Thursday, 29 March 2012

'The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break' illustration

For my contribution to 'The Book One' zine my illustration was inspired by the brilliant Steven Sherill book 'The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break'. I'm torn as to whether I should screen-print a run of them or maybe just get some giclees printed. Watch this space and in the meantime buy the zine here or if you fancy a browse first it's available at two of my favourite shops - Lik + Neon in London and Analogue Books in Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

'The Giant Blue Bear on Haight' illustration

This is an illustration I did last summer in California but I finally gave it an ink-wash this morning and cleaned it up a bit. It's part of the loose series of illustrations I created about the giant blue spirit bears of California - more here. I'm sending it off to a friend in America tomorrow which is a bit of a struggle for me. I'm not very good at letting originals go...

UPDATE - I've reworked it a bit and it's now available as a limited edition print here!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

'Ghost N' Goblins' print

I've got a few copies of my 'Ghost N' Goblins' print available for sale in my shop. Click here to be magically escorted to my shop to have a look.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

'The Book One' zine

Following on from 'The Music One' and 'The Film One' comes 'The Book One' zine featuring artwork inspired by the favourite books of twenty five illustrators and designers. More information here.

Monday, 19 March 2012

'Norman Stanley Fletcher' illustration

'Porridge' still makes me do ridiculous belly laughs despite the fact I've seen each of the twenty one episodes more than a dozen or so times. I think it's one of the best television programs ever made due in most part to Ronnie Barker's performance as Fletch. This clip is taken from the first episode where Flecth and Godber arrive at Slade prison as new inmates and have to do a prison medical - watch it here.

I'm torn on this portrait; the eyes are ever-so-slightly on the piss and the shading beneath his nose is a little heavy but I still like it a lot.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Welcome to my studio...

Oh hey - I didn't see you come in there! Welcome to my studio or as we [I] like to call it - The Dream Factory.

In a bid to not do any proper work I took some photographs of my studio. It measures a few metres square and given space is so limited you will note just how incredibly tidy and organised I have to be. The keen eyed among you may also see that I designated an entire hour yesterday afternoon to 'more orders' and 'porn'. It actually says 'PO run' as in Post Office run. Honest. An hour for porn related activities would be gratuitous.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

'Leonard Cohen' illustration

I did this illustration of Leonard Cohen back in January and it's clearly not the best portrait of the series but I thought I'd post it anyway. The position of his mouth and shape of his head are well wrong - I daren't show my mum this one - she'll have a field day.

I've always enjoyed his music and without especially realising it I've managed to pick up a lot of his records in charity shops over the years but watching 'McCabe and Mrs Miller' was the 'clicking' point for me. 'The Stranger Song' is so good.

"I'm an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That's what sitting on your ass does to your face." Leonard Cohen.

Monday, 12 March 2012

'Charles Bukowski' illustration

Here's a portrait of author and poet Charles Bukowski. I think it's a decent enough although in the photograph I was referencing there's a sadness in his eyes which I've failed to capture entirely.


even in calmer times
have I ever
dreamed of
bicycling through that
wearing a

and Camus

Charles Bukowski.

Friday, 9 March 2012

'Thar She Blows' print

As promised my new screen-print 'Thar She Blows' is now available in my shop. The illustration is inspired by Herman Melville's classic novel 'Moby Dick' done in collaboration with Fourbeat Walk last year promoting local libraries.

Hand-pulled by me in my lo-fi print studio it's a two colour screen-print on heavyweight paper in a limited run of 44. There are tiny variations between each print but I tend to think that's part of the charm of screen-prints.

I'm running a competition to win a print as well. Either leave a comment below or find me on twitter and follow the retweet instructions there and I'll pick a winner on Monday.

UPDATE: The winner was Katy May via Twitter.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

'I Love Bad Movies 5' zine

The good people that put out the brilliant 'I Love Bad Movies' zines asked me to do the cover of their latest issue. I had the choice of Vanilla Ice's 'Cool As Ice' or Prince's 'Purple Rain' to base my illustration on. That is a life-choice that you only get to make once so a lot of sleepless nights followed. Fortunately fate intervened and within a week of getting the commission BBC4 had a Prince night featuring 'Purple Rain' so my decision was made for me.

My sketchbook from that period is full of scary looking bad portraits of Prince - in my attempts to capture his striking beauty ("he looks like a really fancy lesbian" Kseniya Yarosh) I consistently managed to make him look like Little Richard circa now only scarier. Eventually I came up with the illustration below. It was a many-layered thing - Kseniya did promise to make an animated GIF of it - watch this space...

The zine is available here - I suggest you go and buy it immediately if not sooner.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

'Richard Brautigan' illustration

And there's me thinking I didn't like poetry.

I stumbled upon a battered copy of Richard Brautigan's 'Trout Fishing in America' last summer in San Francisco off the back of a vague recommendation and have since become a bit obsessed with him. This portrait is my favourite one yet. Every time I think I'm done doing them I find myself wanting to do more and more.

"30 Cents, Two Transfers, Love

Thinking hard about you
I got on the bus
and paid 30 cents car fare
and asked the driver for two transfers
before discovering
that I was

- Richard Brautigan

Thursday, 1 March 2012

'Thar She Blows' print session

This morning I finished off the 'Thar She Blows' print session and it couldn't have gone any better. I've uploaded some photos of both sessions - they're a bit shoddy but my camera is crap and I'm crap at taking photos. The print will be on sale next week and I'll be having a competition too either here or on Twitter where you can win one for nowt.

"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."