2011, you have been a lot of fun, you have been a teacher, a compatriot, a lifeline and a kitchen sink. 2011 you shall be missed.
To simply list off all the fantastic projects I've worked on during 2011 would be a little long for a blog, but to leave them unremarked would be a worse crime still. So, with that in mind I thought this might be a worthwhile forum to mention a few of the more eventful ones. If your name doesn't pop up at any point then please don't feel blue, I cannot name a client that I haven't loved working with this year (much to the disappointment of www.clientsfromhell.com), this is mearly a snapshot of the projects winging their way around my head, and trust me, they all get a turn.
Probably the longest project I've worked on, which came to a close late last year was the graphic novel 41 by Bob Frantz. I won't sit here and make out I'm the next Jim Lee in the comics world, but I do have a soft spot for them and always do my best to have at least one story on my books at any one time. If ever there was a piece of work that showed the progression of an artist it was 41. Not one page was drawn where the following one wasn't its superior. Don't get me wrong, the pages were all good but by the close of the last issue I can safely say that I was a far more competent artist for having the opportunity to work on the book.
Speaking of comics, how could I ever sidestep the stunning BigDog! I remember first reading the brief; I could barely believe my eyes. Joseph Bondaryk, creator of the real life quadruped robot BigDog wanted to produce a comic based around his creation! If you haven't yet seen a video of BigDog in action then please, get yourself over to YouTube right now! BigDog heralded my first foray into the land of the Comic Con as Joseph insisted I fly out to Boston to help him launch the first issue! Not only was Joseph gracious enough to let me stay in his home during my dip into the American dream but I was also treated to a guided tour of Boston Dynamics Robotics Lab where BigDog is being developed. Sometimes I really need to do a double take on what's comic book fantasy and what's real life!
Whilst we're on globe trotting it's well worth mentioning my mission to Andorra and Aragon with the team from Banter Media. Working as a storyboard artist I helped plot out the shoot for the Motovudu instructional Superbike video, with none other than Moto GP star Simon Crafar! Long days in the sun followed by great meals with the crew was a great way to earn a living, even Keith Flint from the Prodigy turned up to run a few laps Round the track! I'm planning to write another blog going into much more detail on the Motovudu job so watch this space!
The New Subalterns
One of my great great loves of this job is when I get the chance to create new characters. Clients come to me with briefs on how they want their characters to look and feel and I get to pull something great out of the ether and trap it on paper. There is nothing I love more than to not only capture what people were seeing in their own head, but also show them something new about the character, almost like they've just got to know them a little better. This year I did just that for Rikk Salamat's New Subalterns. A group of eight assassin style characters with a slightly comedic undertone, the illustrations I produced were to be the online counterpart to the Radio show that Rikk was producing. Author Joel Nafatli too contacted me to flesh out his Cyber Skunks characters and create a promotional portfolio that he could present to production companies in the hope of transferring his characters from his book to television!
To be perfectly honest I could go on writing this blog post for days, from the concept artworks I've been working on for Patrick O'Briens new film The Northern Mist to the range of t-shirts I produced for the MMA event Takedown, there isn't one project I've worked on that I wouldn't want to talk your ear off about. With that said, all good things must come to a close and I'll have to put the lid on 2011 at some point.
So here's looking to an amazing 2012. Anyone who has read my blog previously might recall that I share an office with a video production company called Banter Media, however these guys are moving in February to a pub of all places, which means that my office will be getting that much bigger! I can finally move in the death ray and start plotting. I've just agreed to work on a new project with Mark Aldridge, the producer from 51st State, so keep an eye out for that unfolding. I'm going to be helping a new cupcake company set up their branding and very first shop from the ground up. I'm also planning on producing my own range of t-shirts and other various items plastered with very cool designs after being thoroughly inspired by Jeff Finleys 'Threads Not Dead'...and that's just the tippy top of the iceberg.
2012, it's a pleasure to meet you.