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, 30 January 2011

Me, talking on camera, about #ACOFI

Here's me, talking to the brilliant Amelia Gregory about my life as an illustrator, to help promote the outstanding Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration, which I was lucky enough to have been featured in! Watch the video, by the book. It's simple.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Cut-Click Mailart Exhibition, Cleethorpes

Just a quick post to say that I've done another envelope portrait for the travelling Cut-Click mailart exhibition (I talk about the first one HERE). The exhibiton will be up at Artlandinsh in Cleethorpes -- details are in the poster above.

The portrait this time is of Patrick R Donahoe, the current US Postmaster General. Whereas the subject of my earlier envelope portrait was John Stonehouse, who'd led a fascinating life featuring double-identities and faked deaths, which I built into the image, Mr Donahoe seems very boring. The biggest story around him is that he's inherited the US Postal Service at its weakest, poorest state, so I made an effort to include that. Here's the image:

Saturday, 15 January 2011

#ACOFI - NOKI process

Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration has been avaialble in the shops for a few weeks now, and with only a couple weeks to go until the official launch party at 123 Bethnal Green Road, I figured now would be a good time to recount some of what I went through when preparing my contributions...

I was asked to illustrate the articles for two designers -- 123 Bethnal Green Road (you can see that image and a preview of the article HERE) and Dr NOKI. I wasn't really familiar with NOKI before getting the assignment, but only a cursory glace at some of his designs convinced me that his designs were right up my street -- very subversive, and vicious in the way that they repurpose branded clothes. In conversation I've gone as far as to say that he's doing to modern clothing brands what Dada did to post WW1 art... which I don't think is too much of a stretch.

Immediately I wanted to make a very violent, dischordant image to match his designs, but I was also very aware that the image needed to sit within the framework of the other fashion illustrations that I'd done over the previous months and also within the illustrations done by the other illustrators. (Once I've got a few projects off my plate, I'm going to go back and illustrate some NOKI designs off my own back, I think).

In a departure from my normal work, I also didn't have a specific image to work from -- instead, Amelia went to the NOKI shop at 123 Bethnal Green Road and took some photos of the clothes, with some suggestions on how I might style them. I flicked through some old fashion magazines that my wife had left in the bathroom for an appopriate model to work from, and after getting the pose down I added the clothes on afterward.

Early on, I ran into a problem -- overtired from work and desperate to get the image finished, I added too much water to my paint when working on the face and in trying to correct it managed to eat away at the paper. This meant that the paint dried in a weird way, which in turn made it look like the model had a nasty rash, as can be seen from the original scan, below:
To correct this, I traced the face and hair, and painted and inked that (very, very carefully). I scanned that in, and through the miracle of photoshop, was able to replace the offending areas. The new face can be seen here: (I also took the opportunity to give her a little more personality than in the original, by giving her thicker eyebrows and the hint of some eyelashes)
The other major hurdle I faced was getting the background image right -- it's no secret that I photoshop the background in after I've done the figure (well, most of the time) but I couldn't get the right background. I was very, very tired when trying to get this right, and positioned as I was in a strange hypnagogic state came up with some very odd ideas. By the end, I'd gone from painting backgrounds to painting scenes from my favourite books, including Gravity's Rainbow and Call of Cthulu. I scanned these in, played with the colour balances and dropped the model on. Here's a selection of the images which came out as a result:
The final one chosen was a blue background, which was actually a detail from an illustration of the climactic scenes of All Familes Are Psychotic. My personal "favourite" was the one you can see in the bottom-right of the above selection -- at the time, I thought it looked like the model had just appeared from another dimension, like some sort of Fashion BVM, but it's actually a ridiculous image in a whole bunch of ways, especially when it's at print-size.

Of all the images I've made recently, this is one of my favourites, though. And that's regardless of the work that went into it -- I just like the way it looks. And it looks especially awesome in the book, which every sane person should own a copy of... You can buy it here, didn't you know?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year Update

Last year was amazing -- got really stuck into illustrations for Amelia's Magazine, resulting in my inclusion in Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration, The Intercorstal really came on strong (and Collider was made as a little standalone), I fell back in love with using watercolours, and one of my favourite pictures was done, for the travelling Cut-Click mailart exhibition...

And this year's already off to a flyer:
  • I'm currently working on a miniature version of The Intercorstal which will make a mini- mini-comic, and I'll post some of those as I scan them.
  • I've got some more Fashion Illustration to do for Amelia's this week.
  • I'm waiting to get started on my part of a cross-channel Comic Art exhibition (which is what Collider was made for)
  • I've just started work on a new portrait for the Cut-Click exhibition, which opens on the 1st Feb in Cleethorpes...which I'll elaborate on in my NEXT POST...
Anyway, wishing everyone a very Happy 2011, hopefully it'll be at least as good as 2010.