Pulp Fiction poster design process

  1. This August Whirlow Hall Farm in Partnership with Henry Boot are bringing Hollywood to Sheffield and inviting audiences to dive with us head first into one of the coolest films in cinema history. on August 10th they will be showing a summertime screening of the Quentin Tarantino cult classic ‘Pulp fiction’. They’ll have their largest screen yet at their pop up cinema event on a real working farm.

Slick, Sleek and effortlessly cool this film favourite will be accompanied by shakes, burgers, bar and jiving as a live rock n roll band aim to get the audience of movers and shakers in the mood before the film begins.

I first created film posters for the Farm for the Halloween Witches in the Woods showings in 2018. I was really pleased with the bold designs I created and the impactful marketing campaign they produced. When undertaking the design of the Pulp Fiction poster I wanted something equally impactful but reflecting of this cult classic film.

I wanted to create something eye catching, bold about more than just the film but capturing it straight away. I wanted it to be simple, stylish and bold. The first thing a Tarantino is though is cool, so cool the poster just had to be.

I toned down my chaotic colouring for abold but limited palate. The bright colours make the poster impactful and arty but the use of simple characters, black and whites and bold design make it classical cool. The patterns Nd colours are designed to invoke that retro Tarantino feel. The atomic Sputnik patterns invoke the 50s diner theme of the event taken for, the movie. The ‘Pulp Fiction’ title font references the original poster which in turn pays homage to vintage thriller fiction. Hence the film title.

The copy is short and snappy and the design translates well into half page formats for versatility in print distribution.

Find out more about the event and how to book tickets

at www.whirlowhallfarm.org/events/Pulp-Fiction

What the hell am I doing?

Finding direction in self employment

It’s been just over a year now since I started my journey as an illustrator. Now we’re over 200 products later, from 25mm badges to 5ft wallaby statues. 30 commissions, 950 instagram followers and a handful of collaborations. Heck, it’s even 31 blog posts. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in this year, but it’s not just been win after win and out there on your own can be a daunting place.


What do now?

My business strategy has been something of a headless chicken approach so far. I’ve been like an excitable puppy, running around looking for opportunities and jumping at them, tail wagging. It’s worked well and is the reason that I have achieved so much in this first year. A lot of graft, determination and research! Is it enough though? Probably not. In terms of long term I have some ideas but I’ve never tried to strategize them. I’m a bit of an energy ball and I throw myself at things quite passionately.


The problem is that when I can’t find any suitable opportunities I start to scratch my head a bit. Taking time to caretake, practice and just wait doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not particularly scared of burnout because I’m so happy with everything I am doing and I don’t begrudge myself days off when I need them. My struggle is more with dialling down that puppy behaviour when there isn’t something endlessly exciting on the immediate horizon.


How important is a business plan anyway?

Unfortunately I’ve a feeling that the answer is probably pretty important. I think that I’ve gotten by so far because although I don’t have a document labeled ‘business plan’ I’ve got the components of it. My toolkit comprises of a thorough budget and I analyse products, fairs and marketing costs and income. I listen to feedback, I think about what I’d like to achieve and as I’ve said before, I do a LOT of research. Plus I have an incredibly comprehensive and colour coded calendar spreadsheet which keeps me on schedule and I use Trello project management software to track everything I do right down to this very blog. In fact, I’m so obsessive about my admin that surely a business plan would just be like a collage of all the info I already have? Even this blog encourages me to reflect on what I’ve done so far and where I want to go.


Five year plans are not, and never will be my style. They seem so inflexible. The fear of becoming obsessed by a predetermined list of goals written four years ago is not a responsive enough methodology for me. My annual goals are the closest I’m comfortable with, and even they are out of my comfort zone.  


I guess the main thing I need to be wary of is to do the unfun stuff too. Prospecting is repetitive, HMRC forms are unavoidable. Being reflective, on top of the paperwork and focused are the only ways that this thing is going to work.


Wish Me Luck!

Kickstarter x Site Gallery

Recently I attended a Kickstarter event at the newly(ish) revamped Site Gallery. It was such a positive use of an evening that I want to share it with you all. The event was free and the subject was intriguing. As was the chance to look in the gallery which I haven’t visited since the renovations, and so I signed myself up upon first discovering the event.


The idea of doing a Kickstarter has been in the back of the front of my mind for some time now. There are several projects that I’d love to explore and think that the Kickstarter format would suit really well. I just haven’t chosen which one. Or when to do it. Or started to out a plan in place. This event seems perfect for the stage of thinking I was at.


Straight away the Kickstarter representative told us that the evening wasn’t a sales pitch. If it wasn’t then I’m not sure what it must have been exactly, either way I didn’t mind. Sell it to me!


And sell it to me they did!


For a start, I didn’t even realise that there was such a strong Kickstarter scene in the UK that it warranted a UK arm of the website. To then learn that Sheffield is one of the UK’s largest hubs of activity with regards to the kickstarter site was a revelation too. I guess I shouldn’t have been suprised. Knowing how much entrepreneurial skills, creativity and digital strengths lie in the city, but nonetheless I was.


Throughout the session we listened to local artists who had used the Kickstarter platform. It was valuable insight and brought the platform to life. It helped that one of the speakers was the ceramicist Meghan Downs whose story seems to resonate with me the most as her practise is so similar to my own. The free wine and food softened me up so I could start to begin dream of my kickstarter funded art.


The main thing I wanted to know was about how much traffic Kickstarter generated. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that 40% of donations come from within the site itself. It’s always hard to tell if you are just promoting each strand of activity to the same loyal supporters or if you are finding new ways to engage new audiences so it was positive to learn that Kickstarter seems to have the latter.


We learnt about average donations and a little insight into the mind of a Kickstarter backer. All good help for designing a campaign too.


What I took away from the session was the belief that Kickstarter could be the right thing for me and all that’s left is for me to pick the right project, plan the right campaign and take the plunge!


Northern Ink: My First Niche Fair Appearance

In April I attended Northern a Ink at Northern Monk Refectory in Leeds as a trader. This was my stalls first appearance in my former home town. It’s also the first time I’ve attended a niche fair. Northern Ink was a celebration of Print, illustration and tattooing. The event featured a curation of alternative artists, live screen printing from the ever fabulous Awesome Merch and live tattooing. There were limited edition prints created especially for the event and a tattoo and tattoos flash available of each. It was run by the reputable Northern Craft who, I have wanted to work with since I heard about them,

The event opened at 11 and an immediate queue formed at the tattoo stall. Within 2 minutes all the tattoo spots were fully booked. These guys were clearly pros. This Meant that the fair was pleasantly full at the beginning and sales started early. It was difficult to predict how many visitors came to the event and what that meant for sales proportionally so I will opt for listing some pros and cons as I observed them.


The clientel are more targeted. This helps with what items you bring for your stall and your display. It was great to see so many like minded people with similar tastes and passions. There were a lot of artists visiting too and I always love to talk to people about their art.

We also got food and a drink included in the stall fee. This is incredible rare and extremely appreciated! Finding food and spending cash you might not have made back on your stall fee yet is tough sometimes.

The niche crowd was friendly, relaxed and the atmosphere was great. There was comerardery, and the tattoo were an excellent source of conversation. The event really did feel like a celebration of the arts it championed.


I’ll start by making it clear that I’m being harsh here calling them ‘cons’. Observations is probably more astute.

The niche nature of the fair means that the artists gathered can be quite similar. This is a pro and a con. It’s a pro because it is excellent to work alongside these artists, meet them and discover their art. I did some great art trades and it was wonderful to discover new artists with some awesome art who as a bonus liked my art too. It’s a con because it means that your target audience is their target audience and people only have so much money to spend. Those who might have ordinarily purchased from the stall are spoilt for choice and the purse strings become understandably tighter.

The other con do this is that I spent all my profits and then some on the excellent art available! I left Leeds with 2 new prints (including one of the tattoo flashes), a T-shirt and sculpture. It’s a pro for my art collection but a con for my bank balance! The trouble with being an artist is that you know how great it feels when people support your work and so in turn I find it irrisistalble to support other artists too!

The event space above the bar was also a new kind of event experience for me as most guests were drinking. This was something I have been nervous about in the past as a ceramics seller, but I know other traders find it encourages a few more sales. In this specific space I found that it encouraged people to do a lot of hanging about, which is great and it’s nice to chat but sometimes it can be difficult if people stand in front of your stall without any intention of shopping but block your stall view from others. It also makes it difficult to judge how busy an event is but it does create a good atmosphere.


I had a great time! I made a profit but I did spend that and more on the excellent art available. Also I found new artists too which is rad. From a business perspective on this occasion I definitely shopped more than I brought home, which is not really the goal. However, I had a great day and got some awesome art so I would certainly recommend.

New Collaboration; The Yorkshire Collective

The Yorkshire Collective is a new apparel brand celebrating God’s own county of Yorkshire. Showcasing talented Yorkshire artists, there’s a local tint to all the products available. I have recently joined the collective in designing some T-shirt’s for them.


It’s fashion, darling. Look it up


The designs I have gone for are influenced by Yorkshire sayings, Yorkshire history and reworking my regular characters into exclusive designs. Designs range from fun to funny. My ghosts make a technicolour appearance. As does a Yorkshire take in a Frankie Goes to Hollywood favourite. It’s been fun to be able to play with apparel designs inspired locally.


Although I have been based in Sheffield for the last four years I have also lived in Leeds for five years too. One of the designs features the famous Armley hippo. I have been fascinated by it since I saw it in the Leeds City Museum. The design features an illustration of the skull that’s on display. The hippo dates back to Pangea when hippos would have been wild to the Armley region. It’s an incredible piece of history!


I have been their featured artist for TYC and interviewed on their blog. Excitingly I have received a few notifications of people having bought my designs too. I am excited to see more photos on social media of people in my tee designs, All of my designs with the Yorkshire collective are apparel exclusives.


Hopefully I will have more designs joining soon too. The YC brand is young, cool and alternative. Dreamt up by a tattoo artist. The style works well with my brand too. I really enjoy seeing my designs being worn by people and it inspires me to explore this area further past my patch designs and threadless shop covered in cobwebs. Perhaps it’s time to dust them off?