Friday, August 31, 2012


The sun is shining, the little fluffy bunny rabbits are flying through the sky, the birds are digging through the rubbish, so what better day to do a picture just for the sheer darn joy of it. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


Financial Agreements were introduced in December 2000, essentially to reduce legal costs and court proceedings in instances of marriage breakdown and subsequent asset allocation. The original legislation was open to some interpretation and over the years a number of 'clarifications' have been enacted in order to make it more difficult for financial agreements to be found not binding. 

Surprisingly, the addition of several thousand words of amendment has succeeded in only adding more ambiguity. An enormous shock to all involved...

Another illustration for the Law Society Journal and Art Director Larraine Hall. I'm enjoying these enormously!

Spotlight 2!

Illustrators Australia continues it's 'Spotlight on Specialists' seminar series on Saturday September 8th.

This one features three of my favourite illustrators, Stuart McLachlan and his inspiring paper styling; Sonia Kretschmar, illustrator, painter and Archibald Finalist; and Christopher   Nielsen, whose work always makes me feel like i've discovered an alternate 1950's universe of buried treasure.

But as a bonus, there's also much published children's book illustrator and Disney Animation artist Serena Geddes and comic artist/cartoonist Doug Holgate. 

An exciting line-up that I'm really looking forward to!

Hit the link above or go to Illustrators Australia.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Baby Boot Camp

June's Child Magazine features an article on the first six weeks of harsh training, old habits broken, new ones forged, limits tested, that is a new baby. And mostly it's Mum in the trenches, enduring not only this new form of existence and sleep deprivation, while still recovering from an often painful experience with wounds to prove it.

And trooper though she is, it's a shared responsibility, so get down on the floor, Dad, and give me twenty, it's not your perineum got stitches in it. That is all.

Skin Cancers

July's AFP magazine focus is on 'Skin Cancers'. There are a variety of cancers the affect the skin, from the reasonably benign, to the powerfully agressive. And one of the main zones is around the face, due to it's almost constant exposure to the sun. 

Solicitors from Hell!

Social networking and online review sites have targeted many business reputations. Of course, sometimes its entirely warranted! But, you know, its the internet and everyone gets a voice. 

So if there's someone who just wants to raise hell, they can do that too, on an international basis, destroying the reputation of individuals and businesses alike. And national limitations in defamation law are having enormous trouble keeping up. 

This illustration, for Art Director Larraine Hall at the Law Society Journal (NSW) highlights the Solicitors from Hell case in the UK.

Book Pile

Yes, disappeared for awhile and can't believe it's been a couple of months! 'They' told me to post regular but clearly I forgot to put that on the Work In Progress sheet. Anyway, lots of work, work work, which is great, some of it pretty nice, too. 

But there's also been a bit of read, read, read from the birthday book pile that complements perfectly the bottles of single malt scotch. 

'The Simpsons. An uncensored, unauthorized history' by John Ortved. It's inspiring in many ways, charting the birth of a cultural icon as the child of many parents, not simply Matt Groenig. But the parents clearly fought a fair bit. Over money and status and influence and credit and respect and the brown couch, the usual 'family' stuff, often bitterly and sometimes ruthlessly. All the while still creating some of the best TV you are ever likely to see, animated or not.

It's Ortved's writing that links the book together, but it's told mainly in the words of those involved in the show themselves, writers, producers, animators, rupert murdochs, guest stars and critics. For a 'history' it's an immersive experience, revealing and often hugely entertaining.

I'd have no idea about all the truth of the matter, maybe there's more to tell, maybe some told more than there was. No doubt you could level the 'out of context' criticism at it, but aren't all quotes by definition out of context?

What I am sure of is that if a TV executive ever asks you to sign away something as 'a sign of good faith' its a reasonably good sign that you better get a lawyer, son. You better get a real good one.

Faber and Faber, 2009. 
(and thanks Caitlin Crowley for a perfect prezzie!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Business of Storytelling

We're all telling a story of some kind. The way we dress and behave, the words we speak and the way we say them, the way we wear a hat and sip our tea. We're surrounded by storytelling for entertainment, education, enlightenment and commerce. 
I recently completed a cover and interior commission from Riordon Design in Canada for their promotional publication Culture Cue. The article, by principal Ric Riordon concerned the use of imagery and words to enhance story telling for clients across a range of disciplines and utilising a variety of media. 
From initial brief I did 3 concept sketches for the cover: one focussing on different communication media in our everyday environment; another on different personal stories, every building being a book with a variety of chapters within. 
Think my favourite little bit was adding a TV thrown out of a window! Pretty sure the band had an added expense on the credit card after that one. (The third concept seemed like a good idea at the time, but seems to fall apart in trying to write it, so let's edit that paragraph!)
A great brief and Ric was a pleasure to work with! 



State Trustees

This latest project for State Trustees was commissioned by Carolyn Simm of Simm Design in Melbourne. The task was to illustrate the many and varied services the State Trustees Office provides, from Wills and Executor services, Deceased Estates, Enduring Powers of Attorney as well as a conceptual overview of the function of the office. 
Carolyn and the client wanted a visual solution well beyond generic handshakes and photo stock libraries and were hugely encouraging and supportive, making for an extremely enjoyable experience. 


Overview detail

Enduring Powers of Attorney

Wills & Executor Services

Monday, May 21, 2012

Big Baby

Looking after newborn babies can be a gigantic task. May's AFP focus is on the first 3 months of a child's life. It's a pivotal time, and comprehensive examinations are crucial to determine any potential areas of concern.

Art Director Jason Farrugia and I discussed a few conceptual approaches, but really this one seemed to nail the scale and detail of the task, and still gave us room for both cute factor, care and a little bit of fun. 

Spotlight on Specialists Seminar

Photo: Roger Harvey
On Saturday May 12, I took part in Illustrators Australia first Spotlight seminar at the beautiful NMIT Fairfield Campus, along with fascinating medical illustrator Levent Efe, fashion Illustrator Angie Rehe (who very kindly swapped times so I could get to a family event), Kate Nolan and her exquisite sculptures, jewellery and natural history drawings, and primo editorial illustrator Jim Tsinganos.
Ran through a full gamut of work for an hour or so, picture book work, editorial and commercial projects covering 20 years, plenty of changes and some recurring themes.
Great to see some familiar faces, as well as many new ones! 
Roger Harvey snapped the attached photo and sent it through. Shades of Colonel Kurtz, '...the horror... the horror...' but am very glad the moment didn't end the same way.
Many thanks to Jody Pratt, Illustrators Australia and to hosts NMIT  for looking after us all so well!
More Spotlight seminars will follow in the coming months. 

Alas, poor football...

T'is true, slip'd by. April's Publish'd Child did featured this tale of Australian Woe, this crisis existential caused by callous heart of child, resistant, nay rebellious, to his parents entreaty, their lofty ambitions for him as embodiment of sporting prowess. 
Ball of foot, oval and round; ball of basket,too; the eastern arts martial; see, a mountain, A Mountain yonder rises! Climb as it is there, they beseeched. To. No. Avail.
"Can't I just have Drama Lessons?" asked he. And thus were lessons for all well learned.
The rest was theatre.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


April's AFP adds injury to injury. And then a couple more for good measure. 
Art Director Jason Farrugia tells me readers felt sorry for the fellow on the cover, but really it could've been worse. He might've broken his tongue. 

Party Guests

May's Child Magazine features a story on typical party guests, from 'Wallflowers' to 'Pied Piper' to 'Princess'. And, of course, 'Boys', who apparently act as one, rolling like a herd of buffalo through any house brave enough to host a kids party!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Little Deities

Sixty Artists! Sixty Gods! Artists including Sonia Kretschmar, Amelia Kelso, Andrea Innocent, Ben Johnson and precisely 56 others have each hand painted, sewn or sculpted 60 identical dolls, painstakingly sourced by curator Daniel Atkinson (well, ok, found grouped together on the reject table of a $2 shop) The above is my contribution, Caffeine Powered Luchador 'El Capitán Café'
Opening Night: Thursday March 8, runs 'til Sunday 18th March, details above.

photo: Lisa Minichiello


The March focus for AFP magazine is on Bones, essentially osteoporosis, fractures, brittle bones. The demographic usually affected by the condition is generally 60+ and I wanted to represent that as well as the sense of vulnerability that comes with the condition.

Play By Design

The March Issue of Child Magazine features a story about the rise and rise of the designer playground. No more burning hands on the monkey bars, the new playground is international, interesting, interactive and for sure intersomethingorotherelse.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Down the Mines

Have dug up some precious metal the last couple of days, a very nice way to start the year! Got the latest 3x3 Illustration Annual from New York, and though I knew I made the cut, didn't know that the Long Story Shorts Series received a Bronze.

Closer to home, the last 3 books in the series received a GOLD, Gold Gold, in the Illustrators Australia Awards Yayyy I'm rich rich rich, seriously the awards don't really matter, hooo-hah i'm comfortably well-off, it's all about the work... But really, the recognition is very gratifying and none of it happens unless the client says 'yes'. Thanks Affirm!

Oh, plus got a highly commended for my book, The Search for Bigfoot Bradley!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three Wheel Drive

Just did a fun illo for Oliver Towning at Boss Magazine for the article 3 Wheel Drive.

The thrust of the article concerns the requirement in the collaborative workplace to take a triple pronged approach to work. Which will help to accelerate through the ever changing terrain, navigate tight corners, turn quickly to avoid obstacles on the road ahead, ok, ok stopping now...

Keep Practicing

January's AFP magazine Feature is on Teaching in General Practice, and after a heavy few months of covers, it was definitely time to lighten up .

Soccer & Sweet Success

January's Child Magazine featured an article on the trials, tribulations and ultimate benefits a bit of sport in childhood can bestow. (I'm not speaking from experience here, I hasten to add!)

Yes, it seems all those cold, miserable, early morning starts, all the violence, the exclusion, the thrill of victory, the smell of the post sport socks, can all pay off in the end, with a beautiful deco styled desk and your very own skyline.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Last Thread

From the wonderful Affirm Press comes The Last Thread, Michael Sala’s fascinating life in fiction. From his early years in the Netherlands to growing up in Australia during the 1980s, Michaelis recalls the secret surrounding his estranged Greek father and how scandalous events from the past fractured his family.

Affirms commitment to new fiction continues with this latest book. It's an inspiring often disturbing book and its challenge to me was to try and bring out the qualities of loneliness, sorrow, hope and ultimate strength of Michael's story.


Decembers AFP magazine focus is on Neurology: Motor Neurone Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Frontotemporal Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis. The conditions are difficult to treat and devastating to live with. Not least because of the knowledge that in most cases the conditions are degenerative and ultimately incurable.


'Good fences make good neighbours' said Robert Frost. He was being ironic, of course, and this article in Novembers 'Child' magazine supports that stance. Too many fences it seems, cut us off from each other, the world around us and a terrific view just over the rise.