Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Japanese Advertising from 1978

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Awesome 80's Guy

Vogue 80's Guy

Courtesy of Vogue, 1987

I found this glorious man as I thumbed through a back issue of Vogue. 

I don't know what to say. 

He makes me very happy.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Failure, Rejection and How to Move On

Failure, Rejection and How to Move On

Today with my diploma students I was discussing failure. It's a fairly meaty subject, and one that people respond to differently.

In the creative sector, we fail all the time. 

I failed at least ten times last week alone; rejection of work to blogs, (My Modern Met) a drawing mistake during a work-in-progress, (private commission) and perhaps worst of all, failure to help an old lady I saw on the street cross the road.  Seriously - her forlone image haunted me all the way home.  So much so, that I wanted to head back the way I had come in the hope that she was still there, just so that I could redeem myself. 

And so, today with my students, I asked them all to identify a moment in their lives where they believed they had failed, and invited them to share with everyone in the room how they dealt with it.

I received a variety of different answers, many varying situations; job interviews gone wrong, relationships broken apart, feeling like an inadequate parent. 

Russell and

The list went on, and on. 

The more we discussed it, and the more 'failures' we shared, it was clear that all these forays of misadventure had one thing in common; in one way or another, every one of my students had learned from the experience. 

We use failure as an important learning device everyday, whether we realise it or not. 

My rejection from My Modern Met had me panicked, and that panic, coupled with a fierce desire to prove my worth, resulted in my landing my next big job (long story!) 

A student in my class was rejected from their dream course, and then landed a coveted place at one of the best colleges in the country, through the same frenzied desire to prove himself.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I guess I'm trying to say: embrace your failures. They were probably meant to happen. Your defeat will only make you work harder, be better, and in the end, result in you becoming more awesome.

To see some of my (occasionally rejected!) work, check out my new Tumblr page! 

End : )

Monday, 11 February 2013

How I Create Black and White Illustrations

Hey guys, just thought I'd do a quick blog update on how I create my black and white London city illustrations. This one is the 453 bus route, which I got from New Cross Gate (South London) to Trafalgar Square. In this particular piece, I used an A1(841 x 594 mm) piece of tracing paper, and I began in the bottom left corner. 

453 bus route illustration London
453 Bus Route, London

So, here are at the bottom left of the page. I'm starting my journey at New Cross Gate. If you don't know London that well, New Cross is located in the South of the City. You can get to New Cross on foot pretty easily from central London, if you walk through Lambeth, down to Elephant and Castle and head down the Old Kent Road.

I'm using my pen to create a sense of texture in the line work. I like to draw so that I can feel the bricks on the walls, and the feel of the pavement. I also like to capture the light with white space in the drawing.

Bus route London study
New Cross

Next stop in the London city illustration is Elephant and Castle. I've travelled down the Old Kent Road, onto the New Kent Road off Tower Bridge Road, and now we're heading into Elephant and Castle.

I have mixed feelings in regard to Elephant. On one hand, I love it. The London College of Communication is there, and I always love visiting the students, and seeing what work they're getting up to. Plus, there is the beautiful old tube station, covered in original maroon pre-war tiles.

HOWEVER: there is also the horrific murder alley underneath the concrete roads - the pedestrian subway. If there were ever worse signage, and a more dangerous thoroughfare, I have yet to see it! (below pic)

In the sky over Elephant, there's is a dark cloud, and strong pen lines indicating heavy rain. Plus, I've added a lot of texture detailing the different kind of buildings in Elephant.

Black and white drawing
Elephant and Castle
Next stop! Lambeth!

My favourite thing in Lambeth is of course, the Imperial War Museum. Any visitors in 2013 will unfortunately be disapointed as it's currently closed for a refurb. However, it's a beautiful park to go walking in, and lovely surrounding architecture.

Plus, there's a load of these bad boys!

UK Heritage Blue Plaques

Black and White drawing study
Next we're on to Westminster Abbey, and round the houses of Parliament and onto the Mall and Horseguard's Parade (below)

From Lambeth, through Westminster and the Mall up to Trafalgar Square is one of my favourite walks. It's a little hectic on weekends, but at dusk and in the early morning, there's nothing lovelier than walking alone under the Houses of Parliament.

Almost done! For those wondering, here's the pen I used. 

A rapidograph 0.3 and 0.5

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Best Drawing Pens

After many years of constant drawing, and innumerable hours of covering paper in inky lines, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of my favourite pens for drawing.

I get so many emails asking me for advice about best materials to use for my style of drawing, so here we go! 

My top 5 drawing pens!

1) Rapidograph
A pricey investment but with these bad boys, you get what you pay for!

A radiograph set will cost you around £45. But if you look after them, they'll last you a lifetime.

 This includes 3 pens of different weights: 0.10, 0.25 and 0.5.
You also get a ruler set, and the draftsman pencil set.

TIP: CASSart in London have constant sales on these sets, so check in there first!

2) Steadler 

Cheap and trusty, they may wear out quickly however they're super fast drying, and give a true line.

Usual RRP around £6.

3) Faber Castell 


These pens are amazing - they last for a long time and they have a true line. The only slight issue is the nib tends to bend a little too easily.

But still in the top 3!
TIP: Buy online! You'll save a penny or two.

4) Artline

A while back, the lovely Artline team in Australia sent me a treasure trove of merchandise for me to get lost in for a few weeks. In the package was a set of these pens. The Artline drawing system pens are similar to the Staedler range. Cheaply priced and good quality, they are well worth a go.

In weights 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.8

5) Q-Connect

This is a fairly recent discovery for me. The Q-connect fineliner with a nib width of 0.4mm.
Hardy and resilient, it's worth a go!