Life In Balance: Leaving Neverland

This illustration was for Life In Balance magazine and was to accompany a fascinating article about healing trauma through visualisation techniques. Part of the technique involves the cradling and manipulation of the 7th vertebrae which then enables the trauma sufferer to 're-frame' the colours surrounding the 'icon' of pain.


Life In Balance: Leaving Neverland


All pretty dense visual stuff but in this case I was lucky enough to get an image right away - the hand touching the vertebrae leading to an abstract chain of events with suggestions of frames and icons. A reference in the text to Neverland lead to the inclusion of Tinkerbell wings. Below left is my quick sketch to capture the idea and on the right is the more refined sketch that was sent for client approval.


Life In Balance: Leaving Neverland sketches

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The Psyche of Runners

This illustration was for Running Times magazine about the psyche of runners and how they are never satisfied with their achievements, always wanting more.

The editorial team wanted to incorporate the illusion of M C Escher's 'Infinite Staircase' to convey the runners mindset. It was then a question of the setting and how best to integrate the staircase with other elements.

I always start out with the intention of producing a simple graphic image (believe it or not) so positioning the staircase within a silhouetted head seemed a good way to go. Adding the runner on the stairs for the main focal point and then including a stopwatch face to emphasise the theme and that felt enough.


Running Times: The Psyche of Runners

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Roger Waters: Amused To Death

This was an illustration for Prog magazine. It was a feature illustration to accompany a review of a state of the art re-mastering of Rogers Waters (ex Pink Floyd) third solo album 'Amused To Death'.

I was given a free hand in interpretation. The album content is conceptually ambitious and somewhat prescient as it is concerned with a dystopian future and its' screen obsessed society. It follows a monkey randomly flicking through TV channels which was just too good an image to
pass up.

One of the requirements of the job was that the artist be included in the illustration so the screen was the obvious place to include Waters himself.


Roger Waters: Amused To Death

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Fifty Faces

I always have two or three projects on the back burner that I dip in and out of between paid assignments. Fifty faces is one of them. Essentially the idea here is just to have fun - no concepts, no point to get across or text to interpret, just fifty different faces. This is the pencil stage, ringing the changes with each one and avoiding repetition as far as possible. Then working them up, A4 size, in different ways - acrylic, pen and ink etc. Working quickly to avoid getting bogged down or bored.


Fifty Faces 01

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The Pregnancy Brain

One from a small series of new images for Scientific American Mind magazine for a feature on pregnancy and the physical effects on the brain. Not just of women but men too. The idea here is to show the working relationship between the pregnancy itself and the mind with the red wedges implying disruption.

The Pregnancy Brain

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Blue Collage

Continuing to make use of remaindered drawings and sketches that would otherwise lie dormant. More to follow!

Blue Collage

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Rapp book 2015

Each year my agent Gerald & Cullen Rapp publishes and sends out their artists book. This is my spread for this year - fingers crossed it generates some interest!

Rappbook 2015

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Yellow Collage

Working as an illustrator one of the key parts of the job, if not THE key part of the job, involves drawing in some form or another. Whether that involves simple layout designs, detailed character drawings or loose concept sketches.

Generally speaking the drawing/rough stage is considered preparatory work which leads to a final image. Time was when at the end of a job I'd routinely clear the desk and trash all the bits and pieces of clutter that had preceded the artwork and then move on to the next thing. I've found in recent years though that I've started to keep more and more of this 'process' material and stored it in folders or sleeves. Occasionally I might review this stuff and although much of it feels crude and unformed there is sometimes an indefinable quality which is lost when it has been redrawn, re-worked and refined.

Recently I thought be might be fun to create a new image using some of this raw material so put together a selection of completely unrelated sketches.



Apart from a little re-jigging this is the finished version, in Photoshop, with each of the elements on it's own layer. Wherever possible I've avoided cleaning things up or doing any re-working as that would somehow defeat the object of the exercise. Having said that I have removed some outlines to help unify the whole thing. Click here see the finished piece.



This is the start of sifting through recent sketches. As I usually work on tracing paper I've got loads of little scraps, some done in pencil, inks or brush pen.



Here's most of the finished selection prior to scanning into the computer for compositing and colouring.

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Abstract: Resting

Sometimes it's good to move away from familiar working patterns - to take a sideways step and see what happens. So for this image I had something loosely figurative in mind but rather than focus on anything too representational I just let the lines flow and be suggestive. Similarly I wanted to knock the colour right back, to be calm rather than anything too lively.



Here's how the pencil sketch developed. It was only when I got to the fourth version that I could see how the 'legs' area might work with the rest. At that point I moved I moved into artwork mode and painted in the accompanying background shapes being careful to echo the feel and flow of the lines.



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Alpha Natural Resources web headers

A series of web page headers for Alpha Natural Resources. Each image representing a different aspect of the company; the miners, safety, the environment, performance and the role of coal.

A number of concept drawings were submitted from which the finished illustrations were chosen, as below. Stylistically a simple graphic foreground image was requested with background details rounding out the theme. I was asked to use a colour palette that was sympathetic with the corporate green used by Alpha.



Below are a couple of unused ideas; homepage focussing on the company business, joining together over safety issues and mining safety equipment.

Alpha Natural Resources

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