My old pal Ben Brown from Canyon Studios called me earlier this year and asked if I could contribute some artwork for an as-yet-unconfirmed event, hopefully featuring some of the biggest YouTubers in the world. Intrigued by the concept and excited at the mooted suggestion of a movie poster/fantasy-style illustration some way down the line, I agreed, and initially provided a two-point perspective watercolour rendering of the immersive environment around which the Hello World event would be based - used subsequently in much of the teaser material for the show.
The go-ahead for the poster artwork - depicting Zoella, Tyler Oakley, PointlessBlog, Joe Sugg, Marcus Butler, Caspar Lee, KSI, Jim Chapman, Louise Pentland, Oli White, Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton (actually barely half of all those appearing at the event) - was given in the summer, and has proven to be the biggest commercial piece I've undertaken so far in every regard. It's a physical painting (worth pointing out, as increasingly work of this approximate style is being rendered entirely digitally), done in acrylics & coloured pencils on gessoed board.
The idea was to illustrate how a new frontier has been established in this realm of online media, and the interest it has already received has proven that whilst this still represents a relatively unchecked subgenre to many (millennials and above), the rising popularity of the subjects here is absolutely astonishing.
'Hello World' takes place next weekend (28th & 29th Oct) at the Birmingham Genting Arena, and will be huge. Many thanks to Ben Brown & Canyon (and a special shout out to Lacie Cox Photography for the shots of the final piece) - a joy and a privilege to work on.