Folk song artwork

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I recently had the opportunity to design a cover artwork for Stampestuen, a great Norwegian band that I made contact with through instagram.

I am fascinated with Scandinavian folk music traditions and how new and upcoming generations are experimenting and creating new sounds so this was a really nice job. My connection Anders, is passionate about playing Irish traditional tunes so it was nice to find a connection here in Norway  to my musical upbringing – I have been playing the fiddle with my family for many years growing up in County Antrim.

Their new single Piken og Røveren is out this month and is a really nice listen!

Millican Travelogue Illustrations

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This year I had the pleasure of working with Millican bags on a number of very exciting projects. My favourite was producing the cover and map of the world for their new Travelogue publication!

I am really hoping to land some more map jobs this year so the timing for the project was perfect. There was also lots of research to be done for the different travel locations but this is always my favourite part of map illustrations!

Since doing some research into traditional Welsh quilt making at the beginning of the year I was really eager to use some of this inspiration in my Illustration work. The wonderful design team at Millican were amazing to work with and let me run with my ideas for the cover which definitely has some of these lovely pattern influences in it!

The travelogue is going to be sent out with Millican product orders and used at trade fairs and I am really excited to hear people’s reactions to it!

 

 

Poster for Lost and Found

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A couple of weeks ago I worked with Lost and Found brewbar and cafe to create an updated poster for their new food venture – Pizza Night!

I had a lot of fun working with them with their Feast event poster last year. I really love their appreciation of good design and ethos around quality local food so was very excited to work with them again.

I hope the poster brings across the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of their food events and wish them all the success for the future with their evening events. Coleraine isn’t very lively place at night (yet!) and I think it would be amazing to see some continental cafe culture making its way across the sea to Ireland!

Illustration for PNT Bicycle Magazine

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This month I am really excited that my work has been published in the Polish cycling and bikepacking magazine PNT! The whole publications is laid out and designed beautifully with some amazing photography!

As always, I am so pleased to be able to take part in spreading the word on the benefits and fun that can be had when exploring nature and the outdoors on two wheels! Dzięki PNT!

Norwegian Bikepacking Book – Villmarkssykling

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Last year I had the pleasure to work with Mikkel Soya Bølstad on his latest book about adventures by bike in the wilderness and nature of  Norway. I have been following his adventures and photography for a while on instagram so was really excited to work with him.

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I was initially just working on the maps of the bikepacking adventures he features in the book but at the end of the project I was asked to illustrate the cover as well! The designers did a really nice job on the cover so I was very happy with this surprise extra work!

I went to the book launch in Oslo and got my first look at the finished book and it was everything I had been dreaming of and more! In my second year of uni, just after I completed my first solo bike tour in the Hebrides, I searched all over the internet for beautiful photography showcasing adventure cycling. I was really hungry for visual inspiration but I hardly found anything at all!

Fortunately, there has been a lot of positive interest in bikepacking recently, and now websites like bikepacking.com are doing a great job at providing beautiful stories and photography to inspire you to get out there on your next adventure. I think Mikkel’s book perfectly embodies all those things I was looking for when I first started getting into travelling and camping with my bike. Now I just have to up my Norwegian translation skills so I can read it!

Christmas Card Design

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This year’s Christmas card was again inspired by an Irish poet. I used the words of Seamus Heaney from his poem An Ulster Twilight  as inspiration for the design and had plenty of fun researching into the poet’s background and story.

Designing with pattern I wanted to show various important elements from the poem but I also tried to include some atmospheric details too, as for me the poem conjures up some beautiful cinematic and peaceful imagery  like Lough Beg that I felt had be painted too.

I am not sure yet what I will come up with for next year’s card but it would be great if I could keep up the theme of my home in Northern Ireland. I find it really inspiring to explore things like folk history and rural life when I am working and would love to do more things like this design. Until then, have a great cosy Christmas holiday!

Feast – Poster design for Lost and Found

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This was a really fun commission from Lost and Found coffee shop for their series of evening gathering events, celebrating local food.

Based in Coleraine, on the North coast of Northern Ireland, Lost and Found has quickly become one of my favourite local businesses that have popped up since I left home to study in Cornwall. I love their ethos and appreciation of good design and can’t wait to see more inspiring events from them in the near future!

Oh Comely Magazine Illustrations

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A few months ago I was very fortunate to be asked by Oh Comely’s new editor, Lara Watson to be the guest Illustrator for Issue 31 of the magazine.

The theme of the magazine was adventure which was really exciting for me as I was given free reign with the inside cover illustration. Of course I had to draw a bikepacking illustration!

Getting to do some different spot illustrations like these mini golf details was also a new challenge for me and I will definitely do more paintings like these in the future!

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Editorial pieces on pirate women and the Unnecessary objects brought on Franklin’s lost expedition to find the Northwest Passage.

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I am so happy to be a part of the Oh Comely magazine as their articles were a big inspiration for me while I was studying in Cornwall and I look forward to reading many more great issues to come!

 

Designing the Blog

I wouldn’t have been able to make this blog without a great deal of help from my good friend and fellow illustrator/designer Jerome Twell. We have done some pretty cool bike adventures together as well as plenty of Alastair Humphreys inspired micro-adventures too. This man is my go-to guy when it comes to anything web or tech related and I am super grateful for all the cool stuff he has helped me make over the past couple of years!

Oh yes and did I mention that he is also amazing at drawing birdlife! Go check out some of the really fun wildlife patterns and designs he posts up on his twitter if you get the chance. Also we need to make him draw more seagulls! You can never have too many seagulls!

What a champ!

Collage Process

Thought that I would share a brief insight into some of the collaging process that I have been using a lot recently in my work.

I really like the contrast between rough texture and clean graphic lines and so when creating backgrounds and environments for my designs I like to cut shapes from textures I have made, using either printmaking techniques or painting by hand.

I build up a bank of different textures that I like and mainly draw on that for small elements in designs but if working on a larger commission like the cityscape I am designing in the photo above, I will create textures specifically tailored for what that project needs.

In terms of colour and tone, I leave that most of the time to my photoshop process. This keeps the process really fast and allows me to have a lot of fun experimenting with the shapes and textures without any distractions.