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Josh the Cat.

I’ve never been much of a cat person. We’ve always had big slobbery dogs growing up and my parents actively chased away the local cats who menace the birds in the garden. So I was surprised at myself when I recently found myself enjoying the visits of a local cat.

I’d leave my patio doors open each day and this black and white fuzzball would turn up to say hello. He’d curl up for hours on my bed, walk across my keyboard wreaking havoc on my computer and even sit in my lap while I draw. I really appreciated the company as it was quite a difficult time with Dad in the hospital and lots of dashing about. After one particularly stressful day, I came home from the hospital and flopped face down on the bed. I had one thought pop into my head….”I wish the cat was here.” and then as if by magic I heard a little “Meow”.  My little friend had walked in and found me feeling a bit sorry for myself. He jumped up on the bed, settled on my back and even started rubbing my neck with his paws! Magic.

I found out from my neighbours that his name is Josh. Strangely, after Dad made it through his operation and came home, Josh stopped coming by. I guess he’s off helping someone else now. Or pursuing his own kitty agenda.

So I’ve just done this illustration in his honour. Hope you’re doing ok Josh!

hill kiss

Dangerous Children

Having a great year so far on the illustration front. I’ve been working on an amazing project with author Mark Morrow. Mark is putting together an amazing graphic novel adaptation of his novel “Dangerous Children”, a tale of interdimensional travel, cyborg teenagers, robotic rhinos, and wall climbing jet cycles. So plenty of scope for an illustrator like me! ruler1-001 It’s a really collaborative experience as I’ve been working with Dennis Fallon and his team of story board artists, and Shari Wickstrom who provided concept art. My job is to provide the final artwork for the whole novel.

evidence botThe project also has some ties with LucasFilm and Star Wars veteran Gary Rydstrom who’s been offering guidance and feedback on the project.swoop It’s all going really well so far!

The Last Stand

It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been having a really busy year so far. I’m really pleased to be working on a great sci-fi project for author Col Jonathan Brazee. Jonathan in a retired US Marine Colonel who now writes military themed sci-fi novels.

I love sci-fi so was delighted to have the chance to create some hard as nails space marines. The image turned out really well and I can’t wait to see it available to buy.

marines sized altered-001

Cthulhu rising

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s been a busy few months. 2017 seems set to be the year things kick up a gear for me work wise and I’ve got some exciting projects in the works. One of my new jobs was secured on the strength of my monster work, so in that spirit here’s my offering to the old god Cthulhu!

The Snake King

I’m coming to the the end of my comic project and it’s been a huge learning experience. I’ve picked up a ton of new tricks and my workflow is a lot smoother.

The author seems pretty pleased with the results and is now in the middle of a rewrite to make sure the art and text blend together seamlessly.

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I’m hoping to get more work in book covers after this, but also have plenty of comic work coming in too. Can’t wait to get to the end of this one and see the finished project. Just two more pages to go!

teepee healing-001

 

Shapeshifting Graphic novel

Towards the end of last year I landed one of my favourite jobs to date. Scott Devon approached me with a really exciting project, a short graphic novel full of mythical beasts, magic and mystery. Some comic creators are afraid to veer away from the standard pen and ink method, but Scott wanted me to go nuts and illustrate the hell out of it! Hopefully this is what he had in mind.

snake face dark.164-002

Ever since I was a little kid copying pictures of Judge Dredd from 2000AD comics, I’d had a dream of one day working in comics. I pretty much abandoned the idea when I left college and found all the artistic idealism had been sucked out of me. I entered the real world, got a job in a bank and proceeded to be miserable for the next few years.

I finally shook off the grey fog and dusted off my long forgotten drawing skills and painstakingly began to work.

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One tiny job doing a book cover for an indie author led to another, this time a slightly bigger author. Then another and another. The ball started to roll and I got better and better. Now I’m starting to attend comic conventions and meet the makers of those same comics that I would copy while lying on the living room floor. Now when people ask me what I do, instead of muttering something about being in banking, I get to say that I’m an artist. When I say that I pretty much pinch myself and think “Holy crap! I AM an artist! How did I manage that?”

Barmouth Church street

perrys small

Really exciting to see the amazing reaction to my latest image in the ongoing Barmouth series. After showing the image on facebook, so far I’ve reached 10 thousand people in just a couple of days. That’s by far the best reaction I’ve had so far. The comments I’ve been receiving have been overwhelmingly positive.

“You make our town come alive with these drawings.” 

“I love it.This picture not only captures the look of Barmouth, but also the character and “feel” of the place”

When I first started this series I had no idea if the local people would like my style and the fairytale look for the images so it’s really gratifying to see this reaction.

I’m not sure where to draw next, but I’ve had a few requests for the church and that means I might be able to fit in the famous (C)arousal cafe, complete with its oft stolen letter ‘C’.

 

 

 

Reworking the Guyver

In the 90s there was a pretty cool anime out there called “Guyver. Bioboosted Armor.” There were a couple of terrible live actions movies, but they never came close to nailing the awesomeness of the cartoon. I loved the design of the bio-suit and I was always doodling it while I watched the VHS tapes of the show.

When I first started getting into illustration as more than a hobby I attempted a version of the battered Guyver helmet. At the time I was pretty happy with it, but now it makes me cringe!

guyver

Last night I decided to take another crack at it, and it’s really gratifying to see I’ve made some progress over the last few years.

guyver pose

guyver new

Heading to ICE

Next month I’ll be heading the the International Comics Expo and then to Comics Uncovered the next day. I’ve only ever been to one other Comic convention, that time a fun visit with my brother Sean to the London Film and Comic Con where we enjoyed goggling at the bizarre cosplay sights and I got to meet Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica!

This time it’s Comics Uncovered for a day of workshops, talks from comic pros and the nerve wracking portfolio reviews. I’ve decided to submit my work for reviews and I’ve got appointments booked in with DC, Titan and Markosia.

Shazam full sizedConstantine small

I’m pretty nervous, but I’ve been working hard and building up a number of images to show them. Time to get some business cards I think!

This one I’m particularly fond of. I’m a huge fan on Stephen King, especially the Marvel Comics versions drawn by Jae Lee. So here’s my own attempt at a Dark Tower cover. If you’ve read a single King book you’ll probably be familiar with some of the characters as the Dark Tower books seem to touch on pretty much every other King book there is. There’s connections to the Stand, the Shining, Hearts in Atlantis, Rose Madder, and IT to name just a few.

This image was completed really quickly. I already had a design for a cowboy character prepared in Zbrush from another project so I was able to breath new life into it here. This image was completed in just one day.

gunslinger new

Out of Time (again!)

I was recently contacted to do a little job that turned out to be exactly the kind of work I love.

Sarah Mackie has written a great story of time travel set in an apocalyptic future full of natural disasters and personal tragedies. Weirdly it was titled “Out of time” which is the second time I’ve worked on a story with that title.

Sarah had a very specific idea of what the cover should look like and I managed to complete it in record time. I think character based images that are full of atmospheric lighting effects might be my speciality.

When it came to that nervous moment where I have to show the client the first draft Sarah came back right away with the words “WOW! Nailed it!”

Out of Time final cover

I love to draw lighting. Maybe I should do an illustration of Thor! Or even Tesla!