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
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
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Hey 2016-ers! My calendars have all flown the nest now, and to those of you who have turned yours over today to see the leaning typography of February, ben arrivata! (& sorry about the lady's grey face.) As promised I have made this month's artwork available as a desktop background in wide screen (1440 x 900) and full screen (1600 x 1200). Have a fabulously illustrated month and sign up to my Byng Bulletin if you want to know what's up.
Sunday, 31 January 2016
3 weeks ago today one of my creative heroes, David Bowie, passed away. I stared blankly at my phone screen in bed on monday morning - crestfallen - in stark contrast to 8th January 2013 when I woke up to find the world talking about his 66th birthday due to the announcement of his first album in 10 years. I guess the news was a hard pill to swallow because true heroes are infinite (not just for one day) and his supernatural properties of reinvention and constant innovation had allowed me to forget that behind all the majesty beat a human heart.
This image is of what Bowie was up to when he was my age (find out yours at supbowie.com) putting the finishing touches to the look of his character "Ziggy Stardust". Like me, he loved a pattern, and I think looking at Bowie's time on Earth as a pretty fascinating, vibrant, otherworldly dude, can teach us a lot. Here's what I've learnt: