I’m a huge fan of alphabet themed books, illustrations, posters – anything that follows the old ABC rules. I’ve even made a few illustrated ABC books myself, so I’m absolutely loving this LSD ABC video. Directed by French designers Laura Sicouri and Kadavre Exquis, LSD ABC is a super-cool retro-fuelled trip through the alphabet. It’s a mixture of gorgeous animation and illustration, combined with some very seventies style video footage.
This is an illustration I did recently for The Looking Glass Magazine. The Looking Glass is a creative writing magazine exclusively for children’s literature and illustrations. The magazine features art work, short stories, novel extracts and poetry from both established and up-and-coming authors and illustrators.
I love pretty much anything to do with the sea, whether it’s swimming in it, kayaking on it, or sailing through it. I could draw sea-related pictures forever and indulged myself with the image for the magazine. It’s a man from the west of Ireland out sailing very late at night in stormy seas in a Galway Hooker. That “hooker” has nothing to do with a lady of the night but in case you’re not familiar with them here’s a description via Wikipedia.
The Galway hooker (Irish: húicéir) is a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. The hooker was developed for the strong seas there. It is identified by its sharp, clean entry, bluff bow, marked tumble-home and raked transom. Its sail plan consists of a single mast with a main sail and two foresails. Traditionally, the boat is black (being coated in pitch) and the sails are a dark red-brown
I’m a bit late posting this because I’ve been away for a few days but the good news is that my Phoenix Park illustration won the Graphic Design category of the Uniquely Dublin competition. The award ceremony took place in the fantastic Little Dublin museum on Stephen’s Green in Dublin. The awards were presented by the Lord Mayor of Dublin with one winner chosen from two finalists in each section. It was a bit nerve-wracking when it came to that point and when my name was called I was truly thrilled to bits. I had to refrain from hugging the Lord Mayor and tried to maintain some level of decorum but I was genuinely delighted. As well as (hopefully) raising my profile as an illustrator, there was a nice cash prize too 😉
Congratulations to the overall winners Oisin Byrne and Gary Farrelly of Radical Science. The shortlisted finalists work is on show until mid-May at the Little Museum.
I recently created an illustration for a very interesting exhibition in West Belfast. The Book of Kells is an art exhibition celebrating Belfast’s shared heritage, exploring the story of the Book of Kells and looking at the link between spirituality and creativity in Ireland for both Catholic and Protestant communities.
The exhibition opened on the 7th of March and continues until the 22nd of March at St. Mary’s University College on the Falls Road.
So the idea behind my illustration came from the quote “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars”.I wanted to show the constellations in the night sky as one or more of the birds and animals which appear in the Book of Kells. I also like the idea of the monks, the scribes who created the incredibly beautiful work had an illuminated view while much of the world was in the depths of darkness. My original plan (i.e. the barely recognisable sketch below) was a parade of musicians beneath the starry sky. The musicians represent the idea of community and the arts keeping people going during dark times. Here’s my first sketch.
I drew the type – it’s an uncial typeface and I originally drew it using a calligraphy pen on an envelope, scanned it in to illustrator and converted it to vectors. The large letter I also features a double bird head with a celtic knot, heavily influenced by the birds in the Book of Kells.
After bringing it into Illustrator to create the vector shapes, I then brought it into Photoshop to add lots of texture. Here’s the final image which went into the exhibition.
Poolga is a wonderful site where you can download free wallpapers for your iPad, iPhone and iPod. All the wallpapers have been created by designers and illustrators and I recently collaborated with Poolga and produced these two images which you can download for free. They are the King and Queen of the jungle.
The lovely Little Green Street gallery in Dublin has been running a month long homage to director Wes Anderson with screenings of his films and a small exhibition with the open theme of Wes Anderson. I had a piece in it called “Voyage of Danger” which is of course a curtsy to the wonderful “The Life Aquatic” with the fantastic character of Steve Zissou. Here it is:
And here’s a clip from the film it was inspired by. If you haven’t seen the Life Aquatic, then don’t watch this clip (if you intend to see the movie) because this is basically the climax of the film. The music is by Sigur Ros and is spectacularly beautiful. It’s quite poignant when Steve asks about the Jaguar Shark, “I wonder if it remember me?”
This illustrated print is available to buy from Society 6. You can buy it as a standalone print or a framed print.