Wednesday, September 29

We Are Low Culture Poster

Low Culture's a new web site launching in West Yorkshire, it's all about music and the arts. It's not online yet, but check out the Low Culture Facebook site the real site goes live in October and it will be

The brief for this was pretty laid back, I wanted to work something around the idea of 'Low' and 'Underground', and started work on something that was quite a direct take on that. I'm actually really proud of this piece because rather than coming from a starting point of something I'd seen or a piece of stock photography it all came from my head and a blank sheet of paper.

I wanted the objects to all represent a part of the sites focus and culture, some of them are obvious like the instruments and comic (American Splendour - my favourite, RIP Harvey Pekar), but others like the Viewfinder and kite hopefully offer an insight into the idea of writing styles and perspectives of the contributors.

Each layer was built up with textures blended on top of one another, the sky was drawn in, and the grass was created using a Photoshop brush. All the objects were found on Google searches and I chopped parts of them away to make them look half buried, then shaded around the back of them and Vivid Lighted the shade to tone it all back in.

I'm also pleased with the 'lead line' on this, it happened quite naturally, trailing from the kite down to the logo was a bit of a happy accident:

I love making artwork that's creating something from nothing but an idea like this, I'm really happy with the finished poster, I hope the people of West Yorkshire tear it down and blu tack it to their bedroom walls.

Tuesday, September 21

Brew: In The City Poster

I've started working with Leeds based label Brew Records, who I saw mentioned in an article in the NME, contacted and I've done a few posters for ALL FOR FREE! Yep, I know how to put the 'free' in freelance alright, but they're good briefs, and if the client's not paying, then it kind of gives me total creative freedom, which is worth its weight in gold to me.

This particular brief was for Brew: In The City, which is like Babe: Pig In The City, only with bands instead of bacon. There was no brief, so I decide to take it on an invasion route, like these Leeds bands were invading Manchester. My first step was to be inspired by this image from Pink Tentacle:

I liked the composition and the colours of the sky, I thought it suited (rainy) Manchester as well, so now I needed a picture of Manchester from a similar angle, I decided on this one:

After a massive clipping path, and lots of work on the colour and sharpness, I managed to get it into a similar state to the Pink Tentacle image, now I needed some texture for the sky, I've got a collection called 'Painted Skies' and used one of them for this:

I blended this in and dropped it right back so its affect was minimal, the next step was what to put in the sky as the focal point. I tried a number of things from Hot Air Balloons, confetti  and Victorian Airships, but nothing sat right in the frame. Eventually I stumbled upon this image, and it was a perfect fit:

After that there was a load of Blending, Colour Correction and they typography until I got it into the finished state, it was quite a struggle in the end, but I'm really proud of it. Brew were pleased with it and had no changes and that's where was project finished and invoic... no wait. Anyway, one day all these favours will pay off, I've been saying it for nearly ten years now, just another ten maybe? Who knows.

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Tuesday, September 7

An Escape Plan Live Poster Two

I love working with An Escape Plan, I used to play drums for them, so I feel they're in my blood ( I hope my blood is still on their drums), and if I need inspiration it drips from their beautiful recordings.

This poster was built from a few bits I've been playing with recently. The main character is a montage of different body parts found on Google, the shoes and head are then hand-drawn in solid black to negate the need for too much detail. Then there's a grunge texture laid over the top of it to bring it all together.

The smoke is done using some really effective spray can brushes in Photoshop, and over the top of that I've laid some white particles from a stock file I have to just scruff the whole thing up a bit.

One complete idea, no amends, one sign off. My kind of job. I am a big subscriber to ditching your first idea, my first idea was to do something around this Wind Costume photo, but it wasn't working out. Nice though eh?

The poster is a companion piece to this previous gig poster.

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