Sunday, 20 May 2012

Posters and Posting

Finding any sort of time to do a lengthy blog post is difficult. Its decline seemed to happen the more I started posting on twitter. I got the feeling that if people really cared what was going on, they would be updated via a more instant form of social networking. Plus it doesn't help that my writing has taken a dip due to not having done it in a while. So I apologise if its just a mess.

First of all, I had a bit of a pricing overhaul on my store. When I started out I offered the posters at five pounds, then added postage on top. Then late last year, I decided, as an incentive to purchase, to offer free worldwide shipping on some of my newer products. As a result, I had some with free postage, and some without. To be honest it was a bit of a mess.
Then a couple of weeks ago, the price of sending a package abroad from the UK sky rocketed. I was offering free worldwide shipping still, so on some of the lower priced items, I was making a loss. And as much as I love making and sending posters, It's not a fantastic business model.
Now everything is a lot simpler. Every product on my store has free UK shipping, and its slightly extra to post overseas. Cool. Coolcoolcool.

Second, yesterday I uploaded a new poster design! As with every poster I upload, It came with on an overshadowing bad news day, which I have come to expect. I'm talking of course about Dan Harmon being replaced as the show runner of Community. Its an odd double edged sword, being renewed due to what I can only assume was fan pressure, only to abandon its creator and driving force. I'm not saying that Harmon is a creative deity, I just think it will take something spectacular to replace the feel of the show. Either way, you can guarantee that every fan will watch with scepticism at the fourth series.

Here's a KickPuncher poster, to lighten the mood :)

Took me a while to decide on a style for this one, but I had a lot of fun towards the end formatting the typography and choosing the colours. I had Robocop and Terminator posters as obvious references, and I tried to emulate some of the classically cheese graphic design from back then. This included garish blue's that print that weird purple colour, clashing reds, gradients, metal effects and... outer glow. It was a nice break putting myself in the shoes of an 80's graphic designer.

Excellent. I think thats enough talk for one post. Have a good Sunday!


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Forever Yours, A Diagnosis.

So last week, Alex Day from the internet made his way to Number 4 in the UK christmas charts with his song Forever Yours. A catchy pop song that is unlike pretty much everything else in the top 5 aside from perhaps Coldplay, in a sense that its not a cover song, a parody or a campaign. Its simply a guy who happens to have an internet following releasing a song and getting high enough in the charts solely on the back of this. Its a historical feat in the charts, because it proves that with iTunes and Amazon you can effectively "chart-jack" (to paraphrase a previous attempt at the UK charts) and get your song on the radio out seemingly nowhere.

And to everyone who doesn't regularly go on the internet, it did come out of nowhere. I can picture the bosses at Radio 1 trying to figure out who this guy is who has shot into the charts before christmas and why have we never heard of him before!

What caught my eye more than anything was the press, in every form. Almost every interview with Alex or someone who was writing up on it had literally no clue how to go about reporting this, because they don't know how the internet works. They littered their articles with random "facts" which differed in every one. From Alex being the number 1 subscribed youtube account, or that he is 18, or that he is sponsored by a hair company. Sometimes just forgetting the awesome fact that every penny goes to World Vision, a charity that Alex is an avid supporter of.

In fact the most concise account of Alex's rise to mainstream fame was from a small Channel 4 blog post from the "young writers" section. Proving that younger journalists and bloggers have more input to these stories.

Basically it proved how completely out of touch mainstream media is. The fact that they avoid doing basic background research on their pieces because they literally can't be bothered, all the way down to just not being able to understand the partnership program with Google. Mainstream media has literally no idea what to do with this story. For me it just reinforced how to get the best, most thorough news stories, you simply can't rely on mainstream media.

Saying that, false accounts or not, they certainly helped Alex get the word out about his single, but the legwork and getting him into the charts came from his fans. Alex just has these people to thank for getting him where he is in the UK Singles Chart right now. Everyone else comes second to them.

Meanwhile, all last week I was selling a Forever Yours poster on my store, raising money to go towards WorldVision too. Altogether we sold 42 posters raising £210 for charity! So thank you to everyone who bought a poster, and if it isn't with you already, it will be soon :)


Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Commission.

Thought I would quickly share this. It's a commission that I made for a friend of mine for Christmas. She liked it, which is good :)

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Project: Nerdfighteria Shirt.

Last year I made this. A charity Nerdfighteria shirt sold on TeeFury on the 11th of October. It was my second shirt on the site, and it was probably the most exciting day I have had on the internet! Together we raised over two and a half thousand dollars for Cancer Research and Partners in Health. They both say thanks :)

Problem was, after the entire day was over and the excitement subsided, I forgot to get myself one.

Afterwards I started to get hundreds of pictures of people wearing my shirt, and other people mentioning to me places they have seen it being worn, and I was a little jealous I didn't get my own one. Time for a sadface... :( there he is.

Loads of donated pictures, featuring John Green in the middle there.

So now I am asking politely if anyone is willing to donate their shirt to me so I can wear it proudly at VidCon 2012. I'm sure someone somewhere has one they don't wear anymore, or perhaps you bought two just in case? If you know anyone who might have one they are willing to donate that would be fantastic.

I don't just expect you to send me your shirt for free though. As an incentive I am willing to trade any poster(s) on my store, or even ones I haven't had printed before. Check out my Tumblr for a list of all the posters I have previously made.

If you are willing to help me out, just send me a message through this contact form on my website.

DFTBA world! I hope this works!


EDIT: Project closed shop after one day. Amazing. Thanks to everyone who was willing to donate! And to David Raygoza for his donation.

Forever Yours!

Today is what Alex Day is referring to as "Forever Day". It's the day when you can start downloading his Christmas No. 1 contender, and to be honest, its an absolute corker! A happy fun filled positive song and a great little video to go with it. Go and see! If you like it and would prefer to see how one guy in his house can make it to Number 1 against the X Factor, get it downloaded! Also all the profits are going to Charity. Specifically WorldVision.

So it seems to have become my custom to do a poster design for something like this, and Forever Yours is no different. I designed a little comic book cover to match the characters from the video:

You can purchase this poster design from now up until Boxing Day from my Poster Shop. All the proceeds from this sale will go to the same charity. So get the song, get the poster, and excitingly await to see what will happen this Sunday!

In a roundabout way, this is my contribution to The Project For Awesome. As I don't regularly upload video's or video blog in any way, this seems like an appropriate way for me to join in on the P4A festivities. If you are unsure of what the P4A is, go and take a look at YouTube's homepage :)

Even though this was a quick design, I would love to know what you think about it. Constructive criticism is always welcome :)

Also here is some bonus sketches of Charlie and Alex I did.

I may now have the first early night I have had in a while :)


Friday, 16 December 2011

Been a while, hasn't it!

As you may or may not know, I have been without an internet connection for a month and a bit. Not cool, especially for the online entrepreneur I am. Sort of.

So here is my list of 10 things I did over my duration away from the world...

1) Paul Turner's Album Artwork for FOR GREAT JUSTICE!

When I met Paul, aka, songsfrompaul last year at the Edinburgh nerdfigther gathering, I promised him I would do him some album artwork one day. So we finally both created something magical. I joined him at his album launch party on 11/11/11 in Glasgow to give him all the printed works, and some posters too. Met loads of new people and some old friends too. You can listen to Paul's album for free HERE, but I heartily recommend buying it. Support the indie artist and that!

2) Commissions

I have done a few commissions for people. Some are christmas presents so I can't show them yet. But one of them I made for my good friend Martyn. He simply asked for a "Landshark". Mint. I also picked up a completely whizzer badass frame for it from a local junk shop. Suits it.

3) Black Friday.

Black bloody Friday. I had my first ever sale on my posters, and also put some of my older Lost, Portal and Portal 2 posters on sale too. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of support from the online community promoting my one-day-sale. I hope everyone went away from that day a couple of posters happier :)

4) Iron Giant Poster

The other day I watched The Iron Giant again. And it seems to be my custom now that if I like something, I will make it a poster. The Iron Giant is one of my all time favourite films, and it was a great little poster to work on. I tried to keep it in the same style of that retro-50's look, with the stars and the block colours. If you want you can purchase this poster from my store.

5) Art Cards for Christmas!

Just for my Doctor Who posters, I made a lovely little set of Art Cards you can purchase as Christmas Presents. They come with custom wrapping paper and a little place to write your recipients name. If you live within the UK you might still be able to get these in time for Christmas, you can buy them here.

6) The Grow Your Own Poster Kit.

This has been something I have been wanting to make for a long time. At the moment you can request one in a 72dpi beta for testing out, trailing, and then feeding back to me what you think. Take a look, and request one from my contact form. I've also been tweeting about it with the #growyourownposterkit if you want to help spread some poster creation love!

7) Doctor Who Posters

I realise that the last poster I blogged about was The Girl Who Waited poster. I have since completed series 6! Woo! Go take a look at them all on a page I posted about them all, or take a look at them all together too :)

8) My own Domain!

This happened probably around 10 minutes ago. I finally got round to purchasing! For the moment it redirects to my shop, but I am looking into getting myself a website early next year. Can't wait for that, been something I have longed for since I first started pawning my doodles off as sellable items.

9) I was on a DVD!

Okay so not me as in "look at Jonny right there in the background!" "where??" "if you pause it right... THERE!" "I don't see it" sort of thing, but some of my graphic design got onto The Script, Road To Aviva DVD. You can see some of it on its trailer, and buy the DVD from places too. The film was made by Paul Banks at Digifish. I will be doing some other work with them next year. The beginning of a wonderful friendship.

10) Effects Work

I made Ollie's head explode in this film. Go watch it, tell your friends. It has a guys head exploding. Schoolboy effects work and literally dripping with Video Copilot splats, but works quite well.

Oh and I got Minecraft too. Little late to this party, but the disco lights keep-a-flashin'!

Ive also got a couple of other projects finishing soon too. So I will hastily blog about them now :)

'Till next time!


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Without Internet

Currently sat at work, stealing some internet to get my posters orders up to date. So thought I would do a small blog post while I was here.

I have been sans internet for about a week now. On one hand it has been quite liberating, having time when I get home to read, catch up on films and just generally not have the constant distraction of the internet. Especially with having a tumblr now, The constant barrage of information can sometimes leave me with hours sat at my desk with little to no work done.

On the other hand. Its not great feeling cut off from the world.

I love being in constant touch with not only my friends and family, but also replying to peoples emails, and talking to people who, for whatever reason, like my work. When I have the internet there all the time its great feeling that close to everything and the world. And that is probably the thing I miss the most.

But at least I got my VidCon tickets before the internet conked out on me. WOO! VIDCON!

In other "me and my work" news, Paul Turner, also known to many as SongsFromPaul, has released a small video EP of some of his songs from his latest album. Complete with some album artwork my me! its almost complete too! The one you see in the video is partially complete. I will post it up as soon as possible :)

Tonight when I get home is me working almost distraction free on the last couple Doctor Who posters. And if I get time, some other commissions I can't wait to show everyone.

Monday, 10 October 2011


I get called "stupid" quite a lot.

I'm pretty sure this isn't anything against me personally, but nevertheless, I seem to be getting it a lot more these days.

Last week I went down to London for the weekend to go to StickAID; a charity event hosted by Myles Dyer and a whole cast of other YouTubers to raise money for Unicef. Now, being from the North, it would be conventionally a bit silly to travel on a whim a few hundred miles to give out some posters and meet some people I had only ever spoken to via Skype before. Nevertheless, I went anyway.

The summer before this one, me and a friend travelled up to Edinburgh to meet John Green. Even though I wasn't even guaranteed I would even meet him. Even so we hopped in the car and went to Scotland for the day.

And even last year I hopped on a plane and went to Vancouver to participate in a week long summer intensive at the film school. I didn't end up going for the full semester, but I went anyway.

I offer to do do artwork for people for next to nothing in return, just for the fun, dedicate a hefty percentage of my week making Doctor Who posters, and I love giving away freebies to pretty much anyone who asks nicely.

And I love it.

Not a lot of people would understand really why I would just hop on a train for the weekend and spend time with people I had never met before. I could have sat and watched StickAID from the comfort of my desk right here and sent some posters to give away. But thats the thing, I would just be sat here, in the same desk week in week out. The nature of my work is that I spend a lot of time sat in front of this computer screen. So naturally I would feel the need to get out a bit.

But every time I have gone somewhere spur of the moment or totally different, it has always lead to something unexpectedly awesome.

At StickAID I met Liam Dryden for the second time, and handed over 4 poster that he auctioned off there and then for his section of the show. I also met up with someone I went to uni with and enjoyed the Sunday London sun on the riverbank and had a nice catch up.

In Edinburgh I did meet John, but I also met a whole slew of other Nerdfighters, including Paul Turner, who I am doing album artwork for right now, which should be finished soon.

And in Vancouver I experienced a whole new city. Learned SO much from the tutors there and gave me a lot more focus on what I wanted to do with my work. And made some excellent contacts there which I wouldn't otherwise have gained. I also picked up my first copy of Scott Pilgrim while I was there too. Which turned out to be brilliant.

Whether its things like this, or gestures of goodwill or freebies or whatever, I just love networking with people. And (as long as I can afford it), I will keep on just doing these apparently "stupid" spur of the moment things. Because they will always lead to something awesome.

As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Speech: "You can only connect the dots looking back"