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Linzie Hunter
Current Work
My Butt and Thighs
posted:
Anyone that knows me, knows that I'd never stoop so low as to add such a scandalous attention-seeking headline to my post without good reason.
Here's some fun and light hearted work I've been doing as part of an ongoing print campaign for Skinny Cow with the lovely team at JWT in New York.
Probably don't need to say too much more... And apologies to anyone (?) who may feel slightly misled.





Earth Day (a little belated)
posted:
Apart from being "Good Friday" last Friday was also Earth Day and to mark the occasion, I was commissioned to do the cover for the Green Issue of Where Magazine.  Where magazine is a guidebook style publication found in hotels and tourist centres around the globe.

With potentially 43 different markets in mind, I was briefed to create a typographic cover and was given a list of 'green' words and phrases to get me started. I was asked to incorporate this into a tree shaped design and to leave space for two photos which would change depending on the city edition.

I find it a bit tricky to sympathetically incorporate illustration with photographs in cases where you don't know what the final photos will be so for the initial rough I went with some basic (if albeit obvious) wooden frames for the photos to sit inside...

This is only the rough sketch so the lettering all looks a bit messy - this stage is usually more about me getting a feel for the overall layout.  I'll go back and tidy up (and in with some cases, completely re-do) the lettering later.

I quite liked the woody DIY quality here and liked having the WHERE logo sit amongst the tree top but alas it was not to be.

After discussion amongst the editors, I was asked to go a slightly different way and make the tree out of letters, rather than have the lettering sitting within the tree.  It was suggested that all of the tree could be made out of phrases but I experimented a bit and felt that that looked a little forced and came up with a design that just saw the words sitting on top of an illustrated tree trunk.  I was a wee bit happy to hear that there wasn't going to be any photos so didn't need to worry about leaving space for that now.

I tweaked the roughs to show two versions with contrasting backgrounds...
 

It had been my thought that any headlines could be added in the gap below the tree, but at this stage we got into a bit of discussion on whether or not I would be available to create some custom lettering.  This would mean removing some of the phrases and replacing it with custom text for different editions.

Although this would mean more work and probably a quick turnaround,  I did like idea as (totally big-headily) I don't always feel standard fonts sit so well along side hand-lettering.  Maybe I just feel that perfectly scaled, kerned and leaded lettering really shows my work up :-)
The darker of the two was approved and I proceeded to final art.  I was also asked to emphasise "The Green Issue" wording a bit more.  The tree looks a bit egg-shaped but this is to allow the WHERE logo to sit at the top...
In the end I heard back that it wasn't going to be possible for me to create custom lettering.  I'm not sure if this was a budget issue or just the logistics of it all.
I was asked to remove some of the text to make space for editorial text and to introduce some more blue shades into the mix...
Here is the final cover, shown here on the San Francisco version.

I was a little sad that we weren't able to make the custom lettering work as I do think it would have looked good, but I'm also realistic about the practicalities of doing so.  My own other tiny gripe was that I'd have liked the lettering of the tree not to have overlapped the WHERE logo so much.  This is purely because I had it in mind for the lettering pop against a largely dark background and not white but perhaps that's me just being a too picky.

Overall, it was still a good experience and fun assignment to work on!


 
Ferris Wheel of Fun
posted:

I was recently contacted by Lymari Acevedo, the new AD at AAA Traveler magazine about creating some lettering and illustration for a douple page feature about attractions and theme parks in California.
Lymari liked the Coney artwork I created a couple of years ago and suggested that it should have the same sort of feel.
Sometimes I'll do the rough for a job just in pencil, but quite often with this sort of commission, particularly when there's a lot of lettering, I'll work directly in photoshop and in colour.
I was given a pdf with a rough layout of where the copy would go which helped me know how much space I had to work with.  At this point, I'm not really tied to any exact colour scheme but I picked a couple of colours (pink/blue) for now as I find it hard to get a feel for this sort of layout if I work only in grayscale.
My rough with the copy added on top.

I was given a pdf with a rough layout of where the copy would go which helped me know how much space I had to work with.  At this point, I'm not really tied to any exact colour scheme but I picked a couple of colours (pink/blue) for now as I find it hard to get a feel for this sort of layout if I work only in grayscale.
The AD suggested making the background yellow.  I figured this would work well If I went with some brighter "fun-fair" type colours.
My final artwork

How it appears in print.

I got an email from Lymari to say it had been very well received which was lovely to hear as it had been a really fun job to work on.
(Not an) IT Expert
posted:
One of the great things about doing lettering work is that you don't always have to have a complete grasp on the subject you're illustrating.  This is especially true when doing editorial work and you're given some copy thats loaded with technical or business terminology and info.

Here's a recent illustration I did for IT Expert magazine on the subject of network security.  While I did get the general gist of the feature, I have to admit to not knowing ALL the terms used. But anyways, I still really enjoyed working on this cover.
My rough for the cover...
The final cover... not too many changes really...
101 Things to Eat, See and Do...
posted:
Hi All, I've been a bit lazy of late with the blogging so hopefully will make up for it in the next few weeks :)


I was recently contacted by the very nice people at Balitmore Magazine to create their very first fully illustrated cover and a batch of illustrations for the main feature.  While I've done quite a few book covers in the last couple of years, I don't often get asked to do magazine covers so this was a cool job to do.



My b/w rough for the cover. We went through a few different colour combinations and tweaks but the final didn't change much from my original sketch.
Some of the illustrations I created for the 101 Things feature...

Baltimore Airport
Roller Derby Girls
Friendly Tattoo Museum Owner
Phyllis' hair salon
Night time walks
Mt Washington Octagon
Opening DPS illustration
All in all, one of those fun jobs, working with a great art department  and with no major problems. :)

Greeting cards...
posted:
A wee while back, my lettering sketchbooks on flickr were featured in Creative Review Magazine.  Sometimes with these things you either get lots of postive feedback or hear doodly pip.  Luckily this time, it brought in a few nice jobs which were a bit different to my normal digital work.
Before Christmas I was commissioned by Woodmansterne Cards here in the UK to create three cards aimed at the teenage/student market.  The brief was pretty open but  I was asked that they should look have the doodley feel of my sketchbooks.
For someone who works digitally a lot of the time, it was nice to just play around with marker pens and not the computer. Even better that they liked what I did with the "sketches" -- not often for me that the roughs ARE the final art.
Mmmm Hamburgers
posted:
Front (Agency: Barkley)
A quick post about a fun job I did a wee while ago for Sonic Drive-ins. If you're in the mid-west and of a certain demographic, you might find this insert in your magazine. These are good jobs for me, bit of hand lettering and a bit of illustration.
Back
Dear Santa...
posted:
One of the great things about being freelance is that you never know what the next job will be...
During the summer I did a bit of fun lettering as part of the current Christmas print campaign for Gillette for AMV BBDO
Although not the toughest lettering jobs I've ever done, I just want to say that drawing convincingly like a child was actually a bit harder than I thought. After doing a bit of research, I was really surprised by the huge range of writing styles a class of 6 year olds deliver -- from quite neat and easily understandable to something that might pass as borderline psychopath. For this job I submitted quite a few styles per person and also did versions in other languages for the European market.
Linzie, age 32
Some of my best work this year. How cool to work in crayon!!
I also supplied some "illustrations" to go in the background. I worry about how much pleasure I got out of these actually.
the One Ton Show this weekend
posted:
Show Poster
I'll be taking part in the One Ton Show being organised by the East End Arts Club this weekend.
100 Artists have been invited to create a piece of art inspired by or featuring lyrics from songs about London.  Theres quite a broad mix of styles and expect lots of cool Clash related work!
More Info!
Here's my contribution from The London Bridge Song by Joni Mitchell
If you live near Lille... please stop by and say hello!
Unfortunately I won't be around much for the show as my illustrator pal Kumiko and I will be popping over to France to take part in a 24 hour recycled art marathon.  We must be mental.
http://www.labraderiedelart.com/
Hairy Beasts catch up
posted:
The Hot Rods and Hairy Beasts exhibition wrapped quite a while ago now, but things have been a bit busy post show and so this is the first chance I've had to post a few photos from the preview.  Thanks to fellow illustrators Allan Sanders, Rod Hunt and Nishant Choksi for making it such a great experience.
 
 
(C) Russell Cobb
(c) Russell Cobb
(c) Russell Cobb
(c) Russell Cobb
(c) Russell Cobb Goodie bags ready and waiting for the PV
(c) Kumiko Brocklebank
(c) Kumiko Brocklebank
(c)Russell Cobb Photographic proof that everyone looks good in black and white
Badge Designs by me for the PV... Poor Nishant had to make up quite a lot of them!
My "Snow globes of the Old Testament"
"Atomic Alphabet" - My attempt at traditional collage
Exercise in pen + ink
singles creen Gocco Prints based on snazzy cocktails
singles creen Gocco Prints based on snazzy cocktails
singles creen Gocco Prints based on snazzy cocktails
singles creen Gocco Prints based on snazzy cocktails
Hot Rods & Hairy Beasts
posted:
Just popping up to remind any of you around the London area that I'll be taking part in the Hot Rods & Hairy Beasts Exhibition which opens next week.  The PV is on Thursday so drop me an email if you'd like an invite.   It's going to be a great show. Full Show Blurb follows...
Hot Rods And Hairy Beasts
An Illustration show - Coningsby Gallery
Monday 29th September until Saturday 4th October 2008
And here's an exclusive preview of some of the work from the show!
Hot Rods, Hula Girls, Hairy Beasts, Himalayan Head Hunters and the Holy Bible are just some of the subjects under discussion by illustrators Linzie Hunter, Rod Hunt, Nishant Choksi and Allan Sanders. No subject is too small for this group of seasoned professional illustrators and adventurers. With clients spanning the world of advertising, publishing, design and edtorial this band of battle scarred buccaneers are prepared for the eventuality of just about anything. Their motto is simple : to illustrate the obscure ...and beyond!

Linzie Hunter The terrifying Linzie Hunter originated from the barren highlands of Scotland but now resides in a North London suburb where she feasts on worms and grubs whilst working for clients including Random House, BBC, The Guardian & Little Brown. Linzie recently hit the headlines with her lettering work based on the spam e-mails in her inbox. Her book "Secret Weapon: 30 hand-painted spam postcards" is published by Chronicle Books in Autumn 2008.

Rod Hunt Born in rural Dorset, the diabolical Rod Hunt now inhabits the swampland of Greenwich, South London where he feeds mostly on shrubs and berries. Rod has developed a reputation for retro tinged illustrations & detailed character filled landscapes and among his client list he includes FHM, Maxim and Vodafone. Notably Rod illustrated the cover of the best selling book “Change the World 9 to 5” published by We Are What We Do. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Association of Illustrators.

Nishant Choksi The monstrous Nishant Choksi originated from a murky lagoon in the centre of London and is now often found foraging in the wooded areas of Crouch End. A real life B-Movie monster, Nishant is inspired by advertising of the 40’s and 50’s and has worked for The Washington Post, The Guardian, JWT, Macmillian and others. Nishant recently worked on a prominent print ad campaign for Vodafone and has just completed work on his first TV spot for them.

Allan Sanders Born in the frozen tundra of the Northern wastelands, the horrendous Allan Sanders, a mostly hairless biped, now resides near the water in a settlement known as Brighton. Existing on a diet of rock pool delicacies, Allan has produced quirky, character-based and often humorous illustrations for clients including New Scientist, The Economist, The Guardian and The LA Times. Last year Allan became the poster boy for The Oregon Humane Society’s “End Petlessness” campaign.

Hot Rods And Hairy Beasts is showing at the Coningsby Gallery, London from Monday 29th September until Saturday 4th October 2008.
Private View Thursday 2nd October from 6.30pm.
Sponsored byTinymeat
Back by Popular Demand!
posted:
Back by popular demand - not a phrase I get to say all that often.

My first set of alphabet tea towels I created with Yuko at Patapri.com sold out in a couple of hours, so Yuko has whipped up a second edition in new colour combinations.

Hopefully anyone who missed out the first time, can pick one up today.

www.patapri.etsy.com
Globe 100
posted:
A couple of weeks back I was contacted by Greg Klee at the Boston Globe to do a bit of lettering this years Globe100 magazine featuring the best businesses in Massachusetts.

This year marks its 20th anniversary and I was asked to illustrate the magazines title for a column which looked back over different industries in the region over the last 20 years.  Greg referenced the piece below that he had seen on Illoz, for colour scheme and feel.


Tree
I worked on some lettering on the computer and also on paper using some nice  pentel brush pens which I have become quite addicted to buying.
Some roughs using the lettering samples and lots of scanned papers.
The Final version. Ta da.
It was a fun, stress free gig and Greg was very nice to work with to boot.

Rob D was kind enough to drop me an email today when he saw the finished piece in print... It was nice that he recognised it as my work even though they seem to have missed off my credit.
Fortified With Optimism!
posted:
A cool animated commerical for SoyJoy Bars by Portland based animation studio Laika and British Illustrator Simon Peplow



If you hang around for the final couple of seconds you'll see the wee bit of lettering I did for the campaign.
Client: RPA
Address Book Sketch Book
posted:
Cath Kidson Spotty Address Book gets a felt-tip make over
I've been clearing out my book cases and found 7 empty and/or out-of-date address books and diaries.

I feel really bad throwing them away, especially as they we mostly given to me as gifts... but really, how many address books do you need?

Got to find a use for them all...
brush and marker pen fun
Patapri Collaboration
posted:
One of the great things about the internet is being able to communicate and collaborate with other illustrators and artists in other continents.

I recently worked (albeit remotely) with Yuko Uemura ,a designer and printer originally from Tokyo but now living in Chicago.

Regular Etsy shoppers are probably already familiar with her range of lovely hand printed textiles - www.patapri.com

Anyways, with her top stichin'  and printin' skiills,  we turned the image above into these nifty household essentials...
Tea towels are the new black
Available in 3 different colour choices they are limited to just 50 and are available from Patapri online store from next week.

Fairly priced at $14 each.  Get 'em while they are... ummm... dry?
Thanks Yuko - you did a fantastic job!
Some Spots
posted:
Burn off those christmas pounds by getting in some exercise at work (Client: The Guardian)
Not a very exciting post I'm afraid, but as it's almost mid January (and well past 12th night) I sort of felt I had to knock the christmas post off the top of my page...

Here's a quick selection of recent work thats kept me busy for the last few weeks...

can't think of anything else to say...

Getting Tourist advice from locals in remote places (Client: Sainsbury's Magazine)
Eating Fruit Boosts brain power in later life (client: Sainsbury's Magazine)
apparently you don't have to drik as much water as you think.... go figure... (Client: Sainsburys Magazine)
About getting depressed because you're stuck at home child-minding over winter (Client: American baby)
When the invites says 'no kids' (Client: American Baby)
Cocktail Themed Wedding Shower (Client: Mainline Today)
Merry Christmas one and all
posted:
Geeks ahoy! Full page illustration for MacFormat's Christmas Gift Guide. Quite fancy quite a lot of stuff on that tree myself!
It looks very unlikely that anyone will be getting a christmas card from me this year, so instead what better way to celebrate the festive winterval holiday than by posting some recent work. Sorry.
This year I had the pleasure of illustrating MacFormat's annual Christmas Gift Guide.  The AD (Alex Thomas) had a few ideas in mind based on a previous illustration of mine but was open to looking over some other sketches of mine, including doing some lettering.  He's nice like that and always great to work with.


rough 1 - based very loosely on a previous illo
I usually do pencil sketches, but the deadline was quite tight so I worked them up on the computer - and thankfully he was able to make sense of them!
rough 2: its all gone a bit dickens
Rough 3: its a 50s thing
Rough 4: Christmas Tree - this one got the thumbs up (don't think much of those rubbishly drawn presents though)
Illustrations and lettering for the opposite page
Some headings for other pages in the feature
Well done if you have made it this far down the post!

I also did the illustrations for an animated flash e-card for recyclenow.com, a national campaign to encourage...um... recycling.

I know zero about flash, but I really enjoyed doing the illustrations for this one and it was a fun idea - decorating your tree with ornaments you can make out of household waste...
socks, tin cans, egg shells, yoghurt pots and jam jar lids all make a seasonal comeback
send your free e-card at www.recyclenow.com

I had a good time working with Torchbox, who did all the clever flash bit, and of course brilliant to be involved in such an important campaign!
Say Goodbye Love Failures & Loneliness!
posted:
Update: The second half of my contribution to 20x200.com is now available too.
Apologies to my fellow drawgers for the shameless self promotion!
Laura L. recently blogged about her lovely Birds of the Rockies print available through Jen Beckman's 20x200  and I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the project too.

My limited edition print of Enter the world of Boundless Sensual Enjoyments*  and Say Goodbye to Love Failures and Loneliness are both on sale from today with small prints priced at the highly afford $20.



Small - Edition of 200
Medium - Edition of 20
Large - Edition of 2

All editions come with a certificate of authenticity.


*Gents - Why not hang this on your door and really impress the ladies?
New York Times Magazine Interview
posted:
A wee while ago I posted some experiments with lettering based on spam subject lines. Since then I have received lots of nice feedback and email requests for postcards or prints. 

A couple of weeks ago I was also contacted by Rob Walker  ( who writes for the NYT Magazine) asking if he could interview me for his Consumed column.  The article is in print this weekend, but for those (like myself) on the wrong side of the pond, the article is online here.
Illustration by Peter Arkle...
I'm also happy to announce that just in time for Christmas some of the series are now available to buy as prints via Thumbtack Press with two limited edition prints also available soon via www.20x200.com
Surely grandma just love one of these for christmas.
Thanks very much to all the nice people who have blogged about my work, including Boing Boing, Wired, Craft, Core 77, Netdiver and Drawn!
History of TV
posted:
It's nice when a job comes in that you know is just up your street.  Here's a recent illustration I did for a TV supplement for Media Week.
My rough sketch to run across a dps.... sorry its a bit small!
I was given some clear information on what elements and dates had to included but the AD was cool about me adding a view ideas of my own.
Fellow Scot Logie Baird at work.
Not least,  plonking a moustache on my Logie Baird "inspired" character.  Don't all inventors have some form of facial decoration?  I think it might be mandatory.
finished illustration and details
click here for larger version

I expect nearly all illustrators have a healthy stock of reference books at hand, and I'm no exception...  it's good not having to always rely on the internet...

Just Doodlin'
posted:
Last month I managed to meet up with ever so slightly AWOL drawger Aaron Leighton in Toronto and he was kind enough to invite me along to previously blogged Pen club.

As well as being able to sink a few beers and meet some great folks (thanks to everyone who made me feel so welcome!) it also really reminded me of the importance of drawing and doodling  purely for fun. 

Working digitally, it very easy for my work to just get all a bit static so I've been trying to spend more time doodling without worrying about the outcome.
sorry mum, i was paying attention to you, honest!
I've admired Aarons and Rob D's sketchbooks for ages, so I'm really enjoying keeping a daily sketchbook and have become quite obsessed with buying brush pens all of a sudden.  

I've always drawn every day but I just always ended up with piles of old letters and envelopes with drawings on them that just always end up going into the recycling bin.

I'm pretty messy sometimes (ok, always) so it takes a little more discipline for me to keep everything in a book... but it's worth the effort! When I get some free time I'll scan some pages and upload.

The outcome has also crossed into my digital work, heres some photoshop doodles while on the phone the other day... quite surprising what you come up with when you are not paying attention.
The outcome has also crossed into my digital work, heres some photoshop doodles while on the phone the other day... quite surprising what you come up with when you are not paying attention.

Coincidentally Argentinean illustrator Super DD and myself have also established an flickr group for five minute doodles on a weekly theme... sort of good for people who like Illustration Friday but who are super short on time...the current theme is "your weirdest neighbour".  It's an open invitation group so if you're a flickr-er-er then stop by: 
http://www.flickr.com/groups/5minutedoodle/

5 Minute Doodle /Neighbour
Above: Super DD's neighbourly contribution!
I've also been playing around in photoshop with some lettering.  I've added a new gallery of quick lettering sketches I did over they weekend... these based on the contents of my spam folder... its not the most original idea but the bizarre-o subject lines have been great starting point and I've enjoyed not trying to clean up or correct any mistakes... just seeing what happens...


More Spam one liners here
Roman City of Bath
posted:
roman guard detail.. if you don't know Bath's a roman spa town, this may look a tad odd!
A wee while ago, you might remember I created this roadside attractions map.  Since plonking it on a postcard, I'm happy to say that it's brought in quite a few interesting map and diagram type commissions.

One of them has been some walking tour maps for Junior Magazine.   This is the first in a series of three : Bath

For those not completely au fait with English History and Geography ( a group in which I'd include myself) :

Bath
is a city in Somerset, England most famous for its historic baths fed by three hot springs. It is situated 99 miles (159 km) west of Central London and 13 miles (21 km) south east of Bristol.

The city is founded around the only naturally occurring hot springs and Roman spa. The waters from its spring were believed to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy. As a result of its popularity during the latter period, the city contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture, most notably the Royal Crescent. The city has a population of over 90,144 and is a World Heritage Site.
thanks wikipedia!

there's Bath, under that big red mug ring.
And here's my map... to enjoy the larger version in all its glory click here
Ok thats enough maps for now... just think you've got Glasgow to look forward to next month!
Earmint gallery
posted:
Original drawing by Kaitlin K
A while back I  was contacted by Earmint (a cool chicago hip hop musician type person) to contribute to a CD cover art project he was planning.

A whole bunch of artists and illustrators were asked to essentially 'colour in' in any way they liked a line drawing of the man himself
just happened to grab my own illustration totally accidently...
The results are now online at www.earmint-gallery.com and are available to download along side his new album.
It's cool to see how each person had made the image their own. 

Heres just a small selection from the site:
Top row: Allan Sanders, Catherine LePage, Nick Deakin
2nd row: Jordy Van Den Nieuwendijk, Sarajo Frieden, Natty Kocsis
3rd row:  Eyeport, Tommy Kane, Me
Bottom row: Bubi Au Yeung, Logan Bay, Andreas Karaoulanis
Tuck Shop
posted:
A couple of months ago I did this sketch for a kids publisher which never got past the roughs stage due to contractual issues (e.g. I wasn't prepared to part with copyright for the fee offered)

To be fair, they did honour the rejection/cancellation fee clause and I was happy to walk away with my drawing. 

A 'tuck shop' for those not familiar with the phrase is basically a hole-in-the-wall affair where schools (or youth clubs) sell snacks and unhealthy crap to their pupils.  I remember my own schools 'tucky'  very well .... and the excitement every year at Christmas when kids would scan their purchase with Willy Wonka style enthusiasm for a lucky sticker meaning that you'd won an even larger box of chocolate. 

I'm sure since the healthy eating reforms in schools here, this sort of things is probably very much a thing of the past.
adventures in halftones!
I'd quite enjoyed doing it so rather than resigning it to my "things to file away one day" folder on my desktop, I decided to play around with it a bit.  The original brief called for a mixture of healthy and unhealthy snacks, so being my own AD now I was able to leave the healthy stuff out!
now in duo-color!
the tuck shop that took over the world.
I'm still very much a novice when it comes to screen printing and still find my sessions at the print studio a slightly stressful affair... but thought I'd give it a pop...
  
Greek Art Theft!
posted:
When I was at uni I took a whole semester of Greek Art of which I have absolutely no recollection.  While having a clear out the other day I found a pile of old art history essays which I don't remember writing either.   Hmmm... Gothic Art & Architecture and Colonial American Art are pretty blurry memories too. 

Anyways, after flicking through an old Greek Art book (did I buy that?)  these funny little terracotta sculptures caught my eye...
And 'inspired' me...
I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it, but it was a good challenge working in only a few colours.
Not like when I were a lass...
posted:
I was sad to discover that I look less 'sexy librarian' and more 'thelma from scooby doo'.
March was a funny month for me.  I'd been struggling with working at computer for a while as I began to notice there was something not quite right with my vision.  Its partly the reason I haven't posted anything in a while as typing for any length of time has been giving me bad headaches.

At first I just put it down to eye strain but as things weren't getting any better I booked myself in for an eye test, and discovered that I have one eye mildly shortsighted and one mildly longsighted.  And basically its confusing my brain.  Hardly a superhero skill, is it?

Anyways, I have new specs now though my brain still hasn't adapted...

suddenly everyones wearing glasses
Excuses for not blogging aside, heres a rush job I did last week for an education supplement with The Guardian
It was sort of a complicated brief.  I had to illustrate the ideas laid out in an flowchart type infographic created by the QCA regarding reform to the school curriculum... basically about a broader types of subjects, flexible teaching for each student, and more involvement within the community, etc

I think originally the flowchart was going to be printed then pulled, hence the 24 hour deadline.  With this amount of detail it would have been handy to have a little more time, but sometimes it's good just to get your head down and get on with it.

It's all different then when I was a school and I had to double check all the subject abbreviations... there was no 'D&T' or 'Citizenship' when I was at high school and French was just French and not 'Modern Foriegn Languages'.  Apparently Mandarin is the MFL of choice these days.

At my school there was just a lot of metalwork and home economics...oh and secretarial studies.  I still have no idea where the home keys are though.
How to have a Happy Birthday...
posted:
... when you have to go to work in the office.
In today's edition of The Guardian
I've never really minded going into work on my birthday.. in fact it does give you the excuse to slack off and get everyone to buy you a drink.

Working freelance, you miss out on the up downs and of office culture which I guess in some ways is a very good thing...
The whole Edel experience...
posted:
Once Edel has assigned you a job for TIME is seems the drawger norm to post your original sketches  and and wax lyrical for a bit about how cool and talented an AD he is to work with...

I was hoping to be able to buck the trend and dish the dirt on the "real" Edel but I have to admit that all that has been said before is indeed true. And have to echo Bob's recent post too.
The article was to be about people in later life deciding whether to start up their own non-profit or not.

Edel gave me a couple of angles and referenced a couple of pieces in my porfolio...
A few sketches...
Edel and his editors went for the donation boxes idea, and he came back with a few tweaks and suggestions on colour scheme that were spot on.
The finished artwork.

It was totally painless and dare I say it, highly enjoyable.  I got a kick out of drawing the building donation boxes.

Cheers Edel :)
How to work from home...
posted:
I figured it was about time I posted some of my own work for a change.

This is an illustration for todays Guardian about the perks and pitfalls of working at home.
I don't know what its like in other countries, but here daytime tv is a coma inducing amount of antiques shows, diy shows or property programes, puntucated by get out of debt and loan ads...
This illustration is Rotten
posted:
anyone get the neptune reference in the middle...probably not :)
When an AD gets in touch and tells you they have a job that really suits your style... and then tells you its about COMPOST, you have to wonder really... This actually turned out to be quite fun job, illustrating 'composting star signs' for Organic Gardening magazine. Each of these alternative horoscopes describes what kind of composter you might be... The slacker, the engineer, the evangelist, etc... have fun figuring out the rest!
Überraschung!
posted:
A little illustration I did tonight to pass the time while watching the coverage of the US Midterms (or maybe it's the other way around.) It was inspired by all the jolly little wooden toys I saw in Germany. I sadly admit to having bought a few.
Remember Remember...
posted:
While my american cousins are all making a big thing about Halloween, I thought I'd do a quick illustration to acknowledge one of the UK's superior holiday events : Bonfire Night.

For those not familiar with the holiday, it's when we celebrate how Guy Fawkes and bunch of catholics got caught trying to blow up parliament and protestant King James I in 1605.

The day is now celebrated by bonfires and firework events through out the country.  In a slightly worrying Wicker Man style twist, kids are encouraged to build their own scarecrow-like 'GUY', then scrounge money off the general public (usually chanting 'penny for the guy' in the street) before chucking him on the bonfire at the end of the night.  Nothing worrying at all there.

Last year, some boys came to my door with a rather life-like guy in a wheelbarrow.  I was suckered into giving them some cash only to then watch the carefully crafted 'guy' get up, take his mask  and gloves off and walk off.  Kids eh?

It's too close to Halloween for my liking, and being a miserable sod, I'll just have to sit in the dark with curtains closed and the lights off all this week...
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

More Guy Fawkes stuff at www.guy-fawkes.com
One Happy Carrot
posted:
Everyone loves organic veg...
One of 3 illustrations I did recently for American Baby Magazine for their Q&A / Problem page. This one was my favourite even though at 2 inchs print size it's by far the smallest of the lot.
Prepare for Re-entry...
posted:
The Guardian newspaper - Office Hours Column
Drawing rockets, spacemen and all that sort of stuff is always fun, so it was nice last week to get some copy from The Guardian comparing returning to work after a holiday to re-entry from space.

I have to admit to always having a geeky interest in space and space travel.  Had things have been different, I think I would have quiet fancied being a space explorer (or RocketGirl if I had my way).   But I'm a realist and earlier this year on my 30th birthday, I finally had to accept the cold hard fact that I was never going to be an astronaut and that I was probably never going get that call from NASA.

As a kid I always wanted to go to Space Camp... in fact, if there was an adult version, I'd probably still want to.  Sadly, as a child in Scotland spending the summer pretending to be an actual astronaut  just wasn't an option.   My parents were never going to send me abroad alone, at least not until I was 18 when my dear mum rather recklessly allowed me to go live and study in Boston, but thats another story altogether.  So instead of Space camp, I had to settle for Brownie Camp - A less exciting version which involved sleeping in a bunkhouse an adventurous 30 mins drive from my own home. 

I always thought that girl guiding was about making knots and camp fires, but this rather streetwise version had none of that.  Urban highlights of  Glasgow Brownie Camp included a trip to the airport where you got to sit inside an actual British Airways airplane - albeit while it sat on the tarmac - and later a trip on the Glasgow Underground which involved sitting in the drivers box and pressing a few buttons.  This was the 80s and I suppose in light of recent terrorist events either of these activities would be deemed plain crazy.

Anyways, perhaps one of those life changing jobs may come my way and I could reserve a seat with Virgin Galactic - a snip at $200,000 - and maybe one day be a space tourist.  I'm keeping it bookmarked.  In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for drawing spacemen...
Gorillas and Wolves and Bears...oh my....
posted:

This is a quick illustration that I did last week for yesterday's Guardian newspaper.  The article suggested that rather than having employees worry about small minor things, employers should install wild animals (bears, gorillas, wolves etc) into the workplace to really give people something to worry about...

Here's the finished artwork and an alternative rough.  I quite fancied drawing a bear really, but in retrospect the wolves one is a bit more interesting action-wise....
grrrrrrrr!
Magical School Days...
posted:
I just did this illustration for Junior Magazine, a parenting magazine  here in the UK.  The article gave 10 pointers that parents could learn from teachers...
Mrs Carricks Primary 1 class. She was lovely and had her own lampchops style puppet.
While mooching around, I found this rather fuzzy class photo of my own first year at school.  As a child (sorry, I should say 'bairn' or 'wain')  I attended St. Flannans RC Primary School in a town north of Glasgow called Kirkintilloch.
That's me complete with 'bowl-cut' haircut and regulation 'puppy fat'. Good to see that I didn't like getting my photo taken even then.
We had a had a delightful  green uniform complete with green tartan tie and a celtic gold cross on our nice green blazers.

Please note that any comments about catholic school girls should be avoided.
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