HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast – 10th Anniversary Merch – Pt.1

HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast 10th Anniversary merchandise

One of my favourite podcasts has been going for ten years. I’ve been a listener since the first episode and have got to know the hosts a little, having done some artwork for a ‘Live in Leeds’ show many moons ago.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, I worked with Chad & Chris in creating some artwork and other fine wares: a limited-edition screenprinted poster, plus tshirt and tote bag designs, which are all available for purchase here.

As the pre-order window is about to close and these will soon be sent off to print (by the super handsome and talented Prints of Thieves), I’ve been getting the artwork print-ready and thought it might be nice to share some of that process.

Colour Separations

The artwork was done as a digital painting initially. It takes a little bit of work to convert the mess of a Photoshop file – with all it’s layers, and masks, and effects – into something that’s ready for screenprinting.

Here’s a little animation of the poster artwork now it’s been colour separated, showing how it will be printed in four layers of magical ink:

And as an added bonus, here’s the presentation of ideas which I sent the guys for their input, along with the original sketches from my trusty FIELD NOTES notebook.

I’ll update again with some images of the final products. Until then, stay safe and watch the stars…

The Dissolutions EP Artwork

Some record artwork I put together for a friend of mine’s musical project.

While catching up over a quick video chat, we discussed the direction: bold, limited colour palette, and a vintage horror movie poster kind of vibe.

I already had a bunch of textures from a piece of work that never went anywhere, so that formed a good starting point. I trawled some vintage image resources and found a weird 70’s Japanese watch advert which I liked.

Then it was a case of doing the digital equivalent of blowing things up and warping them on a photocopier. I remember doing this process manually in college, enlarging tiny images, making them really high contrast, and blowing them up again and again. It’s quite addictive.

I think it’s actually quite hard to achieve organic looking results digitally – there isn’t just one filter that does it all – so I’ve been using a variety of techniques in Photoshop in order to develop a process I’m happy with.

In the middle of the process

I dropped a few other bits in. The eyes are from an old Wolfman poster. I tried to be spontaneous and not overthink things when collaging the cut-out pieces. Same with adding a splash of colour. I think it turned out quite nice.

Classic b&w

The vinyl image is just a mock-up, the record is digital. If you like 60’s tinged garage punk, then give it a listen:

thedissolutions.bandcamp.com

Welcome to the blog

Photo by Camilo Jimenez

It’s funny, because I think every single previous iteration of the Army of Cats site has had a blog so it’s not really anything new. I’ve always had a space to write, to document process, or to share other folks’ work or just ideas I like.

Even before I created artwork for a living, I had a LiveJournal which I updated for years. It was really quite formative and allowed me to make an arse of myself trying out different artistic voices as well as making random online friends. Thankfully, in a rare moment of wisdom, long ago, when my lj days came to a natural end I deleted the account – after saving all my years of juvenile ramblings in a secret PDF file…

After that came a Blogger page, then a short-lived run with a thing called Posterous, before finally settling on good old WordPress, a platform I’ve really grown to like and – a rarity these days – actually trust.

For the past few years I’ve been content to use the various social media platforms to post day-to-day content and, while my ‘engagement’ isn’t bad, I’m just finding it more and more draining. Twitter in particular feels like a place you have to wade into rather than a nice, open space of creativity and discourse.

I’m tired of the adverts, tired of feeling like I’m battling algorithms, tired of constantly having to re-select ‘show latest posts’, and tired of spaces that essentially just aren’t mine.

As the brilliant Austin Kleon puts it on his own blog:

“Maybe I’m weird, but it just feels good. It feels good to reclaim my turf. It feels good to have a spot to think out loud in public where people aren’t spitting and shitting all over the place.”

Perhaps you feel similarly?

I’ve actually found myself really enjoying visiting other people’s blogs again. There’s a cosiness and an informality to people’s own spaces, particularly when they’re documenting some slightly weird, niche interest.

Model-maker’s blogs, record collector’s blogs, or blogs where someone is just scanning in old punk zines and flyers. I love stuff like that! It’s a reminder that the web as a platform was built by individuals, not just massive corporations (I remember when the Google search page had a ‘Blog’ button, showing you results only from blogs…).

So, here we are, a quieter, clearer space for me to document work and ideas.

I will, of course, still be posting in the usual places but I’ll be putting the real effort in here and linking back to it when I can.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.


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