Monday, 17 January 2011

15 Seconds of Fame!

So Andy Warhol reckons we'll all have our own 15 minutes of fame, well on Friday night I am thrilled to say that I had somewhere between 15 to 45 seconds (maybe longer!) of my alloted time!

I was minding my own business on a Friday night watching The Graham Norton Show, who's guests included; Matt Le Blanc, Mary Portas and David Mitchell, and when it came to the interview with David Mitchell, Graham Norton very kindly informed him he'd be voted one of Nuts Magazines 20 Greatest Blokes, now at this point my ears pricked up.

If you read the previous post then you'll know this is a recent feature I illustrated, anyway to cut a long story short Norton only goes and whips out a copy of the magazine, at this point I'm getting a little excited shouting "Go on show the illustration!" and as you can see from the pictures above he did exactly that.. that's right he only went flashed up my illustration to an audience of millions!! Ha, yeah, I was dumbstruck!

The clip can be found on Youtube here and the section with the Nuts illo starts around the 6 minute mark on this video... check it out, if not there's the snaps above to prove that it did happen and wasn't the product of my feverish mind!

I think if you watch Joey from Friends face you can see that he's absolutely blown away with the illustration, he has the look of awe and wonder that I imagine Renaissance people did upon the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel! No? Must be just me that saw that.

Above are snaps of Norton with the mag illustration and below that is a quick snap of the illustrations as it saw print.

Obviously now that i'm famous, i'm available for public appearances and autograph signings just get in touch with my PA to arrange something, i'll be in my trailer... next up I expect to be on QI, Mock the Week and sometime by the end of the year being interviewed by Jonathan Ross, obviously long term I intend to crack the American market, maybe a couple of Grammies, an Oscar or two..

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Nuts: Greatest British Blokes!

Here are a couple of large scale illustrations that can be found in this week's Nuts magazine for the feature 'Britain's 20 Greatest Blokes' this was an incredibly fun, if labour intensive job! This job was commissioned on the day before Christmas Eve, I assumed I would be having the Holiday period off, which happens most years as my editorial clients close shop over this period... How wrong was ?! It seems AD Mr Simon Freeborough puts even more hours than me!

This job posed a few problems; The order in which the characters would appear was pre-determined so I couldn't play about with that, also I rarely get to do one image at this size never mind two, so I was maybe a little out of practice, plus I drive myself crackers with little details which can slow me down on these big one's.. in fact these images only came together towards the end of the job, just a few days before deadline.

I'm not going to go through the list, click on the images for a close up and hopefully all are quite obvious, good to see Stephen Hawking at No1 though!

Having seen these in print, which is how I recommend these be viewed, as it plugs in some of the gaps I left for the text I can honestly say I'm happy with the final images, these were quite epic to draw and compose and came about not long after the 40 portrait monster Mac Format job of the last post, if you're in a News Agents check these bad boys out!

Hopefully i'll get the opportunity to work with Nuts on other jobs throughout 2011, their briefs are always fun and more often than not allow me to tap into my more comedic qualities.. which is what it's all about, I think every illustration should have a stamp of the creator's personality... and I think anyone that knows me, would say these are a good reflection of my own humor.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Mac Format- Sgt Pepper Homage

Here is a full page illustration that's just seen print in the most recent copy of Mac Format, this was completed just before Christmas and was quite the epic undertaking!

Alex Thomas the AD of Mac Format had given me some truly great briefs throughout 2010, the results of which can be seen in other posts, however I think he was leaving his very best until the end of the year with this one.

With the whole Beatles catalogue now being downloadable from I Tunes, Alex came up with this truly great idea of doing a homage/parody of Sir Peter Blake's iconic Sgt Pepper artwork, I think that left to my own devices at some point or other I was destined to re-draw this image at some point, it's one of those that I would do as a personal/promotional image... so to actually have this brief fall into my lap was a real gift!

The concept for this was as simple as it was complex to draw, fill out the crowd of people with a list of Apple's most famous employees and devotees, with the list in hand; made up of a lot of CEO types, celebrities etc... I then went about the mammoth task of drawing over 40 portraits in one image!

The black and white line underdrawing if I remember correctly was created surprisingly quickly, something like 3/4 days, the colouring and fine tuning of this took a great deal longer, it became quite exhausting if i'm being honest, but sometimes your best images are like this, there needs to be a little struggle along the way.. I dare say some of my favorite pieces are often hard fought affairs, that extra hardship can often bring about the best results.

The middle line drawing is a key to all the characters drawn, this was also printed in the magazine.

The resulting final colour image is one of my personal favorites to see print over the last twelve months; this in terms of both the actual illustration, the concept and I know how much work I put into this, while also trying to juggle other jobs... it was a very busy period there, and I came out I think with some really nice work, and a reputation I hope enhanced from the experiences of late November through to December 2010.

Hold on, because some more biggies are coming to this page soon!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Men's Health Spots!

Here's a round up of just a few of the spot illustrations I've been fortunate to produce for Men's Health UK throughout the latter part of 2010, I've been very slow in putting these up (no surprises there!)

The image above is the most recent from the 'Snack Off' series (*see older posts for more!) and unfortunately probably last, as I think the section has been killed, which is a shame 'cos i've had a ball producing these images for Rob and Graeme at the mag.

Still I think we went out on a high; they wanted something for Oats vs Eggs, and asked me if I had any ideas kicking around; so I suggested Oats Ghostbuster vs Ghost Egg.. I think the fellas there trust me now and so let me roll with it.

Strangely enough the Oaty Ghostbuster, which i'd have assumed would be difficult proved in fact to come very smoothly, the Eggy Ghost however proved tricky; originally it was just a random Ghost with two yolks for eyes; but was given the thumbs down for being too cartoony.

"How about an Eggy Slimer?" suggested AD Rob Milton. Genius!, D'oh why didn't I think of that.. so I drew a yellow/yolky slimer at the request of Rob, however this got turned down on the basis of it not looking "eggy" enough, this was replaced with a fried egg version, which while not being turned down had to be tweaked, I moved the yolk further up into the centre of the body and then had to give it a more subtle yolk, more poachy (that's a word!) than yellow fried.

Still while I may prefer the original yellow yolky Slimer, I can't fault the alterations we made as I was very happy when I saw the printed result!

Here's the second to last of the 'Snack Off' illos; Venison vs Beef in the shape of Mods vs Rockers, Rob's idea this one and a great one too! I decided to put them on bikes, really enjoyable an smooth one this.

Brocolli vs Cabbage, in the form of McEnro vs Bjorn Borg, I had trouble with my Cabbage Borg, I was a little unfamiliar with the Cabbage texture and trying to marry that to Bjorn's angular features, the orignal head was scrapped for not looking Cabbagey enough... I came up with this replacement very quickly, which I like, but had I more time then I would have slightly resized his proportions to match Brocolli McEnroe and gave him a cabbage beard to finish him off.

Here are some military style badges I came up with for a army fitness training supplement for the magazine, these are only small, but were really enjoyable to do. I think people see some of the more complex and intricate images I produce, and then forget about me for these smaller icon based images, but the reality is I'd love to do more icon and infographic stuff to run alongside my other work.

Coming up soon, so watch this space over the next few days are some of that more detailed stuff I was talking about, in fact they're quite epic!