I have been tinkering around with trying to animate my illustrations for quite a while now. Looking to get my head around After Effects has been tough and I felt I needed to try a different approach to get a body of animated work off the ground. So, I have been working with the talented www.mrgriff.uk to make the pesky things move how I imagined I'd be able to. After twenty years of working solo, I was a little nervous about collaborating with someone and how Griff would interpret the artworks that I gave to him but I have been delighted by how well he makes these move and how seamlessly he makes them work as loops. He has brought lots of lovely nuanced details to each piece and I’m really excited about this potential new direction in my work. I suppose the next step is to now let the world know this is something I can offer in addition to an editorial illustration. I feel these could work really well on tablet versions of publications or in social media feeds to highlight a particular article so if you're an Art Director out there who is interested then give me a shout. The piece below is the most recent collaboration but you can find more over at the motion section of the site.
A ransomware attack leaves a company with few options. One may be to resort to backup systems, if they exist. Another may be to simply pay the ransom. And then there’s cyber insurance. I submitted a range of rough ideas. The rough which was preferred was the one with the ransom mask made from the Bitcoin logo suggestive of the secretive extortion that companies are being subjected to.
It was fun then to play around with textures and colours whilst being mindful not to lose sight of the key message that I wished to communicate in the illustration. I've worked with Brianna at Lexpert many times before and her page designs always allow the illustrations to breathe.
A recent commission for The Nation about the Obama administration foreign policy being held hostage by previous approaches. I submitted a range of ideas exploring themes such as American repetition, foreign policy silence and the presidential message not correlating with the reality of what was being communicated. However, the foreign policy eagle being restrained by the right and left of itself seemed the most appropriate fit for the article.
This rough was then developed further and ended up working both in print and online as you can see below.
The lovely people over at Variety Magazine are big fans of illustration and use a wide range of great illustrators in a range of styles. I was lucky enough to work with them on a recent article about the one year anniversary of the Sony data hack and how Hollywood had adapted to this threat. As usual, I submitted a range of roughs exploring a few different approaches and thankfully the Art Director liked the look of my favourite approach which played on the very simple observation that sometimes a USB key can look like a skull, if you squint a bit and add a few extra bits and bobs.
Having got approval at the rough stage and some feedback to flip the image so that it worked better reading left to right, I had some fun throwing some textures about and keeping it quite loose and energetic. I'm really chuffed with how it ended up on the page.
Taking inspiration from my studio mate Scott Garrett I've decided to try and write a little bit more here about commissions and the process I go through when tackling them. I say tackling as every single commission always feels like a tussle where I have to scrap with it and wrestle with it until I find a visual way into solving the problem. With this in mind a brief from The Economist for a range of illustrations on the subject pornography is always going to be just that little bit tougher. A delicate subject and a day and a half to complete the job required a late night down the studio resulting in a range of loose, collaged, roughs about issues such as the data, access and effects of pornography. These roughs were pretty well received although my favourite one at the top which reflected part of the article discussing how viewers of pornography held a different view about the ideal female body, didn't make the cut.
These roughs were then pushed and developed further resulting in the images below. An interesting recent development is that magazines that have a large social media following like The Economist are increasingly using illustration to tempt readers to access an article via a click from their social media feed. This means that I am having to ensure that images work for both large scale print and also small scale social media feeds.
This image then appeared on 10.7 Million news feeds which is a little bit mind blowing!
Recent project about the potential perils facing executive travellers to places such as Pakistan, Iraq and Chechnya. Three roughs and the final image on the page are shown below.
For Nature Magazine commissioned to accompany the debate about whether vitamins improve health or not.
A really lovely recent project via Pen and Pringle for PHD Worldwide about gamification.
Recent commission for Pacific Standard magazine about the lottery of school admissions.
Great feature in Varoom magazine looking at how illustration is used in Therapy Today magazine.
Recent for the Washington Post about the free exchange of data between the federal government and the public.
Recent commission for The Big Issue. "At Cambridge, my precariat, underclass background was a positive advantage. Not any more"
Real chuffed with this contribution to the op-ed section of the International New York Times. Three hour turnaround for the sketches with artwork the same day makes for an intense day in the studio.
Illustration in todays guardian for the excellent sean ingle column on science and footballers longevity.
Recent commission for an article exploring how older networks and systems are vulnerable to attack.
Recent commission for Therapy Today about the positive effect of being diagnosed as autistic in later life.
This was for an article exploring how traditional law firms were now branding themselves to cope better with modern means of communication.
Cover for Howard Magazine about how your memory doesn’t have to get worse with age. In fact, you can actually grow the short-term memory portion of your brain.