this northern boy

Illustrations for an imaginary age

Tag: thisnorthernboy

Commissions for 2023

I’m now happily accepting a new round of illustration commissions for 2023. If you’ve ever wanted to own some original art – and you like my work – now’s your chance.

Commissions

If you would like to buy an original drawing, email me at rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk , and let me know what kind of thing you are looking for. While you can ask me to draw absolutely anything, it’s probably best to stick to subjects and themes that you’ve seen me produce already. I’m not saying I’d never draw a portrait of your cats, for instance, but it’s unlikely. Some subjects I love to draw are:

Ships and Lighthouses
Isometric buildings
Robots
Astronauts
Spaceships
Imaginary places

What you’ll receive will be a black and white pen drawing, on good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. If you would prefer a colour illustration – let me know and we can have a chat.

You can also request for the illustration to be landscape or portrait in orientation.

I can’t guarantee that every request will be something I’d be happy to draw – but I’ll do my best. If you take a look at previous posts on this blog, or on my Instagram page you can see the kinds of thinks I like to illustrate..

What will this cost?

For an A5 (148 x 210mm) commission I charge £95 + post & packaging.
For an A4 (210 x 297mm) commission I charge £175 + post & packaging.
For an A3 (297 x 420mm) commission I charge £275 + post & packaging.
For an A2 (420 x 594mm) commission I charge £475 + post & packaging.

When you email me to request a commission, if you can include the address you’d like it shipped to, I’ll work out the cost of postage and let you know. If you’re happy with the overall cost I accept payment by PayPal or Bank Transfer.

When will you get your drawing?

I aim to complete and post all illustrations within six weeks of receiving payment.

PLEASE NOTE: This post is regarding private, personal commissions. If you want to discuss a commercial proposition – illustrations for a book, game, or anything else that you would be selling, then please get in touch directly.

You can find more of my work online…


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About Kickstarter

I’m currently working on my Innsmouth story, and debating what form the final ‘thing’ may take. It’s being written directly to twitter, and also catalogued here in a regularly updated blog post. I do want it to be a physical product at some point. My initial thoughts were that I’d publish each chapter in a little book. Nothing fancy, just an A5, stapled, two colour book, printed on uncoated stock. Maybe collect all the chapters together in a slipcase at some point along with some prints or postcards. Sounds pretty nice I think? As I’ve been writing more and more of the story, I’m also thinking that perhaps, maybe, it’s becoming and actual book. The kind of thing I’d approach publishers about. That’s maybe a bit further down the line though.

You can follow the Innsmouth story on Twitter, or here on the blog.

In the meantime, while thinking about how or what to produce, I got to thinking about Kickstarter as a funding avenue for it, and it struck me that I’d never shared the stats from my last project. My Weird Field World book, surpassed all my wildest predictions. I set the funding goal high enough to cover all my costs if I sold 150 books. In the end I sold 800 exactly through Kickstarter, while having enough funds to order a couple of hundred extra copies that I sold through my store. I really enjoyed the process of crowdfunding, and Kickstarter was a pretty simple but powerful platform for it.

So here are some stats about the campaign. Nothing particularly scientific, but interesting – particularly if you have any thoughts about running a campaign of your own.

Original funding goal – £2500

Final total – £32102 

Backers 900 (ten withdrew after the campaign ended)

Initial goal reached in just 36 minutes.

527% funded in 24 hours. 

Average pledge – £35.67

34% of backers came from Twitter.

Just 4.5% from Instagram and 2.4% from Facebook.

8.5% organically through Kickstarter.

8% of backers went for a digital download of the book

57% went for just the physical book

33% went for book plus other rewards

36% of backers were from the UK

28% from the USA

4.25% from France

3.6% from Canada

2% from Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.

Furthest a book travelled – 11,659 miles to New Zealand

And least travelled – less than a mile.

US states with most orders – California 41, Texas 23, Washington 19, New York 15, Illinois 13.

US states with zero orders – Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, N Dakota, Rhode Island, S Carolina, S Dakota, W Virginia, Wyoming.

If you’re thinking of running a Kickstarter I would highly recommend it, and if you have any questions – feel free to ask.

Rob

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
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Instagram

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Gumroad
Facebook

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Iceland, finally.

At the beginning of May, I travelled to Iceland. Somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for many, many years. It did not disappoint.

Iceland really is the most remarkable place. It is staggeringly, jaw-droopingly, beautiful. The landscapes can seem impossibly vast and ancient. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. The food is fantastic. It’s expensive, but definitely worth visiting.

I travelled with my dad. Flying in to Keflavik airport and hiring a car on the 1st of May, and we spent the next two weeks driving around the entire ring-road, plus the Westfjords – for a total of just over 3000km.

Below are a selection of my photos from the trip. I’ll do another post soon breaking things down in to areas or sections of the journey.

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
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Instagram

Mastodon
Gumroad
Facebook

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Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Mammut

A mastodon (mastós ‘breast’ + odoús ‘tooth’) is any proboscidean belonging to the extinct genus Mammut (family Mammutidae) that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 to 11,000 years ago.

Mastodon is also a social media platform (kind of).

If you are a user of social media, you’ll be well aware of the shockwaves that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is having. His libertarianism, free speech absolutism, and – let’s be honest – general dickishness, doesn’t sit well with many Twitter users, and many are preparing alternative profiles and presences elsewhere. One of those places, is Mastodon.

Strictly speaking, Mastodon isn’t a social network platform, it’s an open-source protocol, and one of the uses of that is to create very ‘twitterish’ server instances. It sounds complicated, and it certainly isn’t as straightforward to get your head around as Twitter, but once you’ve set up an account, the experience isn’t dissimilar to early Twitter. One of the very confusing elements for new users, is that Mastodon is decentralised, and hosted across many different servers, all with slightly different rules, topics etc. But, the key thing to know when signing up is that regardless of which server you choose – ‘art’, ‘social’, ‘gamedev’ – you can follow people on any other server, and their content will show up in your feed just like on Twitter.

So, I’m there, and many other creators, artists, journalists, actors… are also creating accounts. It’s well worth a look. As there’s been a pretty big surge in interest lately, it can get a little slow at times, but stick with it.

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram

Mastodon
Gumroad
Facebook

Tumblr

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Blog, interrupted.

Hi all, just a quick update to say I haven’t forgotten about my blog, or those who read it. It’s been a bit of a crazy year, and time for writing, and the headspace I sometimes need to do so, has been in short supply.

I am intending to get back to writing more regularly, and hopefully I can kick that off in a few weeks time.

Until then, here’s a recent mecha illustration for you. Drawn on the iPad, in Procreate. I’m working digitally quite a lot at the moment. Commercial work – I’m doing some concept art for games – means fast turn arounds and frequent iterations and amends, so digital works well.

One last thing, you can now buy digital downloads of my book, Weird Field World, and an accompanying colouring book, through Gumroad.

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr
Gumroad

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

What’s new?

Quite a bit probably as it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.

I’m just over a, thankfully mild, bout of Covid. Omicron finally caught up with me after two years of dodging it. It does seem like this latest variant is getting just about everyone this time. Stay safe and well everyone. Get jabbed, wear a mask.

Work-wise – I’ve been doing some concept art for a sci-fi video game which has been a nice change of pace. Producing lots of variations of spaceships, refining and finessing them. Lots of fun. I also did some illustration work for another video game, this time a fantasy/gothic themed one. Again great to do something a little different. I think I learnt quite a bit working on both of these, and as there’s likely to be much more work from both, plenty of opportunities to level up.

Personal work – I’ve continued working on both my Innsmouth and Weird Field World projects. Adding illustrations and background writing and fiction and fleshing out the worlds. I still have plans to produce a book of the first chapter of Innsmouth. And of course, book two of the Weird Field World – titled (somewhat unsurprisingly as) Weird Field War is in the works.

YouTube – I did a little process video of me drawing a space station. Head over and have a look. I waffle on about my thoughts as I draw.

There are a couple of new products over at my store. One Innsmouth related, and one a bit of sci-fi merch!

Elk Island Lighta new Innsmouth print, available in a load of different sizes. I’m really very happy with this illustration.

Raptor 01 – a new enamel pin badge, based on a design from my Deep Space Fleet II poster. You can buy the badge here. There are plans to launch a Kickstarter at some point to produce a whole fleet of enamel spaceship badges.

I’m still out and about as often as I can taking photographs. I’ve had a slightly dodgy achilles for a while now, so I’ve had to take things a little easy. One of my favourite recent photos, taken at the London Wetland Centre.

Iceland – I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for a very long time, and I’m finally going. At the beginning of May I’ll fly out, with my dad, for a two week road trip around Iceland’s ring road. It’s 825 miles through some of the most amazing landscapes, and I am very excited. I’ve got a drone for the trip, so fingers crossed the weather allows me to use it to capture som of this big sweeping vistas. I am very excited. Expect several blog posts about my trip once I’m back.

And that’s you all caught up. Is there anything you want to read about? Any ideas for future posts? Let me know in the comments.

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Artstation
Tumblr

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Commissions for 2021/22

I’m now happily accepting a new round of illustration commissions for 2021/22. If you’ve ever wanted to own some original art – and like my work – now’s your chance.

Commissions

If you would like to buy an original drawing, email me at rob [at] thisnorthernboy [dot] co [dot] uk , and let me know what kind of thing you are looking for. While you can ask me to draw absolutely anything, it’s probably best to stick to subjects and themes that you’ve seen me produce already. I’m not saying I’d never draw a portrait of your cats, for instance, but it’s unlikely. Some subjects I love to draw are:

Ships and Lighthouses
Isometric buildings
Robots
Astronauts
Spaceships
Imaginary places

What you’ll receive will be a black and white pen drawing, on good quality, 220gsm cartridge paper. If you would prefer a colour illustration – let me know and we can have a chat.

You can also request for the illustration to be landscape or portrait in orientation.

I can’t guarantee that every request will be something I’d be happy to draw – but I’ll do my best. If you take a look at previous posts on this blog, or on my Instagram page you can see the kinds of thinks I like to illustrate..

What will this cost?

For an A5 (148 x 210mm) commission I charge £85 + post & packaging.
For an A4 (210 x 297mm) commission I charge £150 + post & packaging.
For an A3 (297 x 420mm) commission I charge £250 + post & packaging.
For an A2 (420 x 594mm) commission I charge £450 + post & packaging.

When you email me to request a commission, if you can include the address you’d like it shipped to, I’ll work out the cost of postage and let you know. If you’re happy with the overall cost I accept payment by PayPal.

When will you get your drawing?

I aim to complete and post all illustrations within one month of receiving payment.

PLEASE NOTE: This post is regarding private, personal commissions. If you want to discuss a commercial proposition – illustrations for a book, game, or anything else that you would be selling, then please get in touch directly.

You can find prints of my work here

I also have a Patreon page

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Green

Green. I seek out green places more and more as I get older. The combination of peace and the sounds of nature seem to give me an incredible sense of well-being. Advocates of ‘Forest bathing’ have a point. At this time of year, particularly, the colours are incredible. Fresh, vibrant, jewel greens. White and yellow of Cow Parsley and Cowslip. The unexpected violet-blue of a glade of Bluebells. But green, always the green. Dappled sunlight and mossy roots and rocks. There’s a path I’ll always take.

I now have a new Instagram account solely for my photography.

You can also find prints of my work here

Become a Patron!

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr
Artstation

And if you’d like to buy me a (virtual coffee) you can do so here.

Bempton Cliffs

I’ve just got back from a week spent up in York with my parents. I miss Yorkshire, and a few days roaming around the countryside in good weather made me realise just how much.

One of those days was spent at the RSPB site at Bempton Cliffs, on Yorkshire’s East coast. 300′ high chalk cliffs alive with seabirds, and cliff-top meadows full of life. It’s an incredible place and I really do recommend visiting if you’re ever in the area.

You can also find prints of my work here

Become a Patron!

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr
Artstation

And if you’d like to buy me a (virtual coffee) you can do so here.

Well, it’s been a while (again).

Apologies for not updating my blog for such a long time. I think once the Weird Field World book was printed, packaged, and mailed out to all the Kickstart backers I was a bit drained. I’d been so focused on the book for so long it was difficult to give anything else my attention really.

With a bit of distance I can start to give a bit more love to the blog and to my Patreon page that’s also been a bit neglected of late.

I thought I could start by letting you know what I have been filling my time with over the last few months.

It’s mainly been nature photography. I got a new camera back in October, which I blogged a little about here, and in March, I bought myself a new zoom lens for it. I’d grown increasingly frustrated by seeing animals and birds, but not being able to get a half decent photograph of them, so a zoom seemed a necessary addition. I went for the Fuji 70-300mm zoom, rather than the 100-400mm version, mainly because of the difference of almost £1k in price. I’ve been incredibly happy with it so far. What I didn’t really expect was that it would really change how I experienced the outdoors. Previously, if I was out for a walk I wouldn’t give a huge amount of attention to those things I couldn’t photograph – little birds skulking in bushes, or distant buzzards and kites circling. The new lens brought all those things close enough for me to identify and to get some decent photos, which made me massively more interested in them. Since getting the new lens in March, I’ve counted seeing 68 species of bird, and 13 of those were brand new to me. Even though I was walking in the same places mostly, and at the same times of day, I was noticing much, much more.

Some of my favourite photos are below. All taken with the Fuji X-T4 and 70-300mm lens. If you enjoy these, then please consider following my new Instagram photography account.

Besides taking photographs, I have managed to find time to get a few new products up on my online shop. If you enjoyed the Weird Field World book there are some matching stickers and prints available.

In March and April I worked with the UK fragrance company Thomas Clipper, on the packaging for their new men’s scent – Atlantic. This was a really enjoyable project to be part of. Here are a few images from the final packaging.

I’m going to make an effort to blog more regularly for the rest of the year. As always, if there’s something you’d like me to write about – let me know in the comments.

You can also find prints of my work here

Become a Patron!

And you can find more of my work online…
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Tumblr
Artstation

And if you’d like to buy me a (virtual coffee) you can do so here.