For the past few weeks I've been working withFactotum and The Metropolitan Arts Centre to produce a book called, 'Let's Visit The Arts Centre.' It's a book with large writing and illustrations all about a father and son visiting an arts centre. After many long, but enjoyable days, my work is now complete and the book is currently being printed by Grafiche AZ in Verona, Italy. On the 31st of May I'll be travelling with the work and a number of copies of the book to Venice. During the launch of the 54th Venice Biennale, this and selected other work I've done, will be exhibited at La Casa Di Corto Maltese. Needless to say, there isn't capital letters tall, underlined or emboldened enough to describe my jittery, euphoric, happy state. Thank you Richard and Hugh.
Where to begin? Well, in no particular order, Iíve been doing some character and scene design withPassion Pictures relating to the 2012 Olympics. More on that later. Thanks to Sam and Jennifer. Iíve been reading sections from C.G Jungís, Libre Novus, when possible. Iíve been working with the excellent folk atStreetmonkey andAV Browne on a hand-drawn animated campaign about how we should Ďrethink wasteí for the DOE, the project went brilliantly, thanks to Mark and Matt for that one. Iíll post clips as soon as I can. This work has been peppered with heavy amounts ofAdebisi Shank, Thomas Tallis, The Hungry Five and occasionally Carl Orff. Iíve just finished another small work for the Cambridge University Press, thanks to Tina atPentacor, Iíve also recently completed another piece for The Missed Photo series forSource Magazine. You will have noticed Iíve added a series of nine Ďfictionalí portrait pieces, theyíve been painted for the new issue ofThe Vacuum, titled Wrong, just being printed today. Itíll be all over Belfast in the next few days, do pick up a copy if you can. I managed to produce seven of these on Sunday and two on Monday, Iím still not sure how. Iíve listened to ĎThe Fry Chroniclesí and ĎMoab Is My Washpot,í as audiobooks of course. Along with all this Iíve also been doing some visiting lecturer work at theUniversity Of Ulsterin Belfast. I met with Liam Mc Comish and Christine Blaney in the recent past, and have been working with a range of groups and students, itís been very enjoyable. My own illustration class at theCrescent Arts Centre is going great, a very full and talented group of sixteen participants, who are producing some great work already, because of this, Iíve recently read ĎThe Conference Of The Birdsí again. During the class Iíve added a new element of recording the drawing session and posting it onVimeo as a resource for those taking part. However, Iíll also be adding Ďpublicí clips as often as I can, of personal work-in-progress to this channel, so keep watch if youíre interested. Thereís more I could mention, I suppose, but thatís really the highlights. Oh yes, the Doctor is now in the house.
"In the garden growth has its seasons. First comes Spring and Summer, but then we have Fall and Winter. And then we get Spring and Summer again." Unambiguous clarity from Chauncey Gardiner. You'll have noticed I've cut away some of the useless vines, removed the thumbnails and put the images on the main page. I've also added much needed text descriptions, really overdue. Do let me know what you think of the layout, if it works in your browser and so on. That portrait piece of my personal hero is for Source Magazine and this is something of a preview. It will be in print later this month. I've also just recently completed a piece for The New York Times called "The Whale." You can find the story here. I'm working more and more with oil in my personal work and I think this is beginning to show in recent illustrations. As I get these to a stage I'm comfortable with, I'll make them visible. I have much more that I'll get uploaded as soon as it's published and I have permissions and whatnot. If you're interested in illustration, the new season of classes is just about to begin at The Crescent Arts Centre. The enrolment and open day is this Saturday, the 4th of September. I'm taking the illustration group as usual. The Spring class went really well, filled up and the new centre is a joy to be in each week. Come along if you can.
Just a brief post this time relating to a few workshops and classes I'm taking in the near future that I'd like you to know about, perhaps come along to, if you get the chance. The most immediate is at the Millennium Court Arts Centre In Portadown. This is an illustration masterclass, part of the 'Into Irish Drawing' exhibition taking place there. It's on Saturday the 6th of March and begins at 10:00 am and finishes at 4:00 pm. It promises to be an enjoyable day. Have a look at these two links for further information.OneandTwo. The next are two workshops taking place at the newly refurbished Crescent Arts Centre. Perhaps 'workshop' is too grand a title, these are hour long sessions, one for illustration, one for animation. The sessions will give participants a feel for what they can expect to gain from the classes I hold at the centre. Usually, this just encompasses illustration, however we may broaden the field this time round. The dates and times are, Illustration Workshop - 20th April 2010, 8:00 - 9:30 pm. Animation Workshop - 23 April 3:30 - 4:30pm. During both sessions I'll disassemble two recent professional projects I've completed and give insight into the processes involved in making the work. The next is an illustration workshop for kids with Cinemagic on Wednesday the 23rd of June. During the day the group will collaborate to create a short story and some illustrations for it. When it's done, we should have an illustrated book made by everyone involved. I'll post more details on this soon. Why not have a look at theCinemagic sitein the meantime, or get in touch with them to see about signing up. In a strange and unprecedented move, I've decided to 'twitter,' or 'tweet,' or 'twit.' I don't seem to be using the 'blog' on this site very much at the moment, this purely because of work volume and time. So, the twitter service seemed like a good, reasonable alternative. I'll attempt to keep the twitter posts as drawing / illustration / painting related as possible and avoid the superfluous as much as possible, but who knows. You can click on the small blue 't' button above to take you directly to my posts. Almost done,Three In A Box, my agents have completely overhauled thier website, why not have a look through? Finally I have so much work to add to the site that I'm just not getting the time at the moment, this is a good thing of course. So in the coming months there'll be a large update.
There's so much that could be said and so little worth saying, so, concisely, in a nutshell. I've been animating robots, superheroís and humans from the third dimension for the Fire Service of Northern Ireland. For entertainment I've been writing software algorithms and music. I've been designing characters and costumes for Universal Pictures. I've done some illustrations for Source Magazine. I've tried to fix someones computer. I've been teaching all the while. In the future an Art Odyssey will occur. The 'Strabanian Relocation Program' are demanding copyright control of the Clegg 'concept.' I'm making five portraits of people I know. November may be mythological and I'm predicting Christmas will be abalmy 63in the shade.
Just look at the date between this post and the previous one. Posting regular messages on the 'information superhighway,' is not something that attracts me at the moment, but who knows, that may change. As you may have noticed, the reason for posting this time is because of a site-wide overhaul, this is version seven of this 'web thing' and it was originally started way back in two, naught, naught, five. Things were different then, people didn't lock their doors and there were less images to look after. With this incarnation I've cut back on the frills and made the illustrations as big as possible, hopefully without being too slow to load on your side of the screen. Another reason it's taken me so long to get things in order this time is because I've been at the coal face, almost without reprieve since January and I've had some enjoyable projects in that time. You'll notice that I'm now tagging new images, with a plush 'New Work" tag, so, if you couldn't be bothered reading this drivel, there will be not one drop of ambiguity when it comes to distinguishing the old from the new. The site is also living up to it's title a bit more, that is, 'Drawing & Stuff.' I've always intended that this might hold reference to the other things I'm involved, or just playing around with. Well, in the carefully titled 'Other Objects' page you can find such things. As of tonight the site is still missing text descriptions for the illustrations and 'other objects,' these will appear over the next few days, and if I have your email address, it's likely I'll funk up your inbox come the weekend with a sharp reminder to have a click through all this nonsense, again, to which you'll simply reply "meh," shrug your shoulders, tag the mail as junk and shuffle off to put the kettle on. Oh happy day!
Since I last posted much of my time has been spent working on a piece of animation and various other schemes and plots, however I managed to complete quite a few illustrations as well, here's a couple of them. Superheroes and villains seem to be the stuff of choice, a reoccurring theme at the moment. The first one, with the superheroes and Death was for Source Media and a story concerning legacy systems, old technology, that's the reason for the isometric view. The art direction was provided by Monica Lopez-Pizzi. The second one, with Darth Vader and the baby elephant is for the forthcoming issue of The Vacuum and a story about sound design. The illustration depicts how the sound effects were created for the Tie Fighters in the Star Wars films, honestly. And with that sound echoing in your mind and perhaps the odor of a plump meleagris wafting from the servants quarters, I'd like to wish you a very Happy Christmas, and if we're to believe the news, a truly utilitarian and modest New Year. Peace and Goodwill Hunting.
Thisillustration was for a Denver based magazine called5280. It ran with a story about a variety of climbing that seems to be just getting a foothold there, Via Ferrata. Apparently it's a climbing method that's ideally suited to beginners because of the steel rungs that are placed into the rock. The term translates as "Iron Road" and originates from either Italy or Austria in 1843 depending on who you ask, and was used extensively in the Dolomites during the First World War. The art direction was provided by Alese Pickering Beckett, who was great.
I was asked by Peter Lytwyniuk from Maximum 60 to portray a character calledDot, the brief was quite specific as the character has been represented by other illustrators at various points in her life. In the illustration I completed, Dot is in her early twenties. the composition had previously been decided upon so it was my job to simply put meat on the bones, which I did, and enjoyed. I've included a slightly higher resolution version of the image, just keep clicking. I've also posted these two sketches I was playing around with this evening. Ink, brush, pen and a slight bit of digital colour, more about this later.
The future of finance today. I finished up on this one yesterday, Derek Kaiser, the art director knew exactly what he wanted see, and was very pleased with the translation. After I finished the rough sketch I knew I'd like to carry those rough lines and movement through to the final as much as possible. As a result the digital colour and toning has been kept to an absolute minimum, and I believe thefinal illustrationis better for it.
During the launch for the Belfast Film Festival I was approached by Debbie McGrory from4 Talent NIand asked if I would be interested in doing a short interview about my work for the 4 Talent website. Of course, I agreed. The notion behind the 4 Talent venture, as I understand it, is to help people who are starting into careers in TV, film, new media and so on. I have to be honest, it's odd reading about yourself, I've been scanning the screen at various intervals this morning wondering, "is that me," or "did I say that?" I don't think I'm much of an example of 'how it should be done.' Perhaps it will help someone? Anyway, Debbie has just let me know that the interview has been put online,why not go and have a twitter? The interview was conducted by Cathy Lang, and the photo was taken byKiri Barker. The odd thing is, despite the title of the interview, I've yet to do anything remotely science fiction related, perhaps I should? In other news the 'Fantasy' Exhibition is going well, better than I had expected and here's another illustration. This one has been printed in the TIAB annual Box Lunch, it's titled 'Laundry & Lollies.' The illustration is also closely linked with a piece of animation that I have in the works, but more on that later. I've also included a desktop sized version of the image for your personal use and abuse.
This may seem like something of a double post because I have already mentioned the exhibition of the 21 drawingsI've done for the Fantasy edition of the Vacuum, and in some ways it is, but it's worth mentioning again. You can now download the catalogue for the show here. It's a PDF file, so you might have to install Adobe Reader.The exhibition is opening on the evening of Wednesday the 9th of April at 7pm, and it's taking place at the Black Box on Hill Street in Belfast. The drawings are currently being framed by Sheila at the Picture Gallery on Queen Street in Belfast. 11 of the drawings are being made available as limited edition silk screen prints, and I have the Belfast Print Workshop to thank for this, in particular Struan for his advice. There will be suitable refreshments and conversation is optional, I hope to see you there.
For a few weeks in January of this year I was working on the illustration and design for the 2008 Belfast Film Festival. The launch of the programme took place yesterday in Belfast, and I ended up being a bit late for the event. This is because Iíve had to move home recently and thereís been all sorts of people with wrenches, drills and guttering coming, going and generally making a nuisance of themselves. As a result I missed seeing the Star Wars Storm Troopers on guard at the entrance, and actually being thanked for the work Iíve done. I did hear one speech given by someone whoís name I canít remember describing the cover as being a puzzle and how you should spend a bit of time looking for all the references. That wasnít exactly my intent, but I can see what he means. Iíve provided examplesof most of the work completed for this including the programme cover design and illustration, 48 sheets, posters, passes, t-shirts and various other paraphernalia. The art direction was provided by Michele Devlin and Anne-Marie Murphy, and I have to say thanks to Richard McCullagh for his assistance in checking the margins.
From the 9th to the 19th of April I'll be exhibiting the twenty one ink drawings that I completed for the most recent edition of the The Vacuum. This will be taking place at the Black Box, on Hill Street in Belfast. Full details can be found at the venues website. In addition to the originals, I will also be making editions of the drawings available. If you havenít already got a copy of the paper, I recently posted previews of the images here, or you can get in touch with the publisherhere. There has been considerable interest in a number of the drawings so far and if youíd like to register yours, just get in touch with me using thecontact thing.
Around the beginning of October last year, Colin Boyd and myself completed a very short piece of animation.Since that point the film has been settling in storage without any assured forum, largely because we didnít like the idea of immediately uploading it to any of the available video content providers, and suitable conditions didnít exist here in Belfast. By happy accident and a fortunate turn of events Stephen Hackett invited us to submit it for screening at the 2008 Belfast Film Festival as part of the Jameson Short Film Competition. The festival is taking place between the 10th and 19th of April, so if you happen to be in Belfast around that time, why not come along and watch a number of films of limited duration.
It may appear to some that Iíve abandoned this web site given the date of the previous update, but thatís not the case. Thereís been no disaster or calamity, Iíve just had many projects in the intervening time and as a result have had little time for web updates. I have actually redesigned the site twice since then, not including the redesign youíre looking at now. But I didnít think they worked very well so they were never uploaded. If you have a click on the Drawing tab above, youíll notice Iíve added some new projects, too many to mention individually in this post, so Iíll not link to them from here. Although I would like to point out this one. I recently completed these twenty one ink illustrations for The Vacuum, the edition was titled Fantasy, you may have seen the posters around Belfast? If not you may still be able to get hold of a copy, you can get in touch with them here. Iíll be making the original drawings available for purchase in April, as well as a few other originals and surprises, but more on that later, but not too much later.