Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Wrap Magazine

Beautiful new work from Ben Javens and Andrew Groves above, created for the latest issue of The Wrap magazine. The theme for this issue is 'Dark days, bright nights'. The magazine serves a dual purpose of not only being a beautifully designed magazine to read but can also be used as wrapping paper through the specially commissioned illustration. Genius. Check out their website here.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Andrew Groves for Google

Commissioned by DHM London, Andrew Groves has created this striking image for inclusion in a booklet promoting Google's Display Network. The theme to the booklet was the number four and Andrew was given a fact to base the illustration on - 'Glossy magazines cause four times more accidents than chainsaws'. He was also restricted to using the Google 'colours'.
See more of Andrew's work here.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Cat Johnston - Poundshop for London Design Week

It's been an industrious few weeks for Cat Johnston - she has created over 350 tiny medals and rossetes which are being sold via the pop up 'Poundshop' in conjunction with London Design Week. For full info on the event and details of how to buy click here.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Artist spotlight : Matthew the horse

A selection of Matthew's sketchbook work.

For all you horse fans out there, Matthew has kindly taken time out from his busy schedule to answer our questions below. He's also treated us to a sneaky peek of his workspace, photo above. Who would have guessed his studio companion would be a rather fine fox who Matthew likes to keep perched on the wardrobe so he can keep a beedy eye on guests...


How would you describe your work?

I'd like it to be seen as friendly, jolly and fun whilst maintaining some sort of voice beyond just cute. It's constricted heavily by the calligraphic line I draw in. This can make some lovely images but can also restrict my drawing. I'm trying find a balance between loose naive line work with a bold, inventive, graphic sensibility. Maybe a good way to describe it is an illustrative version of a child dancing around in the nude to the music in its head.

What is your process for coming up with new ideas?

I've always got a notebook on the go. I use it for little ideas, playful drawing, drawing for fun, exploring mark making and line, figuring out how to make something look interesting, that sort of stuff. I find that if you have an on going dialogue with yourself, there's more chance of arriving at new visual devices that you can really take ownership of and help shape your own voice. It's important to draw all sorts of things in all sorts of ways. Feelings are good and of course cool stuff like dudes.

Please describe a typical day:

Emails and admin. Say something deep on Twitter. Hate myself and question everything until lunch. Have lunch. Make a decision about the direction of the piece. Draw that idea at least 50 times. Change idea. Draw it another 50 times. Choose the first one I drew. Think about it. Scan it in. Photoshop it. Blog it. Repeat.

What is your working environment like?

I've got a nice space in the flat for working. I only have a couple of days a week to draw as I teach at the art school, so I can cope with working from home. I've got a desk with a Mac on it. Some big shelves full of comics and monographs and unread textbooks. Then my materials live in boxes and hung off nails at arms length. I've always had my desk space in the living room so I can crack on with work in the evening without having to shut myself away from the lady friend.

What are your top 5 influences / inspiration?

In terms of other art, I can fall in love with anything if it's got a bit of assurance, human nature, humour, skill and beauty. That's my goal, but it's not easy. I'm mostly inspired by meeting really amazing people who are doing it right.

What are your top 5 albums / soundtracks to a working day?

I try to draw without music or I get distracted. But if it's photoshop time I've currently been enjoying Robbie Basho, the new Bill Calahan album and (since I fixed my old drive drive) a shed load of grime from 2005.

What are your top 3 favourite websites / blogs?

There so much good stuff online it's mind blowing. It's like an ocean of boats and I get sea sick. I keep going back to haw-lin for the beautiful pictures. I've watched a lot of Adventure Time on youtube if thats not too much of an easy option and finally...

And finally, what is your favourite tea time biscuit?

We had some KitKats in the other day which went fast. I discovered you can make a nice bracelet and a fancy ring with the wrapper.


Thanks Matthew!
To view more of Matthew's work click here.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ben Javens for Real Simple Magazine

Ben Javens was recently commissioned to illustrate an article about unusual holidays for American magazine, Real Simple. Here's a few of the illustrations but you can see the work in its entirety on Ben's website, HERE.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Artist spotlight: Joe Snow

We all love a good snoop at other artists work spaces don't we? Well, lucky for us Joe Snow has taken this snap of his desk, for those nosey parkers out there here's a brief description of what you can see:

The books are a mix of reference and coffee table inspiration by such peoples as Jim Philips, Robert Williams, Frank Frazetta and Marvel. Some of the giblets are as follows:
Miniature Nintendo GameBoy key ring, authentic Basil Brush badge, My 10m swimming award, Vintage Picture Post magazines from 1952, loose Opal fruits and humbugs sitting on a repurposed Knight on horse back ash tray, a picture of my long dead family dog Skip in a 3D Canadian wolf picture frame, John Carter of Mars comic issue no1, Alabaster head of Poseidon from Greece, souvenir statue from The Great Buddha of Kamakura, a pot of blue paint in eggshell, a well scuffed and played with Matchbox BMW M.1 and a stars and stripes bandana that my dog hates wearing.

And here's a photo of the aforementioned dog, Joe's gorgeous puppy Bunsen.

Here are Joe's answers to our artist spotlight questions below, enjoy!

How would you describe your work?

Largely inspired by the 1950s atomic era. I like to combine bold colours with meaty ink drawings.

What is your process for coming up with new ideas?
I bounce between my sketch book and the internet quite a lot. Brainstorming and collecting inspirational images.
I keep a sketch book and rough out ideas in there that I can work on later.

Please describe a typical day:
Depending at what stage I'm at on an image I'll either sit to the computer or the drawing table while listening to music or a podcast.
I'll ping pong between these two work stations over the course of the day stopping halfway through for lunch and afternoon walkies with our new staffy pup.

What is your working environment like?
I work from home so my studio doubles up as a cluttered spare bedroom.
It's all a bit cobbled together since moving house recently but I generally like to keep things tidy and practical.
The window doesn't offer much of a view but I do get all the afternoon sun which is really great on a sunny day and the Yorkshire dales are right on our doorstep.

What are your top 5 influences / inspiration?
1950s ads, bronze age (1970s-80s) comic books, words and phrases, Food and Science Fiction.

What are your top 5 albums / soundtracks to a working day?
I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately such as Stones Throw, Low End Theory, Groovement, Adam and Joe, IGN.
Between those I usually have itunes set to random in order to be surprised.
I like a varied mix of music but it's mainly beat or psychedelic type stuff.

What are your top 3 favourite websites / blogs?
I'm not much of an internet browser really. Aside from using the old image searches I mainly use youtube for finding new music or Facebook to speak to friends and family. I like a website called It's got a ton of interesting eye candy to get lost in.

And finally, what is your favourite tea time biscuit?
C is for cookie that's good enough for me. Oh! Cookie Cookie Cookie starts with C.
Or a nice brownie.

Thanks Joe!

To view more of Joe's work click here.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Welcome to new rep Kelly Angood

Very pleased to announce that the super talented and super nice Kelly Angood has joined our team as an artist representative. Having graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Illustration this time last year, Kelly has since been working as a freelance set and prop designer, however her understanding and background in illustration compelled her to pursue a career as an artist agent. Lucky for us!

She will be pounding the streets with our artists portfolios and drumming up all sorts of exciting work - so watch this space...

Kelly's work can be viewed here and here.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Cat Johnston - photos from Centrespace Gallery

'Recorder Beast'

'God of Wasps'

'God of Hair'

'God of Eyes'

The photos shown above are of Cat's models produced for the show 'Ask Before Handling' at the Centrespace Gallery in Bristol.
Cat decided to make effigies of her own personal gods for the show, each model is made up of a skeleton of wire, balsa wood and modroc. All the models faces have a balsa wood base with milliput on top and their clothes are painstakingly hand-stitched felt, with various embellishments including, leather, ribbons and intricate embroidery. Interesting fact - the God of Hair has real human hair and if you look very carefully you will notice that his crown is decorated with golden headlice and pearly nits and his combs have tiny golden moustaches. Amazing!
To view more of Cat's wonderful work click here and keep up to date with her blog here.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

We are hiring!

Do you have a passion for contemporary illustration? If so, you could be the person for us!
We are looking for someone with energy and enthusiasm to join our busy team at Unseen promoting the work of our 10 talented illustrators.

Your role would involve the organisation of and participation in face-to-face presentations with our existing database of clients and with new clients you have sourced yourself. Networking and attending private views would also be an important part of your role, so ideally you would be London-based.

The position is commission only (expenses covered) and would involve working independently, so a strong work ethic is imperative.
This is a rare opportunity to join a unique and progressive company.
Please email your current CV together with a covering letter to

Friday, 3 June 2011

Ben Javens for Zeit Magazine

Ben was recently commissioned by German newspaper Die Zeit to illustrate 15 fairies to be used in a special edition of Zeit Magazine where the theme of the issue was new technologies and how they change our lives.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cat Johnston - Centrespace Gallery

Cat will be exhibiting a selection of work including some of her incredible models ('Recorder Beast' shown above) at the Centrespace Gallery in Bristol. The exhibition launches with a private view this Friday 27th from 7 - 11pm and will continue until next Wednesday 1st June, full details here. Definitely not to be missed if you're in the Bristol area!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Artist spotlight : Andrew Groves

Andrew's desk, how jealous are we of the view...

A selection of objects on Andrew's desk.

The fallow deer skull Andrew found in the woods next to his house.

Next up we have the very talented Andrew Groves who's kindly let us pry into his life as an illustrator. Have a read of his answers below and view more of his amazing work here and here. No irate commuters or delayed tube trains for Andrew, he lives in a tranquil spot in the South Downs in West Sussex. Jealous, us?

How would you describe your work?
Geometric interpretations of natural shapes and objects. Maybe.

What is your process for coming up with new ideas?
Walking around, looking under things, poking things with sticks, jotting things down, trying not to go mental.

Please describe a typical day:
Take lady friend to work, make coffee, check internet things, work, chop wood, work more, eat lunch, walk in woods, work more, pick lady friend up, drink beer, watch basketball.

What is your working environment like?
Pretty amazing.

What are your top 5 influences / inspiration?
The great outdoors, rural Japan, ugly people, shapes, friends.

What are your top 5 albums / soundtracks to a working day?
It varies wildly depending on what I'm working on. Sometimes I work in silence. Sometimes Heavy Metal. Recent music purchases though are new albums from Ponytail, Marnie Stern and Deerhoof.

What are your top 3 favourite websites / blogs?,,

And finally, what is your favourite tea time biscuit?
No tea thanks. Sausage roll please.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Artist spotlight : Mikko Rantanen

Ever wanted to know a little bit more about your favourite Unseen illustrator? Well, all is not lost, our new artist spotlight series starts this week, and to kick things off we have Finnish Illustrator Mikko Rantanen. To illustrate the interview Mikko very kindly took a photo of his workspace, shown above, intriguing don't you think? Please read on for Mikko's answers to our rather dull sounding questions (we're working on them!)....

How would you describe your work?
It's like a giraffe in a bear costume.

What is your process for coming up with new ideas?
I might research something, look at other things I like and get ideas from them. Sometimes I also just try stuff out and just see what happens.

Please describe a typical day:
It depends on what I'm working on that particular day. Usually I sit by my desk a lot, working on the computer, drawing or cutting and pasting. I often take a little walk in the afternoon and might check out a bookshop or an exhibition.
(Mikko currently lives in Berlin)

What is your working environment like?
I have a desk and a chair. I find it easier to concentrate when there's not so much stuff around.

What are your top 5 Influences/Inspiration?
The universe, people, stuff people do, nature, Internet.

What are your top 5 albums/soundtracks to a working day?
It could be anything from classical music to heavy metal, depends on my mood. Sometimes there may be a band that provides a soundtrack to my illustration and sometimes I work in silence. Today I'm listening to some electronic stuff a friend sent me.

What are your top 3 favorite websites/blogs?
Today I like, and

And finally, what is your favourite teatime biscuit?

Well, we hope that cast a little bit of an insight into Mikko's work and life as an illustrator, to view Mikko's amazing portfolio of work please click here. Keep 'em peeled next week for another artist spotlight...

Monday, 4 April 2011

Unseen @ Poolga

Cat Johnston

Henry McCausland

Paul Bedser

Matthew the horse

Andrew Groves

A little bit late, but none the less worth waiting for! Here are the final five Unseen illustrators to collaborate with Poolga. All images available to download direct from the Poolga site here. Go grab yourself a fabulous new wallpaper for your i-Phone or i-Pad!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Ben Javens for Warburtons

Ben was recently commissioned by Smith & Milton to create these illustrations for the new packaging of Warburtons' breakfast range of crumpets, potato cakes, pancakes and muffins, respectively. Available from your local supermarket right now, and brightening up Britain's breakfast tables everywhere!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Joe Snow for Poolga

Joe Snow continues our week long collaboration with Poolga, above are his two designs which are now available to download from Poolga's website.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Mikko Rantanen for Poolga

Today it's the turn of Mikko Rantanen, both of Mikko's wallpapers are available to download from the Poolga website here. More to follow tomorrow...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Ben Javens for Poolga

Unseen Agency week at Poolga is GO! First up: Into space with Ben Javens, available to download from the Poolga website here.