Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Nuts Nativity

As promised here's me being a bit more up to date with my postings of jobs, and this is pretty up to the minute as this illustration hit the shelves today!

Simon Freeborough Art Director of Nuts magazine called on a Friday afternoon to see whether i'd be available for a job he had in mind, unfortunately I was down the pub... I should point out I'd earned my afternoon down the boozer, as I hadn't had any time off in two weeks.. I thought i'd be safe to go for a quick pint, I mean who's gonna call past 4 on a Friday... er...how wrong was I?!!

Luckily I got the message at about 5-ish and got in touch, Simon then went about setting a brief for a Christmas TV themed Nativity image, which I got at about 7 that evening.. probably the latest i've received a brief.

The turnaround on this image had to be very quick, to top it off I was also finishing up on another image (that'll be posted here when it sees print) I started a tight line drawing on the Saturday, finished up my other job on the Sunday, then on the Monday sent in the line drawing above.. luckily very few if any changes were asked for, I then went on to colour and sent that in on the Tuesday... all this while making an emergency alteration to the other job I had on the go!

Even though I didn't necessarily have the time to enjoy this job as much as I would have liked, I think the final is a solid image and printed very well, and is certainly I believe what the nice people at Nuts wanted.

It was great to get to work with Simon again, I think if you were to ask anyone that knows me which clients makes a good match for both my style of work and sense of humour, then me and Nuts are a very good fit... hopefully i'll get further opportunities to work with them in 2011!

Illustration above shows Matt Lucas and David Walliams as Mary and Joseph, Harry Hill as the baby Jesus, Top Gear fellas as the three wise Men, Jimmy Carr as the innkeeper, Mitchell & Webb as a goat and sheep, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer as a donkey and cow, James Corden as a moon and Doctor who as the angel.. oh and a TV playing the Christmas premier of Avatar.

Blimey! It made for a tiring weekend juggling all those figures and two jobs at the same time... still I should be pretty much done now until the New Year!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Tasty Accountancy Age Cover!

I've been extremely busy these last few weeks, so yet again I've neglected this blog, still I should have a bit of free time from now into the Christmas period, so i'll do a few catch up posts on images that I've been working on recently.

Jobs over the last few weeks/months have come from Men's Health, Nuts (out Next week!) and an absolute beauty for Mac Format due to be published next month (more on that another time!) but first up there's this rather tasty drawing for the cover of Accountancy Age.

This was actually done last month, but i've only just got around to showing it off... this was art directed by the great Iain Winfield at AA; the illustration was for a feature about 1042 (or some other big number!) tax breaks/reliefs, I think AA Editor Gavin Hinks came up with this blinding idea of making a pick n' mix image, with each sweet referring to a particular financial relief.

First thing I did is go out and buy a couple of selection boxes of sweets... purely for reference purposes you understand, and then set about drawing and designing the wrappers, I didn't have to hand in a rough for this one, as the composition for the most part was pretty random.

I got the call on the Thursday for this job, I sent in a couple of designs the next day and had the final in on the Monday, it was one of those rare smooth jobs, this is probably down to a couple of factors; The guys at AA have a good understanding of what i'm good at and actually choose me for the covers that my work is most appropriate for, they set a reasonable deadline and they make things very comfortable for me, allowing me to find the best drawing solution for them.

Working for Accountancy Age has proved to be a real gift over these last twelve months, so you can imagine how gutted I felt, when having been called for my services a couple of weeks ago for another cover, that I had to turn them down, because I was committed elsewhere.. not only that, but the brief was an absolutely amazing one! In fact I made a point of telling Gavin the Editor, that it was one of those missed briefs that'll keep me awake at night.. because I know it's the kind of image that I would have loved to have drawn. Alas, it wasn't meant to be...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Zombie Mayhem!!

So here they are! Finally got around to putting up the Halloween Mask competition entrees.. I was a little disappointed with the turn out really, as it seemed I was going to be run amok with photos, as it turned out.. a lot of the AD's that were on board at the beginning of the week, didn't get around to sending in their pics! Tut, Tut..

Not to worry though, I got some work out of this promotion, which let's face it is the real point to me sending out the masks...I'd like to thank the people that did take part, and I hope you all enjoyed your goody bags. The picture above is the overall winner, this is actually my good friend Steve Blunt.. the original plan was that I would send a model of a decapitated head through the post, however this being Steve he'll be winning beer tokens instead which I've no doubt he'll spend on our upcoming outing in Bristol.

This is a photo of young Matty complete with Zombie pose, the dog behind "Evil Alfie" doesn't look too impressed!
A picture here of Bethany looking particularly scary even with the Mickey Mouse top!

This is the guys at Mac Format getting in on the act, this is a photo of Production Editor Tim taken by top Art Editor Alex Thomas, thanks for being good sports!

Finally, the one above and the two below are of super writer and genuinely good bloke John Freeman (thanks for the multiple entrees!); you may remember I worked with John on his book Sci-Fi Art Now, which has just come out in the shops! Here's Zombie John dusting.. obviously manically given the motion in this photo..
Zombie John tired of all that dusting settles down for a read of the newspaper, Zombie Times perhaps?!
Now I did say no photoshop, but well I really like this pic, here's a before and after (or after and before) of John Freeman.. I think this was what he looked like before he started the book and how he looked after all those months of hard work!

I've been busy of recent so expect another update of work and other stuff that's happening soon, also as i've said above my work has just seen print in a recently released book (see above) which i'll post something up about shortly!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Halloween Competition!!

So here it is! Art directors and creative folk up and down the land should now have my latest self promo package dropping through their mail boxes, "What is it?!" I hear you cry, well I thought I'd up the stakes and get all interactive!

Bill McConkey's 100% Authentic Zombie Mask, is exactly what it says on the box; however here's the cool part; if you cut out the mask and send a snap to yours truly while wearing it then you get a goody bag of prizes... the entree that is judged by me to be the most inventive and creative wins an extra special prize valued in the region of 10 English pounds!!!

I've already had a couple of entrees today from some of the UK's finest AD's, but I need more, and the more creative or just plain weird the better your chance of scooping top prize, just follow the instructions on the back and email it over!

This I hope will become an annual event, but it really is reliant on you creative folk, cutting loose, showing that AD's, Designers' and Creative whatevers.. can have a bit of fun and enter into the spirit of things, you can do this by making sure you get a photo to me before the end of Halloween night!

All entrants get a gruesome goody bag that'll be sent out either at the end of this week, early next (depending on when you get the entree to me!) the overall winner will be sent there extra special prize next Monday!

I'm not concerned with how you keep the mask to your face, whether it be string, taped or glued... you can take the photo at work, shopping, skateboarding whatever, remember the most creative entrant will win the big prize!! Imagine how envious every other Art Director in the UK will be... just imagine it!!...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Cue Fanfare/Ghostship

I've been a little slow in updating this blog of recent, something which i'll try and put right over the next few weeks.

The above illustration is for the cover of a new EP by the band Cue Fanfare, the title track being the simply amazing song Ghost Ship, which I urge everyone to go out and download, it can be bought on I Tunes and here at the label releasing it Kingem Records.

This job came about as I was recently in touch with the lead singer of the band Rowena Dugdale, whom I know from the dark days when I was represented by a well known Illustration agency in London. I think we met on at least two occasions at agency get togethers, you see along with being a ridiculously talented musician, she just happens to be ridiculously talented illustrator, photographer and now maker of designer hand made clutch bags... I know! It makes me ill too, to think that all that creativity should be found in one human being!!

Anyway, Rowena asked if i'd mind taking a crack at her EP cover; probably because she was too busy with all her other creative pursuits, because if truth be known Rowena would have arguably done a far better job than me, you can see her Illustration work here to see what i'm talking about...told you she was good!

I agreed (wel duh!) and set about coming up with the image; I was asked to illustrate the sails of a galleon type ship (the song is about the Mary Celeste) the big thing about this is it required a departure from my usual style, something a bit more leftfield and a bit more handmade,
Rowena had the idea of a more pattern based image, with scratchy lines... I think I should do more experimental images like this, as I really enjoyed myself.

Now the thing with this, is that there wasn't even a label involved at the time, so no budget, in return for the image Rowena traded me two of her simply stunning designer clutch bags instead, which I was able to pass on to female family members... and if you ask me I got the better end of the deal!

Under the name of Red Ruby Rose, Rowena now has a reputation for creating beautifully elegant handmade silk bags of the highest order, I would urge everyone to check out her shop at etsy, along with her newly created site and also her blog.

Just in case you haven't got enough of the busy Ms Dugdale in your life, then I suggest you visit the Cue Fanfare's site and myspace, make sure you see them play a gig!

Friday, 10 September 2010

New Accountancy Age Cover

Here is a new illustration for the cover of Accountancy Age, which went to print Tuesday.
I really enjoyed myself with this brief, Dan Parker AD at the mag came to me with this idea of a business fella in a supermarket browsing for Accountants; they would be in boxes and on a sale stand... which I thought was a great concept.

When I started drawing it out it dawned on me early on that my original composition (none of the above) would work as it concentrated on the figure too much, where as for the purpose of telling this visual story, the "For Sale" aisle should be equal if not more important than the figure.

I quickly sketched out three thumbnails for Dan to pick from, that showcased the boxes and aisle better, he chose the third one from the sketches above.

I worked up a black and white rough, and got this over to Dan the next day, once this was approved I moved to final artwork.

I had the weekend to complete the final colour artwork; I went a bit crazy on the detail on the boxes; I must admit it's these little things that I enjoy and sent in on the Monday.

There were quite a few alterations to make, but these were just changes to Accountant names on the boxes so that they didn't infringe or promote the names of real accountants.. it got a bit confusing there for a while, just because any name you can think of is taken by an accountancy firm somewhere, that and I had quite a few different versions of the artwork on my hard drive, so I had to make sure my alterations went on the right file(s)!

At the top is the artwork as it was printed, I've really enjoyed these jobs for the nice fellas at AA; the fact is they know what they want, have a good understanding of what I do and set great briefs...what more could an illustrator ask for?!!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Sci Fi Art Interview

I recently did an interview with the extremely talented Mr John Freeman as a run up bit of promotion for his new book Sci Fi Art Now, a book that I mentioned on a previous post; it features some of the greatest examples of SF Art and also showcases a few of my images in this genre.

The interview can be found online here Over the next few months up until the time of release in October there will be a series of interviews with the various contributors to the book.

So if you follow my blog and want to find out a bit more of my history, techniques and thoughts then get over there for a quick look.

If you are a fan of illustration and SF Art then this comes with my highest recommendation, as there is going to be an array of the finest talents in this particular genre on this site over the next few weeks and months... should make for a great read!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mac Format- Steve Jobs

So here's another illustration for Mac Format that hit the stands last week, again this was yet another great brief by the Art Editor of the title Alex Thomas.

The article is about whether Apple has sold out, the brief asked for a depiction of Steve Jobs; one half being the young idealistic computer nerd that grew up in California, the other side showing a more hard nosed, money driven version of the Jobs of today.

On one side I was going for a psychadelic poster style, hence all the halftone stuff and on the other side I wanted to give it an ever so gentle feel of the US Dollar to suggest that corporate materialistic side.

This is one of those that really comes alive in print as it is bold composition..how many times do you see a headshot like that take up a full page?! And also there is some quite subtle line work on the corporate half that really comes through in the printed version.

I'd like to point out that an illustrator's work can often defined by the person/people he works with as much as any brief, or deadline and luckily working with Alex is a joy, he's one of those really good AD's; (a) Because he gives great briefs (b) He always sets a reasonable timescale, and (c) Alex is one of the most visually aware AD's I've met, if I say that I've been looking at this artist/movement/film/comic/TV series as reference or influence, then he totally gets what I'm talking about... it just makes things so much smoother when the guy you work with knows his stuff!

I've done two images for this magazine so far and they've been pretty solid illustrations, but I know if I'm given the opportunity and with these kinds of briefs I'm going to produce something pretty special soon.

Friday, 13 August 2010


Here's a job that I did for the UK edition of Wired magazine, I actually did this quite a while ago.. in fact the World Cup may very well have still been on! however it didn't see print until the end of last week, each magazine has a different schedule; some images see print literally the next day and others take a while like this one.

Wired like the Mojo gig earlier in the year are one of those clients on the list of every illustrator in the land... not only that but I'd tried on numerous occasions over the years to work with the art directing duo of Andrew Diprose and Gary Cadogan on another title, each time my approaches were spurned.

Luckily i'm patient, and as the saying goes; "Good things come to those who wait" so Gary get's in touch having received one of my 'World Cup Wonder' trading card sets with a really lovely brief about Zombies; which is fast becoming a bit of a specialty subject for me, and of course I take it without hesitation.. if truth be be known I'd have drawn anything they told me to!

Tricky job this, in that there were a lot of characters to draw, and they had to be grouped in a particular way, and to take into account the gutter, but I was given a decent deadline so I got to work.

The thing is with this; after years of waiting and now having finally got the commission from Gary, it turned out that Gary was going on to pastures new, so I would be working with Andrew for the completion of the image... I like to think it's like Dragon's Den where you get two for the price of one!

Luckily the reason these Art Director's have such a great reputation was completely justified and I found working with Andrew to be very smooth and professional, which is just as I would have expected.

To be fair I thought if I ever worked with Wired it would be on some of their spot illustrations, in the end I got a big one running over two pages, which was lovely! I still however have my eye on doing some spots for them, check out the magazine as I think they are one of the few magazines on this side of the Atlantic that really know and value the use of the humble 'spot'.

Above are the rough, which is again detailed (there was a lot to work out!) the pinks on this are telling the AD where i'll be putting other stuff, and the other two images are the final and final in print.... Oh yeah, and the Zombie bottom right is me sporting the hairline i'll have in about twelves months from now...

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Accountancy Age Cover 2!

Sorry haven't had time to post up anything in a while, but if i'm not putting things up that means I'm too busy actually making the images to post up, after a hectic couple of weeks you can expect an update-a-rama, just as soon as the various things i've been working on see print!

Above is the latest cover for Accountancy Age which I completed it over the weekend and sent it in on Monday, having got the brief on the Thursday afternoon and it was in print as of yesterday (Wednesday)

This one was ably art directed by Dan Parker.

Strange one this in that it should have been a simple one, the brief was: "Can we have two versions of the same fella outside the Royal Courts of Justice; One looking smug and pleased with himslf and the other looking glum and downbeat"

Easy, right? Well I struggled with it... it took me ages re-drawing the glum fella on the right, messing about with different positions and faces, in the end I went for something far more simpler, which is exactly what I should have done in the first place.. in fact the fella on the right was completely drawn from scratch and added a couple of hours before I sent the final! But i'm glad I re-drew him as he wasn't working at all in the original..maybe a case of me trying to be too clever!

Goes to show you; Ask me to draw a man sprouting ornate psychadelic butterfly wings or a Predator made out of bacon, and that's easy! This needed a far more restrained and subtle approach.. and I can tell you I was sweating a little bit there for a while... but we got there in the end!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Bacon Predator vs Alien Kipper

So here's another 'Snack Off' illustration for Men's Health UK, the Art Editor of the title Rob Milton came to me with possibly the most 'out there' concept of the series so far, email went something like this; "So we were thinking of Bacon Predator vs Alien Kipper?"

My initial response was "What the?! How am I going to draw a Predator made out of Bacon?!!"
As it turns out I now think Rob is perhaps a Genius! Both for coming up with the concept and believing that I could draw such a thing.

Above are both the Bacon vs Kipper illo and also just the Bacon Predator by itself in all it's greasy glory.

I happen to think that while only a small illustration, that the Bacon Predator features some of my finest drawing of the year and certainly the best in this series so far.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

World Cup Wonders

The whole world's gone World Cup crazy and I thought i'd get in on the act too, so to celebrate I've created a limited edition set of football cards as a mail out to clients.
It's proved quite difficult to complete these, they were initially going to be sent out a week prior to the opening ceromonies, however more and more jobs cropped up and they didn't see print until the actual opening game, they were sent out the following day and should have found their way into the hands of art directors up and down the land on the Monday/Tuesday just gone.
Hopefully all the designs speak for themselves, at the top are a handful of the printed cards in their sleeves, the way they will have greeted any art director fortunate to receive a set.
These cards are very much a throwback to my own childhood, collecting footbal stickers and a particular influence of note being the Garbage Pail Kids cards of the 80's, if I'd have had more time I would have liked to have produced a lot more of these cards, perhaps with the backs combining together to make one big image..maybe next time!
If you're an art director and haven't received a pack of cards, then get in touch and let me know, although I should warn you that numbers are already dwindling!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Mac Format

Another day and here's another illustration that's out on the newstands; this double page spread was created for Mac Format for an article about the future of gaming on the Mac.

Alex Thomas the art director on this came to me with this Gaming Utopia/Lost World concept, and had a strong composition in mind; I wouldn't say I'm particularly known for either architectural based images or even landscapes for that matter, so this was a little daunting.

What I wanted was for the city to have very much a retro sci-fi feel and of course lots of gaming refferences, luckily Alex was on the same page and told me to run with it... really such a fun job this one! Hopefully it shows in the drawing.

Alex was then kind enough yesterday to forward this message from Mac Format reader Andi Vaughan, who'd written this message about said artwork, hope you don't mind me posting this Andi;

"Dear Macformat

I felt compelled to email you again after reading this months Macformat but not about the about the usual high quality literary content. This time it was the double page art work for Mac Gaming article - the chap on the hill looking at a Game city. It took me right back to my childhood and old classic magazines such as Crash and 2000AD.
I'm not sure what I liked most, the retro-futuristic look (does that make sense??) or the attention to detail for the genre and squeezing in so many classic games really, really well.
Anyhow, hats off the the artist(s) - cracking work which I felt was due recognition and my compliments."

It's nice to feel appreciated!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Grocer

Here's an illustration I completed last week for The Grocer magazine, I got the call to do this on a Friday afternoon, the rough was sent in on the Monday and the final with a few alterations was completed for the Tueday and found print on the Saturday...one of those blink of the eye jobs this.

Nick Figgis art directed this, and the brief was a simple one (well kind of) They had a feature on salaries and the art team there had seen my work and thought that a financial pinball machine may be something I'd like to do, which as it turns out was something that I was keen to draw.

Few issues with this job, a couple of technology faults; first my phone and then the computer, and then there was the composition, the dimensions of this illo, basically made it a square, which isn't ideal for a pinball machine which are very much longer/taller in dimensions.

At the bottom is my initial thumbnail; you won't find beautiful sketchbooks in my house, just lots of writing pads with doodles on.
In the middle is my greyscale rough sent to Nick.
At the top is the colour final.

This was completely my own design as nothing was suggested thematically in the brief; so I decided on a space rocket bursting through a metaphorical salary ceiling/atmosphere and on either side we have a man and woman climbing the steps of sucess/pay, again really enjoyable job this, although perhaps in hindsight having seen it print over full page, perhaps I could have gone more detailed on this one.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Accountancy Age Cover

As I said in an earlier post, i've been a busy boy these last couple of weeks; here's the cover of last weeks Accountancy Age.

Iain Winfield from Accountancy Age got in touch to ask whether I'd be interested in doing this political cover peice which came out on the eve of the Elections, and I jumped at the chance; I mean who wouldn't?

I got to do something very current (about as current as it get's in the UK!) It's a political peice, this is my first published foray in this area, also it was a classic bit of portraiture (something you'd think I'd get more work for!) to say nothing of it being a cover!

When Iain told me the concept for the illo, I knew this was going to be a good fit, brief was: "Can we have Alistair Darling, Vince Cable and George Osbourne in a bed, the line underneath will run; How was it for you?"

I think my imagery works best when it plays close to my sense of humour (or if something a bit more 'out there' is needed!) and I've found over the last few months clients are coming to me as much for an ability to inject humour into an illustration than anything else, which I must say I find gratifying.

If there's a reason behind my work it's to raise not only a smile, but an eyebrow too, which hopefully this cheeky little number did!

The only issue with this illustration was the quick turnaround, which ordinarily wouldn't be a problem, I got the brief on noon Thursday and the final was due Tuesday morning , however we had a Bank Holiday Weekend breaking up that time! Bank Holiday Mondays always play havoc with my scheduling!

Rough was completed on Friday and luckily Iain was good enough to check in on his emails over the weekend (I don't like bothering AD's on day's off!) and the final was in on Monday.

Above are the rough, final and final as it saw print, really cool job and despite the Bank Holiday shennanigans, Iain and Gavin at AA made it a really smooth one...I think we were all happy with the result, and hopefully i'll be working with the fellas there again soon.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Men's Health Snack Off Pt2!

Here are the last 3 months 'Snack Off' spot illustrations for Men's Health UK, it's a pleasure to do these drawings, really fun!
Starting at the top we have Peanut vs Almond (latest issue) the brief was this; "Can we have the nuts as classic WWE style Wrestlers?" hence peanut Andre the Giant against almond Hulk Hogan.
In the middle we have Mackerel vs Sardines, brief was: "Hi Bill, have you seen Bruce Lee's Game of Death?" So we have sardines dressed in those cool yellow tracksuits of Bruce Lee and the Mackerel is the big fighting Basketball dude from the same movie. Both of these were art directed by Rob Milton.
The bottom one is Lentils vs Quinoa, brief was: "Hey Bill, can we have lentils making the form of a hippy and the quinoa into an Aztec monster, similar to your Pasta one earlier in the series?"
This one was art directed by Graeme Sapsed.
I've just completed another in this series, as you can see the briefs are becoming more and more off the beaten path (which let's face it, I like!) and I can honestly say that the next one I post up features some of the best drawing I've done over the past 12 months...it's one to look out for, but more on that another time!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Sci Fi Art Now Book

Apologies, haven't been able to find time to post up anything new of recent as I've been so busy with jobs and projects all over the place, which is good news! However now I seem to have some free time on my hands (well, for the time being!) expect a post-a-rama to show you some of the stuff I've been up to.

I was informed over a week ago that some of my images had been fortunate to be selected to appear in a lovely hardback book later in the year, this book is called Sci-Fi Art Now and as you've guessed it's a book about Science Fiction Art.

The book is written by a wonderfully talented fella called John Freeman and will be published by Ilex Books, this gorgeous tome collects together some of the finest talent of the genre and..er..me!

John has set up a blog to promote the upcoming title which I highly recommend you check out, I also suggest that if your a fan of this kind of work (aren't we all?!) then you get pre-ordering now via amazon

I've always fancied myself as a Fantasy/Sf illustrator and for years I've bought more books on this subject than any other, however my work is mainly found in the editorial market where such work is limited or in some cases I've shoe-horned my fantastical sensibilities into more mundane areas, so it's nice to finally show some stuff off that isn't affraid to be what it is, to say nothing of it appearing alongside the work of truly greats in the field...bit of a dream come true really!

I'll be putting more up about Sci-Fi Art Now over the next few months, as and when more info comes my way.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


Here's a recent job I did for Mojo magazine that's now on the shelves of a good newsagents near you.

Now what I should tell you (if you're not already aware) is that a illo for Mojo magazine is one of the most coveted jobs on the UK scene, why I hear you ask! Well the magazine only runs one full page illustration a month, which is for the album of the month section, as such and down to the often great briefs of the art director Mark Wagstaff, it's the gig that every artist wants; in fact you only need to look at the talent that's worked for the magazine over the years and it's like a who's who in the illustration field and of course now little old me has joined this great list!

The image is of the musician John Grant who has a debut album released shortly called 'The Queen of Denmark' if you are not familiar with this guy's music, I can assure you, you soon will be, it is an absolutely stunning body of work...remember you heard it here first!

Mark came to me with this concept of a portrait of John in Black and White and with a monotone background; the only thing that would be in colour would be butterfly wings sprouting from his back; these wings would be a kind of gateway to his Wonka/Alice in Wonderland/70's inspired inner world, suffice to say while being a pretty damn tough job it was also one that fits in with my own imaginative leanings.

There were a few worries early on, what with the shape and size of the wings, and I wasn't that keen on the completely B&W background and figure, as I felt that the figure didn't connect with the wings he sat in the background a little too much; so there was a bit of compromise, in the end we got just a hint of colour in there and in the background which helped hold it together a bit more.

Really a great job though, one of the best things and certainly something of a rarity is that Mark was able to get a copy of the album sent over to me to listen to and inspire while I worked on the artwork, which certainly helped set the right tone for final image.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More Nuts!

It's been a busy old time these last few weeks, in fact so much so that when I have a day off like today I don't know what to do with myself, however the fruits of my labour will be showing up on the news stands up and down the country over the next weeks, in fact here's a job that came out in print on Tuesday.

Here's the story; so Simon the art director at Nuts magazine drops me an email at about 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, asking me whether I'd be interested in taking a job, now I should point out at this stage I was already busy with a couple of other peices for other clients, the job is for seven images for a double page spread, and you get to illustrate a feature about some of the maddest April Fool's jokes ever, well how could I resist?

Brief arrives in my inbox at around 6:30 that evening, and it's a beauty!

The downside on this job (as I'm sure other illustrators can appreciate) was that I had 4/5 days to produce the illos add to that the other couple of jobs I was working on had deadlines that overlapped with this, it meant I was doing around 9 images in this short space of time, simple maths tell you that meant I was doing around 2 illustrations a day, along with any alterations and changes, so it's fair to say it was hectic there for a while.

Of course the real issue is that when you get a brief as good as this, you really want to savour it, however you simply don't get chanse to enjoy it, and add all those little details as your far too concerned with trying to get it in on time.
Above are my two favourite images from the article and all seven images in the printed double page layout, again I think Simon did a great job, there's a rarity; an art director not afraid to let a illustration take centre stage!

Hopefully i'll get another excellent brief from the guys at Nuts soon, these are the kinds of things us illustrators live for... and this time crossed fingers i'll not be swamped with other jobs..still can't complain too much about being busy!

Also while i'm here, thanks to any art directors I've been working with in the last month or so for not only a series of great briefs, but also being patient while I've got my stress head on.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Snack Off!

Here are just a few of some spot illustrations I've been producing for a section called 'Snack Off' in Men's Health UK.
The idea is simple (but the best ones always are!) each month two different items of food are compared on a nutritional level to see which is best for, this is illustrated in the food going head to head Rocky style as seen above.
These are some of images I think work best out of the early boxing one in the series; Chicken vs Beef, Pork vs Chicken & Pasta vs Potato.
The last few I've been working on have gone on to embrace things like Martial Arts and Wrestling, so expect to see Kung Fu Fish and various other wacky things posted here in the future.
Just a quick note here about spot illustrations; a spot illustration is something I would describe as being not much more than 100mm by 100mm, and personally I love them! The reasons being that they generally don't take up too much time, but mainly because the drawing and in particular the concept really have to work on a more immediate level, of course the downside is that a fee for a one off spot illo is a lot lower than for a half-page and above sized image, but I for one could quite happily fill my days doing lots of these small conceptual pieces.