Category Archives: Illustration & design

Artwork. Commercial illustration, private commissions, etc.

The Christmas Sock Monster! – illustration

I rarely find Christmas cards that are my kind of funny,  so most years I do my own illustration. What started as a way to show off back when I was a student, has now become a tradition of sorts.

“You don’t need big ideas, you need cheap experiments” said Micheal Schrage, talking about innovation in a digital economy, but he might as well have been talking about Christmas card artwork.

No time for procrastination or perfectionism, just keep it simple, fun and a little bit scary, like all the best books I read as a kid.  Grab an idea one evening over a nice pint of mulled cider, sketch it, draw it up the next morning and email the files over to the printers (the nice chaps at service point) for a click and collect.

The Christmas Sock Monster!

Illustration and design Copyright © John Cooper

Creating artwork to tell a story

Last week I had a great time producing artwork at a conference break out session on storytelling. Using artwork to tell a story.

Myself and three other artists were given the brief to work with  management teams from a well know international engineering company. In the space of a few hours we had to create an engaging poster, which visually communicated the story of unity and passion in the work they did. artwork storytelling.

Listening to their ideas, as the artist I couldn’t help or offer my own input,  but did perhaps steer the conversation a little to facilitate the flow of creativity and ensure that everyone in the group had input in the final artwork.

creating the artwork from the idea n the group.

There’s something very cool and rewarding working on a tight timescale in a room with other artists.  Maybe somewhat competitive, but in a really positive hands on way. No digital, no undo buttons or layers, just a large sheet of A0 board to fill with marker pens . Also great to work alongside an old mate, Scott Tyrell. A former stand up comic,accomplished poet and creative director based in Newcastle.

Big thanks to Garry at Finite Productions, and Margot & the guys at Brand + Story for putting on a great event.

Engaging storytelling through artwork
The final artwork

Public speaking training. Presenting skills workshops. Storytelling workshops.

Observational Comedy Illustration

Here’s the artwork I created for the cover of this years Last Laugh Sheffield Comedy festival, being held up by the very funny Phil Jupitus  who asked why the acts had no eyes…

I was about to tweet back with an answer when I realised I didn’t have one. Why did I draw all the acts with no eyes?  After tracing it back to 2012, or thereabouts. I remember took over from another artist on the festival who drew everyone with no eyes, so I was just continuing on the tradition.

Festival acts banner from 2012

It still didn’t feel like an excuse, so even though it’s not on the brochure I thought I’d oblige…

Can you guess who is who?