War Horse Illustrations
I created 3 original illustrations with binding for the House of Illustration 2016 competition. Sadly I didn't make the cut this year, but I'm really pleased with the results.
All of the illustrations are block printed to create 3 original plates. The different elements of the binding were also cut and printed and then edited in photoshop to create a suggested binding layout as per the competition guidelines. This image shows the front and spine.
I grew up only a few miles from where this book was set - and the author lives - and loved it as a child, so it holds a very special place in my heart.
I wanted to create images that evoked a classic style of book illustration, and to reflect the open, unconditional friendship and bond between Joey and Albert, whilst also being able to portray the raw emotion and challenges both faced. Keeping the images in black and white makes them much more striking to the eye, supporting the stark reality of war.
A private commission, I made this sketchbook/journal and created the personalised cover for a 30th birthday present.
As a lover of all things books, I wanted to create a classic sketchbook and cover for Holly, whilst maintaining a contemporary style.
The sketchbook was made with an exposed coptic stitch in contrasting colour, with handprinted endpapers.
I love this style of binding for a sketchbook as it leaves much more room to add things without distorting the pages. It also means you can open up the sketchbook flat for easier working.
The cover uses upholstery fabric so it's more robust and I also added some wadding to the spine for further protection.
Some Spring-themed embroidery on watercolour paper today. Nice on the paper, not so nice on my fingers. Never thought I’d say it, but I’m off to find a thimble!
I stumbled across the tunnel book format after discovering Edward Gorey’s The Tunnel Calamity (photo by Steve Miller) online - and I’d pretty much give my right arm to get hold of an actual copy.
Although its not a classic, or terribly elegant binding, the scope for illustration, art and craft is pretty overwhelming with this style of book. There’s something inherently mysterious and curiosity-inducing about a peephole, we cant help but look into peoples windows, through keyholes, under beds and through trees, so being able to create a whole array of different worlds and convey different ideas using this concept is very exciting indeed.
Here, I’m just testing out the idea with some quick papercuts to get a feel for how the book should work. The moon at the back is hanging in the gap by thread to give it more movement, which I think works nicely, although it could do with some extra space and maybe a more interesting design so it draws the focus better. The distance between pages needs to be longer too, so more light can get in to add depth and so everything can be properly seen.
My brain is already awash with ideas for this style of book. However, I’m currently working on a specific project, so will attempt to keep within those parameters for the moment!
Book of Illustration Competition 2015
Sadly, I wasn’t able to complete these illustrations, or the binding image, in time for entry, but I thought I’d upload my work in progress anyway.
I wanted to maintain a vintage print style, but with a contemporary finish, keeping the colour palette limited and the lines hand drawn. The deep, mossy greens reflecting the sense of death and decay that runs through each ghost story, and the curved, whispy lines adding to the mystery and intrigue evident throughout.
The first illustration is for the story The Treasure of Abbott Thomas by M.R. James.
‘So the whole secret was out;
'Ten thousand pieces of gold are laid up in the well in the court of the Abbot’s house of Steinfeld by me, Thomas, who have set a guardian over them. Garc a qui la touche.’
The second, The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford.
'Everybody stopped talking. Brisbane’s voice was not loud, but possessed a peculiar quality of penetrating general conversation, and cutting it like a knife. Everybody listened.’
The third, A Tale of an Empty House by Anon.
'I saw masts against a sheet of water that appeared to stretch unbroken into the rain shrouded gloom of the gathering night’
Back to the day job and finally putting some ideas to paper (with a little help from Billie Holiday on the radio).
How Edward Gorey remains in relative obscurity is just beyond me, he has the most wonderful imagination and illustrative style.
This is where Tim Burton learnt his craft.
Further adventures in book-binding…
This is coptic binding with mdf covers and mixed paper signatures.
i am… alternative perspectives #01
A zine made as part of my art foundation project.
Some of the illustrations are more successful than others, but it was really fun to put together and pushed me quite a way out of my comfort zone.
Consistently blown away by the skills involved in art books - what a lovely idea this is.