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
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...
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.