24 November 2009


my rooftop is my new favourite place in the world, the view is amazing, and you feel so far away from everything, you can see for miles and not hear a thing.
i haven't quite got the aerial shots i wanted as there was gail force winds tonight so going to the edge was not an option. but i'm pretty pleased with the typo, managed to get 'freakonomics' perfectly along the london skyline in one of the pics. my housemate geoff had a go, you'll see his head pop up in the last one.

get your freak on

Having looked back over my pics, i though i better work on my execution of the word 'freakonomics'...

i think its a bit more legible then the first lot


For my Elective: Collaborative Projects in Graphic Design, I have to design a front cover for the book 'Freakonomics'. The book is about everything we and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sports to politics, health to education, fear to traffic jams. These are the exisiting British and American covers.

In Freakonomics, the author, Levitt turns conventional economics on it's head. He explores the riddles of everyday life and examine topics such as:

How chips are more likely to kill you than a terrorist attack, why sportsmen cheat and how fraud can be spotted, why violent crime can be linked to abortion, why a road is more efficient when everyone travels at 20mph, how the name you give your child can give them an advantage in later life, and what really causes obesity epidemics.

Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Freakonomics will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lense.

The concept for my book cover designs comes from the idea that this book looks deep into our lives, which is why i have tried to get a view of looking down into a residential scene. But i want to get a higher perspective then this, i plan on going up on my roof tonight to take higher more aerial type shots.
I'm playing with long exposures to capture light to echo how the author, Levitt brings light to new issues and debates. I also feel the illumination of these night time scenes adds to the 'freak' theme of the book and the weird phenomenons he speaks of.

22 November 2009

interview with the saudis

i'm working with a new magazine, called Mint, started up by two friends from home, Jamie Clifton and Ed Schofield. They recently asked me to interview the Saudis, here's what happened...

How did everything start?
Lias: The line up at the moment came together around April, but we were a group of the same name for about two years without any of these guys. Before it was just my brother and I, and a couple of other guys gigging around South London; Deptford and New Cross mostly.

Did the change in line-up change your sound do you think?
Lias: Well yeah, it was pretty rubbish before, no-one could play their instruments properly and we didn’t really know what we were doing! We went away to Algeria to do a tour, which is when Alex joined actually, and when we got back we sort of realized it wasn’t going anywhere and broke up for a bit. Luckily we sort of fluked our way in to finding some really good musicians, like Julian here, and got going again.

There must be quite varied influences between you all, do you all sort of mesh together?
Nathan: Yeah I think so.
Lias: Yeah, we do tend to argue quite a lot though! Not when we’re practicing but…
Julian: I think it’s good to argue actually, it’s better then because you get all your ideas out.
Lias: These two (Alex & Nathan) clash though!
Alex: Haha, you don’t need to commit that to tape, we can have an argument for you now though if you want!

How does the song-writing work within the band?
L: Everybody sort of contributes I guess, me and Alex tend to write the lyrics but there’s no hierarchy or anything, everyone does their own thing.
A: Julian’s the talent though, he can play anything.
N: Yeah he can play Metallica songs!
J: I’m the full talent really.
A: We found him in France, just sitting their on the street and took him back with us, now he lives at our house and sleeps on a fold-out bed next to Nathan. We should have taken you to our house actually, but it smells awful, we didn’t want you to get the wrong idea!

What else do you guys do outside of The Saudis?
N: We’ve all signed on at the moment, except for Bradley who’s at the Slade school of art, I just finished there this summer.
A: What are you talking about? You’re in the Algerian army!
N: That was before art school, my brother and I are half Algerian which is partly why we went and toured there.

Is there a noticeable difference between playing shows here compared to Algeria?
N: Oh yeah big time. You don’t play for women in Algeria, they’re not allowed to come to the gigs so there’s like 500 men there. It’s really weird you know, I remember when we first played there it was really shocking when we got on stage, just so many people.
L: There’s a lot of testosterone!
A: None of the electricity is earthed either, so when you plug your guitar in the whole thing is just humming. We had to stand on polystyrene blocks and wear rubber-soled shoes so we didn’t get shocked!
N: The crowds were mad as well, in the smaller towns they were a bit like ‘What the fuck is this?’ but in the cities they just went mental.
A: I think we were one of the first bands to play in some of those places; they’re so passionate about community and the music just brought them together even more, which was cool.

Did your time there inspire you?
A: Yeah definitely there’s no distraction there, it’s completely different from here, you can only do stuff in the morning and at dusk because it’s so hot in the day. We’re going back soon actually, a gig in France first then Algeria. We’re trying to do fewer gigs at the moment because we want to concentrate on writing. We’ve got a residency at The Macbeth but after that, I mean you need a manager to get gigs, constantly out schmoozing people in East London.

Do you guys prefer South London to East then? (They all live in Camberwell)
L: Well, I mean I like East London, I used to live there actually, but it’s a bit like one long party. I remember not doing anything with myself, except working at a pub, getting wrecked the whole time. It was great fun but at the end of it I hadn’t managed to keep my flat, I’d been kicked out of college and I was on the dole living on my mates floor, and it was just like oh fuck man… time to leave.
N: We’re not really connected to any area in the world, I don’t feel like anywhere’s my place, you know?

What prompted the move to London for you guys? (Lias & Nathan)
L: Well we were living in a small town in Northern Ireland and there wasn’t really any sort of music scene. I got in to art because obviously you do it at school, and my big brother went to art school so I was really in to that and wanted to be an artist, until I came to art school and didn’t really enjoy it.

What was your (Julian) plan when you got to London then?
L: Julian didn’t have a plan; he just came with his guitar, ready to rock out! And luckily we found him.
N: It’s true; it was meant to be(!)
J: Let’s have a try of a few gigs without me!
L: Come on Julian! This is what he does whenever we talk about him not paying his way; he goes “fuck you, I fucking won’t play my fucking guitar!” Haha, Julian is the talent though, we’d be nowhere without him.

the Grovers

i asked my housemates what
they thought illustration was,
these were their replies...

20 November 2009

bits of the project

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is an amazing museum. I spent 3 hours there, looking at toys from the current day to way back. Definately worth paying a visit.

In the Museum of Childhood there was a series of cases which displayed artifacts from three London families. Each case built up a picture of the family over three generations. I was struck by the case of the Jalal family, as their possessions symbolised the struggle of an Asian family living in London in the 80's. Their case was full of indoor games & toys, indoor games were significant to their lives during the 80's because they were unable to play outside due to fear of racist attacks.

This is the Jalal Family, Parvin was once the little girl isolated from the world because of racism.

I have chosen to pursue my project n this doll as the quote it was labelled with really got me, it evokes so much sadness.

I have only included a few pages from my sketchbook which i felt were significant in my development of this project. I looked at the artist Sara Fanelli as her work encompasses a childlike feel and my project dealt with voicing a childhood experience.

I was inspired by how powerfully these dolls communicated a message in such a simple and basic way - hand stitch.

These are my doodles for a hand stitched piece, playing with different sizes and typefaces.

I went through a few designs for a doll and finally settled on this one.

So here it is, after raiding my housemates wool, cutting up a tshirt (for the fabric), and 6 hours of spotify my doll is made.

I photographed my doll in an isolated state to evoke the sadness of having to remain indoors. I blurred the edge to give a dream like feel to reinforce how i have manifested a memory from nearly 30 years ago.

What is it?!


Choose one museum object that interests, intrigues or inspires you in some way.
You must develop a visual dialogue with your chosen object and communicate its most significant characteristics in an appropriate manner.

2 November 2009

"What am i?!"

With this project I had to show what sort of Illustrator I am.

In my research I asked lots of people what they thought Illustration was. I found that the general opinion was that Illustration was drawings in books, supporting text. This dated impression compelled me to show how Illustration is far from stagnant drawings in books, how Illustration has escaped the world of books.


These are three of my final pieces from a sequence of 10. In my sequence I show 10 potential powers of Illustration; the power to celebrate life, bring things to life, provoke thought, express emotion, take you to other worlds, put a smile on
your face, gives personality, make you feel good, and makes the world a better place. They are all 3D installations, comprised of text and image suspended in the air.