I was asked by Common Ground magazine to produce a half page image illustrating a scene from a cautionary tale about a banking glitch or possible computer hack which had left a small business with an empty bank account. The brief was relatively prescriptive so this was not a concept piece as such. The initial sketch (top) was not accepted as it said 'theft' too strongly - more ambiguity was wanted, hence the second drawing.
I was asked by Prog magazine to create an image for their Album Review page. It was featuring Neal Morse’s new double concept album The Similitude Of A Dream, based on his born again christian take on Pilgrim’s Progress. It was more or less an open brief with the request that the band members be included and to ensure that Morse himself be dominant.
I liked the idea of using elements from an early interpretation of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and updating it with Morse himself and other modern references.
Alas, no sooner was the work submitted then Prog and it's publisher Teamrock went into administration:(
I love to create 'versions'. I got what I wanted with no. 4 here but have continued to look at ways of making other versions.
It's one of the oft-overlooked benefits of the digital age - the relative ease in which 'versions' of pieces can be created and stored. It used to be that traditional materials dictated that the artist 'nailed their colours to the mast' when creating a new piece but with the tools of today that no longer need be the case. Versions can be tried and tested, colour options run through and even different rendering methods are all available to the illustrator to experiment with. The danger of course is getting lost in the myriad of possibilities. To that end personal work is essential from a creative point of view so the results of successful experiments can later be incorporated into professional jobs. In that way the artist can continue to develop and evolve in a commercial marketplace.
I got a call from Emily at Deloitte University Press. Deloitte were looking for a cover illustration to sum up a major report in their upcoming issue.
I was given a summary of the piece and, as is so often the case, the sub-heading provided the spark for the image. 'Digital transformation in financial services: The need to rewire organizational DNA'
Straight away I knew it was all electrical cables/DNA strands, plugs, engineers etc.
The first sketch on the left was liked but feedback requested more sense of a collaboration, men and women in business attire rather than engineers, code emanating from the wires and a cityscape backdrop. With that amend approved it was onto the artwork.
Common Ground Magazine got in touch asking for a cover and interior illustration on the theme of network security - an increasingly popular topic!. They wanted the cover to focus on the idea of being vulnerable to a cyber-attack.
I had a few ideas centering around the idea of theft - perhaps hands, underground, pulling code from a building. A burglar was irresistible, so I drew one coming up into the building at night and hoovering up all the code.
I was contacted by Dow Jones Media Group with a view to producing a cover image for the first edition of a new magazine, Financial News.
The brief was really pretty open although they specified an image that had a sophisticated feel, was forward-looking, financial, heavily digital, included the city and was to be light on people!
I liked the idea of something passing before your eyes or looking to the future. All the detail could then be contained within a stream of information. They liked the concept and gave the go-head for the profile version. The designer later pulled out the eye and some of the circuitry for a special embossed treatment at printing stage.
Hopkins Medicine Magazine contacted me to produce a full page illustration to accompany a story about new "stroke goggles" that are being used on patients to help differentiate between dangerous strokes and benign dizziness, based on eye movements.
My initial sketch featured the goggles too heavily so pulled right back to show the whole figure with a bright red highlighting the movements of the eye. The second sketch was approved with the proviso that the figure clearly be an older man.
Full page image and spot for Scientific American Mind.
An image was required to depict how we learn when no one is teaching us - how we make mental maps, how we learn languages, how we come to understand how things work.
Initial thoughts centred around virtual reality and headsets which were referenced in the copy. It was felt that approach made it too specific to a certain approach for simulating the process but didn't get really get across the main idea. Stripping away the tech and making more of a cityscape backdrop was a much better fit and it was that concept that was carried through to finished art.
The spot illustration focused more on how we unconsciously learn from each other.
A quick turnaround was needed for this job from The Financial Times. The story was about a summer school for would-be MBA graduates. A two-week residency, promising to deliver “a unique and transformative experience” at its campus amid the forest of Fontainebleau, on the southern outskirts of Paris. Along with classes on business awareness there are sports, games and other more relaxing activities.
A series of illustrations done for Experience Life magazine about how much of what we are told about keeping our hearts healthy is is in fact wrong.
Here are two sketches for the initial spread. It was felt that the first drawing had too much emphasis on exercise when really, although exercise was a factor, the copy was also concerned with nutrition, stress management and sleep.
Another illustration for the same article focused on the myth that high cholesterol is the root cause of cardiovascular disease. The image of a heart with roots was an evocative one so I used that in conjunction with anatomical drawings and red pointers to indicate other areas of examination.
Other images for the same piece inculded a number of spots on different aspects of heart health. Running clockwise these illustrate the following points: Eat more whole foods, the myth that eating fat raises cholesterol levels, nurturing positive relationships, going beyond cardio and managing stress.