Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Wellspring Ideas

At uni at the moment we are working on putting together a black and white newspaper of illustrations to sell on behalf of The Wellspring, a charity run centre for homeless and disadvantaged people, based in Stockport. Each student in the class has been given a page to illustrate, and mine is about the centre being 'open 365 days a year'. We had a meeting on Tuesday with the manager of the centre, to show him some of the ideas we had come up with. I have posted some of the roughs I put together below. 

As my pencil roughs were really bad and unspecific, I put some stuff together digitally as that's usually when I make my decisions about composition, and really helps me when it come to trying out different bits of type. It also made it easy for me to see which ones worked and which didn't. 

I tried to think of different ways/objects that represented things being open, rather than drawing a picture of the centre or something like that. Because the newspaper will be black and white I played around with the idea of light and dark, and light coming through doorways to show a welcoming atmosphere. I also looked at different objects such as a cup of tea being a symbol of a welcoming environment, and also the idea of locks and keys.

We ruled out some of them for various reasons, and I'm currently working on developing the one with the keys, working on different shapes, colour (shades of black/grey)  and experimenting with the type more. I'll keep you posted! Sorry blogging pun....

Monday, 14 February 2011

Superhero Posters

I was recently sent a link to these amazing superhero posters by Micheal B Myers aka Drawsgood Illustration and Design. I really love the mix of the bold shapes and colour of the digital illustration and the old paper textures used to give them the vintage feel. Check them out below and make sure to have a butchers at his website here. Also, as a Halloween fan, he couldn't have a better name. Enjoy.

Stefan Kanchev

After clicking on a few links over at grainedit, I saw this work by Bulgarian graphic designer Stefan Kanchev. His work spans five decades, from the 50's to the 90's, and cover areas such as trademarks, logos, posters, stamps and tv graphics. His work involves a lot of fantastic bright colours and shapes, as well some nice black and white work. I've posted a few examples of his work below, of which I particularly like the black and white tv graphics. They are really bold and striking, and are giving me some inspiration for a black and white illustration project I'm doing at the moment, as well as a possible moving image project I might be looking into. Enjoy. And check out more on this website of his work.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

James and the Giant Peach

For the past few weeks I've been working on a James and the Giant Peach book cover for the Puffin book competition. I've spent most of my time working digitally, slowly adding and changing elements, and I think I've pretty much finished my final version now. There are still a few colour and type issues I'll have to make changes to but otherwise I'm pretty happy with it. I've posted it below, along with a version with a different colour spine which I haven't really decided what I think of yet......think I'm going to stick with the all black though.....probably.

(these both include a 5mm bleed around the edge, just in case you were wondering why they're off centre!)

This finished cover kind of grew from my idea of wanting to show James crawling through the tunnel in the side of the peach from a 1st person viewpoint. The idea is that the viewer represents James looking into the peach through the tunnel. 
I wanted everything outside of the peach to be in black, white and grey to represent the atmosphere of sadness and cruelty and James's feelings of unhappiness. What came across for me in the story was actually how dark it is, with the death of James's parents and the cruelty that he suffers at the hands of his two aunts. 
To me the peach acts as a kind of representation of life and the new life that James would embark upon, full of hope, happiness, imagination, family etc. I wanted to show this visually by having this bright light and colour emanating from the centre of the peach. The concept of light and dark is a classic analogy of the fight between good and evil, and the idea that in darkness, light will always prevail, is something that I think resonates with a lot of people, and seemed to sum up what happens to James in the book.

For back cover I wanted to stick to the idea of using bold simple shapes, and it seemed quite nice to complete the trio of circle, square and triangle. So I kept my house image very simple and used it as the backdrop for the blurb. 
I chose quite a plain sans serif font for all of the type on the cover, digitally editing the 'Roald Dahl' to create something a little more interesting. I wanted to keep the type quite simple and geometric like the rest of the cover, and I think it adds to the slightly darker and more adult look of the cover.

There were a few issues in the beginning with it looking a bit sci-fi, kind of like a planet in space. I think I kind of leaned away from that obviously with the addition of the house and some other details such as highlights and shadows, but even if it still has a sun like quality to it, I think that it only adds to the idea of light over darkness. Or at least that's what I'll tell everyone.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dan Matutina

I recently discovered the work of illustrator/designer Dan Matutina, and I was absolutely blown away by it. His work is a blend of hand made and digital, and is similar to that of Matthew Lyons whom I've blogged about before, but with slightly more hand made elements in general. I've posted a few of my favourite pieces from his portfolio below, and you can see more of his work over at his website. He likes to come up with his own stories and illustrate them, and many have a sci-fi lean, again much like Matthew Lyons. I love all the hand made marks, lines and paint strokes that Dan uses to create a sense of movement or motion. He also uses nice retro typography such as in the 'Leap' poster, and his use of textures give them a natural quality and depth. Absolutely love these. Enjoy.



Sunday, 6 February 2011

Scott Campbell

Check out these cool watercolours by illustrator/artist Scott Campbell.  He made over 200 of these for his exhibition in the states called 'The Great Showdowns', and they all feature characters/objects from various film showdowns. They look absolutely fantastic and are a lot of fun; I spent a while trying to guess which films they were from! I would love to do something film based myself in the future.....but for now I've posted a few examples of Scott's work below, but you can head over to his blog for more. Enjoy.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Oliver Jeffers

At the moment I'm working on a competition brief to create a new cover for James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, and whilst looking at different children's book illustration I came across some really nice illustrations/picture books by Oliver Jeffers. I remember first seeing his work a year or two ago and loving it, and I've posted a few examples below.
In particular I really love his picture books. In one of his books, The Great Paper Caper, he uses a mix of hand drawn/painted illustration and some collaged and different textured papers. He uses paper and shape to split up the scenes or create horizon lines, etc. making them visually more interesting. He also varies the layout from page to page, with one page being a small contained scene surrounded by white space, and another being a whole landscape or cross section. He also uses a lot of hand drawn type which I really love, making the writing part of the image rather than just an added extra.
The Great Paper Caper in particular I think appeals to adults as well as children with its kind of detective themed mystery, and Jeffers makes the most of every page, making it really fun to read and look at. 
Check out his website here for more of his work!

 P.S. My two favourite images are of the animal characters standing on each other to make a phone call in a phone box (how clever!), and a smaller image of a pig cooking some bacon for dinner, which although slightly dark, I love!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Imagery for

So a few weeks ago my sister Jennifer Byron was redesigning her photography website and asked me to create some sort of imagery to include on it, with the only requirements being that it had some sort of connection to photography and that it followed the colour scheme. She liked an image I had done of an art deco style box camera so we decided to incorporate some more of that style of design. With that in mind I decided to create a sort of logo out of some art deco style camera designs, that would sit nicely at the side and not detract too much from the photography. The website is quite bright and clean, so I also re-did the website title, using a font that reminded me of those signs made of light bulbs, and tried to tie the elements together with some lines and arrows.

To keep everything  pretty similar I have redone some of the contact link icons that link to different networking sights, email, flickr, etc. 

I've posted the imagery below, and you can check some of it out, as well as her work over at Jennifer Byron Photography (still under construction!)

P.S.  feel free to get in contact with her for any sort of photo shoot you want and she'll sort you out!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Matthew Lyons

One of my favourite illustrators Matthew Lyons has recently posted some new editorial work he has created for various publications, on his blog, which I wanted to share with you. He has a unique visual language, mixing digital illustration with line and texture, something I'm having a go at at the moment. His use of colour and the ideas behind his work are fantastic; so definitely go and check out his blog. I posted a couple of pieces of his new work below for you to get your peepers around...........

Tom Whalen

I've been following illustrator/designer Tom Whalen for a while now, and he has done some really fantastic posters and illustrations that I wanted to post about. I say some; all of them are great, but I've picked out a few of my favourites and posted them below. I really love his use of colour and shape, and his use of typography is always perfect.