Thursday, 30 October 2008

harvest piece

My intention was to create a bunch more pieces before I uploaded anything. But last night I ended up just reading for critical studies and didn't even post this one image on the blog.
So then I was going to do some more today, but haven't yet and whilst I'm going to hopefully do some later I'm not sure exactly what to do. So whatever, I'm just posting it.

Anyway I did this at college yesterday first thing in the morning, then did more or less nothing else all day.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Harvest resource

Have a look at this in terms of dividing the page up for your Harvest image.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Cristiana Couceiro

Have a look at Cristiana Couceiros interesting for you in terms of the combination of the graphic and the incidental scribbles and asides, intelligent use of space also.

work for the harvest

I'm going to check those links out in a minute, but first i'm going to post these very works in progress for the stuff I'm doing for that other story, The Harvest by Amy Hempel.

In a nutshell the story is about a girl who is in a car accident, where her leg is damaged, and has to spend some time in the hospital. But the story is so much more than the sum of its parts. I love it, frankly.

I've been trying to work quite loosely with the backgrounds and things here. I was looking at some of Gary P's stuff, on his blog, and wanted to try and knock together these nice abstract backgrounds. I started these images by trying to get the cast working well together and then throwing in a fun background, but one that's a bit more restrained. I don't know how I feel about them really and I'm not explaining myself entirely well right now.

I have presented these in the order they were developed. Some stages have been neglected, but you get the idea.

Friday, 24 October 2008


Hey Roland some interesting (possibly ) links for you to follow up:


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

the legs i made for this thing with Kingston

Really pleased with them actually.
Better than my bodies, which were crap.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

this is what you get....

...when you start working on a project with fuck all resource.

Here are some more of me working on that Strays piece. I've hit that point where, because I have basically no resource for this, I'm just pushing at the thing without getting any traction.

In my defense I started working on these pieces kind of idly whilst taking a break from working on the pieces for The Harvest. I actually started by trying to make a flaming dog (on photoshop) and then this all kind of ran away with me. So it's not like I planned to gather a load of crap and failed to do so. But yeah since then I should probably have tried to gather some sort of resource.

this last one was my favourite but i think now I hate it? I'm not sure. I've been messing around with it since posting this, moving everything in it closer and such. I was trying to express the basic twist of the story as simply as possible, for what that's worth.

retro sci fi indulgence

I love this kind of old school sci-fi illustration. It appeals to me on many levels. Obviously it's technically incredibly accomplished. I also love the colours that get used and the sense of spectacle and narrative also.

So here is a link to a blog which has a feature on some of these artists.

I got this link from drawn! which is another illustration blog I read all the time. Always worth a look!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Mark Manders

I heard Mark Manders mentioned in class in second year some time. I checked him out a little bit on the internet but I found his book, Several Drawings on top of Each Other, in the library and got it out. It has one of the best titles I've ever heard, first things first.

I think it's sort of a collection from an exhibition, but I'm not sure. The first picture in the book is a photograph of a model dog lying with a line of piled up drawings.
I scanned a few drawings that I liked.

It seems like he can actually draw really well. Maybe anyway. It could be a fluke but there seem to be hints that he has some real technical ability. The drawings seem really playful and everything but there's something upsetting about them too. Not just the way figures are distorted and things, but I find the sparseness and the various faces really melancholy.
I tend to like the images that I can create some sense for. Coming to the book and having no understand of what it's even about is sort of frustrating.
For example, alot of the drawings are really similar and there are recurring little images and things. So I get the feeling there is some over arching idea, some thing tying all the images together, but I don't know anything about it.

Instead I find I'm trying to create little narratives and meanings for each image.

So I don't know! I like the minimalist aspect and the way it all seems quite free flowing. I would like to absorb some of this into my work.

I think about trying to apply some of that to my current project, those pieces for Strays. But I feel like that project is kind of stuck on a certain track now. I also realise, suddenly, I'm in my third year and won't have alot of time for messing around on fun briefs and that makes me deeply unhappy.

Friday, 10 October 2008

what i made today in school

For the brief with Kings (maybe?) College in London. The head I made. Inspired by a conversation with someone about Day of the Dead Mexican skulls. Ok I know it doesn't look like one of those in any way but just leave me alone.

Can't tell if I like it or really hate it. I don't know why I uploaded it DON'T HATE ME.
(had to convert it to RGB before it would upload and stay the same goddamn colours on this blog. Sad story, I know.)

Incidentally the Day of the Dead falls on November the 1st and November the 2nd, with the 1st for remembering children and the 2nd adults.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

zulmira design

Don't really know anything about whoever does this stuff. Other than the fact they must be at least a little bit OCD to just draw so many lines.

web site here:

Rob Ryan

Whilst I will never be able to replicate this way of working, and hopefully will never try, I love Rob Ryan's work.

I believe he does some screen print stuff as well but it's the paper cut out stuff that really I love.
website here:

Monday, 6 October 2008

Exquisite Corpse

So this brief with Kings College London is an Exquisite Corpse sort of a game right?
Well I only found out that this game had a name today when my friend, Frankie (also an illustration student), told me all about it.
I play this game quite alot with my friend Tom and his seven year old brother Joe.
Here, for almost no reason, are a couple of good ones we did in the past.
This one goes Tom, me, Joe.

This fella goes me, Joe, Tom. Adventurous!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

work in progress, also pocky sticks

Working on my image for the short story Strays by Mark Richard. About these two boys whose parents leave them with their gambling uncle and they end up setting fire to a stray dog, by accident, and burning their house down.
Been messing around with this for a couple of weeks now. Here is an image I have made. It's a work in progress, perhaps obviously. Trying to tie in these clean cut, simple images/symbols with some more complicated textures. No idea if this really hits the mark.

In other news Pocky Sticks are fucking incredible.

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I have this book by Drusilla Cole collecting these various patterns together.
It's a good book, generally. Alot of the patterns are great however if there was a little more information on the artists featured or their process in creating the patterns it would be better. But what can you do. Here's some patterns. The first two are by someone called Alex Russell and the third is by Joanna Kinnersley-Taylor.

I'd like to include more pattern and texture work in my illustration. I'm just no good with patterns. I've never made any I thought were worth anything.
That said I was screen printing some patterns from a book last Friday and I'm about to try and make some images featuring them, so maybe it will be a step in the right direction.

Ivan Chermayeff

Here are a couple of pictures from Chermayeff's book Suspects, Smokers, Soldiers and Salesladies.

I scanned some of this book when I took it out of the library and scan through it periodically. I dig collage work like this and need to do more. I don't know why I don't. When I think about it it seems like the clearest of ideas, the greatest thing to do and yet here I am not doing it at all.

Anyway it reminds me of some Alan Fletcher stuff and I basically love him so that's good.
Incidentally Fletcher's book The Art of Looking Sideways is one of the best things in the world.

the best image of all time

Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd, Dave Eggers

So here is a link to a website with a video featuring a kind of presentation with those three guys (Dave Eggers incidentally one of my favourite authors) talking about book design.
If you've seen a presentation given by Chip Kidd before you'll notice he uses all the same jokes.
It's one hundred minutes but it's worth watching on a rainy afternoon such as like every afternoon here in Stockport.

Ideas Have Legs. Ian McMillan vs Andy Martin.

Borrowed this book from college for something to assimilate into my current project. I was looking for the dynamic between the poets work and the illustrators work. Andy Martin gave a talk at college last year and whilst I really liked some of his stuff I hated almost an equal amount.
I liked how the ideas were the central focus of each image and all the illustrations were very streamlined for that. But I didn't always like the clean cutness of the images.
But anyway I really liked alot of the stuff in this book. I've scanned a couple, but it's quite a hard book to scan without damaging it and rather than push it I've opted to scan only a couple of images.

Here now I will type out my favourite poem from the book, probably illegally.

“GOOD AGAINST BAD” by John Good.
Two Brothers. Simon. Lorenzo.

Simon is good. Lorenzo bad.
Lorenzo steals money. Simon says Give it back.
Lorenzo says No.
Simon tells police. Police take Lorenzo.

Lorenzo in prison. Not good to be bad, says Simon.
Pardon? Says Lorenzo. NOT GOOD TO BE BAD. says Simon.
Now I understand says Lorenzo.

The patterns on the end papers are also nice. Here is the front end paper pattern for you to look at if you so desire.

And here is another picture taken from the book which I enjoyed to look at.

Chip Kidd

I really like some of the stuff that Chip Kidd does but I get the feeling, for whatever reason, that I shouldn't. I don't know why this is.
I like how the idea is key and how obsessed he seems to be with vernacular design.

two photos i took that i don't hate

First one.

Second one.

Don't know what I will one day do with these.

this all reminds me

Here is a link to the full text of The Harvest by Amy Hempel. The "minimalist" short story which was the first step on my personal project.

Jenny Grigg

Jenny Grigg is a designer I don't know much about. Saw some of her text based covers to some Peter Carey books in Eye Magazine (I think it was Eye anyway) and really liked it but hadn't heard of her before or since really.

Maybe it's a bit late now, but something in this style could have worked well in my current project? Although I guess these are setting out to be Book Covers and I'm just kind of playing around. Maybe that's why I completely forgot all about these pieces like an idiot.

Here then is a link to an article sort of basically about Jenny Grigg:

It's also quite clearly where I took this image from.

Josh Cochran

Josh Cochran is someone whose work I've vaguely followed (as much as I've ever followed any illustrators work) since before foundation. The thing I really like about his work, apart from the kind of rough, sketchy quality of it is the limited and interesting colour palette and the way the shapes of colour don't fit with the lines at all. I have righteously copied both of these things and I'm ashamed of myself for doing so any everything, but I think it's neat.

I also have a transcript of an e-mail I sent to him over Summer ostensibly for the Design Practice File but he didn't get back in touch in time. I had to chase him up on it and everything, goddamnit.


hi Roland,

sorry for not responding!! I get a lot of emails from students and sometimes I get behind on my responses, hope this helps..



One of the features I like most about your work is the vague roughness of the drawings, whilst still being very detailed. Is this an intuitive way of working, or did you consciously cultivate this?

I think this was a fairly intuitive way of working for me. I've always had a rushed way of drawing and have felt more comfortable staying loose in my linework. I think this tendency of mine has been evolving and hopefully with be constantly evolving as I keep learning and gaining experience.

The thing that has really stuck with me from your work is the limited colour palette. The colours from all your pictures are quite muted and subtle, which are colours I like a lot, but my colours tend to run away with me a bit. It looks like you mix them yourself with paints, is this true? Do you ever use Photoshop to create your colours?

Actually I almost always use photoshop to mix my colors. Even when I work traditionally by hand I sometimes like to create color keys on the computer before I work by hand. I think my color sense has come from years of painting both the figure and landscapes.

And either way – why do you use the colours you do? I mean the mixes are very interesting, do you have an image in your head of the kind of colour (if that's even really possible) you want or do you put time aside to just play and create interesting colours for later use?

Color choice is a fairly personal taste. I really can't explain why some people gravitate towards some combinations more than other combinations. Of course I have knowledge of basic color combinations that work well together and I like to keep pushing these boundaries to come up with the colors that I come up with. Sometimes I get stuck on certain colors, and will create a lot of pieces in that same scheme...until I get sick of it and move on to something else.

And finally then how has your view of illustration changed as you've become more successful? Is it something you do as a release or do you see it more as just a job?

This is a great question, my view of illustration has changed dramatically since I've become more successful. Theres a whole business side to illustration that I never really learned much in school, that has become increasingly more complex the longer I work....branding, audience, communication, ideas....all things that I'm constantly learning about and being exposed to. Nowadays, illustration really is much more of a job than a way of release. But I do like to work on personal pieces, draw in my sketchbook, work on different types of projects, collaborate with friends....all these things are ways of release and really end up fueling my more mainstream commercial work.


You'll notice there he says this is a great question and he said that in direct relation to a question I asked thankyou very much.

Website here:

Friday, 3 October 2008

Esao Andrews

Another illustrator I have nothing in common with is Esao Andrews.
Again I admire the technical ability displayed in his work but more than that I like that each painting features these really weird, often very twisted characters and you end up kind of telling yourself a story about what's going on in their world.
All his stuff is very stylized as well in terms of the prevalent black (especially in the older pieces) and general colours and figures.

website here:

James Jean

James Jean is becoming very famous. He's just amazing at drawing basically. If I could draw like him I would draw all day and he must draw all day to be able to draw so well.

I'm never going to be able to copy him in terms of style and probably not in work ethic either but his stuff still looks great.

website here:

Spanish comic that I have

Here's a couple of pages from this Spanish comic I have. It is called Manuel no está solo by someone called rodrigo. That's all I know about it.
The book itself is split into the title story and these other pieces I have no idea about. The Spanish I can speak/read is pretty minimal, but the main story of the book doesn't have any dialog.
As far as I can figure it's about the author falling in love and becoming obsessed with this guy, Manuel.
It's just beautifully drawn and surreal and oddly touching. It's one of my favourite things that I own, probably because of the mystery.
I know it's not exactly design related but I think I can still site it as an influence of sorts.

This is the cover, badly scanned.

A badly scanned page from near the end of the book.

A page from near the first half of the story, scanned badly.