Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prince Benji

This is "Prince Benji". A few weeks ago when I didn't have much work on I started thinking up ideas for a kids book. John and I were walking along the disused railway track that runs between Finsbury Park and Highgate when we saw a 'lost cat' poster. The cat was an inside cat who had fallen off a balcony while his owner was at work. I thought this might be quite a good idea for a story. The poster said that if you found the cat but didn't want to give him back, please only feed him chicken or turkey cat food - definitely no red meat or liver.

We have a very spoilt Persian cat who has never been outside, so the drawing was based a little on her (although the cat in the story is male). The idea is that "Prince Benji" falls off a balcony and then has lots of adventures in the big wide world until he is eventually found by his (little girl) owner. What kind of adventures he has, and how it all fits together, has proved to be quite hard and something I'm still working on.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Football Casual 1985

A month or so ago I was contacted by a London film company who are try to get funding for a film they are making. The film is about two boys growing up in the 1980's, who become obsessed with making thier own movies. For a small fee they have asked a selection of illustrators to illustrate along the themes of the film; the 1980s, Rambo, childhood, video games, etc . These illustrations will go up on thier website and help them promote the film.

Things started out on the wrong foot for me as their next email ended up in my spam directory on the BT sever and never got to my inbox. ( I have now switched spam gaurd off) By the time I found it there was one day left until the deadline, and I decided to quickly modify an older illustration to fit the 80s theme.

The film is all about an 80s childhood, but in truth I didn't have an 80s childhood but an 80s adolesence. In my rush I presumed that it was a relatively open brief. So drew the guy above. Anyone who was a teenager around 1985 will remember Casuals; wedge haircuts, Fila tracksuits, Kickers, and jumbo Lois cords. A relatively forgotten British youth cult.

A couple of days later I got an email back from the film guys saying that my illustration didn't fit the brief, and asking me if I'd like to redo it. I'm really hoping that I can find time this week, I've been busy with editorial jobs.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


This morning and yesterday I worked on a couple of roughs for editorial jobs. It is the part of an illustration I like doing the least. I'm not a competent sketcher. I labor over things. When I'm working on personal projects, I just imagine, then draw.... sometimes I do some very rough squiggles on paper but usually I find I can just sketch it all out in my head then start on the finished artwork. Not the way we were taught at college I know.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Family History

The images above are the start of a personal project. A comic book about the search for my family history. The row of shops in the first picture are the actual row where my Great Grandfathers chemist shop was. When I went up to Derby I took photos of them as they are now, and then drew this from that. (the chemist shop is now a kebab shop). Its basically an imagined drawing of my Grandfather leaving Derby for London with a portfolio under his arm.