Leaving Falmouth, were I studied Illustration, was a gradual process. However, once I found the secret exit - known only by those brave enough to walk there, as ‘the p-e-n-r-y-n' which it is also possible to get to or through via the Truronian beast, which has great tyres for feet and exhales diesel fumes and eats £4.50 for breakfast lunch and dinner where ever it chooses to go - I realised that there is an ever expanding world out there to explore.

It took me a while to gather the courage and during this time I practiced leaving by taking trips to London with a developing portfolio, to try to pursue a ‘career'. I did not find this as intimidating as some people make out; personally, I found London to smell like a combination of McDonalds and urine, which was a refreshing change from the WC Rowes and seaweed I had grown accustomed to. I also kept the Falmouth pace which is less irritating than keeping the London pace in Falmouth, with its bizarre semi-pedestrianised cobbled high street, where few people possess any forms of awareness and the rest happily stand and talk in threes or fours about where they are going ‘to' as opposed to actually just going there (usually a local social club which doubles up as one of the oldest ever Tesco's).

Although I found London to have a different kind of significance on the potential career I mentioned earlier, I also found it remarkably dull, as everybody who I knew there had spent all their money the previous weekend in some incredible night club and then at an after party, which one of the final contestants of Pop Idol once went to, once, maybe! Anyway, by the time I would arrive they were all broke and going on about that last weekend and had to save up their pennies to pay that months rent, which incidentally was easily double mine in Falmouth; so I ended up having to create my own fun which ended up being nearly exactly what I would be doing in Falmouth anyway, just without the sea or my itunes.

Upon this disgusting realisation I felt that even if I have made some incredible like minded friends in Falmouth (which is one of Falmouth's underlying qualities - a small portion of really brilliant people and Clipper Café) I could not stay there. I felt that I needed the opportunity to listen to disco music until 6am if I chose to or get something other than a Bayside kebab at 2:30am; basically live a little bit faster with more choice and so I chose to break free and after much thought I chose Berlin.

What I expect to find in Berlin is motivation sponsored by Nescafe, a ridiculously huge studio, the possibility to ride past an open café during some crazy jazz drum solo at 11 o'clock, lots of sausages and cheese and roof top picnics. It will hopefully be a good move where I will find a different attitude to life, work, art and play and a more inspiring culture than in England or London for that matter. There, I will endeavour to create paid work, which should eventually mature into something of a recognizably witty and worthy standard, so that I can continue producing silly little drawings for demanding magazines.

'How did this all happen?'

I think I have changed dramatically since I had my first cup of real coffee and became proactive, also since getting a solo exhibition out of my system. The contents of which was a contrasting paradox of very fun, playful/misanthropic work which I took far too seriously for far too long. The exhibition was a release, which meant I could move on and enjoy my life, without having to draw everybody in sight with an 'I'm concentrating' unapproachable frown.

Now all I really do is drawings for magazines which like my work. They usually involve a painfully boring article about mortgages or Annual General Meetings, to which I supply one fairly appropriate rough, one fairly clichéd relevant ok rough and one stupidly childish or sarcastic solution, which one day they will show an editor with a sense of humour who will agree for it to go to print, ending the frustration and conflict between artist/illustrator and client and changing my portfolio to one of potentially hilarious quantity... the dream is potentially in place.

Doing the roughs pays for books and fish. I like fish and reading a lot. I can also afford to leave my room and socialize with the money they pay and with that opportunity of being outside I found some really excellent friends that I admire a lot, which is always good and hopefully the same will happen in Berlin - as long as I do not mention the subject of whatever article I am currently illustrating, as there is a high chance of them sneaking off to a forest and cutting down some trees in order to supply the wood for their very own coffin, which they would happily pay somebody to nail them into and throw down one of those big holes in the road that only get covered over so that really loud cars with big exhausts can ride continuously through the night, back and forth from the nearest McDonalds car park to the next, anything so long as it helps to drown out the sound of the world's most boring conversationalist.

A casual suggestion/recommendation:

On a Wednesday afternoon, after reading Calvin and Hobbes in bed till 12, go and casually order a burger and hot chocolate at Clipper Café, Falmouth. Sit down and enjoy, then thank Bonny with a grateful, satisfied smile.

Posted by : David Gibson Posted : Fri 09th Nov 2007

FISTACUFFS - A most ingenious blog.

Draw and submit a fighter, watch it go up against someone else's, and then proceed in delight as you Draw/Fight it out - and to do so, Smak Talk must be engaged in. The outcome of the fight is drawn and described, as envisioned by you and your opponent. Inventiveness arises of its own accord, a necessity in this ink-splattered arena.

A lovely aspect was the immediacy of it all - as soon as the fight commences, your Smak Talk and character are commented on, criticised, appreciated, and voted for/against - and the degree to which this can push forward your drawn efforts is unprecedented.

Excellent stuff. Try it out and see.


Lord Harm vs RainBoar

Lord Harm vs Big Daddy Volkanev

Lord Harm vs Sir Araknis

Lord Harm vs Cannon Father

Lord Harm consolation drawing


I find libraries to be an immense and quiet kind of magic. The potential of a library (arising from its nature as a final, comprehensive statement regarding human effort and knowledge) to contain any book brings out it's intrinsic wonder: that a thing made by men should be capable of containing everything, including itself, inside of it. An assurance of a complete knowledge of things is promised. It is the allure of this promise that I sought to depict in the book below.

Posted by : David Mathews Posted : Thu 18th Oct 2007
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It's Monday the 15th October, and I'm at home, which is unusual because tomorrow I'm off to Mexico! 

It was about 4 months ago that I was presented with a brief to design the identity, promotional posters and material for a music event our company was organising. The event is sponsored by Smirnoff (one of our clients) who have teamed up with MTV to hunt across Latin America to find the best local up and coming bands, singers and songwriters to battle it out to win a Record contract.

I was chuffed that I had been chosen for the job as it was exactly the kind of work I had dreamt of doing after leaving Falmouth 3 years ago. I was the main Art Director and Designer on the project, along with another of my colleagues and together we directed the whole look and feel, identity and posters for ‘La Zona De Combate’ (the name of the event). We presented a number of ideas but the final concept was born out of MTV's above the line TV advert, which in turn was inspired by old Russian Constructivist and propaganda posters. Once our look and feel for the event had been approved we had to put together a visual toolkit that the Latin American markets could follow. This included the logo lockup, posters and promotional items such as billboard posters, t-shirts, pens, point of sale and of course some shot glasses! 

Along with our entertainment team and the account handlers, we managed to complete the project - with a finished toolkit and a 100 page marketing and positioning document - within about 3 months. This includes the sourcing of venue, the mechanics for the competition and website etc etc... which is an amazing turn around. I was told afterwards that our company has put together similar event toolkits, which had been smaller and had taken a longer amount of time and apparently hadn’t looked as good(!) It must have been a success as within the first week we had over 500 bands sign up through the website. 

For all my hard work on the project, I was asked if I'd like to go to the competition finals in Mexico and the MTV prize giving awards (all expenses paid!) and see all the work I'd created in situ – which is of course an amazing opportunity. After the awards, I will meet up with an old UCF friend, Cynthia Ortega Salgado (who also produced an Advice to Sink in Slowly poster last year) who lives and works as a designer/illustrator in Mexico City. She also heads a new Multimedia course at the University of Mexico City and has asked me to present my work to 30 of her students, in a similar way to what I'm writing here, of how I worked on the project and how my designs got me to Mexico. 

As I said, my flight leaves tomorrow and I'm going to stay there for 2 weeks (for a much needed holiday as well). But I’m sure I'll follow this up and write something about how it all went and hopefully post some photos up on the ATSIS blog when I’m back… that is of course after I’ve got over the jet lag, caught up on sleep and recovered from all the Smirnoff induced hangovers!

Posted by : Simon Vince Posted : Tue 16th Oct 2007
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Categories : PRINT - TRAVEL -

this is my kind of music

Posted by : Posted : Fri 22nd Aug 2008

This is very annoying.

I've just landed some really cool freelance work for a toy designer to make prototype electronic toys.

This is sooooo brilliant, really fun, challenging and paid (in small bursts) and I get to make a really RAD toy. But I can't tell anyone about it.

I even had to hand it over to the designer, the one-off never to be played by me again. I can't even put it in my CV or portfolio as I signed a disclosure as it is destined for market. But it is soooo rad. I miss it already and I'm not allowed to make another.

Just had to tell someone that I wasn't allowed to tell anyone, that's all.

Posted by : Posted : Thu 21st Aug 2008