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Partially re-blogged because he called me talented (it’s true) but mostly because it’s fascinating – no-one else I know works in the same way as Tom

Check out this Farscape piece from fellow blogger and Glyndwr graduate Tom Eddy – it’s frickin’ awesome

Recent work – Knights of The Round

A while ago I saw that my fellow Glyndwr Alumni Becka Moor had entered a competition called ‘Knights of The Round’ on Tumblr, and thought it looked like fun and that I’d give it a go…

… then I forgot all about it!

Literally the last few hours before deadline, I decided it was now or never, and that if I was going to get over the Artists block that’s been stumping me since New Designers, I had better do it NOW – and here it is!

 

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Here we have Sir Vente, knight of song and poetry (that’s right, a name-pun on the word ‘sirvente’ – you know I love a good name pun) his trusty side-kick Tobias the Troublesome Troubadour, and their magnificent Singing Serpent!

It’s always good to know I’m right – this WAS a fun project, and it HAS got me back in the game – I met the deadline and it’s on the site, with the winner being announced on the 22nd. Looking back on it a few days later, I decided I wanted to work into it a bit more before I put the lid on it, so I made this:

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As you can see, I used a ‘worked-in’ type look to the shading, in a similar manner to the way I did the finished pages of my children’s book (to be published in a future blog post) and I like it – gives the usual flat tones of a Photoshop colour job a bit more life, and looks particularly great on the waves/moustache – looks almost like acrylic paint…

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And then finally I popped the image on to a new, slightly more vibrant weathered paper background – and now I’m finished 🙂

 

 

ONE MORE THING…

I saw this girl in town the other day, and thought she looked so ridiculous, I was compelled to doodle her…

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I’m not even exaggerating with that make-up – that was pretty much the shade of orange, and you could SEE the rim of it going all around the side of her face! It was like she was wearing an Oompa loompa mask… and the weirdest part is, I’ve seen this before! Is this a look? Is this one of those fashion things I don’t understand? It was all I could do not to just stare in bewilderment O_O

 

Personalised Illustrations

As previously mentioned on the We Draw Stuff blog, I spent December doing (mostly) small and (relatively) fast commission based illustrations in an attempt to earn some dollar, and thereby afford Christmas – and it went quite well! Now that the student loan has come in I can afford to take a brief break from it, and focus on the neglected coursework I SHOULD have been doing. That being said, there’s only SO MANY carrot’s in spandex you can draw before you start to go a little funny, so I’m taking having a quick breather, and using the opportunity to post them up for you to enjoy 🙂

For Me, a picture of Lucy in Black and White, Monochrome and Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: This was a promotional piece for the facebook page, showing the different styles you could have your illustration finished in (the page also features the original pencil version). The ‘Mrs Santa’ outfit was to help promote the idea of a Personalised illustration as a gift

For Corris, a picture of his friend Prout in Full Colour, sized A4
Special Requests: A formula 1 car sporting the badge and colours of the Everton football strip

For Tom, a picture of his sister and her boyfriend in Black and White, postcard
Special Requests: … anything?

For Claire, a picture of two of her friends in Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: Something cute and coupley, with a Christmas theme  (yes I used the same figures as Tom’s – but in fairness he wasn’t very specific, and I think both work just fine)

For Alan, a picture of his girlfriend Rachel in Full colour and Black and White, sized A4, both framed
Special Requests: Needs to feature both her racing car (the mini) and her van with the design of her Graphics company on the front. She must be wearing her Alpine Stars racing gear, showing a bit of cleavage (it was a request!) and holding her racing helmet. Could feature a trophy somewhere. I added the red ‘X’ from her graphics logo, the flags and the wreath myself, for compostion value.

For Richard, a picture of his two children in Full Colour, sized A4, framed
Special Requests: Not too specific, the photo he supplied of one of his children featured this large ladybird-like toy, which i decided to feature as a mode of fantastical transportation. Once he had ‘Ok’ed the roughs, he only mentioned that I should include some ‘tinkerbell-like’ fairies, as they were the girls favourite 🙂

For Tara, a picture of her and Steph in Pencil, sized A5
Special Requests: When Tara initially asked me to do her a drawing, she asked me to do it in the same style I had used to draw a portrait of Steph years earlier. I told her I’m doing only cartoon work for this particular project as I thought it would be quicker, but when I actually got down to it, I went with traditional anyway, and it took about the same time as a cartoon!

For Hannah, a picture of her boyfriend Chris in Full Colour, as a gift card
Special Requests: Hannah wanted to be dressed as wrestler Brett ‘The Hitman’ Hart, vs Chris as ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. As Chris and Randy are both hairy and beardy, I thought it best to include some ‘uniquely Chris’ features to help make it clear that I wasn’t just drawing a short Macho Man – I did this by including his ‘Come on feel the Illinois’ tee, and his t-shirt that features a bear (on the belt) saying ‘rawr’ (on the canvas)

For Emma, a picture of her friend Colette in Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: Emma said she wanted Colette drawn in an anime style, and that as long as she had bright pink hair, it didn’t matter what she looked like. This was a challenge for me, as although I love anime, it’s not my style of illustration, so for the figure I used some reference pictures, and then just had fun with the design. The black suit with the white hearts was a motif taken from the actual dress she was wearing in the photo – the other features were just my imagination in over-drive :/

For Emma, a picture of her friend Jamie in Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: Emma wanted Jamie to be drawn as a hobbit, holding a slice of pizza – pretty straightforward 🙂 – first time playing with the grass-brush too…

For Emma, a picture of her friend Mike in Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: Emma wanted Mike to be dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of The Caribbean movie franchise. The black lines on this one seem particularly harsh – I’m not sure why :/

For Emma, a picture of her friend Rochelle in Full Colour, postcard
Special Requests: Emma wanted a Rochelle to be wearing a ‘Spaced’ t-shirt and have a speech bubble with the phrase ‘Hello Mr Pegg’ inside (features on the final print-out, but not here) the rest of the Spaced references were added by me, as I’m a big fan – see if you can spot them all 🙂

That’s it for now, time to get back to the much neglected Uni work – and because of this, my little ‘shop’ will be closing until February, but please feel free to message me with requests when that month comes around – remember, it’s not long until Valentines Day! 😛

Personalised Illustrations – where to find me:

Prices are displayed on the Facebook and Etsy pages *  Etsy Page is currently under construction * prices differ slightly on both pages * Images of people used here have been approved of by the owners of the illustrations, please do not download or save these images without first consulting me * any reference made to existing characters by other companies (such as Hobbits, Jack Sparrow etc) are used in a fan appreciation format only, are used with respect and are not an attempt in any way to claim ownership of these characters or costume designs myself  * original characters belong to their original creators *

The Jam Jar

For the past couple of years, I’ve been designing illustrations (not the entire poster) for posters to help advertise my DJ friend’s Indie/Alternative music night: The Jam Jar. Usually based in Cardiff, and named after it’s creator (one Jamie Batchelor, AKA The Great Jambon) the Jam Jar has gained quite a few loyal followers and has (relatively) recently followed Jamie to New Zealand. Seizing the opportunity to get my work abroad, when asked if I wanted to do a few pictures for him while he was over there, I of course said YEAH SURE OK WHY NOT THANKS! – or something to that effect.
The most recent of these was for the Rugby World Cup, which started just before we came back to University. The reason I’ve taken so long to post it up is because each of my illustrations should go back to back with a photo of Jamie next to the poster IN the venue to prove it was there (which, as well as the inclusion of my email address and the address of my DA portfolio, was the only payment I ever asked for them) – however, somehow I’ve managed to lose or misplace… ALL OF THEM! As much as I should be used to it by now, I really don’t understand my own incompetence sometimes…

Anyway, SANS photos (which I shall have to add at a later date when I find them) here are the Jam Jar Poster Illustrations in their entirety, starting with the most recent…

The Rugby World Cup

In keeping with The Jam Jar’s Welsh origins, I went with the iconic Welsh Dragon, protecting a fiery nest of Rugby Ball eggs. This Illustration was Inked and coloured by hand (using water colour pencils) with a regular HB and 6B for definition and the lettering. I used a simple gradient for the background to give it some impact, but keep the focus on the dragon. I also did a Welsh Flag coloured gradient (see working process below) but this is the design he went for in the end.

The Jam Jar in New Zealand

Those of you who have browsed this blog before might recognise the octopus (I used it as a background in the Magazine brief) but this was it’s original purpose – I bet the welsh cakes, jam jar and welsh flag make a lot more sense now! With this poster I was given free range with the design, but as I just mentioned, kept a few welsh motifs in there, and the octopus itself is loosely based on Jamie (why i picked an Octopus is beyond me) or at least his hairstyle anyway. This was also an experimentation with Adobe Illustrator, a program I’ve never used before, and is therefore the only Jam Jar Illustration not coloured by hand.
The sign post was my first idea, and while it delivers, it’s pretty boring – Jamie preferred the octopus, and so did I.

Anti-Valentines Day

Rewind to 2008, back to the days that both Chris and Jamie were both VERY single – and rather bitter about it – and you get to the Anti-Valentines edition of The Jam Jar. Set on the same date as the regular Valentines Day, The Jam Jar offered a refuge to those avoiding the onslaught of mush with an entire playlist devoted to themes of love-lost and heartache. This illustration was Inked and coloured by hand, with a record player referenced from google.
Included on every table were small leaflets featuring a broken heart drawn in the middle (done using brand new felt-tips I’d bought that day! yaay!) and a depressing song lyric.

Here’s my favourite one lyric-wise, after someone had used it as a beer-mat – I really love what the moisture from the glass did to the colours of the felt-tip 🙂

The First Jam Jar – Welsh Night

And Finally, the illustration for the very first Jam Jar – Jamie had finally convinced a bar to give him a shot, so I decided to help out by providing a more eye-catching poster. The theme was Welsh Music, so I decided to keep it simple – I think in some ways, this is probably my best design – the Welsh dragon is recognisable from a distance, but up close it takes a second to realise what you’re looking at. The Jar’s perspective is a little off, but not enough to spoil it in my opinion.

And that’s that!

Apish Advertisements

I’ve joined fellow illustrators from my course in a joint-venture comic book entry to this years Thought Bubble (Sequential Art Convention in Leeds), and while the actual pages of my comic are yet to be drawn, I’ve managed to knock-up a version of the self-advertisement we’ll all be using to introduce ourselves in the front of our book. The idea was to do them in the style of the old advertisements for strange products found in old comics (such as X-Ray Specs) so I picked a favourite of mine that used to crop up in almost ALL dad’s old comics – the Darling Pet Monkey Ad. To save some Googling, here’s the original:

My parody of this is done, and as I’m pleased with how it’s turned out, I want to post it up, but as I’m not 100% on the measurements, it might be subject to a few edits before it goes in the comic. Likewise the last version with the old-paper look (my favourite) probably won’t be the PRINTED version, as it would then be a different colour to everyone else’s – so for viewing pleasure only 🙂

 

49 – Magazine Brief

A while ago, we were set the task of creating a magazine of our choice, working in groups to organise all aspects of the publication; from cover to contents. Organising ourselves into a group seemed fairly effortless, unfortunately, the lack of effort on the project didn’t end there. With all three members of our group snowed under with other projects, the magazine got continuously put to one side, or pushed to the back of the shelf, and to be honest, at one point I’d forgotten all about it! There must have been a part of my brain that was thinking about it however, as when Tom called an emergency meeting to discuss what to do about it, it was all systems go! Naturally, being prime examples of our generation, most of our discussions were through facebook, and the following is most of it:

Magazine facebook convo

Basically the idea for our project was to make an affordable magazine for the students of Regent Street, one that would not only include advice for the new students of the first year, unfamiliar with Wrexham and it’s whiles, and things of interest for second and third years, such as gig listings and materials that we’ve found useful thusfar.

My first double-page spread is about live music, and the nearby venues – or rather, the nearby cities with some actual DECENT venues
  

Included are the original drawings of the music Stereotypes that I designed to separate the different genres – each listing goes next to the character that would represent it, and other information like train times, recommendations and festival line-ups are in the spaces inbetween. I made a list of times that would be best (not all the details are included on the actual page, due to lack of space, but the relevant information is there) – unfortunatly, as I’ve learned from previous experience, the latest trains are not usually late ENOUGH, and people relying on this information might have to cut their gigs short – stoopid trains 😦

Train times

Page two is a light-hearted look on the facial hair fashions associated with art students, and required me to make a survey, and hunt all over Regent Street looking for hairy men!

Regent Street Facial Hair Survey

This page contains information submitted by fellow Regent Street students Sam, Ted and David about their facial hair, and the things associated with it (all gave permission for me to use this information by the way) as well as mentioning the fact that a few girls took part in the survey, and their opinions on the subject (delivered in a tongue-in-cheek ‘olde fashion Gentleman’ manner – no offense to the fair sex meant). The second page is dedicated to the ‘Moustache Of The Month’ which would change on a monthly basis, and includes facts about the style and people who made it famous. The idea of this page was to provide a life-size moustache sticker that the owner of the magazine could pull off and wear (students love to dress up as idiots) but this was starting to prove a tricky, and expensive task, so i decided not to pursue it for the Zine Fair magazines, as they’ll be freebies (it’s ALL about profit kids).

Finally, my last double page spread is about Student Discounts: which shops support the scheme, whether it’s worth buying things like NUS Extra or the 16-25 railcard, and where to find the best bargains. This section is called The Magpie, as just like the bird itself, students love shiny things they can get for free 😛

This page required the most research, as once I’d discovered the existence of this wondrous NUS Extra card , I then had to trek all around Wrexham to see if the stores listed on the website actually participated in the scheme (note: half of them don’t) and whether what i had heard about some discounts were accurate (for example, I had heard that you could get a free burger with anything if you showed your ordinary student card at McDonalds, when the website claimed it was only when you bought a ‘saver’ meal – upon testing this out, it seemed the website won. And i was nicely full too…).  It took me a while to get the ‘Deal Of the Week’ – La Baguette’s – permission to be featured, as they are a privately owned company, and the owner was on holiday until recently, but the biggest time-delay by far was from Photoshop, which decided to mess me around for no apparent reason. Thanks Adobe.

The Magazine also features some money off vouchers as incentive to actually buy the Magazine, and while Tom managed to get us some money off the Lazer Quest where he worked, I managed to sweet-talk my girlfriend (who is Unit Supervisor in Tenpin) to not only give us a voucher for a free game of bowling, but help design a poster for it too (she studied Graphic Design at Glyndwr) – hey, they get free advertising! It’s all good!

Finally there’s my Icon for the bio, and the Front Cover, which was all of our work, but as you can tell by teh awesome, totally my idea *looks smug* 🙂 I’m really please with how it came out actually – as there were initially FOUR people in our group, I thought it made sense to divide the cover into quarters, and that way we’d all have a ‘piece’ of our artwork on the front, that was actually 1/4 of a bigger illustration. When Bogna (our polish member) was moved on to another project, I pretty much figured I’d end up doing her quarter and merging them all together, and pat on the back where pat on the back is due, I think it tuned out well.

Next for our group lies the Zine fair itself, which i am worried about, as we’re not really ready for it. Although most of work is done, there have been some… set-backs which have delayed our printing to the point that I’m not sure if we’ll have any ACTUAL magazine’s for the fair. While responsibility for our projects ultimately lies with us, I don’t think we’re entirely to blame – Having everyone’s assessments (especially 2nd and 3rd year) together means that everyone is trying desperately to finish at the same time. And while the Art students of Glyndwr have an entire building dedicated to them, we only have ONE A3 scanner and ONE A3 printer to share between us (not counting the new building at the main campus, as we still need ‘teacher to hold our hands’ for that one) so not only are they constantly in use, but the waiting list to use them is as long as your arm at the moment. Secondly, as the Zine Fair is non-profit, we can’t make any money to cover our expenses, so that takes away the option of taking it/sending it to a printers, or even Staples, as we’d have no way to earn it all back. Our only hope is to cobble together something last minute, as a prototype. We’ve already printed off some large prints of some of the pages for a display (luckily for us, Yale college were much more helpful than the University in that aspect) so that will have to do. Obviously if this were a real magazine, we’d have a printing budget, and in fact, an editor and journalists – I’m an Illustrator, that’s MY job – but overall I’m really pleased with my first foray into Journalism.
To see what the others have been up to, click the links below:
**EDIT**

Zine Fair Day

…Y’know, it’s only now that I’ve thought about writing it, then wrote it, that I realise how much I hate the word ‘Zine’ – if it is in fact, and actual word – it looks like it should be pronounced ‘Zyne” and sounds all American tweeny when it isn’t… ah well. Today was the day of the actual zine fair itself – our group did the day in shifts, and as i was the last one and people closed up early, I didn’t actually see all that much of it! But what i did see was much busier than I had anticipated, with all manner of people milling around (although in fairness, most of them looked like they were either current, or recent students) and a few people seemed interested in our work – one woman even asked me if I’d like to take part in a project she was working on (something about a blog, or a building, or a blog about a building) and she asked me if i had a business card…which I don’t. I gave her my email addy, and she said she’d get back to me, but clearly the thing to take away from this experience is: GET SOME BUSINESS CARDS!

Another thing I learned from this brief was if I want true success with my magazine, I’d be better off employed James Brogan and Steph to do it for me! Their magazine was lovely, their display looked awesome, and it got by far, the most attention out of all the magazine’s in our room. Interestingly, it was the rival publication for our own – a magazine for students called ‘Unibrow’. It was more generalised then ours, which I suppose would give it a longer shelf life, but it was the design I liked most – a nice use of soft colours (almost no black from what i remember) and they continues throughout the magazine as a theme, which we had initially discussed, then changed our minds. While I do think my pages looked more ‘magazine-like’, Unibrow had a sort of hand-made charm that i think would appeal to it’s target audience anyway – well done guys!
Overall I’d describe it as an interesting experience – I wish the others hadn’t packed up so early, so I could have seen them all, but of what i did see, the displays were pretty cool, and got your attention – important if you want to shift your product, and something to bare in mind for next time. It was interesting to see what those outside our course brought to the table too, especially the wood carvings, pirate Jim and his sketching puppets, and my favourite, a guy who made all kinds of awesome pictures out of layered, 3D paper – and charged massive amounts for his efforts, which I can both respect and justify, as they were awesome… wish I was made of money… or had access to someone who was so I could spend them… I’m going to try and find out who he is.