This is just a quick squeak of excitement at seeing Page Lizard's advert in the PPA's 2014 Digital Awards booklet.
Our flyers also arrived this week and were handed out at the event, alongside a special competition to promote the Page Lizard brand.
A full brand profile for Page Lizard will appear soon under the 'Portfolio' tab, so keep an eye out for that!
In the meantime, keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for sneak previews, drawings in development and other work.
Learn more about the competition and the Digital Awards
Congratulations to Garry Hartley for winning this week's mini competition!
The competition was themed around tonight's episode of The Apprentice, with fans having to 'like' the illustration of Lord Sugar before he fired the candidate.
Fortunately, there weren't any surprise early firings...
Head over to Facebook to be the first to hear about the next one!
See snapshots of the illustration process below.
All illustrations © Esther Kezia Harding. Please obtain permission before reusing, and credit back to this site if reposting.
Just finished - the book cover for Part II of the 'Swordsman of Calais' series by Joe Harding.
The (soon to be) trilogy tells the story of Jean Rombaud, a swordsman and executioner who receives a desperate commission from disgraced Anne Boleyn. Set against the backdrop of the Reformation, with the spread of the printed word, and the challenges it presented to the centuries-old Establishment, the story tells of the lengths men and women would go to in order to acquire the book that would rock the Church to its foundation - the Bible in English.
Read more about Part I on Amazon, and follow @JoeHardingBooks on Twitter to keep up with further updates from the trilogy.
Crack out the Pimms and the picnic blankets...summer seems to finally be on its way! Designing this poster for Jesus College Choir really set the mood for me as I got to experiment with some glorious colours and styles.
The purpose of this is to give the feeling of one of those gloriously warm evenings, when the sun still has an hour or two left in the sky but bathes everything in a flawless summer glow. It looks set to be a fantastic concert, so if you're around Cambridge, drop by the Chapel and book a ticket or two. We can all hope the weather will stay long enough to make the 12th July one of those stunning summer evenings...
I'm sure I'm not the only one eagerly waiting each week for the new Game of Thrones episodes to come out, and reading the books last Autumn has only made the show better (yes, I'm one of those annoying people who knows what happens next...)!
Anyway, I did a piece of fan art while waiting for this week's episode, so here in all her glory is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, and a woman on a mission to reclaim the Iron Throne...
(Plus a step-by-step of how she comes together. You lucky people...)
(All images © Esther Kezia Harding 2014, which means no re-blogging unless you fully credit back to the artist/this page please!)
When my friend Flick came asking if I could do her wedding invitations, I accepted with the enthusiasm of someone who has just been given a genuine excuse to pin wedding-related pictures on Pinterest for hours.
One over-full Pin-spiration board later, and Flick had been presented with some design ideas to begin the development process.
The initial ideas focused on lace as a design feature, as Flick had said she wanted a traditional invitation. However, when shown the designs, she preferred the more simple design with the elegant headers, and we developed the final designs from there.
The collection below showcases the finished result; a delicate pink and grey theme highlighted by silky blush ribbons and grey swirling borders to top and tail the text.
The Order of Service also features a bespoke drawing of St John's College Chapel in Cambridge, as this is where the ceremony will be held and is a place of personal significance to Flick.
The set includes an order of service, RSVP cards, a menu (yum!) and both daytime and evening invitations.
So I got interviewed by the lovely team at Cambridge Creatives; a society for creativity in all its forms. As they're a group with a number of budding designers and illustrators, they picked my brains about starting out as a freelancer, what plans I had for the future, and what advice I could give on the design world.
Read the full interview here.
Told you I'd been busy last week!
The idea for this poster came about as I was desperately trying to avoid the clichéd 'glowing DNA' type image that so often frequents posters of this kind. After admiring a particularly clear starry sky some weeks back, I decided to base the poster on man's awe at the world around him, conveying that through the small figure and the dominating but inspiring central composition.
The idea behind the Earth/Moon/text/hypotrochoid was that of elements coming together to make a whole - elegant puzzle pieces, if you will. Regardless of religious inclination, I want this to be one of those posters that conveys that deep sense of wonder at the stars and the universe beyond us.
Happy New Year! It's been a crazy start to the year as I got a new job near London so had to pack up and move, but now the last box has been flattened, the last design deadline has passed and BT have finally activated my internet connection, I thought it's about time I blogged about some of the work I've been doing since Christmas.
This poster is another one for The Choir of Jesus College in Cambridge, in partnership with Britten Sinfonia. I'd previously designed their 'Handel Messiah' poster, so needed a unique design that still conveyed the raw depth and passion of Bach's music without crossing over with the Messiah poster.
Although this one shares similar features - the subtle crown of thorns and a deep stained background, the sharp angles and contrasting colours combine both the modern and the traditional in a design that will stand out once it's printed and hung on Cambridge's railings.
I've got another few pieces of work that are almost ready to be made public, so keep an eye out over the next week or so for posts about them.
I've been practising drawing hair a lot recently, partly because I have a mass of my own that falls in all sorts of interesting ways and partly because it's always been the weakest part of my drawing - having the patience to work out the body and structure and draw in so many hairs doesn't come easily! Anyway, when I tied it up yesterday and threw on my new Christmas jumper, I decided it would be worth spending a few hours drawing a tumbling mass of ponytail rather than some of the more carefully coiffed styles I've drawn in the past.
However, the jumper pattern ended up stealing the show on this one. I wasn't intending to draw it, then when experimenting, it just seemed to really balance the picture and add a real pop of colour. Not to mention that drawing knitted patterns is great when you can experiment with Photoshop layers and don't have to worry about precision! I added the background texture at the last minute to give the picture some warmth. Enjoy - and if you have anything/anyone you'd like me to draw, get in touch via the 'Contact' tab!
Here's the latest poster hot off the press for the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge. I had worked with their Development Assistant Natasha for the 'Songbound' poster (click here for the blog post) and was pleased to be able to design for the choir again, especially with the challenge of reinventing the poster for what is undoubtedly the most famous choral work in the world.
Ideas of stained glass windows and chipped statues of Jesus were thrown straight out the window - we wanted something fresh and evocative but still strongly linked with 'Messiah'. After exploring some candle imagery, we settled on the crown of thorns, regal typography and a holy glow - whether you see it as passionate, sacred or dramatic is for you to decide.
'Messiah' will be performed in Cambridge on Tuesday 10th December, and will no doubt be the perfect start to the Christmas season (for those of us who like Christmas to start in December rather than September...)
My greatest weakness with drawing has undoubtedly been hair. Curls aren't too tricky as they flow with the pen or pencil, but the patience required to get strands looking realistic rather than over or underdone is often too much for me! Still, in my pursuit to learn how to do it properly, I turned to self-portraiture today in the hope that my own messy mop would prove challenging enough to teach me something.
The composition was inspired by the sudden turn in weather - pretty much everyone's snuggled up in woolly jumpers and scarves right now, sipping hot tea in an attempt to get warm. Snuggly jumpers are definitely the best part of the colder weather, but it's definitely better in front of a fire, which sadly it's not quite cold enough to light yet. This piece was done on the tablet, so I've included a mid-way screenshot so you can see how the layers have built up. Click each image below to enlarge it.
After some much-needed time off over the last week or so to catch up on design commissions, I finally got round to doing a digital sketch of my favourite creature: the owl. There's something about these creatures that is just fascinating - whether it's their large, wise eyes or their ability to turn their head around at odd angles, those that know me well know that they have a firm place in my heart. This sketch was drawn using my well-loved tablet, and is a careful combination of many different layers of shadows, lines and textures.
In terms of design, should you want anything doing, now is the time to ask as I'm finishing the last few commissions. My summer was spent in educational publishing, hence the silence on the blog front, but there should be some progress updates shortly. Don't forget, you can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for sneak peeks, news and updates about the site.
Having been away from the design board for just over a month now, I'm pleased to announce things are back up and ready to go with a new lot of commissions (get them in while I've still got space!) having survived exam term (hopefully) unscathed. The prospect of being able to read what I want, paint for fun and generally expand my design skills a bit is an excellent prospect for the next few months. Coming up, of course, is Homerton's May Ball, and I'll be showcasing some of the graphic design work for that on here towards the end of June.
In the meantime, here's an image I created for a poster which sadly didn't make the final cut, but which is nonetheless somehow intriguing. Enjoy, and don't worry - I'll tell you what it was for when the poster is finished! Things here are rolling along nicely, so there should be some more updates in the next week or so, including that long-awaited mystery commission from Marketing Chap.
One for all you Star Wars nerds out there...
Beware the Revenge of the 5th!
(Graphics tablet with lots of lovely textures)
It's almost time to hand my baby book over to the examiners as part of my Creativity and Thinking paper, so here's an album of the book for you to see what I've been up to. I'd have made an e-book of the images, but the book's a little more complicated than that! It's got fiddly bits to do and make in it (as you'll see) so this album will have to do until I strike lucky with a publisher.
The small activities are designed to promote creativity in children by providing visual inspiration, but allowing free reign for the child to create keepsakes as their own response to the book. Although the feeling of walking down an Indian street and being completely overwhelmed by the variety of colours, textures and smells can never be replicated in a book, Shailaja hopefully brings just a small aspect of that rich culture home for children to enjoy.
Each page is an individual image layered with textures and drawings. I used the graphics tablet to draw Shailaja and her surroundings in a bold cartoon style, but have combined it with feathers, fabric textures and activities to bring across the Indian culture.
Enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed making it!
(Click on the image above to view the album on Facebook)
I got bored of the dissertation this afternoon so went outside for a quick sketching break to catch the last of the (very late) daffodils. It cheered me up, so here it is in the hope it'll brighten up one or two evenings in the digital sphere.
Finished a new book cover today! This is for 'The Swordsman of Calais' trilogy which focuses on the life and love of Anne Boleyn from the perspective of Jean Rombaud, her executioner. Part history part fiction, it'll be ideal for fans of the Tudor period or a fresh take on one of the most illustrious Queens in history.
Because there are so many books about Anne Boleyn, both fictional and historical, I wanted to stay away from the stereotyped covers of her portrait, her 'B' necklace or photographs of women in period costume. Instead, the allusions to the Tudor period are subtly portrayed in the lace pattern circling Rombaud, with the flames implying passion, chaos and destruction.
I'll keep you updated about its imminent Amazon release, and will be publicising a new piece for Marketing Chap ready for next week. After that I'm afraid things are slowing down as deadlines start to squeeze along with the urgent necessity to revise.
Don't forget to like my Facebook page if you're a Tweeter, or follow me on Twitter @EstherKeziaH to keep up to date with snippets, sneak peeks and commissions. Over and out!
I wasn't planning to do a blog post on today's bit of work as it was only supposed to be a bit on the side, but I loved the way it turned out, so felt its glowing goodness had to be shared.
'Game of Colleges' started as a joke on the popular 'Overheard in Cambridge' Facebook group, and is slowly becoming a reality thanks to James Baillie and his team putting their degrees on hold to create a Game of Thrones themed game in the style of Rome: Total War. Inspiring many different imaginative scenarios on the Overheard thread, it isn't hard to visualise this becoming very popular among the Cambridge students and their fierce allegiances to their respective colleges.
The banner above was created for the Facebook group along with a profile picture, and is (obviously!) inspired by the Game of Thrones logo. It has a number of different layers to create the deep metallic textures of the bands, and includes crossovers in the style of the sun in the opening credits of the series. The glowing text is a proud point, as are the bands of crests.
Nerd moment over! Enjoy perusing the Facebook Group, whether a loyal Cantab, or more of a Game of Thrones man.