Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Speaking My Language.

It's been a trying time over here, having to move out of house and studio in early February and suddenly having tools, food, clothing and gear spread across two locations - briefly three - with two studio moves and a third still to come.

I don't adapt well to upheaval, and certainly am not one of these people I read about who can just pick up a sketchbook and a couple of pens and produce work gaily on the hoof. No, I'm a creature of habit and routine, and like to have everything in its place where I can see it.

So there was a real comfort in settling into this job for New Scientist magazine, which has amazing articles with bonkers titles like 'Levitating glass bead proves Einstein wrong' and 'Human Lego could build artificial organs'. This busy piece was done over the course of six days with the studio in bits, and using nothing but a list of the 6000+ languages spoken around the world, an A3 drawing book and two big packs of felt pens. Soothing and calming!

Sometimes, it's as if the Freelance Gods (they do exist) seem to know what's going on, and prescribe exactly the right medicine. Cheers Ryan and Craig at New Scientist!

The first part of the image (this is the cover):

Then the centre part is added, separated out for the interior illustration:

And here's how the cover looks:

Final cover - reversed at the last second, for greater impact!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Memory & Conscience

Being a busy illustrator trying to couple heavyweight clients AND a conscience is difficult, and an ongoing daily dialogue is required to negotiate my way through the dilemmas presented by some of the creative opportunities that come my way. This one was easy though.

I've created a small piece for this project created by Garrick Webster of OneTenEleven, called 'Memories', a book of stories written by people who have lost a person to cancer. I'll be showing the illustration when it goes live for the project.

Far from being maudlin, the stories are interesting and positive, and the art is already looking full of life. Other artists contributing artwork include Vaughan Oliver, Jules Julien, Gary Taxali, Yulia Brodskaya, Ben The Illustrator and lots more people I can't list here - I think the total is up to something like 100! The end result is a book and an exhibition. The project is being launched summer 2010 by Designers Against Human Rights Abuse (DAHRA), Subism, OneTenEleven Media and editor Garrick Webster. Designers Against Human Rights Abuse (DAHRA) was founded in the summer of 2008 by Rishi Sodha. A non-profit organisation, it exists to promote and raise awareness amongst those involved in the creative industry of their social, political and ethical responsibilities. You can see why I was interested.
Go here for more information.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Information Is Beautiful

I bought this book at the weekend, and as the title suggests, it's one of the most beautifully informative things I've ever seen.

David McCandless is an illustrator specialising in information graphics. That is, he makes hard things like maths and statistics and charts easy to interpret by showing us pictures and using colours and shapes. Just what I need, since I find politics and stats and maths don't suit my generally rather simple right-leaning brain (in a cognitive, not a political sense).

For example it took me just a few seconds to learn that almost exactly the same amount of people die from suicide (71m) as die from smoking (70m). One might argue they are the same thing, but that's not why the book exists.

I now know the most-viewed viral on the web. I have a better understanding of the relationship that Israel has to its neighbours. I also know that all the fizzy pop bottle caps being undone in the US releases more carbon than a flight, and that a vegan diet is the most carbon-friendly you can possibly have. Indeed the book is an enormous and delicious feast that you can dip into like a good pot of organic houmous, and is backed by a sprightly website, its own path to existence tracked by a graph in the back pages.

Yep, file this under 'This is Brilliant: Must Try Harder'.


See also: Stefanie Posavec - how I would love to see what these people's brains look like!

Inkymole Giveaway 4

Having another clearout. This time it's several years' worth of illustration annuals that I just can't hold on to any more!

These are the fat tomes of Contact, numbers 22-26, and two Le Books from 2009 I think. For the uninitiated, they're juicy collections of full-page illustrations in full colour, hard-bound, about 10" x 12" in size. I also have an Art Book, which is the one that showcases only illustration agencies.

Excellent reference books and free if anyone would like them, but I've got to ask donation of postage as they're HEAVY - a handful of quids should do it - which can be Paypal'd if you're keen. Or, you could collect.

I'm guessing these are going to end up being donated to a college or university, but I thought I'd give the troops first dibs!
Email me: sarah@inkymole.com

I'll give it a week, then they'll be leaving the house, by hook or by crook.

Oh I've got a shed to get rid of too. No really, I have. It's big too.


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