Category Archives: Illustration & design

Artwork. Commercial illustration, private commissions, etc.

Creating artwork to tell a story

Last week I had a great time producing artwork at a conference break out session on storytelling. Using artwork to tell a story.

Myself and three other artists were given the brief to work with  management teams from a well know international engineering company. In the space of a few hours we had to create an engaging poster, which visually communicated the story of unity and passion in the work they did. artwork storytelling.

Listening to their ideas, as the artist I couldn’t help or offer my own input,  but did perhaps steer the conversation a little to facilitate the flow of creativity and ensure that everyone in the group had input in the final artwork.

creating the artwork from the idea n the group.

There’s something very cool and rewarding working on a tight timescale in a room with other artists.  Maybe somewhat competitive, but in a really positive hands on way. No digital, no undo buttons or layers, just a large sheet of A0 board to fill with marker pens . Also great to work alongside an old mate, Scott Tyrell. A former stand up comic,accomplished poet and creative director based in Newcastle.

Big thanks to Garry at Finite Productions, and Margot & the guys at Brand + Story for putting on a great event.

Engaging storytelling through artwork
The final artwork

Public speaking training. Presenting skills workshops. Storytelling workshops.

Observational Comedy Illustration

Here’s the artwork I created for the cover of this years Last Laugh Sheffield Comedy festival, being held up by the very funny Phil Jupitus  who asked why the acts had no eyes…

I was about to tweet back with an answer when I realised I didn’t have one. Why did I draw all the acts with no eyes?  After tracing it back to 2012, or thereabouts. I remember took over from another artist on the festival who drew everyone with no eyes, so I was just continuing on the tradition.

Festival acts banner from 2012

It still didn’t feel like an excuse, so even though it’s not on the brochure I thought I’d oblige…

Can you guess who is who?

Illustration, inspiration & Design

illustration, print design, web design
I’ve been an illustrator and designer for as long as I can remember. Working with people in businesses of all sizes in all sectors, providing them with design ideas as unique as they are.

Good illustration design aids good business, providing  the confidence to present a public image with integrity and verve, and also win new customers. It’s my passion to engage people with good design across all media, whether providing an illustration commission, animation or a cross branded print  campaign with online marketing and website.

With over 18 years industry and design studio experience and a dedication to researching the latest design trends and web technology, it’s not just about creating a look and feel , but solving design problems.

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Illustration commissions.

I often get asked to do artwork to very tight deadlines, mostly to get artwork to the printers and meet submission deadlines. You might think commissioning original illustration work on a quick turnaround might sound a little crazy, but it really depends on the brief.
With a tight deadline, preparation is everything. From the concept design to final piece, it’s easy to fall into certain traps.

Illustration commission
Illustration commission

Stock photography can sometimes be a workaround, but equally, with so much choice on offer from stock websites, an hour or more can be lost sourcing images that almost-but-don’t-quite get the right message across. Also, if they then need to be approved by another person, it’s more time lost.

I started illustrating commercially back in the early 90’s, when the rise of websites demanded images. Illustration offers a greater level of flexibility than stock photography. Sketch proposals can be generated quickly, then refined to get a very specific message across.

Illustration commission
Illustration commission

Full figure drawings, detailed backgrounds and tight accurate light and tone all take time to get right, there’ no arguing that. There is no shortcut for good artwork.

Creative and resourceful thinking on the other hand, (that elusive part of the process that looks very much like sitting still and doing nothing) can really save time. Again it’s in the prep.

Check out JCU (John Cooper Unlimited) my design website.

 

Illustration commission
Illustration commission