VINYL - The movie
I was invited by director Sara Sugarman to work on her low budget film 'Vinyl' which was shot mostly in Rhyl in North Wales. It was a real insight into how low budget films are made. Basically it's all about multitasking. Not only did I design most of the graphics to be featured in the film, I directed the music promo featured in the film, shot behind the scenes interviews for the DVD, became a photographer - shooting pics of the cast as well as featuring in the film itself. Finally I directed a stills shoot which became the movie poster. Here's my version which I mocked up way ahead of the films release.
COUNTRYMAN - The movie
I was asked to fly out to New York to present the marketing campaign to Chris Blackwell a week before the artworks were due to go to the printers. This was pre computers and the internet etc.
Months before Chris had commissioned both artist Tony Wright to come up with a poster but for some reason this got rejected. He then asked Neville Garrick to take over and create a painting that could be used for the poster. The problem was although Neville's art was great he'd produced an image that couldn't be cropped to fit the formats required for record sleeves, cassette covers and movie posters. When I presented the visuals to Chris in his Essex House apartment he could see the problem and wasn't happy.
There wasn't time to get a new illustration done and it was too late to put the and film and record release back. I remember he turned to me and asked what I could do about it.
I then showed him the 7 inch single cover I had put together of Wally Badarou's Countryman theme song where I'd taken a still from the actual film of him running. I felt it showed Countryman as a kind of Jamaican 'Superman' character. I suggested we use that and Chris jumped on it straight away and asked me to make the changes in New York so he could see the results.
So I found a design studio who gave me a desk and I had three days to redesign the entire campaign which was a task in itself as they didn't even own a PMT machine (essential at the time to any design group) Talk about flying by the seat of your pants but coordinating by phone and fax with my team in London we got it done in time.
The Russian Ballet Collection
This series of classic ballets performed by the Bolshoi Ballet was jointly promoted with The Daily Telegraph. All very last minute I was given the task of packaging the series in time for the Christmas market. I commissioned Sharon Pinsker to paint a series of water colour images depicting each ballet. The Daily Telegraph were so pleased with the result they ran a special competition to win a set of signed art prints of Sharon's work and got more subscribers that ever before in such a competition.
Spheriks 26 Part CGI TV series
With a love of new challenges Andy Frain (Manga) gave me the opportunity to work in the CGI animation field when Slave Productions hired me to art direct 26 episodes of a children’s series called Spheriks which was commissioned by FIFA for the World Cup. I always remember this project was a mind blowing experience in so much as I was designing sets, styling and lighting them and then able to move around them. It’s nothing special now but at the time it was the early days of CGI.
At 16 my very first job was at illustration agency artist partners. I worked as a runner and loved every minute of it. I got to meet some amazing people in particular Christine Isteed who was one of the agency staff. I met some top illustrators, and generally found the whole thing inspiring enough to want to go to art college and form a career in the arts. Years later I was in a position to commission many of those illustrators and later still be commissioned by my good friend Christine now MD to create marketing imagery for the company including a new logo brand.
Yoga / Pilates
For a while I became a Yoga and Pilates designer for friends who decided to teach the art.
A friend who set up a up market dry cleaning service asked me to create some art based images to hang in his shops as well as use on brochures and publicity material. The canvas prints worked so well that some of his customers were asking to purchase them.