Monday, 28 November 2011

the art of juggling

i'm sure this gets written (complained) about a lot but - but there really isn't enough hours in the day when you're trying to juggle a full time job with freelance commitments! it's fun, and i am over the moon that i am still getting freelance work despite not having the time to dedicate to actually looking for it - but things like blogging i always seem to fall behind on, and it ends up that when i do get the chance to update it's a huge messy mish-mash of everything!

so i'll do my best to keep this as short as possible.

the illustration above and the one following were produced for firstsite's season brochure, to go alongside features on the 'artists' support programme' and the various learning activities they offer:

last month i was chuffed to pieces to receive an email from charlie simpson's (formly of, you got it, busted) management asking me to produce some illustrated type for a new range of his merchandise. the following illustration is inspired by his single 'down, down, down':

and this is a little flyer i knocked up for a new venture that ice breaker promotions and the bike guru café have recently started doing on wednesday nights at the colchester bus station (next to firstsite!) i like to call it ICEBREAKER VS BIKE GURU but in reality it's just called the bike guru presents music and movie night. catchy!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

jumble sale

it's been a bit quiet here lately. this blog post is a little bit of a jumble i'm afraid - i've been quite busy so haven't had time to regularly update.

my life has had a few changes recently and it's all been very exciting! i guess my biggest news is that i have a new job. i'm still illustrating freelance on the side, but it wasn't realistic for me to continue attempting it full-time, especially as i am keen to move out next year.

i am assistant manager at a new print shop opening in colchester called my icon art & clothing. we're a specialist printers selling t-shirts, canvas prints, bags, mugs & hopefully more. i've only made a few designs for them so far as everyone's mostly been busy preparing the shop for opening, but here's one design inspired by my favourite film:

you can buy one (if you'd like!) here and also have a look at my other star wars inspired design here.

i was asked by the colchester circle magazine to design an invite for their up-and-coming birthday party this month. when a client gives me a completely open brief i tend to meander towards my safety zone of pastel colour palettes and a fun 60s vibe. party times!

the end of september saw the grand opening of the most exciting building colchester has ever seen (jn my little ol' opinion), firstsite. it's beautiful golden exterior has been teasing the town for months and we've all been eagerly waiting to see what it was hiding behind it's lovely shiny doors. it certainly didn't disappoint. with work from some amazing artists such as andy warhol, barbara hepworth and henry moore, the building is just what the town needs - a contemporary, fresh and exciting social space that doubles up as a beautiful gallery.

i was lucky enough to be asked to help design some of the promotional and informative leaflets before the grand opening. i haven't seen one of the leaflets in print yet but will be sure to share photos as soon as i do. i got to work with the creative co-op and nial of harringtonmoncrieff producing little illustrations & devices for a cute booklet for children and families about the art in the building. my input wasn't huge, but still, it was a lovely thing to be a part of:

another exciting event i got to be a part of was the wivenhoe church ale festival. the day was cold & windy but the atmosphere completely made up for it. i got to spend six hours live drawing and painting the event as it happened. all i have is a silly photo of myself during the day, but no pictures of my final pieces? i don't know.

this is just some of the stuff i've been up to. i have lots of other work to share with you but it either has yet to be signed off by the client or hasn't gone to print yet so i'd be naughty to put it online.

what a terribly messy & rushed blogpost! i do apologise.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

the escalator team

another commission i received in the past few weeks - a lovely girl i met whilst i was at edinburgh fringe festival commissioned me to draw the colchester arts centre escalator team. i usually illustrate by sketching, inking, scanning, live tracing and then colouring digitally. this time i sketched the initial drawing and then created the line art digitally in illustrator. only a tiny bit different, but still lots of fun!

laura's crest

i was commissioned a few weeks ago to create this custom crest for a friend's birthday - she's one of the nicest and sweetest people i know so it was a delight to try and capture elements of her life such as her hobbies, work and interests in an illustration.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

belly kids + beach exhibition piece

music & food-loving belly kids have recently published the creatively-named the mona pizza cookery book: a fully illustrated book of recipes put together by a selection of artists, musicians and bands (including one of my favourite singer-songwriters ever emmy the great).

belly kids are now teaming up with beach london to do a "foody culture inspired exhibition". head honcho michael coley has been rounding up artists & illustrators to get involved, and submit pieces (prints, zines, books etc) around the culture of food and eating.

so here's my silly little take on the idea. i think it's pretty self-explanatory.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

colchester free festival

yesterday was the second annual colchester free festival and boy was it a success! the sun was shining, the bands sounded great and the people were happy.

i spent the morning helping the lovely folk at 15 queen st set up their area by sign-writing, then moved onto the kidstival area where i tried my hand at face painting for the first time in my life (every child i got was a girl and every one of them wanted a butterfly - thankfully i knew what butterflies looked like otherwise i would've been in big trouble!), then finally went on stage where i attempted to play frankly the most ridiculous game of 'consequences' of all time. my lovely friend kathryn ran around the audience getting the kids to suggest animals to draw until the final piece resembled some sort of horrifying and whimsical mash-up of creatures. it was all good fun though. can't wait until next year! :)

starting over

hello! it's been a while since i've posted any work - lots of things have happened recently (some good, some bad) but over the last week or so i've got about five commissions in which i'm really happy about. they're all still works in progress but hopefully i should be able to show you something soon.

for the time being - i recently set up a cargo collective portfolio. i've only ever used behance before & had heard lots of good things about cargo collective so i thought i'd give it a chance. i really like how simple everything is (both to use and to look at). you can view my profile here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

you will be knackered

good friend & client jamie moakes has been cycling up to edinburgh this week to support his show, you will be rare. starting out at colchester last monday (25th july), he has already done over 500 miles and should be arriving in edinburgh any time within the next hour.

here he is outside of colchester arts centre on monday, along with sam epps, who took part in the cycle alongside him.

you can read the latest newsletter on his journey here and go HERE if you are kind enough to spare £1 or even a little bit more to support him on this mammoth task and to fund the show.

he's done really really well, so Jamie, when you read this eventually, congratulations! :)

you will be rare will be on at the edinburgh fringe from the 5th to the 29th august - you can buy tickets here. i've seen the show four times in it's various stages & i'm still thoroughly entertained every time, so i can do nothing but highly highly recommend it to everyone.

follow jamie & his escapades on twitter: @youwillberare

Sunday, 31 July 2011

hand drawn typography

"fighting like a soldier, over skinny jeans and pic'n'mix"

hand drawn typography inspired by polly scattergood's lovely song 'please don't touch'.

Monday, 25 July 2011

pet hate - 3 of 3

last one (probably).

little miss sunshine

never have truer words been spoken.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

pet hate?

another love-hate human-cat comparison. may or may not be directly inspired by my own cat.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Friday, 22 July 2011


a silly thing i did this morning. might start a series of illustrations depicting the love-hate relationship humans have with cats (as in humans love cats/cats hate humans).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

weasley words

a nice little piece of encouraging advice from the weasley lass.

happy birthday, mr. president!

commission for a friend.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

apparently crocodile shoes are pink

i saw a little girl dressed as a crocodile with pink trainers holding her mum’s hand this morning. it lifted my heart so much i wanted to capture it forever in an illustration.

Friday, 4 February 2011


having a little play around with textures and layering, using some artwork that i am incorporating into a client project.

Monday, 17 January 2011


a sailor girl on this gloomy monday morning, inspired by the fact that it can't seem to stop raining.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

swing swing

these two cuties will be making an appearance on an up and coming poster i'm working on! swing on, kiddos!