It has been a pleasure working with the British Library on these & a privilege to breathe life into these beautiful centuries-old illustrations. If you have not been, I highly recommend visiting the History of Magic exhibition where you’ll be able to see the originals of these pictures and much much more!
Here is some design work I made earlier in the year for the Open University – all to do with “The Living Archive of Learning Disability History”. I worked with some great people who are re-thinking the way archives could be made more accessible for those with learning disabilities..
Wiki Icons / Living Archive Logo
Alongside the above designs, I was also tasked with designing some icons to populate the Wiki (which tells everyone all about this project). Furthermore, I was asked to develop a logo to represent the archive (this is also placed at the centre of the Wiki in the pic below). This work was quite fun as I would submit numerous designs to the whole group involved and people would vote for their favourites – which I would then develop into the final pieces.
It has been a while since my last blog post, so I just wanted to post up a quick summary of some of the design and animation work I have been up to this year (in order from most to least recent)..
Recently, I have been keen to develop my illustration style.. this will not only help open up new areas of work, but it will also help feed back into my animation work. Currently I’m working on a personal piece to illustrate going against the mainstream (or could be a similar concept) which would suit an editorial context. The below pic shows the development of the work in progress. Inspiration? My commute – changing trains from West Hampstead underground to the overground – I would face this tide of people mainly headed to The City or Canary Wharf.
I have recently signed up for number 12 at this marvellous Bingomation Tumblr page – the idea is that animators can take a number then animate a 5 second GIF to it, according to what its corresponding Bingo phrase is. So for number 12 (“a dozen”) I’m pushing forwards with “12 drummers drumming.” This lyric is in the Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Here is my character design:
Mystery Animation (Watch This Space)
I can’t say much about this at the moment (due to signing a Non Disclosure Agreement), but I have spent some weeks working on an awesome animation that I am pretty proud about. Once it is live I will be able to publish it here. What I will say is that getting this job has proven that networking works! I met someone at an animation/motion graphics event who referred the work onto me – fantastic!
The Continuing Success of the EHC Animation!
Recently, I have finished work on the 6th re-modification of the EHC animation – this one has been tailored to suit Swindon council. The EHC animation has been very successful at simplifying a fairly complex bureaucratic process – providing a useful and engaging guide for those with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents/carers and associated professionals. One SEN consultant stated that she “has never found such a good local offer (EHC) animation as mine” which is a great testimonial as she has worked for several councils across the country. If you would like an EHC animation developed for your council please do not hesitate to contact me to take advantage of the special subsidised price model on offer! Here is the Swindon version:
I developed this set of lovable primates a few months ago. They’re not completely finished yet but the plan is to get them in an online shop. So watch this space, and sooner or later you will be able to buy a monkey themed picture, clock, shower curtain, duvet cover etc. Excited? I know I am!
Iconic Buildings / Landmarks
Similar in thinking to the monkeys, I thought it could be a neat idea to develop a series of iconic buildings to sell online. Like the monkeys, this type of work is something I can keep chipping away at when I don’t have any paid work or more important personal projects to work on. I have two pics here of The Shard that I have created – very different in style! Next steps are to pick which style I think works the best and move on with that, working on new buildings/landmarks.
Here are some selected pieces I have worked on this year. The process of graphic facilitating involves capturing what is being spoken at a meeting or an event & conveying it in a colourful and fun way. I won’t go into detail, but I’m eager just to show a quick snapshot of a few pieces taken from throughout the year..
The Benefits of Working in a Co-Working Space
The advantages of working in a co-working space with other like minded creative professionals include freelance job opportunities! Networking happens automatically when you go for a cup of tea or to have some lunch. Here are some projects I have worked on which have resulted from conversations I have had whilst working here…
Road Logistics Motion Graphics Video
This was all about road development, management and logistics in developing countries (quite random from my point of view!) My skills with After Effects came in handy taking onboard this project mid-way through its production. The work was mainly arranging source footage and graphics files to come on in the right place at the right time.
This little clip helps to explain the benefits of large bike wheels. This was to support an informative/promotional video a friend of mine was working on for one of his clients:
I also made a funky little GIF for an Events Management guy! Though he loved the GIF, it didn’t go live as a different marketing approach was adopted.
Mentoring on the “Enterprise Bootcamp” course
Earlier in the year I helped out on the “Enterprise Bootcamp” course. This is run by the same wonderful organisation (Bootstrap) that manages our co-working space. The course equips young people with the business skills they need in order to turn their idea into a real business. I came onboard as a mentor on the scheme spending an hour every week (for 12 weeks) with a young lady called Victoria. Her business vision was built around her delicious home-made Plantain crisps.
In our informal meetings we reflected on how her business was developing and what the next steps should be. I was able to be a soundboard for her on topics around pricing, future goals, production, marketing, working with people and getting the product out there. Victoria came 2nd in the Dragons Den style pitch which happened at the end of the programme! Here is her website and Instagram page. I also spent a day or two working with her to make this fun little video explaining why the Plantain is better then the Banana!
The Future of Pet Technology
This animation was a collaboration between the client (Fetch/Ocado), PR company (Manifest London) and myself. It involved summarising three exciting and innovative pet technology prototypes to the general public, so they could vote for which one they liked the best. This was produced from script to delivery in just over a week! I’m pleased to say it was very well received by all involved.
In order to accommodate a tight turnaround of just over a week I came up with a simple but effective methodology: I sketched out all the original artwork by hand including the additional elements which would enable the animation. Next, I organised the positioning and enhanced the look of each shot using Photoshop. Finally, I bought these into After Effects to match it to the voice over. I worked closely with Manifest London who sourced the voice over artist, created the music and helped influence the storyboard & final visual style.
I signed up earlier this year to Instagram! As an artist, it is a great way to share some of my work in progress, sketchbook stuff or anything that I find visually interesting, up online quickly and easily. Here is a link to my account if you would like to follow me!
So now to rewind to the present! I have a few paid projects coming up soon including a few animations and a potential editorial illustration project. In my own time, I will aim to complete the “Bingomation” GIF (I have a one month deadline on this.) I would also like to learn Cubase so I can produce some good sound design for my animations and sign up with some more recruitment agencies (I’m with a couple at the moment, but the more the merrier!)
The next priority will be to progress with the personal projects in this blog post. In general, I think it is important for me to keep doing plenty of sketching, mock-editorial pieces and continuing to develop my illustration style alongside my animation skills. I will also go on attending networking events and possibly get Tumblr and Dribbble accounts. So, lots to do!
I have completed work on this now and I’m really happy with how it looks! Plus I have learned a lot about the process of rotoscoping/painting in Photoshop. Here is a bit of background info on the project:
On a sunny day in Brighton, UK (2007), I went for a little skate with a mate along the seafront – whilst skating along next to me, he filmed me with my phone doing these wow-so-amazing tricks! Now, 9 years later, I recapture those glorious times in this animation rotoscope experiment.
Technical details: I worked with very low res footage (176 x 144px) and scaled it up to 1280 x 720. I kept to the original frame rate of 10fps. I used Premiere for editing, Photoshop for rotoscoping and After Effects to comp in the texture and finalise the visual look.
Music credits: “Sunday Vibes” by Ryan Little