Category Archives: Publications

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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Jumping into The River with Bruce

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A portrait of Bruce Springsteen that I recently completed in currently gracing the pages of Rolling Stone Australia (December 2015 edition). I was asked to imagine him circa the release of his album ‘The River’; and I was surprised to find that it was quite an evocative idea – I guess we all have images of musicians / popular culture icons embedded in our imaginations, even if we can’t call ourselves die hard fans. But of course my appreciation of Bruce has matured as I myself have, almost to the point that I can appreciate ‘Born in the USA’ as a cultural touchstone, even though it is an anthem that I wouldn’t nominate as a desert island disc.

Cameron, the art director, suggested a textural / painterly approach, so I painted directly onto ply with acrylic and added some line work in the shirt etc. after the piece was scanned. As mentioned, the idea and composition came quite easily – after all, you don’t mess with Bruce 🙂

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Smokey enjoys reading the reviews in Rolling Stone

‘Do Not Forget Australia’ – out now in paperback

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Originally published in Hard Cover by Walker Books in 2012, it seems the story of the two little boys growing up on opposite sides of the world in WWI has struck a chord with the public and is now available in paperback. The story tells of the connection of the town of Villers Bretonneux in France and how there came to be a school who pledged “Do Not Forget Australia”.

I think it is quite a timely story for us to remember at this point in time when, as Australians, we seem to be getting more and more insular in regards to the way we treat our less fortunate fellow humans living overseas. I hope this wish for a more compassionate world is part of it’s appeal.

A Guinness World record!

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Just received the hardcover version of “Pieces” – a graphic novel, of sorts, that I contributed a panel to many moons ago. Have to say, the print version actually looks even better than the online version – which you can see here – and really, it’s a miracle that it came together at all. Each artist would draw / paint / create a panel and then the project would pass on to the next person. There were no restraints, guidance or expectations – all you had was the previous panel to build upon (though we did have access to all of the panels up to that point). Much like an ‘Exquisite Corpse’ in comic book form, a lot of it doesn’t make a great deal of “sense”, but hey, who needs that anyway.

I was chuffed to follow on from Christopher Corr, whose work I’ve admired since my college days (and we also briefly shared a UK agent a few years ago). And congratulations to Jakub Mazerant for pulling it all together AND claiming a Guinness World record at the same time!