Following on from a previous illustration job I'd done along a similar style for Paulaner, I recently did this piece to celebrate Paulaner's long history with Oktoberfest, the festival celebrating giant glasses of beer. It depicts the origins of the event, namely the wedding reception in 1810 of the Crown Prince in a field outside Munich. Instead of a run of the mill wedding anniversary he decreed there would be a festival each year to commemorate the occasion. A massive annual knees-up definitely beats an annual dinner and a movie with the increasingly older Princess. Here it is in full:
And here it is with the fancy Paulaner Graphics:
A very different recent piece of work was coming up with some character designs for The Spenglers, a family of giant hairy blue monsters who are currently to be seen promoting Sky Plus. I was one of several artists working on their look, and while the finished characters are a combination of various designs, there's still some of my original messy doodles in there.
By far the biggest geek joy I've had on a job of late, was to see the finished four giant hairballs strolling about on the set of one of the commercials. The costumes were made by the talented folk at Millennium fx and I now wish everything I drew was to be laboriously turned into a walking, talking reality by them.
In the meantime some photoshop eyecandy. Here's a poster I did a while back for a production of Peter Pan featuring a cast of children. Unfortunately due to my tardiness the run of the show has been and gone but for more info on DADA, the organisers, go here.
Coincidentally just after getting the job I was in London so I went to see the statue of Pan by George Frampton (with extensive help by J.M. Barrie himself) in glorious, sunny Kensington Gardens. My poster is based on my sketches of it. Very enjoyable research indeed.
More recently I worked on a private commission for Jennie McGinn, one of the contributors to fashion blog extraordinaire What Will I Wear Today. I worked with Jennie before creating illustrations for a report on children's libraries for Kildare County Council. This time round the brief was basically whatever came to mind! After a pint with Jennie at which it was revealed to my surprise/ horror that bum bags are apparently back in fashion, I decided to do it on unlikely trends. Balaclavas, jodphurs and skunks anyone?
My recommendation this month is Comic epic 'Bone' by Jeff Smith. I bought the whole run of this in one 1000 plus page tome about 6 months ago but whizzed through it when I choose it to be my read while minding the exhibition. It's an amazingly charming, exciting and hilarious mix of old school goofy comic character capers and Lord of the Rings style fantasy epic with some very witty philosophical musings on life along the way. The pacing and artwork is practically a guide to how to use a comic book page. Here's Kingdok one of my favorite creations from the world of Bone. Poor old Kingdok.
Also go see Inception, it mightn't be quite the water-tight classic that some are proclaiming it but it is by far the cleverest most idea-laden mega-budget blockbuster ever. A big hollywood film that doesn't dumb down to it's audience deserves success. I rather see the equivalent of Inception each summer than Predator vs Shrek 8 or Aquaman: The Movie.
James and Christian are amazingly talented artists and old friends and I'm chuffed to be sharing the bill with them. Here's the full release blurb and promo doodad:
Monster Truck Gallery
July 17th – 27th
Opening reception Friday 16th July, 6pm – 8pm
An exhibition of new work by Brian Coldrick, James Kirwan and Christian Reeves. Taking note of the cast of characters and situations to be found in the heaving mass of subcultures, pilgrims and image worship at the swirling center of the modern city, the three artists have created a host of paintings, drawings and 3d work which pokes an eye at the robes, sacrifices and symbols of those who bow down at the temple of the city. Penitent drunks, merciless hen nights, iconic goths, preachy chuggers, awestruck tourists all weave their way in and out of the early houses, late bars, hipster stores and head shops that make up the city's sanctuaries and apses.
Having exhibited widely individually, this is the first time the three artists have worked together on a show. The Temple will see not only new work from the trio but a series of collaborations merging their styles and mirroring the melting pot of the city center.
Brian is a freelance illustrator and artist based in Dublin and London. A lifetime spent reading comics, watching films and goofing off has led to an eclectic set of influences with Edward Gorey, Max Rebo and Flann O'Brien all swimming around his brain. Work can vary from stuff that ends up on telly, to drawing pictures on a stage in front of a drunken crowd. Commercial work is balanced with personal projects, be it sloth-themed board games or free magazines with no words. As an artist he has exhibited widely and frequently. Haven taken part in numerous group shows and collaborations, February 2009 saw his first solo show, "Shrunken Head" take place at Monster Truck, Francis Street.
Since graduating from NCAD in 2005, James has exhibited in many group shows in various places such as Monster Truck, Temple Bar Gallery, Film Base and the RDS Art Fair. He has had two-person shows with close friends Deirdre Byrne and Christian Reeves with whom he also lived with and set up Across the Way Gallery and Studios in Kinsealy House, north County Dublin. ATW ran for three years and housed three successful group exhibitions, one of which was in collaboration with Monster Truck Gallery. MT also held James’ first solo show in 2008 called ‘I’m (not) doing really well’. James likes to draw, paint and make collages.
Since graduating from N.C.A.D. in 2004 Christian has exhibited in various places across Ireland in spaces ranging from prestigious galleries such as the RHA and Temple Bar Gallery & Studios to seedy nightclubs and derelict barns. Christian was part of a collective of artists who formed Across The Way gallery in Kinsealy House north County Dublin where he worked and lived for three years.
Drawing influences from graffiti art, politics, skateboarding, religion and nature to create his work, Christian’s first solo show "trendy nonsense" ran in Monster Truck studios in April 2009.
Here's the first sketch:
Then my first slight change to make him younger:
After which it was decided to go much younger:
Then youngest version as sharp & crispy finished inks:
Then colours taking him from grey school to bright summer:
And then the final poster with Atomic's swanky text:
Overall a fun project to work on.
I've a backlog of stuff to post up here from before and after the evolution poster so i have good intentions to post again before another month and a half gap.
In the meantime, as a stuff-I-like section, I finally got round to reading Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. It's been on my to-do list for years after some serious recommendations and I thought I should pass on the high praise. Ostensibly kids' fantasy books, they are full of some stunning bouts of imagination and heavy philosophical musings.
As some illustration of their contents here's a picture of a talking polar bear:
Tomorrow (Friday 26th) sees a interesting event/exhibition take place in South Studios just down from Fallons Pub by St. Patrick's Cathedral. 25 of some of the best talents in Irish illustration, photography, design and fashion (and me), will each be customising a chest of drawers. Half the pieces will be made live, throughout the day. It's open for one night only so come on down. I'll be drawing away all day until and during the show itself. Should make for a great range of oddities. There's an amazing bunch of heads lined up to take part.
Here's an opportunity to see me ramble about the Beano, Beckett and the sexy cat from Dogtanian. In case you missed it, it's my talk from Pecha Kecha last year. Go to the Irish Architecture's Youtube channel for a whole load of amazing talks from other folks. Because of the format each talk is under 7 minutes. You'll hardly notice the time whizz by!
If you're not familiar with Gorey's work I can't recommend him enough. His pictures create a atmosphere, humour and tone, regularly imitated but rarely pulled off (stand up Mr. T. Burton). Masterpieces like "The Ghastlycrumb Tinies", where a child for every letter of the alphabet meets a gruesome rhyming death, are sure to raise a smile. But seek out other books, like the wordless "The West Wing", which is brimming with his skill of composition and the implied weird.
Here's my paltry rip off, entitled 'The Beginning of the End":
Now unfortunately I was away for the launch of the show last Friday and I'm now too late to inform you in time but you can do almost as well as attending by watching this. Get down there and buy something.
Oh and 'Gay Rod Weed' is my attempt to recreate Gorey's love of anagrams of his name. If you can do better, answers on a postcard.
HEAR ME SPEAK!
Do I come across like the least motivated layabout ever? Answers in the comment section please.
Here's a picture to liven up this otherwise boringly type based post, enjoy:
I got to make the poster for this month's Dublin Flea Market. They've had an illustrious and eclectic variety of people create it in the past including the great Alan Clarke, Paddy Lynch and Stephen McCarthy. I decided to do it as a fake fashion mag cover. Some sort of forgotten pun about accessorising was the starting point. Anyway it gave me an excuse to look at issues of various, stylish, vacant gold like id and dazed and confused. And here's the result, complete with dog ears and frayed edges:
I'll also have a stall at the Flea Market itself. I'll be flogging a selection of wares; posters of some of my favorite piece, some paintings and some doodads all at rock bottom prices. ROCK BOTTOM! Thought that deserved capitals and an exclamation mark. If you're around Dublin this Sunday it's all to be found in The Co-op on Newmarket square. It's just off Cork St, Dublin's primary street for abandoned buildings and soulless apartments ...anyway, come down and exchange money for goods and services.
Coming up next week is the next exhibition curated by the good folks at "For the Love of..." There'll be live drawings shenanigans by some very talented folk at the opening, more info here. This time the theme is change and I've got a piece in the mix. It might be a clever commentary on the westernisation of China but it's probably just an excuse for me to draw pandas. It's called it "Panda Rok Panda", go buy it on friday.
Be good internet.
Here's a couple of caricature commissions I did over the Christmas period. Don't usually do this but I had a bit of spare time (or at least I thought I did).
First up is a chap named Mario (hence the plumbers pipes and mushroom) and his multiple interests in his multiple arms.
Next up is Tadhg, whose stable of interests included, amongst other things, Stanley Kubrick films and photography. I zeroed in on these on it allowed me to research and recreate the labyrinthine pattern on the carpets from The Shining. Confusing.
Up next is something done at least this calendar year. Two intrepid friends of mine, the estimable Mr. Steve Ryan, photographer of the year and Mr. Conor Creighton, chronicler of the continent have taken it upon themselves to set up the Unoffical Embassy of Ireland in Prishtina, Kosovo. As part their excellencies' adventure they've asked some of their associates to make and send them a postcard which describes Ireland to those unfamiliar with the emerald island.
For my effort I tried to visualise the strange social phenomenon that no matter who you meet you seem to have at least one friend in common. Perhaps even a Mexican, a cat or a ghost?
Last but not least is a recent favorite of mine. A personal piece which muses what an associate of mine may look like as a thetan exterminator. No thentans were hurt in the making of this piece. If you're a scientologist, no offence meant.
More soon, to do with me potentially selling you things.