Retrospective Part One: Be Good To Your Planet, Collaborate & Ride A Penny Farthing

Hallo everyone, seasons greetings and all that.

As promised, this is the first of four retrospective blogs in which I try to recall some of the work I’ve done since November 2009 when my old blog ground to a halt. Being a considerate fellow, I’ve separated it into four manageable chunks to make it a bit easier to swallow between all those hot mince pies and cold turkey sandwiches, and included as many pictures as possible to punctuate the waffle.

We pick up in late ’09. A call from a man with a dream, a dream about a world without wrapping paper. He had invented the Evergreen Wrap; a reusable fabric wrap designed to replace conventional wrapping paper, reduce the number of trees felled in the name of celebration and basically help our poor old planet a little bit. The thing was, there were loads of traditional Furoshiki techniques – different ways of tying fabric to wrap gifts of all shapes and sizes – but he needed someone to illustrate them in a contemporary way that matched his branding. The finished illustrations feature on the packaging.

I went on to complete a number of projects for the guys at Evergreen Wrap, from brochure illustrations to greetings cards and animation assets – it was a great experience and I can certainly recommend their wraps if you don’t feel like wrestling with wrapping paper this Christmas.



It was shortly after this that I was approached by Claire Sambrook, who I had previously worked with on the Southsea Deck Your Chairs project, who asked me and fellow illustrator Ken to produce a bookmark and poster for her new project. Visual Libraries was a project designed to stimulate interaction between communities and their local library, encouraging collaborative creativity and self-expression. Participants could borrow a visual diary from their library and make their mark on its’ pages before returning it for the next person to interact with. We designed the posters to promote the project, and the bookmarks to mark the pages of each diary.



Following on from the Visual Libraries project, Claire asked if we would like to submit some work for another project of hers – Love Your Bike Portsmouth. I may as well come clean now, I haven’t ridden a bike since I was ten and even then I spent more time bleeding in the gutter than on the saddle, but it was a good excuse to draw something so I happily obliged. We each designed a spoke card to promote the event, and as usual I went for the most uncool approach possible – taking inspiration from the Victorian school of cycling. Jeeves, ready my velocipede!



Thus, we arrive in early summer 2010, concluding the first part of the retrospective. I’m hoping to get these wrapped up – excuse the pun – before Christmas to clear the decks for a new year of blogging, so keep those eyes peeled for part two. Until then, good luck with your Yuletide preparations!


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