Gareth A Hopkins

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Intercorstal On Show

It feels like a long time ago now, but on December 7th 2010 (it's the 20th as I write this) I got a chance to show off some of the work I've done on The Intercorstal in a new way -- rather than in a comic, it was hanging on banners.

It came about because my new department at work held a gig/DJ night for... well, nobody's really sure how it came about. But somehow it was decided that a gig/DJ night would be put on, and they arranged The Distillers bar to hold it in. And then the ringleader of effort said 'Gareth, you can display some of your art on the windows, it'll look good!' despite not really knowing what I've been working on.

Through a desperate creativve process which involved... again, I can't really remember how I got to where I did. But I decided that I'd hang pages from The Intercorstal on banners from the balconies in the pub. I won't go into the full banner-making process but at 5pm on the day, with doors open at 7pm, I started frantically combining lining paper, blown up Intercorstal pages and plastic dowling rods with staples. The plan was to make eight banners, which after an hour and a half was reduced to six, and after another half an hour reduced to four. At about 7-ish, with me very hot and bothered, receiving desperate looks from the head waitress because I was spread out across some of her dining area, myself and a colleague managed to get the banners hung.

Feedback on the night was surprisingly positive, although limited as barely anyone turned up...and everything was packed up at 9:30, so it took longer to set the display up than it was on show for. The bar staff were kind enough to take the banners off my hands at the end of the night, but that might be because the evening's compere told the assembled crowd that my work sold for great amounts of money (my work doesn't sell, let alone for a lot of money).

Having said that, I'm proud of what I managed to acheive with such limited resources -- total setup costs were £5 -- and know that if given the opportunity again, that I could replicate it. Apologies for the quality of the images, it was dark and I only had my phone on me.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

This Week In Hopkins Towers

Cher Lloyd, from X Factor 2010, for Amelia's Magazine. [LINK]

I've been very, very lazy when it comes to updating this blog of late. As usual, that's because I've been very busy doing things elsewhere... For instance, in the past week I've had illustrations for three articles at the continually engaging Amelia's Magazine go up! And one of them is above, and the rest are below.

Also of particular not is that tomorrow (which will be Friday 16th December 2010) Amelia's Compendium Of Fashion Illustration is released! I'm really excited to see the finished product, as it looks like it'll be amazing. You should definitely go and buy a copy. Buy it NOW. Even if you have already...

Sue Timney, for Amelia's Magazine [LINK]

Wagbo, from TV Burp, from Amelia's Magazine overview of X Factor 2010 [LINK]

Image from Rapsodica Satanica, for Amelia's Magazine: LINK

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration -- 1st images of proofs posted

Anybody not swayed to purchase Amelia's Compendium Of Fashion Illustration by my earlier blog should have their stoicism shaken slightly by these photos, posted by Amelia on Twitter, of the proofs that have come back from her printer (the photos feature the work of Natsuki Otani, Abigail Wright and Bex Glover). Already the quality of this book is obvious -- I'm so excited to have been included in the book I'd go so far as to describe myself as 'hyped', which is something I've never done before.

If you've not already, order a copy now and make use of the pre-order deal.

We can see from this last image that I am featured on Page 194! 194 is now my favourite number.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Intercorstal: Collider

A little while ago I compiled the first 32 pages of The Intercorstal as a standalone comic and gave away copies. One of those went to an amazing artist in The Netherlands called Ibrahim Ineke at the Baracca gallery, who a few months later he emailed me inviting to contribute to an exhibition that he was helping arrange -- I'll post more about that as and when it happens.

But for the exhibition, I was asked to come up with a new comic, and after a little experimentation and playing with some ideas, I've created The Intercorstal: Collider. It's a slender little 12-page wonder, combining six previously unpublished pages of The Intercorstal with six brand-new, unique pages, which I'm not going to explain because it would ruin them.

The whole thing was skillfully and professionally packaged for print by the ever-amazing anxietydecending, who I genuinely can't thank enough.

And, as before, I'm giving away copies to anyone who wants one, and probably also to people who don't. So, if you want one, email me at with a postal address and I will get one in the post to you! (If you received a copy of The Intercorstal, don't assume I've still got your address, as I'm wildly disorganised)

Here's a couple of photos of this work of wonder to whet your wappetite.

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration

A year ago, when I started this blog, I had no interest whatsoever with Fashion Illustration. I did what I did, and that was patterned black ink with bears and Appleheads and ghosts all over it, and I was kind of happy with that.

But over the past year I've been taking jobs at Amelia's Magazine for Fashion images, and have quickly built up a style I'm happy to work with, and have also developed a pretty healthy appetite for fashion illustration generally. I don't think I'll ever really get 'Fashion', but I love it when it's illustrated.

So it's with no small amount of pride that I've been included in Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration, which is available for pre-order now. My pages include a selection of images produced for Amelia's, as well as a couple of new ones which I'm really proud of, that I might share once the book's out, but certainly not until then. And there's a pretty long 'process' blog behind the new images... again, I'll save that for now.

Here's the official blurb for the book. Everyone should buy a copy, because it'll be awesome.

Amelia’s Magazine has become a must see website for upcoming independent and ethical fashion designers, all illustrated in wonderful technicolour by our talented team of illustrators.

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration book brings together the best illustration from Amelia’s Magazine alongside the best new ethical fashion designers, all in a gorgeous coffee table book with a stunning pearlised cover designed by the Arizona based artist Andrea Peterson.

The book offers inspiration to aspiring fashion designers, illustrators, art directors and anyone who is interested in ethical fashion design. It features interviews on the design practice of the chosen 30 illustrators (who were chosen via this open brief) alongside nearly 50 boxout profiles of the very best in ethical fashion design, including clothing, footwear and jewellery.

Featured ethical designers include Ada Zanditon, Beautiful Soul, Christopher Raeburn, Dem Collective, Edun, Fifi Bijoux, From Somewhere, Goodone, Henrietta Ludgate, Joanna Cave, Lu Flux, Minna, Nina Dolcetti, Partimi, Prophetik, Romina Karamanea and Ute Decker to name but a few.

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration comes as an eminently collectible limited edition softback with a pearlised front cover. Beautifully presented and entirely ethical in production, the book is printed in the UK using environmentally responsible vegetable inks on FSC approved paper.

Perfect for fashion designers, illustrators, artists and anyone interested in the world of ethical fashion design, this will make the perfect Christmas present for that creative person in your life. (read on for ordering information and some very special Christmas offers!)

Sunday, 7 November 2010


I've made a new website, which is a little shinier and portfolio-like and genrally spick-n-span, which is, and that's what will be from now on (as long as the web-settings, which I kind of don't really understand, work properly). This blog will live on, though...and hopefully I will find time to update it more often... my last post, before this was OVER A MONTH AGO.

That's rubbish.

There is a reason, or rather two reasons, which have been keeping me very, insanely sleep-deprivingly busy. Neither of which I can really go into right now, because they're both kind of secret. In time, though, I will tell all. And you might not even care. You bugger.

See that, up there? Good-looking banner type-thing? That's the banner I made for the new site. Go and look at the new site, it's awesome. And all the links work and everything. (N.B. If any links don't work, can you let me know? THANKS)

Monday, 27 September 2010


A while ago I did some postcards for inclusion in goodie bags for Magpie Market, but because I was ill I missed the deadline. I had 8 postcards left after doing those, and figured 'meh, what the hell, let's give them away'. So I put the callout on Twitter, some people said 'Yes, please' and within not too long a time I got them sent out.

They're not too complicated... just a run of little guys telling the owner of the postcard was was trending on Twitter at the time. But they were fun to do, and quick. Full View HERE

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Clive, the European Panda

Here's my submission to European Panda Press' open call. They asked only for a European Panda, in B&W. It took me longer than I'd hoped to get around to this, but I'm pretty happy with the results.

First Half of London Fashion Week

Designs by Julian J Smith for On|Off - Original Article

The writers at Amelia's Magazine have been going hell for leather over the past few days, writing up shows from London Fashion Week, and I've been lucky enough to have had the chance to illustrate a few of them. It's only since I've started illustrating for Amelia's that I've taken even the slightest bit of interest in Fashion Illustration, and I really didn't think my first efforts were up to much. But gradually I've grown in confidence, in no small part from the encouragement of the writers (in particular Amelia, Matt and Sally) and now I relish the chance.

I especially like illustrating for Amelia's because practically a pre-requisite is that I need to work in colour (except for one instance, featured in my last blog post), which is really liberating. Now, when given any piece of work to do, I always think about working in colour, and only go for B&W if it actually suits it, and not the other way around, which is how I used to work.

Because my approach to each set of illustrations is slightly different, I've started drawing eyes as simple circles to kind of 'trademark' my work -- despite what else is going on, if the model's got blank circle eyes, I did that picture.

Here's the illustrations I've done so far -- there's another set waiting to go up on the site, and I've got some more to work on tonight, and hopefully the night after, too)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Three new illustrations at Amelia's

This week I've been very busy for Amelia's Magazine, doing two illustrations as part of their previews for London Fashion Week, and one of the band The XX for their Mercury Music Prize preview. I really like two of them (Felicity Brown/Simone Rocha and The XX), and despair a little for the other (Cooperative Fashions) -- the despair arriving on the back of the fact that I did it when very full of illness, so my usual critical faculties were out.

Cooperative Designs (Interview as part of run-up to London Fashion Week)

If I wasn't still so full of snot and headache I'd endeavour to do a 'process' post for one of them, but as it is, I haven't the faculties...

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


I've been reminiscing over the past few days about the large, A2 pictures I used to do. Everything I've done recently has been small -- Intercorstal pages are A5, illustrations for Amelia's Magazine are usually about that too, I did all those postcards...

The main reason I've not been doing big pictures is because I've not got the space anymore, or the time -- having a baby in the house really reduces that space you've got, and as I work on the dining table, I've got to pack everything up in between sessions. Hopefully I'll get around to doing another big picture soon, using some of the things I've learnt over the last few months. In the meantime, here's some of my favourites from over the years...

Friday, 13 August 2010

Jesse Tise's Space Spells

A rare departure from talking about myself...

Jesse Tise is an illustrator that I 'met' a few years ago on DeviantArt. His work's always impressed me, but in the last few months it's got stronger and stronger -- his degree's really paying off :) He's just printed a 'zine called Space Spells and sent me a copy, and I have to admit that it blew me away a little bit.

It's been printed on crisp fresh newsprint which perfectly compliments the slightly grainy illustrations. Although it's based on an album by Flying Lotus I can't help drawing parrallels and comparisons between Space Spells and my own project, The Intercorstal -- it's got a recurring character, it's both shallow and deep at the same time, it features a healthy does of semi-magical symoblism... On top of that, it's got a kind of 50's, Jetsons vibe to it...

In short, I love it. You should get in contact with him via his website and see if he's got any left. You should do that now. Here's a couple of my favourite images from the book (lifted off the website)

Wayne Hemingway Process

This illustration of Wayne Hemingway was done for an article at Amelia's Magazine about 'Vintage at Goodwood'. It started off as a portrait done in the same style as my recent ones of Alan Moore and John Stonehouse, but Amelia suggested I try using colour... two hours of the paintpot tool in Photoshop and this is what we get. I don't know what possessed me to go with such a lurid blue... all the other coulours are relatively tame (well, except the reds and pinks in the words). Below are the original black and white ink drawing, and the photo I worked from.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Process for Unearthing Blog (potentially uninteresting)

I recently attended the performance of the multimedia collaboration 'Unearthing' by Alan Moore, Mitch Jenkins, Adam Drucker and Andy Broder, and wrote a blog about it for Amelia's Magazine. I also did two illustrations (posted here) and grabbed some stills from some video.

The illustration of Alan Moore was relatively straightforward (posted above). I had in mind the starting image I wanted to use, and that I wanted to do it in the style I'd used for my Jon Stonehouse image for Cut-Click's mailart exhibition. Once I'd pencilled the broad features in, everything else fell into place. I was going to include a lot more text, but when it comes to Alan Moore, what do you choose? In the end, I just put the word 'Gods' above his right eye (referencing his use of Magick and one of the themes of 'Unearthing') and stuck a 'V' in there (as in 'V For Vendetta', but I suppose at a stretch it could also reference Thomas Pynchon's 'V.', which Moore is apparently a fan of.). There's also two ghosts snuck in there. I actually did most of the beard inbetween multiplayer matches of Bioshock 2.

The one of Crook&Flail (below) was more difficult. Crook&Flail is the moniker under which Adam Drucker and Andy Broder composed the music for 'Unearthing'. There's one image of them together as Crook&Flail out there on the internet that I could find, and it wasn't very interesting, and I couldn't work from it very easily, so I went looking for images of them apart which I could combine. There are loads of Drucker (who also goes under the psedonym Doseone) many of which I was familiar with already, but none were really suitable, and there are very few of Broder. I ended up trawling Flickr for images I could use... I really should have tracked back to their owners (job for later this week). I wasn't happy with the composition at first, to the point where half-way through I was going to give up, but a session of working on it in front of Ghost Dog set me right. The reliance on black and white stripes was intentional, for two reasons: 1) Referencing the style of the Egyptian Crook&Flail that they're named after 2) Alluding to Doseone's old band Subtle.

I decided not to do an illustration of Mitch Jenkins because... well, it din't occur to me. That's kind of awful. Maybe I'll do one and add it here, then retcon this blog post to look like I'd done it all along?

The still was taken from a video I took with my new favourite toy, and Flip camera my Dad got me for my birthday. I only filmed about 30 seconds of the performance, because I realised that the screen, as I was looking at it, was lighting up my face, and making me very obvious to the performers.

I had a very hard time writing the blog, though. It was the most concentrated piece of writing, other than emails, I'd done in a very long time (probably since Nanowrimo 2006). Progress was hampered by: 1) the fact that I had so much that I wanted to write about, but couldn't get it all down succinctly enough* 2) the notes I'd taken got put through the washing 3) the time I'd set aside to write got eaten up by getting slightly drunk at a BBQ and falling asleep on the living room floor. Similar to my problems with the Crook&Flail illustration, it came down in the end to just holing myself up on Sunday night after my wife and son were asleep and banging on the keys until I was happy enough to send it (adding the usual caveats in the submission email to Amelia that if she wanted to reject it, she could).

To my relief it was posted. (HERE, IF YOU'VE NOT FOLLOWED THE LINK ABOVE YET) Since it was posted, I've of course noticed things that were wrong, or I'd change now. But it remains something I'll be proud of for a long time now, whether anybody else reads it or not.

* One thing I desperately wnated to shoe-horn in, but wasn't sure whether Amelia's audience would appreciate is the fact that Ciaran O'Keefe was in the audience! I clocked him as he walked past and desperately wanted to run over and shake his hand and tell him how much I respect his work despite the fact that Most Haunted gets worse by the episode (and that I haven't watched it for about a year)... but I was having a conversation with a chap named Ben and the moment passed.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Ghosts Playing Ping-Pong

Not too long ago I submitted the above image to Sandra Dieckmann's ongoing Haus Stories project. It's a brilliant idea -- artists/illustrators create a floor, or story/storey, which gets added to the 'house', leading to a ridiculously tall building.

How they ended up playing ping-pong, I'm still not entirely sure. When I started, I knew I wanted to make a haunted room, with my usual trio of ghosts, and I also wanted to make it as 'classically surreal' as possible -- most of the objects in the room, including the door and the window on the left, have been subverted somehow so that their original purpose is invalid. And at somepoint I added a net to the table, a ball in mid air and paddles to the ghosts... Reviewing it now, I totally missed out on the opportunity to include some cheese in there somewhere...

Amelia's contribution round-up

Over the past few weeks, I've been pretty busy with various things, in particular doing odds and ends for Amelia's
. Here's a quick round-up (in no particular order):

I did this picture of comedienne Deborah Francis White as part of a round up of the comedy tent at Latitude Festival, as well as one of Adam Lambert.

This image was done for an article about a Q&A with Peter Blake, and I also did a portrait of him, which you can see by following this like: LINK The St Pepper's thing was in response to the fact that apparently, Blake is tired of talking about the cover he did for St Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band (which is covered in the article) -- it's very different to what I normally do, because it doesn't include using a pen ANYWHERE.

I've also had a contributor's profile added to the site. I spent as long looking for a picture of myself that I didn't hate as I spent on the illustrations for the Peter Blake article, and looking back, I still look like a bit of a numpty.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Newstuff July2010

It's been a very long time since I last posted anything, and it feels like I've got a lot to update...

I've done some more illustrations for Amelia's Magazine, the best of which is one of Seasick Steve, above. I don't know why I did him in green, but I think it looks cool.

I've also sent a picture of John Stonehouse to Magpie Markets as part of Cut-Click's travelling mailart show. It took me ages, and I loved it, but for some unknown reason I didn't scan it, just took the crappy photo presented below. I'm hoping to do a lot more of these in the future.

Oh, aand in very exiting news, Cut-Click's first printed issue is on sale here: and it's AWESOME. Really.

I've contributed a panel to Abstract Comics's ABCOLAB2 project, which didn't take very long but was very fun to do:

Aaaaaaand I've posted three new pages to The Intercorstal!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Cut-Click Printed Issue

Back in March I posted about having been invited to contribute to Cut-click's first printed issue. I had some of the postcards from St James Infirmary (still to be finished) featured back in Cut-Click 17, also.

Well, today I got an email from Caroline at Cut-Click with a copy of the proof for the printed issue attached, and I'm very exited. I'd submitted two portraits, one based on a photo of me and one based on a photo of my son Bill, and they went for the one based on me. I've posted my portrait of Bill here, right there, at the top of the page. I'll wait for the printed issue to come out before I post the other one.

Both portraits were a combination of my usual swirly detail style, but using faces as frames to work on rather than geometric patterns. I'm very pleased with how they turned out, and rate tham among the best stuff I've done. They took ages which is why I've dodged doing any more of them since...

Once it's printed and I've got a copy and it's available elsewhere I'll post again to remind everyone... for now, here's what to look for when you're out in the world (cover by Tigzy Rice)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Learning = Pain

My approach to my work is pretty consistent. I've got a pretty strong visual identity (black ink, patterning, fixed set of motifs) and I usually feel comfortable with that. However, because of a need to push myself, and because I think I have the ability to do different things, I take on other projects.

Recently, that's involved taking jobs from Amelia Gregory for Amelia's Magazine, as I covered in my last blog post. With each assignment, I've grown a little more confident in spreading my wings. And with this growing confidence, I took an assignment to illustrate an interview done with Robin Ince and casually asked if Amelia had any idea for what she'd want. The response I got was a perfectly reasonable "...maybe something inspired by crabs on the rampage with musical instruments and people in trees?"

And so, having done the housework and put my son to bed and had a beer and a coffee, I went on a hunt for images of Robin Ince and crabs, thinking I'd do a picture of Mr. Ince being terrified by an army of marauding crabs. In very quick time I got an idea of how to draw crabs... they're pretty easy. And I found this image of Robin Ince, which could look like he was scared of some crabs:

And then I set to work... I figured I'd do something colourful, so after I'd done what I thought was a pretty passable pencil draft, which I defined with sanguine ink, I set to painting. Once I thought I'd done enough painting, I broke out my black pens and set to working up what I had. Once I was finished, I put it to one side, played some PS3, and went to bed.

At 6:30 the next morning, woken up by my son, I came downstairs and found this:

"Oh GOD... it must be early in the morning, because that looks terrible". When my wife came downstairs, I held it up and said "Look at this shit, it's probably the worst thing I've ever done, and I'm including the time I spent as a child". The response I'd hoped for was "It's not too bad, you must have looked at it for too long."

The response I got was: "Well, honey... you're good at what you normally do. Why not try that?" I was understandably appalled. How dare she limit my artistic and creative freedom?! Who is she to try and put me in a box?! Justifiably, I marched out of the room, outraged and indignant. As soon as I was through the door, I knew that she was right, and what I had to do...

First I watered the plants, then cleaned the washing line, changed the bed sheets, cleaned the kitchen, had a sit down... Then, I got back on the internet, and looked for some different pictures to work from, got the printer out, then my lightbox, then worked through my usual process, which involved creating grids with my Tesco Value Geometry set, reading through the interview for interesting phrases, working out how to illustrate those individually, placed those in pencil on the grid, then slowly, bit by bit, working up in pen... and, after about four, five hours, came out with this, which is much better:

The moral being... um... Don't draw bad pictures? Well, yes, but more than that, I need to remember to be true to myself, and to take my bloody time over these things.

Lesson over.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Illustrations for Amelia's Magazine

Recently, as well as my continuing work on The Intercorstal (up to page 40 at the time of writing) I've been contributing illustrations to the superlative Amelia's Magazine.

Each illustration is very different, and certainly a departure from what I'd normally do. There's a fourth illustration which may or may not make it into a blog which may or may not ever get written...

Here they are, along wwith links to the blogs that they've been included in...

Gordon Brown, for a blog about the election

An aristocrat culling grey squirrels, for a blog about Robin Ince's School for Gifted Children

Two illustrations of the fashion of Charlotte Taylor, from a blog about Northbrook and Salford's show during Graduate Fashion Week (only the one on the left got used)