The following images are a collection of works-in-progress, mixed media illustrations and art works that haven't quite made the big time yet. They are often the result of unselected client concepts, late night random thoughts, procrastination or Explosive Idea Farts™. Enjoy!
This Summer (2016) I was commissioned by the lovely folks at Juniper Park/TBWA to create a visual advertising graphic for their client Miller Lite in lead up to current baseball sporting season. My job was to create a base illustration that could be customised to the branding of well-loved teams adding a touch of localisation to the campaign. Throughout the project I worked closely with Juniper Park making sure both the team colours, logos and Miller Lite's own branding was true to their respective brand guidelines. Hey batter, batter, batter, Saaaa-wing batter!
ESPN magazine were organising a feature on famous Michigan college football coaches and where they go to find peace and quiet away from the end zone yard line. This is my graphic opener to the story featuring Jim Harbaugh, sitting in a barbers chair getting his haircut and reading the newspaper at State Street Barber Shop across from the University of Michigan campus. From the barber there: “I don’t know when he’s coming. I don’t make a big deal out of it when he does. He reads the newspaper and we talk about anything but football…unless, of course, he wants to talk football. But I don’t think that’s why he comes here. He comes here to just feel like a regular guy for a few minutes. There aren’t many places in this town where he can do that.”
I was chuffed to be approached by Courier Magazine to illustrate a portrait of the talented interiors and product designer Tom Dixon. I love Tom Dixon's design! The Art direction was to incorporate motifs inspired by Dixon's iconic pendant lamps and using a combination of hand drawn, shaded and vector elements, layering these to create a mid-century wallpaper style pattern blending with Dixon's portrait. I was happy with how this came out. BIG thanks to Courier's Art Director, Tomas Jivanda.
My series Role Models is Inspired by a deep-rooted love for cinema and movie culture while referencing my work for Little White Lies magazine where I am creative director by day. And is an extension of the concept created for Little White Lies' 1994 issue featuring an exquisite corpse illustration of Jim Carrey for its cover. I loved making this illustration so much I always wished to make more.
For the November 2015 issue of Little White Lies Weekly I illustrated the cover for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 featuring a portrait of mega-babe-a-saurus Jennifer Lawrence. My inspiration behind the artwork was the 'propo' (propaganda) angle so heavily featured in Part 1 and early on in Part 2. I worked on the cover with my own contemporary spin on WWII Soviet-era style propaganda posters. C'mon, with Jennifer Lawrence leading the fight, tell me you wouldn't sign up?
A pretty fun and mega feature opener illustration (and spots) to accompany an editorial feature on The 125 Best Foods For Men for Mens Health Magazine (US) - An annual exopsé on 'How To Survive The Supermarket'. The characters were an interpretation of the classic Kellogg's brand cereal ambassadors SNAP, CRACKLE and POP but fitter, more buffed versions. Like if SNAP drank a tonne of Protein shakes and Crackle took some roids, or not... just sayin'.
Finished illustrations for the annual Secret7" charity exhibition whereby 700+ artists were asked to create one-off original 7" record sleeves for 7 records that are donated and pressed by some of the worlds leading recording artists. These two are for HAIM and NICK DRAKE. The exhibition takes place on world record-store day and all money from record sales goes to charity which changes each year. An artwork you can play? on a record? For charity? You had me at hello.
My illustration of the gorgeous Rooney Mara for Little White Lies Magazine issue 62 - CAROL directed by the mid-century-look maestro Todd Haynes. The film stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett (as Carol) - two of my absolute favourite living movie stars in a sublime bitter/sweet love story set in snowy 50s New York. Inspired by 1940s/1950s era Vogue & Cosmopolitan magazine fashion covers, I hand-illustrated and digitally coloured this portrait of Rooney for the cover, who (in this film), channeled the look and appearance of the great Audrey Hepburn so perfectly well. Heck, in some parts of the film, it's hard to even tell the difference. Is Rooney really Audrey incarnated? Mind = Blown.
Introducing ‘Doc Brown's Authentic Flux Capacitor’ - making time-travel possible. My contribution to the New Rule Collective 1.21 Gigawatts exhibition held at The Print Space London. For the exhibition, artists were asked to create an A2 poster inspired by any part of the Back To The Future trilogy for an illustrated tribute book. For me, one of the most important references throughout all 3 of the films was the 'Flux Capacitor’, first introduced to us by 'Doc' in a dimply lit carpark in episode one just before the damn Libyans arrive and shoot him to pieces (spoiler alert). Think about it… without the Flux Capacitor, there would be no time travel. No time travel = No Back To The Future franchise. Simple!
Mega illustration (and some spots) for Wired Germany, who, casually asked me to imagine an entire city for their ABGELIEFERT feature (meaning DELIVERED in English). The finished mega-city was to reference Amazon's ability to deliver packages absolutely anywhere, anytime and any way. Man, it was like playing with Lego or Sim City again. Super fun! And for shits-n-giggles, I even snuck the Ecto1 and DeLorean time machine in there. Can you spot them? Ultimate nerd out...!
Illustrations, menu and new website designs for iconic London restaurant chain The Diner who asked me for a new look for their branding. Umm, Burgers... Illustration... Fries... Illustration... Shakes... more illustrations. It was a no-brainer really. Anyone who knows me well enough, would know that this combination is pretty much a match-made-in-heaven. I love inventing characters so this was a pretty fun brief. Bon apetite!
Type, illustrations and layout (including icons) for WIRED Magazine UK who asked me to develop a 6 page feature section on 'Why The Block Chain Matters' - a story on bitcoin currency and the importance of digital currency protection. I personally find the whole digital currency movement a bit weird. Like with Monopoly money, it just doesn't seem real. You know? So for the styling, I went back in time almost to the beginning of money as we now know it and chose a late 18th century Jules Verne look. Steam punk dollar bills yo!
Topless Blonde is a fictional Beer Label design produced and screen-printed for the 2015 exhibition Artist Beer Visions by 3rd Rail Presents at 71A Gallery, London. The exhibition included 20 leading illustrators who were each asked to invent a Beer Brand, a back-story and illustrate this. My submission was inspired by my love of mid-century ephemera, pinups and travel. Topless Blonde was named after The Baron Of Flanders - a fictional brewer who fled his home country of France in search of the finest hops in the world and during his travels fell in love with a beautiful Blonde bombshell whilst travelling the Pacific Islands. The finished illustration is a combination of hand-drawn and vector designed elements set in a beautiful diamond print format.
My groovy illustration of Joaquin Phoenix for Little White Lies Magazine issue 57 - INHERENT VICE, directed by the amazing Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Josh Brolin as BIGFOOT the detective and Joaquin Phoenix as a stoner private investigator on the search for his foxy girlfriend who goes missing at the hands of an elusive syndicate of bad dudes. Inspired by 1970s psychedelic wallpaper and hippy floral prints, I hand-illustrated and digitally coloured this portrait of Joaquin for the cover, who, almost blends into the background a little like his character in the film, a tripped-out wallflower. I mean, far out, man.
Illustrations of the great Don Letts and Henry Rollins for Huck Magazine's debut book PADDLE AGAINST THE FLOW - a small hard-cover coffee table book of collected words of wisdom by some of the worlds most influential personalities. Each personality and their quote was accompanied by beautiful hand-drawn portraits by some of the world's leading artists. It was a real honour to draw these guys (and Rollins' arms..!!!) as their music has always been so inspirational to me as an artist.
"I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone." - Henry Rollins
HEY FOLKS! Afraid of falling of a wall? Don't be a Numpty says Mr. Dumpty. Insure yourself now! My illustration for Happy Ending Agency's HAPPILY EVER AFTER charity group exhibition held at Print Space London. The theme of the exhibition was 'Fairy Tales & Nursery Rhymes' and for my print I chose to interpret the tale of Humpty Dumpty who fell off a wall into a silly personal insurance ad. Just a bit of fun.
New York Pawn is a urban-inspired illustration for South African T-Shirt brand Mingo Lamberti and their limited-edition PAWN SHOP range. The brief was pretty simple, and open and so I chose to focus on a make-believe environment in which a pawn shop could (or would) exist. In my illustration I've tried to capture all the would-be dodgy references you’d find in and around a Pawn Shop in Brooklyn, New York including the basement adult video store and XXX peep show next door, to the scantily clad woman getting dressed in an upstairs apartment window to the classic american muscle car and alley cats. The shop itself is derelict, closed down, tagged with graffiti and covered in grime a relic of a time-gone-by. A wink to New York’s fading identity.
Dunlop Racing invited 3 illustrators to graphically interpret 3 key eras in the 100 year history of the famous 24 hour Le Mans endurance race. For the project I was asked to interpret the 1950s during which time the famous 'running start' was still an iconic part of the race. The cars would be lined up and the drivers would have to run across the track, into their cars, and then take off! For this poster, I chose to focus on this aspect. The finished illustration is a combination of hand-drawn and vector designed elements in a warm and summery mid-century colour theme.
Illustration of a gritty Oscar Isaac for Little White Lies Magazine issue 51 - INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, directed by the one-and-only Coen Brothers. Starring Carrey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac (as Llewyn Davis) INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS follows the story of a struggling folk musician during a bitter cold winter in 1960s Brooklyn. Inspired by 1950/1960s era music bill posters, I hand-illustrated, collaged and digitally coloured this portrait of Oscar for the cover. To this day, it remains my all-time favourite Little White Lies cover.
Illustrations of Julianne Moore for Little White Lies's Maps To The Stars issue featuring Julianne Moore. For the illustrations, I focused on Moore's performances in Boogie Nights, The Hours and The Hunger Games. The concept was to keep her face the same in all 3 illustrations, wearing her trademark stoic facial expression and have her hair, clothing and accessories change to match each colour. The end result... Moore, Moore, Moore, How do you like it? How do you like it? Oh, and may I just add (for the record) that Julianne Moore is an absolutely gorgeous fierce sexy intellectual megababe.
A portrait illustration of Jim Carrey as an exquisite corpse for Little White Lies Magazine's special 1994 issue - celebrating the 20th year anniversary of the classic Farrelly Brothers film DUMB AND DUMBER and the release of DUMB AND DUMBER TO (2014). For the cover I drew portraits of Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas, The Mask, and Ace Ventura, Pet Detective and then mixed them up for the cover using a torn collage effect with each layer revealing the next character - a simple but effective idea to convey Jim Carrey's incredible character repatoire.
For Little White Lies Magazine issue 53 - MUPPETS MOST WANTED I curated the parody project 1979 - a series of artworks from 6 different artists that took classic films from 1979 but replaced their actors, directors and leading stars with characters from the Muppets. For my own artwork, I chose Russ Meyers 'Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Muppets' Starring the 'Piggy Twins' and Directed by 'Gonzo Meyer'. And I gotta say, Miss Piggy has never looked sexier. Rawwwrrrr.
Illustration of Matt Damon for Little White Lies Magazine issue 48 - ELYSIUM, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9). Starring Jodie Foster and Matt Damon (as Max) ELYSIUM follows the story of sick man who agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that could bring equality to the population as the ultrarich live aboard a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the rest live a hardscrabble existence in Earth's ruins. Elysium was my first cover design for Little White Lies and the start of my love-affair with drawing portraits of some of my favourite movie stars and their characters.
Illustrations for UK street wear brand Dephect who commissioned me to create a series of 3 screen print designs as an official Timba x Dephect collection of tees inspired by mid-century MAD magazine advertising coupons. You know, like those whacky Sea Monkey's and Woopi-Cushion ads. Each one features a combination of hand drawn characters and type combined with vector elements and textures.
Illustration of David Oyelowo for Little White Lies Weekly issue 6 - SELMA, directed by Ava DuVernay. Starring Tim Roth and David Oyelowo (as MLK) SELMA is a chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. In this illustration I’ve tried to incapsulate the power of free speech in a political propaganda kind of way. BIG, BOLD, SHOUTING type and different quality of halftones come together to portray a man in a struggle for human rights.
"This life is temporary but the soul is eternal". This powerful line of lyrics is from 'Thieves In The Night' - a recording by Yesin Bey (Mos Def) and Talib Kweli, together, known as Black Star. This typographic poster was originally illustrated for the group exhibition 'Rap Graphics' at 71A Gallery London as a collection of A2 posters inspired by the poetry of rap lyrics. Curated by influential London Film Director Ed Andrews, 12 influential illustrators & typographers were asked to interpret a line of lyrics from a pre-selected rap artist and into a poster combining illustration and type. Just a few of my favourite things...
An illustration for the Offf Barcelona festival book. The theme for the book was 'Year Zero' so I imagined Fred & Wilma Flinstone from THE FLINSTONE'S (year zero) owning a Burger joint called Fast Freds, 'Where The Burgers Are MOMMOTH'. Just a good excuse really to draw a cute and sexy Wilma holding a tray of hamburgers. It's what dreams are made of, no?
Original illustration for The Burgermat Show by Outline Artist co-founder Gavin Lucas (formerly Creative Review). I love this drawing. Smitty's Burgers is a homage to everything I love. DRAWING. BURGERS. BABES (Not necessarily in that order), but you could imagine my excitement when Gavin asked me to draw a special placemat design for his original 'show' which involved a number of artists working to a burger theme and then these were exhibited on tables at a special invite-only event where Gavin had London's BEST burger chef to cook up a taster menu. It was pretty special.
Various illustrations for everyone's favourite tshirt brand and notorious prankster Johnny Cupcakes. I've had the pleasure to design a number of limited edition tee designs for JC and of all the projects I've ever worked on, these have been some of the most fun. Johnny's charming personality and overall attention-to-detail with his brand makes for a pretty great person to work with and the message is in the playfulness of these artworks. And, who doesn't love a good cupcake or two?
A selection of various type designs, experiments and letterforms from over the years. Some hand drawn, some vector, some a combination of both. What's your type?