Here's an illustration for business magazine Euromoney. It was briefed as a celebration that no one turned up to, showing a depressed Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank. I went with a pared down colour scheme highlighting the key features. The story was originally planned as a cover, which is why I've left spaces for the masthead and secondary headlines, but at the last minute the Euromoney went with a different cover story, which was a bit disappointing, but that's the way with current affairs ediorials, there's always next issue!
Here are some shots
At the end of last month I was approached by Closer Artists to help out with some urgent artwork they needed for Irit – an amazing singer who was releasing a new album and embarking on a tour.
Originally from Haifa, Irit grew up on a diet of jazz, classical, radio pop and the amazing rhythms of Ladino and in 2013 she released an album of jazz standards reinterpreted, winning critical acclaim and allowing her to tour Europe for the first time.
Whilst in London she met Jonathan Quarmby, fresh from producing the Mercury winning Benjamin Clementine album, and the two set to work crafting an album of 12 rhythmic, bright, colourful pop-influenced songs. I would call it up-tempo summer-time jazz with a latin underscore – and fits very well with Caro Emerald who she supporting on her current tour.
The album ‘Hello’ is driven by accordion, Latin guitar, trumpets and Irit’s effortless vocals. It’s an album that will sit comfortably between Astrid Gilberto, Beuna Vista Social Club and Christine and The Queens, be prepared to to be won over and say “hello” to Irit! She will also be in Brighton on the 14th April when Caro Emerald plays at the Brighton Centre.
My Kong Skull Island poster has been selected by Poster Spy and Legendary Pictures to feature in the Tribe of Kong Art show in New York's Bottleneck Gallery! I am so excited to have been selected from over 220 entries to exhibit along side artists from great collectives Mondo, Poster Posse, Poster Spy as well as the official movie art.
In celebration of the return of Kong in Kong Skull Island, Warner Bros. and Legendary curated a series of Kong tribute art that was showcased in a limited engagement gallery at the Bottleneck Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In addition to original concept art and key art from the film, the gallery featured original pieces from artists around the world commissioned by Poster Spy, Poster Posse, Mondo and Bottleneck Gallery.
It's great that the heads over at Legendary were involved in what was apparently an incredibly rigorous process to whittle it down to a final 10 prints from Poster Spy and really adds a lot of prestige to the whole show. The Tribe of Kong art show was a great exhibition with art from some of the greatest artists currently out there. It looks like it was a great show and I wish I could have seen it in the flesh and met with some of the other great artists that took part.
Here are some awesome photos but check out Legendary's post here.
This is my alternative movie poster for the upcoming release of Kong Skull Island which sees it's UK premier tonight. It's part of a creative brief by Poster Spy and movie company Legendary Pictures to accompany the cinematic release of Kong Skull Island. It was selected by Poster Spy and Legendary Pictures to feature in the Tribe of Kong Art show in New York's Bottleneck Gallery with artist collectives Mondo, Poster Posse and Poster Spy.
After watching the trailers a lot, I wanted my poster to show Kong as a powerful, menacing force of nature, who's not the aggressor, but will not hesitate to defend the island. I really wanted to get across the feeling of the calm before the impending storm. Inspired by several great shots from the trailer, I decided to show a representation of Kong as Part of the island itself, literally making him a mountain for the poster – Massive, solid and immovable, at least until the uninvited visitors disturb the peace, which I think the birds taking flight gives a little nod too.
So much of the trailer is him fighting, smashing and generally going crazy, but I felt that with it being an alternative poster I really wanted to concentrate on the island before the film starts which is why I moved the perspective away from the skull crawlers, and the invading humans and tried to almost give it a meditative feeling.
Taking loads of reference of kong, gorillas and tropical islands, it was a real challenge to find the balance of showing Kong as a mountain without him looking just like either an oversized gorilla or a cliff-face. I also didn’t want to make the other monsters centre stage, but I couldn’t resist having a spider in there.
Here are some details
Lady Death – ensnaring you with voodoo, beguiling you with her enchanting sweet poison and if all else fails she has the bite of a viper, death comes for us all. The final print in the Folklore series for the time being.
I was inspired to do this piece after hearing Valerie June on the radio and then googling her and finding that she has possibly the most incredible hair I've ever seen. It's so cool I had to try and draw it – and this lended itself to my idea for a Lady Death illustration that I had in mind. It changed quite a lot along the way, originally it was going to be much more disgusting with rot and maggots, worms and centipedes in the hair – all things of death, but after coming across Valerie's dreads I decided to take it in a much cleaner snake like direction. Not quite medusa, this lady kills you with kindness, bringing death with a sweet embrace, before you know it, it's too late.
Here are some close ups
Royalty, dominant and vital, she's unique in her hive, her perfume bewitching admirers who swarm around her, she's the Queen. (Bee)
Continuing my folklore series of prints, here's Queen Bee. The spirit of the hive she reigns with her pheromones which control the drones and worker bees to feed, care and mate. Until, that is her purpose is fulfilled and she is replaced by a younger more reproductive female.
This one has a bit of a message behind it – I am very interested in conservation issues and so like a few of my illustrations has another point of inspiration. Bees are essential to the survival of our planet and faced with so many challenges it is more important than ever that they are encouraged and protected. The Varroa destructor parasitic mite is destroying colonies across the globe. That along with the threats faced by bees from the increasingly unpredictable weather systems and habitat loss causing an alarming rate of Colony Collapse Disorder. Many native and wild bee species are more specialist when it comes to which plants they can feed from and so are really feeling the effect of habitat loss, with many species in decline or even disappearing all together.
Here are some close ups
Here's my illustrated portrait for the cover of POLITICO. It depicts Pierre Sellal, France's veteran ambassador to the European Union. The piece is a dedicated appraisal of Sellal – a top diplomat that France has relied on to keep everything operating smoothly within the EU. He is the man in the know and has for many years been the go to guy for french politicians who needed help with a European issue. He is however approaching retirement and the question is when he does stand down, what kind of ambassador will France put in his place? It would be hard to replace a like for like diplomat, or would a more modern representative than Sellal be better for a European Union that finds itself trying it's best to hold together, whilst so many would tear it apart.
I suggested that we depict Sellal in a very strong light wrapped in the Tricolor and what better way to show reverence to the great protector of France than in a statuesque pose set within a stained glass window? Inspired by many visits to Carcassonne in the past I felt that would be a great way to pay homage to the career of a man dedicated to his protection of France.
The use of stained glass also gave me the opportunity to seamlessly put in the french references that tie it all together.
Leaves turn and start to fall, the light gets warm and low, as cold winds start to blow, nature prepares for the finalé of another year, Autumn is here.
This is the first in my folklore series of prints, inspired by spirits, superstitions and myths – stories of wisps in the forest and the queen of the bees. This one tells the tale of Autumn's Song, changing the season and moving the year to it's end, with a chill in the air the wild world prepares to face the harsh winter that approaches.
It was really nice to hear BBC 6Music's Mary Anne Hobbs mention it on her show one weekend – she called it a gorgeous, absolutely exquisite illustration! Thanks Mary Anne.
This will be available as a limited run giclée print when I finish setting up my web store. Check back soon or follow me on twitter/instagram to be updated as to when it's available. In the mean time here are some detail shots...
When the film adaptation of J. G. Ballard's High-Rise came out I was really keen to do an alternate book cover. It can be challenging to decide on a visual style and look for something that has been adapted onto screen because there are obvious influences that will be different from the original book – but in this case I wanted it to reflect both and to be as much a High Rise movie poster as a book cover.
Having studied architecture at university I have a bit of a soft spot for the brutalist architecture of the 50s and 60s. With this in mind I made this image more of a blueprint or architect's visualisation than a photographic reproduction. It's still very detailed – the high rise itself is stark and imposing but with a much looser graphic flow to the city which almost fades into a cubist pattern.
I wanted the title to accentuate the perspective adding to the feeling of height and power.