Sunday, 24 July 2011


I created this decorative birdhouse as a response to a pattern design that I had previously created. The pattern is based on flight and birds in motion and features in two extreme forms on the birdhouse. One is the intricate pattern in small scale as the background and the second features as the preliminary imagery on the forefront of the birdhouse. I wanted to see how the two sets of imagery would interact with one another when integrated into a fully realised object. The result is a very attractive decoration that is well made and evocative of the content it depicts.

Theatrical Masks

I was inspired to create these masks after looking at some masquerade masks in a shop in Durham. The masks were sparkly and decorative adorned with feathers and glitter and I thought it would be interesting to do an anti-glitter masquerade mask adorned with 'ugly' imagery that would be visually very interesting and allow the opportunity for further photoshoots and story telling in the future.
I sculpted the mask from mod roc using my own face as the model and applied my hand drawn bugs in a strategic way that would make the best use of the masks by having the insects crawling in and out of the eyes etc.
The end result is very theatrical and evocative adding lots of material for further storytelling...

The Taxidermist

Stills from 'The Taxidermist', the short film for which I Art Directed. The film was set and shot in a remote location and focused on the story of a father and son taxidermist.

A collection of business cards I created to feature on the workshop bench.

The owl mugs on set.

I created a few old style award certificates to feature in the film to show the pride the father and son hold in their work.

The fish skeleton in action.

A man's silhouette had to be created for the film.

The family sign had to be created and featured heavily throughout the film. I chose an old style typeface that would reflect a friendly business and be lighthearted and cheery to reflect the film's character. The hourglass glyph and decoration added to the personality of the film whilst adding a subtle hint of the nature of film and events to come.

The Taxidermist Prop Production

For the film I made a selection of the props myself, these were partly for budget reasons but also because I wanted the film to have a slightly handmade original look to it that would have been impossible to achieve through purely commercial products.
The fish skeleton was designed to look like the original Tom and Jerry style cartoon fish that would be easily recognisable with childhood entertainment and thus create an emotional association with the audience. It was also to fit in with the style of the film, being a bit quirky and jovial in the pivotal scene.
The fish was made out of thin wire and plasticine, it was very fiddly but the end result looked very effective on screen and functional with the in-built hook for the actors to hold.

The film needed to have a collection of amber eyes for a few critical scenes. They were really expensive to find online so I decided to make them myself out of marbles coated in acrylic and then the amber image was applied with PVA and varnished to add a shine like real eyes. The result was a collection of beautiful shining eyes that glistened with an eerie surreal glow yet showed up beautifully in the final cut.

The following images are of the pair of owl mugs I made for the film. I took an existing pair of mugs and built upon them using layers of cardboard and plasticine. I subsequently painted them and varnished them ready for the shoot.