this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Tag: north v south

August blogfest – day 6

Every week, usually at about 7.30pm on a Thursday, I Skype my friend – and fellow designer – Jon Elliman, and we record a podcast.

North v South, a podcast about but not about design, has now reached episode 24, and I bloody love doing the show with Jon. You can read a little about how and why we started the podcast here.

Episode 24 was probably my favourite yet. We had a book of the month – In Praise of Shadows by Jun Ichiro Tanizaki – that Jon and I both really enjoyed reading, and I think that comes through in our discussion. As always we end the show with a pie review – Jon and I both eating pies live on air, discussing their respective merits and scoring them out of ten, usually washed down with a beer. This week one of our listeners, Stuart Weston, sent me a pie to review. I say sent, actually his wife Kate hand delivered it! That’s the standard of listener we want more of!

If you’d like to listen to the show, it’s on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Every week (since episode 9) Jon and I take it in turns to design a new image for the new episode. Here are a few recent ones.

August blogfest

I might be making a rod for my own back with that title but – I’m going to try and blog every day in August. They might not be long and involved posts, and they might not always be image heavy, but I’ll try to blog each day for the month.

I’ll start with a quick post about what my day involves.

I’m working on finishing a tattoo design commission – of Sisyphus pushing his boulder up a hill, in my style. I’ve done lots of sketches, and tweaked after some feedback and I’m now in the final stages of inking.

I have some concept sketches to do for a company in California. I can’t say any more than that at the moment, other than there will be castles.

If I get those two things out of the way then I’ll start working on some designs for a branding project for a community sports project in East London.

Right now as I type, I’m listening to the latest North v South podcast. A podcast about, but not about design that I produce with my friend Jon Elliman. This week we talk about tennis balls, scrambled egg sandwiches, recycling, and we review pies as always.


Sisyphus sketches



Of Pies and Men


My friend Jon Elliman and I have recently started a podcast – North v South. Episode 2 was recorded and released last night (thank’s to Jon’s amazingly quick edit), and it’ll be a weekly schedule from now on.

Jon and I met while working at the same design agency in St Margarets and got on very well right from the start, particularly the chat that designers enjoy (sometimes endure) across the top of an iMac. As Jon and I both freelance from home now, we realised how much we missed that aspect of working in a studio, so the podcast is an attempt to replicate that feeling. The title of the podcast, North v South is an allusion to the fact that Jon comes from the southern shires of England, and I hail from the north.

The first episode finds me chatting to Jon about how I got my start in design, after a couple of false starts, and about my move in to illustration. We discuss the merits of the iPad Pro and Pencil for drawing, which sketchbooks I use for what purposes. We also talk about pies.

In episode two I turn the tables and quiz Jon about how he went from being a scholar of medieval literature, to running his own design studio. Jon also explains the story behind his epic WWI historical project – Frank Crawshaw. We touch upon Russian prison tattoos, office pets, and we, once again, talk about pies.

Future topics of conversation in the podcast are:

Fighting Fantasy Books

Tools of the designer’s trade

Einstein’s Cross

A history of pies

Pen Talk

The U.S. Ghost Army

Blitz-stricken, London-dockland, epileptic, bipolar depressive



You can find the North v South podcast on SoundCloud and on iTunes.