Saturday, 24 November 2012

The World's Fair: Virtual Future

I recently submitted a piece of work to a group exhibition hosted by Ben Kither and Sarah Stapleton of OWT Creative, at Vault/Cord Bar in Manchester.

The name of the exhibition was Manchester World's Fair 2012, and creatives were invited to submit a piece of work, in any form, on the theme of "the distant future of our planet".

I've posted the piece of work I submitted below, along with my initial drawing.

The idea behind my image was about how our lives are becoming more and more intertwined with digital technology, so my idea for the theme was that we'd be experiencing the world through digital means rather than physically. 

I also wanted to throw in a few retro elements such as an old fashioned paper ECG machine and a slightly battered bed, as I like the idea that people would be creating their own illegal virtual reality set ups at home with whatever medical equipment they could get their hands on..

Here is a photo of my piece at the exhibition, next to a stunner by Mr Kris Sale.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Foursight: VS Launch Night

So last Wednesday saw the launch night for the first publication, entitled 'VS', by our illustration collective Foursight

The book is a set of 20 illustrations, printed back to back, of pairs of opposite words, each illustrated by a different artist. The aim of the book was to get illustrators to compete with each other, to provide a book solely promoting great illustrators and there work, and with the competitors being kept secret, to ultimately put on an event/exhibition where they could meet their opponent.

Unbelievably its been about 6 months since we started the project back in May with the help of the guys at OWTCreative, so it was great to finally reveal the book for everyone to see!

I've posted some photos below of the book and the launch night, which had a great turnout and there was a lot of buzz about the book and the fantastic work submitted. 

The launch and book had a boxing/fighter theme, so we had some fun taking polaroid style photos of everyone posing as boxers, and then coming up with their own boxing names to win a competition; as well as setting up a live draw-off, again to win some classy prizes. Who doesn't want a can of hotdogs?

Finally I'm now allowed to reveal my submission for the book, which was for the word 'War'. I thought it would be fun to mix together ideas of both modern and medieval warfare, and put in more detail than usual to make it look a bit like an old portrait.

A huge thanks to everyone who has supported us as Foursight as we've worked on the VS book, and to everyone who came down to the launch night! 

The book is now available to buy from the online shop for only £10 so go check it out at this link   

Big thanks to Emma Reynolds, Jennifer Byron and OWTCreative for taking these photos!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Poster: Magic Show

I've just finished working on a poster for a short filmed created by graduates from The Northern Film School at Leeds Met University, one of whom was my brother Stuart who was director of photography.

The film is entitled 'Magic Show' and is a dark comedy about a magic show in the woods, set in the early 20th century. The film was made for a competition about promoting multilingualism, for more info check out the site of writer/director Richard Wheatley here.

The idea behind the poster was to make it look like an old fashioned magician's poster from around the time the film is set in the early 20th century. I liked the idea of having the poster black and white like a photograph and just keeping the red of the bow tie to hint at the sinister nature of the film, but I did a colour version also. I also included the smokey red lines to link to the idea of illusions and theatrics etc., and was also a good way to link the type with the image with a bit of an art nouveau flow.

Check out both colour and bw versions below along with my initial drawing...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Christmas in Uganda Kindle Edition

The children's book I illustrated last year, 'Christmas in Uganda', has just been released digitally in Kindle addition. 

You can buy it on amazon for a small price (just under £2) with all proceeds going to the charity Helping Uganda Schools. Check it out here.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Past and Present

A while a go I was asked if I'd like to contribute a piece of work to a collaborative book project organised by illustrator Benjamin Carr. The given theme was 'Past and Present', and Ben chose a colour scheme of 4 colours for everyone to use.

The idea behind my piece was looking at how we connect our past and present via memories. After doing a bit of research I came across the concept of Flashbulb memories, that are vivid memories we create when we hear  "surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news", such as during natural disasters such as tsunami's or hurricanes, or other memorable events such as the assassination of JFK or 9/11.

I decided to illustrate the concept of 'flashbulb' memories, and used a camera theme for the whole piece. I actually really enjoyed having the limited colour scheme as it really simplified my choices and meant I couldn't use lot of textures like I normally would (although I snuck a bit in). Anyway, I've posted my image above and my sketch below, and I'm really excited to see how the project comes together, so many thanks Ben!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Unleashed: The Best in the North

So a while back, some of our illustration class, including myself, submitted work to the Unleashed: Best in the North Illustration competition. The competition is looking for the best student illustration in the North, and accepted work from 11 universities (ranging from Birmingham to Edinburgh), with a total of 138 submissions in all.

The competition shortlisted 24 works to be sold at auction, and also puts all pieces in a catalogue to be sold to raise money for the Northwest Air Ambulance charity, as well as the students themselves, with the money raised from selling a piece of work being split 50/50 between the student and the charity; smiles all round!

All work submitted is currently in the exhibition at Mr Thomas's Chop House in Manchester, so get over there and have a look! All pieces are for sale also!

I was really excited to find out that 2 of my pieces of work had been shortlisted and are to be sold in the upcoming auction on Thursday 19th July, and are also in the running to win bronze, silver or gold. Work by fellow Stockport students (now graduates) Kris Sale, Holly McLoughlin and Laura Gilbert was also shortlisted, and loads more from Stockport are in the exhibition and for sale in the catalogue.

My pieces:

Anyway, I think us shortlisted folk will be heading down to the auction/award night, which is really exciting, and hopefully lots of money will be raised for charity (..and ourselves)!

Check out the Facebook page here for more info on this years competition and exhibition!

D&AD New Blood: Stockport College

So last week, a few of us recent graduates headed down to London for the D&AD New Blood exhibition in Old Spitalfields Market. The exhibition ran for 3 days (Tuesday eve - Thursday) and on our stand we had work from illustration, graphic design and moving image students graduates.

Lots of people from the creative industries came around to see the work which was really great, and there was a of of interest in our stand from various agencies and magazines. (My work was featured on the Digital Arts blog here!) I also took the opportunity to visit DDB advertising agency which was really useful and gave me a better understanding of how illustration is used in advertising specifically.

D&AD were also running festival events, going out to visit various design studios, agencies and collectives. Whilst we were there I took the opportunity to go to 3 of the festival events with fellow Foursightians Kris, Jordan and Matt. 

The first place event we went on was 'Meets the Agents at the Artworks', where we went on a walk into Shoreditch to meet agents at the Artworks illustration agency. The ladies there talked us through what they did and why, how they chose and worked with illustrators, and fielded questions from the group, giving us all a good insight into how the illustrator-agent relationship works.

We also went to a talk by Jelly London, who are also an agency that represents illustrators, as well as animators and directors. They gave us a presentation on what Jelly are all about and how it all worked, and then had a bit of fun practising what to say on the phone to clients, with various members of the group.

Finally, on the last day there we went to a talk by a collective of illustrators and artists called Many Hands, who have joined up mainly to sell their own work online and collaborate. They gave a great talk at a bar in Shoreditch (was nice to get out of the sun!), and then we split off into groups and could question various members of the collective to our hearts content about anything we wanted. This was really useful and they gave lots of great advice and information. We also managed to have a quick chat with them about our project Foursight, and they helped us out with some names of places we might be able to sell future publications. 

So all in all, I think the trip to London was really good and gave us lots of opportunities to go and talk to other creatives and people in the industry that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. 

I've posted some phots of our New Blood stand below (borrowed from the Stockport Illustration blog Picture Box) Thanks!


Monday, 2 July 2012

Grow: Into Town

On Friday the 15th of June we took the degree show on a day trip into the centre of Manchester, so we could invite the local creative industry to see our work if they weren't able to make it out to Stockport. In a 180 minute makeover, the blank space of the Kraak studio in Stevenson Square (Northern Quarter) was transformed into a temporary grow-themed degree show complete with a wheelbarrow full of beer. 

Despite the rain, a good few people came out from local studios and agencies to see the work and chat to us which was really great. There's a couple of photos below of the place and us with our work. Many thanks go to the Grow degree team who arranged it all (including the 2nd years who got soaked for us!), and the tutors for driving it all there!

Also check out the Grow degree site for all the students work...

Photos borrowed from the Picture Box blog here

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Grow: Degree Show Preview Night

On Friday we had the preview night of our degree show at Stockport College, showing the work of all the design pathways; Illustration, Graphic Design, Moving Image, Surface Design, Photography etc., and it was a great success! It was incredibly busy and really exciting to have everyone together and showcase the culmination of 3 years work. 

For the show I put up 6 A2 size prints of some of my images from my FMP on space and underwater exploration. Here are the images:

In a surprising turn of events, I'm very proud to have won 'Best in Show' for my illustration work! With so much incredible work on show (seriously...the show looked amazing..) I'm really proud and happy to have my name chiselled onto the shield this year to represent our illustration group.

I've posted some pics below of the goings on, and will blog again soon as the show will be going into Manchester next Friday for a one-day exhibition spectacular in the northern quarter.

For now, the show is still on at college, Mon-Thurs  10am - 7.30pm, so come check it out!
See the degree show website for more details/directions - Grow Degree Show

Thursday, 7 June 2012


So in recent news, I've recently teamed up with 3 fellow illustrators from my course to form a collective called Foursight. The collective consists of myself, Kris Sale, Jordan O'Brien and Matt Bray, and for our first project, we are working on a print publication with help from the guys at OWT Creative

We will be announcing details about the project very soon, so make sure you follow us over at our blog and twitter to find out more, but not to be completely vague, it involves work from various fantastic illustrators, and we are working very hard to make it something special. Needless to say we are incredibly excited about the project! 

I can see you're intrigued, so go check out the blog and twitter now, and keep your peepers open for updates in the next few days.....


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

MT: Mindfulness

I did a few editorial illustrations in the not too distant past for the current issue of Managment Today magazine. I've post some pics of the images below along with the images themselves.

The first was a small illustration for a piece about transparency in businesses, so I did a glass suitcase exposing important things such as money, identity (passport) etc.

These next two are a full page and spot for a feature on 'mindfulness' and how it could improve your work life and therefore your business. These were originally going to have a 60's/70's theme to them which would have been a lot of fun to do, however the article got tailored back a little bit, but it was nevertheless a good experience and great to see in print!