Creative Futures – My work is out there

I received an email a few days ago:

Hello Daryl,
Sorry for the massive delay but we’ve had issues getting power into the display case where we needed it.  However, I’m pleased to say your animated film is now on display at Streetlife on a digital photo frame, within the Amy Johnson case in the ground floor Street scene area.
I will get a simple label done for this as part of a batch for an up and coming exhibition.  Could you confirm how you’d like the film described and what your course and college/dept is called?
Thanks for your patience.
I went to the Street Life museum. It’s not like I didn’t believe him. I just had to see it for myself;
Creative Futures – My work is out there

Creative Futures – Sordid Lies T-shirt design

A while ago, I designed a mascot for the band Sordid Lies. Initially the intention was to get the mascot animated and to star in either another music video or have it projected during stage events. While none of these came to fruition, I did have a character ready to go when we wanted to get a T-shirt design across.

At a band meeting, I scribbled down the design… You’ll have to ignore the solo face and Solid Snake.


After the initial drawing, we decided we wanted a far more thicker line so it wouldn’t get lost in the black. I copied the font and tried some different positions.


I wanted to have the leg a little higher, I believe it shows off the mascot’s curvy physique and makes for something a little more seductive.

Tshirt back edit

I didn’t want to have a winged skull because Avenged Sevenfold already did that… but the Nazgul-esque design doesn’t add much to it either. We decided to have the font above the mascot and bigger for better focus. I wanted to have the wings almost draped over Sordid Lies but was out voted. To keep the background from looking completely empty though I put some big speaker stacks in instead.

Tshirt clean edit

I hand drew the Devil’s Daughter (song name) tagline. We considered having Sleaze Rock Sinners (song name) and Vanity Project (EP name). However, Devil’s Daughter fit the theme of the T-shirt, the words themselves can be related directly to the character. It could be considered that she is the Devil’s Daughter. I played it safe with the type, copying the Sordid Lies font from other sources we’ve had, and hand drawing the Devil’s Daughter so I didn’t have to rely on any one or other type design, whilst simultaneously keeping it ambiguous. Not mimicking any type face from the 80’s, this was a conscious choice as I wanted to build our own unique style from the bands visual themes.


Now available and on sale at £7.50.

Creative Futures – Sordid Lies T-shirt design

Hull’s Heros – Clive Sullivan

A project I’m doing outside of Uni involves creating A2 compositions in any medium of a famous person from Hull redone as a super hero. Though Clive Sullivan was born in Edinborough, he was the first black man to become Captain of an England team. He was known for his impressive speed despite his stature on the Rugby field. He also had multiple leg operations and was briefly a para-trooper in the army. I thought to reflect this, his super hero self has bionic limbs that give him increased strength and speed, he also wears a beret with a paratrooper badge and an over-shirt that sports the same colour as the Hull Kingston Rovers at his time of service (1973/74).
C sully

I started with some thumbnail sketches to get my pose and positioning, using pictures of Clive to capture his apearance.
clive-sully-Recovered1 clive-sully-Recovered2 clive-sully-Recovered3clive-sully-Recovered4

I added the cross hatching to reflect the golden age comic book covers I took inspiration from.



I revised the font to have it more in keeping with the 1950’s comic theme I was going for.

Hull’s Heros – Clive Sullivan

Skill expansion – Spriter

I was looking at using Spriter yesterday for creating character based animations for games. It’s very user friendly when it comes to rigging and setting up 2D characters, taking a great deal of work out of having to do it frame by frame with the tweening the bone movement and built in inverse kinematics.

Obviously, if I was going to create feature-length or video-based animations, I would probably continue to use the adobe suite, it has all I need for creating video effects and the means of setting up scenes and compositions.

Spriter doesn’t seem to have any built-in method of image composition, so the initial sprites have to be made using another image manipulation program.

So, I had a little go, creating Lady Mace of Mercy (An old character design) in photoshop, taking it apart and then putting it back together in spriter. I mainly had problems with exporting and what file type to use (BMP. PNG etc), I had it in my mind it had to be BMP, but this looked tacky as the body parts would have big white backgrounds around them. I had errors when I tried to import them as PNGs… but this was a one time thing, it seemed to work after a restart.


Skill expansion – Spriter

Mini brief: Design a mini-brief for 1st year entertainment media students

The brief needs to cover scenarios related to

Project Management Strategies: Evidencing the order and flow of their design process. (Research, Documentation, Concept, Storyboard etc)

Group Working: Group tasks and delegating of projects based on skill, and seeing whether or not this is taken into account

Pitching and presentation Technique: Weekly presentations to show progress so far

Documentation: Clearly labelled and written. Preferably filled out over the length of the project rather than at the last minute.

User/Audience testing: Receive ongoing feedback on concepts/storyboards/animatics from like-minded creatives and show how they’ve taken them into account.

Futures/Technological/contemporary practise: Effective use of modern tech as used by their industry of choice.

Client related work: Working within boundaries and standards set by the client.

Learning outcomes

Evaluate and formulate an appropriate response to a context brief

Realise practical work through the command of suitable creative and production processes and/or techniques

Synthesise and evaluate research knowledge and experience relating to current industry contexts and practise.

Brief: Daring Duo

Year 1 students are to create a character duo that work together to achieve a goal (Crimefighting, chaos, heists, etc), the Duo can be of any race and gender, so long as they come up with an appropriate reason to do so (As an extra challenge, students may wish to create the duo from anything other than human), the duo must also compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The end product must be suitable for media relating to the student’s field (graphic novel/comic for illustration, film and tv, games design, animation) in adult related entertainment.

Part 1: As a group, brainstorm and concept at least twelve character ideas. No need to focus on deep backstories that make the character what they are, instead look at and summarise the main points about them;

Name, Sex, Race, Age, Build, Skillset, Personality type, etc.

Feel free to expand on these, they are simply examples so you could even add your own.

If drawing helps visualise additional characters then it can be done, but it’s not vital at this stage as it’s not the main focus.

Consider reading Dave Perry’s Game Design book to get a grasp on character archetypes and compare them against already existing characters that have similar personalities to your own.

Part 2: As individuals, pick two characters from the pool and specify what kind of duo they are to be and why, you are then to pitch the idea and, if accepted, develop it further by composing images and concepts of the character designs. They should be depicted performing at least one active action (ie. running/leaping) and one passive action (ie. sitting/lying down). The final character designs must then be shown at a presentation.

Part 3: The client has changed and now so has the audience, make changes to the characters to make them more suitable for a young audience. Take into account the standards of TV broadcasting as well as the suitability and relatability of the characters. Present your edited designs in the format that they would most likely be displayed in.

Consider reading up on Ofcom broadcasting standards, especially for protecting under eighteen’s.

Mini brief: Design a mini-brief for 1st year entertainment media students

Alex Ahad… creator and art director of Skullgirls.

Scott Pilgrim legend Alex Ahad.

It’s fascinating to see the amount of work that goes into animating a single character even with having more than one animator on the team. It seems the more experienced the creative is, the longer this process can take. I suppose that comes down to the amount of development work. One thing I’ve discovered is, the development work accounts for a great deal of the work for the final product, the final product itself being a refined and finessed version of something you initially created in development.

Alex Ahad… creator and art director of Skullgirls.