Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Back in 1992 I found myself as managing 'creative' director of my own design and illustration company called Primary Design, based in Bristol. We specialised in children's TV licensed characters and their merchandising, design and illustration for products and packaging and the like.
In the space of less than four years I had gone from a freelancing illustrator/visualiser/designer to employing 9 others, mostly designers and illustrators. I had also donned a suit and was spending more time than I liked travelling up to places like London and Manchester to discuss business with clients. I enjoyed the meetings but the hours on the motorway trying to keep awake were taking their toll.
I was missing the hands-on illustration and design work which had initially enabled me to grow the company in the first place so in the small amounts of free time I had in the evenings, I started to put together a portfolio of my own work with a view to approaching children's book publishers for some potential work that would be completely different to the work that I was doing during the day.
The image above of the house being visited by aliens started out as a cross-hatching exercise to get me back into drawing again. Having spent several evenings hatching away with pen and ink I began to wonder what it might look like in colour. I enlarged the finished drawing on a photocopier and then set about washing in some colour with the fabulous Dr Martin's Liquid Watercolours. The finished result you can see below.
There is an unfinished tale floating about in the back of my head for this image but to date it has failed to emerge in any form that I've felt strong enough to approach a publisher with. One day the story may get written, one day...