This ad campaign for elegant departure store chain Brown Thomas in Ireland and commissioned by Irish International was to announce the forthcoming festival of beauty in the stores in October, with make-up items made to look as if they were formed from stars.
The job began with a 2ft square universe made of multiple ink colours and pencil, swirling them up over very heavy watercolour paper and drawing into them with a pencil, adding the stars using my magical technique then allowing it to dry to a crisp naturally (the woodburner is good at this but can dry things too fast and hard). The effect of such simple methods is very striking and I use it a lot, but not usually with such bright inks - this was a surprise! The piece was large enough to use a different section for each ad.
It took a while to get the constellations looking like constellations - which are of course always a bit vague (‘mmm yes…of course that’s a lion’) but the end result is a pleasant mixture of astronomical research and artistic licence.
The hand-drawn shout line was cut in the end, but that was compensated for by the use of pin-prick holes and LEDs on the bus-stop posters which lit up at night around the city. At times, the way the dusk fell on the posters helped to reinforce the effect:
Wish I’d seen these!
In-store, the galaxy found is way everywhere and became eyeball-arresting press ads too:
Thanks to Martin O’Neill of Cut It Out Studio for taking some of the photos for me while he was in the city!