ToQ: Laneway ruffian

Tales of Quahnarren: Laneway Ruffian

An illustration from the free preview version of my Beyond the Morning Mountains gamebook. A key part of the development for this project is for me to create a number of fantasy images using a range of different styles and techniques, in both full colour and black & white. This piece shows a possible encounter with a thief in the town of Ustahm and has been created digitally, using a comic/graphic novel style that I enjoyed working with and will certainly use again within this adventure.

Design process: report covers


As I was looking through my archives for a particular file today, I came across these old cover designs for an Election Benchmarks report completed back in 2013. As you can see I pursued two main concepts; silhouettes representing ‘work’ and ‘care’ (together they suggested ‘family’), and varying circular shapes, which mainly relied on their cut forms and colour to create interesting relationships.

The client was very keen for something simple and clean to match previous reports, and asked that I submit at least a couple of options to give them a choice of style. The initial string idea (top left) wasn’t working as I’d hoped it would, so the thin lines became positive and negative shapes, which helped to break up the cover into three logical sections. I still like the second design, but it wasn’t the approach that the client favoured. I actually produced quite a few other alternatives using the circular design, but morphed most of the stronger shapes from those ideas into what you see above, maintaining a simplicity that functionally separated the two-part title and logo.

The chosen design (below, shown as back & front covers) is only a minor adjustment of the third design above, featuring an edited title and the alternative logo. There’s a strong grid of connected reference points underpinning this design, which does make it a good choice from my perspective – even if it probably appears as just a few random shapes to most viewers. Such is the life of a designer!

Charlie Brown’s a real winner!

YAGMCB_02 YAGMCB_04 YAGMCB_06

Last night I went to the Stirling Community Theatre to see the Hills Musical Company performing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Their production was excellent; a really grood cast, orchestra, set design and lighting, which made for an enjoyable evening. My programme design (above) also adequately performed its role to support the production!

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

A selection of the small black & white spot illustrations recently created for my Tales of Quahnarren gamebook. These small pieces are known as ‘spacers’ as they are used to fill or create space when formatting the pages of a gamebook. They are frequently utilised to prevent widows and orphans from appearing in the text layout, and also to help with the placement of written sections that are accompanied by a full-page illustration and therefore must fall at a particular point in the document.

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

ToQ: Beyond the Morning Mountains gamebook preview

I’ve decided to create a short preview version of my fantasy gamebook Beyond the Morning Mountains as a free download available to anyone interested in sampling my creation and trying out the unique gameplay of the Tales of Quahnarren series. Here’s a few spreads from the preview pdf:

Beyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning Mountains

Progress in writing and illustrating the complete book has been continuing well (currently at around 55,000 words), although it was recently halted to produce this special preview version of an early section within the full adventure. The pdf is available to download from the Tales of Quahnarren website here and I’m keen to receive any comments or feedback on the project from those who play this preview version.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown poster
Poster design for an upcoming production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown by the Hills Musical Company.

The main title was hand lettered by me using PITT artist pens, referencing the early lettering style of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. As a huge fan of his work, I was very keen to create a colourful design that respectfully conveyed a classic comic style with an obvious Peanuts feel, while also matching the set design which will feature large comic panel sections on the stage backdrop. Charlie Brown’s iconic zigzag T-shirt, which was also hand drawn and inked, became an important central element in the design as it offers a strongly contrasting and very striking pattern.

Further promotional design work for this production will use these key elements in a variety of different combinations, which have been deliberately created to provide a flexible system of components for any desired layout or format.

Petrel Cove, Encounter Bay

Petrel Cove, Encounter Bay, South Australia
Petrel Cove is a small beach situated at Encounter Bay on the coast of South Australia. Pictured here is the steep bluff of Rosetta Head, together with some of the steeply dipping metasedimentary rocks, which form prominent jagged rock platforms. There is just a 50m pocket of open sand and a bar, which is also the location of a permanent rip. Petrel Cove is a notorious spot on the south coast, causing trouble for swimmers and surfers with its dangerous currents, large waves and rocks, or for those exploring the slippery and hazardous rock pools.

ToQ: Objects and Artefacts

Tales of Quahnarren: Objects and Artefacts
I’ve recently been creating several illustrated articles for my Tales of Quahnarren project site, detailing some of the unique items to be found within the world of Quahnarren. The Objects and Artefacts page will be regularly updated with further new pieces as they are completed, and will eventually contain a wealth of information regarding the daily lives of the Quahneri people, their possessions, customs and beliefs.

Children of the Black Skirt – again

Children of the Black Skirt

My poster design for Children of the Black Skirt is currently enjoying a second coming as it is now being used again to promote the new shows by Ink Pot Arts Inc for the 2015 Adelaide Fringe. I’ve slightly altered the positioning of the main title to accommodate the ticketing and support requirements, which has actually improved the design slightly in comparison to the original poster.

Gone Troppo: Last Wave at Waitpinga

Last Wave at Waitpinga
Hand lettering, photographic manipulation and graphic design for Gone Troppo track Last Wave at Waitpinga – a great surf-rock instrumental.

I’ve created a 16-page pdf booklet as a bonus download on bandcamp, which features a selection of the photos taken by me during filming, together with a few video stills of the pro surfers shown in action during the video clip. All of the images have been given an appropriate ‘grunge’ surfing look, adding texture and colour enhancements to accurately capture the coastal feel. Here’s four images from the booklet:

Last Wave at Waitpinga Last Wave at Waitpinga

The song is available as a double single with another instrumental titled Looking Down the Barrel on CD Baby and bandcamp for only $1. Also available as a single track release on iTunes.

The previously posted music video can also be found here.

Something really wicked!

Something Wicked This Way Comes - hideaway book box
I was contacted in December last year by talented artist Ruth Fabiano, who designs and sells wooden boxes that look like real books. She was keen to create a box using my artwork for Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes – one of my favourite fantasy stories from the master storyteller. I was more than happy to see her use my design to make one of her fabulous boxes, and as you can see above she has done a great job in capturing the cover with her wood-burning and hand-decoration techniques.

Here’s my original cover design:

Something Wicked This Way Comes
You can check out further images of the box here on Ruth’s Etsy site, where you can also view her many other designs for such books as The Lord of the Rings, Peter Pan, A Game of Thrones, The Mists of Avalon, Alice in Wonderland, and many more.

Last Wave at Waitpinga music video

Last Wave at Waitpinga
Music video for Gone Troppo‘s surf-rock instrumental Last Wave at Waitpinga. The video was a simple production shot quickly with a basic camera and then edited within iMovie, showing the story of local beach culture and the surfing journey from novice to professional on the fabulous beaches along the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia. We visited beaches at Middleton, Port Elliot and Waitpinga, recording footage from late morning through to the evening, capturing the people, the landscape and all of the superb ocean views available.

 

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