Art and crafts in the city

Art & Crafts pop-up mini market 2014

I’m taking part in a pop-up mini market next week in Christchurch (NZ). It will be my first ever market! I know, I know… it’s about time. This is the poster I designed for the event.

We’ll also be popping up on December 13th and 20th ― perfect timing for a spot of last-minute Christmas shopping : )

Art & Crafts Mini Market on Facebook

Make mistakes

John Lennon poster 1 — digital illustration, 2011
John Lennon poster 1 — digital illustration, 2011
John Lennon poster 2 — digital illustration, 2011
John Lennon poster 2 — digital illustration, 2011

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

The first image was created by following a tutorial on Tuts+ (the design is based on street artist Shepard Fairey’s Obama campaign posters). The second image was a mistake* I made when messing around with layers in Illustrator.

*Visit this post if you would like to know what I really think about mistakes.

In the style of… Fougasse

Tram – ink and digital, 297 x 210 mm, 2013
Tram – ink and digital, 297 x 210 mm, 2013
Tram (edited and unedited photos) – Christchurch, 2010
Tram (edited and original photos) – Christchurch, 2010

Simple lines and a few splashes of colour. I really enjoyed this one — does it show?

Fougasse

Posters from 1944 Images from www.pickmix.co.uk
Posters from 1944
Images from www.pickmix.co.uk

Fougasse was the nom de plume of London-born cartoonist Cyril Kenneth Bird (1887–1965). I’m a big fan of the posters he designed for the London Underground. I love the simplicity of these illustrations — and the humour.

In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.

In the style of… Edward McKnight Kauffer

Sky Tower – watercolour and acrylic, 295 x 210 mm, 2013.
Sky Tower – watercolour and acrylic, 295 x 210 mm, 2013
Sky Tower – Auckland, 2007.
Sky Tower – Auckland, 2007

Here is Auckland’s Sky Tower ― the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand ― surrounded by little fluffy clouds. The sketch was an exercise in simplicity and contrast. Left to my own devices, I would have added more details and shading, but that’s not really the point of this exercise. I used watercolour pencils and my new Molotow acrylic paint markers (oh what a wonderful world we live in!).

Edward McKnight Kauffer

Posters from 1923,1932 and 1934  Images from www.pickmix.co.uk
Posters from 1923, 1932 and 1934
Images from www.pickmix.co.uk

I’m a little jealous of American-born artist and designer Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890–1954). He studied in Paris, illustrated several of T. S. Eliot’s books (apparently he was Eliot’s preferred illustrator) and designed posters for the London Underground. Not a bad career.

In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.

Dear diary, part nine

Science Fiction stamp design – sketches Visual diary, two-page spread  (student project, 2011)
Science Fiction stamp design – sketches
Visual diary, two-page spread (student project, 2011)
Science Fiction stamp poster (594 x 420 mm) Background stars and planets courtesy of the Internet Student project, 2011
Science Fiction stamp poster (594 x 420 mm)
Stars and planets (background collage) courtesy of the Internet
Student project, 2011

Another one of my favourite designs at college was this stamp poster (and all of the stamps). Below is the text I wrote as part of the project:

Commemorating 50 years of science fiction on television in New Zealand, this collection features illustrations of some of the 1960s most iconic science fiction programmes.

Television arrived in New Zealand homes at a time when great advances were being made in space exploration. The 1960s was a decade obsessed with the “space race” as the Soviet Union and the United States competed to put a man on the moon. These 12 stamps depict television shows that tapped into our fascination with space and space travel. There were tales of friendly aliens living among us and of hostile alien invasions; journeys into our possible future and into the questionable past; galaxies filled with spaceships, robots and strange new worlds.

This post is the last of my Dear diary series… but I think I’ll start blogging about the artwork for these stamps — because stamps are cool : )

The diary pages are from a journal I designed for my Design & Arts College exhibition in 2012. Two years of research, ideas, word maps and sketches had to be reduced to a mere 72 pages. It was no easy task but I now have a beautiful, professionally bound diary that I’ll always treasure.

In the style of… Louis Rhead

Rendezvous – acrylic and white gel pen, 280 x400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – acrylic and pigment gel ink, 280 x 400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – detail
Rendezvous – detail
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.

I had something specific in mind when I started painting the Akaroa Harbour beachfront photo… and this painting isn’t it. Initially I was going to create a highly stylised image using simple shapes and patterns and fairly flat colours ― but sometimes I just can’t help myself… the temptation to layer colours and add texture is just too great. With Louis Rhead’s turn-of-the-century posters in mind (see below), I exaggerated the shape of the trees and the curve of the shoreline. He has also influenced the overall composition, my choice of colours and the romantic styling of the women in the foreground (although mine look more medieval than Art Nouveau).

I may have another go at painting this scene for next week’s Shoot it, Sketch it

Louis Rhead

Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org
Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org

English-born artist Louis Rhead (1857-1926) made a career out of poster design and book illustration in the USA. I love the Art Nouveau influence in these posters dated 1896-1900. The sweeping curves and stylised trees are beautiful. The colours are fantastic too.

In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.

Love Your Body campaign poster

Love the shape you're in – mixed media, 297 x 210 mm, 2012.
Love the shape you’re in – mixed media, 297 x 210 mm, 2012.

Here is my entry for a poster competition run by the NOW Foundation promoting the positive, healthy, inclusive portrayal of girls and women. Yes, another competition. It’s been a busy month.

My aim was to put a positive spin on the idea of body types and to create an image that would make people smile. All too often, we hear ‘pear’ and ‘apple’ shapes (et cetera) described as problems that require fixing in some way. Instead, celebrate your shape because it’s all natural and naturally beautiful. Love the shape you’re in!

The fruit characters are ink and acrylic — one is a self-portrait : )  The background collage was created using paper and gesso. I added the heart spotlight in Photoshop.