Friday, 16 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Well it's that time of year again! Man, what a year, I usually have a hectic period on the run up to the festivities here at McConkey studios, this was no different, still I think that's me pretty much done for this year, Yay!

So I thought i'd kick this posting off with some particularly festive offerings above is a full page illustration done for the TV listings section of Nuts magazine, this is actually a follow up to the one I did last year which was of a Celebrity Nativity scene, this time around a Grotto scene made up of some of Christmas Telly's finest personalities; Top Gear fellas, Alan Carr, Micheal Macintyre, Lee Evans, Doctor Who, Miranda Harte, Jimmy Carr and Chris Moyles.

Really fun one to do this, and it printed really nicely, this one was art directed by the great Simon Freeborough, check it out it's on the shelves now!
Ever wondered why Santa's cheeks are so rosy? This is another illo for the Christmas edition of Nuts, as part of the ongoing Celebrity Karma Sutra series, of course Santa had to get in on the act, really like this one out of the series, think the girl has the right amount of sexiness to her, this one and pretty much the entire series thus far have been art directed by Barney Hammond, this I can tell you is one of those rarest of things; a regular job that's a real joy to do!

On a side note, I read in the Metro paper the other day about people complaining about the Lads mag, it's an ongoing thing it would seem that raises it's head in a cyclical fashion; kind of like Video games causing violence, there's always something for every generation, we shouldn't forget that comic books and Rock n' Roll have all been targets of the PC brigade trying to be the saviors of a generation's morality.

Here's my opinion for what it's worth, and as someone that produces a large volume of work that appears mainly in men's titles, and as a by-product do in fact read various titles, I don't think there's anything in these magazines that you don't see on TV or elsewhere, in fact I'd argue that particularly with a magazine like Nuts, there's something intrinsically British, in it's humor and variety of subject that if anything in this day and age it should be celebrated.

The magazine very much taps into a market, and if you like psyche of a British man, so if you like TV programs like Top Gear, The Inbetweeners and pretty much any British Comedy or Comedian at the the moment, if your interests include music, film, videogames and football then Nuts is the mag for you, also it's got loads of boobs in it, everyone's a winner!

I'll get off my soapbox now, and on to another illustration, above is a cover for HR magazine, i've delayed in putting this up, as i'm not quite sure how successful this one is; it's one those where I was slightly out of my comfort zone, in that there was a crowd of people, a short deadline, and I was asked to draw them "Big Head"/ Caricature style... so different, in that I usually draw proportionately accurate.

It's maybe a job I should have turned down, as I was pretty busy, but it was a case of a bit of ego on my part and the fact that I get to work with the lovely Laura Hawkins at the title, who's a really good person to work with.

It was a bit of a sticky one this, lots of work over a weekend, only to have to change what pretty much everyone what everyone was wearing (they were originally in Tuxedos and evening gowns!) on the Tuesday, with final due on Wednesday/Thursday.

I'll probably be asked to do more Big Head/Caricature based work in 2012, in fact I can see Art Director's already seeing the above and making a note to hire me for something similar, and what I would say is that next time, because i've had this as my trial run-out i'll do some great work in this style, there's no reason why not, i'm a big fan of this genre and it plays to my more humorous side often which makes for my best work. Btw my favorite artist who works in this way is the great American illustrator Drew Friedman, check out his work online!

In the end the above piece was published albeit with some modification, as the powers that be at the title thought it needed to be a bit more serious in tone, why ask for them in this style then that lends itself to humor? Is the most obvious question, as I would have been more comfortable drawing everyone in correct scale.

Still I don't blame Laura the AD on this one, who despite the hiccups mentioned above was a delight to work with and hopefully i'll get the chance to make amends next year with a really great illustration.

So only a couple of weeks on from that last Big Head illo and I got another (these things come in groups!) I think this time with a bit more of a satisfactory outcome.

Graeme Sapsed at Men's Health UK got in touch to ask whether I fancied these big head illos, you can imagine my eyes rolling at the prospect, still I thought this was an opportunity to undo the hoodoo of drawing the cranially blessed.

Brief was this; Cluedo characters, three that actually exist Prof Plum, Col Mustard & Rev Green, and three that are to be visually created using my own feeble imagination based on the names Doctor Black, Mr White & Mr Bulk the Butler all doing a series of exercises.

Again I was busy while I took on this gig, but just about fitted it in, most difficult thing was trying to master how to interpret the exercises, as it wasn't a case of just "lifting weight" type scenes, but generally more difficult things to get reference for such as how to use the Bulgarian Bag, how to use a Grid Roller, in some cases even Google wasn't that much use!

Still got there in the end, and having just seen how Graeme did a great job in setting them out on the page (see above, sorry about the quality of the scans!) I think they came out pretty well.

So that's me for 2011, I couldn't post everything I've worked on of recent up on this blog, as some have yet to see print, so they'll show up early 2012 no doubt.

If you're a regular reader of this blog or one of my clients, I'd just like to give a big thanks to everyone who's made this a busy year for me, and this year has been a good one on the work front, and I look forward to making even better images, in fact roll on 2012 is what I say! I've got a few things up my sleeve... which I can't go into to much detail with, but er... some are a bit special, let's put it that way.

Happy Christmas and have a great New Year! See you in 2012..

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