Wednesday 21 June 2023

Game On, Zhuri!

Here's a selection of illustrations from a wonderful commission that came in last year from Reycraft to fully illustrate the first children's book from an exciting new US author called Deshaun Zollicoffer, entitled Game On, Zhuri! How To Defeat A Blob Monster. The story centres around a new video game created by programming whizz, Zhuri. The game, Zhuri's World, develops a mysterious bug which enables a blob monster to kidnap her Uncle Mike forcing Zhuri and her two best friends to enter the game and rescue him - a little like a latter-day Tron for the console kids.

I really enjoyed the story and I'd not really been approached to take on an anything quite like this before so, with a little trepidation, I jumped at the chance. The brief involved creating all the characters and the world of Zhuri from scratch, with a 9 year old audience in mind, and delivering a cover and 20 illustrations over a period of six months. The book layout had been pre-designed by the publisher, which was helpful, and there was a requirement for a distinct look and feel for real life and in-game characters and scenes. It was great fun designing the character costumes and appearance for both realities and I developed a pixelated vignette effect to go with the boosted palette of the game world. The writing was funny and imaginative so it was a joy to bring the scenes to life and creating the blob monsters was particularly enjoyable! Overall it was a smooth process and very rewarding to work on an extended commission that allowed the time to attend to the details. More of this please! The book is available for pre-order now and available from 27th June. You can see more of the artwork on the main site here.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Dance Triplicate

Here's an enjoyable commission for a recurring Margate Arts Club DJ event called Dance Dance Dance hosted by some of my friends, Katie & Joe, and their guests. They were looking for a new flyer /poster design so I started out with an open brief and flirted around with a few mirrorball-centric visuals before the brief was honed down a little with some classic psychedelic art references from UFO Club to Grateful Dead poster designs. With those inspirations in mind I set about designing illustrated typography and fantastical cosmic scenes with female figures and ended up with the final poster artwork. You can see some of the visuals created en route below the final design above. 

For Escape Only

Here's a recent bit of personal work I've been playing with in between jobs, a mini-project offshoot of the ongoing Lidoverse project called For Escape Only. It's a series of illustrations and an animation that expands on my Cliftonville Lido obsession to include other local landmarks such as the perfectly 80s (and hideous) College Square sign in Margate town and an abstracted take on the area's concrete promenades, coastal hazard markers and seawall escape ladders. With everything built in Cinema 4d it seemed natural to turn the illustration series into a subtle 3d animation exercise with simple camera movements added through the scenes. I paired the animated visuals with an edit from the atmospheric track Kibo by Ashford based band Bossk.