In August last year I arrived at Penguin to start my placement after (much to my surprise) winning their design award. I hope understandbly, I was incredibly nervous – and being a natural worrying – I had over thought the terrifying jobs they might give me my first day. Instead I was greeted by the glorious visage of Stephen Fry!
For those who know me, I ashamed to say even the people who don’t know me that well, will be fully aware that I have a soft spot for Stephen. Making History, The Hippopotamus and Liar Liar are a few of my favourite books and Fry’s affiliation with all things factual, along with his encyclopaedic knowledge and self deprecating attitude towards his brain that reminds me completely of my own rather brilliant Dad mean that having his face looking up at me was extremely comforting!
I claim no responsibility for the cover design in anyway, instead it is the inner pages that I count as my crowning glory, the 4 pages of some of the finest boxes filled with colour* that I (and indesign) ever have or ever will produce.
* Although a large portion of credit should be assigned to Mr Fry’s socks for their delightful striping and colourful, yet subtle, pallete.
My boyfriend and I tend not to exchange Christmas gifts, or if we do we make them. Last year I spent a couple of months working on a gift I thought perfect for the person who sent me this for valentines day – 100% romance until you get to the word fully!
Sewing is my light relief and my family and friend suffered through a good couple of years of pillow based gifts – made from second hand material that they vaguely recognised as clothes from their past! This iPhone includes:
- detachable weather symbols – so you can always be accurate.
- a working clock (whose use was not quite thought out – with regards to the ticking)
- iPod and iPhone pockets – corresponding to the right icon
- detachable youtube stills, including the classics: “chav having leg crushed by wall after kicking it in the middle”, “slow loris being tickled” and Neil Patrick Harris mid song in “Dr. Horribles sing-a-long blog”
- when squashed the tetris icon plays the classic 8-bit tetris theme and the itunes icon plays a snippet from the ever catchy Seven Brides for Seven Brothers muscial
- and, bonus, it’s extremely cuddly – a feature Steve Jobs has yet to offer
This post takes me back to February 2009 when we had to create a promotional object – of any description – for O2, to represent it’s phrase we’re better connected. For a few months I’d been thinking about trying to get a flickbook into my project mix but hadn’t really allowed the thought process any further, to figure out how I would go about it. Because of my highly realistic, occasionally time consuming style – I often have to think ‘around’ projects to find a way to include all the intricate detail that I want but still being time effect. My ‘around’-about tool in this project was Maya.
I’d already come up with an idea for the content of the book; an Edwardian style, chauffeur driven air taxi which became infinitely better when connected to a platform carrying a juggling fish
After some online tutorials and some lessons from Harry Nesbitt I set about create some shambolic highly simplistic rectangles locked to a sphere following an animation path (for rectangle read Edwardian taxi and for sphere read as fish). I was intending to post that but in my infinite wisdom I must have deleted the file as too embarrassing, anyway after a view more weeks with the x, y’s and z’s I managed to make this:
As my maya skills at the time were not up to snuff and the time constraints on the project limited my ability to delve into proper research I allowed the connecting line and the juggling balls for the fish, to fall by the wayside and be added in at a later date in Photoshop.
After rendering the video I traced out every other scene by hand (this made about 35 frames) to scan in and then turn into a flick book. Only after completeing the drawing and colouring and scanning in did I realise that it didn’t at all have the look I wanted and I decided to created something much simpler and to some degree flatter and I though much more suited to a promotional flick book. I decided to do a 2D rendering of the same scene:
I then coloured each frame in photoshop O2 blue, smoothed the rough edges, added the juggling balls and the all important, in fact crucial, connecting line between the taxi and the fish. A video of my flickbook in action is on my website. I hope you have enjoyed my first foray into Maya as much as I did.
*looking back on it this ambition was probably heavily influenced by the Hot Fuzz flickbook, which I’m not even a little sorry to admit!
After a mere 2 years of interweb existence I feel like my blog is just about prepared to recieve it’s first post. First real post I should say – as “ahhhh wordpress” has been doing a serviceable job at serving as my blogging presence these past years.
As all bloggers will have to admit to once in their life, I am completely new at this, so I thought to begin I’d expand upon the ‘About me’ section found on my website. After officially graduating last year I believe I am allowed to describe myself as a freelance designer and illustrator. I love to draw – it’s not always easy and is often accompanied by the usual artistic feelings of despair and doubt in ability, but I love it all the same. I’m a very traditional illustrator give me a trusty pencil, pencil crayon or paintbrush and I’m happy. In fact some of my pencil crayons I’ve had since I was six years old, so they can almost be counted as life long companions – if there’s one thing you can say for crayolas it’s that they’re hardy.
You (the pluralised you, ‘one’ if one cares to be posh) might describe me as an illustrator with a love of context. Every image I create is linked to a real life anchor point; be it a fact, or a word, a line in text, the theme of a book – it all depends on the brief. My imagination is good at piecing together the grounded and real with the potential bizarre and occasionally out of place – but I like to think that there’s a feeling to my work that keeps it consistently relatable yet odd!
A quick browse of my website will probably show I enjoy fine detail, probably more than the next guy; from eye-breakingly tiny people, 1cm high collaged reindeer and a tendency to create even books to a small scale. To combat this penchant of mine for a4 or smaller images, in order to make my work more commercially viable as an illustrator I have trained myself up in photoshop – to transfer my images and be able to manipulate them in terms of colour and scale.
In short, I will draw anything and be more than happy to do so!