Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Back to Illustrating!

After all the recent talk of fine art prints on this blog I thought it was about time for a catch up on my real job, which is of course the business of illustration.

Here we go a big round up of jobs, some of these go back months. I should point out this is a fraction of the stuff i've drawn these past few months (the last few weeks being particularly hectic!) but I thought i'd throw a mixture together.

Above are 8 drawings that were used for an advertorial for the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost film The World's End, this was for my chums at Nuts magazine.

Now i've spoke before about advertorials on this blog, and as i've previously stated they can be "tricky", especially these when you are dealing with film companies, something i've done a few times now, it is certainly not for the faint hearted that's for sure.

Weird one this in that I originally had a very tight deadline, so all of these were put together in a matter of days, when you have such a large number of things to do, compromises are made, quality dips etc... with this one the deadline got extended, just as i'd finished the actual drawings!! So after all that stress to finish them I actually got a further week despite having finished the work. I could have spent longer adding detail and making changes (I made a few changes) but I believe every job has it's time limit, and in this case I'd spent enough time with the illos.

Big thanks to Nick and Barney at Nuts for protecting me against the film suits and advertising people, who predictably decided to try and change the whole thing in the last few hours of deadline, there's a reason this kind of advertising stuff and the people in that industry have a bad reputation.. I could go on, but I won't.. suffice to say one of my favourite artists is the movie poster illustrator Drew Struzan, and anyone who's ever read one of his books will know how the people in that business treat artists.

This one's a double page spread for Nuts (done ages back!) for an article about the sinking ship that is QPR football club, I think if I remember correctly I had two days on this, again super stressful.

If you are not of an illustration/design background and wonder why on many of these illos there's plenty of dead space, well that's simply to fit the headline and all the text, of which there is often a lot.

When I did the illustration above I wasn't overly keen on it, it's hard to feel satisfied when you draw these things in such tight timeframes, you don't draw as you'd like, it's a case of what you can do in the permitted time, but y'know it's one of those that came together once it had all the page furniture on it and saw print.

Another double page spread for Nuts on an article about space facts, like what happens when you go to the toilet in space etc..

Great article, great subject to draw... but as is the running theme of my work at the moment, deadline was tight at just three days! Tough also in that the illustration had to be structured and composed in a particular way to fit the features writing on, but generally reasonably happy with this and how it printed.

Here's a cover for Insurance Age done a couple of month backs, the idea of an X Factor style show, with Insurance people being the main acts, really enjoyable to draw this, plus I had a nice long deadline for this (well certainly more than a couple of days, I think)

My favourite bit is the juggling pug in the centre, as ever I am indebted to Iain at the magazine, who continues to give me great jobs.

The above four are for a regular advice column in Top Gear magazine, which have been a real joy to draw.
I think I decided early on that I wanted to tackle these Top Gear jobs in a slightly different way to my other stuff, in that I wanted them to be more rendered and realistic, less about line work and more about representing things in as realistic a way as possible through colour and texture.

I particularly like the giant cow and giant burger images, in fact the burger image is one of my favourite images of the past couple of months. What I should point out is that illustration is more often than not a collaboration, this is I would suggest even more so on these jobs for Top Gear, so I can only take partial credit for the outcome of these drawings, as I feel in this case these images belong just as much to Elliot Webb the Art Ed at the mag as they do to me.

Thought we'd finish with another for Nuts, i've posted these illos up in a kind of sequential order, this is the most recently published image (so it brings us up to date) this was for a feature titled 24 Maddest Movie Star Moments.

Now I decided to take a long weekend break, from Friday until Monday (one of only a few days off i've had all year!) and I made a point of emailing my more regular clients to tell them that I was going on holiday (kind of) now you'd think that would be a kind of cue for said Art Director's to leave me to my few days away.

Ha, Apparently Nitish at Nuts mag didn't get the hint, as he emailed me on the Friday to see if i'd be available to do some work, I didn't mind though, nice to feel wanted isn't it? So the brief was sent to me on the Monday, as I didn't get back until 2pm, and as I had to rush around sending a signed print over to the States, it meant that I had to start this on the Tuesday and had two and half days to turn this around.

Re-energized by the break, I got straight to work and produced the illo above. Which I must say I was very happy with (or as much as I can be with regards to my own work) as it especially looked nice in print.

Big thanks to James Jarman at Nuts, who gave me the great brief of movie stars in an asylum and a list of possible actors to include, and then just left me get on with drawing it... it's rare that I am given something so great a concept and then left to draw it how I see fit. I really did enjoy it!

Below is how the illo looked in context.

Next post: my regular spot illustrations for those boys at Nuts (yes them again!) has reached a landmark number, that's right: I've recently drawn the 100th Celebrity Karma Sutra illustration for the magazine!!! to celebrate i'll be dedicating the next post to those naughty drawings.... you've been warned!

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