Monday 20 September 2010


The current incarnation of the McJunk (large) cover, subject to change.

McJunk is a step closer to publication now that I've actually ordered ISBN numbers for it. I say 'numbers' because as a new publisher I can't buy a single ISBN, but have to order a batch of 10. As I'm publishing two versions of McJunk, I'll have to find eight other books to publish under the Dubdog moniker to use up the remaining ISBNs. Hmmm, I feel an anthology of Bum Gravy and Pindown lyrics coming on. Or maybe not.

The two versions will be:
McJunk (large), 200 x 250mm, hardback, 80pp, full page photographs printed on premium paper.
McJunk (regular), 200 x 250mm, paperback, 40pp, multiple photographs to a page, paper as yet undecided.

The large version will obviously be of superior quality and cost considerably more than the regular version. It will also be deleted after an as yet undecided number of sales.

Imprint page awaiting ISBN number

Once the ISBNs are through, there are barcodes to order, and then I'm pretty much ready to publish after a final proof read, sorting the folios and ordering a proof copy from Blurb.

As in previous posts about McJunk I've decried the slow progress of this publication. So I've decided smaller, but more regular bursts of activity are much more likely to get this project completed while I've got other more important responsibilities to deal with (i.e. paid work).

Updates to follow as progress advances.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Where's me jumper?

September has been super busy. After the wedding of some good friends of ours at the end of August, we've been to Brighton 3 times, taken in some art by the sea, been to a private view of some UCS graduate students (well done Luke, Nicki & Tom), grown a moustache for a stag do (me, not Claire), seen the reformed Pop Group in that there London, and given our bedroom over to Claire's daughter and grandson and so have been living out of our front room for the last week. Oh, and then there's the day jobs stretching into evenings & weekends as well, and getting side tracked writing the odd post here! All of which means I'm even more behind schedule with the McJunk book. I should never have made a brash deadline statement online about completing a personal project. What's frustrating is that it's 90% done - someone give me 4 days straight and I'll have it wrapped up. Never mind. Some sort of normality is due to return this week, whatever that is, and hopefully I should be able to plan in time to mop up the remaining 10%. Believe me, you'll be the first to know.

In the meantime, here are a few things that have caught my eye over the last month. Sorry, no tash shots, that's far too embarrassing, but feel free to check out my upper lip menagerie on the Dubdog Flickr photostream.

Art on the Prom, Felixstowe:

Poor Richard, or poor books?

Remixed ad. Reminds me of those plastic puzzles where you have to shift squares around to complete an image (I was always useless at them):

My Garden, Your Litter, the follow up to The Fall's Your Future, Our Clutter?

And finally, in my office this morning I was caught by my shadow as I was about to rush out of the house:

And now my favourite season of the year has arrived, can anyone tell me where I put my jumper?

Thursday 9 September 2010

A team of highly trained monkeys

Searching for the Bug's new video on YouTube, I got a team of highly trained monkeys instead! Click on the image below to see larger version.

This was what I was actually looking for:

Saturday 4 September 2010

What goes around around around…

It's funny how your own work and creative concepts, in one way or another, come back to you. Earlier this year I wrote about a piece of work I'd seen that was very similar in concept to something I'd produced several years previously, read it here.

Then last week, when staying in our favourite B&B in Brighton, Claire noticed a postcard by the entrance amongst flyers for local events and tourist attractions.

It struck Claire immediately that it was reminiscent of a piece I'd done, something I won an award for in 2002 for People Tree ethical clothing company.

And while there is an obvious visual similarity, beyond an image of Earth being superimposed onto fruit, the concepts are miles apart. But never the less, as a creative, you can't help thinking, "Oi, that's my idea."

The question of who owns an idea surfaced again yesterday when I was chatting to a photographer colleague of mine and we were discussing Simon Roberts' book We English. He bought to my attention an interesting blog article called 'When Does Similar Become Too Similar' that discusses the similarity of some of Roberts' images to that of other renowned photographers. It is worth reading for anyone interested in the subject of plagiarism.

But we live in an increasingly image saturated world where we are bombarded with content from a wide variety of media on a daily basis. We flit from webpage to webpage, subconsciously soaking up what we see. Flick through magazines in waiting rooms, barely registering, we may think, the content. Who's to say that the designers who created the Brighton and Hove Food & Drink Festival fruit hadn't seen my work and it sat lodged in their minds for years without their knowledge. It's not inconceivable that as they sat around sketching concepts on a layout pad that the idea to impose the Earth on a piece of fruit popped out of the air, as if from nowhere. Far fetched as this may be, if it is the case that's fine by me, I'm not precious. The work is dissimilar enough in its metaphorical remit and execution, and my piece did its job 8 years ago and is no longer relevant. And when you consider that the illustration in the top right of the postcard has overtones of Paul Rand about it, who am I to kick up a fuss.

And after all this hyperbole, I have to admit to an underlying tone of arrogance to this post. For who is to say that when I developed the concept for People Tree that exactly the same hadn't happened to me, that I was influenced by something I'd seen several years previously that became lodged in my subconscious waiting for the right moment to surface? There is probably a blog post out there somewhere by a designer or artist discussing exactly the same thing, but about how similar that bloody People Tree poster is to something they did back in the day.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Homage to Saul and Lee

A short while ago you may remember my tale of trying to recreate a photo from memory that went badly wrong. Well, here's the second attempt. It's in the right location this time, at the Longman of Wilmington, East Sussex. It even has some resemblance to the original. And this time it contains no knob jokes!

Ball by Claire Tolliday c.2010

The inspiration.

Steinberg by Lee Miller c.1954

Original post.