Monday, 24 December 2012
Merry Christmas, every one. And a flippin' jolly New Year too, that's always a plus. And Flirtini's all round! That's Mighty Boosh. But in all seriousness, it's been another amazing year, and I thank all those who made it so for this medium-sized illustrator. I hope 2013 blow's everyone's minds in its stupendousness-ness and outright propensity to overjoy the senses. It's going to be an exciting year! IT'S CHRISTMAAAAAS!
Friday, 14 December 2012
Bing bong bing bong CHRISTMAS!!! YES. This weekend see's the release of my new two-part Cogg and Sprokit story, 'Christmas Crisis', only in The Phoenix! I had great fun doing this strip; there were a whole load of cliches and 'saving Christmas' kind of things going on with it, so I just thought: 'I'm going to make this as silly and as fun as I can in 8 pages', which was...well, fun. And Christmassy. I hope anyone who reads it enjoys it! It definitely got me in The Christmas spirit. Unfortunately for everyone around me, that was back in October, when I was making it.
I'm seeing more and more about the Phoenix in the interwebs and around the sites and digital engines, which makes me so happy. It is SUCH a fantastic comic, one that I believe really is individual and unlike anything else out there, and it means so much to see it building up a great reputation and an even bigger subscription base. I still get a massive buzz whenever it comes through the post box. In case anyone was interested, I have also included the first version of the cover I did, which can be seen above. We went for a red background in the end as it was way more striking and 'Christmassy', and I do believe it changed slightly again (the text, at least), which I think looks even more striking. Which is a good thing really, as it was the final, printed version. Maximum strikinginess. And it can be seen over here!
Also out this month, just in time for Christmas, is what some have called: 'The Ultimate Gift'. And I am not one to speak against some. I will quote The Phoenix themselves here, as they say it all rather well:
'We have finally finished creating The Phoenix Gift Box! This is a lovely box that includes a mini comic, some badges, some stickers and most importantly a 5 week subscription to The Phoenix! It retails for £14.99 and is basically an amazing xmas present. You can buy it from us here.'
And it really is a great Christmas present. So if you know any children, or any comic lovers, or anyone who likes well produced, creative and fantastic awesomeness, you could do worse than supproting our little indie publication! But yes, that's the end of my sales pitch, I shall be posting some more illustrations soon!
Friday, 7 December 2012
After a dramatic return from Thailand (I walked through Gatwick passport control at about at least 2 metres per minute, I thought to myself; 'It is nigh time for a blogpost, Mr. Littler'. Right you are, Jamie.
Thailand was AMAZING, and a much needed break, and it was the first time in my memory I have been trekking into a jungle, ridden elephants, climbed into caves and ridden a quoadbike over forested mountains, whilst meeting some of the friendliest people around (the Earth, Just hangin'. Y'know), and I have come back feeling refreshed and raring to go with illustration and other such creative activities!! Just in time for the Christmas break. But here's another personal children's book illustration, just to say hi.
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
This looks a bit like my studio. No, no, not really, I did my annual clean-up earlier this week, there's now only about half the amount of ink and paint on the floor!
I did this illustration in the freer, more explosive style of my upcoming book 'Mum's the Word'. Man; I love using watercolour. As long as it goes well *shudders and thinks of all the horrifying moments when the entire drawing is ruined by the slip of a brush, the bleeding of paint, the hand brushing over still-wet-areas...shudder) As much as I love digital, it's soooo nice to get the chance to swap between the mediums! I hope you like it!
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
I have no idea how one plays hopscotch, all I know if that it involves hopping around the place. I think.
So, currently I am in that weird time between projects, a Cogg and Sprokit Christmas special done and dusted, and my next project looming happily on the horizon. These (thankfully) quiet moments doesn't happen all too often, so I thought I'd use this precious time to work really hard on new portfolio images and just try to get those personal illustration ideas I've had in my brain out on to paper. It's actually very exciting and fun to do, so I'll try and post as many as I can over the coming weeks. Before I escape on holiday. That's right: I'm going on summer holiday in November. I'm that guy. I hope you enjoy them all! SWOOOOOOOSH! (Autumnal sound).
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Friday, 26 October 2012
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Friday, 5 October 2012
Autumn is coming, my coat is getting wet, please put a penny in the old man's...het? I mean...it's October...and rain...and stuff. Ahem. It's been a long week. Whilst in town I actually saw a child dressed like this go out of her way to leap into a puddle...you hear about this kind of reckless act all the time, but I thought it was one of the most incredible things to actually witness first hand. Living the dream, that kid was, living the dream.
I also did this piece last week as a contribution for Matt Timms' charity fund rasing run for the WWF charity, a charity I feel very strongly about and was delighted to be able to support. There's an etsy stort over here which has lots of different illustrations and sketches created by many different illustrators and animators to raise money for the run, so please check it out! All proceeds go to WWF, so it's a win-win situation!
I also updated my website this week, which has been long overdue (I seriously can't believe how fast time flies), and most of the sections (except for concept art) have new and updated pieces in them, so please, if you have the time, grab a cuppa and have a peruse!
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Thursday, 27 September 2012
I have a lot of ideas/techniques flying around my head at the moment that I would like to try out, perhaps too many, so much so that I end up sitting down doing nothing because I'm not entirely sure what to do first. So in an effort to focus, I'm just doing the first things that come to me, without thinking too much about it. It tends to go all pear-shaped when I think too much. I wonder what that says about me. This is one of those things, just trying out different ways of putting images on paper. I hope you like it!
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Friday, 21 September 2012
Monday, 17 September 2012
So, to start things off: above are two rough covers I did for Hachette for Hilary McKay's 'Casson Family' series (well, one of the books, 'Caddy's World'). The brief was to have a really messy, fun cover filled with elements that happen in the book, but unfortunately this is as far as it's going to go. The artwork is going in a different direction (though it had nothing to do with my artwork, I'm assured), which is a real shame, but I still had a great time and experience on this comission, and thought I'd show you guys the primary sketches. I did a whole load of them, but these two were my favourite's, I think. I hope you enjoy! So, uh, yeah, catch you later.
Thursday, 30 August 2012
HIGH FIVE! This week marks the start of my next Cogg and Sprokit 7-part mini-series, 'Friendly Fire', in The Phoenix! I have been working my proverbial socks off on this extended adventure (don't worry, my actual socks remained firmly on my feet throughout the entire production), so I really hope that any readers who happen to stumble upon this adventure really do enjoy it. It revolves around a race between the world's top adventurers for the fabled treasure 'The Sapphire Sun'. But as tensions grow, so too does Cogg and Sprokit's partnership, and our favourite boy and hippo double-team decide to go their seperate ways and find new partners. GASP! 'It cannot be!!!', I hear you cry, well, perhaps a quick subscription to The Phoenix Comic or journey to your local Waitrose is in order so you can pick up some copies and get a few damnable answers!
Phoenix website has a great list of stores that stock the comic, and a list of back issues you can order direct, too. Convenient, huh? But yes. I shall stop preaching my sales pitch, and leave you to enjoy some awesome comics.
Friday, 17 August 2012
Thursday, 2 August 2012
A current obsession of mine...
And speaking of Batman, check out who's looking on in wonder at Cogg's athletic abilities in this weeks' Olympic themed Waitrose Weekend Magazine. If you have a Waitrose nearby, do try and grab a copy, they're free and the pages are littered with everyone's favourite Phoenix characters having a rather splendid game of catch around the articles!Just what I would do if I were 2D.
Friday, 13 July 2012
Man - still (STILL) waiting for permission before I can reveal any of the artwork I've been working on so hard this year (and last) that isn't Cogg and Sprokit related, so here's another piece from one of my on-going fiction ideas. That alien is most CERTAINLY feeling left out. But I guess you would, wouldn't you? School is hard enough without antennae's complicating things.
Oh, and also, last (last) week I took part in the incredible Pop Up Festival Comics Big Top of Awesome...which was, well, pretty awesome, actually. You know what, I'm really starting to dig these workshop and live drawing thingies. Whilst the nerves are still there, I actually find the enjoyment completely overrides the fear! So...HUZZAH for sure. Thanks to everyone who turned up and made the day so awesome, and all the kids were great and so willing to get stuck in with comic making. There's some absolutely fantastic talent out there, let me tell you. Us older illustrators had better watch out. Here's some photo of the evnt, courtesy of Sarah McIntyre!
Niell Cameron, Nana Li, Sarah McIntyre, Gary Northfield, Myself, Jamie Smart and David O'Connell. All in all; a brilliant day, and I'd really like to thank Sarah and David for inviting me to such a thing. I always think two guests called Jamie adds a certain special 'something' to an event, too. As a finishing note, here is a link to Gary Northfield and I battling it out with just a pen and the most vicious of marine animals...
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Here's another illustration for a children's fiction idea I have floating around my head. One day...one day...
In other news; I shall be making a comic workshop appearance alongside many other fantastic British creators at the 'Pop Up Festival of Stories' on Saturday, 30th of June. I'll do a proper blog post all about it, but I thought I'd mention it now...y'know, in case you had a diary handy or something. Ahem. I'm so excited about it - and completely terrified. I have never done anything like it before, so the butterflies are building up already. Should be a great show, though, and it's about time I got out of this studio and witnessed the world first hand, right?
Friday, 1 June 2012
I have also started on a new cover comission for Hachette - all in all - A FINE day. And to celebrate, here's a vampire. In its bat form, of course. See, I can get in on all of this vampire action too! Can't I? No? Okay.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
Hello hello hello Summer-time dwellers! I am in a very good mood today, for us lucky few residing in the British Isles have seen our first rays of sunshine in like, 20 years, and the week has been very very exciting work-wise...with no less than 3 possible projects cruising down the comission road and soon to be in front of your very eyeballs as soon as I can talk about/show them. The usual secrecy business, only more so! I also intend to get this blog back on track, like some terrible guardian, I have let this poor blog fall to the wayside and get dusty and forgotten in the darkest corners of the interweb, whilst I frolicked about in the sunshine with work and the proespect of buying new paints and cartons of orange juice. Well NO LONGER!! I intend to get back to AT LEAST one blog post a week. Starting now. Here's a girl riding a bike. Because it's Summer, y'know - the, erm, the season of...bikes? Ooo...and my new Cogg and Sprokit cover for the continuously wonderful Phoenix Comic. I thought I'd add the 'pencils' and the final thing here, so those interested could see a type of progression. Look at it go! This week's Cogg and Sprokit is a MUST for fans of the undead and rolling boulder-like objects. Oh, and sand.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Friday, 4 May 2012
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Friday, 13 April 2012
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Friday, 30 March 2012
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
I'm grabbing this brief down-time I find myself having by the horns to enlarge my children's book portfolio a bit. Even though I've been doing some children's books, I've realised a lot of them involve mainly animals and various critters (I love drawing them, but admitting it is the first step), so I'm going to try out a few more pieces involving children or at least some anthropomorphic (AARGH, that word again. It needs one less 'O' I feel. Or at least, one more.) animeaux's. And I'll tell you want; these chances to draw whatever pops into my head is rarer and rarer these days, and I'm completely LOVING it! It's like being unleashed in a playground of truth and wood, where you can't touch the ground, otherwise you fall in the lava. You know. Ahem. I've been sketching quite a lot, I'll try and get a few more up soon!
As always; thanks so much for stopping by!
Friday, 16 March 2012
But seriously; I hope that those of you who catch it enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. I have also been scouring my sketchbooks and have found lots of character designs for both Cogg and Sprokit and Atomic!, which I will post up hopefully next week for your perusing pleasure. If only I could show some stuff from my children's book too. I'll ask Hodder very nicely and see what they say...
Friday, 2 March 2012
Just a quick blog post to say that Issue 9 of The Phoenix contains the next thrilling installment of Cogg and Sprokit, available to all subscribers, people who venture to Waitrose AND other assorted comic shops around the island as of this weekend.
I'm really happy with the mini-story in this issue; it's the first one that really sets Cogg and Sprokit off on their treasure hunting adventures, and I got to draw a weird sabre-toothed cat chasing a boy and hippo, which is basically why I got into comics. I hope you guys enjoy it!
I've been busy again recently, hence the lack of blog updates; but the good news is; I finished my debut children's book with Hodder Children's Books this week. High five! The bad news: it won't be available to buy until next year. BUT it's done, I loved doing it and I am very proud of it. Lots more to come throughout the year. I'm also currently rounding off a 5-issue longer story arc of Cogg and Sprokit, which will be hitting shelves soon - and in this baby the action REALLY heats up for the unfortunate yet heroic duo. Until then, team, fare ye well.
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Jonny and Tommy Atomic are OFF!!
Yup, those random sentences and noises can only mean one thing: The 'Atomic!' series, both books 1 and 2, are released today! I'm going to go hunt them down on a book shelf somewhere, just to make sure it's actually real. I remember when I first got this brief, it felt like a lifetime until they would be out. That was one QUICK lifetime. And I'm...*sob*...so...happy. They grow up so fast. Now that the books have been released, I'm going to hunt down some concept art and sketches of the characters to put up on the blog over the coming posts. And whilst I'm talking about it, the creator and writer Guy Bass is doing a cool peek into the Atomic world and its characters over on his blog. Enjoy!
Friday, 27 January 2012
Next week is going to be an intense week. Everything I have been going on about over the last few months will be released in one big explosion of stuff being put on shelves (not the mightiest of explosions, I know, but an explosion none-the-less).
First up we have 'Cogg and Sprokit', my mini-series being serialised every few weeks in the magnificent Phoenix Comic. The first episode launches TOMORROW in Issue 4 of The Phoenix, or today if you've subscribed, I think, and I could not be more excited. Let me know what you think of it, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. It is basically one (mis)adventure after another as the dynamic (read; unlucky) duo go in search of treasure, adventure and ways to keep their heads attached to their shoulders whilst doing so in a world full of anthropomorphic animals, monsters and gorgeous sunset vistas. Aahhh. I may have lied about the vistas. If this sounds like your cuppa, and you have not subscribed to the comic, I know you can buy the individual issues in any Waitrose store every Saturday, and from some independant comic stoes such as GOSH Comics in London.
Next up if the fiction series I have been working so hard on with the fantastic and awesome award-winning author Guy Bass; 'Atomic!' Both the books in the series, 'The Vengeance of Vinister Vile' and 'The Madness of Madame Malice' are out on the 2nd of February, published by Scholastic UK, and they are going to ROCK! Guy has written such a fun, energetic, funny and intense story, and it was an absolute pleasure to illustrate it. What could be more fun to illustrate than a story of two boys who are the children of the world's greatest super-hero and the world's most evil, diabolical super-villain?! I've worked super, mega-hard on the illustrations (there's comic sections and everything in this book, take a looksee here), and am thrilled to finally see them on the shelves. But yes, phew. Enough self-promotion. I need to get back to work.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
I am very excited to introduce the twins, Jonny and Tommy Atomic!!
These two are the stars of my first ever illustrated fiction book 'Atomic! The Vengeance of Vinister Vile', written and created by the fantastic Guy Bass and illustrated by, well, me, soon to be released by Scholastic UK. (And the second book, 'The Madness of Madame Malice' will be soon to follow!)
I am SO excited about this series. Full stop. Super heroes, flying islands, monsters and one bad tempered crocodile; Atomic has it all. The story is exciting, action-packed and hilarious. And I have worked my derriere off on this badboy, and am very proud of it. This is the project I have been working on that made me disappear from the blog world for a while, but I believe it was well worth it. I will blog about it in-depth soon, but in the meantime, why not check it out over here? It would be most kind of you, and we can high-five each other whilst saving the world from Vinister Vile.