Inventory of Some Stuff That Is Not On My Desk Right Now

Speaking of moving, I moved house last month. It was all a bit sudden (no thanks to my old landlord) and meant that we had to start packing the day we got back from our trip to Africa. My desk, as ever, was not very tidy, so everything that was on it got swept into a series of boxes of denial that I didn’t want to open, despite (or because?) I have a wonderful new desk in a wonderful new office for it all.

This week, however, I had to surrender one of these boxes to Lilly so she could transport a cake, leaving me faced with its contents of denial.

Some of this junk is, well, junk, but like the Citroen BX I saw driving up the Westway once, some of it is genius and is To Good 2 Scrap. Like the genuine washing machine brain – I’m sure I’ll do something interesting with that one day!

One of the most consistently popular things from all the years of Something Creative Every Day has been the Inventory of Everything On My Desk on 18 September, 2010. It even inspired an album cover. With all of that in mind, here’s the latest inventory:



I like to dip my toes into the waters of animation, and in this YouTube-dominated era of the music business, the importance of the video-sharing site has given me new opportunities to mess around with the medium. I’ve created some small animated loops for a pair of albums this summer, for Hospital Records and its sister-label Med School.

Hospital’s most prolific artist Logistics is back with a new album called Polyphony. Matt comes from an incredible creative, artistic background and has frequently collaborated on or designed his own record covers. The cover for this album was no exception – it was something he created himself on his phone (!), and I found on his Instagram account. We all thought it was fab in the Hospital office, so it became the cover for Polyphony.

Inside Polyphony

I loved the kaleidoscopic style, so I reverse-engineered it in the process recreating a small, hypnotic animated loop. This proved useful not only for the YouTube videos (as embedded above) but also became the source for the rest of the artwork on the album.

Keeno’s debut Life Cycle was a bit of a puzzle for me. He is a brand-new artist that incited a lot of passion from the Hospital CEO Tony Colman – many thoughts were expressed about classical music, reference points were made that I wasn’t getting and dead-ended sketches were produced.

After a while I gave up on the reference points and just followed my nose – I figured as the album was called Life Cycle, I should try and represent a life cycle visually. I remembered back to my past experimentation with phonotropes – using a turntable and a camera’s shutter speed to create animation. After all the sums and technical experimentation, I got the design working. The little guy gets eaten by the big guy all the way along the cycle, which made the nice radial image used on the cover.

Keeno Picture Disc

The next most difficult part of the project was convincing Med School to release the album on limited-edition picture disc, to make it all make sense. It’s taken me such a long time to write this that they’ve all sold out already, and it’s had to be re-pressed on regular black vinyl! If you were speedy and got a copy, put it on a turntable under a really bright light, and if you look at it through your phone’s camera, you should see the design come to life like it does in the YouTube video!

Count ‘Em

The Big Five

Lilly and I spent most of the month of June this year on a voyage across East Africa. We had an awesome time, and when we got to Kenya I had the opportunity to realise one of my daily illustrations from a year or so ago, by shooting the Big Five Game (With my Nikon!).

#1: Cape Buffalo
#1: Cape BuffaloWhat a filthy beast!

#2: Rhino
#2: Rhino (and friend)I particularly liked how an egret seemed to befriend this rhino

#3: Lion(ess)
#3: Lion(ess)We saw fully-maned lions and cubs too, but I like this photo the best!

#4: Elephant
#4: Elephant
The big one for us! Elephants are such wonderful creatures

#5: Leopard
#5: Leopard
I don’t know how our guides spotted this chap in the tree, but there he is, showing everyone how to flop!

If you liked these pics there are plenty more where they came from… We also got to meet Gorillas in the mountains and all kinds of other brilliant beings on the trip. You can check out a gallery of some more of my photos on Flickr here!

Ships, Scrawls And A Really Big Snail

Hey Internets! Here’s a roundup of the past four weeks in Ricky Trickartt’s Sunshine World. Clearly, the big event this month was the big snail. He’s so jazzy, I’ve decided to name him Cosby. Oh yeah. [Update, Nov. 2018: As I modify this post to fix some broken links, it seems now that using ‘Cosby’ in a positive light is no longer a very good idea at all]

The two biggest hits this month were the Pie Chart and Meats by Dr. Dre. The latter was an idea that has been rolling around my noggin since this fabled Apple acquisition arose in the news – my drawing turned out much better than I was expecting, and was immediately well received too. Wonderful.

The biggest disappointment, on the other hand, is Xscape The Lampshade. Every time I walk past a poster for Michael Jackson’s new album, I think it looks like he’s wearing an elizabethan collar (AKA lampshade), like a guilty dog, and that’s what this picture is about. Maybe my drawing was just so bad people thought it was Liza Minnelli, so they didn’t get the reference. It’s an easy mistake to make. I thought this would be a bit better digested than it was, but perhaps it’s just a quiet testament to how oddly my mind moves.

My personal favourite is the Science Boat this month. I loved the story in the news that Britain is ordering a new boat for science – particularly how it simply says SCIENCE on its flanks in big, bland, bold Helvetica in the renderings. It contrasts with the other recent news about Japan’s ‘science’ boats they’re using for whaling. Nasty business. Anyway, my drawing of the science boat seemed to somehow hit that sweet-spot of cuteness, and that makes me happy.

Don’t forget that if you want to follow along with my daily postings but aren’t into the whole Instagram thing, then I am also keeping up with putting them on Flickr (just like old times!) and Tumblr. Alright!

The loosely triennial redesign rings ever true


As noted before, every three years or so I get an itch to redesign my portfolio website. Almost like clockwork, I was hit with the itch at the beginning of the year, but this time it wasn’t the appearance of the site, nor so much the content of my portfolio, but the way the site worked that was bothering me.

It’s Buzzword Time

There’s a new principal in web design called responsive design. The idea is that instead of maintaining different versions of a website for different devices, the design of the site should respond to the size of the device by rearranging its content in a more user-friendly way.

To be kind to myself, the problem with my old site is it was a little bit ahead of its time. I had designed it to be responsive to different sized desktop computers, but simultaneously managed to make a terrible experience for any portrait-oriented devices.

I went the wrong way about trying to fix it too, by attempting to create a mobile version that I never even properly finished, let alone kept up-to-date. It wasn’t until I got an iPad that I realised how badly this worked – if you tried looking at my site in portrait, all you got was three quarters of a picture and nothing else usful. Oops!


So I did finally get around to fixing it, and it is now properly responsive, albeit in my own abstract way. Everything is the same site whatever device you’re using to browse my portfolio, and things collapse together elegantly like they should. I pretty much had to start from scratch to make it happen, but that was a gift in itself because I’ve also managed to make the site a lot more energy efficient in the process by slimming its codebase down by about 30% too.

Of course, starting from scratch did give me the opportunity to review my portfolio. As I mentioned above, I was happy with a lot of it, but I did take the time to add a few newer things too. The biggest update is to the SCED area – I’ve now broken it out into some of my favourite things from each annual season, including its latest Post-it iteration.

Like so much of my iterative design work, it’s small changes that few would notice, but I feel a whole lot better for having implemented them!

April in Little Yellow Squares

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss the duck wearing a captain’s hat.

It’s April in Ricky Trickartt’s Wonderful World of Colour! The month has zoomed right past me – it really doesn’t feel like four weeks ago when I posted the last roundup, but I have all of these daily drawings to prove to me otherwise. There’s a bit of an animal theme running through this month – my favourite drawing of this lot is Huffman, the dog with the snout as long as the rest of his body. It’s so long it needs its own additional prop when he walks. He featured in a few doodles, and will probably come up again at some point in the future.

Speaking of the future, if you want to keep up with my future postings, make sure you follow me on Instagram to see more of this daily nonsense before I post these roundups!

Oh God It’s Happening Again

In the same way Something Creative Every Day just kinda started itself in 2009 and just kinda stopped happening three and a half years later, the Ricky Trickartt daily nonsense project has just kinda reincarnated itself.

Letting SCED come to a halt last spring felt right – not having to think (the thinking was definitely the hardest part!) of something to make every day brought me a small sense of liberation, but as 2013 rolled on, the liberation gave way to a kind of absence. I was missing the challenge, so I started pondering how to bring it back and make it better than before.

The one thing that was abundantly clear from the original run was the project’s lack of focus. It was part of its charm, sure, but it was also making the project hard to define, so that was the thing to fix if SCED was to return. I began pondering different strategies and sorting through the archive to see how they would work – I considered colour-themed months, daily robots, canvas restrictions and more, but nothing seemed to add the right kind of focus to the project.

Instagram is where all the cool kids are these days, and I’ve been posting random creations there sporadically for the past year, including the odd post-it. One of these post-it doodles suddenly turned into a week of daily postings, and before I could figure out how to focus the project’s return, here we are a month later with 28 daily post-it-postings. Oh god, it’s happening again!

When it comes to using post-it notes for daily creative outbursts, I’d like to acknowledge the incredibly talented Aaron Hartline, The Daily Post-it (seriously, look at how amazing this is!). He is an animator at Pixar who started following me on Twitter a couple of years back, I guess because we were sharing the intersecting worlds of daily creations and a love of post-it notes. He’s got focus!

Anyway, like the original SCED, I’ve no idea how long this is going to last, or if anything good will come of it, but I’m going to enjoy doing it for the time being. I’ll see how it goes, and if you follow me on Instagram, then we can see where it ends up together!

Flyers by Hand


Here are some flyers I’ve been drawing for Med School over the past few months. I really like them! I’m slowly trying to steer Med School into something a bit more raw than Hospital, and these hand-lettered flyers are a small step in that direction.



It’s fun to hand-draw them, but it can be a bit of a pain in the backside if anything needs changing after they’re done!


How My Mind Works or The Best Gif I’ve Ever Made

Factory (Click for a massive version)

I was digging through my archives last week and got completely distracted by this six-piece post-it drawing I did a year ago. After staring at it for a moment, I had the idea of turning it into an animated gif, so this weekend instead of watching it rain, I got to work.

I think it has to be the best damn animated gif I’ve ever made. It loops so perfectly, and it’s full of robots and washing machines. It’s a pretty good representation of what goes on in my mind too.

You can click it to load a huge version of the drawing if you want to check out some of the detail in it!

Behind Glass

Hospital: We Are 18

Here’s an album cover that started in an unusual place: A shop window in Camden.

After Hospital had a successful six weeks doing a pop-up shop at Shoreditch’s Boxpark in the summer, they organised another pop-up in November – on Camden High Street, and for one week only. Holidaying meant I missed the opportunity to flex my creativity at the Boxpark shop, so when I heard about the next one, I told Hospital I wanted to go there and put a big H in the window. They agreed, but didn’t really seem to understand why I was so excited by the prospect. Continue reading “Behind Glass”

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