Recently I gave a talk about drawing service design storyboards. It was hosted by Erick Mohr and the Service Design Network, who meet regularly to discuss the field. Erick sourced the wine and the pizza, and I spoke about my working process, shared some anecdotes about jobs I had been involved with and some thoughts as to what goes into good service design. It took place at Digital Arts Network. Find out more about the Service Design Network here, and see some more of my storyboards.
Full colour superhero storyboards for a Motorpoint TV commercial, commissioned by Equinox Films, Manchester, UK. Director Phil Hawkins guided me through the script and I really enjoyed the chance to draw some dramatic, posed characters. I looked at the King of Comics Jack Kirby for inspiration. My associate Robert Smith did an amazing job with the colouring.
A page detail from The Mice book three, which is almost finished (as I have been saying for a while now). Seriously! Diana meets one of the new characters, an alien pet, who may turn out to be a huge hairy problem for the humans.
Wraparound charity illustration for London-based ScotsCare. An evolving brief to illustrate the cover of their Annual Review publication led to a representation of a group of Scots using the London Underground.
There are various symbols in the image which suggest Scottish identity, such as a scots terrier, a book by Irvine Welsh and a character looking like Robert Burns. Old Street is the tube stop closest to their headquarters on City Road.
I drew the illustration on Bristol board, first in pencil and then in ink, using fineliner and brush pens. Before this stage, the client had a look at thumbnail sketches, suggesting various ways to go, and selected this one. Another idea which I liked had the Scots on the new Routemaster bus. Coloured in Photoshop.
It’s the time of year when I’m often asked to create business Christmas cartoons. Sometimes they are sent digitally only, and sometimes I hire a printer who posts cards and envelopes out to clients. Cards can be tailored to whatever the business’s needs are or I can be left to come up with something funny. Now is a good time to get the process started.
I’ve been going through the bitmap scans and filling in the blacks, meaning that pages drawn over a year ago are finally seen how they are intended to look. A page from The Mice book three, still in production, showing the humans attempting to hijack a giant alien forklift truck. An alien is about to be stabbed in the backside. It’s scenes like this which make me wonder at my writing style sometimes.
This Donald Trump cartoon was inspired when I had a lack of work. and I was drawn to him the way cartoonists around the world are. I like that his plain and gauche way of talking has disrupted the everyday political discourse and because of tis I felt it would be amusing to use him to blow my own trumpet, No pun intended.
Ink on paper, Photoshop colouring. The lettering font is CCMoritat.
Scenes from my current project. Painting a mural up eight flights of stairs in the studio building where I work in Dalston, Hackney. The mural is designed to show how the Bootstrap Company (who runs the building) engages with the local community, helps start-ups to thrive and provides below-market-rate studio spaces. It’s a great place to work, and I have been here going on seven years now. April 2016
On 5th March 2016 I gave a lecture at the Watersprite Cambridge Film Festival, called The Art of Storyboarding. Pictures here show the 75-minute talk, which included practical demonstrations, slides and the participants creating their own simple, yet functional storyboards. The talk was well received and I have been invited back next year, which I am really looking forward to.
The festival was great fun, extremely well run and had an awards ceremony in the fabulous Fitzwilliam Museum on the Saturday night. The picture below shows me and host Lenny Henry presenting the award for best production design for the film ‘It could have happened, it had to happen.’ Posted May 2016.
My brother George, who is a paramedic in Sheffield, commissioned me to draw a cartoon about some of the stressful encounters met by the ambulance service. It was specifically intended to show how noisy and chaotic some scenes can be, and in all this, the medic is trying to think clearly and responsibly.
I am really pleased with this. It feels like it hits the mark, showing lots of noise and confusion, yet in a legible manner. Pen and ink on A4 marker paper.
Page detail from book three which I really like. It’s funny how some drawings start by being unimportant to me – just something to get out of the way to get the story to progress – but after some work and some patient inking, they end up being my favourite.
This scene where Harry and Venus show up and surprise the group is a drawing I am very proud of. It’s great how Venus’s skirt creates a dynamic composition.
Diana’s face in the top two frames are beginning to show the fruits of my studying US comic artist J Scott Campbell’s women. The Mice by Roger Mason Posted 17/7/15
Keeping me busy this week, a mural at a primary school in south east London, depicting children at the school reading books. Painted onto the wall of the school library in acrylic paint, it will hopefully be finished this week and then I can photograph it properly and post the completed scene up here.
The Mice book three is on the drawing board and here is a page from the final chapter. The two main human protagonists are learning how to fly on of the aliens’ giant flying forklift trucks. It seems they might just be about to have a mid-air collision…
These Nissin Foods storyboards were commissioned by Unit 9 to describe a promotion which took place in Manchester on 10th September. For the Japanese instant noodle firm, a footballer dressed as a samurai, being chased by ninjas, juggled a football through the streets and ended up at Old Trafford, cavorting about on the pitch. They have to be some of my favourite recent drawings, and some of my coolest storyboards to date.
Thanks to the people at Big Smoke Media, the above image, featuring Diana and Mulligatawny running away from the aliens’ ‘cat’, will be available on free postcards in bars, restaurants and various institutions across London and the South East.
Click on the link at the left to download a free chapter of The Mice graphic novel.