Since the September 2104 I've been creating a series of illustrations based on Hip Hop artists, legends and individuals that have inspired and intrigued me over the past thirty plus years. My focus sways from their uniqueness, sense of play, and creativity, but mostly a celebration of their music.
This project happened in a very organic way, not at all planned.
I commute to my regular occupation in London as a senior Concept Artist for the Video game Industry, and whilst on the train I like to keep myself entertained by sketching in little black books.
I’ve been creating drawings on my train journeys for about four years. This is the time when my mind can wander and a stream of consciousness begins, crafting a vision, a thought in lines.
working directly in ink pen to paper, the main challenge comes from the wobbly train journey, often packed with stressed out commuters.
The story begins over ten years ago,
when I created an LP cover for the late Break DJ Leacy, entitled ‘Breaksplotation’. The illustration featured a snap shot/fly on the wall view of a late 70’s, early 80’s New York City park jam.
After receiving appreciation and praise from many Hip Hop legends, including Biz Markie, Rakim, Pete Rock, X-Clan and Grand Wizard Theodore to name a few, I embarked on a ‘thank you’ illustration back to these individuals. I started with Paradise Gray (X-Clan), Rakim and then Pete Rock.
I picked up on what inspired me about the Artists, whether it be a certain lyric from a classic song, or my perception of what may be going through their mind at the moment of creation. Without having to cater to the (possibly my own?) B-Boy machismo/ego; I could explore these themes without the fear of having to cater to a certain audience or Artist. As a visual Creative, putting my voice and perception to their persona is always a fascinating process.