Monday, 27 February 2012

'The Absurd Balloon - In The Big Smoke'

Another Absurd Balloon illustration with another lame working title. This one only really started working when I applied the ink wash. More here.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

'Serge Gainsbourg' illustration

Watch this extended footage from the recording session for 'Initials B.B' - if you don't like Serge Gainsbourg we can't be friends.

Now available to buy as a screen-print - click here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

'After Work'

'After Work' is a new piece I did last week inspired by the poem of the same name by Gary Snyder (Japhy Ryder in Kerouac's 'Dharma Bums'*). It's done in acrylic paint and inks; I was going to do a layered piece similar to Epic Octopus Attack but ended up really liking how restrained it is. I'm going to develop it into a two colour print soon with ink wash.

Unusually for me I actually did two versions - I'm not crazy about over-planning illustrations and tend to take gambles throughout their creation - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The earlier version is below - the fog line-work is a little too heavy, the grass at the front is unnecessarily distracting, the fog coverage isn't enough to make the shack float and the black background doesn't work as well as the white does. Generally speaking if I have to do something twice the second one isn't as good but I think this time I got it right.

* "Japhy and I were kind of outlandish-looking on the campus in our old clothes in fact Japhy was considered an eccentric around the campus, which is the usual thing for campuses and college people to think whenever a real man appears on the scene -- college being nothing but grooming schools for the middle-class non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization. 'All these people,' said Japhy, 'they all got white-tiled toilets and take big dirty craps like bears in the mountains, but it's all washed away to convenient supervised sewers and nobody thinks of crap any more or realizes their origin is shit and civet and scum of the sea. They spend all day washing their hands with creamy soaps they secretly wanta eat in the bathroom.'" Taken from 'The Dharma Bums' by Jack Kerouac

Friday, 17 February 2012

'Multiplayer II' video

Gallery 1988 produced a short video for the 'Multiplayer II' opening night featuring my Ghosts'n Goblins print. Michele Morrow who features in the video also managed to snag the first print of the run and also mentions it in her article for the ace HelloGiggles blog here. Click on the pic below to be magically escorted to the opening night. Thanks to Michele for all the support.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

'Skyjack' print

'Skyjack' was an illustration I reworked from a concept by Mitch Loidolt a while ago. It seemed to strike a chord as a number of people got in touch about a print so here it is. There are a limited run (thirty in all) of high quality giclee prints available now in my shop.

Monday, 13 February 2012

'Ghosts and Goblins' print

This is the illustration and print I did for the 'Multiplayer II' exhibition currently running at Gallery 1988 in LA. I was torn between doing Ghosts and Goblins and Gauntlet but I was up against it time-wise and decided my Gauntlet concept was a little too ambitious.

The concept for the Ghosts and Goblins piece is inspired by The Seventh Seal - Sir Arthur and Antonius Block are both knights on epic quests closely pursued by death - to be honest I'm surprised no-one has ever made the connection before and written a lengthy tome about it. The temptation is to throw everything at a pop culture inspired illustration like this but I liked the idea of marrying high brow (Ingmar Bergman) with low brow (old school platform game) too much hence the sombre and restrained tone. Unfortunately I think I may have ended up with a concept so obtuse I have to explain all the fun out of it.

The retarded tagline suitably undermines my pretentious vision anyway - I like to think the fact it was brain-stormed on an internet forum dedicated to the pursuit of rare records is also quite fitting. I like to think a lot of things though.

It's a two colour hand pulled screen-print and it's available at the exhibition and online now. I have a few to sell as well when the show finishes. Incidentally I dropped the 's' of Ghosts in keeping with the original arcade version of the game where the 's' was dropped too - I was torn as whether to or not given people would probably just think it a typo but I decided to remain true to the original game font.

Friday, 10 February 2012

'Multiplayer II' at Gallery 1988

In January I was asked to design and illustrate a new print for LA based Gallery 1988's latest exhibition 'Mulitplayer II' inspired by old school video games. It was a bit of a challenge turning around some artwork, screen-printing them and shipping them to the States in the space of a couple of weeks but the prints arrived yesterday for the opening tonight. Phew.

The previous 'Multiplayer' exhibition featured Daniel Danger, Drew Millward, Kevin Tong, Rich Kelly and Scott Campbell - basically all of my favourite illustrators so when I was asked I was stoked. This year is no different with artwork from the likes of Olly Moss, Matt Taylor, Rhys Cooper and the Silent Giants so if you're about in LA try and get along.

I did a run of fifty prints inspired by 'Ghosts and Goblins' - most of the prints are for sale via Gallery 1988 but I've got a few set aside that I'll sell through my shop in March when the exhibition closes. More info about my artwork on Monday...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

'The Absurd Balloon - Suspense at the River Styx'

Another Absurd Balloon illustration (more here) in response to Illustration Friday(suspense). It's an odd way to develop a narrative I'll admit but sometimes I just need a single word to inspire me. It'll be fun trying run some form of sequential storyline through it when I've got enough illustrations. By which I mean it'll be a nightmare.

The water's is a bit too dark so it distracts from the drama at this scale but basically the folk in the Absurd Balloon are throwing down a harness to save the fisherman and his child. See - well suspense...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

'Anne Morrow Lindbergh' illustration

"The loneliness you get by the sea is personal and alive. It doesn't subdue you and make you feel abject. It's a stimulating loneliness."

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Screen-printing Service

I'm now offering a screen-printing service for illustrators, designers, record labels and small press publishers. For a quote email me at - I can guide you through the printing process and offer you technical advice/art-working if you've only a limited concept of what screen-printing entails. And I'm most probably cheaper than those other guys [plus they're dicks].

Monday, 6 February 2012

'The Devil and Mister Punch' illustration

I did this illustration for Amelia's Magazine on Friday to accompany a review for 'The Devil and Mister Punch'. Here's a trailer for the actual production currently showing at The Barbican. Ticket information here.