A blog about
illustration, cancer, etc.

I’m a graphic designer in Australia. This is for all the personal work that would scare my clients. I’m in remission for bladder cancer, so some of it ain’t cheery, and there’s a fair amount of nudity along the way. So maybe don’t read it on the train.

Probably no one’s going to scroll backwards to the start of the blog but if you’re interested there’s a handy pocket guide. A nice PDF just for the love of typesetting.

“ballast”

ballast

What I write sometimes seems a little circular… “been a while / been busy / self referential”. This one could be more so.

Been an insane 6 weeks or so, working on my agency’s two biggest projects for the year, at the same time. Then doubling down by burning some extra curricular midnight oil. Before it sounds too whingey, that oil bought us an awesome family holiday, and printed the ticket for the next stage of my journey. To mangle two metaphors in one paragraph.

Wasn’t until I started thinking about the blue, that I realised it was an accidental follow on to “hammer’n’tongs”, the landing of the fall. The ball and chain has been mangled as a metaphor too, not a dead weight but a weapon, not an inescapable negative but a calculated risk.

And that central plunge was the most fun I’ve had with the markers so far!

ballast - stages

“misfit”

misfit

The idea of exhibiting my work has come up again.

Back in the day, when I was either dropping out of art school (or trying to get back in), I drew a couple of versions of the idea of being a throwback. Against the high water mark of installations and the like, super old school personal metaphors got tagged negatively as illustration.

The irony is, that after a 15 or so year journey into illustration and graphic design, my work (which is still personal metaphors) is more likely to be tagged as art, now that illustration has broken the barrier into credibility!

Anyway, this abbreviated version is less whiney.

sketchbook #20

the positive side

1992 was an interesting year, burning through sketchbooks (this one in a month) and too much weed, manic highs and lows. This picture sums it up in one.

Went and saw the awesome Robert Hannaford exhibition today. Lots of great work, but some absolutely mind blowing figure studies on grey paper – if you like that sort of thing! Really inspired me to work bigger again, and definitely get to some life drawing. Most of all, it reaffirmed monochrome as something worth following.

Churning it out

Churning it out

This one's for you cuz!

This one’s for you cuz!

“hammer’n’tongs”

hammer'n'tongs

Been a while between posts, for all the right reasons. Well, we did all have a virus that made us vomit, but mostly it was because I’ve been spending my nights working on a freelance project.

Which links into the the idea of the picture, along with getting some big jobs over the line for my day job, of the feeling of smashing it! Of just sucking it up and getting through.

I don’t draw much in the way of beefcake, and my aim was to draw a massive dude. Unfortunately the only wrestling jump pictures I could find for reference were more modestly muscled! Would have been great to do it as some sort of animated loop: smashing down through layers of masonry, through tag teams of dismayed wrestlers…

On the technical side, I coloured the marker base in Photoshop and was pretty happy with the result for a moderate extra layer of work. Have to try a whole scene with background, which I don’t generally do in colour or mono!

hammer'n'tongs - mono

chart topper

chart topper

Had my third colonoscopy last Friday. All clear. No polyps.

The hospital admission forms always seem like a tedious exercise – tick “no” 20 times and sign your name twice – but the nurse running through it this time gave me a different perspective.

“Any allergies?” No.

“Any current illnesses?” No.

“Any medications?” No.

“Any major surgeries?” No.

She was really impressed, said some people need to attach an extra sheet to fit it all in, made her job much easier.

“You must be really healthy.” Yeah, I guess I am.

changeover

changeover

End of the first Moleskin, paper’s a little thin but the binding is good. Ideas from the front, books reviews from the back, the latter crossed the midpoint first.

Bit like a mullet…