Tuesday 29 September 2009

The Beasts

I've just reached the halfway mark of The Beasts picture book which is something I'm VERY excited about. It's a project I've probably started about 5 times but could never find the right tone or story so finally I've settled on a pure illustrated style rather than the usual illustration over photographic images I've been making for them. Hopefully the adventure will keep readers interested. Here's a small panel from it to give you an idea of how it will look.

At the same time I've wanted to do an exhibition using The Beasts as the main focus but again couldn't decide weather to use straight illustration or the drawings over photographs. I've been collecting those old framed prints of paintings in gilded frames from charity shops recently and thought they would be perfect to draw over as they are usually really dramatic and would suit the background rather than my painted efforts or amateur photos. So I tried one today and I'm really happy with it.

This is the first effort. I'll hopefully get a whole show out for the new year with this kind of thing.

Make A Wish

I was honoured to be asked to be one of several designers and illustrators to be asked to supply artwork for the brilliant Make A Wish charity. It will be used as a six sheet poster on bus stops and the like.

There's lots more info on their site here which you should check out. I'll post about the whole campaign on Scamp when I get all the artwork by the other artists. Amazing work so far. I also supplied three characters which are currently being animated for a TV ad so I'll post them here too once they go live.

We were given a list of wishes to choose from so I chose the one that I definitely would have chosen as a kid...

I think Kubrick is very much on my mind recently. The space suit is loosely based on Dave's in 2001.

PlayTown Mats

I finally received my physical PlayTown Mats™ after their journey around the world and Ireland. I worked on these at the start of the year. It was great to see them in the flesh and they look and feel really nice. And they slot together perfectly! I tried four of them together (2 hometown & 2 worktown). I have completed DownTown and FunTown which I'll post here once they're available.

Here's Ed, Billy and Tom giving them a thorough testing.

Click here for the original post about them.

Friday 25 September 2009

Kubrick Exhibition

Click image for big version

I was very excited to be asked to contribute to a group show of painting, photography and illustration of brand new works inspired by the work of Stanley Kubrick. The scope for ideas was mind boggling and I immediately wanted to do something based on Dr, Strangelove as it's probably my favourite film ever. But I couldn't come up with anything I was happy with.

I watched Barry Lyndon and The Shining again for inspiration and even before I got to the end of The Shining I knew I wanted to recreate that creepy, creepy photo at the end.

It was actually quite difficult to find a decent version of the image online but I eventually found a clearish one I could work from. I've redrawn as many of the people in the photo as possible (with the inclusion of myself). It took me 3 days to draw, probably the longest I've spent on one piece! I did it all with a pocket brush to keep the same consitancy.

The show which is called Taming Light is curated by film critic John McGuire and will be on show in the Lighthouse cinema from October 1st - 31st. I've seen a selection of other work from the show and it's just amazing. I was delighted to see that two IGI pals Padhraig Nolan and Steve Doogan were also on the lineup.

And what about the hand painted poster by Martin Ansin up there? Sheesh.

Check it out if your down smithfield way.

Monday 21 September 2009

Italy Diary

We spent a week in Italy at the beginning of September and actually got to see some sunshine. I've been to Italy a number of times but somehow missed Florence and Rome so we soaked up the world of culture there. I kept two small notebooks while we were there.

My dear oul pals over at Scamp have posted a selection of pages from them. Click here to see them all.

Denny House

I recently worked on part of a new fun campaign for Denny with Pete Snodden in DDFHB. As part of their Home is... campaign they are taking over empty retail units around the country and turning them into cosy spaces for people to relax and have their lunch and a cup of tea. The first one opened yesterday on Dorset Street.

I worked on most of the illustrations that the shops are wrapped in so it's great to see them blown up full size on the exterior. Thanks to Pete for sending the photos over.

Check out the Homeis... site to find out more and submit a video! For every upload they will donate €1 to the Simon community.

Note to Phil

One of my very favourite Irish illustrators / comic artist Phil Barrett has been making and sending beautiful illustrated notes to people over the last two years or so. He also receives them from people from around the world and has been posting them on his Blackshapes blog here.

I recently sent him one about the fact that we always talk about doing some sort of collaboration and inadvertently we've done our first one. I sent him the picture of me standing there looking tough along with the text above so I was blown away when he sent me this finished drawing.

Click the image for a big version.

Thanks Phil!

Tuesday 15 September 2009

t-shirt for Oxfam

Oxfam and Turtlehead have teamed up to produce 12 t-shirts over the course of 12 months by 12 different artists and I was honoured to be asked to be the first artist to contribute for the good cause. The list of international artist that will fill the rest of the months are mind blowing so I'm really happy to be in such good company.

It's the first time I've used The Beasts (albeit a cream version as opposed to the black they usually are) in something real rather than just for fun. I've just finally sketched out a full story book about one of these lads which I'm very excited about. I'll be working on this over the next few months and hope to have it ready to go soon.

The first batch of shirts were given away at the Electric Picnic last week from the Oxfam stall but I was away and missed the fun. Did anyone get one? I'd love to see how they turned out.

They will officially go on sale in the next few weeks if I'm not mistaken. I'll post about it when it happens.

Here's the oul artwork anyway.

Friday 11 September 2009

New Illustration Course

The very lovely people in Giddy Studios in Rathfarnham approached me recently about doing an illustration course in their studio in October so I jumped at the chance of getting involved!

If you'd be interested in this type of thing read on below, all the info is there.


Giddy Studios are proud to announce two brand new illustration evening courses with guest illustrator Chris Judge as lecturer. The courses will run for four weeks during the month of October 2009.

Chris Judge is one of Ireland's leading professional illustrators and will be your dedicated lecturer during the full course. The course takes place in Rathfarnham in the relaxed atmosphere of the very comfortable Giddy Studios.


Course One: Beginner's Course in Illustration

Dates: Tuesday 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th of October 2009

The beginner's course will be a suitable introduction to the world of illustration for anyone interested in furthering their drawing skills and exploring illustration. It is designed both for those who wish to pursue a career in illustration and those who wish simply to practise and develop illustration for art's sake.

The course will cover:

* an introduction to contemporary illustration

* a look at the various areas in illustration:
• editorial
• picture book,
• commercial
• self promotional work

Various skills, including concepts, ideas, pencilling, line work and colour will be covered in detail.

Students will be encouraged to keep a notebook throughout and will be assigned various projects to work on in between classes. This aspect will form an important part of the overall course.

Feedback: Throughout the course students will be encouraged to discuss their work in a group setting. The critique process has been found to be an excellent format for monitoring progress and promoting confidence in the student.
The class mentor, Chris Judge, will actively seek comments during the course on the content of the sessions with a view to making the course as effective and interesting as possible.


Course Two: Intermediate Course in Illustration

Dates: Wednesday 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th of October 2009

The intermediate course will be suitable for creative artists, college leavers and people with a good knowledge of creative software and drawing skills.

The course will cover:

* an introduction to contemporary illustration

* a look at the various areas in illustration:
• editorial
• picture book
• commercial
• self promotional work

One of the modules of the course will focus on

* Illustration as art
* the commercial and business side of illustration and
* the pros and cons of a career in illustration.

Various skills, including concepts, ideas, pencilling, line work and colour will be discussed in detail.

Students will be assigned various projects which will be critiqued during the four weeks of the course. This will form an important part of the overall course. Students will be encouraged to keep a notebook throughout.

Students will be encouraged to participate actively in group discussions throughout the course.


For more information about Chris Judge please visit his website www.chrisjudge.com

To enroll or for more information please see details below:

Fee: €250 for 4 weeks.

NOTE: Classes will be limited so early booking is advised.

Course One: Beginner
Dates: Tuesday 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th of October 2009, 7pm - 9pm

Course Two: Intermediate
Dates: Wednesday 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th of October 2009, 7pm - 9pm

Venue: Giddy Studios, unit number four, first floor, Grange Road retail park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
Please map for directions

P: 00 353 1 4240440
M: 00 353 87 9879515
W: giddystudios.com
E: giddy@giddystudios.com

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Absolut Original Exhibition

I was delighted to be asked to be one of 16 Irish artists and creatives to take part in the Absolut Original exhibition. The exhibition, which is curated by TheSmallPrint, features 16 original peices of artwork inspired by the Abolut Vodka bottle. They have just made the site live here and boy oh boy it looks like an amazing show.

The talents involved are: Aisling Farinella : ASBESTOS :BRENB : ClĂ­ona O’Flaherty : CHRIS JUDGE : D.A.D.D.Y. : Eoghan Kidney : Glenn Leyburn : Hugh McCarthy : Jonathan McHugh : MASER : M&E : Steve Doogan : Steve Simpson : Studio AAD : Unthink

That's my Absolut bot there below. You can read about him on the Absolut site.

The show runs in the ABSOLUT FRINGE FACTORY (aka The Boys School.
8 Exchange St. Lower (off Wood quay). Temple Bar) from Sept 5th -20th.

IGI Latest Work

Scamp.ie has just posted the latest work by the Irish Guild of Illustrators for August 2009. Asusual a ton of great work. Click here for a look.