Friday, 17 December 2010

Reporting from the Windy City

So, here I am writing from across the pond in the amazing city that is Chicago. I love it here. No matter how many times I visit (due to having family here) I get just as excited. The people, the atmosphere, the Christmassy-ness, just everything about the place makes me all happy. I feel that I am in one of those 'chocolate box' winter Christmas movies- (Home Alone-esque). I think the only thing that would make my Christmas visits even more special was if I was young enough to still believe in Santa!

To be honest, the prime reason for this visit was for medical purposes, but it doesn't stop me enjoying the chicago festivities. I took my first walk downtown today, ventured into the wonderdul Walgreens. The store that possibly stocks a little bit of everything. Oh the american-ness. I could live here, at least for a period of time. Ideally, I  would like to have an internship at the Chicago branch of JWT. And yes, although it is the vacation period, the work doesn't stop. I still need to complete my 10 questions- slowly but surely getting there.

The photo above is of The Bean. It is located in the Millenium Park opposite my Uncle's office- (on Randolph and Michigan Avenue).
The Bean is just one example of the art that Chicago has to offer. It boasts several art galleries; including The Chicago Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art-where I saw an artist called Richard Tuttle. (At the time, I didn't really understand his work, although when I later read up on him, I found his work to be very interesting. He experiments and explores the boundaries between what is a painting and what is a sculture. ie. what makes something 2D or 3D? Definitely wirth a 'Google').

An example of Richard Tuttle's work- combining painting and sculpture.

Chicago is also home to thousands of theatres- in which I have seen one of my favourite shows of all time- Spamalot. A pure comical, musical masterpiece. One for all and all for one...

Unfortunately, due to my ever increasing work load and sometimes procrastinating skills, I haven't brought my beauty of a camera this trip. She is being greatly missed as I love a bit of experimental photography. I figured I should prioritize my advertising work and dissertation before I started playing with apertures, ISOs and depths of fields...

On another note however, I am now also in the process of becoming an Inventor. Yep, an Inventor. I have designed a product and am currently awaiting patenting. So for now, the product is still highly secret and confidential, although I'm hoping one day it will bring me my first of many millions! (Well, if not, it's still something to add to my CV).

So for now, I shall love and leave you from the Windy City. (At least with the time difference, I'm not writing my blog at 4am)!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Little Bit of Advice...and a recommendation

So I found this quotation and think it should be in any creative person's rule book...

'Even if you can't draw, do a little doodle or rip an illustration from a magazine- these ideas will help bring your ideas to life'.

Thanks John Emmerling.

On a completely different note, but I thought as it was coming up for the festive season, and a little bit of humour does wanders for these freezing nights and days, I wanted to recommend the wonderful book that is...

I know I have said in the past that I am not a reader, but this is just brilliant. I laughed outloud on the train, on the tube or in my bedroom. I definitely think this book should be on everyone's Christmas wish list. Pure 'comic genius'.

And following on, now at 04.57 past the hour, commenting on funny, have you seen the new Buttercup cough medicine advert?

It is also just brilliantly funny/ comical/ humourous etc.  It involves various wild animals coughing and spluttering with several amusing accents and voice overs. Just lurve it... I laugh every time I see it, and the more I take note and experience advertising, I realize humour goes a very loooooooong way within the industry.

Here are some clips taken from the advert. Look out for it. It would make me want to buy it over any other cough medicine, purely from the fact I remember the ad and I remember the product.

ONE DOWN AND ONE TO GO....(Breath and Sigh and Relax)

So today was the day. The day that I had been working towards. HAND-IN. At 14.00 hrs sharp, in the studio and don't be late. Everything all boxed up in our new 20L plastic submission boxes, very posh but very organized. One brief down and one to go till my wonderful student years come to an end. (very sad...sob...sob)
Anyway, there is no time for sadness now as I need to get cracking, writing, planning, you name it, I gotta do it on my Final Major Project. And like usual when faced with the immense challenge of creating a brief, my mind goes into over-drive and over-thinking about what would make a good brief, what won't, what will excite and awake my creative illustrative/ advertising juices- what do I want to spend my next 5 months working towards? What is going to get me a f**king good degree grade? Well at present, at the ripe old hour of 04.38 in the morning, I have convinced myself that I am going to explore the term


I hate hate this term with a passion because what is the bloody box? Where is the box, who decided what the box is and where the boundaries lie between being inside it and outside it? Its like the other overly irritating phrase about more bloody boxes... 'ticks all the right boxes'. Once again, who organized and designed what boxes should be ticked? So in my box rant, I feel I could explore this theme through the use of photography, line drawings, taking inspiration from my Christmas travels to Chicago, looking at landscapes, locations, various boxes albeit post-boxes, cardboard boxes, cereal boxes etc. Who Knows? I don't. I just know I hate boxes- unless of course my thought process is so much so, I am just slightly 'outside the box' and I get my place at Watford advertising and copywriting. And on that note, I need to incorporate my future career prospects within this brief, so perhaps a hint of typography may appear, illustrations for advertising. I don;t know, once again, I need to sort my head into various lists, action plans and deadlines.

Incase you're wandering, I am still struggling along with completing my creative test for Watford. I have answered all the questions now but they need to be re-drafted, worked upon and improved before submission. I also need to come up with my own ad campaigns for my portfolio- so I have decided to work with products I enjoy/ like for some and for others, once again, I have tried to think outside the damn box, so have chosen more obscure items. Like shoelaces and a dog lead. Hay ho ho ho...Merry Xmas everyone.

I may just mention, that i had another Design Buddy meeting the other day with Richard Gregory which proved overly beneficial. He alerted me to some typography layout rules, creative decisions and overall advice about my application work. Another meeting is hopefully going to be organized for the middle of Jan, so will keep you updated on any further progress...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Local Council Architecture thanks to the Government.


                                                        The pics from the council estates. ( I have only selected two of them)

Council Estates Visited in the name of Primary Research.

Only in the name of primary evidence, madness, call it what you will, would I have ventured around my local council estates. (Thanks dad for standing in as body guard.
So here are the pics to prove my dedication. ( I have altered the settings, so some of the photos have turned out more appealing than they appeared on the day. However, this may not be such a bad thing, as the whole project originated from 'Why Should you Never Under-Estimate a Handsome Bear?' Hence, the council estates could be the metaphor- they look all pretty and nice from the outside, yet the reality is completely different. Therefore, don't under-estimate the power of the council culture...)

My Dark Side 'Shines' Through- All in the name of creativity.

So the count down for critiques, predicted grades and hand-ins is fast approaching. A little too fast for my liking to be honest. Once again, the battle of the briefs is more of a problem...which to do now and which to leave for later. Apart from this, the question of my future career prospects is also looking doubtful in this dog-eat-dog world. (Although I love dogs) Why is everything so damn hard sometimes- even for an unpaid internship in a PR company. Granted, they do pay for your lunch. I have to answer these 6 ridiculous questions, which of course means another bout of 'thinking outside the box' and 'no answer is a wrong answer, just be different'... la la la. So someone please tell me, what one can get from 'What is your favourite Christmas song and why?' Anyway, what has to be done and all that jazz.

Back to the drawing board so to speak and my illustration work. I am compiling a so-called children's activity book with a very sinister edge. An edge that describes the negatives behind living in London's council estates. Death, drugs, gangs ect. I decided to use the style of a children's bumper book as I wanted it to suggest the loss of youth by getting involved with London's gang culture. All of the games are associated with the lifestyle of gang culture. for example, one task is to colour in 5 different syringes.

The left hand page is obviously the syringes, while the right hand side shows Benjy's stolen bike. This activity involves counting how many different circles are hidden within the image.

Another example of an activity is to unlock the door by solving the maths questions.

I still need to work out my maths questions!

So, I must get back to work for now and get thinking about which celeb I would most like to be and why; an ad campaign for Hovis bread, maths questions and maze routes to get the criminal to his chest of weapons and so on...

So, bye folks and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, 19 November 2010

A Recipe For....

So, apart from my uni brief, my fellow illos are making a fundraising book for a future London exhibition. The title being 'A Recipe For...'

With that in mind, I decided to do a Recipe for an egg. I think eggs are wonderful. I eat them for breakfast, preferably medium boiled with toast, at lunch, poached or scrambled on toast, and for dessert, in the form of meringue. Wonderful. One of the most versatile foods around.

Anyway, the image below was my contribution to our fundraising book. I once again incorporated text, collage and some fine pen drawings. I hope you like my testament to the egg.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

While I Remember...

Oooooo, I forgot to mention earlier that I saw an article in the newspaper yesterday that caught my attention. Remember a while back I commented on the Yeo Valley milk rap advert? Well apparently there is a rumour that the rap from the ad is going to take the Christmas Number one slot in the charts. So, sorry Mr Cowell, you're gonna loose to a bunch of cows. Merry Xmas!

It's been a while...


I know its been some time since my last post, but its been a very, very, very, very busy time; especially as I am still being a clown. Juggling uni, application, essay, life and so on.

Anyway, since last time I have been developing my project on Why One Should Never Under-Estimate a Handsome Bear? And from taking Fred around the local streets to making the DVD, I have progressed to Gun Crime, Gang Culture and so on. I know it seems a mahusive leap- and yes it is, if I explain my train of thought, bears and gang culture do actually connect. So How did I get there?

So with some advice, I was told to 'think more outside the box' and not to continue solely on the bear theme. When researching bears I came across a sentence that stated 'they will fight till death to defend their own' and this got me thinking about how I can relate this to modern day society. Hence I came up with the connection of gang culture and how each gang will fight 'till death' to defend their members.

On that note, I began researching gangs and their culture, and found the sentence 'children are killing children'- Once again I began thinking about the loss of innocence and how youths carry weapons around as if they are toys. It has become a part of daily life. I wanted to express this idea and show the sinister side of living within these communities aswell as the loss of childhood. I decided to experiment-

I tried to build a gun from little toy soldiers, and then painted them black. From afar it looks like a weapon, yet close up, the figures can be depicted. 

Typography has always been an important part of my work and therefore I wanted to incorporate it. For this reason, I decided to construct the letters 'G', 'U' and 'N' out of various children's toys, including action men, cars, jumbo pens etc. I wanted to continue expressing the viscous and violent lifestyle these gangs possess yet show how young children get caught up in it- hence losing their youth to crime. Much of this work was experimental, unsure exactly where I will end up...

The above image is my three constructed letters. I put them against a concrete wall to represent the urban locations where gang culture is most common. 

Its definitely been a fun artistic, developmental journey, yet once again, I have come to a bit of a brick wall myself, unsure now, where to take my letters? Anyway, as they say and as I have already said...its all a learning curve.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

I Have to Recommend these Books- and I'm not a Reader...

As the title of this blog suggests, I am not a natural reader. 

I actually do love a good read, although during term time, I always feel that if I have time to read a novel, I should be doing something more research, blog work, sketchbooks and the list continues...yet, when on a placement this summer at Adam and Eve Advertising Agency, I was recommended these two books. (Both my Paul Arden).

I have to pass on the recommendation, especially to anyone else wanting to break into the industry. They are easy to read, humourous and actually, the content is very inspiring and very true. 

Design Buddy Day and a Very Nice Lunch thanks to AUCB!

I got to meet my Design Buddy today- Richard. Hopefully Richard and I are going to organize some meetings in which he can help and advise me through my Watford application process. After having a downer of a day yesterday, I think knowing I have another contact and some outside support will really be beneficial. I now just need to crack on with designing my website and devise a digital way to advertise a chocolate bar...yummmm.

Maybe flat screen, flat tum!

(If you hadn't guessed, I am quite partial to the odd piece of chocolate or cake) Luckily I am not as focussed on becoming a baker as I am a copywriter!

Anyway, the images below show some editorial work that I did for an article discussing the right for Homosexuals to be part of the Catholic religion. It was quite a controversial piece of text to illustrate, although I did enjoy the challenge. The piece below is a combination of pen and ink, acrylic paint and embroidery. 

This image was based on Darwin's theory of evolution. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I am Loving the New Yeo Valley Ad..

My ad of the moment is the new Yeo Valley milk rap. I first saw it during one of the commercial breaks during Saturday's x-factor and thought that it was genius. I love the humour behind it, as well as it being a slightly different approach than 'drink the white stuff'. In the words of Simon Cowell...'it's just so current'.

If we're talking great current ads at the moment, I also have to say how much I like both of the Ikea adverts. The one with the cats and the one about the kitchens. I think they're both very inventive and really show Ikea to be as creative as their ads. Much like the Yeo Valley ad, I think the backing music really makes the advert up-tempo and cool! The cats definitely made me 'HAPPY INSIDE'- and I'm more of a dog person! 

The Ikea Happy Cats...

And the Ikea Kitchen Party!

So Much to do, Feels Like So Little Time...

Today, can only be described as 'one of those days'. I woke up firstly with the sniffles and second, from a very realistic, hectic dream in which I had been awarded a place on my advertising course. And then when I was re-adjusted back to my actual surroundings, things only went down hill. Not a happy bunny.
I am now having to design a digital chocolate bar, whilst contemplating possible products to advertise with my 'swing' on things, finalize my dissertation essay title and work out an interesting approach for incorporating typography into my illustrative brief. I did have a very interesting chat with a lady from D&AD about my future options. And she alerted me to their student awards and advertising briefs- so watch this space.
I also had a meeting at university regarding a new, pilot buddy scheme that will hopefully help me sort out my creative prioties, portfolio and action plan for the next few months. In the mean time, I am going to upload some photos taken on Brown Sea Island. (It was the first time I had used my new DLSR camera)

These are just a few that I have selected. I was experimenting with the different settings, aperture, depth of field etc.

And now I want a big fat piece of


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Still Struggling with Cliff but Fred goes Far!

So at the moment I am feeling in an awkward junction in my creative practice- I have one project that appears to moving onwards quite smoothly, while the other one is stuck majorly in a rut. 
Yesterday, I took Fred out again to shoot some more footage for my DVD, and then started to edit it. It has been a really fun process for me as I have never done anything like this before. My only criticism is that I don't have enough technical knowledge to perhaps make the film a little more creative. But as they say...its all a learning curve.

On the other hand, my Cliff Richard for PM campaign is as stagnant as a stale pond, and really does not seem to be progressing. I am seriously at a loose end and am not sure what approach I want to take. I could go down the music route, the religious route or just compare him to some seriously unpopular previous PMs! (we've had enough of them)!

Anyway, on a more positive note, I have found some really funky illustrators via a blog called 
An illustrator called Hattie Stewart really caught my attention- she has recently graduated from Kingston University and has already worked for some major clients; including Luella, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Illustrated People. Some of her sketchbook work is shown below- I love her funky, crazy bright colours, her wild imagination and her psychedelic style.

Another illustrator that caught my eye over the past few days is a  French Illustrator call Seb Cazes. I love his simple use of colour and materials- using collage and text in a really effective way. His work really inspired me as his style is a similar way to the way I like to work; fine liner, brown paper and a little acrylic paint! His work also incorporates a lot of text, which is another interest/ fascination of mine. I love to experiment with typography and see how far letterforms can be described as art forms in their own right.
The images below show some examples taken from Seb Cazes' sketchbooks.

So for the meantime, I will say ciao and get cracking with Cliff! Ciao..

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Fred Goes for his First Outing!

Firstly, I want to introduce  you all the Fred the bear. My housemates and I named him as we felt it only right that he had a name!

So once I had completed the process of cutting fred out, it was time for his first outing- Abi (my fellow housemate and my technological advisor) set him among the streets of Winton. We filmed him in the supermarket, at the bus stop and generally just causing reactions and mischief in the streets. This was the first process- as over the next few days I will position him in various locations before I cut and edit the footage. So far, this has been a fun and experimental process as I am using digital techniques that I haven't used before. 

I have also been pre-occupied with completing my eighth out of 10 application questions. Today I was working on the tarantula one, I finally finished. I hope my sense of humour and originality comes 
across in my design concepts. I fear that the next question is not going to be so easy to tackle...

How to Promote Cliff Richard as Prime Minister?

The above image shows Fred the Bear waiting to leave the house.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Why Should you Never Under-estimate a Handsome Bear?

Today I was on an almighty mission to get my new illustration brief underway and to use this idea for one of my Watford application questions. 

My idea and my daily challenge was to create a life-sized cardboard bear that would then be put into odd and unusual locations whilst filming people's reactions. My idea was to show that although the bear is obviously harmless, the shock of seeing the bear in random places will cause reactions. Thus 'never under-estimate' the power of the bear and where he might appear.

I am hoping to take him food shopping and to introduce him to the delights of Waitrose, perhaps a trip  in to town and to the local cinema, and who knows...wait and see where he may pop up?

The end result will hopefully be a fun and witty DVD exploring the  potential within film, documentation and perhaps animation. 

The photos above show my initial stages at creating my life size bear. Image 1. shows my very initial outline of the bear, and took me back to my youth whilst relying on the good old OHP- (Over-Head Projector). Image 2, shows the vast piece of cardboard on my sitting room floor once I had developed the drawing using acrylic paint. 

While the paint is drying, I am writing this post, and contemplating whether or not to add white paint to emphasize the highlights? 

The next step will be the almighty task of cutting the bear out before we can let him loose on the streets of Bournemouth Town...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

So as I said yesterday, I am applying for a post-grad advertising course, and todays mission is to come up with a campaign to sell tarantulas as the next 'must-have' pet. I am trying to incorporate my application questions into my illustration briefs at the moment so 1. I can maximize my time more effectively and 2. I can use my supporting and experimental work in my application. My head is buzzing with ideas for typography, spiders, handsome bears (another one of my questions) and cheese...

Monday, 4 October 2010

The above images are a couple that I have selected from my Narrative Brief. The theme was Alcoholism and Addiction. I concentrated much of my work around the daily routine of one suffering with an addiction, and the repetitive behaviour associated with such a disease. 
My final piece consisted of a series of photographs of various alcoholic bottles. These bottles exhibit drawings of an alcoholic at different stages through his daily routine. 

Ok, so its been a while since I have added anything to my blog, and today is the day it gets serious. I have been caught up in my application for an advertising course for next year, and therefore have neglected this part of my creative life. My application questions have been taking up all of my physical and mental capacity, yet now I really have to focus- balancing my uni work and my independent work/ projects. In the meantime, I am going to upload some images of my work from last year and other bits and bobs that I have been experimenting with. I hope you like them and that my work reflects my quirky character.

The images above show some T-Shirt designs that I created for a personal brief aimed at promoting healthy eating. This is a topic particularly important to me as I have several dietary restrictions due to being Diabetic and a Ceoliac. I have designed several so-called characters for these T-Shirts, with the ambition to develop them onto other products. I really enjoyed this project as they are relevant, hand embroidered and it incorporated several different skills and materials.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

This piece of work was used to illustrate a 'nagging doubt'. I wanted to explore the process of how a nagging doubt is formed. More importantly perhaps, what is considered a nagging doubt? To me, it is did I remember to lock the front door or Did I switch my hair straighteners off?
I was trying to express the idea through illustrating the mechanical process- a bit like a factory with various stages. ie. 1.The action, cooking---> 2.The thought, Did I turn the oven off?---> 3.Remembering, What did I do after I took the cake out of the oven? ---> Did I turn it off? Yes? No? ---> 4. Nagging Doubt kicks in.

Once again, I had fun working with mixed media, including, pen, metal nuts and bolts, fabric and acetate.

This brief was entitled Word and Image and the concept behind it was to illustrate our selected text. My text was about a lover waiting for their partner to return. It was repetitive, and rhythmic, almost like you could hear the lover pacing up and down. The themes of love, despair, love and hate were all consistent throughout the verses. I wanted to explore typography in the project; and see how far text and typography could be considered art forms in their own right. I also wanted to experiment with a 3D object, rather than always limiting myself to pen and paper. I wanted to see if this could add another dimension to the piece of work. I wanted to encapsulate the idea of time passing and the desperation that the lover was experiencing in a more abstract way.

I began to think about the repetitive 'tick tock' that a clock makes and how it has the same rhythm of a quick pace. ie. left foot, right foot, left, right, tick, tock and so on. It was for this reason I decided on a pair of shoes to illustrate my text.

I really enjoyed working on this piece as it something I had not experimented with before.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day One on the Blogspot Page at 17.37pm:

Ok, so here we have my first ever blog, and to be honest, I am quite nervous about it as I don't know what I am doing. This has been a day I have been avoiding for way too long now as 1. I don't honestly like computers and technology that much and would rather write my views in a paper pad and 2. It is just one of those things that I was always 'going to do tomorrow'. Although I have now reached a stage in my life and my so-called creative career that I think it is essential that I do finally sort myself out with a Blog. (As any budding Art Director or Copywriter should)...

Anyway, I have now successfully set up this blog to record my creative ideas, opinions and views on the creative side of life really. I hope you enjoy it as much I do, taking creativity and innovation to a whole new level.