DIRTY SEXY & TOTALLY ICONIC - GET CARTER
I was approached by Tony Klinger to design a poster for a documentary honouring his father, Michael Klinger, the producer of the iconic gangster film "Get Carter."
This documentary serves a dual purpose: it delves into the behind-the-scenes process of creating the iconic gangster film, "Get Carter," while also paying homage to Michael Klinger, the esteemed producer. As the film celebrates its 50th anniversary, the documentary offers a captivating exploration of the creative decisions, challenges, and triumphs that shaped the movie. It provides viewers with an intimate look into the filmmaking journey and showcases Michael Klinger's invaluable contributions.
"Get Carter" is widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, earning praise for its gritty atmosphere, gripping storyline, and the exceptional performance by Michael Caine. Over the years, it has retained its status as a quintessential crime thriller, earning admiration from both critics and viewers.
VINYL - THE MOVIE
I had the privilege of collaborating with director Sara Sugarman on her low-budget film, "Vinyl," predominantly filmed in the charming town of Rhyl, North Wales. Working on this project provided me with valuable insights into the world of low-budget filmmaking.
It was a true lesson in multitasking as I took on various roles. In addition to designing most of the graphics featured in the film, I had the opportunity to direct the music promo showcased within the movie. I also captured behind-the-scenes interviews for the DVD, delved into photography by capturing captivating shots of the cast, and even made a cameo appearance in the film itself. To complete the journey, I directed a stills shoot that eventually became the captivating movie poster. Ahead of the film's release, I took the initiative to create my own version of the poster, giving a glimpse of what was to come.
UNITED NATIONS - 75TH ANNIVERSARY - OPEN COMPETITION
The United Nations was celebrating its 75th anniversary and to mark the special occasion, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and Artivive launched a call for artists to create posters about peacemaking and peacebuilding, which also utilize augmented reality technology.
Unfortunately It was all very last minute and I created this artwork for the poster but needed to create an animated film to go along side it and missed the deadline!
However I thought the poster was still worthy of showing.
I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen Ejogo when she was quite young. It happened when I was having dinner at a pizza joint with a pop singer, and Carmen approached me, seeking an autograph.
As we began chatting, Carmen expressed her strong desire to pursue a career in the music industry. Even at such a young age, her drive and passion were palpable, and it was evident that she possessed that special "X factor" we often talk about nowadays.
We exchanged contact information, and Carmen introduced me to her mother. With her mother's permission, Carmen joined me for a corporate island shoot as a model. She exceeded expectations, and from then on, she became known as the "Island girl" whenever there was a corporate shoot.
Additionally, I featured Carmen in several music videos, further showcasing her talents. Carmen's ambitious nature led her to venture into hosting music shows on television before eventually transitioning into acting. To my surprise, I discovered that she had made her way to Hollywood, where she has since become a highly successful actress in her own right.
I had the incredible opportunity to fly to New York and personally present the marketing campaign to Chris Blackwell, just a week before the artworks were set to go to the printers. This was a time before computers and the internet, so everything had to be meticulously planned and executed. Several months prior, Chris had commissioned artist Tony Wright to create a poster, but unfortunately, it was rejected for unknown reasons. As a result, Neville Garrick was brought in to take over and create a painting that could be used for the poster. However, the challenge arose when Neville's artwork couldn't be easily cropped to fit the required formats for record sleeves, cassette covers, and movie posters.
When I presented the visuals to Chris at his Essex House apartment, he immediately recognized the problem and expressed his dissatisfaction. With no time to commission a new illustration and with the film and record release already set in motion, we found ourselves in a tight spot. In that moment, Chris turned to me, seeking a solution.
I quickly showed him a 7-inch single cover I had put together for Wally Badarou's Countryman theme song. It featured a still image of him running, taken directly from the film.
I believed it portrayed Countryman as a Jamaican equivalent of a "Superman" character. Excited by the concept, Chris agreed to go with it and requested that I make the necessary changes in New York, so he could see the results firsthand.
With limited time on my hands, I found a design studio in New York that kindly provided me with a desk. Over the next three days, I worked tirelessly to redesign the entire campaign. It was a challenging task, made even more complicated by the fact that the design studio didn't even have a PMT machine, which was essential at the time for any design group. Despite the obstacles, I coordinated with my team in London through phone calls and faxes, ensuring that we stayed on track.
It was a truly nerve-wracking experience, but through sheer determination and resourcefulness, we managed to get everything done in time. The campaign was successfully redesigned, and we were able to meet the looming deadline. It was a true testament to flying by the seat of our pants and making things work, even under intense pressure.
Embracing new challenges, I had the exciting opportunity to venture into the world of CGI animation when Slave Productions enlisted me as the art director for a children's series called "Spheriks."
This remarkable project, consisting of 26 episodes, was commissioned by FIFA for the World Cup. I recall that working on "Spheriks" was an awe-inspiring experience, as I found myself designing sets, determining their style, and even handling the lighting.
What made it truly mind-blowing was the ability to navigate and explore these virtual environments.
While it may not seem extraordinary today, back then, during the early days of CGI, it was a groundbreaking endeavour. I cherished the chance to be part of this cutting-edge field and contribute to the creation of a visually captivating children's series.
THE RUSSIAN BALLET COLLECTION
In a whirlwind of events, I was entrusted with the responsibility of packaging a series of classic ballet performances by the Bolshoi Ballet, in collaboration with The Daily Telegraph. The timing was tight, as the goal was to release the package in time for the Christmas market. With determination, I swiftly commissioned Sharon Pinsker to create a collection of watercolor paintings, each capturing the essence of the individual ballets.
To our delight, The Daily Telegraph was incredibly impressed with the outcome. In fact, they were so thrilled that they decided to host a special competition, offering their readers a chance to win a set of signed art prints featuring Sharon's work.
The competition proved to be a tremendous success, attracting more subscribers than ever before in a similar contest.
The combined efforts of packaging the series with Sharon Pinsker's stunning artwork and The Daily Telegraph's enthusiastic promotion not only met the Christmas market deadline but also generated a tremendous response from ballet enthusiasts and readers alike. It was a gratifying experience to witness the positive impact our collaboration had on the series' reception and the newspaper's engagement with its audience.
Yoga / Pilates
For a while I became a Yoga and Pilates designer for friends who decided to teach the art.
At the age of 16, I embarked on my very first job as a runner at Artist Partners, an illustration agency. Those early days were incredibly rewarding, and I cherished every minute of my time there. It was during this period that I had the privilege of meeting some extraordinary individuals, one of whom was Christine Isteed, a remarkable member of the agency staff. The experience was truly inspiring as I had the opportunity to interact with top illustrators, witnessing their talent firsthand. It was a transformative period that fueled my passion for the arts and motivated me to pursue a career in that field.
As the years went by, I found myself in a position where I could commission many of those very illustrators I had admired in my early days. It was a remarkable full-circle moment to be able to collaborate with the artists who had initially influenced and inspired me. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of being commissioned by my dear friend Christine, who had now become the Managing Director of the agency. This opportunity allowed me to contribute to the company's marketing efforts, including the creation of new logo branding and other marketing imagery. It was an honor to work alongside Christine and contribute to the growth and evolution of the agency that had played such a pivotal role in shaping my own artistic journey.
YOGA / PILATES
During a particular phase in the past, I found myself immersed in the world of yoga and Pilates as a 'design guru'. As friends began to explore teaching these practices, they turned to me to create logos and promotional materials for their endeavours. It was an exciting opportunity to combine my passion for design with their passion for sharing the benefits of yoga and Pilates.
During this time, one of my friends, who happened to be pregnant, approached me with a unique idea. We decided to collaborate on creating a pregnant yoga video, aimed at supporting expectant mothers who were facing challenges during their journey.
The goal was to provide them with guidance, exercises, and relaxation techniques tailored to their specific needs. It was a project driven by the desire to help and empower struggling mothers-to-be, offering them a resource that addressed their unique physical and emotional requirements.
Collaborating on the pregnant yoga video was an incredibly fulfilling experience. It allowed us to combine our knowledge, skills, and compassion to create a valuable resource that would benefit others during a significant and transformative time in their lives. The project exemplified the power of collaboration, creativity, and a shared passion for supporting individuals on their wellness journey.
I was approached by a friend who had established an upmarket dry cleaning service called Village Klean. He asked me to create artistic images that could be displayed in his shops, as well as used on brochures and other promotional materials. The intention was to enhance the ambiance and aesthetic appeal of the stores. To accomplish this, I crafted unique art-based images that perfectly complemented the upscale atmosphere of Village Klean.
To our surprise, the canvas prints of these artworks resonated with the customers to such an extent that they began expressing interest in purchasing them.
The combination of the distinctive artwork and the sophisticated environment of the shops proved to be a winning combination. It was truly rewarding to see how the art not only enhanced the visual appeal of Village Klean but also became a sought-after item among its clientele.
The success of integrating art into the dry cleaning service not only enhanced the overall customer experience but also added an additional revenue stream for Village Klean. It was a delightful experience to contribute to the artistic ambiance of the shops and witness the positive response from customers who appreciated the fusion of art and dry cleaning services.