So I’m studying an MA course in Sequential Design/Illustration at Brighton. Part of our Visual Narrative unit was to create and present a project that delivered a surprise in a sequence of six images or objects. I looked to create a simple six image illustrated story (a dog asking a series of town-folk if they have seen his missing bone) that would then transform into a looping animation when skipping through the images quickly. A moving image sequence disguised as a series of still images. I used silhouettes to mask the transitions between one character and the next but also I liked the timeless, Lotte Reiniger feel that this created. I found it really interesting and challenging to find a balance between making each character different but finding similarities to thread together the animation.
Also recently went to see Tales of the Night by Michel Ocelot as part of Eastbourne’s Film Society screenings. That too, seemed very Lotte Reiniger inspired, with silhouetted characters performing a series of light-hearted subversions of myths and fairy tales.
Earlier in the summer I was tasked with creating a ‘wonderland-like’ landscape, populated with colourful creatures and plant-life, to help establish a brand identity for a company called Happy Energy. There were definite challenges in creating a composition that was bustling with life and ‘happy energy’ without compromising the focus on the main house and the family in the image. There was lots of adding things in and taking them away again. But even when things started to look balanced it was still one of the busiest images I’ve worked on. See development stages below.
So much of the drawing I do involves drawing and redrawing things until I’m happy with them. Or until someone else is happy with them. It’s nice to have a side project that involves a bit of spontaneity. So I’ve been splashing, splodging and dabbing tea around on sheets of paper and then looking to see how I can draw faces from the shapes of the tea stains once they’re dry. It’s fun, I recommend it.
At the start of last year I finished working on some animation for a BMX film. Earlier this week I went to Peckham for the long-awaited premiere of 1 Way Up, the 3D BMX documentary feature telling the story of the rise of Peckham BMX and the positive power sport can have to change lives. I arrived an hour early and had a look around Peckham, the busy high street (with market stalls and heavy traffic) and find my way into the busy library (which was an amazing glass-fronted Tetris block of a building, several stories high with colour-tinted views of the London skyline and buildings either side of the Thames). This busyness and energy was completely represented at the premiere too. On screen, there was heady mix of high-octane BMX race footage, amusing and insightful interviews and news clips; with moments of introspection, music and spoken word performances and animation all adding emotional weight to the story. Off screen there was more live music and, during the screening, lots of clapping, laughing, whooping and cheering from everyone who’d waited so long to see their friends and colleagues on screen. It was a great atmosphere. I really enjoyed meeting so many people who were involved in making this film happen; it’s a thrill-ride with a positive message and an amazing achievement, especially for first-time director, Amy Mathieson of Jet Set Films.
I created two hand-drawn sequences of animation that appear in the film (see image below). You can see the trailer via MTV UK here and the catch the film at Picturehouse cinemas across London.
I’ve just completed another batch of illustrations for Wise Noodles so I’ve picked a few out to show here. They are quite butterfly heavy and refer to the recruitment advice and support services offered by Wise Noodles. It was fun imagery to work with.
I’ve also been playing around with some of my daily doodles from last year, again. Adding colour and shadow to the original drawings. I’ve posted some of these underneath too.
Each year I replace the header image of this website with a newer one that represents the projects I’ve worked on in the previous year (a kind of collage or compilation image). This new header is my fourth one and I think it’s interesting to look back and compare with the previous ones and see that there’s been some kind of progression. The first one is from 2011…
I was commissioned to create a series of website banner and icon illustrations for an IT training consultancy called Wise Noodles. They were looking for some engaging and colourful representations of the different services they provide. Here are a few of my designs…