Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Friday 30th sees us "up sticks" and leave our idyllic village in North Yorkshire for the hustle and bustle of suburban Warrington across the Pennines. We've spent the majority of this week thus far packing our house into boxes - who'd have thought one could accumulate such a vast collection of tat and rubbish over a few years? Anyways, this hopefully explains why this isn't one of my regular posts this week - normal service should resume next week!
PS: That's Mr & Mrs Bling up top, by the way. It's been a hard winter in Yorkshire. The kids are in the sack...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Also, it's ambitious but I'm going to try and produce a new art show in conjunction with the series - 30 paintings for 30 episodes in a pastiche/homage of those old movie posters I love so much. It's a tall ask as time is pretty scarce as it is, but if I can try and forge on it might be a nice gallery event. Plus, if interest is there I'll be looking to get lithograph prints done of them in sets.
I've a particularly squidgy soft spot for THE WOLF MAN. Classic. Once I've got maybe 5 paintings done I'll pop them on here. The house move is around the corner though so don't expect them any day soon! :-)
Friday, March 16, 2007
Yes, that's me at the back of the table scribbling furiously as we all got stuck into a few exercises in the afternoon. That's right, the drawn kind rather than anything actually physical. I mean, look at me for goodness sake!
As promised here are some more images from DINOSAURS AFTER DARK, involving Bobby our protagonist getting up to all kinds of scrapes and hijinks with the big thunder lizards. Sliding down the rooftops above the City Hall...
... climbing up the office blocks and jumping off them all! Obviously with most books I'm associated with there's a suggestion of something slightly sinister, and that happens in the book were the dinosaurs then decide for one last game of hide and seek, and if they find Bobby they might... just... eat him! Thanks again to Jon Emmett for such a wonderful engaging text :-)
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I first started visiting publishing houses in London after finishing work on MARS ATTACKS, and would try and get down there at least once a month to "blitz" the publishing houses. I'd initially made contact via introudctory letters and phonecalls to the companies I was interested in getting on board with - Hodder, Collins, Penguin, Macmillan and the like. Then it was a case of keeping the relationships bubbling away, sending down new samples of my work whenever possible, calling up and in as often was deemed non-stalkery and generally just reminding them I existed.
"I got the same old story from all my peers, there ain't no room around here for a gee-tar man..."
Each of the art directors and editors I met pretty much unanimously said they loved my work. However, the couldn't employ me. It was simply too dark. My influences were Tim Burton and Lane Smith, and consequently I had real trouble "lightening" my paintings. When I eventually sucked it up and tried this approach, I got my first commission from Harper Collins - to illustrate "Dinosaurs After Dark", a text written by the lovely Jon Emmett. It was a story that immediately captured my imagination, following the adventures of young Bobby as he sees a dinosaur creeping past his bedroom window at night. The book is inspired by one of both mine and Jon's favourite books, "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.
I'll put up some more of the artwork in the next few posts for you to take a butchers at - the original artwork adorns my children's nursery, although some of it is for sale. We're actually looking to get this off the ground as a kids show too, so watch this space!
Thanks to Glazey for kindly compositing these huge paintings as Jpegs ;-)
Friday, March 02, 2007
One of the messages I tried to get across to the children was that good stories have surprise endings. In the case of "Frankenstein's Cat" there are two for the price of one. First off is the one below, where when Nine asks the Doctor to make him a companion to his horror the Doctor reveals Frankenstein's Dog, Fifi!
Then at the very end of the book there's a final reveal with the message: "What you get isn't always what you ask for - just bear that in mind when you ask for a puppy next Christmas" The page is turned and there's an endpaper piece of art with Fifi leaping out of the box and sending the three sweet kids sprawling:
I'm making a return visit to Borders Teesside Park tomorrow, Saturday 3rd, doing signings and doodlings again directly connected with World Book Day. If anyone is around it'd be lovely to see you there - shall be in situ with my Venti Vanilla Latte from around 11am.