Ricky goes to Rio

Maybe I’m becoming a closeted sports fan?

doublefaultEvery summer for the past several years I’ve been wondering why all the people around me who support sports teams throughout the year go off to music festivals in the summer, while I prefer to stay at home listening to Wimbledon.

Yet I continue listen to Wimbledon while I work. Then the notion of summer sports ambience expands to the Tour De France, and as part of trying to figure out how on earth this sport works, I’m left wondering what the hell mining explosives suppliers and unopened hotels are doing sponsoring professional sports teams.

The next thing I know, it’s a Summer Olympics year and I’m watching that too.

The Olympics is a kind of madness though

Two weeks where hundreds of people from all over the planet gather to show off how they’re really really good at doing some really obscure (usually) physical thing, and the BBC is dedicating dozens of channels to presenting it all live for the nation’s bafflement!

Steele Johnson? Seriously?I find myself watching Synchronised Diving, wondering why they made an insanely complicated way of jumping into a body of water even more complicated by expecting two people do it in sync. I’m not even going to try to keep a straight face when ‘Steele Johnson’ is on the screen in his tiny Speedos.

Next my attention is diverted to Taekwondo, where two people are trying desperately to kick each other in the head, live on prime-time television. After that, I’m watching a field of grown adults on undersized bikes race around a concrete obstacle course and hoping they don’t break their necks.

There’s so much going on it demands the attention of my post-it pad!

Greg Van Lavamat
The intrigue begins with the cycling road race. A bit like a miniature Tour De France, humans race in the space in a couple of hours over a distance I couldn’t cycle in a week. The race is won by a Belgian chap whose name sounds an awful lot like Greg Van Lavamat. He probably would benefit from having a motor inside of him as well.

Professionals
Look at the swimmers, propelling themselves 100 metres in the time it takes me to paddle 25! They must live in the water, a bit like the ducks on the canal.

Fencing
I can’t say I’ve ever watched fencing before this Olympics, but I have to wonder if it’s the fencers that have taken a lot of influence from Daft Punk in recent years, or if Daft Punk were influenced by fencing?

Rafa's Routine
Never mind that, it’s stopped raining so the tennis is back on. Oh look, it’s Rafael Nadal, sweating profusely, going through his pre-serving routine. Have another banana, Rafa!

T-Rex Table Tennis
There are people who aren’t on television who take table tennis very seriously. To call it ping-pong would be offensive. I can see why- this sport is madness. Their postures remind me of dinosaurs, but they move like fireworks. I can’t even!

Etch-a-sketch
Oh yeah, basketball, that’s a sport that is totally competitive outside of the United States. Why is the coach drawing his tactical plans on an etch-a-sketch?! Is chalk too old-fashioned? Is an iPad too modern?

Vault
What would the Olympics be without a little bit of the track-and-field? I find myself wondering – am I the only person who thinks this is completely insane? I mean, pole vaulting, how do you even get into that? Is that your only job as a human? Or do you run online marketing pyramid schemes between vaults or something?

Strange as all that is, it only barely scratches the surface. I don’t even know what to write about the dancing horses event or the synchronised swimming duets, except that a fortnight later I still can’t work out which is more bizarre. I’m exhausted from just having watched!

UCI World De-tour

Watching the Olympic cycling road race last week, I was struck by how unadulterated the cyclists’ uniforms were. They had essentially no sponsors at all, which is in stark contrast to the teams in which the cyclists ride.

One of the strange/charming things about professional cycling teams are that they are named for their sponsors. This would be a bit like Manchester United being called ‘Team Chevrolet’, or the England cricket team being called ‘Waitrose Pro Cricketeers’. Except pro cycling is such a fringe sport, oftentimes these teams are sponsored by companies who probably aren’t widely heard of in their native countries, let alone on the world stage.

The whole thing got me wondering – what if UCI WorldTeams were simplified to what the sponsors’ companies actually do?

UCI World De-Tour 2016

I thought these team names were strange before I set out on this quest, but things only got stranger as I dug deeper! Continue reading “UCI World De-tour”

Twelve Panel Story

CES is in full swing this week, and its many slightly-robotic household appliances cast my mind back to a series of Post-It notes I drew a while ago. Here’s a twelve-panel story about the rise and fall of my domestic robot (now with a splash of colour)!

12panels

I hope they find a better power source than bunny rabbits soon, my carpets are getting filthy!

Everything I Know About James Bond movies as of August 2015

Prior to meeting my better half, I had never seen a James Bond movie. I considered this an achievement of sorts. Lilly, however, has a fondness for them, so over the past eight years or so, I’ve seen what I assume is all of them, and most of them at least twice!

The problem with this is a bit like being introduced to twins, or how I used to have back-to-back German and Spanish classes in high school – everything just goes into the same file in the brain-cabinet. In that spirit, here is me tipping out the contents of the James Bond file as it currently appears in my mind.

saveloy-connery

  • There’s an early one with Odd Job, who has a deadly bowler hat. They are fighting over some gold
  • Wheelchair villain scooped up by a helicopter ‘I’ll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel!’
  • There is one where the villain is a man with three nipples who has a sociopathic dwarf assistant. They live on Thunderbird Island
  • There is one with Willard Whyte. Baja?!
  • There is one where the villain is on a boat called M.Y. Disco Volante. Does he have an eyepatch? He says ‘jettison cocoon’ and James Bond is dressed up like a saveloy sausage
  • There are two with Jaws, one where he falls out of a closet in a train and one where he falls in love with a tiny blonde girl with glasses in space
  • There is one exceptionally racist one set in the bayous of Louisiana? Or are they all exceptionally racist?
  • Roger Moore’s tiny plane that appears out of a horse’s backside? Lesbian pilot school?
  • There is one starring Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, Walken has a blimp and Jones rides a bomb Dr Strangelove style
  • James Bond rides a cello down a ski slope?
  • There is a Pierce Brosnan one where he drives a car around a car park from his giant Nokia communicator, and one featuring jungle thug Goldie. I’ve no idea if they’re the same movie
  • There’s another Brosnan movie where he makes his car invisible at some big ice palace
  • In one of the modern Daniel Craig ones he uses a pocked defibrillator on himself. It may or may not be the same movie where there’s some nasty rape scene in that hotel in the middle of the desert that I thought was totally inappropriate for a 12A-rated movie
  • In Skyfall they blow up the big house in Scotland and Judi Dench dies

…That’s about the extent of it. If nothing else, I think I got the chronology vaguely right?

Tete De La Course Stickers

TDLCs

I got some stickers made up of a post-it doodle from earlier this year, for no other reason than they seemed like a good idea. Would you like some? Yeah you would! They are orange because that’s the colour they’re meant to be, and blue because that’s the colour of my bicycle (although my bike isn’t a road machine like this!).

If you go here and Paypal me just £2, wherever you are in the world, I will post you two of each colour. What a good deal!

Many-TDLC

How To Make A Washing Machine

If the title of this post didn’t make it clear enough, I was really pleased with the hyper-detailed looping animated gif of a robot factory I made earlier this year. So much so I have decided to make another one. This time they’re making – you guessed it – washing machines!

faktur1140

It took a lot of energy, but for a 1.1 second loop, you can spent a whole lot longer than that looking at it to follow what’s going on.

My favourite bit is the robot who stretches the drive belt over the drum. It feels nice when things come out of my brain in the way I imagined them!

Decade

It occurred to me while I was in the shower this morning that the ten-year anniversary of my first album cover happened while I was in Africa. John B’s in:transit album hit stores in June 2004, just as I was cocking up my A-Level exams at school. John was kind enough to take a chance on a student doing his record cover for him, but he didn’t realise just how young a student I was at the time!

Here I am as a very proud eighteen-year-old, showing my dad my work on the shelves of our local HMV:

hmv

A decade later, I continue to love designing record covers, and I still work with John B on his, but my ridiculous hair appears to have outlived the record store as I knew it!

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:

Inventory

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!

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!