Fat Larry’s Fruit and Veg Shop

I recently changed my facebook page to a picture of the fruit and vegetable shop from Detective Paws. The images below show some of the stages during the development of the spread from initial rough through to finished artwork.
The sequence is one I often use in my school talks. Recently, on a return visit to a school, I was told how they had picked up on something I had said on my previous visit. I don’t remember this, but apparently I had told one child that his work wasn’t ‘wrong’ as he claimed, it was just ‘not finished’. By this I meant that all those not-quite-right roughs aren’t wrong, but stepping stones or guides to help you get to where you want to go. I constantly try to emphasise to the children that my work doesn’t come out fully formed but that there is a developmental process behind it all.Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 02Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 01Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 03Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 04Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 05

Pop-ups in Croughton Primary

croughton primary 01I was working with the children at Croughton All Saints Primary School yesterday for the start of an art and books project. The aim was to give the children enough skills to finish the pop-up books in their own time, combining text, illustrations and paper-engineering. This is a beautiful school, situated in a rural village near Banbury, with a warm, friendly atmosphere. I found the children to be very open and enthusiastic about pop-up design and I was able to teach them quite a number of techniques in a relatively short space of time.
croughton primary 02

Light Poetry

The Poetryjoe Show is currently in the middle of it’s nine-performance run for the Whitstable Satellite 2012 , part of the Whitstable Biennale. I was very pleased to be invited by Joseph Coelho  to participate in the creation of this show earlier this year. I felt there was a perfect match between Joe’s skills as poet and performer and mine as illustrator, paper engineer and general creative DIYer.

What started as a fairly simple idea soon turned into a quest to find as many different ways as possible of projecting and animating imagry alongside Joe’s words using an overhead projector. The show, aimed at 4 to 7 year olds,  remains deliberately low-tech, providing an antidote to fast developing technology. So far, it’s been well received.

Working on the project has been a big learning curve for me, both in terms of using my illustrations in new ways,  as well as being part of a collaborative team effort.

The show, which takes place at the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre, finishes this weekend. For further information or to book the show, please go to the Word Pepper site.

Saturday 15th September – 11.15 am, 3.15 pm
Sunday 16th September – 3.15 pm
Horsebridge Arts & Community Centre, 11 Horsebridge Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AF

The one that got away!

Our mocked-up designs for the ‘Dressing the Porte Cocheres’ open submission in Milton Keynes. Sadly, not to be, but a very interesting project, nonetheless.

We chose the ideas of dreams and hopes to link various themes and reflect the aspirations of a young city like Milton Keynes. The wishing star and the heart-shaped cloud are symbols intended to convey this – aim for the sky, head in the clouds, reach for the stars, follow your heart –  and the sky, depicted both as day and night, was intended to convey creative dreaming, as well as sporting dreams and ambitions. The whole thing was designed to be reproduced using a limted number of stencils.

Rainbow Cook Book

Illustration for the Appliances Online Newworld Colours Collection Rainbow Cook Book.

Rainbow Cook Book

I couldn’t get that Dean Martin song out of my head when I was working on this piece. Hannah, who provided the recipe for the colour red on her blog homebakedonline.com, talked about her experiences of working in a takeaway as a teenager. I was trying to imagine a takeaway pizza place in Italy – not a rubbish one but authentic like Hannah  describes – and so the Vespa had to be included. I created a watercolour ink wash which I scanned and dropped in to give the red theme. As well as representing the sky, it has the feel of tomato pulp. The texture also reminds me the distressed walls you find in old Italian towns.   JOHN