Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today is Angus Young's birthday. Yep, the devilish schoolkid turns 56 (!)

I was so totally nutso about AC/DC when I was in high school. I listened to them constantly, even listening to grainy bootlegs of live recordings. Hanging out with people, I would tell them obscure facts about the band, regaling how they had to cross the Nullarbor to travel to gigs (though I was often met with glassy-eyed stares). Classes at school were an opportunity to practice drawing the AC/DC logo in the margins of my school paper. And whenever there was a project at school where you had some freedom in choosing the topic, well, I didn't even have to think about what to base the project on.

It was about this time that I discovered the Art of Modern Rock book, profiling the work of gig poster artists. I was hooked. One day in Art class, we were given the project of designing a movie poster, and naturally I chose the feature film Let There Be Rock. When deciding on how to create the poster, I chose the somewhat ambitious task of doing an A2 size eleven colour process screen print.

Looking back on these posters, it kinda makes me want to try my hand at silk screening again. Although the final result was pretty basic and unrefined with quite a few mistakes, I really like the raw and textural feel of the screen print. No two posters are alike, and it feels a bit more special that I screened all the colour separations myself, rather than just clicking the print button.

And just a note for those of you who live in WA, the Western Australian Museum will be holding an exhibition called AC/DC: Australia’s Family Jewels running from 16 April to 7 August 2011. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Tattoo Chronicles

Another book review! This time it's The Tattoo Chronicles by Kat Von D. I LOVE the cover of this book (designed by Lonewolfblacksheep) - spot varnish and debossing are used to great effect. And the inside pages are really well-designed as a lot of effort has been put into the photography and the vintage typography that bring the words to life. As for the book itself, basically it's a year in the life of Kat Von D as told by her personal diary entries. It focuses on her tattoo work but also talks about her private life as well. Admittedly, reading about her constant relationship problems with Nikki Sixx did get a bit tiresome, but you can't accuse this book of not being raw and honest - Kat really divulges some personal thoughts and musings. Also it's really interesting to get more of an insight into the showbiz side of things, as Kat talks about the LA Ink producers interrupting her tattoo sessions with clients just to talk about the show. After reading the book, I just had an even greater appreciation of vintage typography because there are some great examples throughout.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Advice to Obey

Whenever I'm reading interviews with designers and illustrators, I love when they get asked about advice for other designers. I was reading an interview with Shepard Fairey in issue 99 of Rock Sound Magazine, and I found his message of 'never give up' to be very inspiring:
"My advice is, if you stick to what you believe in long enough and keep making work, eventually it's gonna find an audience. People should always find an outlet for their artistic passion and make it happen on nights or weekends if they can't do it full-time. Never give up. Also, don't chase design and art world trends in order to try to succeed more quickly. You've got to just do what you believe in and then your day will come. No one ever gets anywhere or any respect for just jumping on art or design trends. There are a million Banksy copycats out there but there's still only one Banksy. I'm just too stubborn to give up, so it eventually had to work out for me. But it is totally hard."

If you want to read the rest of the interview, you can access it here. Thanks to Design Shard for scanning the interview.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Last year I entered a competition to design an ad for Fluevog, the iconic American shoe label. While I didn't win, I will still quite pleased when they asked if they could display my design in the FluevogCreative art exhibition held in San Francisco last September. Being half a world away in Oz, I couldn't go see the exhibition but they were kind enough to send me a copy of the poster which I received in the mail last week. Happy days  :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lady Gaga's copyright demands on photographers

The photographers' pit. Image courtesy of Daniel Boud.

Copyright is an issue that's close to the hearts of many creatives whose livelihood depends on the things they create. That's why I was quite frustrated to read this news story on the Rolling Stone website about how Lady Gaga demands that photographers surrender the copyright of photos taken at her concerts. This means that all the moral and copyright rights of the photographer are immediately transferred to Lady Gaga the moment the photographer takes the photo. But it's not only performers like Lady Gaga enforcing these crazy rules - other bands such as the Foo Fighters and The Beastie Boys ask photographers to sign over their copyright. These contracts are extremely unfair to photographers who have spent hours waiting before the show, get paid very little and then have no ongoing revenue stream from the photos they take. The article makes the comparison that photo contracts would be like the venue saying they own the rights to that show's music because it is played in their house.

What do you think? Is it fair for musicians and performers who make their money from their creative output to make such restrictive demands on photographers?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Colour Tests

I always have so much admiration for illustrators who hand-draw and are able to pick their colours and get it right first time. I guess the luxury of going digital is that I can try out different combinations. Usually when I start a new illustration I might have some vague colours in mind, but when I actually try them out it looks completely different to what I imagined. This was a rare illo, in that the end result with the colours was what I had envisioned all along. I tried out some other variations, and I still kinda like the orange and blue one. Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cross my Heart

Yay, finally something new! Recently I posted a sneaky peek of this, and now I can present the finished illustration. I've wanted to do something with a nautical theme for a while now, and I just can't resist drawing rockabilly girls. Originally, I planned to have a much more obvious sea link with anchors and ropes making up the frame, but I decided it looked better without. The tattoos were fun to draw  :)
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