The My Heart Mate app is now live. Working for Flying Bark Productions, I supplied the character and world design and layout for the app that is used by people hoping to strengthen their heart health. The app has you adopt a heart character that you name and keep healthy via brain challenging games as well as real world activities that are designed to maintain good heart health like; exercise, relaxation and a healthy diet.
The character design process saw a few shaped and coloured hearts until we hit one that was appropriate enough and cute enough. The process of creating different versions of the same character and refining down in to the right one was really enjoyable.
Once my job was done my designs were used to render and animate the little guy and now it lives in the app, providing people with an entertaining way to recover and keep their health in check.
The app is available to download on iPhone and Android.
Last week I did some work with BMF to create a whiteboard animation for The Full Stop Foundation. A foundation that supports victims of sexual and domestic violence.
It was International Women’s Day this week and as well as celebrating the achievements of women worldwide the day also exists to bring awareness to the trials and persecutions women still face today. I know survivors of domestic violence and realise that services like Full Stop’s 1800RESPECT can be truly valuable in being the first step in leading women to a more positive future.
I’ve always wanted to take part in a whiteboard animation as I feel it is a very powerful way to communicate information and statistics. Using simple cartoons to illustrate such a serious topic is a delicate process especially when depicting scenes that may be triggers for some people. Cartoons, which are commonly used to lampoon people and situations, can conversely be used to describe things in a simpler way that is easier to digest while still being engaging. I’m very happy that my introduction to this style was for such a vital service. You can make a donation to the foundation here. Please do.
If you or anyone you know has or is currently suffering from domestic or sexual violence please reach out to 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Communicating visually and being iconic.
After celebrating my three year anniversary with Jigsaw I had a looked back at some of the designs I’d created and the skills I have learnt. One of my most constant design challenges was creating simple icons that have been peppered through our presentations.
After Jigsaw had a rebrand 3 years ago by Christopher Doyle & Co. we had a clean and crisp new design direction, as part of that design Chis created about ten icons to use in our presentations with the plan for me to create more as time went on. Over the past three years I’ve been busy in Adobe Illustrator morphing the same 14pt red lines into soup cans, unicorns, anchors and basketballs. At the moment the icon count sits at 861.
This work has been great for my creative practice as it has taught me to think about how to communicate simply and directly while maintaining a strong aesthetic – A skill which is very valuable in cartooning. My cartoons have become clearer and more focussed which in turn has made them funnier as the reader is able to digest the joke in a shorter amount of time.
Well all this hard work has made me hungry – I’m off to make a sandwich.
Dad was a builder, and while I was a kid living in the family house that was slowly built around us I was Dad’s apprentice on Sundays. I was really good at handing Dad what he needed and learnt all the names of the tools (Stanley, Dumpy, Phillips). I still know the recipe for concrete and have developed immense respect for plasterers who can attach cornice to the ceiling.
I was never a great apprentice, I wasn’t (and still am not) strong, I hit my thumb more times than the actual nail and I spent most of the time daydreaming, interested in the lines of the grain of the wood or thinking about Jim Maxwell’s obsession with telling us exactly how many seagulls were on the pitch at any given time during the cricket on the radio.
Those Sundays are very fond memories of mine. I saw my Dad being creative, problem solving and I got to experience his wealth of knowledge… and I always remember it being hot… like disgustingly hot in the massive tin roofed shed, which drove Dad to drink a pint of cold Ribena at tea like a man finally out of the desert.
As an illustrator and designer my days as
cheap child labor Dad’s apprentice don’t have too many parallels. It has taught me to draw objects and people while keeping in mind shapes and forms that lay beneath the surface. It gave me a greater appreciation for allocating planning time in order to make a more solid artwork and for some reason I picked up the habit of keeping my pencil behind my ear and only using a chisel or knife to sharpen that pencil.
And here’s the thing about those pencils… Those pencils that could well be Dad’s pencils. At their tip they all have a unique shape. As they are all whittled down to a sharp edge, they all look a bit cartoonish and hold a shape that is abstracted from the very familiar image of a pencil sharpened with your run-of-the-mill sharpener. They each hold shapes that are never the same as the last, which means that even before I’ve started literally putting pencil to paper I have unconsciously sculpted the pencil to hold a new original line and form. The tip of the object I’m using is subconsciously helping me think outside the norm and create something new… and even though Dad is kilometres away and my habit to carve my pencils was founded decades ago, Dad is also subconsciously helping me construct the next artwork that is just about to pour from that unique scrappy looking pencil.
I have a friend. My friend has a boyfriend. It was my friend’s boyfriend’s birthday. My friend’s boyfriend, who’s birthday it was, is a massive fan of Evil Dead (I say this because he is actually humongous).
My friend, who has the humongous boyfriend, also has a little collection of little communist propaganda posters on the wall at home (you know, reds above the bed). This friend wanted a birthday present for the boyfriend… A gift that was a little Evil Dead and a little Evil Red.
It was a great commission to work on for an artist who also loves the Evil Dead films and it was thrilling working in this stark graphic style only using black and red ink and the beige of the thick paper.
The commission was a huge hit with the humongous boyfriend. The sizeable painting sits in well with the little posters and all of this was painted before we knew of the Ash vs. Evil Dead series being released, which all 3 and a half of us are very excited about. So excited in fact, that my friend tweeted this photo of the painting to Bruce Campbell himself, which he retweeted, which then caused my gmail inbox to go from 0 to 60 emails in 5 minutes with favourites and retweets.
And for a guy who loves a good pun, why wouldn’t I title the artwork “Fist Full of Boom Sickle”?
It’s the B grade schlock horror story that won’t die… And I hope it never does.
Edit: my humongous friend is a tall muscly rugby guy… Not ‘the blob’ or anything.
Every dog is supposed to have his day, but some get neglected, rejected and fall victim to abuse. To ensure dog’s to get their day Denise At PAWS is a little non for profit that helps dogs that are down on their luck find a home.
I put my hand up to help D.A.P fight the good fight and created their new logo. The simple pentagon seemed like a perfect home-shape to frame the dog character. It speaks directly to the work they do and gave me a great opportunity to work with typography and simple character design.
Through Denise At PAWS you can adopt a rescued dog or foster one until it can be adopted to a new family.
Some of their dogs have been seen on Bondi Vet and they are always looking for donations to continue their work. Even if you can’t give a dog a home you can spare a few dollars surely. Click here to donate. if you can’t make it to a Bunnings barbeque.
Last week I created business cards that I hope would make Patrick Bateman squirm with jealousy…just squirm, that’s all… and then he would leave me alone and totally not murder me while listening to Huey Lewis and the News.
I created a simple icon of myself, for myself. It speaks to my skills in cartooning, graphic design and the subtle expression speaks to my humour and sense of curiosity.
I have rolled out this icon online adding it to my WordPress account, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. and now on a business card. The card is a heavy GSM and the circle image has a slick gloss finish. I decided the back only needed my name and contact details as I have branched out far further than just illustration and design. I believe if I’ve handed someone this card they will remember my face quite easily along with the reason why I handed them the card.
I had the cards printed through vistaprint.com and am very happy with the result. So long as I maintain a slick haircut and this beard I shouldn’t need to update these cards for a while.
As an artist who works as a graphic designer, painter, prop maker, comedy writer, performer, caricaturist and cartoonist, I sometimes get requests to create artworks that are a little more out of the ordinary. I recently delivered on a commission for a full size furry orange puppet to be given as a gift.
The puppet was created with glasses, pigtails and overalls which were all direct references to the wardrobe of the person for which this puppet was created. The orange fur was a creative liberty.
I spent a lot of time watching videos of bearded puppet makers giving tutorials on how to create a proper functioning puppet. Turns out it’s a really elaborate process which saw some trial and error before I got the happy looking monster you see here.
It was was an excellent artistic task for me riddled with “ah ha” moments as she slowly came together and was given personality and life. It’s now an odd new skill I possess and it was a really rewarding artwork to create. I am however finding orange fur all over the studio and on my coats and scarfs.
In a past life I think I was a possum. I have always been intrigued by other peoples garbage. In fact I pretty much furnished my university share-house with solid gold finds from council clean-ups.
People throw away so many things that still function. I have an entire garden of of ditched plants that I’ve brought back to life, a bamboo tiki bar and once I found the complete discography of Culture Club on vinyl… which would be great if I liked Culture Club.
Yesterday, on a coffee run, I passed a junk pile that is perpetually replenished in Surry Hills. I often have a snoop as I pass by and yesterday I found a fully functioning drawing desk complete with a straightedge.
There was nothing wrong with it, it was merely dusty from years of disuse.
I cracked out the spray and wipe and set it up in my studio for a test run. The desk has new life and will hopefully facilitate some excellent ergonomic drawing sessions.
EDIT: And the next day I found this book in a junk pile in Surry Hills.
Was it sitting in a junk pile or in a gold mine?… it was a junkpile, but there was a book in it.