Last week I started guest lecturing at UaL, helping second year publishing students create their own magazines from scratch and then working with third years to launch a client magazine for Moshi Moshi Records. It's early days, but already there are some exciting ideas in the mix. Watch this space over the next 10 weeks to see how it develops!
In September I'll be running an intensive two day course with the London School of Publishing that's all about helping you get your magazine or book off the ground. Drawing on my experience of launching OFF LIFE, Yellow and One Thing I Know, the workshop will be small-group and tailored to fit each attendee's needs, going through: developing your concept, market research, business planning, putting a creative team together, going to print, distribution and getting the word out. I'll also be offering follow-up support as part of the course.
Due to the small-group nature of these workshops there are only very limited spaces on each date, so check out the LSP website to grab a ticket while you can: publishing-school.co.uk/independent-publishing.html
It's been a long old while since I've updated this feed. It probably looks like I haven't been up to much. I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. If I were you, I'd probably think: 'look at him, banging on all last year and now he's got no work and he's quiet'. You only sing when you're winning and so on.
That's the thing with long term projects. Unlike monthly or quarterly magazines, where you've something to show every few weeks, you can go half a year with it looking (from the outside at least) like you've been sat on your arse playing computer games and eating crisps. When in reality that's only half the truth.
For most of 2017 I've been working on two pretty exciting projects that I still can't say that much about. The first is a pilot for an adult animated series about the weird world of professional wrestling. Just last week esteemed producer James Boyle from Park Road Pictures joined the project and we're now in the process of pitching to studios and broadcasters. I've no idea if it'll take off, but working on a cartoon is a boyhood dream of mine and so even just getting to this stage has been boss-level fun.
I'm also being helped by literary agent Ed Wilson from Johnson & Alcock on a book about masculinity in the modern world. Working titled 'What is Man' it's essentially looking at our fractured, diverse masculine identity and asking if really we're all just a bunch of lost little boys. This really will be a loooooong term project, so we'll see what happens.
Between those jobs and some fun bits for Brighton creative agency Net Natives (which due to NDAs I can't post) I've been pretty much out in the cold when it comes to magazine work that I can show off here. Not that you care, I'm sure, but still... just thought I'd let you know. Anyway, that's enough from me. Do say hello if you read this. It gets lonely working solo in my little office.
We're thrilled that OFF LIFE has been shortlisted for a Stack Magazines award in the best use of illustration category. Stack has always been incredibly supportive of my projects, from OFF LIFE and Yellow through to latest title Shiner – and as a team we couldn't be happier to get the nod. There's no chance we're beating Weapons of Reason though.
I've been a little quiet since publishing YELLOW at the end of last year.. It's not been for a lack of ideas , but the summer was nice I was knackered after making that book. But for anyone who's bumped into me this year or gotten trapped talking to me at a magazine event, they'll know there was something bubbling.
That magazine is SHINER - a new magazine for young men. We're slowly pulling together a very exicitng team of raw, young talent to help us shone a lot on the real lives of young men and we're looking at a first issue in early 2017. But for now you can read the full manifesto at: shinermagazine.co.uk
Last Tuesday the OFF LIFE team and myself hosted an intimate little talk night at printspace, discussing the responsibilities and potential of all things ink on paper. We were fortunate to be joined by artists Malika Favre and Supermundane, who dropped some serious knowledge on how illustrators should strive for more meaningful work to help push the artform and break its stereotype as a medium of pretty pictures. Eyes peeled for future events!
My longtime collaborator Steve Leard (AD on OFF LIFE) pulled a blinder and booked in some studio time to finally take some professional shots of Yellow, the book we created and published at the end of 2015. And boy did they come out tasty...
Shell Suit Zombie is the young voice of the creative industries. Its yearly journal offers advice, insight and frank discussion for young people looking to break into publishing, design, illustration and everything in between – and this year the lovely folks who run it asked me to write a piece about breaking into the industry during the financial crash.
Big thanks to the editors for the invite and for allowing me to swear willy-nilly. It was great fun to write and I hope at least someone out their can glean how my generation of creatives broke in amid shrinking pay, job shortages and almost no public funding. Visit shellsuitzombie.co.uk to pickup the issue!
After running as a year-long digital series, Steve Leard and I are now putting together and publishing the collected book of Yellow. The concept was to show that illustration is more than just a medium of pretty pictures, and so we rounded up 52 of the world's most exciting artists and had them illustrate a year of news – to show that illustration can be as powerful as any photograph or piece of writing.
With the book ready to go, we unveiled a Kickstarter campaign on 1 October (after months of filming videos and planning budgets) and to our shock received £20K of orders within 10 days... double our intended goal!
Now we're putting the final touches to the book and will be sending it to print come mid-November.
Over the last couple months I've been helping the National Union of Teachers to develop the visual identity and editorial of their magazine - which goes out to over 300,000 teachers, taste makers and opinion-formers. This latest issue saw me working with a host of incredible designers and artists - including Anna Dunn, Gavin Strange and Jamie Mills - to really step up the publication's visual impact.
Our Yellow series of 52 artists illustrating 52 weeks of news is hitting the home straight, with the book now under design and an exhibition in the planning. To promote the series we've been interviewing some of the UK's most exciting illustrators - including Jean Jullien, Supermundane, Charlotte Mei and Martin Rowson - to ask what the art form means to them. Video coming soon...
The new issue of OFF LIFE - the magazine I founded with art director Steve Leard - came out in print and digital this week. The aesthetic has gone through something of a design overhaul, with greater space given to editorial and more opportunity for artists to be heard outside of their artwork. You can read this issue free at: http://bit.ly/1MB3bIi
The nice chaps at TOandTO invited me over as part of their creative interviews series, to chat all things publishing and freelance. The Bristolian burr snuck out.
Over the last few months I've been contracted to help develop the NUT magazine's identity and editorial. Their July issue came out today and parts of the aesthetic have already come on leaps and bounds. Now just to convince them on changing that typography...
Not only did the latest issue of Pickles Magazine come out last month, but it's founder and main man - Ed Read - just moved into my apartment. Watch this space for new collaborative projects...
I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with Jean Jullien to discuss illustration in magazines at Printout a couple weeks back. You can listen to all the talks from the night on magCulture right about here.
Gym Class Magazine asked me a few questions about Bristol's publishing scene and the Bristol Independent Publishers group that I helped set up back in 2013. Here's how it came out...
I've been helping the National Union of Teachers develop their magazine. Pretty happy with the new cover, with illustration by the awesome Sebastien Thibault.