Thursday, 6 May 2010



There's nothing on it yet, but give me until my degree show and it will be up and running

Monday, 3 May 2010


This is a few of my (soon to be) final pieces for my Music is Free major project. They are all based around free music and the idea of taking down the music empire. I'm not going to post all my work because it would take a million years, but here's a few:


By the way, Music is Free doesn't have a website at the moment but if you want to know what they're about just go to their facebook at (that address directs you to the facebook, im not an idiot).


This is just some of my T-shirt designs, something I do in my spare time. Just thought I'd post so you can all have a looky.

The shirts I design and make are not really influenced by any other clothing companies but I do like the shirts by two companies called volcom and element. Their designs are very arty and illustrative rather than type or graphic based and it is this that I can relate to because it coincides more with my own work. Although some of their work looks a bit amateur and unprofessional, their designs are still fun. Some examples are posted below.

Sunday, 2 May 2010


The rise of the authorstrator.
More and more illustrators are becoming more than just illustrators. Back in the day an illustrator would produce work for a client, the way that the client wants it to look and then move onto the next job. These days, many illustrators do more than just editorials. If you go into a shop such as Magma in Manchester you will see hundreds of self published books, toys, badges, games etc. all designed and made by illustrators.
More and more illustrators are becoming more than just illustrators. Back in the day an illustrator would produce work for a client, the way that the client wants it to look and then move onto the next job. These days, many illustrators do more than just editorials. If you go into a shop such as Magma in Manchester you will see hundreds of self published books, toys, badges, games etc. all designed and made by illustrators. Maybe the modern illustration market is too competitive and some people have reversed and had to rethink about what they want to do. Or, maybe due to the fact that most illustrators are freelance, the uncertainty of work and income may push people to looking for a second job on the side, which in this case would be an author or toy designer. Another possibility for illustrators doing their own thing is that often illustration/ graphic design work has to stick to a strict brief and there is not much of a window for you to fully express yourself. Desgning books/ toys etc. on the side gives the artist a way of making a living and also be able to express himself in any way he likes. There is quite a large market at the moment for designer toys and I think that many artists/ illustrators are trying to make the most of that. One of the most well known toy makers is 'Kidrobot', who was started by an artist called Paul Budnitz. As well as his designer toys he has also started to make clothes and still sells art. At the end of the day, if you are an artist and you have spare time, why not do something else on the side? It is extra income, another way of expressing yourself, and because there isn't a direct client, you can work the way you want to without the constraints of a brief.
When Lauren Moriarty came in to give us a talk in college she said it was important when you had done a piece of work to look at it and decide what else you could do with it. What else could it be? If you had a good illustration of buildings for example, why leave it as one image? Why not make it into posters, cushions, t-shirts etc etc. She taught me that I shouldn't just leave something when it has potential and I'm guessing that a lot of illustrators and designers think like that. Going back to the kidrobot toys, they all started as sketches until one day Paul Budnitz decided to do more with them. 
These days everything is expensive, food, travel, clothes, everything. Artists often struggle to make money and if there is a market out there for other things that they can make and sell and they have some spare time on their hands then there is no reason why they wouldn't try doing other things. 
Another reason that there are more illustrators doing their own books and personal work is that a lot of them are probably in the same position that I will be in after I graduate. A lot of people, although they know they want to do art, they dont know what to do or where to go first. Others know what they want to do but it is hard to get into work straight away, especially when we are still dealing with the recession. So, there are thousands of creative minds waiting to start earning a living but without jobs, they are not going to stop making art because that is what they do, and as long as they are making it they may as well sell it.
Although we have lost a lot of cool arty shops to the recession, especially in Manchester, the internet is bigger than it has ever been. This is an opportunity for people to make what they want and sell it over Ebay or their own websites and basically the wider range of things you have, the more attention you are going to attract. Offering people more than one thing is going to improve our chances of making money and also could help you finding work if companies see that you are entrepreneurial and not just a one trick pony. 
There are many reasons as to why illustrators are doing more than purely illustration. I think I am going to be one of these people because there is just so much I want to do. I want to create things and draw things and make things and just keep going and see where I end up. 
All this new creativity in the world can only be a good thing. There is more to see, more things to buy, you can buy almost anything these days that has been created by an illustrator; knives, forks, paperclips, colouring books, everything you can think of. There is always going to be a market for one off's and limited edition items no matter what they are and illustrators are taking advantage of this. I feel Illustration as an art form will become more widely acknowledged and enjoyed because of this 'rise of the authorstrator', and anything that attracts more people towards illustration is a good thing, especially for someone like me who is about to graduate and aims to start doing illustration as a job.
Illustrators and artists have good minds that need to create. And they are never going to change. 


I needed to design a logo for my Music is Free project so I did some research into existing logos from major record companies. Initially I wanted to design something that looked original, fun and anti-corporate to get across the ideas of Music is Free. After trying out a few ideas I came across an old Columbia records logo, see above. I decided to basically rip off this logo and redesign it to use for Music is Free. Music is Free is anti-corporate and about taking down the big music companies so I felt that using a stolen corporate logo would be ironic and also reinforce the ideas behind Music is Free. Below are the two final logos I am going to use on my posters.


After looking at different types and models of guitar amps I produced a series of amp images for my major project. As the title of my project is 'music is free', I used all found materials, old card and paper etc to construct these images which has given them a really vintage and recycled appearance. I am thinking of using some of these amps on promotional postcards or business cards that I can hand out at my degree show to promote my work.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I came a cross this guy as he had done some illustrations for New Scientist magazine. At first I didn't think the illustrations were that great but I went on the internet to have a nosey at his work anyway, and now I really like it. His typographical work is especially good. The above picture was one that I had already seen in a gallery but at the time I did not know who Andy Smith was. Some of his work is slightly cartoony but the rest is all very nice. Andy's strengths lie in his sense of composition and his ability to simplify and stylize shapes and images to produce eye catching and interesting images. Check out his website if you're interested:


I was just trying to finalize an idea for my business cards when I came across this website:

There are so many ridiculously cool way of producing business cards that I hadn't even thought about, metal cards, scratchcard type cards, weird materials and shapes, all things that would catch peoples attention and make you stand out. I will have some cards ready by my degree show and I am seriously gonna think about how I want them made. But check out this website it's realy good.