My Illustration Portfolio

As I discussed in my last blog post, every inch of Headless Greg has had a bit of a remodel recently. Part of the reason for the rebuild was that I want to start using this space to share the things that I create. To kick things off, today I thought I would share my current illustration portfolio with you.

Whilst some aspects of the site may have just had the odd nip and tuck, others - like my portfolio - have been completely overhauled. I recently completed my first year studying Illustration at DJCAD in Dundee and so I decided to ditch all the old projects in my portfolio and replace them with fresh work from my time studying so far. As I am only a year into studying, my style isn't as refined as other artists. I am viewing my time at art school as an opportunity to experiment as much as I can before perhaps narrowing down a more distinctive style further down the line. My hope is however that the personality and sense of humour the projects share makes them feel like a cohesive collection.

Anyway, that's enough talking about my work. Let's see some! (You can click on each image below to view the full project.)

Let's start with my favourite project from my entire portfolio - my wonderfully weird Wonky Animals. This unusual collection of creatures came from a drawing project based on the work of acclaimed scientist D'Arcy Thompson. D'Arcy's famous book, On Growth And Form, turned 100 years old at the end of last year and we were challenged to look into some of his theories and adapt them into experimental drawing techniques. Intrigued by the idea that if gravity were doubled, animals would have tiny legs and big bodies, I drew a group of odd looking animals and began to play with Xerox art. It is the most fun drawing project I have worked on so far and definitely one I want to revisit in future!

We also completed an editorial illustration project last year which gifted me 4 new pieces for my portfolio. We were only given a day to illustrate each of the articles so I didn't expect to finish the project with many pieces I was really happy with. However, I ended up loving the challenge of the tight deadline and learnt a lot about trusting your initial instincts during the project. The first piece in the series was based on an article about the life of Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley. Inspired by some imagery from within the text comparing Mary's life to a Russian doll, I created a narrative-based illustration playing with this concept, showing Frankenstein and a baby nestled within Mary's head.

Next up, we were challenged with illustrating a much shorter article about the KFC chicken shortage which happened earlier in the year. In the article, a KFC spokesperson said that the "chickens were crossing the road, just not to KFC" prompting my design showing a wonky little chicken crossing the road in the middle of nowhere.

The third article was about cycads which the writer labelled "the loneliest plant in the world". My illustration showed the sad, lonely cycad dreaming about pre-historic days which dinosaurs roamed and cycads found love. To coincide with this, I designed a series of spot illustrations showing a group of loved up plants gazing at each other (because of course they all had faces!).

Our final editorial was a report about the fact that South and North Korea had chosen to use the same flag at this year's Winter Olympics. Starting off by playing with the abstract, geographical shape used on the flag itself to show a huge whole in the ground, I added hockey players playing over the crack to illustrate the idea of how the sport had brought 2 countries together. 

Our final brief of the year was to design packaging for a microscope and telescope. Going down a pattern-inspired route, my idea was for hexagonal tube shaped packaging with minimal laser cut sleeves which slipped off to reveal a burst of colourful, abstract pattern. With the tag line "discover your infinite curiosity", the aim was to show the idea of how magical learning something new can be for curious minds of any age. 

Whilst most of the projects in my new portfolio are from art school briefs, I have a couple of personal ones too. For my monthly favourites blog posts, each month I design an illustration showing Headless Greg alongside some of his new favourite things. The series has been going for almost a year now and it is interesting to see all of the illustrations I have created for it now in one place.

The final project in my portfolio (for now) was created in collaboration with the brilliantly talented illustrator and self-confessed crazy cat lady that is Ashley Le Quere. Combining my love of reindeer with Ashley's love of cats, we created both a pattern and "Merry Catmas!" greetings card design together. It is Christmas themed but not too festive so if you fancy downloading a free desktop wallpaper of the pattern you can do so here.


So there you have it - my shiny new illustration portfolio! I must say, I am very happy with it and am excited to actually be able to start acting like a real illustrator by sharing this collection in hope of getting a few commissions. With that in mind, if you do fancy working on an illustration project together then please do get in touch! And I have also just launched a new design Instagram so please do follow @headlessdesigns for updates on my latest creations!