Saturday, 30 November 2013

Bang Tideh!

Good afternoon!

 It's been a bit hectic in the studio lately, with a move and all of the packing / unpacking that involves, not to mention a lot of lovely projects that I'm not even allowed to show you yet! I've also been working for Hong Kong on some product design, which is such good fun and involves a whole different timezone to figure out! I do however have some that I can show you.

A little while ago I received another commission from the brilliant folks over at ITV, who were throwing a bash called 'ITV Upfronts'. I was given the task of coming up with a variety of Garden Gnome designs for two of the presenters on popular cheeky panel show Celebrity Juice, Keith Lemon (or Leigh Francis, to his wife) and Holly Willoughby. It was quite a quick turnaround, but I loved the creative freedom I had with this, and Keith Lemon in particular is such fun to draw. Each character was drawn in 3 rotations, but I won't bombard you with all those!
 On the night of the event I was delighted to see photos of the gnomes in lots of different locations that were being uploaded onto Twitter after ITV had set a competititon for the most creative! In fact, the ITV Twitter bods liked the entries so much that they created a gallery of the best photos! You can see it here, and of course all of the other photos on Twitter by searching for #itvupfronts.

 So, without further ado, here are the two chosen designs both in sketch and in their eventual Gnomy glory.

And some that didn't make the cut!

Including these guys, who didn't end up at the party (poor Ant and Dec).

More to come soon, including images of my most recent book illustrations!
 Don't forget you can receive the latest information about my projects over on my Facebook page (feel free to give it a 'like'!) or on Twitter.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Inspired by Innocent

Good afternoon!

Last Tuesday I was privileged to have been invited to attend a very special event with Innocent Drinks, called 'Innocent Inspires', in London. It truly lived up to its name! I and my competition winners left feeling thoughtful and inspired, having been treated to a variety of speakers and music.
 The venue was a very welcoming space, with old-school seating (literally- it was reminiscent of a School hall, but fitting considering all of the thinking we would be doing!) provided by Retrouvius. Graze boxes had been kindly provided for each attendee, and lovely people were wandering about offering drinks and healthy snacks provided by the Dip Society. Which inspired my stocking up on fresh Hummus the very next morning!
 Artwork hung on the walls with a range of creative mantras, which I later discovered were available in postcard form. These disappeared very quickly! I may have indulged in a couple for my studio wall...
 Once we had taken our seats, Dan Germain of Innocent took the stage to talk about his role within the company. What followed next was something very special indeed. Have you ever seen someone beatboxing? How about through a flute? Well this is what we were treated to courtey of Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee. (Please excuse my shaky hands during this video!)

  A lot of fabulous points were raised by each speaker, but I will note what stuck in my mind from each individual. I could have listened to Benjamin Zephaniah for hours. I wrote a lot of poetry in my teens (some good, some truly, truly awful), and I have long been a fan of his work. I had been previously ignorant to what a struggle he endured in his formative years, so to hear how he redirected his own destiny by pursuing his childhood love of poetry was quite humbling. To reach the heights that he has when others may have given up and continued down the path to potential self destruction is something beautiful in itself. His passion for peace and creativity was communicated very clearly, and a joy to watch.
 The talented designer Kate Moross came forward for a great insight into her working process, and to let us all know that our potential is magic. One of her thought provoking comments during the Q&A session was that children learn through play and existential experience. Perhaps if we all sought to recapture the feeling of this once in a while we would find ourselves happier and more creative.
 The affable and very funny John Paul Flintoff was responsible not only for making the audience interact with one another, but also for my favourite quote of the night,

 "We all feel at times like a fraud, like we are about to be 'found out'."

 This was reaffirmed by Rob da Bank, who whilst being interviewed about his route to success said that he sometimes still feels like his 7 year old self, seeking approval for doing something well, and like it could all go wrong. There is something I personally find very refreshing in hearing that people who are very successful in their given careers still have these moments of self doubt. It is easy to assume that success comes easily to some, or that people relax into their respective success as if it will always be there. As a self employed creative person, I found it very valuable to hear that everyone has the same sort of insecurities about perpetuating personal and business successes, both big and small.

This evening seemed as if it had a clear message. We all possess unbounded potential, and you can be whoever you want to be. We are all creative beings, and whatever it is that gets your synapses sparking is valuable. Even something like Maths is a beautiful language to someone, because they are passionate about it- it doesn't matter that I have never been able to identify with it, because it is still wonderful to someone else.

So get out there and do something you love just because you love it. The final product is just as valuable as the process!


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Greetings and a giveaway!

Good afternoon!

I'm back! Sorry for my little stint away from the blogosphere! I cannot believe just what a whirlwind few months it has been for my little company, but I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you who has supported Pearl Grey Illustration & Design!

So first things first... GIVEAWAY ALERT!
 I'd like to invite your entries to a competition in association with Innocent drinks! It's my absolute pleasure to have been invited to attend a special evening of mind expanding creativity, and I have two tickets to give away to the same event!
 For one night only, (1st of October!) the Innocent gallery will be opening it's doors for an evening all about creativity. Hear from DJ Rob Da Bank, graphic artist Kate Moross, writer and poet John-Paul Flintoff and be treated to a set from the extraordinary Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee! Peruse walls of specially commissioned artwork (and have the chance to take some home!) and listen to some great music! I will be there too so come and say hello!
 It's on the 1st of October at the Innocent Gallery in London, so you need to be able to get there, but if you would like a chance to win one of two tickets to this sold out event please opt in by commenting here or over on my Facebook page (click the link to take you there)! I will be picking names out of a hat at random on Saturday and notifying the winners, whose names will be added to the guestlist on the door. Good luck!!

So, 'where have you been?' I hear you cry! Well, the answer is all over the place! Earlier in the year I made a trip across America where I met a whole host of fabulous characters, including this lady who I witnessed coming out of a wig shop in Los Angeles. I think she was about 60% polyester.

I do have lots more to show you from that particular sketchbook, but that would make this post terribly long so I shall save that for another day! My illustrations will also appear next month in a book about embroidery. As soon as it is published I shall show them to you, I promise. I've also been lucky enough to have been working on everything from wine bottle label artwork to designing for a toy company, but I'm not allowed to show those off yet ;)

I am also unsure as to whether I posted this up at the time, but here is a portrait commission I completed earlier in the year of a gentleman who was a British Tug-of-War team member. I love portrait commissions!

 I have just returned from a trip to Italy. I wish I had been able to get out my brushes and do some painting because the scenery is just so incredible! I never can decide which medium I prefer so perhaps I will do a few different images! I will be adding lots of new images to my website soon, and as I say, feel free to click on over to my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter if you fancy.

Righto, back to work for the day! Good luck with your competition entries everyone!


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fancy Fabrics and Sweet Stitches!

Good afternoon!

Summer is officially upon us! I love this time of year, the end of the Spring and the beginning of Summer when the air still feels fresh but the sky is a beautiful blue! I've been very busy recently both out on site (which I love, because I get to meet lots of lovely new people!) and here in the studio, and April/May also sees a lot of mini breaks and holidays which I am very excited about. I'm soon to visit the USA so expect lots of drawings from my travels across the country!

I recently completed 18 illustrations detailing various stitches for Making Magazine. After working on them all as individual images, it was wonderful to see them all lined up together on one page. I hope they help people learn to sew; I certainly took some pointers from them!

I was also recently given a special commission from the Dolls' House Magazine, who were putting together a piece about Tudor costume. This was great fun because it meant that I was required to do some research (which of course included a little trip to Hampton Court Palace!). I've never wanted my own ruff so much! I decided to put together simple little paper doll designs, as the article described various layers of clothing that would have been lost underneath. You can download the PDF versions of the dolls to dress yourself by clicking here! I'd love to see how you get on!

These will all be available to view on my Facebook page, too. As ever, I have lots more to bring you soon! I hope you get to enjoy the lovely weather.


Saturday, 23 March 2013

York and Yours Truly!

Good afternoon!

It has been very busy in my little studio lately! I have lots more to bring you soon but before I can do that, how about images of the mural for the 3Sixty space at the University of York? Completed in collaboration with the very talented Nik Morris,  this mural featured points of interest from the campus and local area and included students through the ages that were animated. Since this mural was projected around 4 walls, the illustration/animation was fully immersive and allowed viewers to find lots of new things as they explored. I really enjoyed creating these characters and adding lots of tiny little details, from authentic 60's cigarettes to the genuine scores of local sports teams!
 Here's a little character detail of the '60's students', and an image taken by Nik Morris from the projection itself.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the event itself (it sounded wonderful!) so I look forward to hopefully bringing you some footage of it soon. I will also add the image to my website so you can study it at your leisure!
 In other news, I have a little image in the latest Dolls' House Magazine! It was a piece about childhood toys that required an image of my beloved 'pet cat' (unconventionally I rejected Bears in favour of a black Cat that I still have to this day). And yes, that is me with the 80's fringe from the crown. Here is the image and the article itself in case you wish to read the whole story. You can as ever purchase the issue is is contained in by clicking here.

That's all for now, but as I say, I have lots of really fun images to bring you soon!


Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Mixed Bag of Tricks!

Good afternoon!

I thought I would start things off today by giving you a little insight into another area of Pearl Grey Illustration. I have been offering videoscribing services and Graphics Facilitation for a little while now, and have been lucky enough to work with such clients as ITV. This is a showreel piece of a videoscribe job I completed recently (albeit with some of the features and client details removed). I was pleased with it and it documents another style offered, so I hope you enjoy it! It was created by the very talented Will Tribble and Geoff Gedroyc, who I have been fortunate enough to work with before on such projects as Alien: The Easter Edition.


It's a little overdue, but I also have more work in the latest Making Magazine! This project in particular was one that I know I will use again and again myself, so it was very interesting to draw the step by steps as I learned how to make them properly!

I have also recently finished a very special project for the University of York, but that warrants its own blogpost so stay tuned for more details and images! There are also a lot more fun and exciting things lined up for the next couple of months that I can't wait to share with you, including more work for The Dolls' House magazine!


Monday, 21 January 2013

Have You Seen the Shard?

Good evening!

 I am just so excited to share this with you! I thought I would have to wait a couple more weeks but I have had permission so here goes... 

 Last September (doesn't that seem an age ago?!) I had a phone call from Elbow Productions in London. This in itself was fabulous, but what was even better was that I had the opportunity to work with the talented Mari of MDLLS again! I always find our projects such fun, and this one was no exception! It transpired that a couple of large illustrations were needed for a very special, top-secret project, which I can now reveal to you as a giant mural for the lobby of the Shard in London! For those that don't know, the Shard is the tallest building in London, and until recently was the tallest builing in Europe. I can't tell you how excited I was! 
 The mural was to be a highly detailed and cheeky take on famous Londoners, the objective being to entertain visitors at the very beginning of their experience at the Shard. It was up to me to depict Jack the Ripper (who was being tracked by Sherlock Holmes) and Ratty and Moley from Wind in the Willows... on a jetski! In keeping with the look of the rest of the collage effect samples on the mural (realistic, textured and grayscale) I scanned in some vintage fabric samples from my modelmaking supplies to work into. They have since been coloured to match the rest of the mural, so I shall provide samples of the finished panels when the Shard opens on the 1st of February, 2013. Unless you want to see them in person, in which case you can purchase tickets here! I'm so happy with how they turned out, and even more so to see them in context! I hope you like them, too.
 I've been eagerly anticipating the opening day, and watching the build up gather speed over the last few months until the time came when I could reveal my involvement. This is one of my favourite articles about the mural itself, from the Huffington Post.

  I have a terrible fear of heights, so I doubt I shall ever venture to the top of this gigantic building, but absolutely loved doing these drawings. So while I'll never reach the 72nd floor, I can honestly say I'd be happy enough in the lobby! 

TTFN xx 

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