Monthly Archives: November 2008

Weekly inspiration.


THOUGHT I’d a do weekly dose of inspiration, the websites that inspire me to create, there are loads of sites out there and it’d be great to share them, you may have seen them already, maybe not, but hopefully they will inspire you as much as they do me, so with out further ado, here’s the first in a series of Weekly Inspiration.

FFFFOUND is a fantastic website, if you are ever stuck for inspiration or just need motivation to produce work then ffffound is the site for you, it’s basically a visual bookmarking site, people upload/link to images, mostly design, photography and illustration. I’ve spent hours on this site, usually when I should be doing other things, but it’s so addictive. Have a look, and enjoy what can only be described as the best creative site on the web.

Please feel free to suggest any websites that inspire you to create, let’s share them, we all need inspiration, it’s good for the soul!


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My process, the abridged version.


GEORDIE Diary cover, as you can see this was done a while ago, but I thought it would illustrate a little, the process I use to create an illustration. Firstly, there’s the initial sketch, in this instance I was lucky in that the client liked the first draft (not a common occurrence) and there was only one minor change, which was to take out the building top centre, this was supposed to be Alnwick Castle but it was thought that it wasn’t very recognisable, so was omitted in the next draft. As you can see on the next draft things were tightened up a little, I scan the drawing in and clean it up in Photoshop, takes a little time, but makes things much easier when doing the final artwork.

Next I place the scan in Illustrator and set it to template at 30% (Double click the scan layer and click template, then dim image to whatever percentage you require) this fades the scan and makes it easier to see your linework in Illustrator.

For the linework I use the pen tool and draw over the drawing, I don’t use a stroke, I do linework by building the line using blocks of colour, I find this gives it a more hand drawn feel. With the linework done it was then time to add the colour, I create a new layer underneath the line layer (making sure to lock the line layer) Doing this ensures you have a nice clean finish and works out quicker as you are just filling in behind the line. Once all the colour and line were done I just had to save the file as an eps and then open in Photoshop to put type on and fade at bottom.

And that’s that, not a very comprehensive overview, but it gives you an idea how I work. It’s very time consuming, but I it’s worth putting the time in as the end result can be very satisfying.

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SKETCHBOOKS are, in my opinion, a must. I’m as guilty as the next for not doing enough sketchbook work, but when I do, I spend hours covering every page with drawings (always starting with an eye of course)

I must have a dozen unused sketchbooks, I keep buying them whenever I see a nice one, I go into art shops and spend ages looking for the right one, has to have just the right paper (usually a nice smooth surface) I leave the shop satisfied with my purchase, get home, and stare at the the first page.

Blank, nothing, the first mark is so important to me, I’ve been known to discard the first page because the mark on the paper wasn’t right! It’s ridiculous, but that’s how I am.

The first page is terrifying. I still have it in my head that every page should be a masterpiece, I envy people who can just sketch, whatever the outcome, I am going to make it a point to try and do that in the future, just draw, and enjoy it, after all, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

So when I next have downtime, I’m going to crack open one of my collection of sketchbooks, and just draw, whatever the outcome… I’m getting scared already.


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This America, man.

SOME clips from possibly the best TV show to ever grace our screens. If you’ve never watched The Wire, I suggest you go out right now (Or when the shops open) and buy series one, you won’t regret it.


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Alanis Morissette.


LOOKING at the work I have up here, there’s a lot in black and white, which is strange as I don’t usually like working in black and white, I find it really hard, muchmore limiting than colour, but at the same time it can produce a stronger image. Maybe it’s the same as black and white photography, I do like that, often makes the image more powerful.

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Photoshop in the real world.


I love this! Link As real as it gets.


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Hoodie but a goody.


CREATED in Illustrator CS2. I like doing these type of illustrations, but they’re always a bit scary, I always get scared. I usually start with the eye, have no idea why? I think maybe it come from when I doodle, for some reason I inevitably end up drawing an eye! Strange, maybe it’s my subconscious telling me to look after mine.

Once the eye is drawn I carry on with the rest of the face, sometimes jumping to the hair, in this case I think it was the hat. It’s funny, but it’s not until quite late on that I know whether a piece of work is, well, working. Sometimes even then I’m unsure. That’s the scary part, will it work? is it worth carrying on?

The answer of course is yes, you do carry on, how do you really know if you cracked it. I think I did with this one (Well, I like it)

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