buzzfeed – masculinity

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on July 24th, 2015

Another commission from Buzzfeed. This time to illustrate a piece about masculinity and sexual abuse. It’s a tough and moving essay written by James Tennant. Hopefully my illustrations do it justice.

The piece can be read here where, as before, you can see the illustrations in their intended 2200px-wide glory. But here are the small, 700px versions:


buzzfeed – alcohol addiction

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on July 20th, 2015

Last week, I was commissioned by Buzzfeed to illustrate a piece about alcohol addiction. The piece was written by Chris Owen. I was really pleased with how the illustrations came out in the end.

The piece can be read here, where you can see the illustrations in their intended 2200px-wide glory. Here they are at a measly 700px because I never really thought this blog’s design through.


john-luke roberts flyer

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on July 7th, 2015

Here’s my front and back cover designs for John-Luke Roberts‘ new Edinburgh show. The photos are taken by Edward Moore.

Just saw a bunch of Edinburgh previews at ARG Comedy Festival this weekend and looking forward to seeing more at the fringe in August!


tiernan douieb poster

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

The wonderful Tiernan Douieb asked me to illustrate and design his Edinburgh poster/flyer this year. It sounds like it’s going to be a great show and I’m looking forward to seeing it when I go up for the first week of the fringe. Here are the front and back designs:


josie long t-shirt designs

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

Josie Long kindly asked me, Julia Scheele and David Bailey to design t-shirts for her most recent show “Cara Josephine”. It’s a fantastic show if you get a chance to see it.

I developed two designs and experimented with 1/2/3 colour print versions. In the end, I think Josie went with 2 colour prints:

You can get hold of a t-shirt at Lost Map here, or get a t-shirt/cassette/download bundle here!


artists fight back

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

The above illustration is something I made to accompany the Arts Emergency manifesto a few months ago. It’s Josie Long’s quote. On the subject of Arts Emergency – I highly recommend going over there and signing up to help out if you can (and/or donating!).

After the election results a few weeks back, and seeing all the outpouring of disappointment on social media, I wanted to create something that was positive and used all that anger and frustration and energy and funnelled it into something optimistic. Here’s the result – a mailing list for artists to sign up to which pairs them up with charities/NGOs/protest groups who need artwork:

“The next five years are going to be hard.

The conservative government are going to do their best to further dismantle the welfare state and introduce policies that benefit the rich over the rest of us.

But while the right-wing media may be excellent at fear-mongering, we’re pretty certain the left have all the good artists. It’s time to prove it.

If you’re an artist who wants to be involved in helping fight back…

Go here to sign up.

If you’re a party/union/charity/NGO/protest group/demo/organisation/etc. that’s in need of a design/illustrations/logos/any artwork at all…

Email us at with the full brief, deadline, and if you have a budget available.

Wherever possible, artists should be paid for their work. However, if you have no budget and no-one else involved is being paid, let us know. Some artists may be okay with voluntarily work if the campaign/issue is important to them and they have time in their schedule.

We’ll send out a newsletter with new jobs every week (or when they come in) so artists can offer to take on the work if they’re available and interested.

An example: Let’s say the FBU are organising a strike in the light of another fire station being closed down. They’re worried the press will try to turn public opinion against the strike so they’d like a poster or comic that succinctly summarises their grievances and aims of the strike. They’re open to ideas on how that could be done and have a small budget for the artist. They email all this to the email above and we add it to the list of possible jobs in a newsletter. That then gets delivered to all the artists who sign up. Anyone interested in the job can get in touch with the FBU directly via an email address provided.

Follow the Artists Fight Back tumblr to see what sort of work comes out of this. Fingers crossed people take advantage of the goodwill of all the artists who have signed up so far…


storyboard work

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

I realised I don’t really put storyboard and concept work up here – usually as the work is drawn very quickly for pitches that have to stay secret until the ad/campaign is out – but I thought it should be okay to throw some older work on here (without context):


people’s assembly illustration

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

The People’s Assembly are organising an End Austerity Now march on June 20th.

They had a two-page spread in The Morning Star to advertise it, and asked me if I could provide an illustration for the first page.

I used the red/green/grey colour palette that TPA use for their logo and worked with the designer to make sure it would all work with the text.

Here’s my illustration:


ink and dagger

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

Being a freelance illustrator, you get used to periods of being busy and having absolutely no free time, and periods when the work occasionally dries up for a week or so. The feast and famine is something you get used to, but in order to keep yourself busy and sticking to a routine, it’s nice to have personal work or other projects to move your attention to in these down periods. Ink and Dagger is one of those projects.

Fellow illustrator, Julia Scheele and I were discussing the lack of editorial illustration work that’s out there these days when it occurred to us that we had a lot of freelance writer friends who were probably having a similarly frustrating time getting certain pieces commissioned. We thought maybe we could set up a website which could house spiked articles and previously unseen pieces – and accompany them with bespoke illustrations that we could provide during a quiet period of work.

For now, we’re not planning on finding ways of making it pay, and we’ll most likely only update it very rarely – in between jobs – but it’s nice to have a place for experimenting with illustration briefs and having fun with our friends. It’s also nice to work on a site that shows off how important it is to have good illustrations accompanying articles and how much of a difference it can make when people don’t just use stock photos.

It’s also a great place to host poem comics, comic reportage, and other short comic work so expect to see more of that too.

Go to to see what we’ve got up there so far.

Here are my designs for the logo, header and icon:

Here’s an illustration that I worked on to accompany an old review of Afghan Star by Dan Hancox:

And here’s another illustration I provided for a Hancox piece about seeing Tiesto in July, 2010:

We’ve got another couple of pieces in the pipeline so be sure to check out the site here, and follow us on twitter for updates!


owl and mouse artwork

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on June 8th, 2015

The lovely Owl & Mouse asked me to illustrate and design their debut LP – “Departures” – from Fika Recordings. Here’s the album cover:

Here’s a look at the full back/spine/front design:

And the record sleeve (these designs also show up on the CD design):

Very proud of taking this all the way from early concepts through to designing the CD and vinyl packaging myself. I also designed the image that will be printed on the CD and vinyls.

You can pre-order copies directly through Fika here.

And go see Owl & Mouse play with Tigercats and The Smittens at the Shacklewell Arms on July 7th – details here.

Or, follow them on tour by checking out their dates here.