Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Waiting for review ... again !

Another day another queue. I'm waiting for my latest app for PlayBerry Playbook (Trademark etc etc) to be allowed out to play. Here's the splash screen for a sneaky peak.

It's an app for little pixies to use to help them learn the letters in the alphabet - and launch fireworks too (make sure you keep your pets in a biscuit tin, indoors - or something like that).

Next it's time to port it to the iPad...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Crack out the Pink Lemonade

Hoorah ! It's Royal Wedding day!  We've been sat back watching the pomp and fancy outfits, eating fairy cakes and drinking pink lemonade.  A magnificent site (me eating cake)!

Here's an image to commemorate the event.

Enjoy your cakes everyone !

Friday, 1 April 2011

Blackberries taste so sweet !

As a result of Blackberry's great free Playbook offer we've finally decided to begin developing apps for smart phones / tablets. There have been a lot of developments over the last year or so and the development options seem to be a little bit clearer. JotStudios is using Adobe Flash as the main design and development tool for Blackberry and iOS games. We're just evaluating the options for Android - we'll likely use Flash ... or possibly go native with Java.
We're concentrating on games and educational apps for young kids rather than high performance shoot 'em ups. All games are being tested by our expert team led by Beth and Finn (and numerous nursery pals).

Here is a screen shot from one of our first games ... Fairy Phonics. It's a memory game for 1 or 2 players. The letters are accompanied by their phonic sound, which helps kids recognise and learn the letters.

In addition to the phonic letters the game can be played with pictures ... pink lemonade ... cherry cupcakes YUM !

So there we have it - our first tablet app. Our first app is ready to go on Blackberry's App world .... and now we have a tortuous wait of a few weeks until the Blackberry Playbook is released in the UK and we can play the game too !

See more of our cartoon and game character designs at the JotStudios portfolio.

Friday, 12 November 2010

From a rough to a finished cover

Phew - it's been busy since the last blog! I've been working on a few websites (site design, HTML, JQuery and cartoon Flash animation), cartoon strips, cartoon character designs and book covers. All great stuff!

New clients often ask what the process is to get from an inital brief to a finished piece of art. So I thought I'd blog with an example of a start and end point - in the future I'll do another example with more of the stages in between.

I've been doing a bit of work for a startup company who are producing a series of books called the Definitive Guides. I did a couple of initial covers as an initial commission and they recently contacted me to produce another.

I'd worked with them before so knew more or less what was wanted. They sent over the book title "The Yorkshireman's Definitive Guide to Extravagance".

So here's the initial draft

I usually provide a few ideas, just sketches at this stage - just to get discussions going. In some ways, the rougher the better as that makes it clear to all involved that it's just an initial draft, a starting point to get the ideas flowing.

The client fedback. They liked the more realistic image featuring the traditional thrify Yorkshireman - but how about something to make it more Yorkshire. We settled on the rolling Ilkley Moor and the Ilkley Moor Chip Van and I produced a range of images with different colours for final approval.

And here's a zoom of the main image. The style is supposed to be kind of doodley and loose rather than smooth vector art I often do (see for examples of different styles of cartoon and illustration).

So that's it and looking at that chip van is making me hungry ! Anyone for chips ?

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Bubbles Factory Website Goes Live !

With a deft flick of the switch The Bubbles Factory website is now live !

Sometimes I think it would be great to have a fish tank - all  those relaxing bubbles and aquatic life. But I can't face the responsibility of feeding the fish and cleaning green slime off the glass with an old sock. But no need - just visit ! There's moving bubbles and an Octopus that waves at you - what more could you want. Also it means there is still space on kitchen worksurface for your fancy Dualit toaster !

Best wishes to Martin and all at The Bubbles Factory - it's been great working with you guys on designing and developing the cartoon characters and the website. The play gymn itself sounds absolutely amazing - the Rolls Royce of play gymns - I can't wait to go and hop in the ball pool myself !

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Bubble, bubble, toil - no trouble !

I'm nearing completion of a great job for a children's indoor soft play company based in Scotland.

It was one of those great briefs where you get to take everything from initial character design, to the final website design with a little Flash animation thrown in too.

Here's a sneaky peak of the website - I'll update with more details over the next few days.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Personalised Cartoons for Weddings, Anniversaries, Retirement...

Most of the work I do is for corporate clients, but I've just had a run of people commissioning cartoons for gifts for weddings, birthdays, retirements and so on.

These are always fun jobs because you get to learn all sorts of amusing and just plain weird facts about the individuals you're illustrating. People really open up.

Also after spending too much money on another bucket of Indian Ink and fancy, shmancy paper and too long repeatedly drawing and re-drawing a single illustration I've decided I'm going entirely digital from now on.

This means that I can create better quality illustrations with brighter, more vibrant colours and where relevant include photo imagery (as above) to broaden the range of possible effects.

If you want something similar please get in touch.