Saturday 23 November 2013

mad dogs and crocodiles

I find that although I am trying to keep the roughs for Mr Punch super rough I still have to draw something when new characters appear.  Cerberus arrives in a couple of pages so I had to work out how I was going to draw him without spoiling the design process later... He is supposed to look equal parts terrifying and cute

I think I'll go with the top one ^-^

The trouble is after I've drawn a character a lot, even trying to keep it as lo-fi as I possibly can, I do seem to get attached to them as they are!

By now I am finding it very difficult to imagine the central characters looking any different from this:

I think they will have to though!

Thursday 21 November 2013

necessary details!

I forgot to blog where you could get the postcards!  Here's the blurb from the show:

 To London With Love Vol II

 To London with Love Vol. II is an exhibition of postcard size artwork
by artists, illustrators and designers with a special link to London.

 The project, now in its second year, sees Robert Rubbish from the
collective LE GUN once again taking the reigns. This year, he is joined
by curator and commissioner Ligaya Salazar and curator and founder of
Material Lucy Payne. All three have handpicked a diverse selection of
artists, designers and illustrators including Ryan Todd, Jon Gray, Nova
Dando, Alexis Deacon, Poppy Chancellor, Kyle Platts and of course Robert
Rubbish, Bill Bragg, Neal Fox and Stephanie von Reiswitz of the LE GUN

 Each artist was sent up to 10 blank postcards on which to create
original artwork in any medium around the theme of the exhibition: To
London With Love. All the postcard-sized artworks are priced at just
£10 to enable visitors to buy original works of art at an affordable

 In addition, a selection of around 20 of the works have been chosen to
be made into an edited selection of digitally printed postcards also
available to buy.


 The exhibition takes place

 6th - 21st December 2013

 at Material
 3 Rivington Street
 London EC2A 3DT

Monday 11 November 2013

postcards from the edge

I am about to participate in a postcard show - To London with Love - and I am doing the majority of the cards as trailers for Mr Punch, each one with a loose London theme.  I will post them as I make them (here on the blog that is - not in the mail!).  Here are the Old Bailey, Richmond Park and the Thames:

I am super excited about this story! It is the most action packed, loony thing I have ever written! Let's hope I can find someone to publish it...

Incidentally, these cards will all be on sale for a very modest price at the show (ten quid I think!!).  Buy the set!

game face

...or how being a nerd taught me typography

I have had a lot of lessons in typography over the course of my life; not the really serious in-depth stuff they do on graphic design courses, I'm talking about things like being asked to draw the word COLD in a COLD way.  Before a certain summer holiday the penny had utterly failed to drop.  I did the lessons and enjoyed them then promptly forgot all about them the moment I stepped out the door.  

Then I invented a wrestling dice game (!).  

Now this game involved a lot of picking wrestler's names out of hats.  I got swiftly bored with seeing them in plain old print or my regular handwriting.  Instinctively I felt that the names themselves must represent the wrestlers they belonged to.  Kane had to have a big, majestic fiery name, of course, whereas William Regal needed something grand, pretentious yet ever so slightly duff.  Half way through I realised that I was doing exactly what I had been supposed to do in all those typography classes.  It was just that now I actually cared about it.  Also, for any teachers out there, it is worth noting that to attempt grand, pretentious yet ever so slightly duff in typography is a hell of a lot more interesting than trying to render cold  ^-^

Happy days!

Friday 8 November 2013

the drawing bee

It's been a while since I last had two minutes to myself to post something.  It seems like I have been either lecturing, being lectured or on a train going to a lecture for the whole of the last two weeks!

On Wednesday I gave a talk on visual grammar (on Thursday I listened to a talk that pointed out how silly it is that all our words for understanding pictures are borrowed from terms for the understanding of words!).  In particular I concentrated on how artists can shape our perception of an image by altering how the content is framed and what our point of view is.  Perhaps when it is not so late at night I will go into it in more depth but here is the premise...

In any given image we have a certain amount of content.  For example, we have a person and a block.  Perhaps the person is walking down a step?

How much space we allow this person and this block will affect our understanding of them.  In this image it may seem that our character has made a drastic choice... 

In this one it might seem like he had no other option!

Point of view changes meaning too.  Here we are witnessing a tragedy:

Here we are participating in one:

Even if there is absolutely nothing going on, the amount and the shape of the nothing are still important!

 This person is in a very different place from the one above:

 This place is different again:

And again....

And again...

As an example of how we can apply this, even when working from observation, here is a drawing I made with my right hand of Javier Saez Castan giving a lecture.  There is plenty of information about him but you would never guess he was talking to an auditorium filled with hundreds of people:

Now here is one with my left hand of Martin Salisbury giving his inaugural lecture yesterday... this time we get very little information about his appearance and a lot more about the space he was in.  The fact that I'm not so confident with this hand doesn't really get in the way because the picture depends on its content and not its mark making.  Narrative images don't need to be drawn with pretty lines to tell compelling stories... although admittedly it does help sometimes!

One picture shows a lecture the other doesn't.  It's not that one is right and the other wrong but their stories are different.  The longer I work the more I come to realise how much each and every choice we make can change the way our images are perceived.