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Mural Auction for the Toma Fund

Fundraising for Children’s Cancer Charities is something myself and my wife have been doing for a while now since our little boy Finley was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer at 8 months old almost 2 years ago now. So when the Toma Fund approached me for something to raffle or giveaway at their latest Charity Ball I snapped at the chance to give something back, something I am really good at (if I do say so myself).

Visit the Toma Fund’s Charity Ball Event Page for more information.

I have heard the mural prize maybe raffled or even auctioned – it will be interesting to see how much it goes for if it is auctioned and I just hope it raises some great funds for the Toma Fund. I will look to share the final mural once I find out who the winner is and what they want – so watch this space!

Breakout Characters a mural by Steven James

With time and budget a concern, the brief for ‘Breakout Characters’ was to produce a design idea that would not require full painting of the wall selected.  It was however to include a number of the brothers favourite characters or current trends, in this case Spongebob, Lightning McQueen, Pumbaa, Stickman, Spiderman and BB8.

The concept jumped out at me (no pun intended), several small circles of character breaking out of the wall behind. So I hopped off to source some imagery, dropped them into my iPad and created a very simple final design that I could recreate by hand, watch below how it all came together…

 

The Attik Remembered – An Inspiration to Me

If you have been a Graphic Designer since the very end of the 90’s or early Noughties, you will probably of heard of ‘The Attik’.

No? If not, then let me educate you a little bit as I remember this special design house from my early college years and who had an influence on me throughout my studies for a design diploma.

Read this great blog post on the history of The Attik here.

It was the time when computers, Apple Macs and Photoshop were really coming to an age. Whilst we were getting taught the traditional skills by hand and thought processes required to provide solutions to problems as a designer, computer aided design was taking off especially Adobe Photoshop and this peaked my interest.

This was when I invested in my computer at home leading me onto wanting to know more about computer design and digital image processing. This lead me onto subscribing to Computer Arts which opened my world to The Attik. It was in that magazine I found out about this brave, fresh design style which I now view as art.

The Attik’s history was inspiring at the time – two budding designers set up in an Attik or loft in Huddersfield with a computer or two and the rest is history. Just what you wanted to read when you were starting off on the same path.  But it wasn’t just the history that inspired me, it was the blend of digital art and design that they produced which excited me. The way you could layer so many different forms of digital imagery, photos and text or typefaces to create a work of art within Photoshop blew my mind. That’s when I found their ‘Noise’ books…

“The Noise experiments let us stretch ourselves and get the attention of bigger companies like national music labels, mtv London, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo.” – The Attik

The Attik ‘Noise’ Books are very limited experimental portfolio’s of digital art. Owning one of these books is still a goal of mine and can be found (not cheap) on Amazon or eBay.  You can see how unique they were and you must know that now those two early designers have probably had one of the best start-up successes of current times. The Attik eventually joined the Dentsu network with Simon Needham still the Exec Creative Director, but his old partner James Sommerville is now VP Global Design at Coca Cola.

Noise4 by the Attik
Noise 4 – The Attik

They are the main inspiration towards how I approach my mural design. A mural by Steven James is not just a copy of an image onto a wall, it is a piece of unique art ‘designed’ to suit your interior (or exterior) needs and topic selection. With the use of an iPad, computer, photographs and sourced imagery I can apply my graphic design skills to produce bespoke mural design ideas that will be seen as works of art – all hand painted.

 

Jameson’s Jungle a mural by Steven James

Jameson’s Jungle Mural was my first move into the world of wall art. As an artist and designer who wouldn’t want to paint a mural in your first child’s nursery before they were born. Not only did the imminent arrival of my first born give me the drive to redecorate and finish his nursery, but it gave me the ideal opportunity to get back to my artistic roots.

The brief was clear (from my wife), a jungle themed design with a gentle tone for a baby boy plus to keep in mind the centre piece being where the cot would be placed. Of course being a huge Jungle Book fan and just recently watched Tangled from Disney, the influence was clear.

Baloo became the guardian of my son hanging the leaves of a tree over my little-one each and every night, keeping him safe with Bagheera watching over them in a tree high up.