Good style is Eternal

Good style is Eternalitems available at society6

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100 Tours

100th Tour de FrancePoster design commemorating the 2013 Tour de France – the 100th edition of this famous event. This year the riders will cover a total of 3,403 kilometres (2,115 mi), made up from 21 stages of racing around France.

The main image was created in ArtRage Studio Pro, ‘Le Tour’ title hand drawn and edited in Illustrator, and the final layout composed in Photoshop, where textures and effects were added.

Pillow designs

Throw pillows

Have recently created a few new items for my society6 online store, including designs for throw pillows, which is their latest product addition. These are 16″ x 16″ pillow covers, double-sided printed on 100% spun polyester poplin fabric. Above are shown some of my most recent designs, featuring both new and old art, specific illustrated imagery and a few colourful patterns.

7 things I’ve learned from Lance Armstrong

SINNER – Lance Armstrong

  1. Don’t lower yourself to the unprincipled standards of others.
    If the game is a lie, then eradicate the problems or find another game to play.
  2. Maintaining a lie requires a serial approach to falsehood and deception.
    The road you choose will be very long and is unlikely to be fully supported by others for the entire journey. Rumour and innuendo will eventually expose enough of the truth, particularly when financial gain is involved.
  3. At what cost?
    If you opt to cheat and have a responsibility for others, be prepared for substantial consequences for all involved.
  4. Sport absolutely requires a level playing field for all participants.
    To knowingly cheat, regardless of circumstances, completely disrespects competitors, officials, volunteers, sponsors and spectators. Without adherence to set rules it is no longer a sporting contest.
  5. Don’t overcome a major life hurdle and then simply lose your footing at the next obstacle.
    Fight with integrity and learn from the experience. Be fully prepared for future challenges and use your recent knowledge and inner belief to overcome without hesitation or missteps.
  6. Win without sin.
    Accept all the adulation and the rewards of success without a closet full of gruesome skeletons.
  7. It’s really, really not about the bike.
    Sport is passion. Life is emotional. Better yourself through effort, dedication and a commitment to standards and accountability. Attempt to positively influence those around you through honest self-management and just doing the right thing.

    * I’ve updated the background of my previously posted Lance Armstrong illustration to reflect his recent downfall: from an admired winner to a disgraced sinner.

Le Tour de France

Le Tour de France

The 99th edition of Le Tour de France is currently racing towards an arrival in Paris on Sunday July 22nd – after an exhausting 3,497 kilometres. To add my small mark in celebrating the famous event I’ve put together this old style poster design, using a vector version of one of my photographs of professional cyclists, together with some nice vintage letterpress type. Oh, and… Go Cadel!

LIFECYCLE: two-wheeled evolution

two-wheeled evolution

An illustrated poster concept I’ve had for a while – finally created the time to produce the individual bicycles and piece together the design. My idea was always to find iconic examples of what I believed were the three key stages for personal two-wheeled transport: child, youth and adult.

The poster itself only needed to support the bicycle silhouettes without any detailed fussiness, so after exploring a few colour options and different graphic elements for the background, I decided on a very simple vertical panel design, which retained my preferred colour choices for each bike and age, in an understated pattern. All work completed in Illustrator CS5.

The creative bicycle

Learning to again ride with poise

It is suggested that certain talents or learnt and nurtured skills always remain with you, regardless of inactivity, disuse or neglect. After a lengthy period of time of near total artistic and illustrative abandonment (in the region of 20 years) personally finding my way once again has proved to be a sometimes difficult and very frustrating experience.

Rediscovering my own original ability, technique, creative vision and conceptual understanding – something that I believe was only significantly constrained by age, inexperience and a lack of opportunity – is proving to be a painful journey in many tangible ways.

Looking back at some of my few retained early illustrations, I now find it hard to recognise myself as the person responsible, such is the feeling of separation over time and the skills apparently forgotten. Most disconcerting is my current inability to artistically ‘see’ as I firmly believe I should – recognising form, shape and volume, together with basic natural competence in conceptualizing, sketching and drawing – a struggle that has knocked me sideways at different points and created a very hollow internal reaction.

As part of the required process to achieve positive results, clear methodologies and specific technical approaches are paramount, particularly when attempting detailed or intricate illustration techniques or complex and involved new software applications. I’ve unpleasantly discovered that it can be rather daunting and regularly discouraging to not automatically grasp and perform the necessary steps, exacerbated as my expectations don’t match initial outcomes, and the navigation through repeated difficulties appears to be full of sizable obstacles.

Believing that all my seemingly lost skills will immediately and magically return may be a direct form of personal deception, however the feeling that they should be more readily apparent at this point of time is genuinely inescapable. In time, with required application, lessons are learned and understanding becomes second nature, but the spectre of unrealised proficiency will likely remain for an extended and unwelcome period. Have you ever found your own creative bicycle no longer riding true?

Note: my sketch used above is taken from the enRICH KIDS book ‘The Big Win’ – head to enrichkids.com.au to check out their range of financial education resources for children.