Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Latest News: MOJO Magazine, November 2008

MOJO Music Magazine commission a different illustrator every month to present their lead album review. For the November 2008 issue featuring the first AC/DC studio album in eight years, 'Black Ice' they approched me. Attracted by the tribal style of 'The Cock' in the Factual Pub Sign section and the drawing skill of the Visto Brahma project, the brief was to create a piece of scraperboard art.

The idea behind the composition was that like AC/DC, the Easter Island heads are monolithic giants that have weathered the elements since the dawn of time - they just needed a little styling to make them reflect the band. The client loved the design not least because it echoed the latest album artwork by Shepard Fairey at Studio Number One, in colour scheme at least.

You can read more of this story here.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Signs of the Times: Missing Pub Sign Found

Thank you to Elaine Saunders from A Book About Pub Names for this story...

"A HISTORIC pub sign, mysteriously missing for more than two-and-a-half years, has been found safe and returned to Derbyshire.

The sign, which hung from gallows at the Green Man and Black's Head Hotel, in St John's Street, Ashbourne, disappeared without explanation in 2006.

A town councillor started a relentless search for the item, following tip-offs that led down numerous dead-ends.

Now her one-woman crusade is over after the sign was discovered by an Ashbourne businessman, who noticed it in a yard 25 miles away.

It is believed to have disappeared after getting caught on a passing lorry. And Denise Brown delighted the rest of the town council when she presented it to them, albeit slightly damaged, at the latest meeting."

For the full story check here.

Image courtesy of www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk

Monday, 22 September 2008

Signs of the Times: The Observer highlights Pub's plight

In yesterdays 'The Observer' they ran an article entitled 'Plea to save vanishing art of the pub sign'. Written by Venessa Thorpe, the Arts and Media Correspondent it leads as follows...

"The painted pub sign, one of the oldest popular visual arts traditions in Britain, is locked in decline. That is the fear of conservationists who hope to alert pub chains and breweries to a 'catastrophic' loss of the traditional skills involved and a failure to preserve a heritage that dates back to Roman times.

The growing corporate ownership of public houses across the British Isles has led to the standardisation of what is on offer, both inside and outside the bar. The situation has worsened in the past five years because of the increasing number of pub closures. Figures compiled by the Campaign for Real Ale show that an average of 57 pubs shut permanently every month."

The full article can be viewed online here.

Photograph: Reg Speller/Getty

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Bespoke Wallpaper Designs: No.'s 2 & 3

We have produced a lot of digital wallpaper projects for Revolution Vodka Bars. These large format print installations have real impact and can radically change the dynamics of the bar interior.

The first example shown here at Revolution Cambridge is a collaged design based on the theme of Revolution. It runs chronologically from right to left from the French Revolution, all the way through to the bringing down of Saddam Husseins statue following the invasion of Iraq. Running throughout is some subtle and some not so subtle vodka branding.

The second is from Revolution Plymouth and shows rather more blatent vodka branding. The bottles were hand drawn and then overlayed on to photographs. The colours were then applied over the top.

You can see more bespoke wallpaper designs and installations here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Another Artistic Type... Richard Chadwick

My father Richard Chadwick of the imaginatively named company Richard Chadwick Associates has been working as an interior designer for the last thirty years or so and over that time has developed his marker rendering technique to perfection. This hands on approach as opposed to today's favoured medium of computerised rendering has many advantages including the speed of turnaround, the cost and perhaps most significantly the adding of a sense of 'life' and 'theatre'.

Ideal for presentation purposes, Richard is available for hire and you can see an extensive selection of his works on the Artistic Type website in his portfolio section:


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Another Artistic Type... Katharina Gschwendtner

I came across Katharina's work whilst having a spring clean at Purple Penguin Design. She was one of the featured artists and designers in a Zanders Papers showcase book. I just love the free line drawing and the fact that like we did at Penguin, she has produced work that has been installed in an otherwise sterile Library environment.

I wish I could speak better German so that I could read more about her work though you can check out her website here: www.gschwendtner.info

Monday, 15 September 2008

Bespoke Wallpaper Designs: No.1

We recently presented our good friends at Felicini Restorante Italia with a range of designs for a feature wallpaper to go into their unit on Water Lane in Wilmslow. We started working with Felicini in 2003 when they had just two units (Didsbury and Monton). The client also operates the Grinch Wine Bar in Manchester. They have been adding new units at the rate of about one a year ever since and now also have units in Manchester City Centre, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield and Bakewell.

The designs submitted were well recieved. One focused on a graffiti style spray painted felicini logo on a wall in Rome, another featured a retro Fiat branded up in the Felicini colours and a third style depicted many Italian themed artworks collaged together using a limited colour pallet. This design was chosen and created as a montage using a limited colour pallet. Iconic images of Italian architecture, heritage and design were incorporated into the design alongside some rather subtle tongue in cheek elements that only become apparent when the viewer has taken the time to study the image in detail.

For example, the history of Italian transport vehicles is most obviously covered by Roman Chariots, the Ferrari Black Horse and the classic Fiat 500. But then in amongst some architectural scripts and swirls is an interwoven Vespa logo. Similarly, icons of Italian worship are present including some classically sculptured figurines, the ancient Roman temple dome of the Pantheon and then somewhat less apparently, the 'Divine Ponytail' of Roberto Baggio and the statuesque form of former M.P. La Cicciolina.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Latest News: The Factual Pub Company No.1

The Factual Pub Company is a project that I have dedicated a page on the website to. It is also technically a Fictional Pub Company. Still in its infancy (ie., I've only just started it and there is only one illustration to show for so far although there are currently a couple more in progress), the idea is to explore the history and heritage behind Britains Pub names and demonstrate this in illustrative terms. Many pub names that we take for granted have weird or obscure origins and my aim is to educate the viewer as to what these are.

The example shown here is your traditional sign for The Cock, next to my interpretation. The original style is along the lines of the cutesy farmyard, Kellogs Cornflakes type bird where as mine has been trimmed and armed for a fight to the death. The history of the Cock as a pub name can be traced back to the Romans as Elaine Saunders explains in her Book About Pub Names:

" The Romans introduced cock-fighting to Britain and at one time, every town had its own cock-fighting arena.

Two specially trained roosters fought in a circular cockpit, about 20 feet across, whilst spectators placed heavy bets. One tournament in 1830, between the birds of Joseph Gilliver and the Earl of Derby, had a purse of 5000 guineas (£370,000 today). The sport was banned in 1849.

Henry VIII had cockpits built in the Palace of Westminster and was an enthusiastic participant. However, it was a sport in which the working classes could also participate. Even children kept their own birds. Pubs therefore ensured they advertised the entertainment with appropriate names above the door.

A rooster is further associated with St Peter’s denial of Jesus. On the night before Christ’s arrest, Peter declared three times as the cock crowed that he did not know Jesus. In religious iconography, the bird therefore represents betrayal – although how that translates onto a pub sign is uncertain.

In contrast, a heraldic rooster is considered a knight amongst birds, symbolising courage, perseverance and heroism; the bearer willing to fight to the death. The fact that it is an early riser has also led to it being associated with wakefulness and vigilance but, again, this connection with pub names is unclear."

Original Cock image courtesy of www.pubsgalore.co.uk

Friday, 5 September 2008

Latest News: Carbonmade Update

We've just updated our portfolio at Carbonmade which you can visit from our links list on the right. For all you Artistic Types out there, Carbonmade is an online portfolio service and another shop window in which to showcase your work to the world. In their own words..

" Carbonmade, the lowdown.

We built Carbonmade because we needed something that would organize our own work. The application turned out so well that we decided to share it with all of you. Since February 2006, we have spent our off hours tinkering with Carbonmade. With feedback from our ever-growing community and lots of nerdy elbow grease, it has become something that we are quite proud of.

With Carbonmade, you can manage your online portfolio with a variety of tools that allow you to change how you display your work. The core idea behind the design of Carbonmade is to keep your images or video at the forefront. For a better idea on what Carbonmade can do for you take a look at our Featured portfolios."

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Latest News: Website Launch

The Artistic Type website has now been launched and I would welcome any feedback on both the site and any of the content presented. The plan is to update the work on a regular basis now, most of which will be presented through this blog first so make sure you keep on coming back for regular updates...