Life on the road led to life in London and a new adventure as director of an animation studio based in an historic Thames-side wharf. Crunchy Frog Studios worked on TV projects and feature films for production companies in London, Paris and Los Angeles. With Arts Council backing I also created a working-theatre space in the Thames-side-wharf studios.
Around the same time I was commissioned to paint murals on the walls of Elton John’s Rocket Records. And that led to a life in rock’n’ roll and album-sleeve design for chart-topping, pop-icons Elton John and Queen to working with major labels EMI, Arista, PolyGram and Virgin. I set up Jubilee Graphics in Soho’s Wardour Street, painted the poster for the Genesis-headlined Knebworth Festival and then went on to be appointed Creative Director for both Stiff Records and Rialto Records.
I was asked to write a double-page ad for a new Barry Manilow album and that opened doors to a life in advertising. I worked as a Creative Director for many leading London agencies, creating TV and print campaigns for everything from the Bond movies to Dell Computers.
For much of my professional career I worked from my studios in Soho, Carnaby Street and Convent Garden. I specialised as a creative consultant in film, television and stage entertainment. My clients were diverse and demanding and the projects always complex and challenging.
I worked extensively with George Harrison’s HandMade Films and with the Monty Pythons. I created film posters and campaigns for the iconic Withnail and I, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, Life of Brian and A Fish Called Wanda. I‘ve sold Bentley motor cars to the Japanese market and Rolls-Royce to the English; designed high-end magazines for high-street retailers; written strap-lines for Hollywood blockbusters (notably Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula) and campaigns for West End musicals and English National Opera. And my ad helped launch the album-selling career of Barry Manilow.
When I wasn’t being paid to be creative I’ve performed at the Edinburgh Festival, been a D&AD judge, competed in the Daily Mail London to New York Air Race, written editorial for magazines and scripts for television. And once, aged twenty-two, was Father Christmas at a large, UK department store.
I migrated to Queensland, Australia, in 2002. My career which has been, so far, let’s say unconventional, has now come full circle and, to my complete surprise, I’ve picked up the brushes again. I paint whatever interests me. The subject must be challenging, engaging and seemingly, without any conscious or devious planning on my part, always turns out to be quirky, idiosyncratic and unorthodox. What is important to me is that people like my work. I know I do!