Poster Illustration: “This Is England ’90”.

I recently entered a Channel 4 competition to design a Rave poster for Shane Meadows’ upcoming miniseries, “This Is England ’90“. This is what I ended up turning in…

Al Cook This Is England '90 Poster.

Now the reason why it’s so plain is because I couldn’t decide on an idea that covered everything in the brief and I spent so much time fucking around with ideas that when it came down to it, the deadline was in three days and I hadn’t even started it yet!

I really like “This Is England”. The film and the two TV series. I’d heard about there being a third series set in the 90’s around Acid House and the FIFA World Cup and all that so I was interested when a guy down the pub told me about this poster competition.

But see, I tried to be sneaky. The brief didn’t mention the FIFA World Cup but I knew the series was gonna revolve around a lot of that. So I tried to stick football into my Rave poster ideas wherever I could.

But what does fitba have to do with designing a Rave poster?
Fuck all. That’s what.

The short story is that I spent far too much time on bullshit waste of time sketches instead of paying attention to what they were asking for the poster.

Here’s everything in order…

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Let’s make it so that the ball is a disco ball and the street is a dance floor and…” NAW!
Back to the wall idea I went…

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What if it was a ripped up fitba poster and underneath was a RAVE poster?!”…

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…”Or what if it was HALF Rave poster, HALF FIFA poster!?”

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It was beginning to get out of hand altogether. All of those scribbles ended up in the bin. And then for some reason after all of that, I decided it should look like a postage stamp. So it became a stamp…

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Al Cook. This Is England.

Al Cook. This Is England Notes.

Al Cook This Is England 90. Version 3.

Al Cook This Is England. Postage Stamp Version.

The brief didn’t allow for any text with ’90 in it so it had to go in the end.

Al Cook This Is England '90 Poster.

Is that wee smiley face guy copyrighted? Probably is.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* From Pencil To Paper To Pen To Pencil To Photoshop To Poster
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up
* Album Cover Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”

Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up.

This feels like a wee secret art class!
But it’s not.

Today I’m going to show you the ‘Behind The Scenes’ drawings of “The Crucifixion“, the latest installment of Al Cook’s “Necropolis”, my comic strip. Actually, ‘Behind The Scenes’ isn’t exactly what this is. It’s more like a collection of daft and drunken squiggles and the illustration panels they turned into.

First thing’s first. I doodle ALL the time! Doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. Whatever I’m doing, I’m usually doodling whilst doing it. I’ve been doodling images of Christ on the Cross since I was a wee boy and so it seemed like a good idea to use those as the basis for my next strip.

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I usually don’t like to plan things out as much as I did with “The Crucifixion” and I almost never do any ‘preparation’ drawings but here’s how it all happened…

* 2 scribbly drunken sketches done at a bar:

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* Planning for the layout of the first couple of panels:

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* The completed first and second panel illustrations:

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* Quick sketches to give me an idea of what should be in shadow etc…

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* The completed illustration panels:

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* Idea sketches for the look of the Roman headgear…

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* Halfway through applying the biro ink to the pencil lines of the final illustration:

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* The completed illustration:

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* A layout sketch done very quickly by the looks of it:

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* The completed illustration:

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* I found it quite difficult to illustrate someone removing a Roman helmet. The angle of it bugged me for a week. I must have drawn it 20 different ways before sketching out this idea:

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* The completed illustration (Which I’m still not happy with):

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* I wrote the comic strip as I went along and one of the main problems with that is that I don’t work in order. Like my brain, I’m sort of out of order. For instance, the first panel was first one drawn and then I worked from the middle panel backwards and then from the end panel backwards. It’s just the way that works best for me but sometimes, …sometimes I get stuck for a line of dialogue and have to improvise on the spot…

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* Note to self:

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* The final illustration before I drew over it with black biro pen:

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* Detail:

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* The completed panel:

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* I fished this out of the bin 3 days after I’d put it there. Sometimes the best ideas are the first ones!…

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* The finished illustration:

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You can view the fully finished strip HERE.

If any of this was of any help to you with anything drawing or illustration-related then please drop me a line.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test
* Album Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”
* Al Cook’s Marketing & Poster Improvement Service

Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: The Crucifixion.

Awrite n’ that, big man?
Here’s the latest unfunny from my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis”.
Share it with your pals if you have any.

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View this as it’s meant to be viewed by clicking HERE.
Keep up to date with the twits on Twitter HERE and if you have any hate mail or death threats please ONLY use the Facebook Page which is HERE.

You may Also Be Interested In…
* Behind A Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up.
* Please Give Blood
* Cracking Open A Cold One

Some Drawings By The 13 Year Old Me…

My Mum unearthed some long lost drawings I did at school when I was 13 and gave them to me today.

Although they’re not very good at all, I remember getting really pissed off at the teacher for writing score marks on the actual drawing itself! Even the thought of it gets to me now and I’m 31! Ha Ha!

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Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test.

Whenever I get an illustration commission I occasionally get asked to provide ‘idea sketches’ to show what the finished piece will look like. This type of request usually results in me turning down a lot of artwork job offers because I almost never ever produce any ‘idea’ sketches and if I do, they never really resemble the eventual illustration and I tear them up just as soon as I’m finished with them. Besides, I think that sample and ‘idea’ sketches could subliminally put someone off of your work.
Is that crazy and paranoid?

If it’s not crazy and paranoid it’s probably arrogant of me but I’d rather turn down an illustration job than waste my time churning out sample sketches just to please someone who doesn’t have the faith in me to just let me get on with things.

That said, sometimes I do produce ‘working’ sketches for my horror comic-strip to help me place where characters and objects will be in the panels and today I’m going to break my own rule and show them to you.

All of these working sketches come from the “Please Give Blood” installment from my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis” and as you will see, these were never meant to be seen…

* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustraion Panel:

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* Working Sketch #1:

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* Working Sketch #2:

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* Working Sketch #3:

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* Working SKetch #4:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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I decided to upload these scribbles because aside from my own, I like to see work in progress. Be it a building being built or a half finished song, I’m interested and so I hope those sketches were of some interest to you.
You can view “Please Give Blood” in full HERE.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”
* Graham Humphreys: “Zombie Flesh Eaters” Artwork
* Sketches For Nobody #6

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