Tuesday, December 01, 2009

St Andrews Day (Yesterday)

I had meant to make something for St Andrews Day yesterday, but Scott and I spent the day at our old uni giving a quick talk to the students. It was weird being back there but it was a lot of fun and hopefully we didn't bore them all to death to much. We also gave them a quick workshop project to carry out in the streets of Glasgow, in which they had to define various "spaces" by means of a set of tag cards. The results were really good, with some very interesting images, which the students then had to present and explain under a strict time limit of 10secs. We'll post the results to our site in the next week or so.
Anyway, the above poster was inspired by the classic WWII poster. See here for more details Keep Calm and Carry On poster site.
[Text by Annie.]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Central Station

Had a lot of fun at last weeks Central Station Launch. Two days of art and creativeness in Glasgow, with a tour bus on the Saturday and a load of talks and tasty biscuits on the Sunday.

Hopefully there will be more events like that coming up soon. Join up to their site for more info.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Just made this poster for SPID's latest theatrical extravaganza in London. Anyone in the area should take a look. The hardest part of the project was holding the camera far enough away with my left hand to get a good photo of my right arm.

Pigeon Man

As promised many months ago, here is the footage of the pigeon hunter in action.

Be warned that while this may be an edited down version, it is still just a video of a man standing for a long, long time in a park, in the rain, trying to catch a pigeon. Its strangely hypnotic though.

[For those wondering what this is all about click here for the earlier story]

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Seed from Johnny Kelly on Vimeo.
Saw this earlier and really liked its simplicity and colour. My opinion might also have been swung by a recent foray into oragami and paper folding during our decorating the close for Halloween.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

GFF2010 - Rough Animation Test

Here's a very rough test for the GFF2010 trailer showing the way I'm planning on making the images work. Still a lot of work to do between now and Friday when the Client chooses who will progress. Then there are ten days to complete and tie it all together.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tales from the Edge - Part 1

First in a quartet of stories about the life of a Lighthouse Keeper on a little rock on the edge of a distant sea. It’s a story about loneliness, boredom and an empty stomach. Book is a 12 page A5 comic in pen and ink.

[Availible for sale from Etsy or Folksy]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

GFF 2010 Trailer

I'm very pleased to say that I was shortlisted as one of the four finalists to possibly create the GFF2010 trailer. Here's a link to the project site and to my Central Station Profile.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hmmm funny how fast made me think of a tortoise. That story about them versus the hare has really done wonders for their PR. The second thing I thought of, which could also do with a bit of PR, was the postal service, currently on strike. I think if I had a choice I'd use tortoise mail. Not quite as fast but far more reliable.

Glasgow Film Festival

Central Station just recently ran a ideas call for the Glasgow Film Festival 2010 trailer. Here are a few images from my proposal.

Glasgow has always had a strong connection to the cinema, from their very dawn back in the 1890's through to their hey day in the 1930's when we had more cinemas per person than any other city outside of America. A cinema within five mins walk from your house and people on average going once a week. Even today in the UGC we've still got Britain's busiest cinema - I guess Glaswegians really like popcorn.
My proposal played with this history and relationship. I found it interesting that despite our love for the cinema and despite lots of films being made here, few are actually ever set here. I started to wonder, what would the classics of cinema's past have been like if their setting had actually been Glasgow and not London, New York or Tokyo.

In many ways cities are in part defined by the films and literature that are set within them. These stories sit overlaid onto the streets and buildings shaping our perceptions and imaginations of what can happen there - be it the smog filled streets of Sherlock Holmes' London or the zippy fast talking of Woody Allen's Manhattan.

My idea is therefore an animated sequence of 3D paper cut outs with blend different famous movie shots and scenes into Glasgow settings. These will take you on a fast paced and quick cutting tour of the city and its relationship to film history.

[Movies and settings above - King Kong - Science Centre, Singing in the Rain - Art School, Manhattan - Squinty Bridge, Brief Encounter - Central Station, Godzilla - Glasgow Skyline from The Lighthouse.]

Monday, October 19, 2009

Central Station

I have signed up to Central Station a new creative hub set up as "a space where artists, film-makers and designers can talk about their process, showcase their work, share tools and tip, access resources."
Looks pretty interesting and there is some very nice stuff on there already. If you want to take a gander here's a link to my profile.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I spent a fun hour or two in the park on Saturday in the beautiful sunshine taking some promo photos of some of my work. This is for a planned redesign of the blog/ website in the near future. I think they look quite pretty - though this is mostly due to mother natures nice colours and light than anything to do with me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Common of Houses

Currently working up some ideas for a touring exhibition of the Common of Houses competition entries.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Transformers . . .

Ann and I recently went to Budapest and we saw lots of amazing things and it was all sunny and lovely but the thing that has most stuck in my mind about the trip is a sight I spotted in Prestwick Airport on our way out the country.

In amongst the range of strange items that the Duty Free shop sell - (do people really buy camcorders and televisions in airports on their way onto the plane?) - I spotted some toys including a range of Transformers. Having just recently seen the nonsense, rubbish that was the last movie I decided for some reason to take a closer look.
Now I'm no expert on the subject but I am pretty sure that there is one key component that all Transformer toys will probably share - the ability to Transform into cars and planes. Imagine my surprise then when I discovered that the new range of toys do not transform. You can buy each character in either robot form or in vehicle form! Requiring parents to buy two different toys to appease their young cubs. This is insane!!! The whole point of the blooming things was that they can Transform from one object into another, ensuring hours of flexible playtime and huge frustration as impatient young stubby children fingers press too hard and snap off a leg.
Hasbro have stolen this experience from today's kids and instead all they get is a crappy plastic immovable robot for £6 and then have to go buy an equally crappy plastic toy car for another £6. The toy car has the hilarious addition of the robot's form imprinted onto the bottom like a shriveled up mummy. It makes it look like the robot has been run over by a comedy steam roller.

The amazing thing is no matter how badly these toys have been made, and no matter how poorly thought through the design, execution and intent might have been, they are still a million miles better than the Transformers 2 movie - in which giant monster robots doing battle in the centre of Tokyo are a secret covert force. Biggest load of Micheal's and Zoe's that I've seen in a long, long time.
This was another sign that the world has truly gone mad. It started a couple of years ago when "Wash and Go" decided to bring out two separate bottles for "those that want a bit more control".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Minor absence

Apologies for a minor absence for nearly 8 weeks. It has been quite some time involving trips to Budapest, London, Harris, Pitlochry and two weddings.

The time has also involved lots of workmen destroying and then rebuilding and then destroying my flat, a large move, the gas board twice, the smashing up a cast iron bath and discovering no one will take it away, a big leak, lots of plumbers looking at things, scratching their heads and leaving.

It has included the completion and judging of the Common of Houses competition, the collapse of a Lighthouse, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst all the penguins at the National Opera, the construction of a pantry and a war with beetles and flies.

Worst of all it has been a period in which lady luck has left me and the gremlins are trying to mess with my mind - both cars keys have vanished, my phone disappeared and then so did my bank card. Two out of three have finally been found but I'm still walking and cycling at the mo sadly.
Life begins afresh tomorrow and new work will appear here soon.

EDIT: Life did not begin afresh. I forgot I had to deal with an exploded out of date smoothie which had somehow managed to blow its lid off through the bin bag and all over our front door and the close steps. Also the plumbers that were supposed to come today to fix the leak, turned up scratched their heads and informed me that they now couldn't do the work and I'd need another company. Arrrrrgh.

New world begins tomorrow - I hope.

Badges Galore

Series 8 of Sterohype's BIO (by invitation only) badges have just been released and here is the full list of amazing new talents on offer.
Allan Deas,
Andy J. Miller @ Koma Design,
Allistair Burt aka Alburt,
Anja Gerscher,
Bálint Egyed @ Voov,
Fiona Hamilton @ Soma Gallery,
Agathe Jacquillat and Tomi Vollauschek @ FL@33,
Greig Anderson @ Effektive Design,
Heiko Hoos,Jan von Holleben,
Karin Kloubert @ April Mediengruppe,
Madeleine Duba,
Peter Crnokrak @ The Luxury of Protest,
Mike and Katie @ TADO,
Tom Würzburg,
Yuko Michishita.
As some of the eagle eyed of you might have noticed I'm pleased to say that I've managed to scrape into the above list. Click here to see my designs.

As my payment I get to choose 15 badges from their amazing back catalogue - quite excited I'm away to shop.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Changing the rules

Sir Christopher Kelly is the man tasked with reviewing the MP's expense procedures and coming up with ways to modify it to make it more fair - good luck mate, especially as the MP's as changing the rules already without waiting for Sir Kell's report to be completed.

Started uploading all the Common of Houses entries onto the webiste. Some very interesting ones and also some cruel ones are on already with tons more to come over the next week.

Take a peak

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reveals all

Think I might make a series of these famous faces from the olden days - anyone know who this is?

Monday, July 06, 2009


I've been very busy this month with both the competition and lots of DIY in the flat. Seem to have spent nearly every second of the last few weeks sanding or painting on an almost constant basis. Pleased to say that the flat is getting there . . . well at least the kitchen is just about finished which is a start. We now have a very lovely pantry and its givign us an excuse to by lots of nice grub to store in it.

The above is an example of an entry for the MP's home competition I set up.

Monday, June 08, 2009


A test to see how many UK based illustrators read Illustration Friday because no one oustide of UK children of the 80's will have a clue what this is about.*

*Those that do will be saying - "But it doesn't even really look like him."

Superheros Return

Good news, looks like "Break glass, in case of emergency" might be picked for an interesting sounding new art show - we shall wait and see. I'm glad I never sold all three of the original sculptures now - though I do wish I'd got round to getting proper prints made up.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Common of Houses

So our new competition is online. We are looking for artsts, architects and designers to come up with creative solutions to the MP's two home fiasco. Top interesting prizes to be won.

For more information please visit -

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

He turned his back upon me

Well sadly, I've found out that my Sherlock Holmes idea wasn't picked for this year's Four Corners Familiar.

In better news, I still think it would make a really cool book so I'm planning on making up a limited series of copies. Should be fun - if I can ever find the time to make them. Still not quite completed the Lighthouse keeper sequel yet. Doh.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's in an "L"?

Doh - Its not me honest guv.

We've all succumbed to the ego search. (Typing your own name into google to see what comes up) I'm pretty lucky, I seem to be the only person who spells their combined name the way that I do, so nearly all the results that come up are actually me.

Someone actually pointed this out to me the other day, its not something I've really thought about before - I've just always taken for granted that no one I have met spells even their first name the way I do, let along their full name. If I do one day meet someone with the exact same name, I think I'll feel like they are trying to assume my identity and I'm not sure I'll like it. Its the same when you meet someone born on the same day - you feel like saying "What do you mean its your birthday? That my birthday."

Anyway, once upon a time I noticed that there is someone out there whose name is close to mine, the MP Alistair Burt. Despite my extra "L" I did feel slightly uneasy, like I was looking into an alternate universe where I'd grown up to be a little Tory man. I quickly closed the site and tried to put it out my mind. I was reminded about it today though.

I am currently putting together the finishing touches to a new project due to be launched next week, which plays with the idea of MP's expenses and I was suddenly reminded of my Westminster Doppelganger and decided to google him again - just to make sure that he wasn't doing our shared name harm.

Imagine my horror when I found that he had made it to head line news in the Telegraph as yet another one of the MP's mixed up in the "all within the rules" mischief. I think I might have to write him a letter asking him to apologise for smearing the name Allistair Burt and I'm sure that Alastair Burt would agree.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Southside Festival

I've been asked to design the main festival poster, the map and all the internal navigation signage for the Southside Festival taking place in Queen Park in Glasgow at the end of the month. Should be good fun - but I'd better get my design skates on, the festival is on in only 12 days!!

Above is my colour mock up for the main poster - containing some of the symbols I've designed for the navigation signage.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Thanks for the messages in my absence - I've been away and also busy working on a few projects and have stayed away from the web and the lure of trawling pages of rubbish, ebay purchasing etc.

I will scan in some of the new projects I've been working on when I get a moment but today I caved and started looking through a few of my favourite sites. I discovered something interesting - by not looking at the sites for a few days, there is more to look at when you do return. Thats pretty obvious I know but it makes you take more notice of what you are looking at rather than a quick scan through each page to try and keep up to date with all that is good in the graphic arts and illustration worlds.

Today for instance I was checking out which is a brilliant blog of interesting things and I found the work of Louis Clichy whose animations are simply amazing. I remember at the last election seeing the BBC's little animations and wondering who had made them. They are brill and I think the Beeb should adopt Clichy's style for the whole of one of its stations. It would definertly get me watching. Maybe they could make BBC4 the home of great illustrations and use the work of Clichy, Tom Gauld and maybe Scott Campbell.

Anyways I try to always post things I've made or worked on but I so enjoyed the above animation I thought I would share.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter."

This play stinks

Children can be the harshest of critics and also the most truthful. I said in my preivous post that I was going to be altering styles for a while but I just keep finding myself sketching out little scenes with these wee animal guys. Guess its because they are so quick and simple to draw. I reckon the one above took less that a minute. Maybe I should set myself the task one day of trying to see how many scenes I can draw in an hour.

Ok - this time I really am going to try and start doing proper work again instead of doodles of silly animals.
Currently waiting to hear if I've to complete all the posters, brochures, maps and other graphics for the Southside Festival. I made them five posters for free for various events over the last few weeks and they are currently going out to tender for all the other design work. Would be nice to help them out. As a local resident I really want the festival to be a big success and I think getting all the graphics right this year will be a big step in the right direction and give the Festival a big more validity.

The below are the posters I mocked up for some of the small local community events. The main festival posters will hopefully be out soon. Anyone in Glasgow should come along on the 23 and 24 May. For more info see the website that Ann has made for them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well good news since my last post Stereohype have been in touch and although I sadly came runner up in the badge design competition they have asked if instead I'd like to be one of their comissioned designers instead - so that should be fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Close but no cigar

Doh I'm afraid I have again come close but failed to win a cigar. But seeing as I don't smoke then that is probably for the best.
The winning badges for Stereohypes button badge competion has just been announed and they are, as usual, a big bag of colourful wonders. My designs were sadly not among the winners but I did make it to the short list see here.
Not quite sure what it means - think maybe I came runner up for the third prize which was won by Sarah Boris' very cool "You are here" badge. Ah well never mind - I think I might get the full set printed up on my own - anyone want one?
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