Saturday, November 13, 2010

Diesel U:Music

I had the exciting opportunity to design the new Diesel U:Music House Party Mixtape invites and tickets, all art-directed and broadcast by good friends and studio buddies Telegramme for Maragret London. It was great to put to use some ideas I've had for good-badly stretched type and designing against the clock (literally, I set myself 10-15 minute intervals to stretch'n'drop groups of elements together). The project was wonderfully produced by James at Telegramme onto 300 tape cassettes and the printing was all risographed by Hugh at ManyMono.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Frieze Art Fair 2010

For the third year running, I have art directed and illustrated the Family Guide for Frieze Art Fair, as a collaboration with good friends & design studio Europa and the brains behind the content for the project, Hannah Murgatroyd.

The theme for this year’s illustrations were based on Simon Fujiwara’s artwork for Frieze 2010, a new site-specific work, Frozen; an installation based on the fictive premise that an ancient lost city has been discovered beneath the site of the fair. Throughout the fair, visitors will encounter archaeological digs, displays of found artefacts and graphic panels describing a historic civilization that was once a hub of art and commerce. This was a great theme to translate into illustrations suitable for 5-12 year olds!



Jono Lewarne at City Edition Studio has just produced a visual identity for OPEN. See the full story on the OPEN blog. It looks amazing! Go Jono!


Subliminal Messages

New handdrawn type for a special project.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

OPEN Studio!

For those not in the know, I have recently set up a new studio space in De Beauvoir Town in East London with 9 other illustrators, a screen printer and a publisher; which we have now affectionately titled OPEN. Our philosophy is to provide support, criticism, dialogue, fairness, opportunity, a sense of belonging and fresh ambition to both our creative work and independent businesses; and in turn help others to benefit from the same. The two main objectives of Open are education and entrepreneurship. Stay tuned for full profiles and plenty of news!

At last! Our new studio space, is complete, desks built, walls painted, water plumbed - and everyone happily working away on an exciting range of projects! We are soon to launch online as well so you can see what we're all up to! Here are some of the official photos, all taken by our good friend and photographer Owen Richards.

If any illustration graduates are interested in coming to see us for a portfolio review, do get in touch - we are putting together our new Crit Club! programme and are interested to see what you're making!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Signs I've Met

I just took six rolls of film to be developed at long last, here is a mini collection of signs I've found in the last few months. From LA to Dalston there's a little bit of help for everyone...

I like that someone took the trouble to use a ruler to write this. I think it shows they have time for their customers.

I love how vague the price list is at this hairdresser in San Francisco.


I like how the designer of this sign in Dalston couldn't get to grips with the angle on the nib of their new marker pen. At all.

I've seen this sign all over Hackney for the last couple of years; I love the idea that every garden in London has one troublesome bush which needs dealing with.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Wild Fantasies Exhibition

I was invited by the lovely people at Don't Panic to take part in their Decade of Don't Panic Posters: Wild Fantasies exhibition at Stolen Space Gallery as one of ten new guest artists. I'm humbled to be listed alongside hotshots Shepard Fairey and Mr Jago. Totally urban.

Come down!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson on TED

Everyone for a passion for better education within the arts should watch this amazing TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson. What a fantastic man!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview for Digital Arts

I just finished answering some questions for writer Alice Ross from Digital Arts Magazine.


You seem to experiment a lot with different styles, from geometric vectors to beautiful hand drawings. Would you say you have an identifiable style? Is there a common theme in your work?

There always seems like there's so much to explore! Since I definitely don't make work to express myself, but to discover new things, in that way I think it would be impractical to only master one or two materials, a particular colour palette or identify myself with a style. Having said that, it still matters to me that I feel I have investigated something fully, and never like to abandon things completely, which probably gives the impression that I am working with several different styles.

I trained as a graphic designer, not an illustrator, which might have something to do with it; my projects are very driven by the brief I am given - whether a loose theme for an exhibition or a tighter, more specific brief for a piece of print work or editorial.

As a (largely) commercial artist, I think having too much evidence of a particular theme in your portfolio can become detrimental and lead to getting stuck in pigeon holes, which might become uncomfortable for you as an individual as time passes...

Can you describe how your style has evolved? What have you done to develop it? (could you show me what you mean with images?)

This is a difficult one; I guess as I am working I am also learning, about materials, how they interact with each other, how they can be applied to different surfaces (not as finishes but as part of the process), about colour, about shape and how to generate imagery with which to build other things; so in that way it is sort of a by-product that my work starts to evolve.

On your website you mention that collaboration, experimentation and the unknown are key to your work. Can you give examples of how each has helped you creatively?

I love working with other people on all or part of a project; people are amazing. I'm in awe of their minds. One of the most successful commercial collaborations was the guide for the education programme I worked on with Paul Tisdell from Europa for Frieze Art Fair 2009; it feels like a real physical negotiation on the page as things are shifted, built, deconstructed and reclaimed, between the elements themselves and us as designers.

I think as a commercial artist it is easy to become an incredible machine; if you have the energy and the commitment you can fully immerse yourself in a world of solving other peoples problems - but I am also interested in what problems we can generate for ourselves, which we may find we are more interested in solving; my friend and animator Thomas Ormonde visited me in Berlin (where I spend some of my time) last year wanting to see if it was possible to turn an old public photobooth into a giant periscope, and use it to take photos of things in the street outside; I facilitated his curiosity by finding all the mirror tiles and duct tape we needed and set up camp by the booth off Bergmanstra├če in Kreuzberg; 12 hours (and about €40...) later we had something resembling a result. I'm happiest doing things I've never done before, in terms of my work at least...

What do you do when you hit a creative block? Are there any tricks or tips you've learned to get your mojo back?

Try something out, discuss my options at length with Robert of Telegramme Studio or go for a swim.

Do you keep a sketchbook? If so, why?

I keep a lot of collage books, mostly made up of work I make on the computer, print out, cut up, photocopy, cut up again etc.. I think it keeps my eye in. If you're only making 'finished' work then it can all get a bit incestuous. I prefer to curate accidents and play off them later.

How do you go about creating your very best work when you need to pull out all the stops?

I hope I always try to pull out all the stops, every time!


Monday, July 19, 2010

My Daughter Is a A Giant And We Have Different Eyebrows

Some spreads from a recent sketchbook I made called My Daughter Is a A Giant And We Have Different Eyebrows in a conversation with my photocopier and other animals.


Turn Up The Colour - Analogue Books exhibition

Sneaky sneak preview of two of my prints for the exciting Turn Up The Colour show at Analogue Books in Edinburgh next month. Thanks for the brilliant riso action Hugh!



I'm excited to reveal the artwork I have been making for the new single Mortimer by good friends IDRchitecture.

Featuring an orchestra of friends, members of other bands and total strangers, IDR proove to be some of the consistantly ambitious people I'm lucky enough to know. Good times!

The artwork was inspired by the b-side, Sign of the Fish, and will feature a screenprinted silver emblem hand-printed by fellow studio buddy Loren at Loligo on the ltd edition release.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Music Without Sound - Fallon Films

I just completed this 60 second silent film as part of a nocturnal installation at this year's Latitude and Big Chill festivals, which will appear on a wall of water, alongside work by 10 other artists. The project was curated by Fallon Films.

I built small complex cardboard constructions to hang with string, and covered them with simple moire patterns and projected others onto them, using fans to keep them moving. I based the art direction on the idea that projecting black shapes will make the water momentarily disappear; and generated shapes on my photocopier which were used to interfere with the perfect 'loop' of the moire pattern.

Thanks to Tom and James for help with the edit!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Turn Up The Colour - Analogue Books exhibition

I have 3 new 3-colour risograph prints in this group exhibition at the excellent Analogue Books in Edinburgh next month. I'll post some pictures soon when it's been printed by Hugh at MANYMONO


Friday, June 18, 2010

New Studio #3

Progress at the new studio is excellent! Desks are built, walls are painted, things are beginning to happen! Looking forward to our official launch.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Olympus XA2 - daytrips #2

I seem to have been posting a lot of photos lately; there's not much illustrating going on while work on the new studio continues. I've been carrying 2 film cameras with me all year; one disposable from a series of 6 Robert Telegramme bought me for Christmas and an Olympus XA2 - I've been trying to document all the things I see. I started this daytrips series as a way to edit some of them...


Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers film trailer from beautifullosersfilm on Vimeo.

I watched Beautiful Losers this week; if you haven't (or even if you have!) then make it happen in your life too. It makes you feel very good about just... 'making'. It also made me feel like writing something about 'the-new-DIY' which I will get round to soon; while the Beautiful Losers were starting to turn their personal work into commercial art, a lot of artists in the current generation are now having to deal with the opposite; how to turn their profit-making, in-demand images into an inventive and exciting self directed passion. To do this they have needed to become project managers, producers and above all instigators. Rise up!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Studio #2

Week 1 in the new studio! We have been busy painting walls, plastering holes, scrubbing floors and finalising who's in! Haribo are making a lot of money this week.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Other Persuits

I was photographed for Bicycle Buyer magazine by the very talented Sam Ashley for a feature on how artists in London like to get around this town best...

Thanks to Posy Dixon for hooking us up.



A selection of new drawings I have completed for various clients over the last few weeks.


Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been working on some very simple linocuts for the first time, just because it feels good to do something real. I'll post some photos of the prints when I've made them. I rarely 'design' anything before I make it, so it's interesting to see what happens when one of these images is in translation; I tried not to get too hung up on the details because for now I'm just curious to see how the first one will print. I found I already owned some black, white, cerise, orange and viridian inks (and their amazing names!) so looking forward to these colours leading something new.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nokia - The Mobile Filmmakers Bible

I have just finished this project through Work Club for Nokia, which is designed to encourage students to make films on their mobiles.

Digital agency Work Club first approached me with a commission for 10 felt tip pen illustrations for the filmmakers project, which after some thought I decided the drawings would work better if I also was able to art direct and design the project. Excitingly, Work Club agreed and I was given the opportunity to pull the whole thing together. I was able to not only produce the illustrations, manage print handling and develop a selection of type treatments, but also to commission photographer Steve Bliss to reinact and photograph all the classic film moments Work Club had written. We had great fun getting all our friends to dress as ninja's and run away screaming from UFO's...