Monday, 28 November 2011

Tea Illustration & Packaging

Well, I finally finished the tea packaging (I think). I definitely bit off more than I could chew. What started as a 2 week project (although I had only planned to design the motif and make it in that time) turned into an 8 week project. 
I tried to do the packaging design, motif design in cut out that I had never tried before, typography, branding (what was I thinking?!) and design and layout for the information insert to go into the box. I wanted to do all this... for 5 teas. 

So what did I end up being able to do?
I did the packaging design, the motif cut out, I did an illustration for the insert and designed the layout of it myself. The branding didn't get too far at all, and I think I was hitting my head against a brick wall for a long time. I finally gave up when a local design agency came to my rescue and designed David and Cathy's amazing logo for the company.
I'm not going to beat myself up about it... at least I had a go, and I mean, there's an entire 3 year course devoted to that stuff... that I haven't been studying, and we never really covered branding at all in ND Graphic Design all those many years ago at college.

So here you go, I'll be taking some photos for my portfolio shortly when I can make a prototype in its entirety. It probably won't make it into my portfolio, or if it does it will play a mere cameo role.

The internal illustration... rather fun! I'm really enjoying single colour illustrations at the moment

  The front of the insert
(you would see the name of the tea through the cut out, but not the company name)

A different version with the red logo

and the back of the insert with all the information on the specific tea.

The motif

Packaging prototype

There would be general information on the outside of the box about the essence of tea and their ethics, plus I think there would be information on the taste of the tea on the back of the packet (applied with a sticker.)

Photos to come soon!

Studio Space?

I thought I would let you guys take a peek at my 3rd year studio space... or should I say, my studio clutter. I manage to bring in roughly 4 tons of rubbish to uni every day, spread it all out, look a it, ponder on the nature of my artwork and if I will ever make it as an illustrator, go and get a muffin and a hot chocolate to console myself on the outcome of said pondering, pack it all up again and walk up a big hill or two back to the safety of home, where I spend my days cleaning to avoid working. 

But its not all negative... no no no.
At roughly midnight my brain and creativeness wakes up! But by that time my body is pretty tired. Still, 2-3 am most mornings I'm there laying in bed, my body trying to get some rest while my brain is whirring with ideas. All I can manage to do is scribble down some vague ideas and hope that my rational brain will be able to decipher them in the morning. 

And then repeat.

Sometimes I get work done, I swear.

Running, Hognose & Foodweb

Hey guys!
I made a drunken bet the other night to lose a stone before my friend does... and what better way to do that than signing up to a 10k run? My thoughts exactly.
So I'm currently looking for one to sign up to around March time, and I'll commence training asap! 
I'll also be asking you lot to sponsor me to raise money for the 'Illustrated Quotes & Sayings" Book that our course produces for its 3rd year graduates. 
Its a book that contains an illustration from each of us lovely 3rd year illustrators, and also all of our contact details just in case you really like our work and want us to do some for you!

So, please, if you would like to make a donation, see me flailing wildly trying to reach the finish line of a 10k run, or perhaps even buy a copy of the quotes and sayings book once it is done, drop me a line on

P.S- Illustrators from all 3 years, if you're game for doing a 10k run, let me know, I should be putting up a sign up sheet in the 2nd/3rd year studio by the door once I actually find a 10k event for us to run. It would really be a great help, and could be a good challenge for us all, and the more people participating, the more sponsors we can hopefully get.


Now here are some of the recent illustrations finalised for 'When the Tree Flew' by Gabrielle Jonas

Getting there eventually! 
4 or 5 more to go

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mantis, Book Illustration & Procrastination

As the dissertation first draft deadline looms, I'm surprisingly calm. This however, doesn't mean that I've done anything towards it, nor indeed will I be able to today. 
I don't really know what I'm doing, it just feels like a big wave about to wash over me, but I'll survive, I haven't died at sea quite yet.
I feel like everything has just been piling up around me in big stacks... there are projects left unfinished and because of my hand right now I'm having to fight the urge to try and tie up lots of loose ends. 
Today I did manage to put the final tweaks on a book illustration, so that is at least something. 
But I'm behind schedule because of my hand.
I need to get 2 illustrations done this weekend/next week so that I'm back on track, and ideally I need to have the next rough done for the image after that. I'm sure I'll be just fine, but thinking about it really spins my head sometimes.
I still need to finish off the tea project which had a big hiatus for quite some time. I haven't even managed to go for a cup of tea recently, I think thats partially because of me not having finished the project. Its not like they will actually be using my packaging, and its not like it really affects them at all if I don't get it done, but I want it finished, I want to hold it up, take photographs for the portfolio and be able to say I made this whole thing. 
Work that I have done...
before I injured my hand I did these... 2 for the book, and the mantis just for myself.

Below is a colour rough, just a small thumbnail. I do these before every painting so that I know what I'm doing colour wise. I also produce a tonal thumbnail before I do the colour thumbnails, so that I can balance out the darks and lights accordingly.

Before I even do any of that I do a rough pencil sketch.

Rough for the parakeet feather

 The final for Beulah reweaving her food web, colour adjustments to come

Getting there slowly,
Can't wait to get onto the next batch of fresh exciting projects though!
I can't wait until my hand gets better.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New York and Dissertation

Today we were briefed a little bit on our trip to New York. I'm pretty stoked, but also very apprehensive... will I have a coherent portfolio to show? Will I have found my niche in the world of illustration?

Who knows.
Its too early to tell, and I really shouldn't worry about it...
but I do.

And thats no good to anyone!

Also, with dissertation on the cards, and repetitive strain injury in my drawing hand, I'm like a dog tied to a stake in the ground with a big juicy steak just out of reach. I'm surprised I haven't gnawed my hand off yet.

While we're on the subject of metaphors, creating a portfolio and getting everything together as well as dissertation, website and figuring out what I'm doing style/subject wise may well feel just about as awkward as an elephant climbing a near vertical mountain. 
Just think about that for a second.

Tasty huh?

So thats where I'm at right now, and thats why you guys haven't really been seeing much work from my end right now. I'm also looking into breeding/keeping praying mantises, and doing a study on them for my natural history section of the portfolio. 

I'm hoping that when I finish the book I'm working on I'll be much freer to explore what I want to, a looser style will be much appreciated I think.

So, I'm on hiatus for a little while due to the hand, but I'll be back! 

Friday, 11 November 2011

C.W Stoneking and His Primitive Horn Orchestra

If you haven't heard of C.W. Stoneking, then you really should rectify that by listening to this
He's playing in Bristol on the 22nd, and I'm so sad that I can't afford to go, it breaks my heart really.

So instead, I stayed up all night with 2 of my lovely (yet crazy) housemates doing work, all the way through to the next morning and out the other side.
At around 7am we decided to watch the was hammering down with rain, and we headed to the beach, however it dawned (haha. ahem.) on us that we wouldn't make it in time, so we ran practically from our house to the seafront. Soaked through and still in my pyjamas, we stood and faced the elements and watched a hazy orange circle burn in and out of the clouds. After a good while being woken up by the rain in our faces, we walked down to the seas edge and just dared the waves to try and reach us.
All in all, it was an amazing adventure, super camaraderie, and I managed to get a lot of work done! I somehow managed to attend crit this morning, and still be coherent, and even lasted the day until 5 this afternoon. An achievement for someone who is crabby if they stay up til 2 instead of 1 in the morning usually. 

Anyway, story aside, here is one of the things I did last night

aaaand goodnight!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


I am now very very pleased to announce that my new website is now live on the tinterweb! 

Have a quick peek and let me know what you think