Archive for the ‘Illustration’ Category

LeftLion Issue 36

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

LeftLion issue 36 cover.indd

The latest issue of LeftLion magazine is currently doing to rounds and features what I think may well be the best cover we have ever ran. The artwork, entitled Byron Clough, was created by Notts illustrator Rikki Marr who kindly gave us permission to reproduce it as our latest cover. Cleverly fusing two of Nottingham’s icons - poet Lord Byron and football legend Brian Clough - into one being, the portrait is beautifully rendered in the style of a renaissance painting.

The image blew me away when I first saw it and I was extremely pleased when Rikki pitched it to me as a cover image - how could I resist? For anybody struggling to make it out, the text at the bottom of the images reads “I wouldn’t say I was the best Romanticist poet in the business, but I was in the top one”, in reference to one of Cloughie’s more infamous one-liners. 

The image was originally commissioned by a local boozer and a large version hangs on one of their walls in a gilted frame to give it that vintage touch. Anybody jones-ing for their own copy can get a limited edition print here.

LeftLion Issue 35

Monday, June 14th, 2010

LeftLion issue35 cover

What? There’s a football World Cup going on in South Africa? Well, they kept that one quiet… Yes, it’s that time again, regular as a leap year, when half the world goes football crazy, not least the media. The latest issue of LeftLion magazine manages to avoid the hype and deliver its usual gamut of interviews with local and national cultural talent. The footy still gets a nod though, in the form of this great cover image by Jason and Simon at Seismik design studio - a pastiche of the famous ‘66 photo of Bobby Moore lifting the trophy, with Bobby being replaced by Brian Clough and surrounded by other Notts football legends. There’s a nice grubby, hand-drawn texture to it which they’ve carried through onto the wallchart centrespread they also did for the mag. Nice work!

Download an online copy here (link is in comments section).

LeftLion Issue 33

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

LeftLion issue 33 cover

The latest issue of LeftLion magazine is out now, featuring some wonderful cover artwork by Jeffrey Bowman, aka Mr Bowlegs. Jeff is a freelance illustrator and the go to man if you require abstractly composed drawings with a heavy dose of happiness injected into them.

The mag contains the usual mix of interviews, news and events listings, and features an interesting piece on cagefighting which is well worth checking out; if you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the heads of people who willingly take part in this sort of thing, this is your chance to find out. Downloadable PDFs and mail order copies are available here.

LeftLion Issue 31

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

*UPDATE: LeftLion came top of the pile in the Writing & Publishing category of the annual Nottingham Creative Business Awards last week. Well done to everybody involved. Sights are now firmly set on winning the Creative Business of the Year award in 2010!

LeftLion issue 31 cover

Wow; has it really been two months since I last posted on this blog? I find it hard to believe, but the dateline on the last post tells me it’s true. The lack of updates recently is not because I’ve been slack; quite the opposite - I’ve been too busy to put in any time at the computer beyond clearing work and hitting deadlines. It can all get a bit much sometimes, you know, being a designer and spending many lonely hours staring at a monitor, so I let the blogging slide for a few weeks in favour of meeting deadlines and staying sane.

There was also some sunshine to enjoy and a bit of server downtime to knock my blogging rhythm, but at least I have plenty of new work to share with you over the next few weeks. Firstly, the latest edition of LeftLion magazine is out on the streets of Nottingham, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest bi-monthly installment of local cultural goodness lurking in various shops and pubs in the city. Big shout to Rob White for the cover illustration and Alan Gilby for his tidy page layouts - good work, sirs!

magazine covers montage

Also on the LeftLion tip, the previous issue featured a centrefold pullout of the covers from all 30 issues. That’s five years’ worth of cover designs on one page. It is great for me personally to be able to see all these commissions presented together - I remember every single one of them, which means my brain isn’t showing any signs of aging just yet. It is also nice to see such an array of styles used among the covers without any of them looking out of place or belonging to a different title; the LeftLion identity just seems to go from strength to strength. I hope you enjoy looking through them.

Click here to see a larger version, and feel free to download any of the individual issues here.

LeftLion Issue 30

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

LeftLion issue 30 cover

So, in my post on issue 29 of LeftLion magazine, I mentioned a vague plan to use some vibrant illustration for the front cover of our fifth birthday issue. Well, we ended up with a photographic cover, but it does feature some illustrations - seven of them, in fact.

We decided, rather than settle for one illustration, it would be better to commision a bunch of our regular illustrators to each make us a birthday card. The cards were then set up in an arrangement suitable for a fifth birthday with cake, candles, crepe paper and all. The resulting setup was photographed by my good self, who then took great delight in making the cake disappear :o)

Thanks to Alex Godwin, George Mitchell, Kim Thompson, Rob White, Ging Inferior, Alison Hedley and Mike Lomon for their card contributions.

Talkin ‘Bout Mags

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Poddingham logo

Last week I was a guest on the Leftion podcast, Poddingham, chatting to editor Jared Wilson about the upcoming 5th birthday issue and looking back at the previous 30 issues. Click the link to hear us talking about the crazy days of staying up until 6am to hit print deadline and other tales of the madness of magazine production. Our slot starts 32minutes into the show. I don’t get an introduction, so magically appear a couple of minutes into the conversation.

New Work: Bus Illustration

Friday, May 15th, 2009

pathfinder illustration

Here’s an illustration I did as part of a pitch for a poster campaign on reducing bus fees on a local rural route.

Pen drawing coloured in illustrator.

BBC Interview

Monday, March 9th, 2009


BBC Nottingham have an interview with me here giving more info on the exhibition and the artists involved.

LeftLion Exhibition: Our Style Is Legendary

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


A BIG THANK YOU to all of the artists who have contributed work to the LeftLion exhibition currently on show at the Malt Cross in Nottingham. I would also like to extend this thanks to anybody who came down to the opening night on Thursday - it was awesome and had a real buzz about the place.

We had two frenzied nights getting the exhibition ready but somehow we made it, with just three pairs of hands on call for the setup and hanging sessions. Massive thanks to Alan Gilby And Rebi for all their hard work and dedication.


In the end, we have over 90 individual pieces on display by over 25 artists and had over 200 people through the door on the opening night. Thanks for all the positive comments - the art is pretty densely packed on the walls and with all the meeting and greeting it was difficult to take it all in with the attention it deserves.


Rikki Marr also did some sterling work for charity, raising money for Comic Relief by doing live portraits of willing visitors in the bar.

Some of the works in the gallery have already been sold and plenty of people have visited since the opening night, so I think it’s fair to judge the exhibition as a great success.


Our Style is Legendary: The Art of LeftLion is open every day until Sunday 15th March from 11am-6pm and will be open until 11pm from 11-13th March. If you are in town during this time, come down and check it out - it is conveniently located at the bottom of St.James’ Street, just off Market Square.

A scaled down version of the exhibition will be on show at the Golden Fleece from 21st March, but if you want to see the original canvases and installations, hit the Malt Cross this week while you have the chance.

Exhibition: Our Style Is Legendary

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Our Style Is Legendary Exhibition Poster

I am currently busy organising and curating Our Style Is Legendary: The Art of LeftLion, an exhibition celebrating LeftLion’s five years as the cultural cornerstone of Nottingham. The exhibition will feature prints and canvases from an archive of artwork by the cream of Hoodtown’s illustrators and photographers, as well as video installations and sculpture in the gallery space.

We will also be showcasing new work by artists who responded to a brief of representing the left lion in Nottingham’s market square as a meeting place and human interaction in the city (this being the initial idea which inspired LeftLion’s existence). Judging by the pieces I have received so far, things are shaping up nicely with some fantastic canvases and a great film turning up in the post this week. I’ll add more details in the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for a little taster of what will be on display.

The opening night is at the Malt Cross on Thursday 5th March, starting at 7pm with live bands and performance throughout the night. The artwork will be on show in the gallery space until Saturday 15th March, then a selection of prints will be on display at the Golden Fleece from Thursday 20th March.

Work will be on show by artists including Rob White, Nick Chaffe, Rikki Marr, Simon Mitchell, Alex Godwin, Dom Henry, Simon Raven of Backlit and lots of other artists who are way too studio-bound to have anything as unnatural as a website. Come down, have a beer and check it out, just watch out for the metal animals which will be prowling around.