Thursday, 17 April 2014

Calella Hulk

I've been working on a personal project recently involving a bit of sci-fi fun with some old postcards I picked up in Barcelona. The series is called Post-Invasion Cards and is made up of four lurid landscapes 're-imagined' as giant crash-sites for interstellar crafts after an unspecified planetary assault. This first piece is called Calella Hulk, I'll post the others over the next three Fridays. You can see more detail on the site here.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Virginia Plain

Here's a recent personal piece that I submitted to this year's Secret 7" vinyl art/good cause exhibition. Didn't make it into the show unfortunately but enjoyed the hell out of making it. I chose to illustrate Roxy Music's Virginia Plain with a stripped-back collage style that mashes up references to Warhol superstar Baby Jane Wolzer, Studebaker cars and the cigarette brand of the title. You can see it on my site here with other personal work.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Here's my second sci-fi contribution to Focus Magazine's Into The Future column. This month's topic, Artificial Intelligence, gave me a chance to try out a female cyborg inspired by designs from Spielberg's film and a classic cover for William Gibson's Burning Chrome by artist Chris Moore. You can also see the Into The Future illustrations in more detail on my site here.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

I was recently commissioned by the good folks at Premm Design again, whom I worked with on three years of successful BBC Proms illustrations, to create an illustration for the opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford this coming Saturday April 5th. To get a feel for the park I donned a hard hat for a site visit during construction and took a load of research snaps before tackling the brief. The illustration had to convey a sense of the iconic architecture, public spaces, waterways and array of activities available in a simple and effective way all rendered in the eye-catching brand colours. The image had to work for various for print formats, landscape and portrait, and I also animated the illustration for some short moving ads that can be seen at Westfield and on those tubes of London. You can also see more on the site here. Now I just need to go and have a little lie down in it.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

This Machine Never Forgets A Face

Here's an editorial for American Way magazine on the state of today's facial recognition technology that uses data points to analyse your features and match you to a database for identification. I could do with this in the mirror most mornings.

Monday, 31 March 2014

How To Keep A Secret

I recently worked on another cover illustration for Nature Journal, following a previous cover commission celebrating Alan Turing at 100. The brief was to interpret an article looking at how to successfully encrypt messages with quantum cryptography, randomness and cunning. It was quite a densely scientific text so I concocted this image that suggested the main themes with a simple composition based around a lock shape, rendered in a 'quantumy' fashion, that's a word right? Art Director Kelly Krause put together a great cover design and explains the key decisions behind it here. You can see previous work for Nature on the site here.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Into The Future

I've been commissioned to work on a regular column in Focus Magazine called Into The Future by Stephen Baxter for a few months. This is the first illustration for a piece on Elysium-like space stations (beautifully designed in that film by Syd Mead) and how they might be used in the future. Very happy to be able to geek-out on my teenage sci-fi/fantasy art aspirations. You can see it larger on the site here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Raisin Redux

Here's a little editorial piece for an Atlanta Magazine look at the Broadway revival of the Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin In The Sun starring Denzel Washington. It's about a 50s black family's experiences in Chicago as they attempt to move to an all white neighbourhood. I based the illustration on this great first edition cover illustration for the play.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Boon For The Future

Here's an illustration for San Antonio Magazine on the current Texan boom in gas and oil and it's repercussions on the area. Enjoyed working with the reduced palette on this one and really like the clean layout design.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Circuit Tree

Here's a chunky editorial job for Dialogue magazine based on the concept of analysing big data. We ran with a tree/leaf metaphor to represent the information growth and gathering for the cover, spread and spot illustrations. It was all nicely put together by designer Laura Hawkins. You can see more on the site here.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Russia Traveller Briefing

With Russia recently being laid bare across the world's media for many reasons, positive and negative, The Economist saw fit to release a Russia Traveller Briefing App. I was commissioned to design four illustrations for the cover and subsections consisting of Curated, Archive and Intelligence Unit articles. I enjoyed mixing up imagery from the old Soviet Union and modern Russia in a palette derived from those era's flag colours. See more detail on the site here.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Watching With Friends

I recently worked on this enjoyable commission for social TV analytics provider SecondSync. They wanted some illustrations to spruce up a white paper announcing their groundbreaking partnership with Facebook, Watching With Friends. I designed a cover and six spot illustrations based on the social media analysis of TV viewing habits including ratings, demographics and methodology. The limited colour palette was refreshing to use and it was a challenge to suggest Facebook without using any of their actual branding. Once done they were transferred to the very capable hands of designer Ben Carruthers for the finished white paper.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mars Evacuees

Here's a cool commission I've been waiting to shout about for a while. It's a cover illustration for a forthcoming sci-fi novel called Mars Evacuees by Sophia Mcdougall. She's written a great, and very flattering, post about the anticipation of seeing cover illustrations for her books for the first time. It was a real pleasure to work on so I'm glad it went down well and Egmont gave the finished cover a glorious shine. You can see more on my website here. I was also asked to write a little about the process of creating the image, so here it is...

It was really exciting news when I was asked to design the cover of Mars Evacuees as I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut and find the genre instantly inspiring. My first instinct was to make the illustration relatively simple, colourful and eye-catching as those are the covers I tend to respond to. After digesting the brief I had a strong mental image of what I wanted and set about designing my initial draft illustration in Photoshop. I worked up the red planet and background digitally using unusual textures I'd photographed and collected, including images of peeling paint from the sides of old boats! I then designed the main characters as stylised silhouettes, I prefer this approach as the reader can create the character's faces in their own mind. I found the cyber-goldfish guardian character particularly fascinating and made it a major part of the design. The first rough was sent over, as well as a version with a hand drawn type treatment. The illustration minus the type was quickly approved, which is always a relief, and with a few tweaks the cover was finalised. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and owe a big thanks to Sophia and Egmont for getting me involved.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Are You Mad?

Here's a Rorschachian illustration spread for a Focus Magazine article asking the big question Are You Mad?. The madness continued in animation form for the iPad edition. You can see the final layout on the site here.

Well, are you?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Saints Ives And Foy

Christmas and New Year seem like donkey's yonks away now but here are a few snaps to help myself recall shenanigans of the distant past a few weeks ago. As has become a personal tradition my wife and I decamped to wonderful St. Ives in Cornwall for a relaxing bit of Chrimbo-on-sea and that really is gift enough, along with some socks. As soon as 2014 hit I fled to the mountains of Sainte Foy in France for a cracking snowboarding trip in celebration of my old mucker Linguistine's 40th birthday. Had an enjoyable stay with The White Room and took a couple of daytrips out to explore Tignes, Val d'Isere and Les Arcs. Smoshing.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Post-Traumatic Growth

Here are three double page spread illustrations for Live Happy magazine in the States. The feature looks at the science of Post-Traumatic Growth and how individuals can find strength after personal tragedy. You can see the full layouts on the site here.

Friday, 17 January 2014


We're a couple of weeks into this 2014 lark but I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year anyway. Here's hoping for a good one. First up this year is an illustration for Pacific Standard magazine feature called 'Inconclusive Results' that looks at the contribution that data analysis whizz-kids made to Obama's successful 2012 campaign. You can see the nicely designed layout on my site here.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Lapland Games

Here's a Christmas Knit pattern design for agency Cai and Kyn's HoHoHo Journal of Christmas Creativity and upcoming exhibition at Breese Little Gallery from 17th December. It was quite a fun challenge coming up with something simple enough to work well with the knit template, akin to pixel art really. I chose to stand on the shoulders of the Atari giants and reworked the graphics from the 80's Winter Games with speed skating Santa and conniving elf. See larger images on the site here.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Baltimore Tetris

Here's a recent cover editorial for the The Baltimore Sun (as seen in The Wire!) for their annual look at the Top 100 Workplaces in the city. The building blocks of the brief were to reference the arcade classic Tetris, work in the Baltimore skyline and give the image a metallic awards-y sheen. It all pieced together quite nicely in the end. See a larger detail on the website here.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Camber via Venice

Here are a few pics from recent escapades taken from the canals of Venice to the chalets of Pontin's, Camber Sands. In October we spent a lovely week in Italy getting agreeably lost in the stunning maze of hustling alleys and bustling waterways that make up Venice before moving on to the relative calm of Lake Garda in Sirmione and Desenzano. Naturally we were forced to consume many amazing pasta dishes and copious Negronis for our sins.

In November it was the End Of An Era for All Tomorrow's Parties British holiday camp music festivals. The last ever two of which were held at Pontin's, Camber Sands over consecutive weekends and we attended both for the craic. As usual there was a great, eclectic mix of bands and ATP stalwarts including Mogwai, Shellac, Television, Loop, Haxan Cloak and Har Mar. The last night saw attendees wearing black tie evening dress to commemorate. Adios Pontin's!