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seasons change

Juno illustration ~ Jan2017

It might still feel like winter (especially when I’m waiting for daylight to take photographs :)) but the early spring issue of Juno magazine is out now.

Juno early spring 2017

And I’m always super flattered when editor Saffia uses my image in the online advertising or contents page.

As there will be more issues of Juno per year from now on (six rather than four), I’ve decided to commit to one illustration per issue instead of two. I’m liking that – it gives me more focus. There’s been some interest in prints for this one already, so I know it’s kinda working!

skin and bones

painted animal skull

New year, new canvas. I’m kinda fired up for a more creative 2017 and it feels good to have projects I’m excited about.

The handsome chap in the photo is called Wilf – love his wonky horns! – and I’m gradually covering him with the moon and more evolved versions of my plant doodles. He’s a work in progress – there are wonderfully creepy wolves still to come. I’ll post the finished skull here, but meantime I’m documenting the various stages over on Instagram.  There’s some trial and error involved with materials and whole new challenges to working on a 3D surface, but at the same time it’s a massive amount of fun. Right now he’s a personal project, but I do plan to do a whole lot more.

Moving to one new canvas got me thinking of others, so I’m currently immersing myself in all things tattoo. I love the idea of adding another dimension to my work. I still don’t know how feasible it is, but I’m definitely determined to find out…

pen and ink illustration

I started the year with a new illustration for Juno, now being published bi-monthly. There’s a sneaky peek above – I’ll post the whole thing when the next issue hits the shelves. And still to come… I have updates on the SLOC whisky label so watch this space.

doodlebug

illustration

I have some catching up to do here, so prepare to receive a glut of posts over the coming weeks… But, to ease us back in gently, I’m starting with doodles!

I only recently noticed the amount of doodling I do during my day job, so I thought it might be worth documenting my little scribbles somewhere. They probably offer some kind of insight into my psyche (a LOT of leaves I notice) but then again, if they do, it might be best not to know… ;).

They’re hardly noteworthy, just five minute doodles, so rather than post them all individually here, I’ll be sharing them regularly on Instagram @scribblesinink (my favourite tag? #shitidoinmeetings). It feels like a good excuse for me to be more active there at least, as I’ve been neglecting pretty much everything of late. And I like that I can be less precious and more prolific about what I’m sharing as they are, literally, just doodles.

Anyway, still to come: updates on the SLOC label, a new web project, the Winter Juno illustrations and… I’ve found a new canvas to work on, which I’m super excited about… Like I said, lots to catch up on!

it’s coming…

pet portrait, portrait artist, illustration

Ok, it’s still vaguely sunny out there and I don’t want to think about it really, but the crimbo season will be on us before you know it. By my reckoning, Halloween stuff will be in the shops next weekend and once that’s over, they go full on festive…

With that in mind, if you are thinking of a pet portrait as a gift for the animal lover in your life, I’m taking Christmas commissions now. Don’t leave it till the last minute (seriously, the stress on both of us will be horrendous!!).

Portraits can be A4 or A3, and are pastel and pencil on Ingres pastel paper, and can be mounted ready for framing if required. I usually work from photographs supplied. Prices start at £65. If you would like more information just get in touch and I’ll be happy to guide you through the process 🙂

You can see some examples of previous portraits on the Portfolio page.

geometric

Whisky label design

Whisky label design

So my latest project is a limited edition whisky label design (how Scottish :)) for a young drinks company. If you know me, then you’ll know I love a label design. But, as you probably don’t, then let me tell you that despite absolutely loving red wine, the label has at least as much bearing on the bottle that I buy, much to the chagrin of my personal sommelier. I can’t help it! I have books on the subject and a pretty extensive label collection that includes Some Young Punks and Matsu. (That I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get the labels off in one piece is probably for another post…).

But that’s wine labels. To be fair, beer labels have also undergone a bit of a design renaissance in recent years, helped in no small part by the phenomenal success of Brewdog (also Scottish! A theme emerges!). Hmm, whisky labels though…? To uninitiated me (definitely not a whisky drinker) they always seem quite traditional – and for that read: dull. A bit of Googling however, revealed that there are some funkier designs out there.

After brainstorming the concept with the client over curry and a bottle of wine – a design process I thoroughly recommend! – we settled on basing the brand around the road which connects the two company shops; the fortuitiously/unfortunately named Slug road.

First visuals

First visuals

The first visuals were a modern take using a slug graphic (which I loved – that trail was going to be spot UV!) and a more traditional design based on a drawing of the road itself. Although the client loved the slug too, as he so delicately pointed out, “people are fucking stupid, they’ll think it’s made of actual slugs”. Having extensive experience of the stupidity of people, I had to concede this was quite likely the case.

But ok… the road idea was the favourite, except, I didn’t really like the visuals for the road one! I preferred the more modern ‘slug’ version…. So, I went back to the drawing board and worked on ‘modernising’ the road design with a geometric pattern. If I say so myself, it’s actually pretty smart – the triangles represent two mountains, the road and some trees (in case you don’t get it :)). Without the actual slug, I thought ‘sloc’ worked better as the name, and gave it an accompanying blurb by way of explanation. As part of the blurb goes:

“The Slug Road is an ancient ‘mounth’ road in Aberdeenshire. Slug is thought to be derived from the Gaelic word sloc, meaning hollow or dell, named because the road traverses a narrow mountain pass.”

SLOC ~ the final design

SLOC ~ the final design

Anyway, the title of this post is because all those triangles reminded me of this.

Frank Zappa ~ Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

Frank Zappa ~ Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

ello

inking foxes

Since I’m back online, I figured I might as well go all out and completely saturate the web with my presence, virus-style! So, in addition to this new website, my Instagram account and Facebook page, I’ve also gone back to Ello. You can visit me there, where I have acquired a slightly Russian sounding version of my actual name, due to my actual name not being available…

Ello is “the only network designed for creators, by creators” and, I have to say, it is achingly cool. You just know it’s populated by beard-wearing, avocado-eating, craft beer brewing hipsters in Helvetica t-shirts, skinny jeans and inconceivably pointy shoes. (Although admittedly, dammit, it might just be me getting old and cynical…). But, I’m liking the ethos of the site and the clean visual aesthetic – and it’s ad free – so I will persevere despite feeling like the uncool kid 🙂 (Plus, I feel my newly found, exotic sounding name can only help me to fit in there…).

Anyway, in the spirit of all things hipster, handmade and authentic (and with my tongue only very slightly in my cheek), I’m posting an oldie of me inking foxes.

Portfolio Items