Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Raleigh international charity gig poster.

In September this year one of my best friends Jon will be going on an expedition to India to lend a helping hand to the charity Raleigh International.

For this trip Jon needs to raise nearly £2000 in sponsorship money, this may not seem like a great deal to some, however his flight and transport to the airport has to be paid for by himself.

To help raise funds and awareness he has embarked on a journey starting from Plymouth to Truro, walking along the coastal path and entertaining passersby with music provided by himself and two friends.
Along the way, whilst passing through towns and villages they are hoping to entertain in pubs and bars to raise extra money and gain a little warmth in the evening!

Following the walk to Truro, Jon will then be hosting a fundraising gig at The Voodoo lounge in Plymouth, with local bands and raffle prizes from well known companies this should help boost funds and also promote local talent.

Having known Jon for over 11 years I know that he'll do a great job in India, I was really pleased when he asked me to design his gig poster for him, its given me a chance to work to a deadline, help out a good cause and also keep on top of my photoshop and illustrator skills.

So this is it :)
Its not too fancy as we only had a few days to finish it, but i'm quite happy with it and may take it upon myself to try out a few more designs and see how they come out.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Allan Ahlberg

So I have finally decided which children's poem to base my illustrations around, i'm not sure if everyone has heard it but here it is:

Bedtime by Allan Ahlberg.

When I go upstairs to bed,
I usually give a loud cough.
This is to scare The Monster off.

When I come to my room,
I usually slam the door right back.
This is to squash The Man in Black
Who sometimes hides there.

Nor do I walk to the bed,
But usually run and jump instead.
This is to stop the hand -
Which is there all night -
From grabbing my ankles.

I chose this poem for a number of reasons.
It is short and concise, has no specific descriptions so the reader can interpret their own characters, it has suspense running through the whole poem and it also plays on the childhood fear of monsters and ghouls lurking in the bedroom at night.

This works quite well with what I want to portray in my illustrations, a dark and grim nightmare atmosphere made possible by digital manipulation.

I have had a few different approaches floating around in my head recently but none that were really worthwhile putting down on paper, however these past few evenings have been a great flurry of inspiration and creativity.
Working in a bookshop is a fantastic help when looking for different styles of illustration for children's books, it was while I was browsing the kids books (and doing work I may add) that a realisation came to me, kids books don't need to be overly complicated and detailed, the books and pictures that work the best are colourful, bold and simple.

Now, my illustrations don't exactly follow all these rules, to get the right effect for the poem I have to be careful with what colours to use, the whole poem is set at night time so it has to be dark and gloomy and strike a sense of fear into the viewer.

So far I have used black inks and water to get the outline for my pictures, my next step is to scan the into photoshop and but some backgrounds and subtle light into them. I have photographed some different images to use as textures and with the help of my lecturers hope to get a nice effect.

Here are my initial drawings:

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Free workshops in college are great, even better when they're open to the general public.
My sister (Rox) and i went to a felting workshop at PCA today expecting there to be loads of people taking advantage of the free fun and an opportunity to do something that you'd never usually think about doing, to our surprise there was only myself, rox and two young children.
Regardless this kinda meant that we had a bit more attention and time to learn new things, the lady who was doing the workshop was in her last year of an applied arts degree at the univeristy of plymouth and had brought along with her some great felt bags, brooches and wristbands.

We were shown how to make wristbands and also some flower brooches, i made three brooches, two for myself and one as a gift for my friend.

The great thing about this craft is that the results are always different, and sometimes the mistakes you make can have a really effective outcome.

Here are my felt brooches, im really happy with the orange one as i was going for an Autmnal combination of colours and the shape that came out was similar to a leaf.

Here are Rox's creations, two brooches and a flat piece which will be framed.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Specialist Personal Investigation.

For my most recent assignment at college i have the opportunity to create my own brief, this has really excited me... i have all the creative input and can say exactly what i want to do!

After a bit of consideration i have decided to do a series of illustrations for a children's picture book, there are a number of avenues that i can follow, watercolours, acrylics, inks and pencil...but to make it difficult for myself and to push my abilities i have decided to do a bit of 'mixed media' incorporating my own drawings with digital manipulation (photoshop and illustrator) although i'm becoming more adept with these programmes i'm still not totally familiar with them.

To make things a bit more tricky, my story has no words, I wanted to create something that would appeal to all ages and reading levels of children whilst also making it accessible to children in other countries.

There are a number of illustrators that i am looking at, some for their techniques and others for the fact that they have produced successful wordless stories.

Dave Mckean:

Dave Mckean is one of my favourite illustrators, as well as doing a number of collaborations with one of my favourite authors Neil Gaiman, he has also done some great work of his own, his graphic novels are a unique blend of digital and autographic whilst also conveying a dark and atmospheric outcome.

He uses photoshop for his illustrations, incorporating photographs and textures into his drawings and layouts.
His layouts are brilliant and his use of hand drawn typography gives his children's books a sense of innocence and naivety

Raymond Briggs:

Ah 'The Snowman', always there at Christmas and always likely to make at least one person in your family cry.
It is also a great example of how books don't need words, the whole of the story is told with images and is a great example of how a successful story has survived for generations. it has also been made into an animation (also silent throughout with the exception of the soundtrack) and a stage show which tours every year around the country.

Raymond Briggs' illustrations are soft and easy on the eye, he uses mostly coloured pencils, from what i can gather and watercolours.

These are the two main illustrators that i will be looking at, although there are other factors that must be considered; layout, composition and use of colour.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

My obsession with the 80's classic Labyrinth

Okay well this has nothing to do with college at all, however, it was the first thing i put up here when we were asked to set our blogs up. i'm going to keep it here, coz i still love Labyrinth and i see no harm in having David Bowie on here, he may even bring me a bit of luck :)

Well for a start, the characters in Labyrinth are designed by Brian Froud who lives in the southwest and creates beautiful illustrations of Faeries and goblins, he has done a number of books, and first became popular in the 1980's with his book titled simply 'Faeries' which also had contributions from Alan Lee, an artist who is known for illustrating a number of tolkien's lord of the rings books.

As well as acting in the film David Bowie also did the majority of the soundtrack alongside the composer Trevor Jones, who also composed the music for 'Dark Crystal'

I find that i appreciate the characters and set design more than the actual story itself, the main character Sarah who is played by Jennifer Connelly is an innocent young girl who is forever stuck at home looking after her younger brother Toby (played by Toby Froud) and tormented by her stepmother.

She wishes and wishes for the goblin king to come and take her baby brother away, but when her wish comes true she finds that she cant stand by and let him become a goblin baby.

Labyrinth has a great moral to it which is simply 'be careful what you wish for'