Pumped Up

Pumped Up

Experience Life called me recently and asked if I could illustrate a feature on blood flow and exercise, a full page image and some spots. Something descriptive was asked for rather than anything too conceptual.

Above are the initial pencil sketches and the finished artwork - essentially an exercising figure with swirls of movement around them suggesting the flow of blood emanating from the core. Although the pencil sketch was approved I only had the vaguest idea in mind about how the tones and colours would would work.

Pumped Up

With some illustrations you know instinctively, or can see in your mind, how the finished artwork should look, so the job is essentially one of replicating that image on the page. In other instances though it becomes a question of 'finding' the image, trying different approaches, colours and tones, until the image starts to gel. That was the case here, the only thing I knew for sure was that the colours would be green/blue as the figure was running outside. Also I needed a look that would work across the spot images too so that they would all read as a set.

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20 Years Ago Today



It was 20 years ago today...In 1997 I was storing physical artwork in boxes, drawers and cupboards. Twenty years later the whole lot (and more) fits on a tiny memory stick. Although we have been able to do this for years now so not exactly news it still feels like sci-fi. Nevertheless something gained and something lost I feel.

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Listen To Your Heart

Listen To Your Heart


I was recently asked by Nick at D magazine to produce some illustrations for their annual Medical Directory. The main story centred around women's heart health and the importance of getting checked for any possible anomalies.

The brief seemed to call for more of a representational image rather than a conceptual one, so as stress tests and monitoring usually involve being connected up to cables that felt like the right way to go. The pencil sketch, above, was approved and from there is was really just a question of deciding on colours and level of detail.

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Emperor of Sand

Emperor of Sand


Prog magazine gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in illustrating their review of the new album by Mastodon, Emperor of Sand. A concept album, it features a central character who is forced to wander a desert after being handed a death sentence by the titular emperor. Although I was unaware of the band, who could resist the opportunity of depicting the Emperor of Sand?

Emperor of Sand

I knew almost immediately how the character himself would appear but needed to consider how best to incorporate the band (always a requirement for the review illustrations). Once the pencil sketch was approved I worked out a tonal version to use as a guide and then applied the colours. Consciously using a relatively muted palette so as to not over-dramatise things.

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Controlling Health Care

Controlling Health Care


The Wall Street Journal got in touch requesting a cover for their Health Care Report. An image was wanted relating to the theme of patients taking more control over decisions relating to their healthcare. The phrase 'being in the drivers seat' seemed to sum up the situation. Connecting the driving wheel with the stethoscope resolved the concept.

Controlling Health Care

Just before press a newer story took precedence so the cover never actually materialized. Above is the layout plus the first couple of ideas. The bottom two are the first development sketches before going to artwork.

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Harp Love

Harp Love


I was recently working on an editorial piece where I was asked to submit sketches to pinpoint the direction for the final illustration. Among the sketches I sent over was this one. I felt there was a nice image to be had there so took the time to work it up into a final piece. A simple graphic image! Something I always aspire to achieve wherever possible.

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Disrupted

Disrupted


I was contacted by Twin Cities Business magazine to produce a cover image based on their lead article about the rise of mobile apps which enable the reselling of tickets for major sporting, music or other large popular events. I took the essential elements from the story and then re-arranged them compositionally to create a, hopefully, thought-provoking image.

Disrupted

Unfortunately at the last minute the cover was changed to accommodate an important news story which had just broken so my illustration was used on an interior spread instead.

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The Sedentary Life

The Sedentary Life


This image popped into my mind seemingly out of nowhere but does reflect something of present day concerns with those who live a sedentary life - beware illustrators, this could be you!

I wanted to do this one fast so instead of cleaning everything up after scanning I just worked directly on top of the rough and kept in all the bits of tracing paper, tape and perspective lines. I liked the idea of sepia toning so as to give it a feel of someone in the future looking back to see what life was like today.

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Diversity

Diversity


I was asked by Georgetown University to produce a banner illustration to show a diversity of people, ethnicities, genders and ages. While waiting for the brief I had started to do some pen drawings of heads and envisaging a way the banner might work. The yellow version here is an option but as it turns out the requirements called for a high level of realism - more of a photo/collage look.

Diversity

These rough line scamps were intended to show the layout. Larger heads in front, receding in size with rows of people behind.

Diversity

These were three alternatives of which the all-blue version was the preferred option.

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Magical Contagion

Magical Contagion


This illustration is a spot for Scientific American Mind and is about why people cherish family heirlooms and celebrity memorabilia. Objects which are in some way thought to actually contain a piece of the person they relate to. It is a phenomenon that scientists call magical contagion.  New research suggests this effect helps fulfill our need for social connection. In other words, we expect these hand-me-downs to keep us company.

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