We occupy #1

 photo Feature_zps197ca59f.png Working alongside the independent publishing company WeOccupy I have released an exclusive print titled Mist. This is the first run of limited prints I have released and I am proud to have done so as part of the exceptional catalogue of work collated on the site.

This print is the product of many months drawing, it was originally inspired by a technical experiment blending two images as one, as if producing a double exposure within the confines of the figure. Future effort will explore this treatment of form further, which I hope will make for some outstanding results.

If you would like to see some close up details of the print then head on over by clicking here.


Hyperlinks Interview

I have some wonderful words to share with you,

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Yes thats right, an interview. I was asked questions by the lovely chaps at Hyperlinks, a website which features all sorts of creative content found on the web, with the occasional feature of fellow makers. They also have a facebook group page located here if you would like to follow them more closely.

The questions asked center around my practice in general, which makes it a rather useful interview for anyone looking to shed some light on the whole freelance experience. I tried to keep it clear but lively, so hopefully its retained some of the fun I had answering the questions.

Read interview


Connecting dots #2 - Style

Good morning everybody

I have been thinking recently about how people, for the most part, seek the good and are generally honest in doing so. I know this may seem a little bit out of the blue, but its a perspective that I find helpful when solving issues that pop up along the way. By understanding that people in general are acting to achieve an ends, a good of some form, it makes the unknown knowable. My experience with education have been greatly informed by this perspective, something I would like to share with you today.

Style. Style is this word that tends to pop up quite a lot and is certainly a key focus for a lot of the students I meet. This word 'style' can be a bit of taboo between educators though, in that it can be a consideration that blocks students from delving into their full potential. All too often, before really exploring their ability to communicate or explore modes of production, students settle on an arbitrarily chosen approach to image making and stump their opportunity to develop an innovative profile. However, over the course of my experience in education, I have begun to relax on the term, I have come to think of it instead as an indicator as to what students are looking for from a degree.

Students asking about style are not looking to short-cut effort, instead I like to think of this as an honest, sincere inquiry. A signal to educators as to the kind of practical knowledge these students think they require to become illustrators. By style, students are simply referring to what they have observed of a developed practice, and they ask because they have seen a connection between an Illustrators established style and a commercially successful practice. To some extent students see that a system of process determines production times, applicability to end user contexts and branding etc. By having made initial observations they conclude that style involves or at least is somehow connected to practical factors, they ask with the intent to transition there efforts into something real, into something that makes sense in the world and will lead them to success.

In this situation the role of the educator is to pick up on this indicator and reveal to students that the way the work looks, the type of content they see, how they see it and the manner in which they experience it are all unified by one key factor; Process. By moving the students focus from the everyday concrete details of methods used, tone or themes applied by specific illustrators - to an integrated view of process, the educator attends to the source of the initial inquiry, allowing students to focus on personalisation of practice without sacrificing the observed practical requirements of the professional realm.

Once students understand that the development of a rich, conceptually competent and grounded process is what informs style, they can, in the pursuit of professional development and objective results, commit in full confidence to an overhaul of existing habits that short-cut meaningful study. Most students understand that effort and commitment is part-traded for success, but not every student is aware of the absolute foundational role of process to a successful commercial practice. That the means to achievement is the construction of a methodology grounded to ones own existing skills, knowledge and future potential. Thats the kind of insight we as educators can provide.

High five.


Connecting dots #1

Mornings can be the most creative time of the day for me, having just woken up I spend a portion of my time consciously thinking through certain specific ideas in order to wake up and get into an active mindset. During this time I have my most conclusive thoughts, where I identify and bring together patterns in seemingly disconnected issues in order to better understand how to resolve them. These connections usually form a bigger picture, its this bigger picture that I plan to share with you this morning. So here we go...


Connecting dots #1

1. Creativity begins at the formulation of a vision and ends with a concretisation of an intent.

2. Creativity can then be understood as an ongoing process which brings into context that which is originally discovered and held conceptually.

3. For the creative act to achieve such a feat it requires a system of analysis rooted to an objective assessment of relative factors, including the study of an individuals ergonomic relation to context, to be applied at each step of the process, from start to finish, from vision to outcome.

4. The degree to which the creative act negates or evades an objective assessment of relative factors is the degree to which the product of effort distances itself from practical application. The scope of its effective value is reduced.


Feel free to respond however you with, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter. Connecting dots #2 will be coming up soon so sit tight.


From the book #3 Familier faces

Notice anything familier? yes thats right, both drawings here feature the faces of two fantastically talented illustrators Scarlett Tallulah Barret and Dan Morison. Another reason you may recognise them is that they have been featured in my work previously, Scarlett of course you know from a recent piece Silver, Dan however featured prominently as Moses in a set of illustrations I completed for a Dorling-Kindersley Bible a couple of years ago.

Hey look, its (some of) San Francisco!


From the book #2 - Precious metals

Volume two in the sketchbook series brings together various explorations of image making methods. Usually my work consists of paper and pencil, but included here is a cropping from a colouring pencil sketch. Working in colouring pencil is something I am looking to explore more fully should the opportunity arise. I find it easier to build an image by mapping out areas of with tone and then finishing detail with line to bring definition.

Stay tuned for next week as I will be posting a set of interesting line drawing studies ...


From the book #1 - Lilly

When pursuing certain ideas you can often come to a conclusion by exploring a variety of different avenues. If there is one thing you notice as an illustrator is how much work goes into the refining process.

It would be a shame to keep these considerations hidden from the world, so, whilst I'm developing certain aspects of my practice further, I thought it would be interesting to post extracts and details here each week for your curiosity.



Best of Year - Congratulations Michael William Lester

A fantastic year for aspiring student Michael William Lester who recieved the 'Best in Class' 2012 award from D&AD for his HP animation entry 'Somewhere You Must Find'. Michael is a student from Westminster whom I had the pleasure of working alongside during the completion of the project.

You can view his portfolio here

Michael has a talented understanding of how to frame abstract strands of thought within highly personalised contexts. His working methodology demonstrates an excellent level of commitment to understanding the scope of content involved, his sketchbooks are rich writing exploring what is initially understood of the topic and how these discovered components relate to each other and function in a graphical context. Now that you have a little bit of background info, watch the video below and see what all this fuss is about...

Interested? Why not watch 'Somewhere You Must Find', HP Workstation on Michael's profile on Vimeo.

As his tutor on the project I also received a certificate from D&AD to commemorate my work with Michael. My time with Michael and the rest of the students on the BA Illustration course at Westminster has been a reward in itself, working alongside fellow lecturer Christine McCauley has been essential to making every scheduled hour, every email, every tutorial count towards each student reaching their potential.

Best of Year indeed, I wonder whats in store for 2013...

Best of year