Trevor, pictured in the above sheet of poses and expressions, is a character I've been slowly developing for a children's storybook currently titled "King of the Mountain". He's the inquisitive protagonist who "one day stood up and took notice", and he's on a quest to have a puzzling question answered.
September 2012. Digital Painting (Photoshop).
This piece is a sample spread for the Children's Book, currently titled "High Tea at the Top End". The idea for it came to me suddenly simply as the thought: Crocodiles in duck fascinators. I used this project particularly as a vehicle to develop my recent visual ideas of Australian landscapes and colours, and further hone my own individual style. To the left, you'll also notice some character development sketches.
20 July 2012. Character Design. Working sketches in marker, final painting in Photoshop.
The brief called for a pirate-character on the search for treasure, using a mech to travel, search-for and obtain the booty.
To make a mech plausible to be made by someone in the time of pirates I figured it would either have to be man-powered, or would be built by someone a little ahead of their time, and powered by steam. This instantly conjured an image of a pirate reminiscent of the "steam-punk" genre. So I looked to pirate ships, carriages, steamboats and trains for inspiration. I began designs with carriage and strong-hold-like walkers, and even walking boats and ships. Looking at the character designs I had come up with, I inspected them, wondering which of them would have the means or inclination to make such a machine in a time when man power was clearly easier and cheaper, and came to the conclusion that he is an adventurer first and foremost. A little odd, but immensely brilliant. Not someone who commissioned a machine, but the same person who invented it. This pirate was going to be a cross between Captain Hook, Captain Cook, and Dr. Who. A character with an insouciant swagger atop his "bow-legged metallic treasure huntin' stallion!".
Café Kidz is a wonderful crafty product designed to keep kids entertained. Their creator, Robyn Holdsworth, came up with the idea of a pack to sell in cafes that will keep kids quiet, entertained and engaged, while a parent can catch up with a friend over coffee. Previous packs that have been created were aimed generally, and at girls. Robyn approached me with taking on the more boy-centric illustration projects named "Robot Reconstruction" and "Dino Discovery".
Robot Reconstruction has 4 different kinds of robot, assembled from specifically designed—cut and folded—pieces of card, and stickers for features. They are also accompanied by a sticker-scape, pencils and an activity booklet. As well as the activity booklet, Dino Discovery includes cartoons, dinosaur fact sheets, stickers and sticker-scape.
(Some design and packaging illustration by John Veeken. All other illustrations and designs by Adam Celeban). Copyright Cafe Kidz.
20 June 2012 - Pencil on paper.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of One Word, One Day. It's an event organised by the ASA for illustrators around Australia to come together to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Fund by auctioning off their works. The event moves around the each state's capital city, each having a word that is revealed as the topic for the day's illustrations. Sydney's word was "Teeter".
My entry is a portrait of sorts, of the incomparable Frankie Manning. A legend of Swing Dancing. As an afterthought it seemed apt to have one of the first "lindy-hoppers" conveyed as a frog. The illustration shows "Frankie the Frog, Falling off the Log", which happens to be well-known jazz step he most likely invented.
It was so inspiring being able to work alongside so many artists, who's work I have long admired. The illustrators I had the pleasure of working with were the likes of Bruce Whatley, Ben Wood, Serena Geddes, Alison-Jane Rice, Anthony Flowers, Alex Hammond, Pete Fairfax, Sadami Konchi, Brian Brown, PJ Magalhaes and Jill Carter Hansen.