Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Spreading Christmas cheer

Here is the Christmas card I created and will be sending out (provided it arrives back form the printers in time!). I've also created a special festive home page for my website to get into the spirit of the season.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Xmas card for the Medcalf

I was approached by the Medcalf restaurant and gallery to design their Christmas card. The only criteria (apart from it being in some way Christmas related) was that it should include the building somewhere in the design. Inspired by the snowy weather of the past few weeks I created this festive collage.

Fearghal's Book

I have a new(ish) nephew! He's a dote and also happens to be my Godchild. I recently made him a present which is a book about his short life so far. The book includes details of his family tree, the day he was born and other famous folk he shares his birthday with. There's also spaces throughout the book for his parents to fill in as he grows up.

The portraits in the book are a mixture of mono-print and watercolour. The line quality of the mono-print combined with the subtle pastel water colours enabled me to achieve the softness I was after in the drawings. It was a slightly different way for me to work but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Some of the other spreads are more design based where I collaged different photos and graphics together. The pages are french folded and hand bound using a single sheet bind technique.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Scope Magazine

I recently completed this illustration for the current issue of 'Scope' magazine. The article is about the bombing of Bari during World War 2.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


This illustration is inspired by some street musicians I recently saw in Dublin. I like the idea of making an entire band of paper musicians.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

UPside Private View

Here are a view photos from the 'UPside' private view which took place on tuesday night. It was really well attended and a fun evening.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

UPside is UP!

The group show that I'm involved in 'UPside' is now on view at the Medcalf Gallery at Exmouth market. There's 14 of us involved in the show, each presenting their own little reason to be cheerful. It's on until November 6 with the private view happening next Tuesday (21st September) so come along if you can!

The first two images are my contribution to the exhibition along with another piece (which I posted on the blog a couple of entries ago). Throughout this series of work, I wanted to get across a sense of intimacy and celebrate the valueless preciousness of the personal souvenirs we collect and treasure throughout our lives.

The third piece didn't make it in! This image is a visual of the kind of object I wanted to create - but I had a few lasertran issues so the final piece didn't turn out how I had hoped. All the same, I enjoyed the process and it's an idea I'd like to experiment with and develop a bit further.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Dave McKean @ the Pumphouse

I attended the Comica festival on Sunday at Battersea park. There was a nice mix of work on display and it gave an interesting overview on what's going on in the world of self-publishing...it seems to be quite an established sub-culture here in London.

The adjacent Pumphouse gallery is showing an exhibition entitled 'Hypercomics' which includes amongst others the work of Dave McKean. The artist himself was present on Sunday and did a short Q&A explaining a little about the concept behind the installation piece 'The Rut'. The artist uses the room itself to unfold the narrative and combines drawings, digital work and sculpture to unfold and extrude the story. I'm a big fan of Dave McKean's work so this was really a very special treat! The exhibition runs until Sept 26.

Friday, 20 August 2010

AOI Blog

This illustration of mine is currently being used on the AOI blog as a call out for volunteers for the forthcoming Images 34 exhibition next month.

Friday, 6 August 2010


I'm involved in a forthcoming group exhibition entitled 'UPside' which will be taking place at the Medcalf Gallery from September 13th - November 6th. The concept for 'UPside' is the simple little things in life which make you cheerful - your reasons not to be miserable!

There's 13 artists in total taking part in the show and in the spirit of collaboration, we've set up a blog to share our ideas and keep an eye on how everyone work is developing. This is my work in progress for the exhibition. My ‘UPside’ is inspired by the ephemera we keep throughout our lives as souvenirs of happy events. These old postcards, receipts, photographs and ornaments serve as memory triggers, transporting us back to these occasions. I want to make a series of small works which explore the concepts of memory, nostalgia and sentimental value.

British Library

This blog and my website have been invited to be archived by the British Library as part of their web archiving programme. Through this programme The British Library selects and archives sites which represent aspects of UK documentary heritage. As a result, a historical record is made of the websites and they will remain available to researchers in the future. The archive can be seen at www.webarchive.org.uk

Sunday, 6 June 2010


This is a project that I'd been working on for a long time which has finally come to fruition :) The illustrations are for a online fashion business called OWN LABEL. The idea behind the site is to give up-coming fashion designers a new platform to gain exposure and have their designs put into production with their name on the label. OWN LABEL runs a number of fashion competitions which designers can enter by simply uploading some visuals of their mocked up garments. Their designs are published on the website to be voted for by the public. At the end of the competition the most popular garments are manufactured and sold through the online store with the designers name on the label. I also designed the site - www.own-label.com Have a look to find out more.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


I have an exhibition at the moment in the window of the bookartsbookshop near old street station. It's mainly beard related work and some more recent pieces. There are some bits and bobs for sale including badges and fridge magnets. The work will be on dispaly until May 20 so if you're in the area please drop by for a nosey :)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Medical myths article

Here are the spreads for an article I illustrated in this months 'Scope' - an Irish medical magazine. The subject of the article was debunking medical myths so it was not only a fun job to work on, but also quite educational :) I learned that for instance, drinking 8 glasses of water a day is really not necessary, the size of a man's feet bears no relation to his other body parts, and swallowed chewing gum doesn't really remain in your system for years. 

Monday, 15 March 2010

7 sins

I've created some new works for the 7 sins contest. The concept of 7 deadly sins seems rather archaic to me so I was keen to interpret them in a way that was contemporarily relevant.

I decided to create a series of landscapes which represented the sins Wrath, Greed and Gluttony. 

I interpreted gluttony as excessive consumption to the point of waste and depicted  a mound of e-waste to represent this concept. Much of the western world's obsolete electronic devices are exported to developing countries for recycling where labour is cheaper. But because of lax regulations in the procedures for this recycling, the process is often extremely polluting and hazardous.

I've got a sort of a fascination with cranes and they're a recurring image in my work. I suppose this may stem from spending so many years living in Dublin during the days of the Celtic tiger economy. They were a regular fixture in the city, appearing like mechanical dinosaurs in the landscape. I've always had mixed feelings about cranes. In one way, the sight of them is comforting - a symbol of prosperity, yet in another way they have an almost spectral presence. The 'renewal' process so often results in the destruction of interesting old parts of the city and their replacement by yet another indentikit block of 'luxury' apartments. Much of this sort of  development is short-sighted and entirely motivated by greed. Many of these dwellings now lie abandoned and uninhabited since the recession hit.

I wanted to express wrath in terms of frustration, a sort of simmering rage. When people feel disenfranchised they get angry and if this anger has no constructive outlet it will find a destructive one.

I had some ideas for the other remaining 4 sins - Sloth, Pride, Lust and Envy so will perhaps continue to develop this project.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

a tangent

This post isn't particularly to do with illustration but since I made the beard book, I've acquired a bit of a reputation as a pogonologist (hmmm..maybe I could that on my CV?) And thus friends, acquaintances and sometimes random strangers have taken to arbitrarily emailing me beard related trivia (which is happily of interest to me :). Here is something that was recently featured in the Guardian that my friend Maria kindly sent to me which I thought I'd share. 

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Freaky horoscopes

This is a personal project I've been working on lately, it's a zodiac. I didn't want it to be too traditional so some of the references are perhaps a bit of a stretch but overall I'm happy with this freaky assortment.