British Phonographic Industry Award

A strange text popped up on my phone today, informing me I’d be getting a delivery from ‘Award Framers’. I had no clue what this was about but as predicted, the package arrived and I opened it to find…

psb_award1 psb_award2

Wow! I was genuinely shocked!  A British Phonographic Industry Silver Record Award.  I don’t tend to put too much stock in awards but I just held it up, staring at it, smiling but completely baffled!

I don’t know how these things work, whether the BPI always sends these out to whoever is credited with the artwork for the record, or whether the band or management create a list of people they felt contributed to the record’s sales, or whether I’ve just been presented with this by mistake…?

All I can say is I’m sincerely flattered to receive such a thing and very pleased that the artwork is considered to have contributed in however small a way to the success of the record.

As I have said before, I’m proud of the work I put into this, especially since it’s an independent release. The Public Service Broadcasting guys are decent, thoughtful people and deserve every success.

Leeds International Beer Festival

LEEDS_BEER_music_poster_small

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.

beermat

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.
drewposter

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.

banner1 banner2

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.

leedsbeerpages

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!

‘RIDE HARD’ new Open Edition

new_RIDE_print

I’m pleased to announce my popular ‘Ride Hard & Earn the Downhill‘ print (which has been out of print for a while now) has had a fresh lick of ink and is now available in a different format.

Originally, the design was created for the ArtCrank London 2011 exhibition. The first edition sold out, as did the second edition (marked with a small ‘2’ cog motif in the bottom right corner).

I’ve been asked many times if a 3rd edition was planned and after some thinking, I decided to recreate the design as an ‘Open Edition’ print (i.e. one that is not numbered) and will continue to be hand-printed by me as long as there is interest in it.

ridehard_new_2

The original 2 limited editions of the print are still as limited as they ever were, so I do hope the open edition version is not something which anyone considers to lessen the value of the previous prints.

The original images actually contained a cool little easter egg which only a few people got: the barbed wire fence in the foreground was a tribute to Dutch cyclist Johnny Hoogerland who had a particularly nasty crash into some barbed wire in the 2011 Tour de France but showed amazing toughness (as the pro cyclists often do) and continued on to finish the Tour.

This new and updated version has been refreshed with some subtle changes to the art, but the main difference is (due to popular request) the size of the print, which has been reduced from the previous A2. The print is now a little over A3 in size and should be much easier to frame, as well as to find wall space for.

RIDE

This hand-made print is priced at a very affordable £25 and is available from my Etsy shop here.

Also – by popular request – a companion ‘RUN HARD, EARN THE DOWNHILL’ print is on the way… more info soon.

 

Work Hard & Be Humble

I’m very pleased to be able to show my latest print, entitled ‘Work Hard & Be Humble’.

workhardbehumble1

workhardbehumble2

This is an A2 sized, 3 colour hand-printed screenprint, in an edition of 45.  I’ll write a little more about the idea behind the print and share some of the process when this goes live on the shop on Monday.

The Official Bad Robot Art Experience – Gallery 1988

Gallery1988_BADROBOTCard JJA_print

I am excited to be involved in the The Official Bad Robot Art Experience exhibition taking place at Gallery 1988, in Los Angeles.

G1988 have teamed up producer, director and all round movie mega-maker JJ Abrams to celebrate and commemorate some of the work he’s been involved in creating.

My contribution is a 3 colour, hand-pulled screenprint, entitled Enterprise Down. It’s a 24” x 13” print in a very limited edition of 30 – signed, numbered and titled at the bottom.

You can see some process pics of the printing over on my Tumblr.

UKPA / Black Heart Gigposter Gallery Launch & Pop Up Shop

More event news – since not everyone can make it over to LA, this one is for my London friends:

In collaboration with The Black Heart in Camden, UKPA is pleased to announce the launch of its series of ongoing gig poster exhibitions inside the pub. UKPA Gig Poster Gallery will be a permanent exhibition space showcasing the best screenprinted gig poster work the UK has to offer.

The inaugural show will take place on Thursday 29th November and feature 31 selected works by:
Adam Pobiak, Cameron Steward/Twoducksdisco, Craig Robson, Diego Mena, Drew Millward, Gary McGarvey/Horse Design, Graham Pilling/Army of Cats, Luke Drozd, Michael Cowell, Nick Rhodes/Switchopen, Petting Zoo Prints and Collectables, Sean Mort, Telegramme, Tom Lacey & WeThreeClub

The night will also see the launch of the brand new UKPA website, an online resource to keep you up to date with everything the UKPA is organising, as well as information on commissioning and making gig posters and a directory of active UK artists.

This will also be everyones last chance to get down and greasy as the Mother Flipper burger residency at The Black Heart comes to an end. So come for the posters, stay for the burgers! http://motherflipperburgers.com/

And if that wasn’t enough, theres a really great show happening just upstairs with Triple Jump Records putting on Dead Rider (ex US Maple – as a warm up to their performance at Shellac’s ATP) with Silent Front, Joeyfat and Stnnng.

http://ukposterart.com/
http://www.ourblackheart.com/

UKPA Pop Up Gig Poster Bazaar

Saturday 1st December
At The Black Heart, 2-3 Greenland Place, Camden, NW1 OAP
13.00 – 19.00

For one day only, pop along to the UKPA’s Pop-Up Gig Poster Bazaar! In the surrounds of the Black Heart pub and the new UKPA Gig Poster Gallery, it’s a chance to buy some amazing, limited-edition, screenprinted gig poster work from a selection of the UK’s best poster artists, alongside other artisan wares all at great prices. Bring that folding cash and pick up a bargain just in time for Christmas.

http://ukposterart.com/
http://www.ourblackheart.com/

ARTCRANK London 2012

ARTCRANK is a show of bicycle-inspired poster artwork that introduces people to talented local artists and sends them home with affordable, original works of art. Since its 2007 debut in Minneapolis, ARTCRANK has held shows in bike-friendly cities in the US and UK, including Portland, San Francisco, Austin, St. Denver and London.

I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with the London ARTCRANK shows for the past few years, and the 2012 show features poster artwork from 27 UK artists.

The opening night party will take place on Friday 7th September at:

plain wall projects
2A Corsham Street
N1 6DP
London, UK

The exhibition will be on extended view from 8-14 September with posters on sale from 10:00 am—5:00 pm.

If you can make it down to the opening night, you absolutely should — previous exhibitions have had an amazing atmosphere and been rammed to the rafters with bicycle folk.
Those who follow me on Instagram or Twitter will have seen some of the print process for my Artcrank 2012 print, but for those that haven’t yet seen it, here’s a sneak peak:
These will be available from the Artcrank exhibition and also from the AoC shop afterwards!

I created a short video of the printing process behind my ‘Of Monsters and Men‘ gig poster.  Hopefully this will give a good insight into the screenprinting medium, for those who aren’t aware of the process. You see plenty of designers selling mass-produced digital prints these days, so the desirability of silkscreen prints is ever increasing – they really are amazing to view in person, and the be able to feel the texture of hand-crafted ink on paper. Lovely stuff! Hope you enjoy the video.

The ‘Of Monsters and Men’ gigposter is an edtion of 50 which will be available from the Into the Great Wide Open festival as well as from the Push&Pull site, and from the AoC Shop afterwards.

I have also created an artprint variant with no band text/details, titled ‘White Wastes‘ – this is a very limited edition of only 25. I will be putting a few of these online to sell in September and will announce when they go on sale ahead of time – if you are interested in one, be sure to follow me on Twitter as there has been a lot of interest in this print, and it’s certainly one I’m very pleased with!

Design Spring iPad app

Some of my work is featured on Creative Bloq’s new iPad app, Design Spring. The app is designed as a daily inspiration source for designers and art directors, showcasing lots of varied work and mediums which you can favourite, or visit the site or Twitter feed of the designer.

The Design Spring app is FREE and available now on iTunes.

Finding the perfect sketchbook…

OK, let’s talk about sketchbooks!

For a long time I would use the basic and functional hardbacked A5 sketchbooks you’d typically find in art shops. I ended up getting a few spiral bound ones, which became annoying when storing my completed sketchbooks as they wouldn’t quite ‘stack’. Lesson learned.

At some point I got taken by the idea that I wanted the ‘tools of my trade’ to be nicer, slightly more deluxe items, since I used them regularly, and so I moved onto the popular Moleskine sketchbooks. Most of the time my sketches are really messy, ugly little scratchy things, just enough to record an idea and some notes to help me decipher it – it’s been a while since I actually illustrated anything nicely in a sketchbook. Because of this, I failed to notice that despite their popularity, Moleskine sketchbooks aren’t all that great for drawing – the paper is certainly heavyweight enough but it’s yellow and has a slightly waxy coating to it which doesn’t always make for the best lines.

Then the great Moleskine Spec Work Scandal of 2011 occurred. I wasn’t really impressed with how they responded and handled the whole thing, and so I knew that I’d bought my last Moleskine.

I was purchased an EcoSystem sketchbook as an xmas gift, which is very similar to a Moleskine but with a refreshingly green ethos – each book is 100% recycled and has it’s own special ID number. Great! The only problem is that the paper isn’t quite heavy enough, and I was getting a lot of bleedthrough into multiple pages, especially when using my Pentel Pocket Brush.

The other issue is the number of pages – I can’t seem to find a page-count, but there are a lot. Easily a couple of hundred I think. Why should that be a problem? Well, for two reasons: firstly, I actually quite like the ‘clean slate’ feeling that comes with starting a brand new sketchbook, and find it a good excuse to set goals, or try and sketch every day (at least for a little while); a sketchbook with a huge page count simply means it’ll be longer before I get that new sketchbook feeling.

The second reason was the amount of work/ideas which would be lost if I misplaced the sketchbook – the more a sketchbook is filled the more valuable it becomes as a personal resource, and I didn’t like the idea of potentially losing easily a couple of years’ worth of content in one fell swoop. On a more practical level, it also makes it more difficult to find and refer back to older sketches and notes. Ah, EcoSystem, you were close but still not the one..

After asking for recommendations on Twitter, I was contacted by John Rainsford of The Bleed Edge, who very kindly sent me a couple of his SKTCHBKS brand books to try out, and the gridded green book quickly became my go-to book for writing notes and lists. I actually found I preferred the ‘slim’ thickness to the typical hardback A5 books I was used to and it also solved the issue of minimising the lost resources if it was misplaced or lost. However, while perfect for notes and writing, the paper just didn’t quite have the weight I needed for sketching and drawing…

Then I came across the really basic A5 sketchbooks made by Seawhite in Brighton. The paper is exactly what I was after, the right weight and thickness, un-coated, and a pleasing amount of tooth to the texture. All my drawing implements take to the paper perfectly, and to top it off they are very afford-ably priced. I promptly bought some in bulk!

These are the sketchbooks I now use and am happy with. I created a cover for my own book and liked the way they looked so created a few more to put up in the AoC Shop. The books are very cheap to purchase from the many Seawhite stockists but if you’re interested in picking up one with a unique and hand printed cover, swing by the shop and have a look.

What’s your favourite sketchbook brand, and do you over-analyse these things as much as I do?!

UA-10756733-2

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close