“From student to artist” with Michael Robinson

“Where are you now & where do you want to be?”

Such words that truly got me thinking. What am I actually wanting to achieve as a graphic designer, is it the field of graphic design that I still want with the crossovers into graphic illustration and print, or am I to stray away from the dream that I’ve had since beginning uni. As of right now I can simply say, I am working away, producing the style of graphics that is expected of me and being restricted in what it is that is I want to create. The desire to draw the unusual, and tackle projects with my own style seems to not be acceptable, so I am afraid I am not where I want to be. But can combat that with where I am hoping to be, come graduation later this year.  With the wanting to be screenprinting and producing gig posters, or become part of a studio’s team truly creating the inspirational.

The guest speaker Michael Robinson, in a matter of seconds had the room pondering themselves and exploring into their own creativity with a greater depth. Having gone through the same experience and now passing on what he knows and what he had to go through to get to where he is now. All of which proved to be of great value to us, and most of all myself, taking note of every gram of advice. What stuck with me most and still does is “The fear of beginning is bigger than the actuality of doing”. Changing my view now as a designer, knowing that everyone goes through the same process, but as soon as a task is to come my way I am to scribble anything and everything down that is simply in my head however little it may have towards relevance. It gets me over that beginning hurdle. And will now become a part of my process in future creativity ventures. Once over the whole stigma of being bogged down at the starting grid, consider every location that could become the home to your work, whether its a cafe, library or window of an empty shop, it’s an opportunity for your work to be seen. Taking such risks like Michael did, and asking, gets you places that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be. He asked for the most hardest to reach wall up three flights of stairs to feature as a home to his artwork, a truly impressive prospective when you think about it. And when finding a studio, managing to hook up and share a studio all off the back of asking, a motto of his that seems to get you far.

Through all of Michael’s endeavours and experiences, the one thing that he couldn’t avoid was doing the drab and the work that you morally never wanted to have to result in doing.  A prospect that we as designers want to stray away from and is a thought of mine that I don’t really want to result in doing, But still know that it could be something that I end up doing, especially if my desires and ambitions either don’t take off or aren’t fulfilled.


Manchester Print Fair 2013



Print Fair 2012


Again, that time of the year has come around where Manchester hosts a wonderful print fair, showcasing a broad variety of works from illustration to Screenprint. All of what’s on show is there for you the public to marvel at and even purchase if something happens to catch your eye. The fair is the perfect opportunity almost I find for any budding designer wanting to get a foothold in the design industry and get noticed by like minded people. Usually showing off the great talent that Manchester has to offer and those who need the publicity, it acts as the perfect starting point.


Print Fair 2012

The only difference this year is….that I managed to book a stall, taking the leap at long last to show off my work, become a part of something and hopefully build up contacts for when the daunting day this year when uni is finally over. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d gone crazy by booking the table or not, until the next day when the realisation kicked in of the task that I was undertaking and how much I need to start planning in order to get the most out of the day. Starting with constructing a list of works that will be coming along, how many pieces I have in stock to sell, range of produce and transportation of so much. Its going to be quite the task reprinting, getting things stocked up and finally finishing the logo ready for its first outing as a business card, all to be done for the 13th of April, while still undertaking my uni degree work. Its an achievable task, if structured and well planned out like the military operation its going to be, setting deadlines to meet with certain works in order to keep my head above it all.


Print Fair 2012

Its going to be such a nail biting experience I find, with me myself being a shy and nervous person often hiding away this will need me to finally step up and give me confidence to take with me into the industry, as well as the nervous side of things I’m generally excited and over the moon that my work was good enough in the first place to be given a stall. Anyone thinking of self promotion, professional practice, experience or just wanting a day out to see some awesome and inspirational work, then Manchester Print Fair on the 13th of April is the place to be, I look forward to it and seeing other creatives like myself.

print fair

Print Fair 2012

p.s a follow up post on the fair will be coming as well as posts along the way on how I’m managing all the preparation/organising!

“Poster of the Week”, Graham Pilling (Army of Cats)



“Poster of the Week” has to go to Graham Pilling this time,  mostly for his print “That Fucking Tank” appearing at Camden Crawl. The print itself is one that I received earlier last week to much delight, especially after being in great admiration of this guys work since first discovering the awesome realm known as Screenprint and gig posters.



The poster I found, displayed a various selection of textures, varying from the paper stock chosen which was a smooth variant, and allowed the inks to be felt when brushing the hand upon. Attention was obviously paid here, with many papers soaking up the ink or flattening the image, a issue that was not present within the print. The other texture that came into play as that which was applied digitally as a overlay to the illustration, with the rustic texture adding more of a realistic feel and more of a mood to blend in the colours chosen, but also there is the texture of almost a pop art feel, with the use of hundreds of tiny circles in tight formation. This giving a variant of texture flowing throughout and gives a impact to both the owl and the backing raising them up from a flat image to something that is more multi dimensional.



Then simplicity is kept for the type, with a minimal banner that still holds detail within but doesn’t grab the focus away from the main imagery and managing to still inform. Keeping a tidy and plain hierarchy for the time, date and location allowing a flow that is steady and easy on the eyes to memorise all the key data/info





Overall the print is a great piece for any budding screen printer or gig poster enthusiast to own and add to their collection, as for me it was a wonderful addition with it being landscape, a feature not many posters go for, with all others that I on being portrait. It has to be said that Graham Pilling deserves more recognition than he receives, with such great, imaginative and inspirational pieces being produced, I am in shock at how few people have heard of him or paid him any attention. So all folks out there that want some influence or a new creative to feast your eyes upon, check out this guy and spread the word!

Stay tuned and look out for the next “Poster of the Week”, which will feature at long last Shepard Fairey’s “Sedation Pill” print!

“Poster of the Week”, The Butcher by Seventh.Ink


And so it begins….

As unveiled a couple of days back now, I intended to broaden my inspiration pool and find further influences, thus creating the posts ‘….of the week’. “Poster of the week” goes to this stunning piece by Seventh Ink, who print t shirts, posters and a variety of merchandise. The print I chose was one of which featured the antagonist “The Butcher” (Daniel Day Lewis) from within the film “Gangs of New York” screened way back in 2002. The poster was produced as a tribute piece in a upcoming show of the film at ‘The Bricks’, Florida. To me the poster has such a presence and general impact,  that matches the character portrayed in the film ever so cleverly. With the fine detail paid to facial features, type and subtlety of the American Flag in the foreground, it seems to me that the more time I spend looking upon the print before me, I noticed even greater finesse within the detail. Take the eye of “Bill” (the Butcher), within it you find the famous American Eagle. Such a small and lesser detail is what amazes and draws me back to prints over and over again, the simple noticing new things.



The poster consists of five colours, two of which are metallic (gold and copper). Screen printed upon a fine French paper, to then be hand numbered & signed. The choice in colours is one that adds depth, as well as capturing emotion of such a deep and intriguing character. The way in which Seventh.ink apply there colours, is one that maximizes the paper colour and stock as well as the strokes within the illustration. Such a flat piece of design is cleverly crafted to rise up from the page and bring one amazing character to life all of a sudden.



Even the typeface choice is reminiscent of the period in which the film is set (1863), within the five points district of New York. A area torn apart by riots, war, politics and mass migration of Irish to the American shores. The typeface gives a feel of the drama and the harshness, that is portrayed through the use of a Serif font, adding a edge to the type that wouldn’t be achieved so well through a San serif. A San serif would’ve ruined the poster and just look completely out of period, so again hats off to the guys and girls at Seventh.Ink for there dedication towards detail and emotion.

Keep a look out for next weeks “Poster of the Week” ladies & gentlemen, as well as “Inspirational Design Book of the week” and ” Designer of the week”, so stay tuned! That’s all.

P.s excuse the roughness of the post at this stage, over the coming weeks they shall improve, I’m new to this whole analysing  and writing about it, so have faith.




What’s new!

Beginning tomorrow, we will be featuring a “of the week” on three different subjects that hopefully will be of use to me and you viewers faithful to my blog or just discovering it. I will be popping up posts on “Gig Posters of the week”, “Inspirational Design Book of the week” and ” Designer of the week”. Each one I will trawl the internet and my various other sources to bring to the forefront of what’s trending and influencing me. A basis of helping myself and helping others with my finds.

So please feel free to leave suggestions on posts of the week, opinions or just watch this space to see great things happening.Until then, may the searchings begin….

Screenprint industry

Approaching the time of placements and finding somewhere to seek experience in my field of graphic design come graphic illustration, I’ve come to the conclusion that it needs more than the basic research and asking about. I need people in places that already have their foot in the industry that I do so desire. Thus, through the connections of my uni and it’s variety of lecturers at hand,  I plucked up the courage and enquired whether there is much on offer within my area and outlying counties for me to go and gain experience in the art of print. Having asked, I was soon told how people within the area running anything within the print industry, can not offer me the greatest of opportunities that I seek, its all the same bread & butter, they feed you. With the printing of for sale signs, plain brochures or the general bland objects within society.

The problem I was told, is that nobody really screen prints these days, not with the combination of graphics and the techniques of traditional acrylic based prints. Its all digital printers, or digital screen print  discarding the pushing and pulling of printing by hand, which I have come to realize first hand through contacts and witnessing the industry, its a place that has no real room for anything no digital based. To me it seems as though such a amazing and wonderful skill set is being forgotten, the only evidence of  it still being about in the Uk, is through the likes of Luke Drozd, Army of cats, Drew Millward, mostly guys from the north, alot of them set within the districts of Leeds and the capital, London. Where as screenprinting of gig posters,  the area I want to step into, is huge within the USA. With posters being produced as one off’s for all gigs, no gig goes by without having its own unique poster produced. While the Uk just adopts a boring style for its posters and no true imagination, it’s just columns of info on a page with a photo of the band positioned at the top of the A4 page. This to me is my chance to aim towards a niche that is untapped and not reaching its true potential.

Photo: Hello folks!So, the other day I stumbled across a big box of original ink drawings and sketches. They have been sat cluttering up my workspace for some time, and I feel like it's time to let them go off, into the world. I've ordered tubes, and at some point in the next week I will be stuffing those tubes with original drawings, sketches, prints, stickers... anything that is around. Each tube will contain at least 2 prints, and at least 1 original drawing. They will be going up for sale on my site, at some point soon. If you get your hands on one, it will be like an early Christmas.

I don’t want to end up in some print studio where all they do is print the plain, I want to illustrate and bring characters alive upon paper to represent varying bands and gigs. Its the exciting graphics  I want to do, like the role models and icons I look upto for inspiration. Its time to pull strings, use my contacts and dedication to step up into the role I want, this will be carried out and give me what I want. This year most of all shall hopefully see me get the experience and fingers crossed get myself a position within the Print Fair in Manchester.

Shepard Fairey, “Sedation Pill”


The man known worldwide for his Obama campaign support creating the iconic hope posters. Has just released a whole new print, only revealed in the last day or so “The Sedation Pill”, which having waited in anticipation and having refreshed the page a 100 times, I can now say through all the nail biting and witnessing the site crash I own a Fairey poster. The centre piece for any designer or admirer to hang upon their wall.

The print is a complete marvel to gaze upon, with the new use of golds as main colours straying away from the iconic red, black and white, we have a whole new breed of poster as a result, which I must admit is a beauty. The print set around the “Public enemy” album, features a woman holding the so called sedation pill out in front of her, almost as a focal point for you the viewer to hone upon instantly. With the almost soviet theme running throughout many other Fairey prints, it also remains present here, linking the poster to the collection of prints gone before it. I must also point out how well the OBEY GIANT controls and rules over the shipping of posters, running ebay checks to ensure that so called fans, those people just out for money not appreciation of this art are not selling it on for more money. Giving a full refund to those people having bought a poster and having tried to sell it off and thus keeping the poster, which I find is the right thing, a concept that Mondo should consider when selling off any Olly Moss work which ends up for ridiculous amounts on Ebay later.

I feel ever so lucky to now own this print however and can’t wait for its arrival, with close up photo’s soon to appear on here also when the poster arrives. Until then, I hope those fans out there, manage to snare themselves such a poster as I was able to .