Folio Society Quiz. Inscribed by....

The Folio Society are holding a competition this week to win The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe that I will inscribe / dedicate to the winner. Please enter here. Competition closes 20th December 2013 at 10am GMT. Good Luck!

Update: Competition now closed!

Odd Bods for sale

Lots of people have been asking if the Odd Bod Playing cards are available. 

Previously sold out it seems they've found a few more deck of cards to sell here: Tusch und Egon

There's only a few left!

AOI Illustration Awards 2013

It was a huge honour to receive the Overall Professional Winner Award at the AOI Illustration awards this year for my Odd Bods Playing Cards commissioned by The Folio Society. The exhibition is on at Somerset House in London until October 27th.

A special edition of Varoom celebrating the awards was published to coincide with the exhibition.

Congratulations to all the award winners!
 Top row from left: Merav Salomon, Joe Caslin, Ceri Williams, Mitch Miller, Jane Reiseger, Victoria Turnbull and Edd Baldry Bottom row from left: Levi Pinfold, Lesley Barnes, Jonathan Burton (in a rather fetching demin number), Nate Kitch, John Riordan and Anna Cattermole

I'll post some more photos soon as they come available...

Bafta process - ARGO

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of illustrating the BAFTA program covers for their annual awards evening. The illustrations acted as an alternative film poster for the nominations in the Best Film category. The deadline was a real test as once the nominations were announced I had basically 10 days to create ideas and complete the finals. I'd spent some of the Xmas break catching up on possible noms with the DVD's that Bafta sent me 'For Your Consideration'.

It was a thrill receiving these 'screeners'.

Lots of note-taking and thumbnails during the films. (the 'dig deeper' is a note to self, my sketchbooks are full of me telling myself off)

Here's a little 'behind the scenes' for the ARGO illustration including the original drawing then the photoshop colouring. 

Sketch for the scene I felt summed up the idea of the search for the escaped hostages.

Line work. With a LOT of shredded paper.

Details of shredded 'documents'

The shreds needed some shadows as it was looking a little flat. 

The dark floor beneath was needed for the type and logo to stand out but also helped to make the shredded paper look more real.

The layers without the line work

and a look at the layers (if you like that kind of thing) with the finished illustration.

The program.

I hope you like and please feel free to comment. I'll try to post a behind the scenes of the Life of Pi illustration soon. It was a tough one for me....

My UK agent Handsome Frank are selling large scale prints of the BAFTA illustrations including also Life of Pi and Les Miserables. Their online shop is here. They are also available at the Pick Me UP graphic arts festival in London (18 – 28 April 2013)


It's been a while since my last post  but I've been busy with some exciting projects that unfortunately I can't reveal yet. Nearer Xmas I'll be doing a 'give away' of a product I've illustrated so keep checking back for a chance to win a goody or two.

I can reveal though that I've been selected as the official illustrator for the BAFTA awards 2013. It involves producing images for the tickets and five alternative program covers for the Best Film nominations. Thanks to my UK agent Handsome Frank.

Bafta's previous illustrators works are beautiful so now I'm really feeling the pressure! The film nominations are announced on the 9th of January and that's when I find out too, then I'll have two weeks to produce the 5 illustrations for the event which will then take place on February 10th.

So what films are likely to be nominated? Could it be the nonstop fun romp 'Jack and Jill' and the exciting CGI action thriller 'Battleships'? No, fate can't be THAT cruel. More likely the excellent 'Argo', 'The Master' even 'Skyfall' possibly?

I'll try to do regular updates to show you how it's going....

Lucky Jims

Of all the Kingsley Amis books I've illustrated for Penguin over the past year 'Lucky Jim' is probably the most well known and well loved.

The title has had some great covers since it was first published in 1954 and here's a selection of my favourites with my version at the end. The strange thing is that the last four editions on this list have all come out this year.

Archibald in 'The Depths of Despair!'


Can it get any worse for Archibald?

Oh yes.

'In a cloud of black ink the octopus reaches in, pulls Archibald free and hurls him and his hat into the dark abyss.'

Thanks again to Scott Garrett for the idea which leaves Archie floating in the blackness..... and into another dimension? 

No ideas for the next one thank you - I'm going to take over from here so I can start to wrap the story up.

Stay tuned for the concluding episode coming to your screens soon!

But first a message from our sponsors:

Archibald in the darkness

So many things have taken over leaving me with little time for Archibald. I slap my own wrist for being neglectful! I wish I could be a bit speedier with turning the work around to keep it constant but they take time. I think I'm going to start bringing Archibald to a close and to do that I'm going to go with Scott Garrett's lovely idea of hurling Archibald into the darkness..... and then...... we will see.

Back Shortly....

Royal Mail - Dickens

Last year I was asked by Royal Mail to produce ideas for two of Dickens's stories to commemorate his 200th anniversary. It was a great project to work on and very exciting though they weren't chosen to be published in the end. When choosing new stamp designs The Royal Mail ask a number of designers to pitch several ideas worked up to final using illustration / photography so it becomes a tough competition. There's a few sketches and the finals below. I hope I get to have another crack at some stamps again.

PS: they eventually decided to use the character illustrations by the victorian illustrator Joseph Clayton Clarke. Tough competition indeed.

Burton Burton

Cinema magazine sent me this video clip today which is of Tim Burton appreciating this:

Bloody weird to see something from my little world collide with a major star director and having him be so enthusiastic.

Tim, I'm waiting for your call ;-)


You said you liked me!

Ti ii m!

Oh he's gone..

Perils book

I'm been putting together a mock up of the Archibald book so I thought I'd show how it's going. Each chosen contributor will receive a copy!

It's not too late to join in, I want to add a couple more pages to really push it to somewhere crazy so please suggest away....

Archibald in deep water #6

Where were we?

Previously in The Perils of Archibald Toddle:

And then!

Oh calamity! To Archibald's surprise he has been taken somewhere completely unexpected and what's more, he is not alone.....

Thanks very much to Scott Garrett for the wonderful idea below: 

'we zoom out to reveal Archie's face is one of many, staring out of some vast submarine's porthole windows, surrounded by strange underwater life.

Please leave ideas in the comments below as to what could possibly happen next. Short suggestions please - the weird and wonderful gratefully received! 

Have fun.

*For new visitors - all selected participants will receive a copy of all the illustrations in a handmade book... eventually.

Sorry Archibald

I'll be coming to rescue you soon I promise. It's just that I've been so busy and then it's been half term too and I'm on a very important snowboarding mission next week. When I get back it's just you and me spending some quality time. Sit tight Archie, I'll be thinking about you.

The Perils of Archibald Toddle #5 - Cannibal Hat

The Story so far...

and then!

Existential detail.

'The hat will grow spider legs and eat Ziggy, and the spiders will kidnap Archibald.'

Thanks to Diana Probst for the crazy idea that I've put into a Victorian style comic page. I improvised a little to get Archibald into a new environment and a good place to ask 'What Happens Next'?

He's inside the ship! Is the interior like nothing we've ever seen before, will it go somewhere, is there anybody else within?

 I'm gonna go for a single full page image on the next one (probably) so SHORT AND SNAPPY suggestions below please.

Fire away! The weirder the better....

Idea for Archibald #5

Can't resist this one by Diana Probst which came via twitter:

'The hat will grow spider legs and eat Ziggy, and the spiders will kidnap Archibald.'

I'll get drawing! Unlikely to finish before the Xmas chaos but you never know...

Thanks for the fantastic ideas everyone. Please please keep it up!