21 August 2020

Down For Whatever

Despite the lack of posts recently I'm glad to report it's been pretty busy for me during lockdown and whatever period of the pandemic we are currently in. A few illustrations and some chunky animation projects have kept me beavering away in my scrappy makeshift home office (aka the living room) such as this third video for Dutch producer Kilder's latest single Down For Whatever (featuring Friday Night Plans). After the first two mouth-centric videos we upped the ante and I had half of a face to work with. The singer, Friday Night Plans, supplied smartphone performance footage wearing a hat that obscured her eyes and created a striking look when treated for the video. The footage went into Cinema 4D and a 3d displacement map of the face was created that I could shade with light and texture and get the camera in close to capture interesting visual details. The performance was edited into an abstract sci-fi tinged environment with psychedelic 3d mountains and objects reacting to the music. All in all it was a blast to work on. You can see this and other Kilder videos here.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Hiii and 3x3 Awards

Pleased to get some recognition at the Hiii International Illustration Awards 2019 with the winners and finalists being announced recently. I received a Merit Award in the non-commercial category for my animation and illustration project Fragmentation for the male mental health site Man-Age. Also picked up a 3x3 Professional Show 17 Honourable Mention in the Sci-Fi category for my BBC Science Focus cover on the theme Space 2069.

Friday 17 July 2020

Kilder Double Hitter

One of the more fun and creative projects I've worked on during lockdown was animating music videos for upcoming Dutch producer Kilder for Native Management. The brief for both singles, Backwards feat. LYZZA and Don't Hide, was to create a video using only the mouth of a smartphone shot performance from the singer and the photographic artwork for the single. It was an interesting challenge working within those parameters and I went to After Effects town layering up the kaleidoscopic 3d effects to enhance the mouthy performance footage.

Friday 26 June 2020

The One

Here's another fun commission for Car And Driver magazine on the subject of the greatest cars of all time, no less, and how to pick 'The One'. The brief for this was to create a collage of lots (and lots) of cars in the pop mode of Peter Blake/Sgt. Peppers et al. We were thinking of including other cultural icons but there were just too many lovely vehicles to use in the collage, which was very enjoyable to put together. You can see this and other Car And Driver commissions here.