Photography and Design

August 10, 2010

Its been ages since i last wrote on this blog. Not that i have been not doing anything but rather doing to many different things, resulting in neglecting other duties. Recently i have been spending my time working on various different projects during my day job…. The question is Where to start?

Well a few months ago i was asked to Photograph a friends wedding at a local registry office. As photogrpahy is a hobby of mine i was keen to do it (albeit with some encouragement from my better half). This resulted in putting in some serious time, money and effort into improving my photography and increasing my kit bag considerably! The last few months has cost me a Nikon D300s, Lastolite Umbrella and Stand, Spare batteries, 22Gb worth of memory cards. And. A intensive Day training course at Brightons Garage Studios teaching me about Flash photography.

With this new gea and NEED to learn and improve for this wedding i am photographing i have been concentrating on this for the last few months. Gigs, Promotional Shoots for friends bands and organising shoots and jobs for the future to try and increase my profile and also eventually get my camera to pay for itself as a tool rather than a hobby.

You can see some of my photography on my Flickr Page

The Kits is Awesome and am so glad i made this jump in to doing it more as a semi pro than as a hobby. Also with my creative mind working at hyper speed things in the illustration and design side have started to come a bit easier than they have seemed to in the past. Freelance work has started to pick up and I am now working on a project for Nicola jarvis, a Needlework artist and building a nice portfolio of illustrations that i have been asked to do at work…. Although they are private jobs for the bosses as favours things are starting to move forwards. from Logos to Get well soon cards to creating bunting and banners for the summer party.. little by little things are building for the better…

The one trouble i am having is getting the time to fit it all in my day,week or month and still go out and have a life!

There has been some cool things going on and some nice projects at work too I’m looking forwards to getting some more stuff on the go and showing it to the world!

Standby for action


micah p hinson hits brighton

June 3, 2010

I’m currently staying in a B&B with my lovely girlfriend who is really poorly with a sinus infection and a snot output that could equal an alien life form! With a hot tip off from Simon from Full time hobby, Tomo and I (minus Elissa) embarked on a few jars and discussed some of the finer things in life before heading to the Resident record store for an instore with Micah P Hinson…

Micah P Hinson

Having never heard about this chap until today I was interested to see what was going on. Walking past the store about 7.30ish it was empty, so we had a quick pint at the white rabbit pub just down the road. As we were sitting outside an unassuming guy wearing thick black rimmed glasses and sporting a “Hunter-S-Thompson-esque” cigarette holder in one hand and a black guitar case in the other, approached us. Simon introduced us to Micah who seemed genuinely pleased to meet us and proceeded to introduce his entourage including his wife; who is the model and muse of the cover art for his release “And the Pioneer Saboteurs”.

The venue was packed by the time we arrived, and this one-man-show was already underway. The music was simple, raw- but it seemed to be captivating the room in a way I have never encountered before- the entire store hanging onto every melody and every strum.

Micah P Hinson outside ResidentMicha’s music is a sonic collision of folk meets “johnny cash” and he has vocal moments of Willie Nelson and biblical references of a young tormented “Johnny Cash” all in all a very interesting vocal.

The songs spoke of Loss, Heartbreak, Religion and sometimes with a hint black comedy. With this he appears wise beyond his 28 years. At points he seemed to choose song lyrics ‘on the fly’, which i presume is because that particular lyric felt right to him at that particular moment.

Having just stepped of a flight from Gatwick I was amazed that this guy could perform so well, and with an endearing charm and flow, saying on a few occasions “This song is off my record but sounds nothing like what i am about to play“. Forty minutes seem to fly by and he ended with an elvis presley cover “only fools rush in”.

Afterwards he allowed me to quickly take a couple of pictures before he disappeared into London, to see a man about a dog.

I shall definately be checking out this guys stuff again. So should you.

You can check out Micah on

Thank you.

Alan Harford. Woof.

To d90 or d300s that is the question

March 31, 2010

with summer fast approaching and time for what seems like all of my friends to get married, I have been asked to shoot a wedding. THis is not really that much of an issue as I am sure it will be a lit of fun and te photos will come out just fine. but I don’t think that my little Nikon D40 is up to the job. sure it’s a great little camera and will serve me well as a day to day but I think it’s time to upgrade.

the problem is what to get. the D90 seems to be a great choice and on paper is very similar to the d300s but I have this nagging problem thy whilst I am upgrading I should buy the best I can afford and that way I will not wish that I had spent the extra. the only trouble is it comes at a time when I have other commitments that should really take priority.

the d300s looks like a strong choice as it’s robust, fast, quick and can work in a studio environment aswell as out and about. something which I think the d90 is not able to do. tethering and wireless remote for flash units, a better autofocus motor and better user ergonomics. I have spoken to alot of people and read alot of forums and reviews and the d300s seems to be the better choice. I thinks it’s going to be a case of stumping up the cash.

also I am thinking of going all out and getting a sb-900 flashgun at the same time. I have been wanting to get in the flash photography for ages and at least this way I can now go on the the flash course held at Brighton garage studio.

anyway I’ll post back when I get it. whatever that maybe…


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!

A New year a new Home!

December 28, 2009

I am just transferring and getting my self geared up for the new year, I haven not written anything for ages but this shall change with the new year, new site and hopefully new projects!. Lots of things which I need to catch up on. Camera wise, work wise, design wise and Book wise. Had a lovely chat with some great designers who offered me some great advise and shall be taking full advantage of it!

Standby whilst I transfer this call!….

The Stable

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! – –