Sunday, 25 April 2010


I found this guy in a book I picked up from Kemistry gallery when we were down in London. He is almost a contemporary Max Ernst, using similar techniques and with a similar sense of humour in his work. Although it is hard to make sense of what his images say or mean, they are still nice to just look at and enjoy. Duboe has a nice sense of composition and colour and his work is always fun. Here are a few examples of his work:

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


In my final project I am trying to show the music industry as a huge empire on its last legs. I have been to places like Lyme hall and Chatsworth to look at the architecture of the buildings and get some ideas for producing very regal, almost over the top buildings. Many of the buildings in Requiem for Detroit have inspired me aswell, especially the old factories. I have posted about that programme previously- it's well worth a watch. But anyway here are a couple of the buildings I have put together for my project.

Friday, 16 April 2010


Lauren Moriarty vs Rick Nichols

Although Lauren and Rick work in different areas of design, their aims are quite similar; To make a living through art and design. 
Both Lauren and Rick work as individuals. From hearing both of them speak it sounds like Lauren is far more at home working on collaborations as she said she loves hearing other peoples ideas and points of view and it is always enjoyable working with new people. However, she went into quite some detail about doing a job in which there are a large group of people who all have a say in each stage of the design process. She explained that this can sometimes mean that the final outcome is nothing like what you would have done yourself and it can be quite frustrating. A particular project she did for Camden council started out with her having brilliant ideas but then after everyone in the council had picked her design apart and made it into exactly what they wanted there was nothing left but the very simplest form of her initial idea. Rick also spoke about working in groups and working with a group of clients on one project. He, like Lauren explained how your design can start as something you are very happy with but throughout the creative process and taking into account what the clients want and don't want, all the good things seem to vanish and at the end you are left with a very simplified, dumbed down version of what you initially had in your head. Rick is currently working on a collaboration with some other designers which he seems happy about but from the way he spoke it seems that he is happy when he is left to do his own thing. Lauren enjoys working alone but I feel she would be happy in a collaboration because she seems to like working with others as long as the group size isn't too large.
Both practitioners, unless working with others on a project, do everything by themselves. Lauren explained how she liked being able to do things herself as it is quicker, cheaper (eventually) and because you get the chance to play and experiment. She likes to own all the machinery she will need so that when she needs to use something, like a photocopier or vinyl cutter for example, she can do tryouts and experiment without being charged extra for it. Also, by having the equipment at home it means you don't have to put the effort in travelling to use somebody else's machine. Rick doesn't use as much equipment in his work but says it always helps to have friends with equipment just incase you need to use it.
Both designers are very self motivated, both work for themselves and do what they want to do and both take great pride in their work. From their talks it is obvious that they are both very professional in their approach towards work. They both self promote, although Lauren went into more detail on this subject talking about how keeping your clients happy is the most important thing. She told us how it is vital to always be organised and have clear pictures of everything you do so that if somebody shows an interest and asks for a sample of your work you can get it to them in a matter of minutes. Lauren told us to always keep our website up to date and always make sure to be polite and friendly to our clients. Rick, I feel does not promote himself as best he could. Purely from searching for him and his website on the internet and finding nothing at all shows that he could be doing more to put himself and his work out there. Lauren however, has a range of images and information that come up when you type her name into Google. Lauren has many contacts with shops and companies that sell her art and products which points me to the conclusion that she has put more effort into promoting her work and getting her work sold. Rick on the other hand doesn't seem to have these kind of contacts and sells his design work personally. This though, may just be due to the fact that both people are from different pathways and Lauren's work and products are easier to sell in shops. 
Both practitioners spoke to us about how difficult it can be to get started and get noticed in the industry. Rick, as far as I could gather, seems to rely on contacts he knows to get work and doesn't seem to do many things that would get his work noticed. Lauren on the other hand does a lot of work to promote herself such as going to shows like new blood etc., doing interviews whenever she can, keeping in contact with magazines that print articles about her and by contacting shops to get her work seen by a wider range of people. In the design world now there are a lot of artists, illustrators etc. all trying to get noticed and it is generally the people who put the most effort into promotion that do the best. Lauren, although not the most amazing designer I have ever seen, seems to have got herself completely organised and seems prepared for anything that comes her way. She spends her spare time doing the work she likes and also trying to sell her work in different ways such as contacting new shops and also by setting up websites to sell her work from home. Rick did not speak about how he sells his work/ gets his clients but I do not doubt that he has his ways. Overall I feel that if I had to follow in the footsteps of one of these designers it would be Lauren Moriarty. This is because she does something that she loves, she is organised, motivated, has the right attitude, knows exactly how to promote herself and how to treat clients and customers, and also she seems like the kind of designer that will do very well doing what she does. Rick, who I feel is the better artist and possibly the better creative brain out of the two, does not seem to try as hard which seems like it would be a problem as a freelance designer without an agent. If you are going to do everything for yourself you must get out there and do it because nobody else is going to do it for you. I like Ricks work and I do feel like he is intelligent and knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to design but as a freelance you have to do more than be good at art, you have to be the whole company, designer, advertiser, promoter etc.

Both practitioners are extremely talented at what they do and have taught me that I must be organised and most importantly, motivated if I want to get somewhere with my design work. I know I need to do something I enjoy in order for me to do the best job I can and I am prepared for clients to not always think my work is perfect and I need to be more open minded and able to accept changes that clients put forward. If you think about working for a client you are never working alone, and this may be something I need to get used to.

I'd like to thank both practitioners for giving up some of their time to talk to us.


For the start of my MUSIC IS FREE project I have begun to make images and collages out of found materials, old and recycled imagery. Due to the 
fact I am working with collage I felt it was necessary to reference Max Ernst as he is almost the founding father of collage. Although the German artist is generally more well known for his paitntings, it is his collages that I have been looking at and have been inspired by. His collages look very similar to some contemporary collages today even though he was producing these images more than 50 years ago. I am blogging about him to show that I am aware of his work and his inspiration on the art world. Many people today create collages and similar work to Ernst without knowing anything about the origins of collage as an art form.

Ernst went through a stage in his life where he produced nothing but incredible collages. What makes them more amazing is the fact that he produced all of his work by hand, without the aids of computers or photoshop to  cut and paste things together. His images are so skilfully and seamlessly pieced together that they look like one flat image and it is hard to tell that they even are made by collage. The craftmanship and care that went into his work far outweighs anything produced today by any modern illustrators/artists. The invention of computers and photoshopping software means that people do not have to spend time, or even be very skilled to create work like Ernst, but there is always going to be an honesty and a deepness in Ernst's work that noone could ever achieve using modern techniques. There is also a feeling of fun and humour in his work that you do not see as much these days. You can tell the guy had a sense of humour.

I have posted a selection of my favourite pieces below, look at them, they're dead good :)


This is a band I found about 2 years ago, everything is instrumental and it is the best music to listen to when you are working or trying to think of ideas. Have a listen.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I found this designers work when I was looking for inspiration to help me with my Music is Free buildings. I don't know anything about the designer but I just saw these images and fell in love with them. As far as I can tell they are all screenprinted although they could be done digitally. Whatever the method, the images are relaxing and gentle even though the subject matter is huge dominating buildings and city scapes. I love the way that although they show cities, skyscrapers and busy cosmopolitan environments, you do not see or feel any noise, any sense of urgency, rushing and crowds. They are almost ghost cities, silent and beautiful. 

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


This video is just something that I saw and I still don't know how they managed to do it. It is a video of a city but somehow they have made everything look miniature. It looks like a toy city and although doesn't have anything to do with my current work, it is still interesting and cool. Definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I emailed Will Fox at the Daily Mail to hopefully get some feedback and/ or to arrange a visit while I was in London but was unsuccessful.

Hi James,

Thank you for your email. I'm afraid I'm not around next week
as I'm on holiday but I will happily look at any examples of your work that
you send through.

Many thanks

Will Fox
Weekend Magazine
020 7938 6000 (x3336)
07956 665 149
(Embedded image moved to file: pic30971.jpg)


jimbo jones

03/03/10 14:46

Hi, my name is James Richardson and I am in my final year of an
illustration degree in Manchester. I am coming to London between the 9th
and 11th of March and was wondering if you would have 5 minutes to look at
my illustration work. I have a few different styles of working and think my
work could be right for your magazine. I have enclosed a few pieces of work
so you can see my styles of working. If it would be possible to make an
appointment to see you, or if you would rather I send you some more work
via email then please get back to me.

Thanks for your time,

James Richardson

I also contacted the following people with the same intentions but with no success:

Hi James

Thanks for your email. Because we’re constantly busy, we don’t have time to see people independently but welcome you to email in samples and I will put your website on my system.

Ped Millichamp
Deputy Art Editor
Radio Times
020 8433 3128

The following did not reply at all:

Sunday, 4 April 2010


We visited the Welcome Gallery during our trip to London. They had an exhibition on at the time called 'Medicine now' which i found pretty fascinating. Although not illustration, many of the pieces were really interesting. My favourite one (shown below) was a map of the world made entirely out of dead mosquitos. From more than a metre away it looks like the map has just been stitched or made out of string and it is only when you get up close that you actually see how it's made.

 Other sections of the gallery showed collections of medical tools, utensils etc, many of which were antique, unique and unlike anything else I have ever seen. Things like this are always good to look at for inspiration and I have always had a weird kind of interest in medicine and the history behind it so this exhibition was exciting to me. 

I also spent some time in the Science museum down in London, the history of medicine exhibition being my favourite out of all the exhibits. 

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Needing inspiration for my Music Is Free project and knowing I was working with the idea of 'taking down the music industry', I had a look into the work of This organisation mocks corporations and products by producing funny and truthful adverts about them. For example, they produced a set of posters about Absolut vodka, imitating the brand styling and the advertising style. Instead of the typical vodka adverts showing people having a good time with alcohol and everything being fine, the adbuster campaign talked about the opposite effects of alcohol such as alcohol related deaths, impotence, addiction etc. Although these are serious issues, adbusters create their work in a light hearted and humerous way intending to make the companies seem stupid rather than just talking about serious issues. Other adverts they produced include a set of perfume and aftershave posters, one showing a fat, hairy man instead of models that show you 'the way you should look'.

Adbusters is about taking down the big companies and ridiculing them. They use corporate brands and styles, like the ones we see every day in magazines and on television, and interfere with them so they work against the companies. 

If I was studying for a graphic design degree I would probably be interested in the compostion and the overall look of the adbusters camplaigns but as an illustrator I am purely blogging about adbusters because it has given me ideas on how to use existing work against the company it is made to promote. The work they produce is clever and because they use material and imagery that people are already familiar with, it is easier for a wider audience to relate to the messages they are sending out.


After visiting DDB Advertising Agency in London, I came out quite happy with the work I have been producing. Although we had been told that it is quite hard getting into the high end of the industry, I was excited when I saw that the work the agency used was not of a quality that I feel is unreachable for me. All I need to do is keep creating work, get a little bit more organised, and publicise myself. We were told how important it is to have a quick, fully functional website, which doesn't take time to load and is simple to navigate. It made me realise how busy these types of agency are, and they never have time to sit and wait for your website to load when they are trying to scout new illustrators. The world of illustration is fast paced and you need to know, and make sure you let people know you are aware of this. Having work on the internet that agencies can see within seconds is going to boost your chances of being seen and getting work. It is our responsibility to publicise and organise ourselves and it is only when we have got this sorted, that people are going to take an interest. You could have the best work in the world, but if people never see it, then, well, people never see it.