Leeds International Beer Festival

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Art & Music Lineup Poster

I recently finished a large batch of design and layout work for the Leeds International Beer Festival.

I’ve actually done work for them for the past 3 years but the weeks prior to the festival are so busy for me, I’ve neglected to post about it! This year is the first year I can actually attend the festival (finally!) so I decided to take the time to document some of the work I’ve done.

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Beermat design for 2016 – combining Drew’s artwork with new masthead and typography

I was brought onboard in 2014 after being recommended by friend & illustrator Drew Millward, whose bold artwork has provided the festival with a very recognisable visual style ever since. Design and Illustration, while often overlapping, are very different disciplines and sometimes require a different approach and set of skills.

In the case of LIBF, Drew illustrates the festival poster, provides me with the photoshop file, and then I develop that into a visual style that is used across the rest of the festival – coming up with a complimentary colourscheme, typography, and even chopping up and rearranging the artwork for different applications.

Here are some key things I try to keep in mind with this work:

  • Keep it functional and easy for the audience to read/use/engage with – sometimes good design works quietly in the background.
  • Ensure that design work fits seamlessly with Drew’s illustration work to create a consistent, recognisable tone of voice – compliment not compete!
  • Give it enough character and colour so that it feels fresh, new and different from the previous year.
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Drew’s crackin’ 2016 Poster

Not all illustrators get on with the rules-based aspects of design but I actually really enjoy this type of work. It requires a change of mental gear, for sure, but it’s also very satisfying when everything ‘just looks right’ on a page, and information is clear and pleasing to the eye.

The artwork Drew has created for this year’s festival is some of my favourite work of his, so a highlight for me has been taking that artwork apart and reassembling to create a pair of huge billboard designs.

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Some elements are reused and I’ve even drawn some additional parts to match the style, so the end result falls somewhere between collaboration and forgery.

It’s a strange part of the job, essentially scrutinising and then dismantling your friend’s work, but I’m really satisfied with the final billboards and appreciate Drew’s total trust in me to reconfigure his work into a different format.

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I found a great set of bold typefaces which I felt would be perfect for the festival this year, so created the ‘Leeds International Beer Festival’ masthead which is used in various places.

The bulk of the work, of course, has been laying out the 44 page Festival Programme. It’s a simple, practical thing but a lot of thought has gone into putting it together – giving each beer section a coloured edge so it’s easy to flick through and making sure there’s logic and consistency to how information is layed out.

I’m really proud of all the bits and pieces I’ve put together. Thanks go to Darren and Maria, the festival organisers, for hiring me and being so enthusiastic to work with.

I’m really looking forward to the festival! There are an overwhelming amount of great beers available. I hope the design work remains functional and enjoyable to the eyes when the reader is good ‘n drunk.

Cheers!

Thanks Green Man 2016

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This year I again had the pleasure of being involved in Green Man Festival, exhibiting and selling printed wares along with fellow UKPA artists Luke Drozd and Tommy Davidson.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the people who came visit our little marquee and purchase screenprinted art, or get involved with the live printing demo, or even just offer complimentary words on what we were doing.  GM continues to be a great festival to be involved with.

This year, along with posters for selected individual acts, we created an official festival silkscreen poster – a collaborative design by myself, Luke and Tommy. These proved incredibly popular and we look forward to this being a continuing tradition for future GMs. If you missed one, or if you would like to pick up any of the individual prints we had available, the details are below:

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The Green Man collaborative print & the smaller, A3 live print are available here: http://ukpa.bigcartel.com/

BEAK> (by Luke Drozd) – Available here: http://lukedrozd.bigcartel.com/product/beak-poster-green-man-festival-2016

Belle & Sebastian (by Graham Pilling) – Available here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/460634416/belle-and-sebastian-green-man-festival

Songhoy Blues (by Tommy Davidson) – Available here: http://tommydavidson.bigcartel.com/product/songhoy-blues

Wild Beasts (by Tommy Davidson) – Available here: http://tommydavidson.bigcartel.com/product/wild-beasts

I Art in Your General Direction

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I’m very proud to have created a piece of work for this official Monty Python tribute exhibition.

The opening is this Friday in Leeds from 6pm, at the Northern Monk Brewery (Facebook Event page here).

My contribution is an 8 colour screenprint featuring Tim the Enchanter from MP’s Holy Grail. As an added bonus to make each print completely unique, there is a little killer rabbit printed on each one in a completely different place. This was a time consuming and technical print but I am really pleased with how it came out.

Here’s a little preview…

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Screenprinting Workshop – June 2016

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Myself and good friend Cameron Steward will be hosting another Screenprinting Workshop on the weekend of 25th and 26th of June.

The course takes place at the West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Mirfield, and is £130 to enroll and there are spaces for 6 attendees only.

Cameron and I really enjoy running these courses, the atmosphere is really informal and it’s always a good laugh. Cam wrote up a great post on the last workshop which you can check out on his blog: twoducksdisco.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/go-forth-print.html

While not intended as a beginner’s course, no previous experience of screenprinting is required but would of course be helpful. This course is best suited to graphic designers or illustrators wanting to learn how to translate their work into screenprinting, or for those who have already started out in printing and want to improve their skills.

Here’s what an attendee of our last workshop had to say:

The weekend course with Graham and Cameron was the most enjoyable I HAVE HAD of any workshop – EVER!

They are both extremely knowledgeable but at the same time amazing at passing on exactly the required amount of info to pupils within their personal limitations. I really appreciate all the time you gave me and all the encouragement. The trouble-shooting session whilst screen-printing is what I found most valuable – it’s all very well to know what’s meant to happen, but amazing to already know what to do when it’s actually not! Both Graham and Cameron have such a nice, quiet, laid-back style in teaching that it caused our group dynamic to be excellent as well. I have not been to any other weekend course where a group has been as good at pulling together and helping one another out as this past weekened.”

More information and booking details are to be found here: www.wypw.org/shop/screen-printed-posters-june/

INK & PAPER 2

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Ink&Paper 2 is the highly anticipated follow-up to our 2012 Ink&Paper exhibition. It is being organised by myself and the other UKPA and will take place in London in early May.

Like the first event, this will be one of the biggest exhibitions of contemporary gigposter art in the UK. We’ve curated an amazing lineup of some of the best UK gigposter art talent and it includes some artists who are a little newer to the medium but no less exciting. It promises to be a great event and I’m very proud to be involved.

Come along to the private view on Friday 6th May and enjoy some complimentary fizzy booze-pops and mingle with many of the artists and doodlers involved!

It will be held at Stour Space gallery and is happening with the generous sponsorship of Awesome Merchandise, Lagunitas Brewing, eFrame, and British Underground.

Hope to see you there!

 

Public Service Broadcasting – Green Man poster

I’m very pleased to announce my 3rd screenprinted poster for Public Service Broadcasting.

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This print commemorates their forthcoming appearance at Green Man Festival and is a 3 colour, hand-printed silkscreen print in a very limited edition of 60.

For festival goers, this will be available at the UKPA Poster Tent along with posters for some of the other acts playing the festival, other gigposters, artprints, tshirts, bags, and other goodies.

Last year we had a fantastic time showing, selling & talking about our work, so myself and my fellow artists are really looking forward to it once again – if you are headed to the festival please come and say hi and see our work!

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If you aren’t going to the festival, I will be keeping a small number of posters back which will go up on my online shop when I get back. Keep an eye on my Twitter stream for when these go live.

As well as a new poster for PSB, I also produced a poster for my lovely Leeds friends HOOKWORMS:

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Same deal as above – available at the festival with hopefully a few left over for the shop.

Here is the full set of posters our group have designed for the festival. Read more about the artists and the set on this UKPA blog page here: http://ukposterart.com/post/126506941113/ukpa-poster-series-for-green-man-2015

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Dot Spread Print Fair – 27 June 2015

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I’ll be showing and selling some of my printed wares at a new independent print fair happening here in Leeds.

Saturday 27th June 2015 is the date, Wharf Chambers is the venue, and 12 – 5pm is the time when you’ll be able to see lovely work by myself and a number of other artists, print designers, & illustrators.

Come on down, chat to the artists directly about their work, and pick up some some afordable pieces of art for your walls.

Check out the Dot Spread Facebook page here for up to date info.

INK & PAPER BRISTOL – May 16-17

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Bristolians! There will be a positively grand exhibition happening in your city THIS WEEKEND, organised by the UKPA, and hosted by the warm and wonderful folk of Jacknife Studio.

It features work by some of the best gigposter and print artists in the UK today (and a rather special US guest artist) – and even some of my own work to boot. If you were present at the first Ink & Paper exhibition, which was hugely successful, then you’ll know the sort of quality to expect. If you’re around the Bristol area, definitely try and make the trip and enjoy some of the fine hospitality of the Jacknife guys and gals.

See the Facebook event page here.

Fantastic Mr. Fox Print

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My Fantastic Mr. Fox print is done! This was one of those projects where I felt like I had to discard a lot of ideas and start down a lot of dead-end paths before ending up with the right idea in the end. It can sometimes be hard work but I’m really pleased with the final result so it was worth it.

Some thoughts on the decisions I took during the process: I knew I wanted the print to feature the famous tree which has graced the illustrations of both Donald Chaffin and Quentin Blake. Mr Fox under his tree is just one of those enduring images which rather beautifully crosses over from the book into the Wes Anderson film adaptation — it was also a real tree near where Dahl wrote his books, so I knew it had to feature prominantly in my illustration.

My initial composition sketches were just a bit too stiff and ‘designy’ – I really wanted to capture some of the looseness and painterly style of Quentin Blake’s fantastic watercolour work. I also came across a rather wonderful bit of writing by Dahl himself on what makes a good children’s book and I wanted this ethos to apply to my own illustration. Essentially, it had to bright, colourful and engaging.

I initially had the title text on there as part of the design itself but removed this as I wanted the image to be less like a poster and more like a page from a picture book. This approach also informed my decision to make these prints smaller than my usual A2 poster size – I’ve noticed people are drawn to smaller prints more frequently these days as they are easier to frame. At A3 size, I also feel like these are more ‘child friendly’ in order to be framed in a kids’ room.

This is an A3-sized, 4 colour screenprint; signed, numbered, and titled, and available in two variants: 40 in warm tones (as above) and 20 in a cooler colourway.

These will be available from Galerie F in Chicago when the exhibition launches on the 18th July, and also from my Etsy shop.

You can also see more sketches and process images on my Flickr set here.

The Fantastic Mr Dahl

 

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I grew up with the stories of Roald Dahl and they were a huge influence on me as a child. As an author Dahl knew exactly how to capture a young reader’s imagination and hold their interest.  Of course I cannot think of his work without picturing the wonderfully expressive illustrations of Quentin Blake, who was also a big influence on my own young artistic endeavours.

So it is with a great deal of excitement that I can announce my involvement in ‘Fantastic Mr Dahl’ a group exhibition celebrating the stories I grew up with. The exhibition is being curated and held by Galerie F in Chicago, and has the official endorsement of the Roald Dahl Museum.

The exhibition launch also coincides with the gallery’s one year anniversary, so to celebrate there will be a grand opening reception on the evening of Thursday July 18th from 6pm to 11pm.

I’m currently working on two pieces of art for the show, both based on one of my favourite stories Fantastic Mr Fox.  Hopefully I can share some of the progress as I go along.

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