Beige Palace & Dead Kaczynski

Here’s another gig poster I did (this time for a gig that’s already passed, because I’ve been so slack about updating this blog). Two mates’ bands- Beige Palace from Leeds and Dead Kaczynski from Medway. There was a huge storm in the middle of the heatwave that evening, and it took Beige Palace seven hours to do the three-four hour drive from Yorkshire, and the audience was smaller than you would have hoped due to the weather, but both bands played great sets (and are keen to come back to Margate). Enjoy the EPs below.

Enter the Vortex

So here’s the posters I designed for two gigs I’m helping to put on- one in London, the other in Margate. As per the press release “Girl Sweat is the ever-changing garage-noise project fronted by the 6ft 5” beast that is ‘Sweat’” along with the fine collection of psych and drone weirdos assembled in support. My brief for the poster was “illuminati/masons cult shit”. I hope I delivered.

FB event– Tickets £5 (early bird)/ £7 (advance)/ £9 (door)

FB event– Tickets £5.50 (advance) / £7 (door)

 

Behemoth Lives!

Margate is currently hosting a variety of art events related to T.S.Eliot (who wrote the Wasteland here almost a century ago), including a weekend dedicated to cats over Easter. I created this print based on Bulgakov’s the Master and Margarita, and a giant painted banner version of it to hang up at the show. It was a bit last minute, but I got it all done on time. The show is on at the Viking Gallery off Northdown Rd over the long Easter weekend and until the 7th of April.

I hadn’t realised until I was getting the Russian quotes for the text that the book is actually set this week, with the demons’ ball happening on Good Friday. Good synchronicity. The Cyrillic text says “The Master and Margarita” and “Behemoth lives!”

Prints are available from the gallery, or to order online here.

The banner is about 5ft/1.5m tall. It looks small in this photo, but it’s huge in real life. After we’d hung it, me and the curator decided to create a shrine to Behemoth’s demonic powers. The Russian quotes from the book on the wall say “manuscripts don’t burn” and “poison, give me poison”.

What to offer to a demonic Russian cat? Dead flowers, cat food and an empty bottle of vodka.

I also created some fake cult recruitment leaflets, in lieu of business cards.

 

 

Dawnwalker

So I recently did some artwork for an album cover- Human Ruins by Dawnwalker (featuring Dane Cross from Sacred Son, who caused an incredible fuss last with the Black Metal fanboys with his choice of album artwork) . I did the moons and runes, and someone else did the photograph and logo. Photos courtesy of Mark from the band.

Hear a track:

New print- Sheep Skull

So here’s a new illustration I did. It’s actually based on a drawing I did when I was 17 that I found while sorting out some paperwork recently. You can buy monochrome and colour prints for £3-£30 over on the shop.

I’ve also uploaded the artwork to Society 6 to create tshirts, vinyl stickers and other goodies– please note, if you order, the goods are printed and shipped by the printing company rather than me.

British Museum Sketches

Here’s some more old sketchbook pages I scanned, this time from the British Museum. (Unlike the V&A they let you use pens and have plenty of stools to give out). The first one is metal grave goods from the Bronze Age, mostly from Central Europe and Wales. I studied Ancient History as my BA, and Bronze Age ritual landscapes and grave goods are something I’m particularly interested in. Something I’m well aware a lot of people will find horrendously boring. For the best grave goods though, see the Scythians, the nomadic horsepeople of the southern Russian steppes, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Magnificent golden jewellery, carpets, embroidery and intricate tattoos.

These are some carvings of chickens from a mural from Lycia in the southwest of what is now Turkey. Not a famous item at all, so a nice uncrowded room to sit in. The British Museum has so many rooms that it’s almost impossible to visit them all in one day. I have visited them all over the years, and as most tourists cluster in the Egyptian and Athenian rooms, you often have the other galleries all to yourself. To be honest, the British Museum has so many treasures, they could easily send back the disputed items like the Parthenon sculptures and have lots of beautiful items to fill the galleries with (whether the items which no-one is currently clamouring for were themselves legitimately acquired is another matter, up until the 1950s or so, a lot of, or perhaps the majority of anthropologists and archaeologists were essentially robbers and con people- here’s looking at you Schliemann and your dynamiting of the ruins of Troy to get to the gold).

These sculptures are from 520-450BC as I have helpfully written on the drawing. This was the period when Athens was at its peak. People often have this idea that the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans were concurrent, but this is not the case. The Roman empire didn’t even get going (or even have emperors) until the first century AD, and the Egyptian civilisation lasted for several thousand years. Even with periods like the Trojan War and Persian War, people kind of conflate the two together and assume they happened close to each other. In reality though, the Iliad was written around 800BC (whether Homer was a single person or a kind of collective oral narrative tradition is something that is up for debate) harking back to glorious legends of the deeds of the Mycenaean ancestors around 1200BC, and the Persian war was 499-449 (please remember BC dates go backwards). The Greco-Persian wars were also recorded by actual contemporary writers too (whatever your opinion of Herodotus), and the Iliad is essentially an oral tradition written down four hundred years or so later. Troy was a real place on the coast of Turkey, and there is archaeological evidence that there was conflict there at about the right time, but who knows about Achilles, Menelaus and so on.

The era of these carvings was also the period of the Persian war (please do not see the film 300 for any kind of information whatsoever- don’t even talk to me about that film), and Lycia was on the Persian side. The Lycians/Luwians who lived in the area (and had their own language– which is likely to be the same one the Trojans spoke- Troy is not very far away) are one of the less famous civilisations of the era, mainly because they were surrounded by large bossy neighbours like the Athenians, Assyrians and Hittites.

Wooden hands

I got a short notice illustration job this week for images for Christmas greetings from Buildopia, an Italian eco-building company. They specialise in wood and their slogan translates as “the building game”. So here’s some wooden hands presenting wooden baubles, on wrapping paper featuring a house they built.

The illustration is actually three different line drawings done with Posca marker. The house, the hand and the bauble. (I actually drew another hand with the back of the palm up too, but ended up not using it). I happened to actually already have a drawing of a hand holding a sphere in my sketchbook, which was very useful for reference- you can see it here in some sketches I did of a magician entertaining kids. I scan the ink drawings, clean them up in Photoshop, then import to Illustrator and autotrace and turn into livepaint to make sure they have a completely clean line and transparent background, before being returned to Photoshop for colouring and texture.

Each layer is set as a multiply layer on Photoshop, with a texture from some recycled paper I scanned, and extra multiply layers at around 70% opacity for any colours. I then created a repeat pattern of the houses using the offset tool, and laid it down in the background over a green-toned version of the recycled paper texture. Then the items are layered up, with each layer given a drop shadow. The hands are actually copied three times each to give the shadows more depth. So there’s actually about twelve different photoshop layers going on in this illustration.