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.
My new mailers have arrived! A big thanks to Steve over at inky solutions for sorting out the printing of these, a really great job. I did a couple of new illustrations for this and tweaked some old ones – Endangered Invertebrates on one side and some animals I love(jellyfish, hammerhead sharks, King of Saxony bird of Paradise and a Golden Frog) on the back along with my all time hero - Sir David Attenborough.
Here are some close ups:
I've just been in the Los Angeles retro game gallery iam8bit's 10th Anniversary show. Jon asked me to create a new artwork for the show which being the gallery's 10th anniversary was going to be based on the classic subject of retro games. After much deliberation and discussion, I decided on making a piece inspired by Nintendo's Metroid. This is how I always imagined Samus's helmet should fit on (in a crazy robotic dressing machine style!) lots of swooshing, clicking and electro fusing! It made my brain hurt a little bit to work out how it could come apart but around Samus, but I think it would fit together (pretty much)!
Anyway the gallery opening looked like a lot of fun, and it's now available to buy from the webstore – 18 x 24 inch Giclée limited edition of 30 prints, so get them while they're hot.
Here are some close ups:
I came back from holiday to find this, what a great birthday present! I'm on page 59 of Lürzer's Archive's 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 14/15. I'm not usually one to blow my own trumpet, but it's nice to think that from some 5,100 submissions my piece Yakuza Games was selected by the jury to be included.
For those of you who don't know about Lürzer's Archive publishes jury selected collections of the best work in illustration, advertising, photography and specials editions for categories like packaging design and automotive ads, and have been doing so since the 80's. I was really happy to be approached to submit for the 14/15 edition of the 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide, and even happier a few months later to hear that one of my pieces had been selected.
What started as a bit of fun for an image of paper scissors stone, has become my new favourite illustration! I knew the game had come from China but never realised how popular it is in Japan, which gave me a whole new tangent of ideas to bring into the piece. Sansukumi-ken (three-way deadlock), Yakuza gambling and yubitsume – the possibilities were endless …ish! It also gave me a chance to play with my love of Japanese textile print and tattoos too – a bit of contemporary illustration in a Japanese style. Jankenpon!
I am so happy to have this piece selected by Lürzer's Archive, and be in such good company amongst the 200 best illustrators worldwide today. There are some great artists up there so have a look on their website to see the whole list.
Here are some close ups:
That time of year has arrived when Dark Star set about letting all you hop heads know what their line up for next year is going to be. Once again I was invited to create the Tasting Notes, with this years theme being Leonardo Da Vinci!
Here's my hand drawn (and some Wacom drawn) offering. Each quarter there is a new A6 insert containing the upcoming monthly specials. I even managed to get them to emboss the wax seal so it's all nice and touchy feely!