Wednesday, June 29, 2011

City Kids Competition

Hey folks!  I thought I should let you know that my friend Nicci Bruce is running a competition over on her blog: City Kids.  If you enter you're in with a chance of winning a totally one-off illustrated header for your blog, and if you don't have a blog I'll do you a profile picture (for FaceBook, Twitter etc).  Below is one I did for Nicci.  Yep, she's a hottie.

To enter you have to follow my blog and my twitters (which you should anyway!), but the full instructions are here.  If you are the winner you will also get a very pretty Vamp necklace.  


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Show RCA 2011

Saturday turned out to be a scorcher of a day but the Graduate Exhibition season must go on.  In the sweltering heat I and some friends attempted a turn around the Royal College of Art in Kensington.  The College is "the world's most influential post-graduate art and design school" according to their website.  That may be a fairly boastful statement but I think most people would agree.  
We saw a wide range of disciplines, including Fashion & Textiles, Design Products, Design Interaction, Innovation Design Engineering, Architecture, Metalwork & Jewellery, Ceramic & Glass and Vehicle Design.  Phew!  On top of that there is another building with Curation, Comunication Design and Animation that we didn't get to see, and you can also visit the Battersea site to see the produce of the RCA's Fine Arts section.
The Kensington show is packed with loads of exciting and inspiring stuff, and with such a range there's something for everyone.  You might have time to see it for yourself because the show is on until 3 July, daily from 11am to 8pm (closes at 4pm on 28 June and doesn't open on 1 July).  Details on their website here.
The following is a round up some of my favourites.

Emma Shipley
Textile Print Design

Troglodytes Gorilla (from Hyper Nature)
Wallpaper design

Veronica Ranner 
Design Interactions

Ranner has a project on show that proposes we may be able to have silkworms help build organs for transplants in the future.

Heart Scaffold and its parts
In a collective: Silkworms weave the desired shapes

Laura Amstein
Fashion Accessories

Amstein has beautifully designed and crafted leather accessories; sleek and fun at the same time.

Tavelly moulded leather bag
Workob moulded leather clutch

Helen Moore
Ceramic Artist

Not In Kansas Any More
Migration (details)
Presence of Absence
Specimen series

Anne Mette Fisker Langkjer
Printed Textiles

Langkjer has a beautiful installation on show, with layers of suspended dyed fabric which is back lit, giving an eerie, claustrophobic feel.

from Textile and Light installation piece

Lauren Bowker
Textile Innovator

This overgrown tribal headpiece by Bowker is displayed in a large antique vitrine, like a rare bird.

Kate Miles
Textile Designer

Thursday, June 23, 2011

CSM MACD Final Show

That's Central St Martins' Masters in Communication Design to most of us.  The Final Show was held at the Rochelle School, East London and is the culmination of two years work for the post grad students of St Martins.  I visited on Saturday but there has been a delay in me blogging about this because of some malicious microorganism that has held me hostage in bed and forced me to watch a lot of movies for the last few days.  The show closes today (at 6pm) so if you want to take a look you will either have to run fast or own a TARDIS.


Never the less, I still want to blog a few of my favourites from the exhibition.  There was a huge range of stuff based around Visual Communication; Illustration, Typography, Graphic Design, Digital Design, Photography, Animation, etc. and it was all round brill.  It made me a bit jealous.  I've done a little section on each of the people who impressed me most...

Diana Przykorska

Ummm, how do I explain?...  I'm not too sure, but it seems fascinating.  Diana is a Graphic Designer but is very analytical and philosophical about it.  She has done lots of research about the act of looking and drawing, using technology to do so, and how the brain deals with it.  There were a few books on display of Diana's creation.  Sadly, she doesn't have a website to explain her own work, but she does have a blog with a few bits and bobs.

part of Diana Przykorska's display at the exhibition

Golbanou Moghaddas
On Twitter as @GolbanM

Golbanou is a printer, creating delicate and eclectic etchings, ofter layered or painted on.  Take a look at her website or blog for more examples.

Indispensable Passion II by Golbanou Moghaddas

Kanitta Meechubot

Kanitta is from Thailand; hinted at by the slightly ropey English on her otherwise lovely website.  I think her large-scale collages on death and memory are gorgeous.  They are lyrical and evocative, rich in detail, with lots of scientific references.

Transcendence by Kanitta Meechubot

Transcendence (detail) by Kanitta Meechubot

Sarah Langford
I didn't see any cards for me to take away and add to my ever growing business card collection, but I liked the work she displayed so much I wrote down her name.  I couldn't find a website but after sustained googling I found her blog.

Her work seems to be entirely inspired by Hydrology.  She uses drawing, collage and water-based media to make diagrams and demonstrate or record experiments to do with water.  I was drawn to it because I work in ink and love its watery, fluid nature and the way it leaves a trail; evidence of it's movement.

Sea, Rain and Tap Water Evaporated I by Sarah Langford

Sea, Rain and Tap Water Evaporated II by Sarah Langford

Alexa Galea

Alexa is a friend, and the main reason I made an effort to visit the show (full disclosure).
I love her work; the colours and textures, the rugged subject matter refined and contained.  She uses lots of layered prints and collaging.  Visit her website to see more!

from Alpine Hitch by Alexa Galea

from Big British Cats by Alexa Galea

Paul Ferragut
Paul is on twitter as @paulferragut

I was mostly drawn by the Illustration in the exhibition, but I found Paul's work really exciting.  He is interested in Digital Design and had some of his tech creations on display.  One was a hacked Wii (I think) which senses the users movements and draws on the wall with a pen.  I didn't test it out and I don't know how easy it would be to try and represent something using this tool, but it would certainly be a different experience!  The wall was mostly covered with sweeping black lines from multiple people giving it a try.  I think it's interesting to use technology to engage with drawing in new ways.

Paul Ferragut also had on display a "Time Print Machine", which is basically a home made printer that creates a matrix on paper using ProMarkers.  I especially liked the 4 colour print of a tree, because it has a lovely, 'Seurat' quality to it.

Time print video from paul F on Vimeo.

Time Print detail by Paul Ferragut

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From A to B: Emmy the Great

Emma Lee Moss (also known as Emmy the Great, with a little help from her friends) released her second album, called 'Virtue', on the 13th June.  I made this illustration for Amelia's Magazine, to go with Amelia Gregory's review of the record (follow the link here).  This is a very brief overview of 'work in progress'...
I start by looking at reference pictures and thinking about imagery used in the lyrics; dinosaurs, the passing of time, religion, relics, Trellick Tower.  I always do thumbnail sketches to decide on the overall layout.  I wanted to go with an orthodox christian icon style on this one and decided to do most of the drawing in Photoshop, so I made a sketch good enough to scan and use as a guideline.

rough sketch
I did a lot more um-ing and ah-ing about colours and where to but the gold leaf (a must) than I could show in this post so I'll condense the middle bit.  

somewhere in the middle

the final thing
I loved her first album 'First Love' (still do), and this follow up delivers to all round high expectations.  Emma pens simultaneously quirky and catchy narrative songs and sings them out with a versatile voice.  The record opens with the lament that Dinosaur Sex lead to nothing, and that pretty much sets the tone.  It's melancholy for sure, but it's beautiful and I'd expect nothing less.  I have had it on repeat for the last 24 hours.

Buy it from iTunes, listen on Spotify, do what you have to to hear it.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Sketchbook: The Black One

I was messing about with my markers on Friday and came out with this; my rendition on Kali, a Hindu goddess also known as "The Black One".  She represents chaos, death and eternal energy and, like the Aztec goddess Coatlicue, sports a necklace of heads and severed hands on her skirt; it seems to be the fashion for the morbid yet sartorially minded goddesses.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lights Go Out 13

I am pleased to announce that I illustrated the cover of Lights Go Out (awesome UK music fanzine!), lettering and all.  Issue 13 will be out imminently and is now available for pre-order here at the measly cost of £1.

The final cover

I drew the mask specifically to go on the cover and chose it because A. I love tribal masks, and B. Masks represent the face we choose to present to the world; they symbolise power and protection, distancing the wearer from the real world.  They're funny and creepy and weird to look at, but would be amazing to put on.  Originally I wanted to put the inside of the mask on the cover and the face of it on the back, so you could wear issue 13 like a mask!

You can buy prints, hoodies, techno skins, etc emblazoned with the mask face from my Society6 studio.

Inside and out