This blog has been a bit neglected of recent, when things go quiet here, it's generally because I am up to
my neck in jobs, and that has definitely been the case this past couple of months.
I'm struggling to think of a time when i've been more busy, which is saying something in itself!
I did say my next post would be dedicated to my Karma Sutra drawings, but I think that can wait a little while longer, so that I can do this giant sized catch up on recent jobs.
This isn't everything i've done in the past 2 months, just a slice of jobs that are currently on the newsstands as we speak.
Above is a very cool job that came my way via PC Pro, a magazine I'd created my first illo for earlier in the year. This illustration accompanied a feature about what would happen if the world's internet went down, and given the modern dependency how we'd kind of basically return to the dark ages, not before being treated to scenes of sheer pandemonium ... great brief, I must have been drawing about 4 other jobs at the time, so it was a matter of trying to wrangle enough time to add all the detail I wanted.
I was happy with how it came out in print, not least because they use a much pulpier paper in the mag than the glossy stuff my images usually run on. Big thanks to designer Andrew Bunce for thinking of me when this brief came up, with a bit of luck i'll get to work with PC Pro again in the New Year, and hopefully I won't be quite as busy with other jobs, so I can really go to town on the detail!
Above are a set of number based illos that have just seen print in the UK edition of Women's Health (gorgeous looking mag, check it out!) These I found to be one of my toughest jobs in many a year, the brief was to make celebs fit a series of numbers that relate to health based topics, eg; 2 units of alcohol a day, etc.
I felt that in order to make them fit the shape of a number, that I would have to draw celebs in a variety of outlandish positions, which is how they came to be doing exercises, and it came apparent early on that in order to make them numbers, that i'd maybe need at least two figures per number.
Somewhere down the line (probably because of the Hairy Bikers illo I did first) that we would make the list of characters into celebrity chefs, and that we would draw them doing some kind of activity that pertained to what the number related to.
I don't know if it was being overworked at the time, trying to get figures to contort in ways that weren't natural etc... but I really struggled with these, probably more so than any other job I can think of in the past 5 years!
Anyway, luckily these were under the safe stewardship of the WH team with me working predominantly with numero uno safe pair of hands Kerem Shefik and Editor Farrah Storr, I bought the magazine yesterday, and now I don't know what all the fuss was about now.
Sure I may have done them in a completely different way, if given the brief today, but having seen them in print, and how they were matched on the paper with a lovely watercolour paper texture, apart from a changing some small things on the Gordon Ramsey drawing (arguably the best one) i'm actually happy with how they came out.
Big thanks to Kerem, Farrah, Ade & Emily at WH for putting up with my madness!
Now here's some spot illustrations that I really got my teeth into for my good friends at Empire magazine, brief was simple; draw JJ Abrams as a Jedi Knight, Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight and Walter White/Heisenberg from Breaking Bad.
These were great fun, and I was in a relaxed mood drawing these, so much that I ended up drawing 3 versions of the JJ Jedi Knight, the final one as a bit of fun was a Yoda version. I sent them to the Art Ed of the title Adam expecting him to chuckle, and then pick one of the other two, then when I picked up a copy of magazine I was surprised to find out he'd run the Yoda drawing.
It was a nice surprise as it looked great on the page too, goes to show you, that an artist is not always the best judge of their own work sometimes.
These ran tiny on the page, and some other illustrators would think I am mad for how much effort I put in with spot illustrations, but I can honestly say I am as happy with these drawings as anything I have drawn all year, regardless of size.
Big thanks to Adam at the mag for sending another great brief my way, and it's always a thrill to work for Empire, which i've already stated here is a magazine, that I read cover to cover every month and have done so for a decade now.
Synchronicity sometimes comes into play when you are an illustrator, so I ended up drawing two Jedi/Yoda images at the same time!
I got a surprise email from Mark Wagstaff at the great music title Mojo, who asked me if I'd like to draw their album of the month feature, the idea for the piece was exactly my cup of tea; Eminem as a Jedi Knight with music producer Rick Reubin as Yoda on his back, I was in from the get go!
The idea stems from Eminem being quoted as comparing Rick to Yoda, like in the movie Empire Strikes Back.
This one should have been perfect for me, but I struggled with the drawing... it was the placement of the arms which gave me concern, if we are talking about drawing anatomy I rarely have any problems, but this one gave me issues.. in fact it still seems off to me.
Regardless what I do like is how I digitally painted the colour for a more realistic moulded look on this illo, it's something that i'll be employing on future jobs!
Mojo jobs are rare thing, my last one prior to this was probably 3 years ago... I do hope I don't have to wait so long for the next one, it's these kind of briefs why I became an illustrator in the first place!
Above are some of my favorite drawings from the regular feature 'Ask Uncle Top Gear' I illustrate each month for Top Gear magazine, really great fun these.
I go for a more realistic look with these than some of my other stuff, and it's nice rendering these cars in the slickest ways I can muster.
The one second from bottom has lots of innuendos in the sponsors, click on the image to see if you can make them all out.
These illustrations have come my way courtesy of Elliott Webb and Peter Barnes at the mag, cheers fellas! Collectively these illustrations are shaping up as some of the strongest in my entire cannon of work.
Above is another set of illustrations for TG, albeit not one of the 'Uncle TopGear' series, I was charged with drawing 40 figures that represent the main people that make up an F1 team, great brief, lovely to draw, can't ask for more than that, again these came my way via Elliott at the magazine, always fun!
So yet another automotive drawing, this time for Insurance Age. I've been working with Iain at the title for a number of years now, and I can always trust him to pitch up every now and then with a great brief.
This was a goodbye to the gloom of 2013 and hello to rosier times ahead in 2014 piece, I think it really shows that I had fun with the perspective and viewpoint of this illustration, the best compositions are often the simplest, this being the case here.
Finally onto some jobs for the fellas at Nuts magazine, this time for the now annual Christmas TV guide (I've drawn the past 4 I think!) main illustration is at the bottom, the idea was simple, draw a list of Christmas TV celebs taking part a cheesy Nativity play.
Again this is one of those that got turned around super quick, as I had a stack of other jobs on top, with November and December now becoming my busiest times of year! Always enjoy these big celeb ensemble images!
The four spot drawings above the lead, show up on the various listings of the TV guide; those are drawings of Wreck-it Ralph as Santa, Peter Capaldi (new Dr Who) chewing on a Turkey leg, Alan Carr getting merry, and Sherlock Holme' Benedict Cumberbach nursing a hangover on New Years Eve.
As ever big thanks to Barney at the mag, and all the other fellas there too ; Simon, Nitish & James for throwing work my way throughout the year, and bearing with me, when I couldn't take jobs due to work other commitments...it's never fun turning down work, but I never like turning down their jobs as they are easily some of the best briefs an illustrator could ask for... pick up the magazine and take a look yourself!
Okay, that's about me done... need a lie down after writing all this!
Next post, will be a Celebrity Karma Sutra special, I promise!
That just leaves me with wishing all clients, readers of this blog a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Have some top secret plans in store for 2014, everyone has been warned! HaaaHaaa, Haaaa,HHaaaa, (breaks into evil maniacal laugh)