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 inkanddagger.net 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!

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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.

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study group podcast

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

Some friends started an extremely specific podcast about the second season of Community and asked me along on one of the recording days.

I bloody love Community, and have, since getting hooked, discovered more of Dan Harmon’s previous work. I’m still probably not quite enough of a geek about it all to sound like I know what I’m talking about.

I think we watched and talked about 5 episodes over the course of 5 hours, while drinking wine. So if you start listening to the podcast and I repeat myself and sound unintelligible at any point, I’m going to blame it all on the wine and delirium. It was a fun day. I’ve not been able to make any of the recordings since but hope to make another appearance at some point.

I’ve also not been able to bring myself to listen back to the recordings, for fear of discovering additional reasons to hate myself, so have no idea if it’s any fun to listen to. Fingers crossed! Matt – who has been editing the episodes and doing all the admin behind the scenes – asked me if I’d like to help out with a logo, iTunes icon and website headers, and I made these:

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vice podcasts

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

I was commissioned by VICE to illustrate a feature on the top 5 gaming podcasts out there.

As a freelance artist who gets to listen to the radio and podcasts all day (when I’m not writing), this was a fun one. Especially as one of the 5 (The Indoor Kids) is already one of my favourite listens. You can read the article here.

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in the frame – the next five years

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on May 15th, 2015

116. Welcome to the next five years of your life

A very raw, self-knowingly OTT reaction to the general election results last week. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a 1970’s Italian horror film. Lots of abstract, jarring juxtapositions of surreal imagery. An Argento movie set in Buckingham Palace while Cameron met the Queen. It was fun, and weirdly cathartic to draw ram’s heads and crows.

On a more positive note, on the weekend after the results, I started to think about all the artists I know who were feeling angry or despairing at the prospect of another five years of a Tory government – and how there were probably loads of campaigns and protest groups gearing up soon, who would need artwork… So I set up a mailing list for artists to sign up to – so that when that art is needed, I could send out a newsletter to all the artists who were interested in getting involved and helping out. It feels good to put that energy into doing something positive and I’m excited to see what this group can do! If you’d like to sign up, click here.

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cards against humanity

Posted in illustrations, news by Tom on May 15th, 2015

I was asked by the lovely chaps at Shut Up & Sit Down (excellent board game site) to illustrate their response to the popular card game Cards Against Humanity.

You can read the full article here.

The illustrations, without the context:

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in the frame – krishnan guru-murthy

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on May 3rd, 2015

115. Krishnan Guru-Murthy’s Ongoing Campaign to Alienate all of Hollywood

This was in response to the Robert Downey Jr walkout but seems to be a common trend of KGM asking famous people ridiculously private or tediously controversial questions while they’re contractually promoting movies (see: violence in cinema with Quentin Tarantino, wherein Tarantino is an arrogant douche about it but has a point about that tired question popping up again). I can understand there must be a frustration with having to do these 5-10 minute puff pieces promoting a movie with fairly mundane questions but I can’t help but think Guru-Murphy’s questions are at best, ill-timed, and at worst, opportunistic. Surely, if you don’t want to be part of a PR tour for a blockbuster movie, you just turn the interview down rather than try and hijack it to interview an actor about their past? It can’t be a surprise when someone who is contractually obligated to answer questions in a hotel all day doesn’t react well to their past as an addict being brought up.

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in the frame – farage begins

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on April 24th, 2015

114. Farage Begins

I was sat watching the opposition debates, having the usual soul-draining feelings every time Farage opened his mouth to speak, when this idea popped into my head. Whatever the issue, whatever the topic – Farage never fails to crowbar in some immigration talk – to the point at which the word lost all meaning and I was convinced this Immigration person just really hurt Farage once. Broke his heart. And he can’t let it go.

It’s a kinder, sillier, interpretation of his beliefs than he deserves but for my own sanity and well-being, I have to try not to take this man seriously or I become depressed.

After I pitched this idea, I saw the brilliant Babak Ganjei share a couple of Young Farage comics on Facebook which come from a similar place but are very different in execution. He’s much funnier than me. Check them out here. I was terrified it would look like I stole his idea when I saw his posts, but I think we both came at the same idea in very different ways.

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in the frame – game of downing street

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on April 17th, 2015

113. Game of Downing Street

BAM BAM BU-BUH BAM BAM BU-BUH BAM BAM. Game of Thrones is back! The idea of juxtaposing the grim violence and backstabbing of GoT with the meaningless soundbites and petty squabbles of the UK election campaigns was just too tempting. It’s weeks like this that I wish I had a bit more room to really dig in and enjoy drawing all characters but I’m still pretty pleased with my Tyrion, Sansa and Jon Snow.

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in the frame – election fatigue

Posted in comics, in the frame, news by Tom on April 10th, 2015

112. Early Onset Election Fatigue

I know campaigning has only just officially started but it really doesn’t feel like it.

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