Posts

Showing posts from March, 2006

All Blacks versus Royalty Free Stock

Just a little observation about blandness. It struck me the other day that communications sent out from businesses should be like a haka. If ever there was a statement of intent, conviction, values and unity, it's in the haka. It's unequivocal and leaves no doubt about the serious drubbing you're going to get, once all the gods and ancients tool up and join the rest of the team in the field. 'You're not only playing us, you pathetic fools' it seems to say, 'you've got several volcano gods and all the tribal spirits to deal with'.

Well, when you see the drab uninspired stock photography that populates corporate literature all around, think of the haka. Only illustration that you commission, that you collaborate on will tell your company's story and call down your gods. Ko Kapa o Pango e ngunguru nei! The alternative? Taking the field with a reworked Westlife song [in other words a picture of two businessmen shaking hands -or any of thousands of ot…

Van Gogh took Tube to Isleworth

Image
Van Gogh, yesterday

Turns out that Van Gogh [...reverential pause here...] spent time at my old school, Isleworth Grammar in West London. That could explain the pointilistic patterns oft seen in the jacks. He taught grammar [would you believe] and French. Not at the same time as I was there, obviously. Curiously, I don't remember any mention of the Great Impasto, so perhaps he became an embarrassment after laying it on a bit thick once too often.

So I have the right schooling, then.

Turas go Chill Rialaig arís

Image
I've been kindly invited to take a residency at the Cill Rialaig Artists' Retreat in beautiful west Kerry. It'll be this time next year but I'm already looking forward to it. It has to be one of the remotest spots in Ireland, with a hamlet of ancient cottages clinging to the side of a cliff, refurbished by Noelle Campbell-Sharpe and the Cill Rialaig Board [The hamlet, that is; not the side of the cliff]. I spent a splendid week down there in December 2002 with some other members of the IGI painting and exploring new artistic techniques -for keeping warm! Note to self: Remember to bring camera, flute [for sessions] and woolly socks [for flute]. The photograph was taken by illustrator Brian Gallagher [also taking a residency].

My ol' Mum Loves This

Image
The Art Editor from the Wall Street Journal rang me last week and laughingly told me that he had an article ready to serve up to me. In his own words, he "...couldn't make head nor tail of it". I don't blame him; it was one of the driest morsels of indigestible text I've ever eaten. Only recommended eating for the most ravenous, the only way of saucing it up was with an illustration, pictured here. Writer; can I please have the bill now...?

Sketchbook scribbloids

Image
Here are a couple of sketches from my sketchbook. The guy on the right of the top page is the look you should aim for if you aspire to being an illustrator.

One for the Childer

Image
My good rep in Toronto Three In A Box., produces a themed promotional book every year aimed at certain segments of the market. These books are branded as 'Box Lunches' and the current one is the fourth. Anyhuff, the theme this time is 'Childhood' and the attached pic is my contribution. I never saw myself as a children's book illustrator so when I told Denis Goodbody of Adept Advertising he expressed surprise. He's right, of course. Certainly what I do engages with the child inside of the reader -even at the level of the business/financial work that I do. Furthermore, my own lovely wife consistently points out my childish behaviour. Consider that we all grew up in our pre-school years with picture-books being our chief means of getting the sense out of print. We all have these absurd self-images and it's about time we burst them. Perhaps we can meet up and burst each other's absurd self-images. Say, next Wednesday? Good. see you then.

I enjoyed this pro…

Illustration appears on the Radio!

Last Friday saw me arrive into the Anna Livia studios for an interview with Alex Gibson on his show, 'The Persuaders' -a weekly marketing and media programme. The Persuaders. It was a good chance to get an inside view of the wireless -all those wires! The interview covered my beginnings as an illustrator and my part in the birth of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland. I had my portfolio with me and Alex described a selection to the audience. Hang on -I *was* asked... A case of a thousand words painting one picture. There's an audio file available on my site [just under 7Mb]. Just to keep with the subject matter, I'm not going to include a picture.