One of my favourite cakes is a coffee and walnut cake. I got the recipe from my gran – she still makes the cake, my mum makes it, and now Lilly and I make it too. The only thing about the cake is it has a secret ingredient – it’s not coffee in any way I’ve known it.
Can you tell what the secret ingredient is? Chances are, if you’re American, you probably can’t tell (as Lilly and I learnt last time we were on the other side of the Atlantic). If you’re British you might not know what it is either – the only occasion I’ve ever known to use it is in this cake.
Look at the robots go though! And the electric butter cow! Never stop making those little cakes guys, coffee and walnut forever!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
How My Mind Works or The Best Gif I’ve Ever Made
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!
Matt Logistics’ fourth studio album ‘Fear Not’ is out this week, and once again, I have had the pleasure of doing the artwork for the project!
I love working on Logistics albums as I so often get the opportunity to go the extra mile with my artwork – starting from his debut in 2006 where I soldered together 750 lights into the album cover to 2009’s Crash, Bang, Wallop, which I hand-painted a canvas for, Fear Not has become a multimedia art project involving sleeves, stickers, animations, videos, hand-painted T-shirts and even Rubik’s Cubes. Continue reading “Fearing Not”
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
A Day in the Life of DJ Q
Here is a pitch I did for BBC Radio 1Xtra earlier this year. The producer of the 1Xtra M1X shows had an idea to do some promos to go on the web- animations of ‘A Day in the Life of…’ for each of the five M1X show DJs, and asked me if I wanted to have a go at one.
I hadn’t really done much animation prior to this (other than a few random stopmotion experiments), no less serious animation, but it was only meant to be short so I thought why not give it a go! I was sent a script which I had a little think about and drew a storyboard up to. I’m not very good at drawing caricatures, but DJ Q has a nice big smile so I ran with that. After I showed them the storyboard, the producers and DJ Q made the audio track for me to animate to, then after a bit of feedback and tweaking, it was finished!
I didn’t really know what to make of it when it was done (having never done anything like this before) but the reaction seemed to be positive, which was a relief! Even all my silly visual puns seemed to go down well! I’m rather proud of it now, but I’m not sure on what its future is, so I figured I’d put it up on my site to show people I can do stuff like this!
This is my creative activity for today, but I’m far too amused by it to only post it on my Flickr-based SCED project, so it’s going up here too! Besides, it looks a lot better via Vimeo than Flickr’s video service.
I took the Vespa out for the first time in the best part of three months this week, and came back feeling rather hairy. I’ve been convinced for almost as long as I’ve been driving this machine that my facial hair grows quicker when I ride the Vespa. It kinda makes sense in a fuzzy (pun not intended) logic kind of way- my face feels the cold, so my body probably tries to do something about it short of growing a scarf!