I went to watch Phasers on Stun a Star Trek improv group in San Francisco and I absolutely loved it! The actors was so versatile, playing starship crewmembers, aliens, animals, and sometimes even playing two characters on stage at once.This is the crew of the USS Golden Gate, exploring new worlds.I sketched throughout the show, trying to capture the strange situations, wonderful conversations and fantastical characters. My very favourite drawings are these little simplified characters I made of all the actors...Try and go and see them if you can, they have more shows this month. Live long and prosper!
Hello! I'm finally upping my social media presence, and am now on twitter and instagram, as well as facebook. Tweet me, follow me, and let's all be online more together. Here's a sample of what you could be seeing on instagram every day... I'll still be blogging, I've grown to love this weekend ritual, but there'll be extra treats to see mid-week on other platforms, hurrah!
I gave a quote for this book published by Chronicle Books, containing sayings and advice from a variety of designers and design teachers. My quote has been featured on the inside cover. In all my time teaching at St Martin's, this is perhaps the most important thing I wanted to get my students to understand: know, and be able to articulate, why you're making your design choices...
It's out now, full of all sorts of good advice, and available from Chronicle Books and Amazon.
Last weekend, we went to Yosemite National Park. It was awesome. All the views were glorious, with constant unbelievably blue skies.We explored the valley and watched the clouds, and marvelled at the incredible waterfalls and towering rocks.I did some sketches, but mostly gawped!We walked amongst the giant sequoias at Mariposa Grove and I admired the structure of the trees and their sideways branches. I loved the sculptural roots of this fallen giant...We also drove through the Stanislaus National Forest, where there had been the fire last year, and it was eerily all brown and burnt, but still strangely beautiful.I can't wait to go back and experience a different season...
This year I'm working on a collaborative mokuhanga project with my friends Yoonmi Nam and Katie Baldwin. We're going to give a presentation and hold an exhibition of the work we produce at the International Mokuhanga Conference in Tokyo in September. It's very exciting! Here's a preparatory sketch for my first piece of work for the project...and a test print of the colours.You can follow the group's progress on our blog woodpaperbox.
I went to see the San Jose Sharks play ice hockey recently. It was pretty amazing. Especially when the players all skated into the rink through a huge shark's head!I tried to sketch them as they played, but they moved so fast! Especially as they slammed into the walls. Here are my first sketches of ice hockey players in action...
I designed 2 different sets of adorable lai see red pockets for clients in HK this year. The first were for BEYORG, celebrating the year of the horse, with cute horses doing various traditional New Year things, in lucky red and shiny gold. . .The second were for Grand Century Place shopping mall. They asked for a pattern incorporating Chinese New Year elements, but also fashiony things like a dress and jewellery. I love the coppery gold colour they used for the foil highlights, to match the pink. They also made a promotional fabric ipad mini case for VIPS with the same pattern.Have a wonderful year of the horse everyone!
Chinese New Year is rapidly approaching, and this pretty new set of my HK toile ceramics might be just what you need to see in the start of the Year of the Horse...I love the little dim sum and egg tarts in the centre of the plates and bowls!All are available direct from faux in HK..
My Fifth Avenue Tiffany designs have been made into special little versions in Japan, with angled sides. Little and cute works well there! They're available exclusively in Japan, either in store or online.
This week I'm in Lawrence, Kansas. Yesterday I gave an artist's talk at University of Kansas about my work, with an emphasis on my printmaking and sketchbooks. The students were very responsive and I really enjoyed discussing my work with them. It's nice to feel I may even have inspired them a little. I also visited Leila's Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri. It was a little creepy, but in a fascinating can't-look-away sort of way. There were old photographs with real hair glued on, as mementos. There were pictures in little frames with hair inside...There were large ornate gilded frames with decorative flowers made entirely of hair...There were even simple delicate snippets of hair...I enjoyed it, as a truly unusual obsessive collection. I recommend it!
Things are starting to get Christmassy, and I'm getting excited. Here are two of my favourite little lights I designed for thinkgadgets. They contain mini LED lights that slowly change colour. I love Mr Moon, who isn't just for Christmas, and the snowman, that is definately more wintery...They're available in all sorts of small stores around the UK, and lots of Christmas fairs!
I created the Save the Date and wedding info card for Jenny and Randy in Hong Kong this summer. Their Save the Date was interesting, as they asked for a map showing all the places that meant something in their lives, especially Okinawa in Japan, where they got engaged. They requested three colours: brown, pink and champagne...I then made a more detailed map of Bali, where the wedding was taking place, showing all the various wedding event venues. It featured little pictorial icons of some of the surprises in store for their guests.They also printed tote bags featuring the Save the Date map as favours for their guests. Nice! Congratulations guys! What a cute couple...First photograph is by Jada Poon Photography, and second is by Johnny Productions.
I designed some thank you cards that matched our wedding Save-the-Dates and invitations, to send our lovely guests. The illustration features the watercolour leaves from the wedding, but small pink flowers have been added to the design, to show love blossoming...The leaves were printed in HK (my friend Sandy at Lui & Co handled this for me) on specially chosen thick soft paper, and these were then sent to my friend Katie Baldwin in the States, who letter-pressed my calligraphy and flowers by hand. This created the effect of softness and crispness, in one beautiful package. I hope it's a special way to thank everyone who shared our wedding, and those who sent us gifts from far away...
I worked with organic cosmetic company Beyørg (Beyond Organic) in HK this year, to create images they could use on promotional products, supporting the Breast Cancer Foundation charity.I drew pandas (cutest of all Asian animals) interacting with various ingredients from the cosmetics, such as acerola fruit, ginseng root, and white lupin flower. The illustrations also featured a farm element, as the client wanted to emphasise organic farming. I tried to make the pandas cute, but not too cute. They were used on packaging, and promotion for the brand.I created a repeat pattern with the pandas along with some extra elements, and this was used on a patterned white umbrella. I love it! The umbrella is a limited edition gift item for customers in the shop, and will only be available until the end of August. There's also a cuddly panda...The products have been featured in various local magazines, along with a little about me. How nice!
I did some work recently for a lovely little teashop in Winchcombe in the Cotswolds called Juri's. I did a hand lettered version of their original script font for their logo rebrand, and added a classic typeface for their house font. I created 4 watercolour and pen illustrations for their home-blend tea pack labels, basing the illustrations on the blue and white china they use, and the delicious cakes and jam that Juri makes. There's a dotted line at the bottom of each label, for Juri to write in the particular blend of tea in the pack by hand. I also added one of the teacup illustrations to their shop information card. If you fancy a delicious cake and cup of tea, this is the perfect place...I worked with my dad Nick Jesse on the layout and type for the project.
I've just come back from a lovely honeymoon in Spain. We did nothing much, and watched the world go by. We stayed for a week in a pretty cottage on the side of a hill full of olive groves,then another week in the village of Bubion in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We had a delightful garden overlooking the valley, and on good days, we could see the Meditarranean and even the mountains of Africa!There was one amazing day when the whole mountain was in the clouds, and everything looked a bit spooky and mysterious.I loved the greenery all around us, and started imagining my dream garden, full of fig trees, ferns, moss on the stones, and hanging roses...We also visited the Alhambra in Granada. It was wonderful to wander in the gardens, and explore the palaces. I especially liked the variety of mosaic tiles in all the rooms.Afterwards we sat in the late afternoon sun, and watched the walls of the Alhambra slowly changing colour.
I went to see the wonderful musical Top Hat in London for the second time last week. I totally adore this musical! It's old timey, simple, and just plain amazing. I have a soft spot for tap dancing, I have to say...The feather dress is my favourite in the show, but of course you can't beat the good old top hat and tails.