It was a really interesting project to work on and since finishing it, I have taken a night class in traditional puppet-based stop motion animation. It's a fascinating activity but am yet to be convinced that I have the meticulous and patient approach required for such work.
Hello Friends. Happy New Year!
I'm not a big one for new year resolutions, but hopefully 2014 will see me being a better blogger than in 2013.
It's been an embarrassingly long time since my last post, so here's a very brief recap of some of what's been keeping me busy in the last year.
One of the highlights for me was seeing my biscuit tin design for Marks and Spencer hit the shelves. I've admired the great illustrated tins that the company produce every year and I was very happy to be asked. The brief was to create a map with commercial appeal that illustrated all the eccentric and quirky events that happen throughout the year in the UK.
"The Oddball Britain" title received a last minute name change before production (see below)
Sales of the tin were good over the summer, though I think a large proportion of those may have been from my friends and family We all ate our way through a lot of shortbread this year. Either way, I was very happy to be recommissioned to create a new tin for 2014 which should be in the shops in the UK in the spring.
Also in the map genre, I created a large-scale map for New York Presbyterian Hospital. The campaign by Munn-Rabot was to help promote the locations of NYPH's two childrens centres. It was a fun project and I enjoyed working in a more limited colour scheme for this one. It ran in a few newspapers and appeared on bus shelter and on mall posters around the NYC area.
Client: New York Presbyterian. Agency: Munn-Rabot
(Thank you Yuko for this photo!)
Book covers with doodles were popular this year! (Clients: Arthur A. Levine Books, Delacorte)
(Lettering for Harper Collins, Book Cover and Lettering for Oxford University Press)
Aside from work, I spend a fair bit of 2013 trying new things. I took up Kayaking and completed a beginners course on the River Thames, went snorkelling in Iceland (January!) and went outrigger canoeing in Hawaii.
I also took lots of swing dancing classes with Swing Patrol. It is something that I'ev wanted to do for many years but never really had the confidence to try. It's very much out of my usual comfort zone but its been a great way make new friends which can be difficult in a city as big as London. I even managed a few blink-and-you'll-miss it apperances on TV over Christmas (of which I will spare you.)
I finished off the year, taking a night-class in traditional stop-motion animation at a local college. I'm not quite sure what I will do with those new skills, but it's certainly something that I've found quite inspiring.
I'm glad to be back on Drawger. Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy 2014!
(Snorkelling in Iceland, Hiking at Haleakala, Filming of Len Goodman's Dance Band Days at The Rivoli Ballroom)
Aside from my lettering work, I do the occassional illustrated map. I'm sure I've bemoaned before about how map work can evoke mixed feelings in me. It's fun to research new places and find new ways to illustrate landmarks and locations.
The down-side is that it also involves a fair bit of fact checking on my part and with street-maps, a sharp pair of reading glasses (Oh, my poor computer-ravaged eyes). And, of course, there is always the fear/embarrassment of placing a city in the completely - and very obviously to everyone else- wrong part of of the map.
Luckily, I had a lot of fun working on my last map job - a Toronto map for Harry Magazine in Canada. Harry Magazine is the glossy instore magazine for Harry Rosen Inc, so my illustration will nestle beside many photos of not entirely unattractive men in super stylish clothes. Bonus.
I created a couple of roughs showing two different colour ways. What was particularly fun about this map is that it could be quite free (I employed a bit of artistic license when marking the locations) and would feature a large amount of hand lettering rather than lots of small illustrations. Happy times for me.
In the end there were only a few tweaks really. A few places were added and a couple removed. The main note was that as it was for the Spring/Summer issue the colour scheme should be bright and warm to fit with the seasons.
Here is the final illustration:
The AD here was Bob Hambly at Hambly & Woolley Inc. A total pro and great to work with.
Now why do so many people seem to loathe this day?
Among other recent lifestyle changes, I've decided to ignore the negative attitude and commercial cynicism that is attached to the 14th and am embracing the joy that is Valentine's Day.
Anyone signing up to my twitter feed today gets a free hug. (Collection only)
Happy V-day Friends! Have a good one. And remember gents, no petrol station carnations.