Science Festy 2015

Poster-artwork done, just leave out the dates, as was asked for by Richard Robinson (Director of the Brighton Science Festival) who wanted my photoshop file before he sends onto the printer and to muck about with its layered visual elements for his own ideas (which just keep coming!) -

There was no specific theme for this year (unlike last year's poster marking the centenery of WW1).  Just show me your thoughts, Richard said, and no clip-art stuff but do make it generally appealing to grown-ups as well.  Tough call, what with 'Science' being a broad-church chunk of human interest and all.  So I wondered aimlessly like into google, eventually I settled on ''flat earth'' yealding these two pics on which I based the poster's theme -
From 'THERE BE DRAGONS!'  to next stop, Mars.
After completing the festival's various publicity ads, I couldn't resist doing an extra cartoon on the hot debate surrounding the highly secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) after Richard suggestion about a teaspoon (?!)  I wait to see if he might squeeze this into the events brochure -


And I never knew about a race of unipedal hopping folk in lands off the medieval-mind map -
Apparantly they would use their single big foot to shelter from the rain! -
Well, I won't be dining out on this charity funded project any time soon, time to hoppit to pastures new.

WAR bookcover

Ebook cover for WHEN ANGELS RISE

ebook cover artwork
Local Author Bryan D'Paul asked me to provide the cover image for his absorbing story.  Set firmly in 1932 Berlin, it's about two 17 year old lesbian lovers plot to assassinate Hitler and his Nazi hierarchy at the Lustgarten speech rally using the awesome destructive fire power of a long-range machine cannon firing 20mm exploding shells.  Bryan emailed extracts of his story and I got busy sketching and googling for image references until I happened on this painting -
Chop Suey by Edward Hopper
Chop Suey by Edward Hopper
Hopper's coffeeshop had the right feel about it for one scene in Bryan's story where the girls like to go for chocolate cake after college classes studying the Greek Classics.  I sent it over to Bryan in an email explaining my intention.  He liked the idea so then I did a sketch onto which I overlaid 3 versions of the title lettering in different font styles and colours to show.  He liked this (Minion font in green) best -
ebook rough cover art
After colouring I sent over 2 versions, one using same palette as the Hopper painting and the other with a sepia hue overlay (Layer fill colour: #bc6600 / Mode: Vivid Light at 24%, as shown top) lending the image an old paperback look.  Still, plenty of time yet for Bryan to come to a decision (he btw said ''Excellent! ...'') as to which he prefers because his manuscript is at the proof-reading stage now.  Once that's done, I will send over the finished size (1600 x 2400 px required to match proportion of 6x9 ratio served up for popular ereader tablets).  UPDATE !.. Bryan prefers sepia knocked back a little so here's a close-up portion of that -
ebook cover detail

[When the ebook is available I will add a link to it here! ]. 


Alan Johnson

I was handed, on a plate, the fabulous opportunity to do a live drawing of Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP while he spoke to the party faithful at a Labour fundraiser in the swanky Phoenix Palace Restaurant in London NW1.  It was a situation far outside my usual comfort zone anyway but when he got up to speak, I faced having no good point of view amongst the crowded tables other than stare straight up into his nostrils.
I found Alan to be a thoroughly nice chap so opted to downplay this exaggerated angle and pushed to finish it after he'd exited stage front when he added his signature.  Moments later my drawing was auctioned to a happy Bidder who's portrait I also added while my Assistant Christine won a bottle of bubbly!
Man on the Left !

Heart of Darkness

My Heart of Darkness book (by Joseph Conrad) fully illustrated -
The close-up of the cover (below) shows it cloth-bound, in-keeping with the Folio Society's published books.  Their illustration competition's remit called for a design using 2 or 3 colours only.  My idea was to depict the featured characters in Conrad's story with the Paddle Steamer fog-bound, anchored on the fast-flowing and treacherous Congo river, in imminent danger of attack by Savages -

The publisher's illustration competition presented the ideal opportunity for me to demonstrate a more traditional illustrative style.  He wrote the book 115 years ago from his own serialized short-story adventures that appeared first in magazines for readers hungry for knowledge about uncharted regions of the world. 

My entry also required 3 full page illustrations (scenes of my choosing). 
1st scene from Chapter 2, page 39.  Marlow (the river-boat Captain) learns of the kind of driven man the rogue Kurtz is, when he's told of Kurtz's return journey up river immediately after dropping off a record load of Ivory -

'I seemed to see Kurtz for the first time.'

2nd scene from Chapter 2, page 55.  Marlow's knackered Paddle Steamer under attack by those godless Savages as it navigates the snags in the river's fast currents -

'Arrows, by Jove! We were being shot at!'
3rd scene from Chapter 3, page 81.  At the Inner-Station, Marlow confronts the sick Kurtz crawling through the long grass while the Savages get increasingly more restless - 

'I came apon him, and, if he had not heard me coming, I would have fallen over him too.'
Never mind that Francis Ford Coppala plundered the book's narrative for his movie Apocalypse Now, this Fossil of a Ripping Yarn would have remained just that if it weren't still naggingly relevant today.  Set in what was then Belgium's colonial Congo with its loose imperialist morals, Conrad's exploration into 'the Horror' he witnessed there is still recognizable, if you share the collective guilt of the West's liberalist expansion of democracy - its mighty military industrial complex: NATO in league with off-shore multinationals' looting of raw materials from foreign sovereign states, motivated predominantly by private profit, and in cahoots with 'approved' media outlets, describes 'the Horror' as continued from the Heart of Darkness book. 

It's the Elephant-in-the-room, and tuskless as I feel its ignominy (as a jobbing Illustrator straddling the digital age of publishing) after paying my 25 quid fee for this futile opportunity to compete for their commission, to then discover the publisher's 'tweet' announcing only a cursory 'thank you to all those who took part' with link to their chosen 25 longlisted candidates ... My Horror! discovering my illustrations did not even make it that far set me to a task.  So, I have put up this G+Community page where my fellow losers can freely air their own illustrated interpretations of Conrad's fine masterpiece along side mine if they wish, and have a bit of collective moan-fest' too if they so choose.  Moral: We are all Publishers! 

Site polished up!

DoodlingJim's Folio site now has new livery and have re-evaluated every page in it so all my artwork is Show-room condition - Astonishing!

Have also done replaced my blog's old banner graphic with new Easter Island stone-heads, just because there's bugger all on telly - Astounding!

Easter beer label

We're brewing a new beer for Easter and calling it GOOD EGG said Humpty Dumpty Brewery, could I make the pump-clip and bottle label so it compliments our BAD EGG you did for us 5 years ago.  I had to drill deep into my old backups, luckily I'd kept the original illustrator file editable which I re-worked, adding in what they asked to see, such as wings with gothic lettering on blue sky with a cloud and sporting a halo.  Result? .. Cheers all round! 

Person Centred Planning

A Care Homes charity organization's area Manager friend asked me to create a Wall Poster depicting their 'promotional and training models' for display in team meetings etc.  He wanted a style not too cartoony that can transfer easily as separate diagrams.  He showed examples of the kind of chart graphics needed together with the info needing artwork.  I then penciled roughs and scanned them into Photoshop to make a template for use in Illustrator where I worked up the individual pieces then basically it was a simple matter of 'flower arranging' my info-graphic presentation -

I hoped my interpretation was instantly digestible, however his response was ..My marketing manager's now is seeing it differently to me and has the insight needed, I am more artistic rather than practical..  He lead me to believe he was supreme commander!  Anyway, needless to say I was suckered by an ol'friend and we both learned our lesson.


Back in 2011 I illustrated crime pulp for a new A5 print magazine aimed at teen boy readers.  The independent publisher sent me an impressively dense brief in the post, this booklet proposed their vision for Pulp Detective it was going to be a monthly featuring 3 stories of about 14,000 words each, the setting was bootleg era 1930's America, when Mobsters, Gangsters and corrupt officials ran rife.
The Editor called for an illustrative style something like Martin Brown's Horrible Histories and Massimo Bonfatti's Leo Pulp.  A bold vision indeed I thought, there was nothing like this catering for that demographic that I could see.  My only question was - how can you be so confident in this being successful today?  We've done our research, was the Editor's matter-of-fact response.  I trusted in his vision, thinking it would look great on the shelves of WH Smith, so I naturally jumped at this chance.
Each month I was tasked with one hardboiled character, a gumshoe detective.
I did 3 stories depicting 10 or so scenes (of my choosing) for each story.  The artwork had to be oversized with backgrounds heavily detailed to allow some flexibility for chopping areas for further use elswhere in the magazine.  This, to my mind, was insensible decorative whimsy involving extra work - I suspected the onset of 'mission-creep' but went along without complaint.
Would normally expect a layout (with image-spacing) set first, then I'd know exactly what scenes (with their dimensions) needed artwork, but instead I waited with nervous anticipation for the resulting first issue's proof-copy to arrive by post.
When it duely did, my jaw thudded the mat.  Seems the Editor's publishing nous, much as I wanted to believe in it, wasn't up there with his enthusiasm for his favourite genre.  He was without doubt a bona fide amateur enthusiast.
Subsequently a second attempt with minor improvements to its 'look' was delivered.  Anyway, long story short, their backers who also being their distributors too, pulled the plug on this foolish venture so it consequently got rightly pulped.

Other pics about my Pulp Detective work (not labelled here) are at my ..find them in the Kids section there!

Science Poster update

... to my previous posting about my idea for the Brighton Science Festival's Poster.  It's Director liked and so, with one final push over the top, here it is -
Versions of it also appear on the front cover and inside their brochure here: flick through the online brochure! - it's stuffed with all kinds of events during it's 2 week run.  Here's my artworkings gone into visualizing the theme marking the centenary of World War One -

Exhibition of Poster Art!

Update 12th Jan' 2015
Oops! Slide show's disapeared and replaced with ...
''Get the flash player here:''
I discover there's not a quick fix as I don't trust flashplayer so in the meantime ...

More at: in the Jim's Prints section of my webfolio where you can anyway see them a little bigger with sizes and price info.

My Poster artworks are respectably framed in black and behind glass, except Holy Smirk which is printed onto canvass like substrate.  As usual, my Poster artworks can still be found hanging in the splendidly decadent: Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton.