Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Book Binding with Lucy Wilson

Last Tuesday, we were all treated to a book binding session with illustrator and book binder Lucy Wilson. It was a really interesting session and fun to learn how to make a book of our own. I'd never really thought much about making my own books or sketchbooks before, but it could definitely be an option for the future. Lucy told us about the advantages of an illustrator being to bind their own books, where to get book binding supplies from, and she had also used her book binding skills to make her own portfolio, which was really cool.

I've posted a couple of pics of the A5 book I made below. I think I probably need a little bit more practice at it as it seems I struggled to even fold my paper properly! But it came out better than I thought and after it was all sewn and glued it actually holds together pretty solidly. Thanks Lucy!


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Hybrids: Astro/Aquanaut

Trying out some different ways of merging my astronaut and diver images; fade and exquisite corpse style....


Thursday, 23 February 2012


Spiders have been used on space stations to study the effect of microgravity...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fish Tank: The Grinch

Just before Christmas, I was given the opportunity to create an illustration to apply to the glass office - fish tank- of Manchester design agency Music. Music are running a fish tank project, getting different illustrators in to do temporary designs on the glass windows. Each design is based on a song, and I chose to do The Grinch Song, as it's Christmas based but also has a slightly sinister tone to it which I liked.
Using posca pens it took about 4 full days in all, spread over a couple of weeks, and was a bit of a learning curve as I'd never used the pens before, and I haven't done much free hand drawing as my work is often quite geometric and grid based. But it was fun, and thanks go to Matt, Kris, Tom and Stu for helping me out, and Ed and Craig for the opportunity. Cheers! 

Below is a coloured up version of the main window design, and some photos of sections up on the glass....


Astronaut counterpart for the diver. Need to work on the backgrounds for both of these, and then play around with mxing the images or elements to create one image...

Mapping the ocean's hidden worlds: Robert Ballard

Posted below is a talk by Robert Ballard on ocean exploration that is really enlightening. For my FMP I'm looking at exploration of both the oceans and space, and I think that I probably considered space exploration to be of more interest or to be less explored than the oceans, but this talk convinced me otherwise. Love his enthusiasm, take a look...

Thursday, 16 February 2012


New design for the diver half of a aqua/astronaut image. May tweak this a bit to improve it at some point, and the background will be done when I've sorted the astronaut half....

Saturday, 11 February 2012


So, it's Final Major Project time at uni, which means we have about 16 weeks to work on a self initiated project. The project I have decided to work on is about the extreme environments of in space and under the sea, as they are one one hand the complete opposites, one being close to earth and the other far away; heights and depths, but on the other hand are incredibly similar. They are both vast and hostile environments where humans physically shouldn't be able to travel, and rarely have, as they are still fairly unexplored areas. Because of this, the technology humans have developed to travel and explore both areas is relatively similar; space/diving suits, rockets/submarines, radar/sonar, etc, and because they are relatively investigated, there is also a plethora of myths, legends and theories about what may exist in both. 
So there is loads of interesting options for the project, and I'm not too sure where the project is going at the moment, but it should work out hopefully. We have also been asked to create a small animation as part of our FMP, so I'm really looking forward to getting started on that too, whatever it might be.....
At the moment I'm working on creating some image elements for the project, and below I've posted an attempt at an image that didn't really work out and isn't up to scratch with what I wanted look wise, so I'm working on some new stuff. Learning from my mistakes and all that.....over and out.

'Christmas in Uganda' Childrens Book

So last November, there was a small book launch for the childrens book I illustrated called 'Christmas in Uganda'. I've been really busy (and forgetful), so this is a veryyyy late post with some photos of the book in print and some pics from the launch. It was a good eve and a good few books were sold to raise money for the charity. Cool.

This is the book, and a few of the spreads...

And here are a few photos from the launch.....

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Countdown - Celine Desrumaux

This animation by Celine Desrumaux was recommended to me last summer when I was in the process of researching a space project, and I absolutely love it. It's a short animation about the countdown of a rocket launch, and is a fantastic mix of narrative and slightly abstract images that link back to the technological/mechanical/space flight theme of the film. She has used a huge range of different shots and perspectives, and the mix of narrative imagery and abstract detail images of clocks, computers, logo's, mechanical movements, etc.; work and flow really well. Check it below guys.......

Friday, 3 February 2012

Manchester Museum : Bug Art

Last Saturday, all of us 3rd year illustration students took part in the Big Saturday event at Manchester Museum, entitled 'Bug Art'. Since last year we have all been working on various illustrated responses and activities to chosen insects, such as posters, games, worksheets, masks and animations. We took these to the event on Saturday, for children and families to look at and interact with to learn about the insects. Overall the day was a big success and it was really busy with lots of kids and families coming to see what we had done. 

Starting last year, I'd been working on a short animation with the help of Tom Mathieson, to visually represent some of the Egyptian history of the Scarab beetle. The idea of the animation was to reveal some of the rich history of an insect, which from the look of it, might seem to most as rather insignificant or less special than other insects. The Egyptians regarded the beetle as sacred, relating to their sun God, and even used carved scarabs as amulets, placed over the hearts of mummies to protect them in the afterlife. 

We will hopefully be making a few improvements to the animation and adding sound at some point, but for now check out the animation below, along with a couple of still images of the beetle and what not.......enjoy.