A Mauve Car Detector

This is a short video my Grandpa made this weekend, as an entry for this BBC competition, demonstrating the system he devised for detecting whether my Gran’s car was in the garage or not.

This is far from his first invention; it accompanies his remote controlled garage door opener, for example, which long-predates the commercial kind. His system is, like the mauve car detector, made out of wire coat-hangers and other household stuffs. His genius even lent itself to one of my most reputable album covers, as I mentioned on this blog at the time, by offering me engineering advice on how to make the lights from the Now More Than Ever artwork.

When he sent this video through to the family this weekend, we were all taken aback by how brilliant it is. My dad hit the nail on the head: “It helps to explain so much about me, you, my life and pretty much everything!”.

And that’s why I’m posting it here!

Free Stuff is Awesome

I should probably start this post off by explaining that I’m by no means under any obligation to make this post! This might actually be one of the first good things to come of my Something Creative Every Day project though, so I feel like I should write a little bit about it here.

This summer I got a random email from a company based in Australia called Makedo, which appeared to be offering me free stuff. No, this isn’t advance-fee fraud- they said they really liked Trashbot 2000 and all of the other junk I have on my flickr, and wanted to send me some samples of their product to make stuff out of. Score! I agreed and a week or so later I found this package in my letterbox:

Continue reading “Free Stuff is Awesome”

Something Creative (nearly) Every Day in October

EyewayPumpkin It UpHalloween CupcakesOut WestBiscuit-operated RobotErnaTime TravellerIntentsTa!PalsCaptain's hatStrelkaDigestive CreaturesHippo Birthday!SchönefeldCurrywurst und FernsehturmBerliner Banane BahnUnder She GoesFrom The DropWho Is Benji B?Time to revolutionise the sliced bread industryMan Overboard!AstrotoryCuwidLacklustreShortcut To DairyCardboard Claw

This month, I managed to continue my daily creativity while on a weekend break with Lilly in Berlin. My favourite things from this month are probably a couple of machines- a Time-Machine-come-Postbox and a revolution in sliced bread. It’s also appropriate this roundup came today too, because I notice that our home secretary is wearing her spacesuit yet again today!

More Soviet Spacedogs: Beta Autumn 2010

Record buyers should be seeing a trilogy of Beta Recordings releases hitting stores over the coming weeks, wrapped in artwork courtesy of me! BETA23 is by Terravita, BETA25 is an EP (and one of my favourite releases in a long time) by a Russian fella called Receptor, and BETA26 is by Xilent.

I wasn’t really given a brief for these record covers, so it was down to my initiative. I followed on from the artwork I did for Beta last year- black, white and a single hue in colour scheme, as seen in Edge of Mind EP by Camo + Krooked:

I like type! When working on a project, I will hunt for typefaces everywhere – in books, on my computer, on the internet, on the street – to find something appropriate for the job. I always cross typefaces I think are great but not right, and make note of them to try and use them in the future. When asked to do these Beta sleeves, I thought it would be a good excuse to use some of these finds, but it didn’t really work out that way as I ended up using some trusty favourites- Futura Bold Condensed, Cooper Black Italic and a Helvetica Bold variant.

I didn’t really set out to revisit soviet space dogs, having made a tiny tribute to them in last year’s Future Sound of Russia, but one of the tracks on this EP is called ‘Belka & Strelka’, named after the dogs who flew on Sputnik 5 together in 1960. Their appearance in this artwork was meant to be subtle- I used an old photo of them for the halftone pattern filling the text on the sleeve, but they ended up getting carried over onto the centre labels too. As it was a doublepack and Belka & Strelka were a double-act, I thought it’d be fun to have one record for each dog. I used the halftoned photo of them on one side of each record, which I sent to John B expecting it to be a bit silly, but he was into it. Although it wasn’t an idea I took seriously, I am glad they were liked as they look great on the finished copies!

‘Step One’ wasn’t much of a title to make a cover out of, but Irreversible was a winner, as I managed to make it irreversible by nature too, by reversing the letters but not the order they are placed in. Therefore, if you try and reverse it in a mirror, it will still be reversed!

I like the centre labels for this trilogy of releases too! I followed them on from the design I did for the Xilent single last year. It’s easy to forget when designing in a computer that records don’t actually have a specific way up as they are circular and rotate by nature. Therefore, the idea behind these centre labels is the text can be going in different directions, but will never be the wrong side up.

You can get full artwork vinyl from the Beta Store, or MP3s from Beatport or iTunes now!

Who is Benji B?

My blog is like a bus stop, as the metaphor goes- you spend ages waiting for one, then two come along at once! Today, we have some work for BBC Radio 1, in the form of this animation:

The observant amongst you will have worked out this kinda follows on from the animation I did for DJ Q’s M1X Show on 1Xtra earlier this year, which sadly never got picked up. You can read about that there though, as this post is about the Benji B one that has just gone live!

It seems to be getting a positive reception so far, which is fantastic! I’m pretty pleased with it too- considering how much I hate working with flash, it’s turned out rather well! It might be a little daft having made a video for a radio station, but it’s all good in the internet age!

It’s nice to do stuff outside of my D&B corner of the music industry, even if it is still music-related. I didn’t really know much about Benji B before I did this, but he’s taking over Mary Anne Hobbs’ slot, who I had heard of, so he must be good! He must have good taste too, because by a bizarre coincidence, one of the tunes they picked for this video is one of the few records outside of Drum & Bass that I did the artwork for- MJ Cole & Wiley’s From the Drop:

If you’re wondering why his mouth doesn’t move, I did do a second version (which I may or may not upload somewhere in the future) with talky mouths, but it was a bit on the ghetto side- I guess too ghetto for the BBC. Probably for the better really. Anyway- cool! It’s my work on the BBC! You can see it on the official Radio 1 page here if it being embedded in a BBC player here wasn’t enough, or you can see it on Radio 1’s official YouTube channel here too.

The views expressed here are quite clearly mine and not the views of the BBC or anyone who works there, just in case I inadvertently upset anyone

“It’s almost 3D, this album!”

Today’s the day Rave Digger comes out- Danny Byrd’s latest album and my latest project for Hospital. This has been my biggest project both in terms of the amount of stuff I’ve created for it and the amount of exposure it has been getting, so in my usual feigned attempt at quantifying the work I’ve put in, here is a blog post showing everything I’ve managed to round up from the album, along with a bit about the process of designing it.

Continue reading ““It’s almost 3D, this album!””

Another four weeks of SCED!

Yesterday's Transport of TomorrowSpindlefaceWestcountry Search Engine FlashbackHorses Like Oats!Back Once AgainNeil Kinnock is AlrightThey took our weekend!Sold OutMoo-nWords on a PagePodgooseMore BloodBumble Bee with Big LipsInventory of everything on my desk right nowPolyThriller, 24, FranceEver thought about how much time you spend not thinking?Oatmeal, Oatmeal OatmealMooVespa LinocutHappy Birthneigh!BertByrd NewsTweetrootLittle Red CravatBrocs Away!Workplace HazardA Calendar Year of Something Creative Every Day

I didn’t realise until I came to make this post this morning that I hadn’t written anything else on my blog since the last Something Creative Every Day roundup, which is a little slack of me. It has been a busy month for work though, as you may notice from some of the dailies here- the Danny Byrd album project Rave Digger is in full swing and is looking to be the biggest album I have worked on, both in terms of the amount of stuff I have done for it and exposure (here’s hoping for a Top 40 chart position on the leadup single Ill Behaviour tomorrow)!

I’ll be rounding it all up on this blog when everything has come together, which has to wait until the album is actually out, I suppose- Hospital have locked away copies of the CD in a safe and won’t even give me one to check the print! haha. This will happen soon though- it’s out on 11th October!

The first anniversary of my daily creativity project passed in the past four weeks too, which I marked with an abstract series of coloured squares. This seemed to cause some confusion though. I said it was abstract! As a landmark in time, it got me wondering when I should stop, and the best I could conclude was to continue to carry on until something good comes of it. What that means I’m not sure, but I’m sure I’ll know it when it happens.

So my favourite thing from this month is probably my Inventory of everything on my desk right now (/then?), just because it seemed to become a little runaway point of interest from people. I even had Tony at Hospital asking me ‘I think it’s great that you did it, but what on earth possessed you to draw it all?’ when I was in the office the other day!

An Augustian month of daily creativity

Well it’s goodbye to August and its typically British meteorological disappointments, and with it, it takes another four weeks of (mostly) daily creativity.

This complicated and unnecessary series of pulleys and gears allows a washing machine to be powered by a single household rodentRecord CityFor want of a paint finishSignupChocolate Chip IcingLiberty Curtain TiesEncountering an iPad
DuckersIndian Runner DucksHigh Rising TerminalByrd FeedJunk OrbitConstabularyHaute Viscosité
Rickmansworth LibraryHadlockRegretsI fixed the Hospital ImageWriter II!I'm a Lime!STITCHOTRONCopycat
WRVSOrganisedCaps Loch MonsterFinal ReconstructionShelvingMr. CakesMy New play:musik artwork

It’s the usual blend of uselessness and a peppering of inspired ideas, with some personal highlights being all of the architecture that has already featured on this very blog, and I think the Indian Runner Duck iPhone case turned out pretty nicely too.

In the month, Craft magazine blogged my Caps Loch Monster, which isn’t the first time they’ve taken a liking to one of my daily creativities. I think if they pick up on anything else I might have to ask them to write about me! My repair job on the Hospital ImageWriter was bizarrely popular too, but I think that was mostly because London Elektricity retweeted it, and it proved interesting to the Hospital stalkers.

On comes September now! In a week or so, it will be the first anniversary of my SCED project, but because of some mysterious gremlins, despite being a year later, it will be neither 365 days of junk nor twelve months of it! The space-time continuum is crumbling before my very eyes! aaaargh!

 
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