30 5 / 2014

Mapping always fuels my wanderlust. This time, the lovely Johnny Morris, art director at Ultratravel, had sent me a great piece about the environmental temptations of Costa Rica. I checked the flight prices. I fantasised. However, as I read the article, I couldn’t help but notice Hong Kong shares an uncannily  similar ecosystem to Costa Rica. Yes really. I can imagine what you might be thinking, but away from the concrete jungle, a short sail away to the Outlying Islands ( eg: Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, Peng Chau)  the thickly forested peaks & jungles boast tree-frogs, snakes, orchids, butterflies, wild water buffaloes & secret mountain waterfalls. Lantau has great beaches, our oceans are home to dolphins, sharks, turtle and hey- we even have surf! And what does Hong Kong do with it? Shotcrete it mostly.
Whereas Costa Rica treasures its natural environment ( making it  THE No.1 destination for premium ecotourism, globally ) Hong Kong places little to zero value on what remains of its irreplaceable natural beauty. The great irony is that in Hong Kong, our laughingly named Environmental Protection Dept will likely kill off the 30 or so remaining pink dolphins in its efforts to build a 3rd Runway & the disastrous Incinerator planned for an island in a Marine Park ( on a pristine virgin, forested island, Shek Kwu Chau to be precise). Contrast this with the enlightened motto of the Costa Rican Tourist Authority "If we don’t build it, they will come".Hong Kong still abides by the original version of this slogan, foolishly concreting over the jewels in its crown. Soon there’ll be nothing left.My apologies for being such a gloombucket, but I love Hong Kong, especially the beautiful islands & the recent go-ahead by the Government to fund The Insanerator has come as a great blow to the many thousands who opposed it.
 

Mapping always fuels my wanderlust. 
This time, the lovely Johnny Morris, art director at Ultratravel, had sent me a great piece about the environmental temptations of Costa Rica. I checked the flight prices. I fantasised. However, as I read the article, I couldn’t help but notice Hong Kong shares an uncannily  similar ecosystem to Costa Rica. Yes really. I can imagine what you might be thinking, but away from the concrete jungle, a short sail away to the Outlying Islands ( eg: Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, Peng Chau)  the thickly forested peaks & jungles boast tree-frogs, snakes, orchids, butterflies, wild water buffaloes & secret mountain waterfalls. Lantau has great beaches, our oceans are home to dolphins, sharks, turtle and hey- we even have surf! And what does Hong Kong do with it? Shotcrete it mostly.

Whereas Costa Rica treasures its natural environment ( making it  THE No.1 destination for premium ecotourism, globally ) Hong Kong places little to zero value on what remains of its irreplaceable natural beauty. The great irony is that in Hong Kong, our laughingly named Environmental Protection Dept will likely kill off the 30 or so remaining pink dolphins in its efforts to build a 3rd Runway & the disastrous Incinerator planned for an island in a Marine Park ( on a pristine virgin, forested island, Shek Kwu Chau to be precise). 
Contrast this with the enlightened motto of the Costa Rican Tourist Authority 
"If we don’t build it, they will come".
Hong Kong still abides by the original version of this slogan, foolishly concreting over the jewels in its crown. Soon there’ll be nothing left.

My apologies for being such a gloombucket, but I love Hong Kong, especially the beautiful islands & the recent go-ahead by the Government to fund The Insanerator has come as a great blow to the many thousands who opposed it.

 

01 2 / 2014

It’s nearly Spring & I’ve only just found some time to post these images from last Autumn’s wonderful ‘Standard Chartered Arts In The Park’  Mardi Gras: a community arts event, devised & hosted by Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival . Every year 3500 young people design & parade their fabulous costumes, giant puppets, rod puppets & perform spectacular routines in them. 

The year’s theme this year was “Gallery in Motion’ & I was lucky enough to be asked to re-imagine famous paintings as carnival costumes. I created 25 different costumes depicting  Cubism, Pop Art, Surrealism & Post Impressionism. Here are just a few of the illustrations. 

Thanks to the visionary Lindsey McAlister, Wendy Tsang & her creative team at the HKYAF for the creative freedom & the opportunity to work on one of Hong Kong’s great community arts projects. 

Check out HKYAF-  they do wonderful work.

http://www.hkyaf.com/home/current/eng/

http://www.hkyaf.com/projects/ArtsInThePlaza/2013/AIP2013EventDay/eng/

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01 2 / 2014

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Ear-shattering firecrackers all night, drums & cymbals coming soon
Limited edition print 

12 1 / 2014

Unusually, it was an Autumn of character drawing. I drew until that pencil caught fire. The job was a really enjoyable collaboration with Swire Properties & their team of designers to create an environmental artwork for Pacific Place ( Hong Kong’s swishest shopping mall)
Swire Properties commissioned a cast of 100 characters that reflected the stylish demographic of tai-tais, lawyers, business peeps, hipsters etc who work & shop in the Pacific Place. But they also threw in a few surprise requests designed to bring a smile to the face of their tenants & customers.image

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When I finally got around to photographing it, I found it wasn’t quite that easy.It’s one of those projects where the whole is somewhat greater than the sum of it’s parts. So I’ve included some working progress sketches, as well as overviews & close-ups, but hopefully you get the idea. 

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Name that Beatles album?image

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This crowd scene becomes a wallpaper with multiple permutations, lining various corridors & lobbies in the building.
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09 12 / 2013

My cover for Ian Gilbert’s new book ‘Independent Thinking.
I worked with Ian 20 years ago, to design his company’s identity & it’s an honour to be illustrating this book, which marks the 20th anniversary of Independent Thinking Ltd.  The logo still remains- you can see it (& his other books here):
http://www.independentthinkingpress.com/book-titles/independent-thinking/

26 9 / 2013

Autumn’s here, nearly kite-flying season again. This is my kite collection as flown by my kids & friends. 
New Small Editions print: “Hong Kong Kite Festival”

http://www.etsy.com/listing/163893789/hong-kong-kite-festival-print?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Autumn’s here, nearly kite-flying season again. This is my kite collection as flown by my kids & friends. 

New Small Editions print: “Hong Kong Kite Festival”

http://www.etsy.com/listing/163893789/hong-kong-kite-festival-print?ref=listing-shop-header-0

21 3 / 2013

Spot orange is doing all the heavy liftingCover for ‘Imprint 12’, the anthology of writing for Women in Publishing Society, Hong Kong. ©TaniaWillisIn all good HK bookshops now #imprint #wips

Spot orange is doing all the heavy lifting
Cover for ‘Imprint 12’, the anthology of writing for Women in Publishing Society, Hong Kong. ©TaniaWillis

In all good HK bookshops now #imprint #wips

17 2 / 2013

explore-blog:

The life-cycle of a single drop of water, in a stunning stop-motion pop-up book by photographer Chris Turner, paper engineer Helen Friel, and animator Jess Deacon.

(Source: explore-blog)

15 2 / 2013

T-Design for Swire Properties 40th Birthday. Wouldn’t it be great if Hong Kong looked like this?

T-Design for Swire Properties 40th Birthday. 
Wouldn’t it be great if Hong Kong looked like this?

07 1 / 2013

….It’s the nation’s capitol, it’s Washington DC….Thanks Gil. Washington for The Telegraph’s Ultratravel 

….It’s the nation’s capitol, it’s Washington DC….
Thanks Gil.
Washington for The Telegraph’s Ultratravel