Copy Writing

Some graphic designers are fantastic artists, but their lack of skill when it comes to language and text layout lets them down. Mike Bull is a natural when it comes to punchy, commercial copy. And he can spell.

Also, many artists will just bung in your text without reading it. But around here, copy editing is a natural inclusion in all projects.

Finally, if something you wrote doesn’t make sense to your designer, his feedback is often an invaluable resource.

Whether you are starting with a blank slate, or want your own text polished up, this helpful service is a must.

Photography

Make a splash with high quality professional images.¬†Megapixels don’t make good photos. Good photographers do.

Mike Bull isn’t a great photographer, but he knows great commercial photographers. And good graphic design begins with good images.¬†Whether you need shots of people, places or products, Bull Artistry can source either the perfect stock photos or a professional photographer to suit your budget.

Mike also has years of experience in digital editing, so even if your images aren’t entirely up-to-scratch, in his hands they may scrub up quite well.

Illustration

Clip art always looks like clip art, and it’s never quite what you were looking for.

Whether you need a custom cartoon, a map, or technical drawings, Mike Bull will turn your brief into reality and hit your targets right between the eyes.

Scenic World visitor map

This project took a while to complete! I’ll show you some detail in the next frame.

This is the area of the Jamison Valley where Scenic World is located, and it shows the major rides: the Skway (yellow), Cableway (blue) and Railway (red).

The idea was based on the maps available on entry at theme parks, but in this case it was to prevent tourists getting lost in the wilderness!

Scenic World visitor map

Here’s some detail. You might notice the red Explorer Bus in the parking lot! The style is sort of based on the look of the Tin Tin books — or at least how I remember them.

Explorer Bus Aframe sign

The beauty of vector illustration is you can grab elements and move them around — like rearranging the people on a bus. In this case, when the Explorer Bus purchased some brand new vehicles, the cartoon people could disembark the old bus and hop on the new one!

Jesse the Scenic Train

Jesse is the original Scenic Railway carriage, on display near the coal mine entrance in the Jamison Valley at Scenic World. The cartoon character was developed for a kids’ colouring contest. It seems Tootle isn’t the only young train who tends to get distracted and veer off-track.

Perfect Pete labels

Peter actually worked for Scenic World, but eventually retired and now concentrates on his conjuring! The backdrop is based on the patterns found in the bark of “scribbly gum” trees.

The scribbly gum tree is a eucalyptus tree with a very smooth, pale trunk. The distinctive brownish ‘scribbles’ are made by the larvae of the tiny scribbly moth.

The look also owes a lot to the illustrations in May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. When I need a theme, nothing is safe.

Messy Mat

Australian native animals in a design for a “messy mat,” a see-through vinyl cover for the floor under your local high chair, play-dough project or poker table. Not sure if they are still available, but you can try www.snazzybaby.com.au.

Koala Balm

When illustrating, it’s fun to present the unexpected — like a koala with fangs, dressed in leopard skin. No cuddly here.

For some reason, this character was a hit with Japanese tourists.

Rat Bags alphabet

Some illustrations from an interactive remedial reading program. J is for jug. Q is for queen. These characters were regulars, so I could have some fun with them, especially the dog. He could behave really badly but it was okay because he was an animal.

Rat Bags alphabet

C is for cat. Z, well, you get it.

Rat Bags meditation

This section was instructions on how to use deep breathing to relax in tense situations. Of course, after the dog was put out, he deliberately made things difficult (ringing the doorbell and such), and so had to be gagged and tied up.

Rat Bags interactive

This began an intro to an interactive game show. What I enjoy about illustrating for online is the bright colours you can use. Full colour printing has a limited colour gamut.

Reality Street

The night time version of one of the Rat Bags urban landscapes. This is pre Cartoon Network so it looks a bit dated now.

Katoomba Fair

One of the ideas for a rebrand of a small local shopping centre. This is the only one that included a cartoon.

A Variety of Visitors

Some quickly drawn cartoons of people who might visit the Blue Mountains and use the council-funded facilities in the buffer zone between council-managed land and the national park.

Visitation maps

The characters were for three maps that diagrammed a typical visit of different types of tourist, the places they might stop, and the services and facilities they would need. The aim was to acquire extra tourism infrastructure funding from state government, due to the unique linear shape and low population (rate base) of our region.

Colouring

I didn’t draw these characters, but I wish I had. These were brilliant black-and-white promotional cartoons from the 70’s which required an upgrade and some colour. Lots of fun.

Ivanhoe Hotel

Locals will have seen this guy on the highway for the past few years.

He is entirely made out of flat shapes filled with colour gradients. I wanted his head to look like it was carved out of plastic.

I did not want the pie to look like it was carved out of plastic.

Explorer Bus

A cartoon of the Explorer Bus before the new branding.

Katoomba-Leura map

The maps in street directories are protected by copyright, so local tour operators often get me to redraw them. Even though I used published maps as a guide, we still get locals contacting us with minor corrections! So forget your GPS. Our maps are now even better.

iPhone app map

This map was created for the recently launched Blue Mountains iPhone app. You can find it here.

Technical diagrams

I’m not technical, but I can draw technical diagrams. Just because I don’t know what the blue thingy is, or how it relates to the red thingy with the steel mesh, doesn’t mean it can’t be drawn.

This diagram was for Gebel Aquasafe, a company of innovators in the structural design of water filtration systems.