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Christmas Card 2013

This year’s Christmas card was another mini-adventure. Lilly and I were kicking around several ideas before we arrived at the final design. The front-running idea we had I called Fat Santa Monkey Bauble:

Fat Santa Monkey Bauble

He was cute, but Lilly was struggling with his sack and we realised a three-colour job (one of the colours white) would’ve been a bit ambitious for our tiny press. We sat there trying to think up some other ideas, and because our flat is littered with my washing-machine-based artwork, Lilly suggested we did some kind of festive washing machine.


It might be me with the washer obsession, but this card was Lilly’s idea. I’ve taught her well!

The post-it notes came out, and this scrawl met Lilly’s approval…


…Then with a bit of reworking (Lilly said he should be smiling proudly at his washer, not frowning at its extravagant spin as I had imagined the scene), we had our design finished. We thought it looked like it should be a New Yorker cartoon.

We thought our finished design looked like it could be a New Yorker cartoon

We sat on the design for a couple of days to make sure we were happy with it, then as soon as I sent the artwork off to the plate manufacturers to print, Lilly had an attack of second thoughts, worrying it was too weird. It was too late though, and after a couple of days’ wait, the plates arrived and we were in print.

Lilly's action Instagram

Once they were all made, Lilly became a believer again, so into the postbox they went!

Merry Christmas to everyone, whatever your faith or washing machine brand!

The Trickartt DJ Bio Generator is back!

Hospital Advent 2013Part of my sprint toward the end of the year involved getting the Hospital Advent calendar ready again. I drew a nice medical-seasonal Santa behind an X-ray screen for the artwork this year, which was a good starting point.

We at The Purple Gates like to believe the record label is more than just music, so across the 24 days of Advent, we give away a bit of everything. This includes nonsense from me, so when we were scheduling the calendar, the 22nd was allotted to Ricky Trickartt’s Wonderful World of Colour.

We started scraping the barrel for one of my inter web experiments. As proud as I am of, the Hospital Officers decided it was too esoteric to share. Instead, they suggested I give my DJ Bio Generator from 2009 a little revamp.

Just in time for the 22nd, I did exactly that; it now has additional ludicrous options and more current references so you can make a sillier Drum + Bass DJ Biography quicker than ever. Check it out here, make your own bio in a snap, and if you’re really a DJ, paste it into your Soundcloud profile (or wherever you like to share your mixtapes). If nothing else, it sure beats taking the task of biography-writing seriously and doing it yourself!

Press ‘1’ for Hair Emergencies

Press '1' for Hair Emergencies

Hey Internet! Here’s something cool I did recently – one of a few new T-shirt designs for Hospital. Maybe you know that most graphic output at Hospital is my work anyway, but this design feels a lot more Ricky Trickartt than most things I do for them, which is why (like George Forman) I put my name on it!

There are robots on it. Lots of robots. And a lot of other electronics, both modern and obsolete too. And best of all, they’re all unique! Tall robots, short robots, robots on wheels, vacuum cleaners, telescopic robots, dancing robots, and it wouldn’t be right without a washing machine or two as well.


So what’s with the hair emergency? The phone menu style comes from the robots, the emergency is because it’s Hospital, and the hair problems are all me.


Confused yet? Here’s what you need to do: Go to the Hospital Shop and buy a Robots T-shirt, in blue or white, wear it and love it. Alright!

The daily fruits of spring

I keep a running list of daily creativity ideas for days when I feel less inspired. The great thing about looking back at the list for inspiration is I’ll have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote these things down (High-definition Hands? Berlusconi cheese!?), which can lead to unexpected reinterpretations. One of my favourites from this month emerged under these circumstances: I’ve no idea what I had originally thought when I made a note of Counterfeit Dog, but as an illustration, I’m pleased with the end result.

It’s been a surprising month in Rickmansland. After feeling like I had such a powerful month last month, I spent the past four weeks feeling largely uninspired, but in retrospect it’s been a pretty good month too. The cardboard tree was (physically) the biggest thing, while the Pool Clock was the biggest virtually – it developed a life of its own on Tumblr, where it has had hundreds of likes and rebloggings since I posted it. Apparently there’s a big swimming contingent on that platform!

I’m also really pleased with Wasted Udder Juice – a typically cryptic commentary on Margaret Thatcher’s death that also happened to be a neat little illustration. The Post-it Pac-man is definitely worth a mention too – it’s the first animation I made this year, and by some fluke it also happened to turn out pretty much as successfully as I had imagined, which is a welcome rarity in my universe!

After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “The daily fruits of spring”

More days of creative somethings

Wow, it’s been another month already, but it’s been a pretty good one! I’m surprisingly pleased with my overall output this month, which I’m ashamed to admit hasn’t always been the case over the years of SCED past.

As usual, I’ll mention some favourites here! All The Mod Cons is the best thing I’ve drawn in a while – I’m beginning to learn that if I develop and redraw an idea a few times over, the results often get better, as was the case with this drawing of a treehouse. With a washing machine in it, of course.

Friends Reunited was a surprise success as well – I was worried that everyone would have forgotten about the Ikea monkey (and the ‘I was supposed to pick up Carl’ image macro) by the time I posted it, but it ended up being incredibly timely for a completely different reason. As it was Ikea, I couldn’t resist slotting in a gag about the quality of their hot dogs and making another reference to the ongoing horsemeat scandal in the process. In a great example of life imitating art1, the very next day news broke that Ikea’s meatballs had horsemeat in them too.

The Washing Line is a great piece of work too – even Lilly seems to approve of it. I’m building up quite a substantial body of washing machine based artwork, which also includes, another daily from this month which I will go into a bit more detail about at some point in the future.

1 This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this – here is a daily creativity motivated by a sense of wonder at how much Samsung was trying to make their then-new Galaxy phone look like an Apple iPhone, particularly in their commercials, which were pretty inescapable at the time. A couple of days after I posted this, news broke that Apple were suing Samsung over this very issue.

While it’s nice to believe the world secretly revolves around my Something Creative Every Day project, I think the safer conclusion is that these things are just really obvious. Of course Ikea’s meatballs were going to test positive for horse2 – we’re talking about one of the world’s biggest cost-cutting companies here!^

2 A footnote on a footnote? Am I mad?! If nothing else positive has come out of the horsemeat scandal, it has to be the frequent use of the phrase ‘test(ing) positive for horse’ – one that eight weeks ago I would never have expected to hear coming from serious journalists across the media!

After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “More days of creative somethings”

Something Every Winter Day

What do you know, it’s time for another SCED monthly roundup, and I had no idea it was that time already!

It’s been a colourful month! This month I have started working on drawing all of the international code of flags and drawn plenty of post-its. By far and large the greatest thing I’ve done this month is Robot Factory. I’m still surprised that came out of my mind/fingers. It’s been a relatively solid month of ideas by my standards… I wonder if I’ll keep it up next month?!

After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “Something Every Winter Day”

Hospital Internet Evolution


The Hospital Records website and I have been on a long journey since I began working with the label. I’ve been planning on writing this piece about it for what must be several years now, but the thing with working on the internet is there’s never a finished point. You can’t carry on tinkering with a product once it’s been printed, but you can when you publish something on the internet! We launched a major redesign this winter, so now it’s had a few weeks to settle in, it finally seems like a good time to look back at how it evolved.

Back in 2005, before I got my foot in the door, their sites looked like this:

2005 2005-shop

They had their own website, which could only be updated by one member of staff, and their webshop was run by a third party. Oh how I remember that store – I used to buy white labels from it as soon as they were available, only to regret being impatient and not waiting a few weeks for the full artwork. Sometimes I would buy both anyway – Sainsbury’s must have paid me well if I afford so much Vinyl back then! Continue reading “Hospital Internet Evolution”

The Return of Something Creative Every Day

It’s back and it’s unfocussed as ever – I’m doing stuff on a daily basis once again, and have already racked up another four weeks of it:

I sort of fell back into the habit over my winter break in the capitalism nexus – I got home and realised I had pretty much done something for every day I was away, which is most of what you’re seeing here. You know, the usual stuff people do while on holiday – take photos, draw on their iPad, make plush jackalopes. Nothing strange there.

So on to picking favourites, I think my best effort this month is The Upstairs Whale. No explanation for the satisfaction it brings me though. Also a big fan of Dollar Bill – it’s dumb, it’s a play on words, it’s a bad drawing, it’s classic me.

Now I’m back into the habit, it’s worth reminding you that if you like Tumblr, I am still posting the dailies there too, to varying degrees of success. Check it all out at now!

After the fold are all the old direct links, for posterity’s sake. Continue reading “The Return of Something Creative Every Day”

New Jack Year


Lilly's brother Michael decided he wanted to motivate his troops with a trophy that can be passed around his team whenever anyone does anything sufficiently awesome. He had the idea of a trophy jackalope. Despite this being America we're talking about, his colleagues were a bit squeamish about the idea of taxidermy, so he asked me if I had any ideas.

A plush jackalope seemed to be the logical solution, so while I was stateside this winter, I got to work. As accosting a sewing machine is much more my idea of fun than getting sloshed and/or cold, I spent my New Year's Eve wrangling with a handsome 1970s Kenmore:

DSC_6896 ...Well, you wouldn't want to be kenless, would you?

The antlers are the coolest thing about him - I stuffed each branch with pipe cleaner, so they can be bent into any shape and will stay there.


He's hardly perfect - his head is too big, backside too small, and due to my low-rent sewing skillz, he is a bit twisted around, kind of reminiscent of the dramatic squirrel. I'm happy with him regardless, as he does actually look like a jackalope, and it always pleases me when the things I create end up looking like they're meant to!

I named him Treehorn, and got plenty of photos of him before I left Americaland, including a full 360° of him. Try dragging or doubleclicking the above photo to see!

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