Dammit

Inktober is over for another year and I royally suck at taking part in it. I will at some point (probably like, February!) but I’d prefer to think of it as ‘Blinktober’ instead as that ties nicely into this post, even though its now November… Oh well – read on and just pretend I’m not a day late.

I created this poster design a while ago hoping to be able to offer it to the band as one of their tour date posters. They didn’t go for it unfortunately and in a weird/lucky kinda way, this was one of the original files I lost when my computer went doolally (see 1st post below). Literally the day before the computer crashed I opened this file and played around with some of the colours and saved a flat version of it for no real reason… Turns out it was a good thing to do or a bad thing (as it serves as a reminder of work that was lost) – depends on how you look at it – I’m going with the former.

Incase you didn’t know (and why would you as this is internet land where no one actually knows anyone) but I LOVE Blink 182 and have been wanting to do something officially for them since I first heard Dude Ranch. I had the pose idea ages ago and started working on it between jobs – adding doodles and lyrics to the skateboard and sketching images of stuff that represented the songs to me. Not really with a clear idea or path, just kinda working on it to see where it ended up.

I always liked the colours in the board and the girl and the background changed MULTIPLE times from flat colour to a beach to a street to every colour you can think of. I’d originally settled on a flat bright green for the background colour but changed it to pink the day before I lost the file. Adding all the detail to the skateboard was fun (I’m speaking about it in past tense now because the original file is no more ;D) as it was made up of imagery from all their albums. I updated it when Matt Skiba joined the band with more obvious ‘California’ stuff which was interesting as the album had just come out so there was no real imagery at that time for any of the songs.

I thought I’d post it here anyway as it seemed a bit of a waste for it to never see the light of day -even though it can’t be used for anything anymore! And although I worked on it as a bit of hobby (over a lonnnngg period of time), it got me thinking about how much I love doing gig posters and would love to get back into doing it more. SO, if you’re reading this and you’re in a band and would like some artwork doing – get in touch and we could make beautiful music together!

Well, you can make the beautiful music. I can draw you a picture.

Fudge

…for the delay in posting! I didn’t mean to leave it this long but since the site relaunched I’ve had a load of work on and you know how it is, when you’re super busy with stuff, the last thing you think of to do is to sit down and write a blog post about it. Well, for me anyway but I suppose I should change that… Anyway- I’ve been working on a load of fun stuff recently. Some big, some small(ish), some branding, some rebranding and I’m soon starting a mural which I’ll hopefully have done in the next couple of weeks and have some photos to show you. Its also that time of year on the Island where local businesses start gearing up for TT and (as I type) I’m working on this years Manx Cider Co t-shirt. I’ve got some new designs planned for them as well as some other cool stuff so be sure to check them out during TT week if you are over.

Thinking about it now, thats about all I can say (work wise) as I can’t share any of the work just yet. The photo above is a shot of my desk though, so if you’re really interested (or creepy) you could zoom in to that to see some of the designs for the mural along with some other working drawings. Right, that was short and sweet wasn’t it? I’m off to continue working on TT 2017 stuff whilst simultaneously not getting excited (just yet) for TT 2017 and to figure out how I’m going to paint a mural in less than 2 weeks…!

Stamps

So, this is pretty cool! Isle of Man Post have produced a set of stamps using the print artwork I created for my Jigsaw exhibition. The set is called ‘The Hearts Of Ellan Vannin’ (a take on a lyric from the traditional Manx song ‘Ellan Vannin’) and features 6 of the towns and villages I produced for my show. It was great to be involved in the design side of this set of stamps as each product has its own unique packaging. A big thank you to everyone involved at IOM Post for all their hard work. The stamps are available now here and (if you’re on the Island) in actual real life post offices! 

Wild Hearts

The new version of this piece has been about a year in the making and I’ve re-drawn it more times than I care to remember. I always liked the original pen and ink graphic below but I never thought it fully conveyed what I was feeling and I suppose trying to put across with the image.

I wanted the piece to be sassy, cool and have attitude, but on the whole be a strong stand alone image. Something that, at a glance you might assume you know whats happening but if you looked closer and thought about it, maybe led you in a different direction as to what was happening and why. I felt adding a background provided more of a story (back & future), and there are little details that make the story make more sense to me but will hopefully not detract from the overall image. 

Not that I wanted to spell out exactly what I was thinking. I’m sure other artists will agree that its always awesome when someone describes what they see in one of their pictures. Or how an image makes them feel even though the artist themselves hadn’t even considered it that way. It’s amazing! And I suppose, is literally the point of art -to make people feel. But, thats a blog topic for another time.

I’m kind of obsessed with Bonnie and Clyde and the classic gangster, moll and mob lifestyle  -I see that whole world romantically. I know it was far from it but you can blame watching the above mentioned and films like The Untouchables at a young age along with reading a lot of comics in my formative years for that one.

Originally this piece was titled ‘With Love & Kisses’ -which is where this piece originated from. I kind of wanted this newer version to work without any text but the further I got with it the more I felt it needed something to tie it together. I’ve had ‘Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken’ written down in one of my notepads for years and spotted it just after finishing the re-draw of her face and thought the two fitted perfectly. Especially in the letterpress style lettering which are actually scans from old newspapers, posters and playbills from the classic gangster era -fun fact, eh?

Born on the Sabbath day

This was a kind of re-imagining of the illustration below that I did one TT week for my Facebook page years ago. I wanted to update it and to add more to the whole piece but keep the fun attitude from the original sketch as to me, thats what Mad Sunday is all about.

In most of my TT pieces I’ll take the sponsors logos from the riders leathers and fairing and re-draw them to fit the vantage points from around the TT course. With this piece though, as there is no actual racer I thought I could have a bit of fun reinterpreting some of the famous spots on the course. I still wanted the majority of them to be rooted within motorcycles and to have a kind of ‘classic’ look to them rather than all be completely made up so I did my take on a few vintage motorcycle logos.

Looking back there are some fantastic logo designs for bikes. Beautiful lettering and some great ideas brilliantly executed without a vector in sight! Thats not to say bike logos these days are rubbish, but I wanted to steer clear of the instantly recognisable logos of Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and the like. I wanted more cult, niche kind of bike logos -more of a ‘if you know, you know’ kind of thing as the others would stand out to much as obviously being a bike logo take.

Most of the vantage points throughout this piece are takes of motorcycle logos (in one way or another) so I won’t bore you going through all of them but I picked out a few below to illustrate (pun intended) what I’m talking about.

In all honesty (even though I’ve owned a motorbike encyclopedia for 20 odd years) I’d never heard of Condor. I doubt they’d still use the same logo today but just look how great it is. I mean, c’mon, I had to do something with that. Matchless are classic and had to be in there as it was the first machine to ever win a TT and that ‘Winged-M’ logo is known worldwide. As it’s so iconic I thought it’d lend itself to the world famous ‘Waterworks’ vantage point.

I was going for a collage look (obviously) so I wanted each illustration to have a different style/feel to it. You know, like someone in a moment of madness had cut up their old bike magazines and comics that they’d collected through the years and then stuck them to their wall …man, that’d be annoying wouldn’t it?

I also love to add a bit of lettering to each piece (incase you hadn’t noticed) so the whole collage/different style theme was great fun to incorporate my love of logos, letters, fonts and motorbikes.

Going, going… Oh, everything’s gone

When I first decided I wanted to update the site I thought I’d only have recent work on it -stuff I’d created in the last 2 years or so anyway. Then, as work continued and I moved away from the site re-design I kept thinking that maybe I should go back further and include jobs that I loved but weren’t necessarily relevant. I then changed my mind back to only have stuff I’d produced in the last 2 to 4 years but then I changed my mind to include some earlier stuff that I still liked. However, fate then stepped in and I lost pretty much all my digital work and original art scans from the past 5+ years when I (stupidly) updated my OS without removing my external memory drive and it got wiped.

Above is just a small selection (from my social media accounts) of things that got erased. I’d settled on what was going to go on the new site before the ’Sierra incident’ as its now referred to happened so fear not there. I think its just the knowing that you don’t have the files/scans etc stored somewhere anymore. But, never mind. Think positive, move forward and don’t look back. I chose to look at it as a sign that the new site should be for new work and not for older stuff that I was hanging on to.

Stop livin’ in the past, man!