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 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'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!

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.