Thursday, 28 May 2015

Late for the Party

I recently received my complimentary copies of Late for the Party from Ransom Books. It’s a lovely little story by Alice Hemming about a little boy who is, you guessed it, late for the party.
It’s part of Ransom’s new Reading Stars series for reluctant readers. Ransom’s Creative Director, Steven Rickard asked me to illustrate it because he thought I could capture the “existential angst” of the situation. Of course!
This and the rest of the Reading Stars range are available via the ransom website

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Three monkeys, two indians, a dinosaur and a cowboy

Just because.

What happened to my hair?!

I was messing about with Illustrator recently and started working on a piece that became a sort of self portrait (at least it looked more like me than intended...).
I also recently found a self portrait in one of my old sketchbooks from art school, which begged the question (in my mind at least) what the hell happened to all the hair?!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Persian Miniatures

I remember first coming across Persian miniature painting in an art class at secondary school, and I remember noticing some similarities it had to the comics and cartoons I read at the time – the paintings were meant to be displayed in a book not in some boring art gallery, the figures had outlines (in a painting!), the colours were bold and bright and flat, and best of all – they didn’t use proper perspective (yay!). If you wanted to show someone far away you just moved them up the picture plane, with no tedious measuring or unsatisfying guesswork (double yay!).

I don’t know if that’s what my art teacher expected me to take away from it, but hey, each to their own.
I rediscovered Persian miniatures again a few years ago at a lecture on paintings from Herat, in modern day Afghanistan, and was reminded what a fantastic genre it was.

My previous blog post, the comic strip Hero for Our Time, was my first real attempt at a cartoon strip in years. I’d been working primarily in Illustrator for several years now and I found that it didn’t really lend itself to a conventional comic strip style. Bold, dynamic outlines, forced perspectives, weird angles didn’t really seem to work.

But a conventional comic strip style wasn’t really what I was after anyway.

I wanted to do something different and consciously referred to Persian miniatures when coming up with the final piece. I think these paintings below are mostly from Herat, painted for Sultan Husayn Bayqara in the fifteenth century or so.

I’ve often heard Afghanistan referred to disparagingly as mediaeval, meaning barbaric and unsophisticated. Well, these paintings are mediaeval (just about) and plainly neither of those things.

Bet Superman’s costume was never coloured with lapis lazuli!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Hero for our time

What if superheroes were as useless as the rest of us? To read just right-click on the image and select open in a new tab.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

What happened to 2013?

Wow, it's been over a year since I last added anything to this blog. Better get down to it...

Saturday, 15 December 2012

That time of year again...

Wishing everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year!

A grumpy kid who didn't get a visit from santa this year...
Forget Buzz Lightyear - next christmas' must have toy - Green Guff Guy...