Thursday, 22 July 2010

Portraits For Bloomberg Businessweek, and a response.

Nouriel Roubini

A few weeks ago, I received a very nice commission from Bloomberg Businessweek to provide six portraits for a piece they were running about renewed pessimism amongst America's most eminent financial forecasters. Thanks to Richard Turley for the art direction.

A week or so later I received a post on this blog about the illustrations, from someone who seemed upset by them. He seemed particularly annoyed by the one of Meredith Whitney (shown below). I thought it was interesting enough to post up again here. After the illustrations you can read the post, followed by my response.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Follow me on Twitter

I've finally got round to setting up a twitter account, and now spend days at a time thinking of things to tweet that are clever, insightful, humble, cool, sweet and edgy all at the same time. Then I just decide to tweet something stupid. I badly need followers, so please join the congregation!

Monday, 19 July 2010

New Work: Cath

This is a drawing that I made a couple of months ago. It's a very special image for me because it features my lovely wife Cath, and also because it was drawn on the day that we found out that we were expecting our first child. That's right, we're having a baby!

We went out for a meal that night, and as I looked across the table at Cath there was something so vulnerable in her expression that I just thought to myself 'I have to record this in some way'. I snapped a picture of her on my phone, and made the drawing when I got home. I know it may seem odd that for such a happy time with such exciting news, the image is so subdued, somber even, but for me it captures something very special about that night. There was lots of smiles and happiness later of course, but I think we were both struck in that moment that night by the sudden feeling of responsibility. I don't often make such autobiographical pictures, but I was pleased that in this case I made the effort.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Influences: Chris Ware

It's been about six years now since I discover the meticulous and neurotic work of the Chicago-based graphic artist Chris Ware. My first exposure to his ouevre came during my final year at University with my reading of the tri-generational family biopic graphic novel "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth". At first glance it looked like a beautifully rendered piece of retro-Americana. On closer inspection however, it revealed itself to be an infinitely more complex and nuanced construction. Partly autobiographical in it's narrative, it was at times post-modern, at times sentimental, at times whimsical and at times profound. With as many layers as the most oniony of onions, it's a piece of art that will stand the test of time as a stunning testament to the power and potential of sequential art - or 'comics' to you and me. In certain parts it's very funny, but more often than that it's tragic, compelling and dark, and paints a picture of a world where loneliness and disillusion are as ubiquitous as fast food restaurants.

Friday, 2 July 2010

New Work: Kublai Khan

I've just finished this piece of personal work, inspired in no small part by an episode of Radio 4's excellent series "A History of the World in 100 Objects", in which they talked about Chinese porcelain, and how it's development as a major Chinese export can be traced right back to the reign of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. I've always really loved the simplicity and boldness of these classic blue-and-white designs, especially when combined with a nice representation of a classic dragon or two.

Pecha Kucha

For the unenlightened, Pecha Kucha is a sort of social event for creative types, where an array of speakers deliver short, informal presentations on an established theme. Each speaker selects 20 images, which are then projected on-screen for 20 seconds each, a neat trick which ensures that the night bubbles along at a nice pace. Belfast recently played host to it's first Pecha Kucha event, and whaddya know, I was one of the speakers. The theme of the night was obsessions, and I based my presentation around self-obsession as a creative force. My choice of images went from Prince's LoveSexy album art through to Tracey Emin's dirty old bed.

If you were at the event, you'll know it was good fun, with a wide variety of speakers delivering a wide variety of ideas. If you weren't at the event, keep an eye out for future Pecha Kucha events in your area - they're all over the place! For more info, see here: