Category Archives: Print

Thank You!

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Hello everyone! Just to say a massive thanks to everyone that pledged to the Kickstarter, we managed to raise £11,000. If you did miss out it’s not to late to get one as Amelia (the person who organised the whole colouring book) is offering a 25% when you use the code LAUNCHSPECIAL:

http://ameliasmagazine.bigcartel.com/product/amelia-s-colourful-colouring-companion

Unfortunately it’s going to be a very short one as I’m sure like you, I’m busy getting ready for Christmas and New Year’s! Hopefully I’ll post before then so I won’t say my ‘Merry Christmas’ just yet. I’ve also only just realised that I’ve forgotten to post my End of Year Exhibition, so I’ll rectify that as soon as possible.

Till then.

 

My process through dinosaurs

Hello everyone! So, I’m currently going through the fear-inducing process of arranging my portfolio and I found a stack of sketchbook work for a project I did not long ago. It was speculative submission for Okido Magazine. The brief was to create a ‘spot the difference’ page based around the theme of dinosaurs. I though it would be quite a nice project to show my general process for my illustration. So, without further ado, here is my work progress for my illustrations, first I’ll show you the finished project:

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Every illustration starts with sketch and depending on the job, the sketches can range from ultra detailed to fairly loose and quick. When I sketch it’s usually to work out composition, colours and content. As you can see below, it was a loose sketch I did.

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I then used a lightbox to neaten up the sketch. For those of you who don’t know what a lightbox is, it’s a piece of equipment (usually taking the form of a table or large box) that emits light from underneath, making whatever you’re drawing translucent, similar to when you hold a drawing up towards a window. This is good for creating layers and why it’s become a staple item for animators. For me though, it gives me a chance build upon my first drawing.

Illustrating some dinos. #triceratops #dinosaur #dino #skeleton #musuem

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I don’t know if you can tell but the underlayer is the first sketch and the second layer is my more refined drawing. Sometimes I like to seperate the elements a bit more as this makes arranging in Photoshop much easier.

A work in progress. #dinosaurs #museum #illustration #skeleton #dino #wip

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After I’ve scanned in my drawings (at 600dpi usually, slightly excessive but it suits my needs) I then arrange and colour in Photoshop, making further changes and adjustments. BlogBlog-1

At this point felt it was getting there, but needed more colour or something to make it look less empty. I also saved a second version and designated that as the ‘different’ image, erasing certain elements etc. After many different trials and variations I finished on this final image:

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Add in the other elements such as the handwritten text, title…and hey presto! You have a finished illustration. Well, I hope that informative, I know I skimmed over a lot of stuff so any questions, feel free to post it in the comments section below.

One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Five

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Hello! Busy start to the new (and last) year of uni. When I got back we were all set a task in which we had to visualise what our ‘5 Year Plan’ was after we graduated from university, and print them at A0 size. We had a week to complete and print it. I managed to do a collection of 20 illustrations, which had a sort of diary tone of voice to it. (Hence the title, which is refering to how many days there are in 5 years, obviously excluding leap years.) Here are my top 5:

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My biggest challenge was actually trying to edit the watercolour paper texture from my scans! As those with beady eyes can probably see some still lurking about on the images. The second biggest challenge was finding somewhere to print it A0 at student prices.

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All in all, I’m very happy with my illustrations as it had been a while since I did anything with watercolour, however I wasn’t particularly happy with my A0 print, which is why I’ve omitted it from the blog post. I am planning to put them into a concertina, so hopefully I’ll be able to show you the full collection then!

A small Protest: Behind the Scenes

Hello everyone! I did a short blog post about my protest posters, since I recently re-photographed some of them to go into my portfolio. I said I’d do a post about the ‘behind the scenes’, just a few tips and thoughts because product photography is a lot harder then it looks and yet competent photography skills is key to a good looking portfolio. You might have a great piece of illustration/book/sculpture etc but unless you plan on sending the original artefact to all of your potential clients, the chances are is that they will see it in a photograph, and so you’ll want that photograph to say as much as possible and look fabulous too.

This is by no means, a difinitive guide or anything, but I guess if it’s aimed at anyone in particular, it’ll be students or those that might be a little tight on budget. In an ideal world, you would have a DSLR camera, a nice photographic studio with spotlights and a photographer helping you step by step. If you are able to have access to any of these by all means USE THEM. It will make your life easier and you’ll probably have images better crafted than mine. Whilst I had access to a studio in my university, I wasn’t able to book it in time for my deadline, so I had to make do with things I could find. So, without further ado…my set up:

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1) Despite it’s basic appearance, the set up always takes the longest, so if you’re photographing make sure you leave plenty of time for it. This took 2hrs with the help of my other half, and that was before we even took any photos. It’s literally a pole I found held up with tape and a lump of blu tak. Getting it straight/level was another story…

2) Always use a tripod. I know it sounds like common sense but a lot of people I know underestimate it and just take shots handheld. Whilst this might get you some interesting angles, it will be inevitable that your photos will be blurred and it’ll be hard to get a consistant ‘look’ for your photographs. If you rent/borrow one and find it’s a little wobbly, put the camera on a timer, so after you press the shutter the tripod won’t move from the pressure of your finger and the camera will take it when it’s steady.

3) Don’t use your phone camera. Also sounds like common sense but I can see a few people doing it. It’s easily accessible, easy to use and you can buy tripods to hold phones. I can’t deny that technology has improved and some phone cameras are really great but you won’t be able to change the settings as well compared to a camera. I used a compact camera (unfortunately I don’t have enough for a DSLR and my other half didn’t bring his) and put it on the higest resolution possible. This is another important factor, believe me, editing is a whole lot easier when you’ve got a high resolution photo to use.

4) Use a neutral coloured background. You can incorporate some jazzy backgrounds, but it will be hard to control and a lot harder on you to make it work without confusing the reader. White, or light grey backgrounds are great and I would stick to them if you’re a beginner.

5) Don’t go solo. Having a friend regardless if they have photography experience is a good thing. I would have given up if I didn’t have my other half to help me set up, especially when trying to get the pole level. Just having an  extra pair of hands is always great and you can bounce ideas between you. If you have a certain ‘look’ you want to achieve, it helps if you sketch it out or show them photos which are similar to the effect you want. An image speaks a thousand words as they say, my other half wasn’t sure why I was so adamant on hanging my posters using string and bulldog clips when laying them on a table might do the same job, I showed him some images and I think it helped keep us on the same page.

6) Always take a few extra. Even though you have a great setup and you probably have got it on the first shot taken, I like to just take a few extra, just in case. Sometimes, little things that you can’t see on the preview screen will often be visible once you view it on a larger scale so it helps just having some back ups.

I think that’s it for now, if you want to see the final image you can go here. Now, as a little bonus and I made a quick .gif with some of the images that didn’t make it. Enjoy! (WARNING: Contains flashing colours.) Till next time.

Posters

A small protest

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Hello everyone! Been currently busy with organising my second year show, (time flies so fast!). In the mean time, I thought I’d show you some work that I recently re-photographed (above) that eventually became the theme for the first year exhibition. It was a live project we did with Anthony Burrill in which we had to make ‘protest posters’. These protests could be light hearted or quite serious, and the above is what I produced. It was about people who kept putting in little value and then expecting more back. This could be taken as monetary value, but also other values, such as time or work.

Here are some of the other posters that some people produced:

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Anyway, I’m also currently going through my old work and re-photographing them for my portfolio (if anyone has any tips for photographing glossy pages that would be fantastic!), I’ve never been the best photographer, so I’ve always admired the trade, even with the downsizing due to cheaper DSLRs etc. The final image took nearly 2hrs to set up, (2hrs!) and I plan on doing a short post on ‘behind the scenes’. So, until then.

Iron Man

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Hello everyone! A while back, I did a one day brief which was to create a book cover for Iron Man, by Ted Hughes. It could have been typographic, illustrative, photographic or even mixed and was an enjoyable but definitely fast-paced brief. For my Iron man cover I wanted to focus on the texture to create the character and/or interest, and that’s when I went down to the letterpress and played with the letterforms. Originally I was just going to set up the letters all proper and neat, using the first line (which conveniently starts with ‘The Iron Man…’ and have that as a cover. However lack of time lead me to arrange the letterforms freely which I think is more in tune with the book.

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After a while and some quick touchups I think I finally settled on this one (although I quite like the first one as well):

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What do you guys think? As always, thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!

Something Sordid

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Hello, my appologises if some of you are offended by the following image, this is another version I did in the same brief as this one ‘ere. Likewise with the previous image, it was rejected, and despite the purposely distasteful image/message I do quite like the font and general layout of this image. Anyway, I’m quite busy over the summer holidays (no rest for the wicked as they say) but it all just means I’ll hopefully have lots of stuff to share with you guys soon. Till then.

Also Wear the Bear competition is offically over. Unfortunately there were no winners this time. However I may reopen so I guess if you’re reading this and feel like you’ve missed out, keep your fingers crossed and hopefully it’ll happen!

 

Oh for F**ks Sake

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Hello everyone! Sorry for the slight disappearance, I have been in much frustration due to technical difficulties with my laptop and was unable to do much posting. It seemed to crash and has something to do with lack of RAM. It’s not totally stable yet, but hopefully I can fix it without making too much holes in my purse. Anyway, for those long time followers will know that a few months back I did a short project in which I created a book called Lucky F**kers, which, was about people and their lucky items. I interviewed around 20 odd people, each mad and lovely in their own way and perceded to photograph them. From jumpers, to socks, guitar picks and even a tooth, I aimed to find out the histories behind the object. Once the book was printed I made a dust cover jacket from an acetate sheet. There are things I’d like to do better if I ever get a chance to revisit, but as of yet this project is considered done.

Hope everyone gets lucky will have good luck in the future, with or without the aid of items. Ta for now!

Invites

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Short post today I’m afraid folks! Here are some invitations I created for my exhibition (just finished today, phew!) and I’m pleased with how they turned out. I designed them so they could double up as postcards and I would write a personal message with a white pen (which might I add, trying to find a white pen is like trying to find a needle in a haystack where I live). More about the exhibition later on, but if you’re sad that you didn’t get one, I have quite a few spares, wouldn’t mind sending some more out. Licking stamps is always jolly good fun.

Rejection

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So, how lucky do you think you are? Are you one of the 72% which carry or own a lucky object? In tie in with my book about people’s lucky items I created an infographic just showing a few facts. The statistics I found were quite interesting, and it was fun creating them. However, I tried and used a place called http://www.easel.ly/ and whilst it was fairly easy to use and the graphics (albeit small collection) were well designed; it saved as a jpeg. This proved slightly challenging when inserting into InDesign as I can only presume there wasn’t enough high quality resolution as the image began to get pixalated very easily. Either that or font/typeface when converted into a jpeg is always tricky to use. So, for now anyway, I had to reject the infographic from my book and see what else I can use in my double page spread.

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