Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More from the left...

The futures left...

While my limb of choice is differently abled I am teaching myself to draw with my left hand. I am creating a rabbit themed visual diary. Enjoy. These are all quick left handed drawings, they may at some point be developed further, or I may print them. 

Bittersweet bundle of misery

Just when I thought life couldn't get much worse I manage to go and fracture my elbow. Therefore now I can't do any drawing, and am left doing one finger typing with my left hand. Woe is me. Any suggestions of ways to amuse myself would be great. I'm bored and in pain and have watched all three seasons of the IT Crowd in 48 hours.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Finding Sol

Here are a few shots from the short film I worked on recently "Finding Sol" with the wonderful Mr David White. it was an interesting project which involved creating a childlike fantasy aircraft and a cardboard city. Lots of fun.

Monday, 13 July 2009


I will shortly be producing  a limited run of canvas screen printed bird bags, featuring 4 different designs of different types of parrot. These will be for sale in my shop, prototype is seen in the image above. I still haven't decided if they will be full colour prints or monotone, but either way will be awesome and the must have bag of 2009. 

Come to this

This is my flyer for our new night running in London, it's going to be a fabulous mix of lovely people and some very fun music. Myself and a few friends have started to run nights under the banner of Booze tits/Teenwolf is cool and will shortly be expanding to in to running exhibitions of lovely new creative work, so all designers, illustrators, photographers etc. please get in touch if you would like your work shown in some of East London's best venues with some of the most fun private views you could wish for. 

Sunday, 12 July 2009

First Crush

I love this little video by Julia Pott, its so sweet and really nicely put together. 

Friday, 10 July 2009

Right now

Every thing tastes like sawdust and I am red and weak. 
Nothing has ever felt this bad before and never will again.
I am an oyster, turning grit in to pearls for other people to wear,
how can something so pretty be so sad?
I have no more fight.
You have left me a shell washed on the shore chipped and damaged
waiting to be washed out again

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Crufts 2

A few more from Crufts.

What I'm working on

I have been commissioned to do a run of educational childrens colouring books by Moss Green Children's books. These are on the title of "fruit and vegetables"- teaching children where their fruit and veg comes from and what it looks like in the ground and "Endangered species". It's most enjoyable work although harder than it seems as I have to make my drawing suitable for age ranges of 4yrs +. Here is one of the mock ups anyway, it needs a bit of work and some simplification for the children but you get the idea. It's a lovely project and I completely endorse Moss Green's environmental policies and educational viewpoint and am looking forward to completing the project. 
I am also kept continually amused by the antics of Fabio the fox who lives in my garden and provides endless hours of interesting life drawing. Dear Fabio has been adopted by my mother as slightly wild and smelly pet (in the loosest possible sense of the word) Fabio has a diet that now consists of half a tin of Pedigree Chum, scraps from the kitchen and cheese sandwiches. He comes trotting to the back door as soon as he hears noise from the house and sits on the lawn till he gets fed. He has also been wormed (?!) and is now the fattest fox within the M25. Here's a picture of him chillin' out with his homies. 

Work harder

Every year I like to check out the graduate work from Brighton, as its always interesting to see people who have been in the same environment that I studied in and how the course is progressing.
Worthy of a mention from this years graduate illustration/graphics show were the following-

Kieron Rhys Johnson- Lovely lino cuts and prints and visually very fresh and exciting work, clean, with a real talent and eye for a good composition and excellent drawing skills.

Chris Pell- Super funny, and brilliant ideas and executed with style. Really good line quality too. 

Christopher Wright AKA Tinhead- You may recognise his cover for Foals album and singles, but his work is consistently good, has a brilliant sense of humour and a lot of personality that shines through each piece.

Kyle Bean- Check out the mobile phone russian dolls! So cool! Really neat observation.

However, I am also majorly disapointed in a lot of the graduate work from the past 2/3 years. I simply hate the way a lot of new graduates are using collage to illustrate with. My problem is not that they aren't technically good at it, but its so unoriginal and has been done to death. You can only really get away with if you either have such a massive personality that it shines through in your work i.e the humour of Graham Rawle.

or by pushing the boundaries of collage such as seen here in some promo material for the new Jack Penate album by GoDeJong

I actually have started to believe that most of these illustrators are a.) incredibly lazy b.) can't actually draw and c.) have all the personality of a dead goldfish. There is NOTHING good about the following all scrambled together; mountains, eyes, girls made of bits of other things, triangles of other bits and pieces, and random spots of colour. Its Bullshit, means nothing and while the end product may be asthetically pleasing it has very little substance and no real class or personality invested in to the work. Drawing is a labour of love, and to me a good illustration graduate looks to push the boundaries while keeping a very individual style and has the technical skills of drawing and interpreting the world in which they exist in their own way. The main problem I have with the encouragement of particular styles is that it kills your shelf life as an illustrator. While having a style of your own is to be encouraged the key to longevity is to be able to evolve and adapt. I am having serious doubts that the work I have seen recently has someone clever enough behind it to be able to adapt and meet each individual clients every whim. A few years ago there was a huge trend for Banksy inspired stencil work, now as time has moved on this is thought of as a bit naff, and therefore you have a lot of artists and illustrators who have pigeon holed themselves in to this style and are now running very short on work as a result. There are too many second rate illustrators out there with no real purpose and who have decided to jump on the current trendy bandwagon. the best thing you can do as a creative designer/illustrator is to master a variety of mediums and to be able to draw to specific clients needs and adapt to each brief. I do really feel that there should be more of  an emphisis on drawing and more traditionally image making mixed in with bits of new media as the skill of drawing is sadly being lost and pushed aside for current trends. I'm not saying my work is perfect as I'm my own biggest critic and I feel intense disgust for some pieces I create, but looking at all the rubbish which has come out of the degree shows has actually made me consider doing a little more guest lecturing and teaching next year to help inspire students in to something  more fresh and exciting that isn't involving cutting up bits of old magazines. Should I have my way class sizes in graduate courses would be slashed in half and all design students would have to undertake a basic drawing exam before joining a design course. Unfortunately the reputation of design schools such as Brighton is slipping due to the taking on of too many students and the restriction of studio time and space in which to work and its become more of a factory churning out much of the same rather than encouraging anything really inspirational or off the wall.
Well done if you got this far.


Here are a few images I took at Crufts '09. I had a fabulous day out drawing and photographing. I find the relationship between people and animals constantly fascinating, and loved watching the owners get their beloved show dogs ready for the ring. I would send any one who hasn't ever visited Crufts to go along, but watch "Best in Show" first, as it makes it all the more hilarious. 



A brief introduction;

This is the blog to co-exist with nataliathorpe.com, in it I shall be showing you what I’m working on, new bits of work and a few explanations. As I am a keen photographer I will also be sharing with you some of my favourite photo’s I have taken on a variety of topics.  I also will be ranting lots, adding in images that interest me, and also showcasing the work of other illustrators who I think are of note and worth a mention. Please feel free to have a bit of input, I like emails, and a healthy crit.