So excited when I got an email from Kristin at Bitch magazine to illustrate an article on Asian fetishism. Having dealt with some yellow fever interest in the past, I went to town when coming up with ideas for this piece. I was also reading The Asian Mystique by Sheridan Prasso which explores this subject matter in depth, and that helped inform my brainstorming process.
The article touches on several different issues that examine the history behind Asian fetishism and the different images Asian women have had projected onto them over the centuries, from the demure and submissive China doll, to the sexual predatory dragon lady aka Anna Mae Wong. Below are the many options I presented, and the final artworks we went ahead with using duotone black and red for the August issue of Bitch.
Piece for The Financial Times illustrating the book review of Graham Swift’s new short stories set in England.
I focused on a story about a disillusioned immigrant whilst trying to get a sense of the quiet everyday drama that pervades his stories. A loyal supporter of the British Empire fighting in the war service he finds himself working as a hospital porter in London. It reminds me of a poem I read on the London Underground, Bam Chi Chi La La by Lorna Goodison, about a Jamaican working as a teacher in Jamaica, and a cleaner in London’s West End. Both explore the kind of roles we can play under different circumstances, and growing up hearing my parent’s stories about the turmoil they endured during the Cultural Revolution, being tossed into roles beyond their control and eventually making a new life in London, I really enjoyed responding to this article and trying to capture the kind of characters that make England what it is today.
A link to the article found here and some of the other ideas I came up with below.
Another illustration for The Financial Times out this weekend, for a book review of Romesh Gunesekera’s Noontide Toll – a series of short stories about a hired driver and his passengers. Set in Sri Lanka after the recent civil war, we explore the lives of these people as they pass through.
I really loved working on this piece and with such evocative imagery to respond to I was excited to explore a new colour palette away from my usual darker tones. Process below!
I’m selling my wares and prints at The Illustrator’s Fair this sunny Sunday at the House of Illustration. The event is going on from 11-6pm and I’ll be there manning my lovely stall, details can be found here. Come and check out what wonderful works of art we’ve got available!
The Illustrator’s Fair // 22nd June 2014 // 11 – 6pm // 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4BH
New piece for the Financial Times Book review section. Illustrating Nicholson Baker’s new publication Travelling Sprinklers, it tells the story of a failing poet called Chowder. Disappointed by middle-aged life he invests his attention to a travelling sprinkler he has grown emotionally attachment to after a break up with his girlfriend.
The article emphasised the mundanity of Chowder’s life and Baker’s writing style reflecting that. I tried to use colours that echoed this feeling, a quieter and more subtle palette than my usual choice.
A piece for the Orchinfabula exhibition at the National Archeological Museum in Paestum, Italy. As part of the Festival of Fairy Tales, the exhibition centered around the theme of myths and ogres.
Exploring mythology for this piece was a departure from my usual work, it’s nicely timed with the new term I’m teaching at The Prince’s Drawing Clubs as we’re exploring myths and legends too. The exhibition lies just across the road from an incredible archaeological site preserving temples of the Greek gods Athena, Hera and Neptune, I’ve just come back from there and tried my hand at painting its surroundings. Working with colours in watercolour was fun and foreign to me since I paint with black ink mostly. Here’s the muddied result along with a couple other quick drawings done whilst waiting for and on trains.
…and a few panels of my Uffizi tour with Jon. Negronis will feature later if I finish this little strip.
And one last drawing copied from a painting…from which I cannot recall the name. But I loved the dramatic lighting cast over the majestic figures swooping all over the canvas.
Fuelled by the energy of some extremely chocolatey cookies, I’ve just finished hand writing 200 mail outs that have been carefully designed, printed and pieced together for all the art directors I admire across the globe. Here are the beauties ready to be sent out including an A3 poster I’ve made specifically for such an occasion, spread the word people! Can’t wait to work for you all!