• Snow

Saul, Gloucestershire:
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• The 100 Greatest Toys: Channel 4

For the last couple of weeks I've been Edit Assisting on the offline edit for the programme '100 Greatest Toys,' presented by Jonathan Ross and his new beard. The show, produced by Two Four Productions, is going to air on Channel 4 this Sunday (19.12.2010) from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. I don't know if I'm included in the programme credits yet but I guess I will find out on Sunday.

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• Marks & Stencils: Dran vs Blimpy

Marks & Stencils is a new pop up shop / gallery showcasing work from a number of street artists including Banksy and Dran. If you're in London during December you should go along. It's open until the 23rd of December.

I paid the pop up shop a visit during my lunch break on the opening day with the silly idea in my head that I might actually buy a Banksy print. If my bank balance would allow it that is. I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that the only print of his for sale was his latest piece 'Choose Your Weapon,' for the grand sum of £450. Maybe it was silly not to? However I couldn't justify to myself, spending nearly the equivalent of a months rent on a piece of art at this stage of my life. As much as I would really love to have it hanging in my bedroom.

There were only a few Banksy pieces and the whole downstairs section was devoted to the artist Dran. As I walked around this section I came across a wall covered in customised Dran postcards by the general public. His piece 'I Have Chalk' was for sale at 50p a go and a bunch of markers and pencils were to hand. Now a few of you reading this might have noticed that a couple of weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was looking for artists and graphic designers to design a customised 'EggMan' postcard for The Be Nice Project Part II's online gallery. I couldn't help but laugh and feel slightly gutted that my idea was already taking place right in front of me. Although I guess it probably has already been done before.

Anyway! I bought a couple of postcards and got scribbling:
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I couldn't resist scanning the postcard in and having a go in Photoshop. There are hundreds of possibilities for this, so here's my own. Dran vs Van Gogh
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Here's the original.
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• Robot City Rampage

I've been working on this sketch for the last few evenings.
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Here's the original.
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(Yes I do realise it's not completely to scale.)

• Fonica Magazine

Fonica is a web based, indie, art and design magazine based in Leeds. Fonica editor and university friend, Richard Chappelow, was kind enough to feature some of my work in their second issue. Here are a few screen grabs containing work for Alberg & Austin and my photo montage of Paper on Robot Fire. You can the read the rest of the issue at: www.fonica.org.uk
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• The Be Nice Project

The initial concept of www.thebeniceproject.com has been bouncing around my head since May.



The 'Egg Man' characters were just silly doodles in my sketch book and the message was inspired by just how rude people can be whilst traveling around central London. Just trying to get anywhere in Central is a complete nightmare. Just because of the sheer volume of people. I heard a rumor somewhere that there was an idea to install slow and fast walking lanes on pavements in Central London. (I have no idea if that's actually true.) I'm not so sure if this would work. However I would propose the idea that a little common decency from every individual in question would go much further.

I know how frustrating it is to be stuck behind a family of tourists with absolutely no idea where they're going carrying 2 suit cases, a push chair and everything but the kitchen sink between them. On the flip side, I'm sure I have deeply frustrated fellow commuters as I've climbed onto a packed out Victoria Line with a huge backpack, a pop up tent, sleeping bag and headphones blasting out music which nobody else wants to hear.

I originally toyed with the idea of placing the Egg Men and their messages in empty London settings, with the idea that even nice words are often ignored by the general public. However after knocking together a couple images with some photos I had taken previously, I was more intrigued to see if this was actually going to be the case.
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On my way home from work one evening armed with an A4 sized crudely made cardboard cut out I wandered through Soho and placed him in a few areas. The only attention he really got was because I had to keep walking over and propping him back up again.
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The next attempt with an A3 sized cutout also had very limited success.
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Photograph by: David Westwood

So after blagging a picture frame and getting the picture printed up, Mark Palmer, Nick Frend and I set off into London. The reactions that the message received as we filmed were all mainly positive. They mainly consisted of smiles, laughter and people stopping to take pictures with it.

The image attracted a lot of attention in mainly tourist areas such as Trafalgar Square and walking up and down Oxford Street. I surprised that it was largely ignored in places such as Stockwell Skatepark and Neals Yard. However I figured if there's already so much street art or graffiti already there this transportable picture simply blends in.

The reactions of the day have to be awarded to the ticket tout who was trying to sell tickets to the Pope's public appearance. He proceeded to sing "Have a Nice Day" by The Stereophonics at us as we walked passed. Followed by the drunken hooded, 13 - 16 year old grubby looking chav clutching a Super King fag and a can of Stella walked up to it, shouted "Have a shit day ... Banksy" and pretended to tag the words on the frame and stumbled off laughing.
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Photograph by: Mark Palmer

The Be Nice Project
wouldn't have been possible without: Luke Billing (Music), Noel Deiton (Video Editor), Nick Frend (Camera Operator), Charlie Kirby (Web design), Mark Palmer (Photographer) and David Westwood (Educational innovations researcher). Thank you also to everyone that posted it on Facebook and Twitter or passed it on to their friends and family via email.

The Be Nice Project Part 2 Coming Soon ...

Since the first installment of The Be Nice Project, I was contacted by the University of Lincoln Alumni blog and they were kind enough to feature me and the project on their site: Click Here

• 7 Ravens Records Logo

Last week I was contacted by one of the owners of the independent record label 7 Raven Records, through a new London based friend. (Their website is still in development.) The guys at 7Raven were after a vintage looking style but were happy to let me run riot with the design. I initially played with a number of different concepts including bird's feet and feathers, as well as the outline of a raven.
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• Tupac Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur was killed 14 years ago this week. I sat listening to a couple of his CD's and made this pattern overlay effect in Adobe Photoshop.
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June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996

• Hand Drawn Pattern

Slightly random doodle ...
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• BBC1: 'PYM Series 3' Graphics

Back in the later part of 2009 the company that I currently work for produced the series 'Dealers: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' Series 3 for BBC1. This 30 episode series pitches two antiques experts against each other for a weeks worth of challenges and all the money they raise is given to charity. PYM3 hit the air over this summer. If you missed it you were probably at work or still asleep, as it was broadcast at 10.30 am.

My role during the series was 'Edit Assistant' and I shared the credits with my work colleague over the 30 eps. I'm not quite sure how it works but the series and the production staff made it's way onto IMDB. You can find my particular credits on there, my page is called Thomas Hill (VIII)

I was asked to produce a number of still and animated graphics for the series as part of the pastiches that the directors had shot with the presenters. Here are a few examples:
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You can see the animated versions of the graphics in my video show-reel from 2009:


• Alberg & Austin @ Underage Fest

I know I'm probably going to get abuse for getting a little over excited about this, but quite frankly I don't care! University friend and owner of the Alberg & Austin clothing label Caitriona Brown rang me last Sunday to tell me that she was at the Underage Festival 2010 and that she had just handed over a copy of my Bubbles T shirt design to the rapper Professor Green.

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Caitriona & Professor Green with my Bubbles Tee.

I have been a fan of Green's music since 2006 when I discovered him and Example when they were support acts for Plan B at a gig I attended in Cardiff. At the time he was touring with his debut album: "Who Needs Actions When You've Got Words." After the show I asked Green if he had any mixtapes with him and he pointed me in the direction of the merchandise stall and suggested that I bought a CD mixed by Beni G of the Mixologists, which he featured on and he was kind enough to sign it for me afterwards. So as you have probably guessed already I was as excited as a 6 year old on Christmas day for the rest of the afternoon after Caitriona's phone call.

Go buy yourself a new T shirt at: www.albergandaustin.com and see who else she met on the websites blog.

My personal favourite Professor Green Track:

• Paper Flying Robot On Fire

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A few weeks ago whilst I was in the Tate Modern gift shop I came across a book showcasing various paper toys and the artists who created them. My personal favourite right now is Shin Tanaka, I think all of his stuff is brilliant. So I thought I would try and turn some of my characters into paper toys. Flying robot just seemed like an obvious choice.

As I traveled home on the way back from central one afternoon I randomly wondered what a sequence of the little guy on fire would look like. Why I felt compelled to do it? Considering the time it took to draw up the template then sit and neatly cut out, fold and stick him together. I simply can't remember! Thanks to Mark Palmer for shooting the pics.

More Adventures of Paper Flying Robot ... Coming Soon!

• Infinity Pool: Tuscany

I had never been in an infinity pool before:
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• Alberg & Austin: T-Shirt Design

I've been looking forward to posting this blog entry for a long time now as it's the coolest piece of work I've done to date! Back in 2009 I was approached by an old university friend to create a couple of tee designs which she could sell as part of her new fashion label Alberg & Austin. All the A&A T-Shirts are limited to 100 prints each. Here are a couple of shots of my final Bubbles design now avaliable on the site:
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Obviously I jumped at the chance and returned to some old designs that I had produced and filed away whilst at university. Having sifted through old sketchbooks and Photoshop files this particular sketch stood out:
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I redrew the bubbles individually using Adobe Illustrator and placed it on a T Shirt outline for Caitriona's approval.
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There are lots of cool other designs on the site so go check them out and support Alberg & Austin.

• I Like Your Sneaks! @ South Bank

Westy and I went to the Tate Modern one sunny Sunday afternoon. We stopped by at South Bank and discovered that there was a skate demo in full swing.
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Photography by: David Westwood

• I Like Your Sneaks!

Be Nice! Taken on Oxford Street ...
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• Free Hugs

Does exactly what it says on the tin ...
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• Have a nice day!

I had a good day so I drew this ...
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• Ghetto Blasters are cool

This piece was inspired by a visit to the Kicks and Canvas exhibition. As my friend Westie pointed out, one of the coolest things about the whole gallery as well as all the custom trainers, was that all the music being played in the venue was from one old school Ghetto Blaster hanging from the ceiling with an old Grandmaster Flash tape inside.
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Here is the photo that I took originally.
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• Robots can't cry

For some reason this one can ...
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• Robots

I started drawing these robot characters a couple of years ago. No idea why, probably out of boredom. That's where flying robot / blimpy came from.Photobucket
This particular character started off life as a 2D sketch.
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After I messed around in Illustrator for a bit I decided to attempt a sketchy 3D look using the Trace ability.
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• Grazed Egos: Remixed Video

This video contains tricks captured for 4 1/2 skate videos over roughly 5 years. In the beginning Jay and I shot on Hi8 tape and edited our first few videos with the analog camera attached to, two VHS decks and a mini disc player. We then made the glamorous leap to mini dvcam and imovie! We had officially gone digital!

In 2005 we released what was to be our best but last feature length skate video, Grazed Egos. I think we roughly sold 7 copies on VHS to mainly the people that featured in the video This was all before a wonderful little website called uchoobe. This little montage is for all the people I ever skated with.

Apologies for the quality of the video!

• Empty Tube Carriages

These pictures were taken on one of my very boring tube rides back home, late on a Wednesday night. I have never had a whole carriage to myself for an entire journey from central to south London.
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In the USA gangs mark their territories by throwing shoes up onto telephone wires and trees.
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• Scream Tee Design

A couple of months ago I was approached by an old uni friend to create some t-shirt designs for her new Clothing Company. I had some designs stashed away for a rainy day for such an opportunity. When I reopened the files not so long ago I found that actually 95% of them were pretty awful! So I went back to the drawing board.
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The stencil concept with the text texture was inspired by the artwork that I produced for the Disturbance Mixtape. However in this instance I wanted to use a bold, striking display of emotion in the person's face, which would turn heads in a crowd full of people. In order to soften such a striking image of the woman's scream I used the butterflies and the floral brushes which helped expand the piece. I also liked the idea that her scream was making these natural elements explode out from her expression.

Although she decided not to use the design, her feedback was extremely useful and I intend to develop the concept further at a later date.

• Skateboarding

This photo was originally taken back in 2006 for a photography project during my first year at University. The concept was to try and capture people's reactions to the noise and movement of a skateboarder riding through a busy street. Whilst negotiating my way along a road of buses one Saturday afternoon in Cambridge, Charlie Kirby, the photographer, strategically positioned himself to capture the reactions of the people at the bus stop. As you can see, no one battered an eye lid.
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The reason why I decided to manipulate this image in Photoshop is because even to this day for some reason to me it looks like Ive just walked into the road put my skateboard down on the floor, stood on it, pulled a silly pose, Charlie took the picture and that was that. Even though that was completely not the case as I was 1) traveling as fast as I could to make the most amount of noise and 2) to avoid any buses lurking around the corner.

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