Monday, November 2, 2009

Behind the scenes part two- Works in progress

This sideshow is a sample of some of the works that the artists from the Game of Kings collaboration have slaved over to realise their final submissions.
It's a fascinating look at the mind at work and gives an indication of how hard these guys worked to give their best product possible.
This is only a sample as indicated above there is enough for a second and maybe
third if the interest is there.

This is a link to a vey earlier version of WIP's

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Game of Kings Review Part 2

As we now have reached the penultimate release of the T Shirt wave of the Game of Kings (GoK) project I would like to reflect on some of its aspects since the idea was first floated some eight months ago.

This is a project of artistic and personal growth.
One man had an idea and was so excited at its possibilities he asked like minded artists to contribute. His own enthusiasm was enough to recruit his first choice wish list. That person of course was Simon Sherry.
The fact that this project has grown and evolved over these past months is testament to the other artists chosen.
This has been a project of testing ones comfort zones and abilities.
If I can draw attention to the artists themselves.
Incredibly popular members such as Scott Robinson, Roger (Ruby Red Design), Glen Smith (No Frills Art) and Jen Hacking (thickblackoutline) have all offered something outside of their usual styles.
It may not be evident at first but a closer look at Scott and Rogers work sees line work, half tone and colour experimentation unlike previous works. Jen has abandoned her usually whimsical style for harder and more aggressive character and experimented with effects like diamonds. Glen who usually works in themes and more topical issues has created a montage of images to reveal stunning characters that deserve their own tales.
Other popular members sjem and Jordan Clarke have shown us hidden skills and strengths and introduced totally new styles never exhibited here in their personal Red Bubble folios.
Sjem with his architecturally inspired CAD drawings of monster steam punk engines and Jordan with her hand drawn and masterfully coloured horse related creatures.
Continue reading here........

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The White Army Announcement.

The White King summoned all his bishops, generals and auxiliary staff to congress, there were things that needed to be explained. Not all things however. No matter how absolute and despotic his reign may be, certain things could still cause rebellion and mutinous behavior given the conditions they would be bound to under the laws of the celestial battlefield.
Questions had been asked of course.
“Where is this campaign?”
“How shall we arm against this enemy, for we know nothing of them or their lands”
“Ummm….who are we fighting again?”

The White King had duped his subjects. His collective memory was greater than the Bishop Angel who had totally wiped all memories from its conscience regarding it’s crime and subsequent punishment. The Angel didn’t even have the ability to recognize the King as one of its own, something the King had been aware when he had found the fallen Angel all those centuries ago.

The King had watched the battles millennia before and knew that it had been the ruination of Kingdoms and worlds foolish enough to attempt it.
He also knew it may be a way home.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Game Of Kings Artist Interview: Sjem

Ever-elusive, the artist known as Sjem has been a valuable contributor to the Game of Kings project. Managing to pin him down and restrain him with the aid of a crack team of commandos, we recorded the following before he managed to overpower us and make good his escape…

Can we have a few words about your good self?
I spend most of the working week being an architect. Redbubble is where I come to share all other things that leak out of my brain. I also wish I had the ability to grow facial hair.

So that leads to the question how did you get involved with the project?
I think it was shortly after the London Calling Competition that I recieved a bmail from Master Sherry. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, the scale of this collaboration is simply fantastic and the company I’m in is esteemed. It’s been a great experience in being able to give and receive feedback and comments from a pool of amazing talent. The place my work ended up is nowhere near where I would have predicted in the beginning.

How do you personally think it is going and do you think it has potential? What an incredible ride this has been, and I suspect that ‘setting the board’ is just the beginning. Everyone in the team has produced incredible work and the diversity of styles is a testament both to Simon’s skilled selection of collaborators and the talent of the collaborators themselves. I’d love to see other people drawn in – a book or comic, followed by figurines and then a movie deal with Peter Jackson, early retirement, and then a 10 year reunion where we try to create a sequel but instead act like a bunch of spoilt divas and spend the rest of our lives bitching about each other. That could be fun I reckon.

Do you want to flog some other projects you are involved in?
Not much in the project box at the moment to be honest. Sorry.

We’ll be sure to find something to keep him busy …

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Game Of Kings Artist Interview: Danny

You’ve been a member of Redbubble now for over 2 years and we know enough about you so let’s get stuck into the questions shall we? How did you get involved with the Game of Kings?

I was invited after the design crew was put together by Simon. It was on the recommendation of Glen Smith and Scott Robinson who I’ve done so much work with and they knew instinctively that this is something I would jump at the chance to be involved with.

Mind you, at this point in time they didn’t how or why (neither did I at that stage) but I’m glad they did because after a few chats with Simon I cottoned on that his scope was far bigger than I first thought they would try to achieve and that was when I was hooked.

This was going to be on an epic scale and had the potential to be a multi media bonanza, something I had wanted to achieve with Monk Rock. Simon didn’t think quick collaboration – he wanted to throw it into the air and see how far it could spread out in all directions.
It was obvious from the get go that it was going to work when a forum was set up and people started throwing ideas around like a pie fight.
The best way to describe it was like having ten people standing around a ping pong table and just bouncing the ball from one paddle to another building up momentum.
A lot of the designs, character traits and narratives came from these early days and the project grew from there.

What’s been your experience being part of the project to date, and how do think it will be received?

I don’t know how it’ll be received to be honest, initial reaction has been good and a few t shirts have been sold but as far as I’m concerned this is only the beginning. In fact it’s Phase
One of many yet to come.
As for my experience, I can say it has been fantastic and enlightening and came along when I really needed an artistic challenge in my life.

But getting back to the original question

When I got invited in to be part of this project I thought it was the most brilliant concept and from the start I wanted to do the most exciting things we could possibly do and that was all I could ask for.

That’s what it’s always been about, really enjoying and getting genuinely
excited about the possibilities. Not necessarily achieving anything of my own ambitions just going into it with that sense of wonder and imagining what it could be if we got it right.

Read more here......

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wave Eight T Shirt Release

Wave Eight Preview due out 14 October 2009

White Queen Rook by sjem
Black Queen's pawn by Simon Sherry
White King Bishops Pawn by Quigonjim
Black King by Simon Sherry

Monday, October 5, 2009

Game Of Kings Artist Interview: Scott Robinson

Our interviewee this time is Scott Robinson, a man who has been here on Redbubble creating, inspiring and giving since the very beginning.

Could you start by telling us a little about yourself ? Do you have a “day” job?

A little about myself?

Well, yep, I’ve definitely got a day job, I’m a full time graphic designed and illustrator and I run my own little design studio in the evenings. That’s a fair few hours dedicated to designing per day, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever been relatively proficient at. I’m also 100% addicted to coffee, I think those 2 things are related though..

Which artists influence or inspire you?

Oh, far too many to mention really, I’m really in love with art/design, so anyone that can provoke a response from me gets my admiration.

At the heart of things though, It’s all about skate-art for me really. Artists Like Vance Courtland Johnson, Andy Jenkins, Sean Cliver, Neil Blender, A.Hourtley, the Mighty Jim Phillips just to scratch the surfaces. Then there’s people like Jeff Soto & Nate Van Dyke, both of whom I’m currently fascinated with. THEN.. there’s all my comic book heroes, Jack Kirby, Mark Silvestri, Romita’s both junior and senior… there’s just so many people I admire out there.

On top of that, there’s all these people I’ve found here at Redbubble that I’ve had to add to that list too. There’s some truly gifted art ninja’s amongst us here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wave Seven T Shirt Release

Wave Seven Preview due out 28 September 2009

the White Queen's Knight by Jordan Clark
the Black King's Pawn by Simon Sherry
the White King-Knight's Pawn by No Frills Art
the Black Queen by Simon Sherry

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Black King's announcement

When word had spread through the Nations of the Black Spear that they were to return to the celestial battlefield it was if Christmas, New Year and everybody’s birthdays had come at once. To the people of the Black Spear nothing could surpass the glory of battle except perhaps dying in it, but then being able to return again and again to see if you die the next time round came a pretty close second.
Celebrations spread all over the land with many a thing being killed in sheer happiness, though not many citizens. That of course would mean you would miss out on the glory of the battle be it as victim or slayer. So it was mainly small squeaky animals and birds, the larger beasts saved for the feasts to come after the victorious return.
It never occurred to the Black Spear nations that they could ever lose.
It had been announced that all armies who face each other on the battlefield were equal but the Armies of the Black Spear with their Warrior culture and lifestyle seemed to adjust better than any of their opponents.
It even seemed to quite a few that winning and celebrating and getting promoted was better than dying but they generally kept those thoughts to themselves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wave Six T Shirt Release

Wave Six due for release 14th September 2009

Black Queen Rook (Basilisk) by Simon Sherry
White King Rook's Pawn by LilyM
Black Queen - Bishop Pawn (steam Golum) by Simon Sherry
White Queen Bishop by Ruby Red

Sunday, September 13, 2009

GoK Artist Interview - LilyM

We reveal female dynamo and Titan creator LilyM
Thanks for taking the time for this interview Lily, could you start by telling us a little
about yourself ?

I’m 24, born and raised in Upstate New York. I moved to Melbourne, Australia with my family when I was 14.
I have always loved creating things. I spent every spare moment as a small child up right up until the end of University filling the sketchbooks which fill my room. I started with drawing, moved from working with clay to painting and then to sewing. Over the years I’ve enjoyed a range of artistic styles and mediums of expression, and I’m always interested in trying new techniques and mediums.
I studied Graphic Design at University, uncertain of which career to follow. I got a job as a concept artist for a Games Design Studio straight out of University, and after 2 years I returned to graphic design as a freelance artist.
I still spend every spare moment I have working on one side project or another. I’m currently learning how to build websites in the process of building my own, designing and making soft toys, trying my hand at jewelry making and finishing off a small sculpture. I’m always interest in new commissions if people wish to contact me.

Which artists influence or inspire you?
Jim Henson (Muppets Creator), artist from the Art Nouveau movement like Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt, Art Deco illustrations, Frank Frazetta (Legendary Fantasy Artist), and a great many Disney and Warner Bros. artists.
As I headed into my teenage years I was introduced to comics. Wendy Pini (ElfQuest), Joe Madureira, Casey Jones, Chris Bachalo, J. Scott Cambell, Joe Quesada, have been a huge influence on my style of drawing from those early years. I later discovered Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl), Mike Magnola (Hellboy) and David McKean (Sandman, MirrorMask) all of whose distinct styles influenced my approach to illustration.
Recent inspiration comes from great comic book artists like Adam Hughes (Catwoman, Wonder Woman), Ashely Wood (Popbot, Spawn), Oshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D), James Jean (Fables, The Umbrella Academy), Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch), and counter culture artist like Glenn Barr, Derek Yaniger, Audrey Kawasaki, Angelique Houtkamp, and Shag. I’m also a fan of classic pin up artists like Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas and George Petty. I am fascinated by art history and old commercial art and I’m constantly inspired by the works of master painters, photographers and illustrators from the past.

What was your introduction to Game of Kings and what decided you on getting involved?
One day I got a Bmail from Simon (who was helpful and encouraging from the moment I joined RedBubble, (he made the first comment I ever received!) asking me if I wanted to take part in a new series he was working on. I thought his previous series were so original and so well executed. How could I refuse the opportunity to work with such amazingly creative people?! To create something original! To really get involved in RB community (despite my hermit-like tendencies)!

What has been most noteworthy about your involvement to date?
I am in awe of the creativity and support I found in the GoK forums. The collaboration and development of ideas between so many and such different artists that has happened there is a rare and wonderful thing. And I can’t believe that what started out as a “new take” on chess pieces has exploded into a whole world full of stories and meaning.

Is there anything you’d especially like us to know about your characters?
I wanted to create characters that told a story, that were not just pretty images. I went back to look at the origins of chess for inspiration and found that in its most ancient form it was developed in Persia. The name “Rook” comes from the Persian word “Rokh” used to describe their armored war chariots. I can imagine stories of monstrous moving castles inspiring images like this in the minds of people of the ancient world. For my rook’s pawn I wanted to create more then just a simple pike man or solider. My pawn is based on the ancient Arabic Djinn (a lesser type of angel), which became known in the west as a Genie. The Djinn remains concealed and its power could be good or evil. My pieces are formed from nature, one of rock and one of sand. I wanted them to demonstrate the enormous power like that of nature, not violence. Chess is a composed and strategic game.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It has been an honor and a privilege to work with everyone on the GoK project. You are all amazing artists and I have been truly flattered by your praise and grateful for your advice. Thank you, Simon for inviting me to be a part of something special, your endless enthusiasm and creativity is an inspiration. I’d also like to thank my wonderful partner, James, for his continual support and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Game Of Kings Artist Interview: Glenn Smith (AKA nofrillsart)

Known to most Bubblers as nofrillsart, Glenn Smith is a vital addition to the Game of Kings team, not only bringing his unique style to the project, but also a great deal of input into the promotional side of it as well.

Can we have a few words about your good self?

I have been making art professionally for the last ten years or so. In recent years I have also crossed over into the realms of being an arts worker running a lot of exhibitions and festivals. For bread and butter I work as a high school teacher. In terms of my approach to art, I often have dilemmas about what direction art should take whether it should be originals hanging on the walls of exclusive galleries or at ground level such as street art or t-shirt design. I am yet to reconcile this within myself, so in the mean time I attempt to do both.

So how did you get involved with the Game of Kings project?

The talented Mr.Sherry gave me a personal invitation to take part. This was a honor from the start. I have some decent skills at doing what I do within say my t-shirts designs here on RB, but this project has proven to be a real challenge for me, due to being well outside my comfort zone and in some very intimidating company, such as the talented bunch of artists that are the Game of Kings. Thought that being said, you could not find a more supportive group of artists.

Continue reading here......

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The White pawn - I get by with a little help from my friends.

A special insight to the proces by Scott Robinson,

I thought I`d share a little of the backstory that went along with the recently released WhitePawn from the GameofKings

This piece truly was a collaborative effort, as you`ll soon see.

It satrted out looking like this.. this was my primary idea, a brutish looking behomoth.

This is still at sketch stage obviously.., nothing fancy. But the idea`s there.

I put it to my fellow collaborators, and released there was a couple of things left a little lacking. After reading through Danny`s backstory for the charector, I thought he needed a little more destructive force.

The actual group forum post was this.. “

Started the inking, and had a bit of a re-think about the front hand. I re-read Danny`s descprition, and the idea of grafts really struck a chord with me.
So I just sketched up, ( really, really roughly, as you`ll see) this front hand. I`m thinking of making it a mace. I drew it seperate to the rest of the drawing, so it`s not by any means the perfect position, but it could look cool if I drew it right.. I don`t like the spikes though, I think I`ll just go with crushing ball type of thing, Steel stub on his hand, chains, and a big crushing ball…”

So, with the help of the team, I came to this point

Continue reading here......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The White King-Bishop's Story

The only person the White King had directly informed about the invitation to battle was the Bishop Angel.
The Bishop Angel had been persuaded to come to the Kingdom many centuries ago by a King who offered enlightenment, freedom of prayer and a tolerant society.
At first these enticements had been realized, but as the years progressed the scholars and engineers turned their attention away from architecture and domestic sciences to more medical experimentation and manufactories that built war machines.
The University of the Gears no longer advanced healing, it raised the dead for information that could have been derived from books and giant monsters that should have remained extinct. Abominations to the Angel’s mind and senses but tolerable, because the true King and its Master had said so.
The Bishop Angel dealt with these things it’s own way. By creating its own religious order of devout, some say fanatical soldiers.
Together they prayed for the souls of their blasphemous colleagues and brothers in arms.
Continue reading here.....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wave Five T Shirt Release

Wave No.5 due out August 31 2009

Black Queen's Knight by Simon Sherry
White King's Pawn by Scott Robinson
King's Rook's Pawn by Simon Sherry
White Queen by tbo

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Black Army Bishop - Part 2

No one questioned the Shaman, even the King let it do what it wanted most times unchallenged.
There was good reason for this, the Shaman was mad.
Not angry mad but loopy, few sheep short in the paddock, stark raving type of mad.
Having dual personalities didn’t help the situation, especially when half male the other female.
It was always in conflict with itself and ironically only ever felt whole when it could split its personalities and fight for its master and mistress on the glorious battle field.
But since there were usually decades between each challenge the Shaman continued to dual internally with itself to do what made it happy and upset itself at the same time..
It was a lonely existance.
Since both personalities of the Shaman hated each other with a passion this internal seething resentment and anger to either go out shopping with girls or play poker with the guys had driven the dark magician insane.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The White Queen , Her Bishop and the University of the Gears.

The steps to leading up to the University doors were imposing, they’d even have an air of respect it weren’t for the dog turds everywhere.
The Queen’s Bishop was witnessing first hand one of his greatest triumphs and failures in one hit.
Having pioneered gene slicing and genetic engineering, as Dean of the University his most brilliant achievement had been to create his Lone Wolf battalion.
A genetic combination of human and wolf, years of trials had created the most fierce and loyal fighters outside of the King’s own personal guard.
The only problem was that no matter how he tried , even after giving the Werehounds the power of free will, speech, the ability to educate themselves and breed, the Bishop still couldn’t stop them from going to the toilet wherever it suited them.

The Bishop who was the military chief of the Werehounds was also responsible for their mess and the King’s Bishop was always there to remind him of the consequences of playing with God’s tools.
Angel’s were just so damn self-righteous.
Continue reading here.............

Friday, August 21, 2009

Game Of Kings Artist Interview: Jordan Clarke

Jordan Clarke is another member of the Game of Kings collaboration.
Jordan is almost a foundation member of Red Bubble coming aboard in the very early days. Her style of Graphic design is both eye catching and original and was a perfect choice for the myriad of styles that make up the mix that is Game of Kings

Thanks for this Jordan, could you start by telling us a little about yourself ?
No worries! Well, I finished studying graphic design back in 2006. It was a great course and I met some amazing people – but by the end I realised that I didn’t really want to be a graphic designer. I’d stared experimenting with graphic illustration in the last few weeks of the course – something just clicked and I knew I’d found my direction.
Now I’m trying to combine traditional techniques with digital – I’m not sure where I fit in yet – but I’m loving the whole process. I’m also working on some new tee designs which I have big plans for. One day I hope I can make a comfortable living out of my artwork!

Which artists influence or inspire you?
My two all time favourites are Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman. I love Kahlo’s bold, colourful and emotionally raw paintings. Sherman’s self-portrait photos have really cool themes and I love that she does it all herself.
More recently I’ve been really influenced by Shepard Fairey – his work has made me think about my own early work and how I can push it to the next level through screen-prints and stencils. I’m also influenced by Gil Elvgren’s quintessential pin-ups – especially seeing some of the original photos he used to reference. And of course I’m hugely influenced and inspired by tattoo art and digital collage (which is evident in my portfolio!).
Continue reading here.......

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wave Four Release

Due out week starting 17th August 2009
White Queen's Rook's Pawn by sjem
Black Queen's Bishop by Simon Sherry
White Kings Rook by Lily M
Black Queen's Rook's Pawn by Simon Sherry

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Third wave Release

Wave three due for TShirt release 3 August 2009

1. White King's Knight by No Frills Art
2. Black King's Bishop by Simon sherry
3. Black King's Knight's Pawn by Simon Sherry
4. White Queen's Knight's Pawn by Jordan Clarke