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.
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
Here's another book cover illustration I've been working on in my series of re-imagined novel covers, The Confectioners Tale by Laura Madeleine.
I really liked the idea I had when I saw this book, it was a chance to create some really beautiful food imagery – I think this was probably partly influenced by BBC's Bake Off Creme de la Creme!
I thought about how to create a really fresh and tantalising cover that would really bring out the sweet tooth in everyone who saw it. It had to reflect the quality and craftsmanship that the artisan patisserie in the book would have created, but also nod to the story – there are a few clues on there.
Set in Paris across two time periods – the early and late 1900's, it is a tale of forbidden love and the betrayal. A mysterious clue draws Petra to uncover the secrets of her Grandfather's forbidden love, with a thrilling story divided between two very different decades.
I illustrated the title typography to fit the cover as I feel this so important. As well as doing a lot of research, mainly eating cakes and watching a lot of baking, cookery, and general foodie shows on The Food Network! This did allow me to work out how each patisserie was constructed and how the finish should look. The colour scheme, is as fresh and enticing as possible - pistachio, lime, apple, vanilla, raspberry, chocolate, cherry, rose and of course lilac macarons.
Apple Dômes, vanilla slices, rose macarons, pistachio gateau, lime tart, lilac macarons, all this talk of cake is making me hungry so I'm going to have to leave it at that!
I’ve recently been working on reworking a bunch of book covers to see what could have been if they were completely illustrated.
My first one up here is for Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist, a dangerous tale of 1920’s prohibition New York and it’s inhabitants. What starts out as a seemingly glamorous Gatsby-esque adventure unravels as the lies of the characters fall apart to reveal darkly twisting truths.
I wanted to represent as much of the feel of the story as I could without giving anything away, which is why I took the start point of the book, the 1920s typewriter, and pulled it apart with a suggestion of everything not being quite as it had at first seemed – to get behind the scenes and expose the working of it all as it were.
I had a lot of fun working out how the different types of typewriters of this period worked and how I could show enough without filling an A3 page with exploded, levers, push-rods, springs, screws and countless other components! So there I did use a bit of creative license to keep parts together to get the balance right.
As I’m sure you know I love hands so whilst I almost felt I shouldn’t go down that route it felt so right for this cover, elegant and seductive, really suggesting the entanglement and topsy-turvy nature of the story and it’s two main roles.
There’s also been talk that The Other Typist is going to be made as feature film with Kiera Knightly in one of the starring roles, so that would be interesting to see what the film posters look like when it comes out.
Here's the artwork for a new theatre production by Hungry Wolf for The Theatre Workshop. The Electra Project is the youth theatre group's piece for the Brighton Fringe and later in the year will also be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The Electra Project is a piece of theatre that alludes to a 2012 nationally publicised and controversial GCSE performance, which resulted in the sacking of two drama teachers. Drawing off this nationally publicised event and the moral conundrum it provokes, The Electra Project is based on a group of A level students devising a Greek tragedy that goes horribly wrong. The Piece, a comedy, will explore themes such as the importance of drama in schools, the boundaries that are in place and questioning whether we are still allowed to make mistakes in education. Written and Directed by Dave Jackson, NYT, ITV and Radio 4.
Check out full details of The Electra Project on The Theatre Workshop's site.
We didn't want to give too much away so I chose an image from a crucial point in the performance that will hopefully draw you into the story. As ever here are some close ups...