Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Some sticker designs I've been making recently. Click on the switch for something else.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The oldest story

These pictures were inspired by a story from the Mabinogion - 'Math, son of Mathonwy'. They were proposed as artwork for the bar and brasserie of a North Wales hotel I used to work in a few years ago. Here's an abridged version of the story - as you can imagine, it all makes perfect sense, in the way that folklore soap operas do!

Math, Lord over Gwynedd, and Gwydion, son of Don, were both powerful magicians - but Gwydion tried to steal Math's lady, Goewin, for his brother Gilfaethwy. As punishment, Math turned the brothers into animals and sent them into exile. 

After three years Math let them return, making them human again. He asked Gwydion to choose a wife -  good of him, under the circumstances. Gwydion asked for Aranrhod, Math's niece - but through magic, they discovered she was not a 'maid' (ahem), and had a son, Dylan Eil Ton. She was sent away from court, but gave Gwydion a secret gift as she went, which he stored in a chest at the foot of his bed. One day it turned into a baby boy. 
I don't know what kind of gift that was... 

Gwydion went to find Aranrhod to bring her their child, but she was not pleased. She cursed the baby, saying that it would not have a name unless it was she who named him.

So the boy went nameless, until Gwydion played an elaborate trick on Aranrhod in order to gain a name for his son.

He built a ship from seaweed....

'...and where he saw dulse and sea-girdle he made a ship by magic;
and out of the seaweed and dulse he made cordwain, much of it...'

'....and he put colours on them so that no-one had ever seen leather more lovely than that'.

Gwydion and his son boarded the ship and used it as a place to make beautiful shoes. Aranrhod became curious and wanted a pair for herself. Yes, that's right, she's a woman, and she was won over by the prospect of new shoes...

Anyway, she saw how quickly and cleverly the boy made the shoes, and not recognising him, commented on how deft the 'fair one's' hands were. So the boy got his name - 'Lleu Llaw Gyffes', or 'Fair one, deft hands'.

After that, the work 'vanished into dulse and seaweed'.

What an amazing, crazy and illogical story - the best kind! But I chose it because of the traditional element - and also, the story is local to the situation of the hotel. The text contains a lot of strong imagery, referring to the sea, seaweed, boats, cordwain, water and finally the colours. As the hotel was on a quay, that formed much of its identity - so I thought it would be quite fitting. 

I made all these images really quickly, so now I've noticed how I exhausted just a few pieces of text, and I can see lots of things I would like to add or change, or ways that I could have gone into more detail, or drawn out parts of the story more effectively...but I do like it overall. It's one of many, many things I'd love to spend more time with, if time wasn't an issue (or if I was a powerful magician, like Math, and could control it....).

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Small shakeys


Some 'stings' made for the showreel of exhibition 'The Day The Rain Turned To Paint', at the Zion Centre in Manchester, a few years ago. Organized together with the energetic, dynamic and colourful Manchester artist Anna Smith, it gathered work by local artists, performers, filmmakers and photographers. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Blue Hearts

Here's another one - I made it during my second year at Man Met. I don't know what's happened to the sound on it, how unprofessional. 


I made this animation about three years ago. It was made without access to a lightbox, line tester etc - I just used my scanner and laptop. It's all scanned images or pics drawn on photoshop, so it's a wee bit clunky...but I sort of quite like it. I can't remember why I did it, or why it is about hearts. I think it was just an experiment. 
I draw hearts quite a lot, usually subconsciously, when I'm doodling - their shape is very satisfying. They take on different meanings whether you draw them softly, or raggedly, or scrawly...or at least, that's what I think. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

From my archives...Nic and Jo's Wedding Invitations

Invite 1Invite 2 - reverseWristband and sticker logoInvite ideaInvite ideaInvite back blue
Invite back black and blueRecipe card

Invitation designs for my friends' wedding last year. Another set of images I didn't want to gather dust on my computer hard-drive...and the next few posts on this blog will be dedicated to an archeological dig of my portfolio.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Apple strudel and arts and crafts

Last night I met the lovely Emma Gatrill, a Brighton based musician (she sings, plays the harp and the clarinet, and probably many other things - all at once! Well, maybe...), and we had a spontaneous arts and crafts session in my bedroom, making a CD case and pocket for a demo of her album - here are the results. Not shown here is the back, onto which I attached a handmade, turquoise envelope with a secure flap to contain the CD. The drawing on the front is one I did a while ago, but spookily it looks a little like Emma. 
Have a listen to a preview of Emma's album here

Photographed by Amyas.

Cutting out and sticking things in good company is fun enough by itself, so what on earth could make the evening any better, I hear you ask (yes, you're asking, I know you are)? I'll tell you what - an Austrian feast, cooked up by my housemate and his girlfriend. Seven of us sitting round our stout little coffee table, chowing down on wiener schnitzel, potato salad, and home-made apple strudel with ice cream, plus quite a lot of wine, and then some coffee. Yes please!