Who doesn’t love Red Bull sports? As a keen mountain bike trail rider I really enjoy all the media they put out and none more so than the Red Bull Hardline mountain bike event.
For those who haven’t seen the event I suggest you check it out. Think Welsh mist drifting across a huge downhill run, jumps the size of double-decker buses, drops across roads and rock gardens, all to the sound track of chainsaws! The event was held in Wales this year and the course was designed and built by Dan Atherton and his team. There were some brutal jumps and drops and the north Wales weather kept everyone on their toes. The size of the jumps were insane only matched by the skills of the riders.
Craig Evans won the event with a ridiculously quick run. Followed closely by Bernard Kerr and course designer Dan Atherton in third place. All the riders deserve props but there can only be one winner, so it’s Craig that I’ve illustrated on his Santa Cruz v10. Craig rides in black and green but for this I wanted to reflect Red Bull’s event as well so I went with their infamous blue, yellow and red.
The Type for this had to be BIG and BOLD it’s shouting out over the din of the chainsaws and it’s coming straight for you!
I wanted to illustrate the speed that these guys are travelling at but at the same time didn’t want to blur anything out so I’ve gone for a super sharp stop frame. Adding the dust, grit and gravel kicking up and drifting off the rider really helps with the effect of it being a single instance captured in the moment.
Here are some details…
This is an illustration I’ve had in my mind for years – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Being both a book and a movie, and a movie again it is a story that has been imagined and re-imagined so many times. I wanted to see what my representation of it would be, so whilst based on Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth, I wanted to take it further and create a new version of her with my style.
It was really about the tattoo, so that was where I started. I first remember drawing dragons like this as child, it’s obviously from all the Chinese dragons I’d seen growing up and especially every year in china town. I think my first proper ones though were a giant silk wall hanging I painted for my uncle in Singapore when I was bout 12. To be honest the design of the dragon hasn’t changed much over the years although this is much more aggressive in it’s posture and expression – a proper bad ass. It’s also a whole lot more detailed and I can draw scales a bit better now, all in all I’d say it’s a lot better than my 12 year-old self’s attempt – as you’d hope!
Whilst it took a long time drawing Lisbeth and her tattoo, I spent almost as much time on the lettering as I did on the rest of the drawing. I really wanted to make the typography an integral part of the illustration, not just an addition slapped on at the end. So various incarnations of the smoke and how it became the lettering as well as under and over ‘punking’ the letter forms until I felt it was the perfect balance!
As usual it’s the little additions of the lighting that really make it come to life and make the colours work.
Check out some details below and if you’d like to see a video of the tattoo check out my instagram here
I’ve been really enjoying creating alternative movie posters for the likes of Kong: Skull Island and Baby Driver. They’ve been so well received by both the studios, directors and fans, it’s hard to believe!
This one is less of an alternative movie poster and more of a piece of fan art. I also enjoyed playing around with creating a very basic clip of the different images I used to create it. I decided that as I wanted to explore the image and characters fully I’d fully illustrate both and make their main facial features align. This way I could use both separately or together. It seemed like the best way to represent them as two leaders who are both mirroring each other as leaders and visionaries for their respective groups. Saying that Woody Harrelson does a great depiction of the Colonel with a certain madness in his eyes!
It was challenging to get Caesar and Woody Harrelson to look right and correlate, but I think that the effect is worth it. It was also interesting working in such a dark colour way.
Here are a few shots…
It is so great to see that Edgar Wright has chosen to use illustration for the official promotional art for Baby Driver. So I am super excited to see that Edgar Wright, Working Title and Sony Pictures working with PosterSpy on this creative brief for alternative posters.
It was a big challenge as I really wanted to create something that captured the essence of the movie. At the same time I wanted to create something different from the official art. I love the Baby Driver official art and would have gone down a very similar route if I hadn’t already seen it. It’s so well put together and versatile with the different elements, that I really think it’s pretty much perfect. So my one major concern was to make it different enough from all the other posters being produced.
The film is so punchy and stylish I had to really pare down what I wanted to represent. There were so many options, but I finally went with Baby’s sunglasses as the device to bring together all the characters. Then replacing the toy car with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT used in the escape car chase came as a natural way of bringing in the story.
There is a lot of attention from the studios, cast and Edgar Wright himself, and I was super star struck when I saw that he had retweeted my poster. It’s great to see how many people engaged with it and were really digging it. The film itself is receiving nothing short of stellar reviews across the board, and deservedly so!
Baby Driver’s soundtrack on it’s own is immense. Combined with Edgar’s trademark punctuated style and amazing cast’s performances it really is the complete package. It was great to be a part of another stand out collection from PosterSpy. With over 180 entries, it’ll be interesting to see how Edgar, Jack and the team make their decision as to the overall winner.
I’m a runner up! Although I would have loved to have won the competition, it’s amazing to know that Edgar Wright chose it himself. Big props that he got so involved and for actually judging the posters himself, there are so many amazing entries so it’s great to have been picked out.
Another Editorial piece this time for finance and economics magazine RISK. Briefed quite strictly to mirror a classic Soviet feel-good propaganda poster but with Quants in place of the farmers, looking to the future with purpose and fortitude. Representing the movement of quants from the back rooms and basements into the front offices and client facing positions.
Here are some shots
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
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.
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.
Here’s my illustration for the cover of POLITICO. The article was an editorial questioning the way Hungarian politicians in Brussels are viewed by their compatriots in the European Commission, and the effect of their outspoken Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s hardline views on the EU’s open border policies.
I wanted to put across the feeling of discord and isolation as not everything in the Union is in unison. There is an unease amongst the representatives in the European Parliament. Is it getting harder to ignore the different ways in which each country wants the Union to work and whether certain countries are being ostracised for what the politicians back home are saying and doing?
It will be interesting to see how the article is received in Budapest and Brussels and if this editorial has a prophetic narrative for the future of the European Union.
As you know, I love to draw animals! So I was really happy when BBC's Wildlife Magazine got in touch at the end of last year and asked me to do some illustrations to accompany a feature on conservation.
The essay was about how it's not always best to cordon of huge tracts of land and call them reserves or parks, as often this has seen an increase in poaching and deforestation, due to the lack of funding for the protection needed. Also what of the indigenous people that are forced off of their own land – some statistics show that often these very people are the best at protecting the land that they hold dear.
Obviously it is a really hard topic to discuss and there is no hard and fast answer for all instances, and I didn't want to take anything away from the park rangers who do an amazing job to protect wildlife. For the first illustration, a full plate I decided to do an amazon habitat with a Kayapo tribesman acting as guardian of his piece of jungle, surrounded by relevant wildlife – at the bottom an arapaima which has faced real problems from over fishing, a threat that is still being dealt with through education of the local inhabitants. Next is the quintessential icon of the amazon, the jaguar, and at the top a real success story, the Red Siskin, after a new colony was found after being feared to be on the brink of extinction.
For the second illustration I wanted to show the rangers of the African National Parks, who put their lives on the line every day in defence of wildlife. Although they are doing all they can, they cannot be everywhere at once, and often this can mean that whilst one thing is being protected, others are not, which is why it's so hard to get a definitive solution. I wanted to show this with poachers fires behind the rangers back.
Finally I wanted a bit of lightness so I drew a cute asian elephant, based on some pictures I took in Borneo, although I had to edit it a bit so that it wasn't a pygmy elephant! It featured in the January 2016 issue of Wildlife Magazine.
Here are all the illustrations and some detail shots: