So, amidst all the Pokémon Go talk lately (ah yeayuh), you've probably heard people talking about the new Netflix show 'Stranger Things'... or maybe...like me, you've guzzled down the entire series in a matter of days.
I'm a big fan of tv shows like this. Think: Twin Peaks, X-Files and Fringe mixed with films like Super 8 or The Goonies. Mystery, yup! 80s nostalgia, yup! Brilliant characters, yup! Just..yes.
So after I'd finished the series, I couldn't help but sketch some of the characters. I'm not kidding when I say I sketched pretty much the entire main cast, and hopefully I'll be able to show you those at some point, but in a first things first kind of way I was struck with the idea of taking Winona Ryder's character: Joyce Byers into a final illustration and then on into gif format.
If you've followed my work you'll know that I love to dip into working with simple animation when I can, and the flashing light theme in Stranger Things lends itself perfectly to that. This was a quick one, so it is simple, but it's had such a brilliant response across social media. That's what I love about getting the chance to work on fan art, the mass of connection and the "Hey! You like that show too!"s that grow from it - it makes you feel like you just met a whole team of people on your wavelength.
So - hopefully I'll put up a few more of the illustrations in the coming days/weeks and animated them if they lend themselves to that. In the meantime, I'm going to get some lunch and wish I had eggos.
I'm really pleased to say a selection of my work was shortlisted in the Bridgeman Studio Award this year!
With such a rise in competitions asking for brand new work to be created (more info here on why that's so unhealthy for the industry), I thought it was brilliant that the Bridgeman Studio Award were looking to judge the competition based on pre-existing work and portfolios.
The awards had almost a thousand entries, with each illustrator entering pieces from their portfolio which fit with the theme 'night' (I had a fair few to choose from, including this ink sketch I'd made for Inktober a few years ago).
The awards are partnered with The Borough Press, Harper Collins, CultureLabel.com and Creative Review.
Heyo! I made the cover of IPSE magazine!
This one's extra special as I was commissioned to create an illustrated self-portrait (always tricky!) to celebrate my Freelancer of the Year award in June. So. Exciting.
It's a great alternative to the usual winner's photo as it lets me show exactly what my work is like (rather than trying to describe it, which is always a little complicated), and, well, it sidesteps a little bit of an Emmeline blush seeing giant pictures of my real-life face in print.
If you were at the Freelancer of the Year event you may have seen the original photo-cover pop up on the screen as the awards were announced (I didn't notice until later on!). I thought it would be good to stick to that basic design, although obviously hair down is more fun to draw, and there's always some artistic license in a style switch. I also grabbed a bit of inspiration from my own 'Small Stories' comic cover to create the illustrated version.
I think it's always good to share a little bit of process, so as you can see I started with quick digital sketches, moved on to ink linework and then used Photoshop for the digital colouring (which follows my usual process at the moment) and sent the illustration and name in my handwriting to IPSE to design the cover.
If you can get hold of a copy of the magazine, it's well worth a read, with lots of articles on freelancing, business advice, IPSE's new 'Be free to create' campaign, the low-down on the other finalists and a great 'A Picture of Happiness' write up on me and my career by Jim Cassidy. You can also take a look at the magazine online here!