Wednesday, 5 October 2011

steve jobs.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

- steve jobs, 1955 - 2011

arguably one of our generations most important entrepreneurs, inventor (as it were) and designer. rest in peace.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

times of grace

i haven't posted in a long time. here's some things from summer;

really good things: male bonding ''endless now'', letlive. ''fake history'', touche amore ''parting the sea between brightness and me'', shapes ''motonony chic'', circle takes the square ''decompositions vol I'', the james cleaver quintet ''ten stages of a make up'', das boot, american gangster, shooting stars, curb your enthusiasm season 2, george rr martin ''a storm of swords vol I & II"', la noire, falmouth with parents (past), falmouth with myself (present), falmouth with kate (upcoming)......

Saturday, 30 July 2011

looking inwards/outwards

i am in a limbo period right now, and between odd jobs, driftwood ideas and the occasional ponder and despair, i'm finding comfort/taking solace in the things in art and design that i enjoy the most, or at least the items/material/physical beings that inspire me to no end and may or may not have some sort of bearing on my life.

i'm sure any who know will no doubt be aware of how much i rattle on about the importance of a meaningful record cover, so i'll start with some that have really meant something to me over the how-ever-many-years i've successfully dodged falling pianos and anvils.

here are four that have particularly inspired me the last however many years;

ISIS, oceanic, 2002 / artwork, design by aaron turner

simple. fitting. apt. i was in love with this record before i had even heard it, and i was still in love even after i realized that ISIS were not a band to ''get into'' very simply. i think that even though i didn't necessarily enjoy the music on the first couple of plays, the fact that the sound and atmosphere of this release was so dripping (literally) with nautical themes, and that the tone and recording of the album really put you into a place of crushing pressure, that a sleeve that only goes on to show the rippling of waves and a booklet composed mostly of photographs of the ocean speaks volumes.


peter gabriel, 4/security, 1982, sculpture/design by malcom poynter/peter gabriel

there isn't much needs be said here - it's weird, just like what gabriel's pop-rock done strange is all about. i cannot even find much said about the artwork or sculpture on the internet, and thinking about it, i don't think i want to. mystery is wonder as ignorance is bliss.

at the drive-in, relationship of command, 2000 / artwork by damon locks

like the mythological sacking of the city of troy, in which the greek soldiers lay waste to the city by hiding away inside of the hollowed wooden horse, this album does exactly that. what we have here is something that is imitating a 'regular' disk and a 'normal' inside booklet, but the real content of this record is anything but. it sneaks into your bag at the record store and then steals its way inside of your record player and before you know it, everything is over. all the things you loved about music before are wiped clean; everything you thought you knew about music is eviscerated, blown to pieces by the sheer audacity and intense aural riptides that at the drive-in make with what may as well be alien artifacts at their disposal as opposed to the mundane guitar or microphone, the sound is just that special. basically, sticking a wooden horse on the front of this album is the simplest way of not showing their sound, and the wonder from the graphic construction of the chop-cut linocuts was enough for this record to find it's way to my collection all those many years ago. well, that and an absolutely ridiculous live show of hit single one armed scissor on later... with jools holland.

nine inch nails, the fragile, 1999 / design by david carson

this, like oceanic, is another sleeve that had me hooked from the design alone, although nine inch nail's output is far more easy going than that of ISIS', though not necessarily any more simple. in fact, calling it easy going is quite ignorant of me in it's own right. irregardless, this is a true visual depiction of how this record sounds. i have nothing more i can say to back that up. i honestly cannot think of how i could even begin to prove that, or recite why i think that this is the visual that matches the aural. you don't even care. i don't even care. just have a listen to this fabulous downer of an album and have a think on that one yourself. i'll be right, you'll see.

Friday, 1 July 2011









Thursday, 24 March 2011


i keep a few of my tumblr sites to myself so that i can retain fairly anonymous to certain artwork or design, just as a playful element mostly but also because it's nice to not brand yourself sometimes. anyway, i've meant to put this into a dim, hazy limelight for some time and this isn't one of the 'secret' ones, so go follow accordingly. or not?

this isn't to say i am ''leaving'' blogspot, as i have lately seen a fair few folk, for i don't necessarily see the point in departing from one network to another so easily. i spent a lot of my time going through my blogs following list and i'd like to hope that one or two of them might chance across my own posting every now and again. still, it's a corner of the internet i hold down and i'm not going to drop it simply to bandwagon over to another. both will do fine.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


spazzy irish instru-mentalists AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR recently asked facebook/the internets for people to come forward and design a 12'' cover for their newest single, search: party: animal, which you can listen to here. the competition also asked for a remix of their new song, but i'm not savvy enough for anything like that.

i fucking adore this band, they haven't released a single bad record yet and i have such high hopes for them in the next few years. hell, they're doing mint for themselves as it is, so it can only get better. the new song is from their forthcoming EP gangs and after that comes there second full length. exciting times! cannot wait to see them again at 2000 trees.

anyway, i produced three images that i thought were apt to their sound, though i only sent two of them off... i should of only sent one, actually, but i couldn't decide.

the feeling and method behind these images was captured best whilst trying to replicate the sounds i could hear in the song and their sound in general - very astute, sharp, cutting licks of guitar amongst a very chaotic, noisy but very well tuned and adjusted series of bounding rhythms. to me, i see lots of geometric shapes against a more colourfull almost 'jangley' cascading sound of things breaking - after all, they do say we they are the bull and we, the listeners, are the china shop. i wanted to capture that sonic wave of smash right down to a T, or at least my best attempt at it.

the shards are a throwback both to an old design of mine from foundation and their logo itself. i have wanted to get the cascading shards into a number of things for the last few years, albeit they have all been very personal, so i figured now would be a good time to bring them back. older incursions in sonic frequencies that cause shattering shards can be found here and here.

the images are made through a series of playful print exercises, paint, ink, cellulose thinner and pen, finished in photoshop for fine tuning and design needs.

the winners have still to be announced, and the deadline was close on two weeks now. the band say they are overwhelmed with responses and the decision is difficult to make, so even if i don't win, i'm excited to see and hear the final outcomes!

Monday, 14 March 2011

morbid angel delight

an aching head
and an unspoilt bed
like a flower hand-carved in ice
and about as inviting as christmas lights

- palehorse, ''how to avoid huge riffs'', from possibly the album of 2011 already.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

apache gunship over falmouth harbour

last week i went to berlin. here is some documents of said travel.

there is far, far too much to say about berlin, so there's a good selection of my week in photographs. a fantastic foray into a truly troubled city that, even from it's past it still has a grey, blok stillness to it's atmosphere evident from it's architecture, memorials and the very fact that a lot of the destruction from the battle that raged through it's street towards the end of the war is still there, embedded and chipped across wall and stone. it hasn't quite settled in my mind yet, and for the next week i am supposed to be doing some sort of cumulative project based around my week but i haven't a clue nor the desire to start anything remotely related, and not out of any negative reasons, but simply because i simply cannot think of anything fitting to apply myself to. everything i wanted to know and see is in my mind, through my eyes and - at a fairly large expense - developed upon matte prints from my camera. i am contempt with that.


at the end of that obstacle comes, at long last, the chance for negotiated projects. no more dabbling about with briefs that the tutors know what to expect the finished outcome to look or bare resemblance to, no more pussyfooting around what we want to do and what we as illustrators are ''expected'' to do to earn ''proper'' money or lead a ''successful'' life, this is our chance to do what we want to do, though that obviously doesn't mean i'm going to run off willy-nilly and engage myself in practices i am all too familiar with. no, whilst the chance to create what i want to create in studio time is tempting, isn't that, really, what personal time is for? with this, i'll take the tutors guidance at doing a book cover or editorial, except this time i won't have to apply it to a brief they issue on a subject they can identify with, this time i'll be able to have full creative control over something i myself can get behind, so with that comes the time to yes, continue trying out new things under new guises under their supervisions, but to my own specifications.

we have dipped our feet into this slightly with the last project, information illustration (last post). there, we had full control over the subject and formatting, though it was closely monitored and relayed between tutors and ourselves to make sure we were doing what they think is best, which is understandable, it's what they are paid for and it's what we are paying them for. with choosing your own subject you actually get to dictate, if you will, the choices you make on your own terms and i believe that for my project i actually had the chance to explain my choices and actions for what i wanted to do (i.e. composition, style, imagery used) because it was a subject i could properly back and it was something that they weren't too familiar with, therefore under no expectations or any persuasions as to what it ''should'' look like to fall in line with final artwork seen from years before which is kind of how i see the attitude towards marking or criticizing yearly briefs can be like.

this is quite a ramble now, so i'll cut it short: i'm excited. i haven't fully decided on what i want to do for each project, for we now have our own deadlines to make and attend to, but a list in the back of a sketchbook notes that i'm toying with the ideas of book jackets and full colour illustrations for short stories from h.p. lovecraft and arthur conan doyle, music lyric narratives for ISIS' oceanic, pig destroyer's natasha and botch's afgamistam, packaging and graphic construction for a record(s), both self recorded and hopefully even some actual outside commission from bands, and possibly some other such narratives that i've wanted to get around to for years like making a comic, etc. either way, i'm excited for what's to come.

everything important: family/friend/loved ones contact, new photos, cheap cooking, jordan's country crisp flame raisen, comfy quiet nights sleep, new glassjaw ''colouring book'' ep, neurosis ''through silver in blood'', fake problems ''oh no!'', brave new world, soup, breaking bad season 2 (holy fuck?!), back to the wire for the first re-watch of 2011, one day less in 15


final artworks from our information illustration brief. the aim of this brief was to create a series of artworks that may be found in a piece of informative media, such as a book, on a poster, in flyers, etc. i choose to create five double page spreads focusing on the battle of stalingrad by soviet and german forces. i wanted to make a book that was neither another photographic coffee table book (which are good anyway) or a static, dull book of uniforms and equipment with mannequin-esqe soldiers milling or bumbling around simply for the reason to make it easier for the reader to make out details. the way i figure it, war doesn't standstill for such reasons, so i wanted to attract the sort of reader who has that masculine interest in such things as commando comics or putting a pair of boots on and rolling around in the woods all day with sticks for guns. at least, that's what i liked when i was young anyway.

i do not support, believe or want these images to in any way say that i support the idea of warfare, no less from the past or the present war on ''terror'' - i just wanted to make something that informed readers about the horrible events of stalingrad in a little more interesting way then, as said, simply reusing photographs or illustrating soldiers showing off a winter uniform or some such. anyway, i'm happy with it at least.

Thursday, 20 January 2011


the end of 2010, the beginning of january.

i, ii) family party near cheltenham. gigantic house, good company, great food and a time to chill out right off the back of leaving university for christmas after a pretty stressful project.
iii, iv) barn and farmyard buildings in the country near said house.
v) trees in reflection, house at cheltenham.
vii, viii) trainyard en route to london
ix, x) snow at southbank, view from kate's flat room at shepherds bush
xi) british museum, london
xii) £200 worth of fireworks, new years eve, dan's house
xiii) falmouth rooftops from upper street
xiv, xv, xvi) falmouth harbor, unearthing sunken rowing boat... again

i haven't really done a reflective 2010 post, but there's some images from the last of it. if i were to highlight... uhh, highlights, it would look a little something like this:

/ my first year of university passed; knowledge gained and a little more understanding of where and what i want to do unearthed. still worrying and doubting, but still searching and striving. the people down here and the place we are in inspire hope, no matter what happens the day after we graduate. until then, i'm trying not to take it all for granted (but i still sleep in a lot, sadly)

/ music: music is good. 2010 was a year for releases by 65daysofstatic, alpinist, fukpig, adebisi shank, talons, foals, calories, deftones, rinoa, rosetta, rolo tomassi, tubelord, devil sold his soul, tall ships, &u&i, year of no light, and so i watch you from afar, torche, celeste, daughters, thou, boris & ian austbury and probably a fuck ton loads more. pulling up my last 12 months list on reveals mostly all of that, but yes, fantastic year for music. the majority of that list is notably UK based, too: we've got a lot to offer, and i'm so thankful about that.

/ related, festivals: 2000trees, off the cuff, damnation festival, all tomorrows parties. not a band line up between them, 2000trees being the perfect summer festival for about 50 quid thereabouts to see a fuckton of great bands playing at an eco-friendly festival with no dickheads for miles. a bit of rain, but what of it. notable highlights: tubelord, and so i watch you from afar, 65daysofstatic, listening to maybeshewill play whilst juggling crates of beer in the que whilst being rained on, chilling the fuck out and being a drunken state of nonsense to the silent disco. ace!

off the cuff was a hot, sweaty affair of mostly big scary monsters bands but again... what of it? it houses some of the finest uk acts and seeing so many together over two days was intense. drank an obscene amount of red stripe to last me all weekend on the saturday alone and they even had a mint little bbq on the go outside. this is all in the best pub in birmingham as well, the flapper, which made it even better returning back there after so many years. i used to see bands like municipal waste and send more paramedics there, so there was high expecations for more no-barrier low-stage chaos and it delivered. notable highlights include hold your horse is, men, &u&i, bronze medals, tubelord (again), holy state, maybeshewill (actually got to watch them this time), tall ships. also met some great people so the chat was good all weekend.

damnation festival is always a hefty weekender, with it being an amazing time of the year to see old friends as well as to join them for a day of the UK's finest in metal. i cannot stress enough just how good this festival is year in and year out though i'd like to say this was my favourite of all the years, and not even nessecarily just because of the bands on. that said, highlights were easily fukpig and anaal nathrakh tearing everyone a new one and for the third time, maybeshewill, who just don't seem to disappoint with their live sound whatsoever. flawless musicianship, and the new tracks are sounding a treat, too.

i only attended my first all tomorrows parties last year and that makes me quite sad, as it's probably the best run festival i've been to, and whilst it might not be on the same ranks as the above for highlighting the best of the united kingdoms talent, it doesn't half go the extra mile to get some of the worlds best talent, and then go even beyond it by finding the worlds most ridiculous and mental to boot. what feels best here is the fact that at the end of every day standing up watching an obscene amount of anti-music is that there is a bed waiting for you in your chalet and a shower in the morning which just about makes you ready to stomach another day of noise and nonsense, though i still love the camping experience of a festival just as much. this year saw me catching godspeed you! black emperor creating a depressingly dense, thick atmosphere of strings and feedback to a visual backdrop of burning streets and steaming engines which was probably one of the most heartwrenching things i've ever seen or heard. neurosis stormed the stage twice to a similar visual accompaniment and though i liked neurosis to begin with, seeing them live really made me respect their back catalog that extra bit more and since, they've become a whole new band to me, for the better. wolves in the throne room was a time to sit at the back of a dark room and absorb a torrent of disgustingly grim woodland-themed black metal, and the rest of the weekend was a bunch of noise bands. which i love, don't get me wrong. the entire ATP weekend is an experience i'm going to keep attending every year because of that, and it helps when the folks you shack up with are the same mental pricks from damnation who make it even more worth it.

/ new hopes: meeting someone special and spending a fantastic couple of weekends together throughout november and december. hopefully more of that come this year, and that excites me thorougly.

/ i'd like to think my health has improved, or at least i'm eating a lot more healthy these days. on the occasion during crunch i have cans of fizzy drink, and on train journeys i think thats a good time to warrant buying a bag of crisps... and alright, i still eat biscuits with me tea but i blame josh and tom, but on the whole i've cut out a lot of rubbish and have also been introduced to a whole range of new foods that make my week more exciting for dinner time. when the weather brightens up a bit i'll be back on my walks and hopefully back on my bike, and if i can just stomach going back to wolverhampton and not feeling the need to drink when i go out, i'll be able to kick it all together... not that i want to sound like an alcoholic or anything. at uni it's easy to ignore, but going back to your old friends, the appeal of having a pint is often too hard to pass by. still, for the most part i don't feel the need to drink to have fun anymore, nor to just have it as a casual side.

/ i didn't lose anyone i hold close or dear to me. everyone of those folk and myself included made it through to 2011, and that's always a plus, isn't it? thankful for that. related, made a lot of great new friends and i don't like to think that i lost any old friends. hopefully not, at least. more of this for this year, please!

/ lots more stuff happened and maybe i'll edit this when i rememeber, but right now i don't. night!

THE NEW YEAR: flatlands s/t ep, dillinger four ''midwestern songs of the americanas'', mistress ''ii: the chronovisor'', ''in disgust we trust'', fukpig ''spewings from a selfish nation'', this will destroy you ''communal blood'', stalingrad research and reading, excellent food, the start of spring/good sun, country crisp flame raisen, promising start to the year with work to get going with, plans for the future......