Monday, 18 July 2011

Creature ABC // Undulate Ray // Endangered Creature Alphabet

It was way back in May that Creature Mag put a call out to contribute to this endangered animal themed project and in fact some of my suggestions for animals made it through to the final cut. Most significantly the Kakapo which I first came across in the TV series 'Last Chance to See' feat. Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine a return to the radio series produced back in the 80's by Mark and Douglas Adams. Revisiting the endangered animals from that show to see how they were doing now (unfortunately some are in fact extinct). The Kakapo is an idiot of evolution, a bird that became so comfortable with its environment and lack of predators that it lost the ability to fly. This seemed particularly significant to me, here was a creature that was getting along perfectly fine until we came along and introduced a bunch of predators into it's environment. It seems just that we are doing something to make a mends for the situation.

Anyway relevant tho this is I didn't actually get to draw this bird, I was assigned this little dude (above), the Undulate Ray. Initially my reaction being, how the crap am I gonna draw that??!!!?!?! I had no idea how a creature like this might move, and I really don't think you can draw something correctly without having a feel for its movement, this being such an intrinsic part of what makes each animal unique (epecially fish right?). Thank fully I found a video of one swimming along the bottom of the sea bed – as is their way. It is really quite a beautiful little thing you gotta love how it errmmm undulates. You can see all the other contributions in the final e-book below. Enjoy! (Also after that why not enjoy a small rant from me about the sea and the threat to the Undulate Ray).

Endangered-ness wise this is probably the one creature in this book that we can all (well those of us in the UK) directly have an impact on as it lives round our shores. If you see Skate for sale make sure it isn't Undulate Ray and if you can't be sure don't buy it, it is a protected species and has been banned from commercial fishing since 2009.

If you want to know more about the utter all round devastation we are causing in our seas can I recommend you watch the Horizon: Death of the Ocean series available here on youtube (this is about the results of the recent marine census), Hugh's Fish Fight over on 4OD (and sign his petition to change EU legislation in regard to fish quotas) and End of the Line a very revealing documentary that will make you think twice about which fish you buy. If you want there to still be fish in the seas in 50 years time you'd better start paying some attention to this situation.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Fair Ohs // Flamingo Magazine

Having only discovered Flamingo Magazine last week I replied to a twitter request for artists to illustrate an interview with Fair Ohs (who sound a bit like Foals crossed with Paul Simon and a sitar i.e. good) this is the result.

The video for their new single features a very fat man wearing a Batman mask and a young guy jumping around dressed as Robin (think Adam West not Micheal Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer or Christian Bale). Its quite pretty, really tho I guess it doesn't sound like it's going to be from that description. Anyway this image is inspired by that video (which it turns out is apparently some sort of revenge in joke) and their eclectic musical influences. You can read the full interview and see the image in context here.

Monday, 11 July 2011

SPACE Exhibition // Cardiff Design Festival

This an image created for submission to the SPACE Exhibition which will be happening at some point during Cardiff Design week 2011. It's open submissions and the final show will be curated by Ben Cox, Managing Director of The Central Illustration Agency. Hopefully I will make it to the print stage of the show. The theme is space and here is a little explanation of how this image came to be ...

As an Science Fiction fan this seemed like the perfect exhibition for me to create a piece for. However when it came to conceiving of a image to draw all I could think of were my experiences with friends, on still clear nights in various country side locations looking up at the stars. I haven't travelled a huge amount but one of the places I have had the pleasure of visiting is Yosemite National Park in California, it was pretty darn amazing. I hope to return one day and perhaps it will look something like this.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Picture This // Part Two // Finished Spread

So this is what that should have looked like when I handed it in on Monday (if only I had been more organised). I was going to just leave it and be annoyed with myself for messing up but I thought it best to finish it otherwise I would never be able to look at it again (see previous post for original). Over dramatic? Perhaps, but true.

I hate people who ask themselves questions and answer them in the same sentence (its massively over done in the comedy documentary format 'ironically' I'm sure – see Parks and Recreation, which incidentally is actually pretty good)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Beauty & the Beast // Picture This // Waterstones Competition

Picture This is a competition run by Waterstone's in partnership with the Telegraph and Harper Collins Childrens Books. This year Michael Morpurgo is rewriting the nations favourite fairytale (as voted by the public) and they are looking for an unpublished illustrator to work with him on this exciting project.

So I only found out about this last week which has meant it's all been a bit rushed (I haven't really finished the double page spread to a degree that I am happy with), the deadline was today and this saw me rush across London to Kew to hand it in to the Waterstone's offices in person literally just in time to meet the deadline. All a bit nerve racking. I am very pleased with my character designs and I think this competition has made me realise that this is a illustrative direction that I particularly enjoy. Investigating style across a variety of eras and drawing from all kinds of source material in order to create an impression of a personality, tis definitely enjoyable to me.

Time for you guys to get those fingers crossed again