Where the Shirt Hits the Fans

I helped out with the free-handing on this T-shirt design for the Drift Record Shop

No, it doesn’t describe how I feel about them (they’re lovely).
So the gist comes from a photo of someone wearing an anti Vietnam Draft t-shirt (with a crease over the ‘a’) which was then used on a record cover that the shop got in… And then made them think someone had a bone to pick with them.

If you fancy a shirt, you can pick one up from the Drift website here.

Flip the Drift T-Shirt

I also helped with some hand-drawn lettering for their logo too. The idea was to take it away from straight, clean type and make the whole thing more organic. The leaning, drunken letters towards the end of the name were to hammer the point home.

And talking about Drift, they’ve just released their list of the 100 best albums of the year.
You can read a lovely (and incredibly well-designed) list of the top hundred best! New! Music! titles by clicking here to go to Drift’s ‘Deluxe’ website.

Or if you fancy a leisurely peruse with much more lovely design, there’s a fancy magazine version you can read a .PDF file of online:

…Which also has a fancy embed too.

Do read.

Merry Drift-mas: 2016

Aieee, the image-making technique we do not speak of… Photography! Anyway, here’s some photos of this blog’s writer-gremlin doing some great big art at das supercool, independently-owned indie record store the Drift Record Shop in Totnes and having tons of fun in the process…

Drift Record Shop Robin Stylus Christmas window 2016

I was painting (with real-life acrylic paint) the Christmas window at Drift. (I’d even go so far as to borrow my partner’s screen-printing ink hand-tray. Shh!)

Drift Record Shop Robin Stylus Christmas window 2016

Working at this size after spending countless hours noodling over smallish bits of paper with varying sizes of ink marks was fantastically liberating. Look at the little twinkle in my bloodshot eye…

Drift Record Shop Robin Stylus Christmas window 2016Cool records to be seen in the background, artist thankfully not in shot…

Drift Record Shop Robin Stylus Christmas window 2016The idea behind this was to clobber people in the eye with the massive, bold design as they walked up Totnes high street. I drew the outlines with a chunky liquid chalk marker to get them looking crisp before proceeding to block in with good old-fashioned paint and a brush.

Click the Christmas robin to be taken to Drift's classy-as-ya-like Instagram feed!

The finished thing! The idea is that the robin is using his beak as a stylus. y’see… Yep, it’s rude, we’re trying to provoke some kind of reaction here…

Many thanks to team Drift for the photos! You can peruse their wares by visiting their website, here.

Drift Record Shop Christmas Window 2013: The Comic Blow-out

Just drew on the windows of the Drift Record Shop yesterday – this window was the most ambitious I/we’ve done yet as it was an eight-frame comic spread accross eight giant window panes!
The story was written by R.G. at Drift, and for the common touch, concerned (un)popular hate figure Simon Cowell and a Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol‘ analogue…

Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013

Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013

I drew little arrows telling the readers where to go next, and there will be a little ‘how to read a comic’ blurb on the shop door (because I’m shocked to see that there are some people who don’t know, or at least think they don’t know.)
The funny thing is watching people read it, you have to use your legs and feet as much as your eyes to go from start to finish, because it’s so big…

Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013

And here’s some snaps of odd bits of the drawing that snakes around the entire shop…

Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013

Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
(Totnes’ Norman Castle is visible at the bottom of the blue sky behind Cowell’s neck in the image above)
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013
(The silver sheets here are to keep the sun off the record racks first thing in the morning.)
Drift Record Shop Christmas window mural drawing in Totnes, 2013

And there we’ll leave it. It’s always good to work in public, meet people, and have a chat. It was even sunny too. If you’re after something else to read, have a look at Drift’s very lovely records of the year list.

Record Store Day 2013

April means it’s Record Store Day, and The Drift Record Shop in Totnes are doing something special: Gold Panda and Luke Abbott are playing gigs in the shop!
So the shop needed a poster to trumpet about getting some of the biggest acts yet to perform there, so I worked with Rupert at Drift to hammer something out…

The image needed to be fairly bold, with the act names popping out so people would notice, so I got into mixing up watery acrylic paint and writing out text with a rectangular foam brush on big sheets of newsprint paper over and over, trying to get it as bold and flowing as possible…

Texture, anybody?

You can see the water and the paint separating a bit here…

Record Store Day 2013 poster rough
Dropping the scans into Photoshop, I mocked this up…

Record Store Day 2013 poster rough

Record Store Day 2013 poster rough
If you seem into, you can see all the thresholded bristle texture and edging on here…

Record Store Day 2013 poster rough
Another mock-up. The texture wasn’t quite coming through on this one, although there were some nice bits.

Record Store Day 2013 poster rough
So it was time for a bit of a rethink, so we went for loose-based-on-formal, and it seemed to work. So it wasn’t long before Rupert did a bit of jiggery-pokery and had a poster!

Record Store Day 2013 Poster
The final Record Store Day 2013 Poster – click through to see larger!

The plan is to sell these on the day – the 20th of April – in the record shop, so anybody who comes to the gig can buy a poster too if they feel like it.
The posters on the shop counter.

xAnd some in the window! See you on the 20th!


Here’s a comic strip page I did for Deluxe Magazine, a magazine about record shops from The British Underground that’s going to – among other places – the South by Southwest Festival that’s going on right now in Austin, Texas.

Deluxe Magazine coverDeluxe Magazine #1Thanks to Deluxe for the photo, it's better than any of mine...

Here’s the strip from its image file, click through to read it at a comfortable size: Deluxe Magazine comic stripAs this was an opportunity to poke my head above a parapet with a view of a landscape I didn’t have that much of an excuse to be in – record retail and collecting – and then proceed to throw my opinions around, I wanted to make sure it was half worth reading, so I wrestled with some roughs:Deluxe #1 comic 1st roughsI ended up getting two comics-worth from the preliminary brain rummage, so cut the first one free and then threw this at the Editor as a statement of intent:Deluxe #1 comic strip dummyThe poor guy.

It was nice to wang on about something using comics as a medium though. The whole thing brings to mind the increasing troubles facing physical shops that sell physical objects. Bit like your local comic shop. If you have one left anywhere near you. I suppose comic shops have people going in every week for their fix of The Big Two‘s product; something that there isn’t really a parallel to in indie record emporiums. But then again digital comics are on the up, slicing more share away from the comic shop owner. Hmm. I remember thinking to myself a while back that if there was any true future in comics they would have to become a trash medium again. Even though mail order ‘long tail’ graphic novels and collections – and even Kickstarters for the same – are fantastic, if we really want to be anywhere approaching relevance we need to jump onto the digital platform bandwagon – even if we don’t know where it’s headed – and start pedalling like crazy, and hope the mainstream takes some notice of us again.
Mind you, I do like a nice physical object like a graphic novel or trade paperback to read, so I suppose I want it both ways really. Harrumph.

When I’m Drawin’ (On) Winders

My brushes with public art continue in a most pleasant fashion, it beats sitting at home at the desk anyway. There’s sunlight and people and everything. Another window for The Drift Record Shop, this one is all about the Mercury Music Prize, an annual musical talking point and media circus over here in the UK. Twelve differing musical artistes’ albums are nominated, then a month or two later a shadowy conclave of secret masters with unknowable motives decide that one of the offerings is – in actual fact – the Record of the Year.

Those with a special interest in squinting will be interested to know that the artistes represented are:

(Top Row, left to right) Tinie Tempah (who might be about to Pass Out, and is alright and all, but needs Labrinth producing him to make it sparkle, guv), Katy B (who had a single I really liked h’actually), James Blake, ‘Fence‘ collective founder King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, Adele, and Gwylim Simcock the token classicist/instrumentalist.

(Bottom Row, left to right) A slightly harsh rendering of Elbow‘s Guy Garvey who hosts a show on BBC 6music, looking a bit like he’s building a rocket, the fox from the front of the Everything Everything album (whose ‘Photoshop Handsome‘ is essential listening for artworkers everywhere), ‘local lad’ Joe Mount from Metronomy (who was in the extended gang of kewl kids I hung out with at lunchtime at school), the bit-Earth-Mothery-recently PJ Harvey, Ghost Poet eating a Peanut Butter and Melancholy Jam sandwich, and the intensely smouldering Anna Calvi.

There are a couple more photos – including a handy tweaked one so you can see the drawing more easily – over here on the Drift Blog.

Favoured Media

Another Drift Record Shop window I drew on in Totnes High Street down here in Devon. I think this one’s the best so far:

There’s some more lovely photos in a smooth-as slideshow here, on the Drift Record Shop Blog.

And then I went and did some live drawing in the background of The Drift Record Shop Radio Hour on SoundArt Radio, broadcasting on FM and world-wide on the interwebs. In terms of audio I’m mostly the guy sniggering off-mic, making it all sound like student radio, but I did manage to shoe-horn in a bit Art History (well, sort-of) among some other nonsense…

The sketches (and there’s quite a few of them) were all put up live as I drew them via Tumblr, and now the show itself is also up on the online archive, so you can view and listen all at once. The hour of drawing absolutely flew by. I got to hear some great records, and I’ve got to say that the Drift radio venture is fast becoming my go-to place for good new music over mainstream radio or online snark-blogs. I love radio, I love good music, and I love drawing. Yew do da math(s).

That’s one of my sketchbooks that are with me at all times when I’m out and about, in a messenger bag at my side, in that photo. They’re full of observational drawings like these. I’ve been meaning to put up scans of them, and I will at some point in the future.

There’s also a page of pencils from the Evil Star Graphic Novel hiding in that photo up there…

Elsewhere on SoundArt and podcasts, my Call of Cthulhu RPG ‘Keeper’, Bill Eaton presents ‘SoundArt Stories’, a great programme on short fiction, with great stories to listen to and bits of writing shop-talk. The show has its own blog and online show archive, so have a listen.

Top of the Shops

Comic panel I drew on the window of The Drift Record Shop down here in Totnes in Devon, for Record Store Day. The photo here’s flipped for easy viewing because I drew in reverse so people walking down the street could read the text…

I should have said, I did Drift a logo a while ago too y’know. They have a lovely blog, put on monthly band showcases at the Dartington Arts Centre, and host a weekly radio show on SoundArt Radio called The Drift Record Shop Radio Hour, which is archived for free listening, and is one of my favourite radio shows in existence.

Also, Rupert and the Drift crew have taken and put up some wonderful photos of the shop window in the afternoon sun in this blog entry here.