Sunday, 6 May 2012

New workblog... Naked Lunch Designs.

Now that the Naked Lunch guys have played their first set after reforming, the artwork I did for their stage set has been officially unveiled, so I am fine to post it up here on my blog.

"Bondage comic book people in space" was essentially the brief. Click to see in more detail.

The finished prints are really quite big, and they are actually 2 separate panels. One either side of the stage. they also contain text in the blank grey area at the bottom.

If you, your band or organisation would like me to do some illustrations or designs for you, please contact me at:

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

So someone has ripped Banbury State of Mind off of Facebook and uploaded it to Youtube! haha!

Which is just hilarious. It's got nearly 2000 views on their page. Sneaky gits! haha!

I don't mind really at all, but I took that as a message to upload it to my own Youtube page, so it can be shared off there.

So here it is followed by the link:

In other news, Luke and I have been asked to do an interview with local radio, and we've been organising potentially finishing the track and working on a new parody.

Big love people.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Another birthday gift drawing... Dog holiday.

Many of my friends and family know that I often prefer to make presents and cards rather than buy them.

Here is a drawing I did for my friend Ian on Saturday for his birthday. He has a lovely dog called Gabby and an affinity for VW camper vans.

Be nice to me and you might get one someday. ;)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Banbury State Of Mind (unfinished) - THE VIDEO!

So about 2 years back a friend and I started a shitty parody of Jay Z & Alicia Keys's "New York State of Mind" about our town Banbury.

We had these huge plans of remaking the video shot for shot in various locations around the town, (I was even going to dress as Alicia Keys and set up a piano on the Banbury Cross.) Truthfully, we never got past laying down the guide vocals so we haven't even really got a full song. Haha.

In any case... we've now sat on this jam for far too long, and I thought I'd post it up now before it is completely irrelevant.

So here's the first 2 verses and a chorus to give you an idea of what we were on about. I've cut together a shockingly beautiful lyrics video to accompany the noises.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Retrospectivism - Talib Kweli

It's been a while since I've done one of these Retrospectivism Blogs. but I've got good reason to bring it back today... Tomorrow... after nearly 15 years of following his work and his words... I am seeing Talib Kweli in concert.

First up, the first track I ever heard of Kweli's "The Manifesto"

I heard this track on the Rawkus records 'Lyricist Lounge' compilation back in... at a guess, 1998? I had just landed a job in an indie record store, and I was allowed to listen to whatever music I wanted to ALL DAY. It was, Yes, my dream job and I used the time to really explore music and find out everything it had to offer me.

During this time I became enamoured with conscious (and experimental) Hip Hop. Blackalicious, Talib, Mos Def were at the forefront of the thinking man's Hip-Hop and they had something to teach us all.... plus they really fucking made your head nod. Here's a track from Mos & Kweli's side project Black Star - The track is "Definition":

This next track is another example of Talib challenging the ideas of his listeners. It looks at the way America, and humans look at the media, and morality. The start of the track specifically deals with something relevant to myself, the bombing in Oklahoma City which happening in the 90's, (For which US native terrorist Timothy McVeigh was convicted and executed.).

Well I was IN Oklahoma at the time of that bombing in a town called Yukon, a suburb on the Western edge of Oklahoma city. I remember the morning the bombing happened, because while we sat in our school meeting area for assembly, we felt the ground shudder ripples from the blast. I was there and saw the way it affected people as they searched for the culprit, eager to have someone to blame... and someone to pay. Tragedy can bring out the best and the worst in humans, and it's important to remember that.

The next track was Talib's first real "hit' song. the beat was made by Kanye West, a huge supporter of Kweli, and was originally intended to be a Kanye West song. But after hearing the beat Kweli convinced Kanye to donate it to him. Obviously this was a very good move on Talib's part. The track bangs like a motherfucker whilst always keeping true to Kweli's message:

This next video is from Def Poetry Jam, and is a short but worthwhile listen. It's a spoken word piece by Talib about Religion and Spirituality:

To close out this Retrospectivism I'll leave you with 2 of his tracks from his new record "Gutter Rainbows". His first album which is released TOTALLY INDEPENDENTLY. The first track features one of my favourite rappers, a female emcee called Jean Grae, the second track is just a sick album track.

Actually fuck that, here's another track. This one is off of a Jean Grae mixtape. Talib rocks the hook and verse 3. Slams like a tree trunk swung by the Hulk.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cara's Cakery continued...

Today is the day Cara will be running a stall promoting her cake-making business. So I've created her some business cards, and this poster for her stall. I thought it would be a good idea to tempt people's imagination, as well as their taste buds, but putting up loads of examples of her previous work as a border.

My inspiration was taken from those vintage tea-towel designs you often see in gift shops.

(My girlfriend has been ordering tons of them off ebay and they are all around the house.)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Workblog - Cara's Cakery

Just finished doing some designs for a friend of mine who is starting her own cake-making business.

I wanted to give her business cards and posters the personal touch, so I did this illustration of her. It's a fairly good likeness, and I am most pleased with the colours.

I HIGHLY recommend getting in contact with her if you need any cakes making, (for parties, or a special occasion) as she is the BOMB. Here is a cake she made me for my last birthday:
If you'd like to get in touch with her regarding her awesome baking skills, her email is:

Monday, 5 March 2012

Rufus Wainwright & the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Last night I was treated to an incredible concert at the Barbican Theatre, (the tickets of which were bought for me as a gift by my lovely mother).

The performance featured Rufus Wainwright singing the words of Shakespeare over the BBC Symphony Orchestra's masterful playing.

Below is a picture I took with my blackberry, just to give you an idea of the setup:

The concert was broadcast live on BBC 3, and is already available to listen to on iPlayer HERE.

The first hour of the concert featured the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the energetic Rory McDonald, showcasing the grand size of their sound with some beautiful classical pieces.

Rufus's part of the concert begins at 1:27.

All the pieces were composed by Rufus using the words of 6 of William Shakespeare's sonnets (each read, in turn, before the song's performance.)

I have never seen Classical music performed on this scale, and while I may have been the only person in the audience nodding along and moving with the music, I still didn't feel at all out of place. The sound produced by an Orchestra is unbelievable... So huge, but clear and dynamic. It was extremely moving to witness, and I would recommend it to any music lover out there.

If you are unaware of Rufus Wainwright's body of work, I wrote a blog about him in 2009 with songs and videos on it. You can read that HERE.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

New Workblog, Naked Lunch designs.

Ok so... I'm currently designing a bunch of t-shirts/stage banners etc for an electronic band called Naked Lunch.

And while I can't really reveal much of the imagery I've been doing... I thought I might post up a very very small portion of one of the drawings I've been doing as a sort of means of demonstrating the way that illustrators have to constantly adapt ideas to create the best image for the client.

Below is part of the initial drawing I did of a female figure. The finished image will be on one of the big stage banners which will appear either side of the band. It is literally the very very first drawing so has no rendering or shading yet. But it was a 'look' image to send to the client to see if I was on the right track.
The initial brief was to draw on military/S&M/& Sci-Fi comic imagery to create her look. So I put her in a wasp waist bodice and gave her military shoulder pads and a military armband. At this stage I was pleased with the direction, but knew the drawing needed more grit. I was yet to add her buckles and the shine of her leather outfit, but even that I thought might not make her look dominating enough. The problem lay with her face looking too "pretty".

After a discussion with the client we decided the best course of action was to give her some gnarly breathing apparatus and begin to add the dominatrix style buckles and straps to her outfit. The face mask served to add to the sci-fi element, whilst also blocking out her feminine features.

This work is FAR from done, but it's now on the right path. I'll post up more as and when it's finished and cleared for use.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Such a loss. RIP ETTA.

Today sees the lost of one of my biggest vocal heroes Etta James. If you aren't aware of her work, she is one of the truly great female Blues singers. Please check her out and reflect on her work.