Category Archives: Latest

Greetings from Australia!

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Very excited to finally receive this in the post – a “sticker” book featuring your favourite Australian animals, all created by your favourite Australian illustrators. Produced in conjunction with the Jacky Winter Group and Thames and Hudson, I got to interpret the iconic emu – in a scene inspired from trips through Woomera and further into Western Australia. I used a combination of collage (cut up newspapers), paint, and digital brushes and textures. More info about this fabulous little book can be found at: http://jackywinter.com/blog/our-latest-book-greetings-from-australia

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Putting my stamp on Christmas 2015

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Finally I’m able to share my 2015 Australia Post stamps with you! I remember back in my design college days, I actually set myself a stamp series as an assignment , and as a kid I subscribed to the Stamp Bulletin and collected first day covers and presentation packs – so in a way it was finally a ‘dream’ come true. There will be a bit of upcoming press coverage as well, so I’ll post any links when they are available.

When I was told that I was pegged to do the traditional Christmas themed stamps, I was a bit wary – not being particularly religious myself – but I do have an appreciation of the importance of the story of the Nativity, particularly at this time when the Middle East is in such strife and there are countless homeless “Marys” giving birth in less than ideal circumstances even today. I think if anything, the story reinforces the idea of the importance of providing a safe haven – and the good to us all that can come from it. When imagining Mary, I wanted her to have an ambiguous skin colour – an attempt to move away from the tradition of depicting pale Europeans lost in the desert – so I boosted the colour palette, creating a scene that evokes the hues of the season whilst keeping the symbolism of the main characters.

I have been asked by a few people about the prevalence of animals in the design… I did want to put the other stable inhabitants on an equal footing with the rest of the story. Given the way most people regard farm animals, especially during the festive season, I wanted to celebrate their beauty and sacrifice at this time of year as well.

Anyway, these are some of my thought processes behind the image – I’m sure, and I hope, that you will view it in your own way too.

All of the stamps are now available online via the Australia Post shop

I was also featured in an article about Christmas stamps published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21/11/15

All images © Australian Postal Corporation 2015. This material has been reproduced with permission of Australia Post.

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Traditional Christmas Minisheet

IA 9×5 Exhibition

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We are fast approaching the 19th Illustrators Australia 9×5 show – for those of you who have no idea what that means, where the hot hades have you been?! To get you up to speed, many years ago – I think it was 1995? – the committee of Illustrators Australia decided on creating a unique exhibition, in which members could contribute new, original work on a theme. The main criteria was that the work had to use a 9×5 inch piece of plywood as its base. Fast forward to 2015,  and the chosen theme is “Playtime” – and you are all invited to attend the exhibition opening at the Abbotsford Convent on November 13, 6pm onwards. All works will be available for auction  with a reserve of AUD$195. For those who can’t make it, you are welcome to make an offer online and IA will bid on your behalf. A preview of the show is  available here .

My piece, above, has been inspired by kitten observations and is entitled “It’s all Fun and Games until Someone Loses an Eye”

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My work will be featuring in an upcoming group show at Lamington Drive in Collingwood next week (for those of you who don’t know, Lamington Drive is the gallery of everyone’s favourite Illustration Agency ‘Jacky Winter Group’). Every few years they invite artists to create artwork for a ‘Risograph’ – which is a kind of a newfangled / oldfangled copy machine with limited but seemingly crazy colours.

For this show, everyone was limited to two colours. To give you some idea about how these prints are made, here is the artwork I supplied:

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The picture on the left will be printed in fluoro pink, whilst the image on the left is destined to be yellow. All in all, you never know quite what to expect – how the colours will mix when overprinted, and indeed if the paper itself will  line up properly… happy to say I don’t think it turned out too badly:

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This group exhibition will see ’28 of Jacky Winter’s finest’ explore the medium of the A3 2-colour Risograph. All works will be sold in limited editions of 10 for $50.00 each, with all profits during the exhibition going to Oxfam’s International Crisis Fund – supporting the response to humanitarian crises worldwide, by helping those most in need when a natural or a man-made emergency occurs.

Opening night is Wednesday October 14, 6-9pm.
The exhibition runs October 15 – November 7, 2015.

Where?
Lamington Drive – 101a Sackville Street Collingwood

Artists include:

Andrea Innocent, Beci Orpin, Bobby Haiqalsyah, Craig & Karl, Eamon Donnelly, Eirian Chapman, Emma Leonard, Gemma O’Brien, Georgia Perry, Guy Shield, He She It They I, James Gulliver Hancock, Karl Kwasny, Kat Chadwick, Kate Banazi, Lachlan Conn, Lilly Piri, Madeleine Stamer, Mel Matthews, Mel Stringer, Neryl Walker, Oslo Davis, Ross Murray, Sean Morris, Sonia Kretschmar, Sophie Blackhall-Cain, Timba Smits, Travis Price

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Look at those Big Eyes!

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It was a bit strange to walk into the local newsagent this morning to see a pile of papers with my illustration splashed across the cover! I would love to thank Lindy Percival at the Age / Fairfax for trying something a bit different in conjunction with the Australian release of Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’. In keeping with the ‘Keane theme’, it also has been the first time in a long time that I have used no Photoshop for a published artwork… and I also got a bit of editorial coverage as well 🙂

Can’t wait to see the film…

Tim Burton Big Eyes cover for Saturday Age Spectrum

‘Pip’ Permaculture Magazine

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The latest issue of Australian Permaculture Magazine ‘Pip’ is about to wend its way to the eager hands of readers and I’m happy to say I had fun investigating funghi for the cover. In the end we settled for ‘Agaricus Bitorquis’ – a mushroom that resembles a field mushroom but with lovely pink colouring underneath. Pip comes out twice a year.

Find out more at: http://www.pipmagazine.com.au/

Gromit Unleashed – Hong Kong

Joining the ranks of Sir Quentin Blake, Sir PeterBlake, Sir Paul Smith and Joanna Lumley (!) I too have designed a Gromit.

‘Gromit Unleashed’ was a charity venture launched last year in Bristol, UK, in which dozens of oversized Gromit sculptures (from the Aardman Animation series ‘Wallace and Gromit’, natch). Last week the latest installation was launched in Hong Kong, featuring the work of local and international artists. Unfortunately I didn’t get to paint the Gromit myself, but as you can see from the photos they did a pretty good job.

My design is based on my idiosyncratic take on a Chinese dragon – I’ve long been fascinated with the idea that many buildings in Hong Kong have been designed to accommodate  the needs of dragons, so it was a natural choice. The Sculptures will eventually be auctioned off for the benefit of ‘Art in Hospital’, an NGO which helps sick children in Hong Kong.

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Wear Art Thou

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Illustrators Australia, in association with Red Bubble, are organising a fantastic exhibition of t-shirts designed by IA members from around Australia. “Wear Art Thou” (clever, huh) will be on at No Vacancy Gallery, QV Building, Melbourne from September 3 –  14, with a whizz bang opening planned for Friday September 5.

This is my contribution – inspired by a recent trip to Japan – called ‘Girlzilla’. You’ll be able to order the t-shirts at the opening, apparently, but a sneak preview is here.

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Archibald time again

2014 Archibald Prize entry

The Archibald Prize – that annual portrait competition held by the Art Gallery of NSW to such fanfare – usually calls for entries early in the year. Anticipating this, I started working on piece – a portrait of Melbourne based Theatre Group ‘Born in  a Taxi’, way back in the distant days of January. I remember meeting up with them as they were doing rehearsals for an outdoor ‘roaming piano’ performance.

However , this year, to keep us on our toes, it was announced that entries would open in June – this week, in fact. So I had a few extra months to stew over things – how to achieve effects, like using metallics without looking too tacky, or how the curtains should fall. So this is the result – naturally I had waited until the last day to give it the final coat of varnish. I hope it captures a balance of theatricality, absurdity and intrigue (and it looks much better in “real life”, much like a theatre performance does!).

More details about ‘Born in a Taxi’ here.

New Animation

 

A reminder for the upcoming Berlin Zebra Poetry Film Festival was enough to prompt me to do something I had never done before – attempt an animation in under two weeks, from concept to completion. Here is the result: the poem “Love in the Age of the E.U” by Bjorn Kuhligk, was one chosen by the festival; I was interesting to conceive of an interpretation through “foreign” eyes, but I think the themes of border protection and secrecy are a universal theme, especially in the current climate of Australia as well.

My interpretation of the poem is set against a backdrop of industrial change, as a Mythical Lioness of the past defends her turf aided by the technology of the present.

The film festival is on in October – whether or not my animation is accepted is yet to be decided, but it was reassuring to know that little projects like this can actually be completed if one has the time to make them. It is also an interesting product of the times – having easy access to references such as the physiology of a lion, or details of baroque inspired towers, or improving my techniques in After Effects or music licensed under Creative Commons (composed by Kevin McLeod / https://www.smartsound.com/royalty-free-music/incompetech/) makes such self-initiated exercises achievable. However, I still do shirk from the idea that all digital content should be considered a ‘free for all’ – but for non-commercial projects such as this they are invaluable.

UPDATE! 15/7/14

Happy to say that my film has been accepted into the festival. Small victories!