If there’s one thing that’s common knowledge about me, I’m quite partial to a little macabre. A while back, I came across a great panel from an old Eerie Comic book that just jumped out at me. Here’s the panel in question…
I made a mental note and thought it would look great at some point as a paper cut. So, when I was asked to do something for the Stolen Space Summer Group Show, my schedule was pretty hectic and wouldn’t allow me to get my teeth into a big piece, but my mind went instantly back to the Eerie panel.
I re-drew the characters and changed a few details here and there, decided to add more foliage to create a little more depth to the scene, then cut the scene from 3 sheets of bog standard copy paper.
As dark as the scene is, I thought some colour would really make the piece pop. A little bit of spray paint, a reconditioned circular picture frame I found on a market stall, and the piece was done.
‘It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.’
I was contacted a while back by Don’t Panic who asked me to design a poster to go inside their free fortnightly packs that get distributed around the UK. And so, next month (August), if you pick up a Don’t Panic pack you’ll get your hands on my contribution to a long list of great posters designed by some great artists and illustrators. I was given the theme ‘Dark’, and here’s what I came up with.
As usual, you’ll be able to buy non-folded versions of the poster from their website if you want a slightly smarter version. If you consider yourself a poster connoisseur and a serious collector, I’ll be working with Don’t Panic on releasing this as their FIRST EVER limited screen print edition.
When I first moved to London around 11 years ago, I would be inspired by their free posters and would always have at least 1 or 2 stuck to my bedroom wall. So I’m really excited to be working with them now not only on my own poster, but their first ever screen printed edition.
I had news that the construction of my new studio in Brighton was finished so I excitedly got the train up there today to have a quick look. There’s something really inspiring about waking into an empty space like this, a blank canvas that’s waiting for you to move in and bring to life. Should hopefully be in there in the next couple of months. Woop!
If any of you cool kids are living in and around London Town, then you might want to get yourself over to Stolen Space Gallery tomorrow for the opening preview of their summer group show. I’ll have a little paper-cut piece on display amongst what will be a great collection of work by a great collection of artists.
My new print and painting edition ‘Alice‘ goes on sale at my store at 5pm BST tomorrow! They will also be available from the Dark Hall Mansion website. Visit my site or go directly to my store for full details.
The nice people at Dark Hall Mansion will also be giving away a signed artist proof from the special edition! All you need to do it visit their site and sign up to their mailing list, the 1st 500 people will be entered into a draw and a winner will be chosen at random.
Things have been pretty hectic lately so apologies for the lack of updates. Got quite a few things to post so will hopefully get round to that next week if I get a minute, including a Bunker interview with amazing comic artist Sam Hiti.
For now here are a few progress shots of a new print I’m working on with a new fine art/poster site based in the US called Dark Hall Mansions. Should be available by the end of the month.
This weeks lucky bunker is English illustrator and comic creator Jack Teagle. I first came across Jack’s work when I saw his awesome illustrations on a Daddy Donkey Mexican Food trailer in London. I just loved the colour, the humour, and could appreciate not only how much work had gone into it, but how much fun he obviously had in creating the illustrations.
I then discovered his awesome comic Jeff Job Hunter and from there, I became a fully paid member of the Jack Teagle fan club. Jeff’s quest to retrieve the ‘skull of the half man half beast from the dungeon of terror’ located under his Job Centre was a great short story told well and executed beautifully.
Images courtesy of Nobrow Press.
You may already recognise Jack’s illustration from his editorial work for various magazines but his acrylic paintings have been doing the rounds online lately too. Like many of us, he’s a child of the Star Wars generation and the themes that run through his paintings have so much great nostalgia to them.
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Please join me in welcoming Mr Jack Teagle to The Bunker!
TB: We can allow you access to 1 music video. What will it be?
JT: I don’t think I can pick just one, but I know it would have to be a Chris Cunningham video.
TB: There is room on the wall for 1 piece of art. What would you like?
JT: Mr Gauld beat me to the punch with Bosch. Something equally as packed (I’d feel like I was cheating a little and having lots of paintings crammed into one). Ape Worship by Todd Schorr. That piece is amazing! The frame for it is a work of art in itself.
TB: There is a small bookshelf with room for 1 book. What will it be?
JT: Admittedly I’m not a big reader. I try to read when I have the time, but it’s not very often. I think it would be Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman. My girlfriend put me onto this book and it’s amazing. It’s a collection of short stories set around a dull english setting, but they all have these slightly strange elements or twists to them. It has a great sense of humour and it’s right up my street.
TB: You’re allowed 1 film. What will you watch?
JT: Probably Gozu or Mullholland Drive, I never get bored of them. There are so many layers to them that you can pick up on new things everytime you watch too. I love the atmosphere in each too.
There’s no decent trailer vids around for Mullholland Drive and Gozu is a little NSFW so here’s a little clip of the brilliant David Lynch talking about ideas and Mullholland Drive.
TB: There are bunk beds inside the room. Who gets the other bed, and which bunk would you like?
JT: My girlfriend. We already live in a bunker like environment in our small studio, and she’s usually the only contact I will have in a few days if I’m working through a project. She’s still with me, so I know I won’t drive her crazy with my conversation.
TB: You’re allowed 1 small treasured item. What is it?
JT: BATMAN TALKING ALARM CLOCK! It’s a little battered but it’s well loved. Plus I’d know what time it was.
TB: We’ve managed to get you a CD player. What album would you like?
JT: Unknown pleasures by Joy Division. It never gets old. I can listen to it again and again and again.
TB: We are willing to cook you 1 meal of your choice on your first night in The Bunker. What would you like?
JT: Could I make a big thing out of it and have a starter? If I could I’d have potato skins with cheese and for the main I’d have the best BBQ ribs. I can’t remember the name of this amazing raspberry pudding I had at a party, it was kind of soft and creamy, if I knew what it was, I’d definitely have that.
TB: All inhabitants of The Bunker MUST have their memories of Old Earth erased. However, we will allow you a single memory of your old life. What will it be?
JT: Probably a christmas from when I was about 10. It’s when I’d see almost all of my family, and I used to get extremely excited about presents. I used to make everyone really dorky pop-up christmas cards. I remember when I was 10 the second wave of Kenner Star Wars toys were coming out, so I was massively excited about getting some of that.
TB: We can project a view of your choice onto the Window Screen. What would you like to look at?
JT: The view from my bedroom window, it looks out over the countryside into a field with a huge tree. I think having something green and calm would keep me sane.
Thank you for your co-operation. We will do our best to satisfy your needs and we wish you a pleasant stay in The Bunker.
The Bunker Administration Team.
If you’re in Dublin, or even if you’re not, you have 2 days left to catch Jack’s solo show ‘That’s Life’ at The R.A.G.E.
You can also see more of his great work at his website and his blog. Check it!
5 minutes dead to knock something straight out onto the computer without any ideas or thoughts. Just see what happens, see where the lines lead. Mine led to this werewolf dude. It’s tricky drawing from scratch with a Wacom tablet and pen, no rough lines to trace over, especially on these big Apple LCD cinema screen jobs. If you put a piece of paper over your tablet and trace a perfect circle, what you get on the screen is an oval, everything is slightly distorted. But I love the immediacy of it, the brush sensitivity, the colours, the power to erase easily etc. I desperately yearn to get my hands on the Wacom Cintiq 21UX, an amazing gadget that combines the graphics tablet with the monitor, so you draw, paint, whatever, directly onto the screen, taking away that unnatural disjointed feeling you get from using a normal tablet. One day it shall be mine…oh yes.
Afternoon all. After a few utterly depressing months of being bitterly cold and down from a lack of sunshine here at the Eel Cave, it’s good to see a little proper daylight and to work without wearing all my snowboarding thermals…and hat…and North Face coat…and gloves as things start to warm up slightly.
Been speaking to quite a few people lately in person and over email who have all been asking 2 questions. 1. Why are you giving up stencils? and 2. How’s the new direction going? With a feeling that I should be using this blog a little more for thoughts on things like this to try and document my goings on, for those who are interested, I thought I’d spend few minutes to try and explain things, and hopefully at the same time get them clearer in my own mind.
When I announced a desire to take steps towards a new direction to work on other projects, that wasn’t me throwing the towel in, snapping my scalpel in half and retiring from the world of stencil making. It was just a need to step back, take a few breaths and challenge myself with some new personal projects that weren’t stencil related. I just felt so burned out after Africa and realised that I just wasn’t having much fun crawling around on my hands and knees in the studio cutting huge stencils to paint outside. I don’t see myself as part of the street art scene any more, this is true, but I am still a stencil artist and do still enjoy making well crafted pieces of art within the solitary confines of my cold, dark studio.
So I decided to try and explore other avenues of picture making in the hope of putting some of my creative eggs into other baskets. The only problem is the good ship Eelus seems to be sailing at full speed and people don’t want to get off. Job after job and opportunity after opportunity is placed in my lap and it’s been impossible so far to make any kind of moves towards experimenting with other things, as people want and expect the look and feel that I’ve built up and become known for. Which is amazing, not a bad thing at all and the things I’m working on at the minute and the jobs lined up for the rest of the year are really exciting. One project in particular is going to be quite interesting. I’ve been commissioned to produce a range of prints and paintings based around both Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. So that’s just one of many things that I have on the table that have been put there by people who want the ‘Eelus’ style.
But at the same time, it makes moves into new areas more difficult. At the end of the day, I see my role and purpose on this big spinning rock is that of a picture maker, plain and simple. I make pictures in any way I see fit that are pleasing to me, and in turn will hopefully be pleasing to a few others.
So my Freak Show Projects site is gently simmering away in the background while I attend to the boiling stew that is full of all the other tasty projects that keep coming my way that I’m finding hard to turn down. I guess from here the plan is to find a balance. A balance between not only respecting and nurturing the ‘brand’ I’ve worked so hard to build up and establish over the last 7 or 8 years, to make sure I still have a presence in this strange art world that I seem to have found myself in. But to also find the time to work on other styles and avenues of creativity, which will be the Freak Show Projects side of things. It’s just that age old nut that needs cracking; ‘YOU WILL ALWAYS BE TOO BUSY’. How often do you find yourself saying ‘as soon as I get this out of the way, I’ll be able to concentrate on x,y,z’? ‘I’ll just do this one last job and then I’ll have a bit of free time to write that comic, get those t-shirts out, work on those illustrations, that book, that movie idea, that magazine…’ I’m quickly discovering that that time will never come, there will always be plates already spinning.
So it’s just time I started to spin a few more plates, work on improving my time management, streamline my work flow and hopefully just start embracing everything that I feel is important to me but hopefully without the quality being affected.
Anyway, I’m off to buy some plastic plates. Cheerio!