Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

What a fantastic album. Truly stunning. I first heard this band a while back, not really thinking it more than just a rare treat on the radio and instantly forgetting the name. I wish I had followed up by finding them because I am absolutely blown away by their debut album. I look forward to hearing more of their music and definitely seeing them live whenever I can. 10/10.

Listen to the album here...


A Lifetime Lost

Whilst routing around for old books for some inspiration and just general things to do out of pure boredom, I found this beutiful collection of stamps from far and wide, assembled by my Dad when he was a kid and seemingly didn't have any technology/electricity. It's sad to think, that collections like this are now condemned to an "antique" pigeon hole to never be revived. Through the culture I have been brought up in, and how it's "fast food" nature has resulted in such high demand for quickness and accuracy, I can't deny that this is something I wouldn't start doing. My patience is too short. That's also why books like the one I found are so wonderful. These are just a small selection of some of the pages. They have proven to be a brilliant insight into my own design. I now see that on a large scale, things are much easier to communicate, but on the scale of a stamp, that can't be more than an inch in size, the detail and design has to be perfect. Truly amazing specimens and also a huge kick up the arse for my attention to detail. *(APOLOGIES FOR THE RUBBISH SCANS)*


City Chaos


This is another octopus I drew on the bus home from Sheffield. I've edited and finished it in photoshop. I'm really pleased with the outcome. I'm really loving my layer masks too! (Available for print upon request)


Review - Term 1

It's been a really interesting term. I feel completely at ease. I've not felt unhappy with the course at all, and certainly not since choosing my specialism.
After undertaking the Illustration pathway, I've fully realised that I've always been an Illustrator. It comes so naturally to me and I absolutely love just sitting and spilling my mind onto a page.
With the briefs we've been given, I feel that i've responded very well to each of them. The reportage drawings of figures went better than I thought and I developed my double page spread ability. With the "Dog Exercise Machine" I've created something that I really love. I'm so happy with the outcome and it's improved my ability with photoshop substantially. I'm much quicker and more accurate with the programme and this will only better my design in the future.
This improvement has given me time to do a poster for one of the guest lectures next year. Whether it will be used or not is besides the point, i'm merely commenting on the freedom i've had because i've been able to work quickly and efficiently.
I feel now that I am totally limitless. I've really hit a stride with my illustration and my imagination is flowly unhindered and constant. I'm very excited for the upcoming term. I'm even more excited about my future as an Illustrator.




I've called this poster "Proud". We had the task of creating a poster no larger than A3 to show a "Dog Exercise Machine". With my chosen breed, the Border Collie, I began designing some over extravagent designs of machines. I liked none of them. I went back to my initial thought process and figured that because the Collie is a working farm dog, I should keep it within an agricultural theme. Also, knowing first hand that Border Collies are insane and need exercise at least 5 times a day, I produced a poster reflecting a truer "machine" for exercise. I've always pictures Collies as very proud, intelligent dogs and that is exactly how I have portrayed my dog here. The style i've used is also very rustic with the technique i've applied. I still had the challenge of incorporating some montage as a requirement of the brief, but feel i've pulled it off with the cut out tractor over the hill. I'm very pleased the final outcome,  I hope everyone enjoys it also.


New Designs on the Moor

This was a collection of work displayed in the Moors Shopping precinct in Sheffield. A collection of the best work from our Observation and Communication project. Compiled by Sean Gee and myself. (Got to test our In Design skills)

As a part of the brief, we had to complete a poster. As well as displaying the best posters, the tutors chose a selection of the best sketchbook work, to demonstrate the development and design ideas/process. I think it is really important, when designing and displaying work, that the development and process is shown. It creates a deeper understanding in the audience mind and makes the work more accessible to everyone


Not quite finished yet, will definitely be completed TOMORROW - 15th December 2009

Reportage Drawings of People. (1 Week Brief)

In this one week brief we were charged with reportage illustration. We simply had to draw 25 figures over a week. Once the initial bad sketches were done, I really got into the swing of it and produce some really visually exciting pages. Here are the best ones.


The Victory Fields, Ascot

I love this tree that I drew. I think it was back home at my local park. I have recently stopped drawing in fine liner and in my moleskin because I've simply run out of pages and ink. I hope to pick it up when my mixed media paint work calms down.

Another Collection of Sketchbook Work.

This is another collection of my sketchbook work that has just magically appeared out of thin air and into one of my A2 job bags. These were the better bits. A bit rough but again there is always the opportunity to mix and match ideas and turn them into something better.


December Playlist

This is just a little 10 track play list of songs I've been on the buzz too whilst doing work and general walking to and from Uni and work.

1) Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn
- A really exciting new band. I saw them at Glastonbury after listening to just one track that I randomly found whilst on the lookout for something new. Truly fantastic and really excited to see them touring and playing at my place of work! (O2 Academy Sheffield - March)

2) Wild Beasts - Devil's Crayon
- This is quite an old one I've started listening to again. I forgot it's fantastically happy guitar riffs. A truly superb song.

3) Coldplay - We Never Change
- I really don't like how Coldplay are condemned to being "depressing". To be totally honest, sometimes, yes I agree they have a very downbeat sound, but I never feel depressed. There is something wonderfully pure about this song. It's simplicity is echoed by their ever intelligent arrangement and complimentary instrumental sound as well as some fantastic lyrics. Great song. This is a brilliant unofficial video made by a big fan of Coldplay. If I didn't know this I would have thought it was commissioned by them. Very impressed.

4) Bombay Bicycle Club - Dust on the Ground (Acoustic)
- I can not get enough of this band. They've only ever gone from strength to strength. Hardworking and exuding confidence they have made truly awe inspiring music so intelligent and beautifully arranged that they really compete with the bigger bands out there. I saw an acoustic set at the Record Collector in Sheffield and was blown away.

5) Life In Film - Carla
- I found this on YouTube through the "Watch. Listen. Tell." sessions that Bombay Bicycle Club featured on. I fell in love with it instantly. I will watch this band closely.

6) The XX - Heart Skipped A Beat
- Never have I been so impressed by a new band. I have listened to this album about 50 times since I got it about 2 weeks ago. It's not got old and I don't think it will for a very long time to come. If they don't get a Mercury Prize nomination at least I think I might cry. Too good to be true.

7) Hot Chip - And I Was A Boy From School
- Have to have an old classic in there. This is my favourite Hot Chip song. Completely individual and just the enthusiastic kick up the arse I need when I'm feeling like I can't be bothered to do any work. Everyone should be a fan and this is my favourite song! Great video too.

8) Tapes n' Tapes - Omaha
- This is a little song I like to listen to. Not particularly special, just simple, wonderful and happy. I like this band a lot and are definitely worth checking out. It's a jaunty little song and makes my head bob when I paint or are drawing things.

9) Bon Iver & St. Vincent - Roslyn
- I hate the fact that it is used in such an awful film and that the only thing that shows on screen is the poster for the awful film. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. Bon Iver are my favourite band. End of. I admit, I did shed a little bit of a tear when I saw them live for the first time on the Park Stage at Glastonbury over the summer. Purely amazing music. Beautiful and timeless. Utter Bliss. This is a collaboration of another artist I like. Shame about the film it was used for.

10) Passion Pit - Moth's Wings
- Although a little deterred by their performance at Glastonbury, Passion Pit are still a really great band. They have crafter a brilliant new album, so I look forward to seeing them live again, preferably at a venue over a festival. Lovely little chirpy happy song. Not sure if that video is genuine. Listen with your ears not your eyes!

Conversation between Friends/Designers

Just a little snippet of a conversation between me and a fellow designer. Thought it was quite appropriate to comment on the fluency and loquaciousness used by designers to illustrate their arguments and thoughts about a piece of work.



I conquered the octopus. It's head is on a plaque on my wall.


Silly Birdy

This was a piece I created for a bands EP cover. Not used through artistic differences. It really shits me up whenever a bird flies into my window. It seems to happen fortnightly at my house back home. Surely I should be expecting it? No. Never. Silly Birds. It's not a portal into another dimension! Though the possibilities of that are endless. Which leads me to think, What if I did find a gateway to another place? I'm not sure whether i'd walk through. Would you?


This is a small collection of some of my personal sketchbook work from the last 4 years. Looking back there are quite a few nice pieces that I hope to develop further when I get some time during or between briefs. ENJOY!

Obs and Comms Project (1st Year - Long Overdue)

Very long overdue. This was my Observation and Communication project from my first year. Easily I feel my most successful project when trying to find my place last year. It consisted of simply finding a piece of architecture in Sheffield and drawing it, to the produce a final poster.
I picked an old sheet mill (name unknown) opposite the Trigon halls of residence for Sheffield Hallam University. It was fantastically degraded and had so much character within its paint flaking walls and smashed windows. It was perfect for me. I felt I somewhat identified with the building throughout the whole project. Through it's rough appearance and mysterious lack of use.

"The only beautiful things, are those that do not concern us" - Oscar Wilde

Drawing many times on location and compiling a bank of photographs, I felt the building was best represented through its individual sections, smashed windows or boarded up doors than the building as a whole. I produced dry point etchings, drawings in different pens ranging from permanent to 0.2 fine line and also attempted some woodcut printing.

Frottage is something I have never enjoyed doing. I'm not totally sure why, I just don't like it. Yet, it did give me a greater sense of the feel of the building. It wasn't something I referred to whilst drawing but I felt it was necessary to consider when starting the project.

Part of the project was a "Dot. Line. Form" session that we did in the hubs. It was a good way to create different mark making techniques. Above and below are some of my better examples. Above was created with a flat drawing pin head that I dipped in India ink and dotted until i needed to reload the ink. I feel it's a very strong image and one that I will refer to a lot over the rest of my course. It's perfect for a texture brush on photoshop, or even alone by itself.

When drawing, and focusing on small parts I felt a little bit that I was purposely neglecting the building in its entirety. This page below I produced on site using watercolours and Biro. It's one of my favourite pieces I've done since being at Uni. The wash of the watercolours is beautiful and it's looseness is fully complimentary to the buildings aesthetic. I was thoroughly impressed once I had finished. I miss my watercolours - can't find them anywhere!

When dry pointing, I found beauty in the cleaning process. When wiping down my plates the excess was spilt onto some newsprint. It was beautiful. I then produced a few quick studies of the building with a white gel pen and tipex. They are very strong visually and I have now started a collection of messy ink sheets as I get more from them than the actual drawings sometimes. Also, they are wonderful for backgrounds other drawings and excellent when scanning in for digital editing.

Below is the finished poster, to be seen in the Moors Art Space next to Argos on the Moors Shopping parade (think it's still there). Sean Gee and myself had the responsibility of putting together the output through InDesign and was then installed a week later. It's a brilliant collection of work, posters and sketchbooks alike. Congratulations to everyone whose work is there.
(Re posted image below from October)


Explode In

Another painting i've just finished. Hitting a bit of a stride with these, really excited for my output. I hope you like them. All available for purchase (just suggest a price based on what you would want to pay for it)

Above is the final image. Started as layers of scrap paper and receipts, couple with layers upon layers of spray paint, ink and acrylic paint. I wanted to keep a black and white theme with this. I then began my usual experimentation within the piece to formulate a final image. It started once again, with the addition of some vertical ink lines as another city scape. As I was working within the boundary of the actual canvas area, I began to see a shaped outer edge. The result came down to produce a hand, grasping an exploding image. The rest of the imagery and workings just seemed to flow out of me. I loved how quickly this piece came out, taking only about 6 days.

These shapes are spare parts. Components making up a final machine, that has been exploded within a boundary.

This is one of my favourite sections of the piece, only actually measuring about 8 cm by 10 cm. I often forget the power of the letter stencils. I love how the outlined letters provide small windows of sections to the backing paint layers. I'm really happy with this final output.


The Mariner's Children

Saw these at Bungalows last night, supporting Peggy Sue. They're absolutely brilliant. Intelligent, well arranged and perfectly harmonised folk. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to them.
Ones to watch out for, i hope to see them on the festival circuit.

Enjoy HERE