It’s the anniversary of WWI and thought I would write a bit today about James Grice who had been with the 2nd Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment from 1903 when war broke out on the 4th August 1914, 100 years ago today.
Both the 1st and 2nd battalion had been stationed in what is now Pakistan. When war was declared, it was decided that the 2nd regiment would be sent to Europe, the 1st would stay in Pakistan (they later would be sent to Ireland in response to the Easter Rising).
James Grice arrived in France on the 28th August, 3weeks into the war. The Germans were already on the ‘retreat’ as it were; ‘Pursuing retreating enemy. No combat’ is the general message in the diary which maybe harks back to the premature ‘Over by Christmas’ idea that they talk about. James would be dead within a month. Not long after, trench warfare began.
James Grice was married to my great grandmother with one child and another on the way in West Derby when he left in 1914. He was killed on the 21st September 1914 and is buried in Vailly, France. The war diary, albeit short, gives an insight into one of the first major battles in WW1: The Battle of The Aisnes. You can download the diary here
Two more prints on sale, and for one week only are on Mates Rates half-price.
They continue with a theme I started the other year around my local habitation of Islington.
This one’s called “No.5”
And this one’s called “Inside 17B”
It’s a smaller edition to the last: Just 20 prints of each.
They’re two colour prints, on 300gsm brown card.
They all come signed and numbered, obvs!!!
Last week, I was over at Clinic which is a lovely agency hidden away in the alleys of Farringdon. Rarely do I get to do straight illustration, but that’s what this was. Although I’m not showing any of the final stuff yet (at time of writing it’s yet to be printed anyway) I thought I’d just put up some of the developmental work I put in.
The concept was illustrating a journey in a luxurious modernised-but-retro stylee, harking back to the golden age of travel. My initial thoughts leaned towards a sort of James Bond idea and I liked the idea of bringing some of Richard Hamilton’s style in.
Unfortunately the client was a bit more Las Vegas than Les Alps, and invariably the old lens flare made it’s reappearance!
There were 20 illustrations in the end: debated, created and deliberated over just under 3 days. A tough brief, but a fun one and I’ll try and get the finished product on here as and when it’s done!
I’ve just finished reading Mark Lewisohn’s ridiculously enjoyable The Beatles – All These Years: Volume One: Tune In: The first of a 3 part epic, beginning in 1846, ending before they’ve even recorded an album, and is pretty much as long as the Bible. Seems there is more to write about a band who’ve already had their story told a zillion times!
Turns out the first day they performed together was at The Kingsway in Southport, the very place I would subsequently spend my youth. My time came after The Beatles, however I was fortunate enough as a 17yr old to see Sash mime Encore Une Fois there in 1997. Hmmm.
Today (February 9 2014) marks 50 years since The Beatles first touched down in the US. The rest is history. Not sure whether it’s the kind of thing that will merit a Google Doodle, but thought I’d mark the occasion myself. You can see it in situ here.
Here’s hoping I don’t get sued…
I took my Foundation Course at the Surrey Institute of Art+Design many moons ago, still something I see as the most inspiring education I ever had. Much of it seemed quite abstract initially, but logic was never too far behind: It certainly followed those modernist principles of “Form follows function”.
One time we had to draw a still life, but only with 5 thick crayons. And we could only do it with vertical stripes. The finished product certainly didn’t look like a bunch of grapes sat next to a jug and goat skull, but that wasn’t the point: break it down into it’s fundamental tones and colour dominance was the point.
For whatever reason, the brand guidelines I am usually handed as a designer don’t tell me anything about dominant colours. At best, they will be divided into primary or secondary colours. The guidelines are nice and neat; it has ‘form’ in that respect. But it suggests that all the primary colours have equal weight, and all the secondary colours have equal weight. Typically, that is not the case and often means designers will take designs down the wrong route. That idea of stripes can tell a designer so much more!
I’ve been working on a couple more prints recently and this is a small section of the latest one.
They’ve taken longer than I would have liked: I have some almost finished pieces done that will never see the light of day simply because I stopped liking them!
It’s quite odd when that happens; particularly when you’ve spent quite a bit of time on them. Kind of want to punch yourself in the face a bit!
Anyway, hopefully I’ll have something fresh for the new year…
Just on the corner of Regent’s Park, facing Great Portland St Station, are the grand offices of Which? Magazine where I’ve spent the last couple of weeks concepting, designing, building, animating (etc) an XML driven presentation called the Considered Decision Maker’s Journey.
Cool little project explaining the steps a consumer goes through when considering a purchase, and something I got to do a series of nice little animations for too. One of which is included above!
Very happy to get a call just now from Henry Brook over at Digit London to say that the pitch we had worked on for Land Rover together with Brand Union had been successful. Great news! I can’t post any of that work here at this stage, but maybe some of it will come to light in the future…
I should have written this up way before now (time is accelerating too quickly). This time last year I was brought in by Burberry to help with their 2012 Christmas campaign and before I knew it we were in July and I’d been involved on their main campaign and concepting their Blaze and Brit Rhythm that currently graces the billboards of the world.
There’s been a massive emphasis on their digital side in recent years which has no doubt helped their progress, and was a real pleasure to work alongside some really talented people. There are a few things I worked on that I can’t show unfortunately due to the fact that they were concepts that either haven’t yet or won’t be made public. That’s always quite tricky from a portfolio point of view, particularly when you have work you feel proud of but that’s the way it is.
p.s. I did take a 3 week break to Iran during this time too, arriving in Tehran and travelling south to Shiraz, stopping off at numerous places on the way. I’d wanted to go for years but embarrassingly didn’t really have the guts. But it’s a great country, full of great hospitable people and I would recommend it to anyone!