just 'HOOPER'

Design & Illustration & Stuff

Hump, Hump, Hooray!

It’s Digital Christmas Card Time Again! Season’s Greetings!


More Staring Symmetry

Second in a continuing run of ugly creature illustrations that just sit and stare…


In the words of one of my favourite song writers

“And if you think you took no part in his place in this world then you’re fired.
Because you’ve not been paying attention and your apprenticeship has expired!”

The Greatest Conversation Ever in the History of the Universe

Nobody Knows Like An Eskimo’s Nose Knows

Here’s a preliminary test piece for a handmade book project I’ve started. I’m actually doing real linocuts this time rather than digitally manipulating a drawing to give it that quality. I really like the distortion on the type – but it may require a new re-cut to help with the spacing in places. There’s also a wider addition of red to accompany the frill of the hood to be added. The narrative of the story is about an Eskimo who has lost her mum and follows a line of thread which leads to various noses on various creatures until she finds her mum.



“We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.” – David Lynch

Symmetrical Stare

I’m in a little bit of a quandary over my illustration work – I’m enjoying doing one-off pieces based on little inspirations (saw one of these monkeys in my youngest’s reading book) – but essentially am I just doing the same picture again and again? They all carry the same symmetrical stare which could be seen as a stylistic trademark (Dan Clowes often uses it) or am I just retreading old ground? Think I might explore this in some research capacity – there’s a link to human attraction through symmetry.

By the way how do these guys ever get dry?

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall


I’ve been planning an illustration project for a little while for some of my students to tackle sometime in the next year. I’ve always been taken by the lyrical content of Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’ and the potential imagery that each line could conjure up – in fact Dylan himself said in the albums sleeve-notes – “Every line in it is actually the start of a whole new song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn’t have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one.”

The notion will be to form a publication with individual students interpreting each of the  40-odd lines to form a collected set of visuals, and to see whether the imagery can be as impactful as the lyrics themselves.

To kick start it I’ve illustrated the cover (above) and will collate and design the book’s layout. I’ll post progress – but it may be a while before I can work it into the schedule.

Mistletoe Christmas


This years’ email out Christmas Card – an early Christmas greeting to all!

Coffee and a design hero


When I arrived at work this morning I gave a customary hello to a colleague in the photography department who was greeting an unfamiliar face who had also just arrived. I popped down for a coffee 10 minutes later and this person appeared behind me in the queue and introduced himself – as Simon Larbalestier!

Given that I’d inadvertently stumbled across a design hero of mine from the early 90’s I managed to hold it together whilst proclaiming my admiration for his work and inviting him for a chat. He’s currently doing a PhD at Chester and so drops in from time to time to do some teaching and get feedback.

We chatted about the 4AD days and also about how both photographic and design process has changed so much since then, berating google image searches, the lack of physical process and endeavour in students work and copyright ownership of work.

It was great to finally meet (and to put a face to) someone who made so many iconic images for me through my late teens!

The Blog Awakens

ChewieWallMy 5 and 8 year old boys have only just gotten into Star Wars with Chewie and First Order Stormtroopers being firm faves. To get back into drawing after a dry patch I’m proposing this to my youngest as some wall art for his room. Let’s see if it passes muster!

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