Archive / November 2011

bisley b4 Comments

This was the second Bisley cabinet I bought to file all the collage bits and bobs I had lying around when I started doing commercial illustration. The first one was full, and it’s sort of continued like that really – using different cabinets and boxes to store found bits, trying to put some kind of system in place so I could find things in a hurry. Some of the titles have changed since this shot was taken as I’ve scribbled new ones on as the contents change and migrate around the studio. It looks fairly organised but it’s quite chaotic in reality. The titles are only a rough indication as to what’s in there, most of the images are in my head, although I seem to need to do a lot more rifling through them these days to jog my memory.

we are unlimited


We Are Unlimited are a Design Studio and pop up shop based in Brighton, UK. They sell work by 35 illustrators, designers and artists and are currently the only physical shop selling my prints and artwork. They recently interviewed me with a little Q and A for the website. I’ve known Sara and Pat for years and there new shop has some cracking goodies on offer, so if your in town go check em out and have a peruse of their fine wares.

ruff mercy

BLU – DOINNOTHIN’ FT. UGOD (PRODUCED BY FLYING LOTUS) from david m. helman on Vimeo.

I just gotta share this new video by Ruff Mercy, a best mate and surfing buddy. Commissioned by underground LA Rapper BLU it’s so dirty, raw and grubby but so deliciously tasty, with lil’ nods to Haring and Basquiat, it’s Ruff on top form. Ever since he got a job animating for MTV straight off the bat outta college in the 90’s his work has always been ahead of the game. Constantly changing and developing but always with his trademark broken humour, sinister undertones, and all seen through his grimy cracked lense. I’m proud to say that as 22 year old scamp students in a Pub in Leeds in the 9o’s I gave him his nickname, Ruff Mercy, a spoonerism on Russ Murphy, which was later to stick as his work moniker. Check out his previous Blu animation here. Equally crackin’.

Jims garage6 Comments
















This is my dad’s garage, or his scaled down ‘retirement’ version. From Cork in Ireland he sailed the seven seas with the Merchant Navy as a radio operator in the late 50’s and 60’s, then settled in London as a self taught mechanic. He’s still taking things apart and welding them back together at 73. I never realise how similar our working spaces were until I took these pictures. I guess that’s where I got it from. Making and fixing things – tinkering around a workshop. On not throwing things out, he says ‘It’ll come in handy if you never use it’.


I spend a fair bit of time looking through bits, sometimes it’s against the clock with a deadline which can be frustrating, other times just for inspiration. But a manual search always throws something interesting into the mix or more often starts a different idea in motion.

living with birds

Apologies to all birds for this childish pun.


Remembrance Sunday. World War I ended with an Armistice on November 11, 1918, which went into effect at 11:00 am-the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year.

It’s 11 minutes past 11am on 11th November  2011. And it’s my birthday. How can I not like or find signifcance in that? I am now at the pinnacle of my eleveness. I can’t get more elevenny than right now. I’m in eleventh heaven. 11 has always been a bit special. But I think I’m going to have to leave eleven alone after this OD of them, as of course it’s only a coincidence, but then when I glance at my watch and it’s 11.11, that always seems lucky. The purest of all ’11’ dates will be in 9,000 years exactly – it will be 11.11am on the 11th of  November 1111. I’ll have to come back for that one,  one. Here’s one of my favourite 11’s – from the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, the bands amplifiers go up to eleven. Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it?




I lamped this poor creature as he was crawling up my leg one morning in Corfu – Greece Summer 1989. I was interailing around Europe with 3 mates at the time. I didn’t think twice, just Bang and it was all over. But, I instantly felt bad as I realised the connection we had. He / she was a Scorpion, and was a fellow Scorpio of course. I should have granted her a bit more respect, and of course she would have never stung me, a Scorpio. I said sorry and taped her into my sketchbook and have looked after her ever since. Scorpios are apparently: Determined and forceful, Emotional and intuitive, Powerful and passionate, Exciting and magnetic. And on the Dark side: Jealous and resentful, Compulsive and obsessive, Secretive and obstinate.


leftovers2 Comments