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.
Hand lettered cover art for Gone Troppo’s latest surf-rock single. Available to purchase from CD Baby.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A fun little piece that shows me hand lettering in the sky for Gone Troppo.
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:
The previously posted music video can also be found here.
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:
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.
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.
A major emergency has been declared at Sampson Flat in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges, north-east of Adelaide, South Australia. The out-of-control bushfire is acting erratically and unpredictably, and is burning freely in all directions, driven by shifting, gusty winds and scattered thunderstorms.
My first two images of the forming smoke clouds were taken yesterday afternoon, and the following four images were taken at about 10am this morning as massive smoke clouds built up again. I live a safe distance away near to the south of Mount Lofty, so am able to take these photographs from an elevated position looking north-east across the Adelaide Hills. These fascinating and quite spectacular formations are only a minor part of the devastation happening unseen to me down on the ground, and I hope that the great work of all our emergency services can save lives and property over the coming days that this fire is expected to burn.
Cover designs for a new track by art-music collective Gone Troppo. This was an interesting design process, due to the songwriter requesting the investigation of an alternative approach that further referenced the ‘sand’ element from the song. My initial thoughts were that without the high contrast of the original blue & yellow design, the overall impression created by the thin linework would be too diluted and therefore not stand out enough at the small scale of an icon, which is where this artwork would mainly be viewed.
As it turned out, the design still works well with a lighter textured background and my concerns were proven incorrect. This is always an interesting part of the design process for me, and something I’ve regularly communicated to clients when changes are discussed. Many requested changes are often very difficult to judge accurately before simply trying them to see the actual impact on the finished design. Experience has shown me that some small adjustments can have a significant negative effect on a design, dramatically changing the flow, appearance or readability in a way that myself and/or the client will not accept. Current digital production methods certainly make it far easier to alter artwork and investigate options, especially compared to when my artwork was mostly hand drawn and assembled – but any changes incur extra time (and usually money) so the designer is responsible for efficiently advising a client and resolving all queries without futile and costly exploration.
My design features various elements from the song itself: a diamond, travel, a broken heart, the universe and a sunrise. The track is available to download at CD Baby.
I recently watched John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi film Escape from New York again, and was inspired to create a design featuring lead character Snake Plissken, played with rebellious coolness by Kurt Russell.
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.
I’ve always liked the setting, atmosphere, music and general style of this cult movie since first seeing it back as a young teenager. Snake is a great hero character and was to later be the inspiration for Solid Snake from the popular Metal Gear video game series.
The typography I’ve created is based on the font style used in the film for the prison signage, which I think really captures the unique 80’s look of type design during this period and is what I believe to be the signature font for this great film.
Prints, t-shirts and more available to purchase at søciety6.