Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The one that got away

... and ironically it's a mousetrap. 

This was supposed to illustrate a story on a pyramid scheme in Hong Kong where they lure Mainland Chinese in and rip them off. The thing is they went to great lengths to dodge the term pyramid scheme so the feeling was we might get sued if we ran the illo. 

Shame, I was pretty pleased with it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dr Robot

A Health Post cover from a few week's ago for the South China Morning Post. The obvious way to go with this wld be to have a robotic hand holding a scalpel, but I liked the idea of having the stitches as binary code instead .. bit more subtle. The argument against it was that some people might not get it. If I was to come across something that I didn't immediately get, I'd think, "but hang on, someone has published it so it must make sense," and look further. Classic case in point, Gary Larsson. Many times I didn't get Larson at first look but as we all know, with him, there was always a payoff if you put in the time to figure it out.

Health Post also went with my suggested heading, so i was pretty pleased with that too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Internet hate

An illustration for the cover of last weekend's Review in the South China Morning Post. The story was about a film where a woman is persecuted on the internet.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gangnam Style

PSY's in Hong Kong this week for the South Korean Music Awards. He also performed in Macau. This is an illustration for the Focus page in the South China Morning Post

Monday, November 26, 2012

Protest in film

This is one of my favourite Review covers. At one point it was much more complicated than this and then I started to strip it back .. the more I stripped it back, the more I liked it. I Should've opened the clapper board a bit more and have it cover the masthead a bit but overall I like the vibe. And I love the little hinge.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vandalizing artwork

This is always fun, tweaking established artwork to illustrate a story. The first one, The Last Supper, is my favorite. The story was about a huge international christian convention being held in South Africa. 200 Chinese were all booked to go but right as they were leaving they were all detained, passports confiscated or put under house arrest, so we took Da Vinci's The Last Supper and photoshopped several of the disciples out.

This one's cute too. It reminds me off Terry Gilliam's Monty Python animations, mostly because of the lipstick in her hand, I think. (That's some serious kerning on the headline!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weird little photo montage dudes

I quite like these guys. Perhaps not the kind of thing to do all the time but once in a while is fun. That said, I do like to include photo elements and textures in illustrations. 

I think they suit the subject tho, film festival, rare books and a guy that tested the claim that Hong Kong is a 24 hour city by going out for a full day and night. I think he's my fav. It's got a clock as a face and for mine the alarm is a nice touch. I figured if he's been up for 24 hours he must've been wired on coffee and the glow sticks for arms - love them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

$US and Time magazine cover

This was an illustration for the South China Morning Post on the decline in value of the US dollar.

A week later I was in a 711 and I looked over at the magazine rack and spotted this. Actually only a portion of the cover was showing but it looked strangely familiar so I went over and fished it out. I couldn't believe it. Took it into work and one of the guys reckon they'd ripped it. Since it was the Asian edition of Time magazine and ours had published on August 3 while theirs was August 15 .. even if you took in account the publishing dateline was 7 days after it hit the shelves that still puts it at August 8. Well I don't know about that, it is the sort of idea that more than one person could come up with. What I did take away from it was, we'd done a Time magazine cover worthy illustration. It's fair to claim that, yeh? And they do awesome covers so I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Illustrations 5

Some illustrations from 2011

Foreign Aid.

Dissident's kids. The struggles that children of detained mainland dissidents face.

Dissident Lawyers. The broken justice system on the mainland.

Cowboy doctors. I'd already used the cowboy idea for renovators, this time i used it for 'cowboy' doctors. I was really annoyed with myself with this one because i always intended to include spurs and it wasn't until I was on the MTR on my way back home that I realised I'd forgotten them. It still works, I think, but the spurs wld've been a nice touch. Damn.

Green cars. Or more to the point, the failure of the green car initiative - thus the green car/leaves turning into autumn/dead leaves. 
I was annoyed by this job. The idea was that the aging leaves were blowing off the tree and cld be randomly be scattered around the page. A designer's dream, right? Instead, the designer first had them falling in a row down the gap in the text .. very un-fluid. I tried to explain what the intention was and he made a few minor adjustments but this was the final result. 
He even said to me, 'are you taking the piss?' because I was trying to explain how the page cld be. Am I taking the piss? How about you taking the piss. Not getting it, not listening, not seeing the opportunity. This is a simple idea, reasonably executed, but can be really well designed - instead we get this.
Lose the bubble and the quote, put in a few more falling 'leaves' organically and you have a winner. Epic fail.

Yin Yang. Focus piece on work/life balance - actually, work/life imbalance.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Illustration 4

A few illustrations from 2010

Ringo Starr.

Some more caricatures. Mick Hucknall...

The Electric Eels.


Marrianne Faithfull.

Julian Assange ... airing the US's dirty laundry

Mental illness. An illustration on the debilitating effects of mental illness

Illustration 3

A few illustrations for the South China Morning Post from 2009 ...

Unbrainwashing. An article of people have fled North Korea and the 'unbrainwashing' they undergo afterwards

Wave. Article on the turbulent job market on the Chinese mainland

Respect. Adolescent males disrespect towards women

Year of the Ox.

Property. Whether to buy and settle roots or rent and have the freedom to move around.

Al Bashir.

Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Illustrations 2

A collection of illos from 2008 ... 

Japanese Brides. Illustrating an article about rural japanese women that become brides to mainland Chinese men and how their life becomes one of almost slavery.


Lisa Minnelli.

Cowboy renovators.

I prefer the caricature of Angus Young over The Ting Tings and would've preferred him to be the hero image.

Battle of the Bands.

Speed kills. I'm quite happy with the spot colour treatment of this page but still prefer the full red in the original illo below.


Since I've only just started this blog I'm going to go retro and dig up some older work. Well not that old .. five years old. 

I landed in Hong Kong just before Chinese New Year in February 2007 so that seems like a good place to start. Below are some of the illustrations I was happier with that year.

The gun. This was the first job in HK that I was happy with. Some of the first ones were really ropey. Actually the very first illo I did was so bad i didn't even keep it. Some dodgy Sam Spadesque detective noir attempt that failed on every level other than it was black and white. I binned it as soon as it'd gone to print. 

With this one I kept it simple. Simple line work and block color - and chose colours with punch and that wld bounce off each other. I like that the red kicks out off the dark blue.

Bad Bosses. This is the type off illo I like to do. It's quite schizophrenic actually, part line work, part montage, block colour and some airbrush thrown in for good measure. It's also not very subtle, not that i think it needs to be. It's fun tho.

I was so annoyed when it went to a black and white page though, so here I'm including the original colour version ...

Self Motivation. Again I was annoyed when this one went to a black and white page so here's the colour version too ..

All Blacks.

Bordeaux wines.

The Sevens. Seven artist all drew a team along the lines of the seven deadly sins for the HK rugby sevens in 2007 (it was a 7 theme). Mine was avarice. More specifically, England who'd won it for several years previously and were greedy about winning again. 

Post Graduate cover. 

Six pack. A very simple illo really. The ring pull belly button makes it for me.