After the last post's Lady Gaga, now to Time Lords. More concept work for Millennium fx, this time the unstoppable Dr Who. First up is a bunch of designs for David Walliams' character Gibbis from last weekend's episode "The God Complex'. Now the final design used for the sculpt was not one of mine but these are along similar lines. I did like my weird balaclava type head sock which was a nod to my playground memories of how pulling the collar of your school jumper over your head made you look like a moleman.
Walliams and the finished make up were both great: sneery, petty and cowardly but strangely likeable. I had nought to do with the episode's other alien creation, the incredible minotaur.

Yesterday's episode "Closing Time' featured another creature whose look I worked on. A foe from the Dr Who series of my youth, the Cybermat returned. I had more to do with the final design of the Cybermen's pets than Gibbis. Some of my first doodles are much closer to his original look and some were a nod to the look in more recent computer games; but the final one used is a cute little worm fellow whose head and eyes were an attempt by me to mirror the shape of the modern cybermen's face plate. He lost his scurrying fingers and tail tendrils along the design stages, making him a tad adorable for an evil alien. Luckily his mouth plate slides back to reveal a very unpleasant set of teeth.
Here's a fan trailer with lots of mat action:

One very satisfying nerd fact for me is that the cybermat's puppeteer was the supremely talented Tim Rose, who created and operated, amongst others, Admiral Ackbar. 10 year old me is so impressed right now.


My close personal friend Lady Gaga

Double post part 2: Her Ladyship's square chin.

This part is all dedicated to Lady Gaga as I recently did a bunch of concept design for the good folks at Millenium fx who were working on some prosthetics for her latest video "YoĆ¼ and I".

I can't claim any real say in the final look of the mermaid tail, that was much more down to the incredibly talented sculptors at Millenium, but the gills did come out like the slash ones in my doodle. In the end they made up some spare molds and they stylishly stuck some gills to her cheeks as well. Nice.

I did much more stuff for her cyborg parts. You can see below the various stages of her arm and neck pieces. They're in vaguely chronological order so you can see them go from really glam to mechanical to finally somewhere else. Once again after my initial drawings all the hard work was done by the sculptors and the folks on the shoot, but I like that the weird chin block made it to the final video.

You can also see in the pics how, as things progressed, I spent less time on suggested hairstyles and then even colouring when time became tight. The work rate of everybody involved turning around such a complicated shoot was pretty impressive.

The 3rd man not on the moon.

Part one of double post to make up for my tardiness in updating. For you today: Nicholas Cage, Roald Dahl, Irish culture and romantically noisy cinemas...

First up here's a poster I did months ago for a children's production of Roald Dahl's classic The Witches. The show was put together by the good people at DADA, who I'd worked with before on a poster for a production of Peter Pan. It's pretty creepy but Dahl's sense of humour was wonderfully dark so I think I can get away with it.

Next up is a commission for an old friend from college who wanted a doddle for her husband as an anniversary gift. She sent on an incredible list of various idiosyncrasies for me to play on. It led to this drawing of herself sitting in a noisy cinema surrounded by various incarnations of his foibles.

Dublin is up for World Design Capital 2014, our bid is being led by the good folks at Pivot Dublin. They held a dinner at the Hugh Lane Gallery for the assessment panel and asked various illustrators, designers, photographers etc to create a placemat to add some fun and variety to the place settings. This is my effort which features a host of characters, all being slightly bizarre nods to Irish figures, myths and historical and literary characters. Anyone get them all? The sloth in the bottom left I'll give you.

Last up is a recent piece, a poster for the Hollywood Babylon movie night. This coming showing is dedicated to mad genius Nicolas Cage and in particular Vampires Kiss and Wild at Heart. Cage gets a lot of flak for some of the cheesy action movies he churns out but it's hard to knock the guy who has Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation under his belt. Hell I really liked Drive Angry! So in honour of himself I did this flippable playing card style poster. They're going to be screen printed up and available on the night, this Saturday (WRONG! it's next Saturday 27th, oh dear - ignore date on poster) and also through the Hollywood Babylon site. Go!

Part 2 of blog update in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....


The Moving Picture (and a squirrel)

One of the biggest project I've worked on has just recently come to completion. I was approached by the folks at the Pool to design all the characters and backgrounds for a fully animated ad for the Eurospar chain of shopping centres. It was quite a task, spanning from storyboarding to stylising existing logos and signs.

Here are some early character designs, first up being Ball, the mischievous family dog who provides a lot of the personality and humour in the ad.

Next some of the designs for the family; Mom Avril, budding emo daughter Holly and energetic son Max.

These were polished up, drawn out as character sheets for the animators to build 3d models from

...along with with some vehicles for the street scenes, most important being the family jalopy:

...and of course the staff populating the Eurospar (and a squirrel):

The tone and feel of the backgrounds were worked up from early on, here's a first attempt at a street scene...

...which, after some story rejigging, was eventually replaced with:

And here's the family house:

So all this (and a lot more) was taken by some incredibly skilled folk and turned into a moving world. The backgrounds were mapped onto 3d shapes so the camera pans and zooms would pick up a sense of depth. The character models were animated acting and reacting with personality, and all came together in the finished product:

Eurospar - Easy Peasy from The POOL on Vimeo.

You can see the ad on Irish television right now.


Blog 2: Blog in the City

Hello internet,
I'm afraid I've neglected this blog for the last while. Since my last post I've left fair Dublin to move to the UK and worked on some (hopefully) interesting bits and bobs. Seeing as I've been meaning to do an update for 6 months now I've retired the sloth pictured from above in place of a new classy banner. Classy.

Last November I was back in Dublin and visited the Zoo and in particular the Sloths. My affectation for all things Slothie are well documented, so it was amazing to hang out with the satisfyingly big, scruffy and characterful creatures. As a thanks to the great Zookeeper who introduced me to them I did this piece for her. It features the sloth relaxing in his shared digs with some of the other creatures who live in Dublin Zoo's South America House. The squirrel monkeys with the piggy bank are a reference to when one distracted my girlfriend to allow another to nick a fiver out of her pocket. Clever monkeys.

Up next is a commission, a gift for someone to give their boyfriend. It's Saul Tigh from the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series. I haven't watched the show, apparently it's up there with recent tv classics like Mad Men and Sopranos... but with space ships and sexy robots. I remember when it appeared I was disinterested after I learned they weren't using the original show's theme music.

There's nothing worse than mentioning Christmas in Spring, but this is slightly anti-Xmas to begin with. It's a piece I did for myself featuring the Krampus, a character from seasonal Germanic traditions. He's the ying to Santa's gift-bearing yang. The Krampus punishes children who've been naughty, beating them with sticks and taking them away in his basket. Go Krampus GO! Prints of Krampus are available here.

Finally, another commission. This time it was a gift for a sister. The suggested references were cooking, Breakfast at Tiffany's, butterflies and data analysis. A heady concoction.

I have lots of other stuff to post up here very soon, most notably some work I've recently completed for an animated tv ad. I've also been doing some concept work for a special effects company which has varied from prosthetics for Lady Gaga's face to, most excitingly of all, a creature for a very well known BBC medical/time travel show...

If you're about Dublin I have a piece in a group show entitled 'Graphics Unleashed' in the Blue Leaf Gallery. There are some super talented folk in the mix and I highly recommend throwing a look in. It opened last week and finishes this Friday so chop, chop.

More really soon...