Saturday, 25 June 2016

Beyond Borders

Earlier this year, I created a hand-drawn postcard-sized piece for Beyond Borders, an exhibition and wider event series by The GAP Arts Project. All artworks were put up for sale to raise money to support young refugees and asylum seekers within the city of Birmingham, and this cause was my reason for submitting a work, as well as proudly exhibiting alongside my creative buddy Shaheen Kasmani.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

British Marilyn

Good evening sports fans, and welcome back to the live action replay that is the Byng Blog. I kind of feel like I'm in a blender at the moment, so I'm still hopelessly playing catch up with acknowledging, thinking on and sharing the things I've actually been doing, never mind my any larger, more unruly thoughts, ideas, dreams and visions.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Lizzy Maries

As many of you will know, the productivity paradox of having lots to do can mean you don't have a lot of time to talk about it. If you complete a project but don't blog about it, did it even happen? This is surely one of the greatest philosophical quandaries of our generation. I jest, but to me reflection and sharing go hand in hand, which is why the ceremony and processes of learning surrounding my creative moves need to be upheld.

Sunday, 3 April 2016


問候 (greetings) and welcome to April; the month of hailstones, possums and ping pong according to my calendar. Those who recently turned over Ivan Ivanovich - ping - I salute you, but for anyone following along digitally - pong - here are your desktop backgrounds as promised so you too can proudly rep some unremarkable artwork.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Drowning Not Waving

Curl up in the carcass of your sanity in order to survive the storm.
You’ll emerge, covered in blood, yet warm, and more importantly, alive.

You can tell I watched The Revenant recently, huh? In the first week of March I felt myself crashing. After a super mega driven start to the year in a new job with lots of new projects, hopes and ambitions, everything just suddenly hit me at once. Any ailment I had worsened. migraines returned, my stomach was in knots and I realised I had been behaving perpetually, just keeping going without allowing myself any time to stop, think and reflect, because there were bigger fish to fry. In reality, it was my mind that was fried, and my body was broken. And that goddamn song by My Chemical Romance kept coming into my mind as I internally screamed: I'm not okay!

I wrote the following on Friday 5th March, and having debated whether or not to share it, I think in some ways it's a responsible move to anyone else who's felt or is feeling totally done. I think we tend to think people who are seen to be getting shit done are invincible, infallible, or that they don't ever slow down. This is simply untrue, and this myth will propel us all into the centre of a black hole of sheer exhaustion, if we let it.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Wise Old Uncle

At the beginning of February the Wise Old Uncle of the South West commissioned me to draw him for use on social media and the like. I really enjoyed making the drawing, and thought I'd use it as a way of showing the processes I go through when doing a portrait, as it made myself more aware of them too. Sure, I draw the thing with pencils by lamplight, but how I present illustrations digitally has become second nature and is an increasingly important aspect of the work itself, yet something I rarely acknowledge or demonstrate. Firstly, if the drawing is bigger than A4 I only have the capacity to scan it in sections, meaning there are lots of headless illustrations in my folders.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Snapshots of Berlin

Last month I joined Laurie on a creative adventure to Berlin to visit Transmediale festival, in order to inform his current residency at Birmingham Open Media and my own investigations into wellbeing & technology with this year's thematic strands of Anxious to Act, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Share & Anxious to Secure. My second visit to the city, we stayed in an apartment near Hauptbahnhof, enjoying little trips to explore Kreuzberg and grab a burger, do a spot of vintage shopping at Humana near Alexanderplatz, and a walk through Narnia / Tiergarten.

Friday, 4 March 2016


To anyone who told me their Januarys and Februarys were a struggle, I'm sorry - but I couldn't relate until I hit a month-shaped bump in the road. That bump is March. Though I may be presently dangling, lifeless and colourfully dressed like Ivan here, I bid you, dear reader, a fair March. Take care of social media for me, I am lost in the void.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

How To Build An Ice Rink

The main series of illustrations I completed for AUB's One Piece of Advice publication was a zesty collecition to accompany an interview with The Syrup Room, entitled How To Build An Ice Rink. The design duo's pearls of wisdom included start with scrap (and neon), never say no and always pay fair. Inspired by their trips to junk yards and the straight-talking sensibility of their outlook, the series featured contemporary twists on traditional elements, building up a colourful urban world of hammers, neon lettering and beer. Above all, I wanted the illustrations to be fresh, and as the boys said, encourage people to see things differently in their environments.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

One Piece Of Advice

Before Christmas I heard from Bond & Coyne, who were putting together an alumni publication for my beloved Arts University Bournemouth, building on their One Piece of Advice series of pearls of wisdom for the next generation of creatives. As part of the first issue, I was pleased to be asked to contribute a range of illustrations, including wrapping my pencils around 10 portraits of contributors to the magazine - including Bob & Roberta Smith, Sir Peter Cook & Ann Chaisty - and 3 spot illustrations on the theme of speech.