Today marks the 10th anniversary of my first working day as a full time freelance illustrator. Below are 10 jobs from each of the last 10 years, commissioned by clients who i feel took a greater leap of faith in employing me than the general leap of faith usually taken when employing an illustrator. Before most of the jobs below i'd had little or no experience of anything similar. Some clients have great vision and trust in an illustrator and in turn the forward thinking of the clients who commissioned the work below has helped push my work in new directions and opened up new ways of thinking about the application of my work.
A heartfelt thanks for keeping the faith and lighting the way.
Promo video and album artwork for Leilas 'Sodastream' EP on XL recordings
My first job after quiting the record shop i worked in was making a promo video for Leila's Sodastream EP. I was pretty clueless about the process but was guided through by a good production team and some patient animators. Leila pushed XL with packaging and managed to produce a CD gatefold digipack with stickers and a 12" EP, all with a lush matt coating. Sodastream on youtube
Kid Koala for Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser editor Paul Bradshaw set up a few hours for me with Kid Koala before his gig with Coldcut at London's Shepherds Bush Empire. A cartoonist himself, the piece took the form of a cartoon strip using dialogue from one of his LP tracks, accompanied by a portrait made after sketching during the afternoon.
Chatterbooks sticker sheet and members pack
Chatterbooks was the first UK wide reading initiative and was aimed at getting 5 -12 year olds involved in reading groups in schools and libraries. The packs contained reading diaries, stickers, pencils, book marks, games, and posters, and came in a chatterbooks rucksack. They were given away free to chatterbooks members. The chatterbooks project still continues and i was recently re-commissioned for the refresh which launches next month.
front/back cover and 3 dps for Beyouk
French fashion label Beyouk commissioned a series of images to accompany a photo story of a parisian girls adventrures through Europe for their spring/summer 2002 collection promo. Any scenes shown of her outside paris were illustrated. That's illustration getting one over on photgraphy.
PierLuigi Collina, Darren Clarke, Chris Eubank, Tim henman, & Murray Walker
I was invited by the UK's Guardian newspaper to do a trial caricature of Italian referee PierLuigi Collina for a new monthly slot in their Observer Sport Monthly. I was offered the slot which ran for nearly 4 years. The slot was on the back page of the magazine and most of the big sports stars that made it into the mag tended to get a spot closer to the front. Some of the highlights were doing boxers Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Eubank, and tennis's Tim Henman who all made it over to the back pages.
Spanish fashion label Custo Barcelona emailed me after seeing my work in an interview i'd done for a book in Taiwan. They had printed the wrong email address, one i'd cancelled a few months before the book was published. By chance i saw the interview, checked the old email address and the service provider had forgotten to delete my account. I contacted Custo and we've been working together every season for the last 4 years. Custo uses illustration in a way that pushes the image so far into the fabric that the garments become wearable illustration. Seeing artwork used in this way changed my outlook completely on the application of illustration.
Budweiser Select and Flavorpill teamed up for the selectflavor project and i was given the halloween theme. As well as working with the odd formats for the banners there were a series of flash animated banners and desktop wallpaper. My first flash and web only work.
Penguin commissioed the cover for 'It Happened One Knife' pulling out of my work something a little more atomospheric and mysterious.
Barbie by Tookata People spring/summer 2009 collection selection
For this project i was invited by Tookata People and Mattel to present my interpretation of the original 1959 Barbie for her 50th anniversary year this year. The designs were applied to leather accessories, apparel, and Jewellery. The print quality on leather is amazing, and after working on the images zoomed in on photoshop screen resolution at 300%, seeing the designs super miniaturized and sunk into rings and earrings was nuts.