Definately Down but not Out!

March 8, 2010


Man, what a crazy few months it has been for me! plenty of stuff going on just some of it not really what i wanted to be doing!

This New(ish) day job i started nearly a year ago now, seems to be replacing the last one i had, with even bigger lows!. Now i truly am starting to feel like i am rubbish!… This must change! So in a effort to do so I am working on freelance stuff. I have some interesting little projects in the Mix and now got myself a nice little set up with a print house!

It’s frustrating when you see how easy everyone else makes it look so easy!

Still this is a quik one to let you know i am still alive and that I am still adding to this. Hopefully when i get the stable site up… I will add more often! I have put some New images on flickr. these are from last summer, as its getting to that time everyone can feel Summer is approaching its only fair to remind yourself WHY I love england and Summertime so much!

Looking around at new Garms for that summer vibe i see my good friend Josh Franceschi from has released some Dope new Tees from his new “Spoken Word” pack.

DBNO Tee newest design

check em’ out and maybe pick one up here the clour ways are really nice and Vibrant and the Design is really taking that happy College vibe that Johnny Cupcakes gives. Really nice and seeing as this range is only their second it looks like it could be really interesting to see this brand develpo in the coming months!

Anyways Go check out my flickr when u get a chance!


Lists, Lists and Collecting!

October 13, 2009

I’m Just starting to compile a list of Creative Agencies in London at the moment, with information about them, their clients, size and kind of agency/work they do. This may be a futile project but I think that its important to poke your head above ground from time to time and see what the rest of the world is doing! This list will be LARGE! I’ll let you know when its been finished and publish the shit out of it!

Along with this I think that by immersing yourself in all of this creative research that you might be inspired by a companies style, direction of overall vibe. So watch out for that, A lot of them you might have heard of before but if in this list there is one that you have not heard of, then I have done what i set out to do!

Other than that, I hat been looking in to getting a new DSLR body, either a Nikon D80 or Nikon D90, a new wide angle lens and also a new RAID for my future work and Backing up of old work i have done. With that i will need to sort out all the files that i have just got dumped over 1.5 TB of disk space.

With Photography being a large portion of my thoughts at the moment (even though I am not taking hardly any photos at the moment) I have managed to reserve a place on a Photography course at Brighton’s awesome Garage Studios. Its a day course that will take me through the basics of using my camera and move on to more advanced techniques with a view of enabling me to take more creative shots and hopefully take better portraits and landscapes. Following that, I have reserved a place on a Flash course in January, again at the mighty Garage Studios.

I can’t wait!, Party because this is where one of my favourite Photographers DarkDaze teaches sometimes. Check his stuff out! Its so vibrant, and different, Recently he and some other fashion designers and Photographers from Brighton have setup their own fashion magazine called Gangup.

One of the hottest Photos

One of the hottest Photos i think

AND…I have now officially become a collector or photography, purchasing my first two prints by DarkDaze. Also I have a limited screenprint of the awesome illustration from Jordan Buckley.


see you next time

Interview with Drew Millward by the stable london

August 19, 2009

As I have mentioned before I love finding new artists, designers, styles and Illustrators. I can spend hours trawling through the realms of Myspace and forums and come across very few that are mind-blowingly right up my street. Drew Millward is one of those people that i found on my voyage through the digital realms and wow!, I am so glad that i have found him. I new that i had to ask this guy some questions about him and his work! His style is akin to the likes of the amazing 123Klan, with its clean lines and bubble like characters yet it doesn’t end there, He owns Birdwar records with his buddy and plays drums in a band called White Fang. As it says on his myspace page he uses pens, pencils and Ink…..And Doesn’t know what a vector is. ladies and gents….I bring you Drew Millward.

Big Business

Big Business

T.S.L – Your style has a very organic hand-drawn feel which at times can be very detailed and intricate akin to other designers such as “The 5683” and “Dan Mumford“. Has it always been this way or is this a result of development and influence?

DM – I suppose that the intricacy and detail is a by product of working, and constantly drawing. I think I started off with a very simple style, and certainly nowhere close to what I do now. I guess it’s a matter of picking up influences, and becoming more comfortable in your own abilities to try things. Certainly that’s how it was for me anyway. I’ve always been much more drawn to things with a real handmade aesthetic, and I’ve never really wanted to stray away from that side of things, but just push my own ability.
T.S.L – What artists and/or sources do you draw your inspiration from?

D.M – It’s a tricky one to answer. I tend to draw inspiration from lots of different places. Japanese prints, Goya, Bosch, Where’s Wally?, Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak…. I could list stuff all day.
I suppose I’m interested in the craft of illustration. I’m interested in single framed narrative and the juxtaposition of themes.
That all sounds like art school balls, but it’s true.

T.S.L – What are your plans for you and your career for the future?

DM – I really have no plans. I just hope I’m not discovered as the fraud I sometimes feel like, and continue to be able to make work.

T.S.L – Some designers tend to use a lot of repetition in their work almost like a graphical toolkit or a signature, How do you feel about this when you see it in a body of work and what kind of message do you think it gives about that designer?

DM – I think it’s great. To have a style and visual reference points is a nice touch to be able to tie a body of work together. I suppose it’s another aspect of developing a style and incorporating themes into your work.
T.S.L – Sometimes when I have been working on a particularly uninteresting or uninspiring job or doing paperwork for a few days or weeks, and then have a job thrown on my desk which is needed yesterday which needs to be creative and interesting and different, I find it hard to change gear and get my “creative hat” on. What do you think is the best way to get back in to the mindset of open-minded creative thinking, even when you have a tight deadline looming?

DM – It’s really difficult. I dismissed the idea of keeping sketch books for a long time, but it really is a pretty valuable resource. Having a stock of sketches and thoughts to look back through is a pretty good way to spark off ideas when you are in a corner time-wise.
I tend to keep cuttings of stuff I’ve seen or have a folder on the computer of images I’ve collected. Like I say, inspiration can come from anywhere. Read a book, listen to music, walk away from it for a while… whatever works really.

T.S.L – Do you ever get a mental designers block?, If so how to you get over it?

DM – Yup. It just comes and goes at will. I try to keep a few plates spinning at once. If I have a few projects on the go, that is pretty helpful. Something scanned in, something at sketching stages, painting something…. If you get bored of one, you can go and do something else, while not wasting time doing nothing.

T.S.L – Every designer has their own way of working and their own creative process, can you give an insight in to your methods and rituals?

DM – Pencil->Pen->Pixel->Screen Print.
I start with a sketch that would make no sense to anyone but me. I usually trace over it a few times and add in more detail each time until I’m happy with how it looks. I’ll then ink the final image. From there I’ll scan it in, and either color each separate layer in Photoshop, or using additional layers of tracing paper…. Depending on how I want it to look. Everything is then layered and assembled in Photoshop. Separated for printing, or saved for whatever purpose it is intended.


The thing that impresses me the most about Drew Millwards’ work is that its so heavily styled and yet very accessible, it fits in with clothing, posters and flyers, as art, as CD artwork as Vinyl toys, stickers and i could even imagine some of these charming characters and beasts is animations or TV shows! who knows. His style sums up everything i aspire to be as an artist/designer. With a traditional approach of pen and ink and a discipline that is not driven by having the newest software of the latest craze, no it is from, like any illustrator/designer comes from lots of mis-spent youth and years of practice and doodling on anything that stayed put for long enough. Which is how skills are developed and a raw talent and a NEED to draw and create is is nurchered.

Should you wish to use Drews services drop him a line! He is a really great guy from what i can tell and thank him for his time, after all I am probably one of many people that bother him on a daily basis. You give me inspiration and a drive to be better…….Going on some of the stuff i am doing….Oh boy do i have a long was to go! – –

Keaton Henson Interview by the stable-london

July 21, 2009

Being interested in design, the most enjoyable part of it is coming across talent and meeting designers and talking to like-minded people. There is nothing that i love more than to talk about styles, processes, inspirational

Look! I'm a Ghost Cd Artwork

Look! I’m a Ghost Cd Artwork

sources, websites and thoughts about and from other designers. A little while ago i got the chance to ask one of my favourite local designers Keaton Henson ( a few questions. I first came across Keaton’s work via artwork for a friends band Look! I’m a Ghost. Since then I have seen his work and illustrations all over the shop! Topman, Drop Dead Clothing, the Happy Potter, Cheer up clothing and too many others to remember. His style is gritty, hand drawn and grotesque yet his illustrations and characters with their blood, slime and tattoo’s have a certain humility and vulnerable innocence to them.

So with such a great and varied client base what does this talented young Illustrator have to say.

Foals Gig Poster

Foals Gig Poster

T.S.L – Your style has a very organic hand-drawn feel which at times can be very detailed and intricate akin to other designers such as “The 5683” and “Dan Mumford”. Has it always been this way or is this a result of development and influence?

K.H – I really dont know to be honest with you. i think my handrawn style comes from the fact i dont like things to be perfect, i believe smudges and sketchy parts are the things that make a piece work. the detailed thing just comes from a need to fill space, ive always liked drawing detailed images, just to give people more to look at.

T.S.L – What was your education / art school experience like?

K.H – Fucking awful, i failed throughout school mainly due to flatly refusing to do copies of other artists work. which, despite the fact i was a petulant schoolboy, i still stand by. I dont see what you learn from copying others, I think its great that schools introduce you to artists and sources of inspiration, but to make you actually copy their work is totally ridiculous. I then continued to argue with teachers during my first year of college. and then just left before doing my a-levels. and started working straight away, and honestly think if it wasnt for that i would still be an art student terrified of the day i had to actually try and get jobs, rather than a working artist. im not a huge fan of the education system when it comes to art.


Drop Dead Clothing

T.S.L – Another year of a new breed of designers is upon us like more lambs to the slaughter, searching for jobs in hat seems to be the toughest times since the early 90’s. What advice would you give to a designer about to graduate?

K.H – I would say dont panic, and ignore everything your lecturers have taught you about your style and how to draw. You spent all the years up to university developing your style with the books you read and things you watch that it seems ridiculous for a teacher to strip it away and give you what they think will sell. i was told to stop drawing weird intestinal looking dudes throughout my entire education. which is now what i get payed solely to do. Also just make sure your stuff is offering at least one thing that no one else has, if thats the case you should have no problem finding clients.

T.S.L – How do you see design trends changing over the next few years?

K.H – I see them changing over the next week, they always do. but i reckon things are going to shift back to photography, this illustration wave were riding has to end at some point. and i think its going to move to digital photos and text work. but who knows.

T.S.L – A lot of book written by other designers say that the most important assets to have as a designer is 1) Your integrity. 2) your portfolio. How do you know when you have integrity as a designer and if your portfolio is worth the CD its burnt on?

K.H – Screw integrity, if macdonalds want you to draw them a happy cow for enough money to live on for a year i say do it. save your integrity for when your at the stage where you can exhibit solo. then put it all into that. and portfolio is the most important thing. its always good to have some big clients in there, and photos of your work on billboards, but the stuff i get the most responses to is the stuff i draw while im bored. so thats just as useful.

T.S.L – Every artist has their own way of working and their own creative process, Do you have any methods or rituals?

K.H – Well i dont do anything particularly ritualistic, i dont have a special illustration gown or anything. usually i just stick on some music, think about my format, so for instance if im doing a cd cover i will draw a square and then block it in with shapes, so i start with composition and its not an afterthought. for instance i’ll choose a section of the “canvas” and
start filling it with shapes pointing in the directions i think will work. then, for me, its just a case of replacing those shapes with ugly dudes with hairy belly and white eyes. job done.


Keaton Henson Topman Design


T.S.L – Thanks Keaton so much for your time

Next up is the amazingly talented Drew Millward, so come back and visit real soon. I am so excited to have gotten the chance to interview some of my favourite designers/illustrators that i don’t think i can control myself!

Came across a nice bit of design from Brighton……Introducing: Wired World

June 22, 2009

Wired World

A really nice looking bunch of designs and blog from this designer i came across on Computer Arts Forum

Check it out!

Work In Progress Inspired by Tank Girl

June 19, 2009

Been messing about on some down time and doing sketches of things, been really feeling the Tattoo vibe at the moment and a while backsaw a tattoo with the old dagger through it and wanted to do something similar, I normally use strokes in illustrator for outlines but this time i thought i’d try using the pathfinder tool and layer up the grads and colours to get a bit more of a non-uniform feel. I love the Tank girl style artwork.

Tank Girl Artwork

Tank Girl Artwork

Tank Girl is a fantastic british talent, responsible for Amazing artworks like the Gorillaz, Tank girl (Obv.), working with publications like the face.

Check him out well worth a ganders!

With this drawing i just spent a little bit of time playing around.Not really gona use it for anything just thought i’d put something up for the time being, and have a little bit of a chat.

Initial sketch

Initial sketch

Moving on from that sketch brought it in to Illustraotr and traced it out and added some nice like scratch marks and grads to give it that comic book feel.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Next i wanted to do some classic Tattoo style additions so i went ahead and drew a couple of roses. The tricky part for me was to remember that the key is in the detail but not to get too lost in it!

The petals are built up and layered upon each other meaning that grads and more detail can be added once the overall shape has been formed. Still need to work on the stems and water/blood drips and get some nice shading in the petals themselves. Again, you can see that i have simply used a stroke here, which gives it a really clean and uniform appearance. Not sure if i am going to change this or not yet but i need to have a play about when i get some more free time… Who knows i might even make it a tattoo for myself one day… This is nothing amazing i know!, but i am hoping that little by little i will learn and become better!..Ta

Another simple addition

Another simple addition

Post….Everything!…Draw Everything…..Sleep!

June 18, 2009

What a busy 10 days it’s been!

Since my last post i have been to see Brighton Uni’s end of year show, Seen my girlfriend silence a stag do mid-swing, been to Paris to see the sights and smells and got back in to the ryhtmn of work after having a nice week off! I’m on my laptop at the moment and haven’t gotten around to getting all the pictures i took on to this yet!. Something i will try and do this weekend!…Busy weekend ahead of Music, Drinking and some relaxing if i can get some time!

Every designer/creative should own this book

Every designer/creative should own this book

Last time also i posted I mentioned a book called “A technique for producing ideas“, alot smaller than i orginally had expected but by no means lacking in content. It covered the thinking behind the book is that it reiterates and drives home the process for how to generate ideas and think about a project whether it be design, business, music or a text the process is globally useable and based on 5 simple steps:

1) Gather materials – bother Mentally and physically. whether it is materials about the product, surrounding the product, Understand the product, how it works, what seperates it from others, what seperates its consumers from others, understand the market and also gather materials that you may use not only for the product, campaign or brief you are working on but for future products,campaigns and briefs build a book of tricks and scrap books that you can use for reference and inspiration or as a trigger for the future.

2) Explore and tear it apart in great detail what you have gathered – Look at these articles, notes or facts in as many different ways as you can think of. Look at other writings like Veblen’s theory of the leisure classes. Anything to break apart and explore what you have collected to see some relationship or way of fulfilling the brief…..In otherwords EAT, SLEEP and BREATHE it!

3) STEP AWAY FROM THE PROJECT – Sounds simple enough to do, but apparently this is the kind of ” now leave to simmer on a low heat” part to the recipe. Do anything that inspires you. Listen to music, read, go to the cinema, sleep on it even (linking to step four)

4) Ideas will come to you from out of nowhere – (apparently)…Providing you have done your part for the previous stages, ideas or idea shall come to you some way or how. in the shower, before you fall asleep, as you just wake up anything. And there you have your seedling idea.

5) To complete the process – Show the world your idea and put it in an open forum for discussion and exploration. your idea might be OK but with this stage it becomes polished, you are able to look at it in the cold light of day and with fresh eyes take comments from others and possibly improve and develop your idea further.

This is my interpretation of the book, and believe me it was not easy to read it on a beach in brighton or on a busy commuter train home but go and check it out. I will be looking forwards to trying this method out on a project that is not on a restricted timeline, as i think that the process might take me time to get to grips with and become second nature, to do without thinking about what it is that i am doing. Some people can produce nice aesthetically pleasing work, but it has no soul, no depth no concept. This is exactly why i am trying to gather my knowledge and my materials, both physically and mentally (WAYHAY!! i am already doing step 1 without realising it).

The next part of my journey to becoming a better designer or a creative thinker is to use my brain not just for thinkin about long processes but also to trin it to think of things without even thinking about them or what i am doing. Like doodling almost!. This is where another book I bought comes in to play called

For streching and inspiring your creative imagination

For streching and inspiring your creative imagination

Recharge your design batteries” written by Jon O’Reilly and Tony Linkson this book has “creative challenges to stetch you imagination“. Little things that take 5 minutes to do, anything from drawing a monster a day to collecting things of inspiration. This is something i have been thinking about doing before i saw this book and i believe that a great way to do this would be to play games like pictionary or Hangman. Something that makes you use your head without going to deep in to it! yet helps your develop key skills every designer in my opinion should have, which is to be able to quickly sketch out ideas that people can easily recognise and understand or visualise. Stickmen are not good enough!

A great way to develop quick thinking and drawing skills

A great way to develop quick thinking and drawing skills