STEPHEN BRADBURY LOGO
How on earth, did I get that logo ?.
It came about, actually, quite straightforwardly. After leaving art college in Loughborough, ( There's quite a story to this, but I'll leave it for now and write a web page about it in the future) I got a job as a postman and eventually moved back , up north, to the High Peak of Derbyshire and transferred my postman job to a village called Disley. I knew that one day I'd pick up the rod again, which was art, but didn't have a clue in what form it would take. Anyway, after about 9 years on the post I felt a huge compulsion to paint. A story called The Chronicles of Time came into my head and I duly set out to illustrate it. I was so driven by this urge to paint, that I would go out posting at 5 o'clock in the morning, come home about 1 o'clock in the afternoon and have a few hours sleep, then paint until midnight. This went on for about 9 months. I also, sold my motorbike to fund buying an airbrush. The picture below, The Star Bridge was my first attempt at airbrushing. I used to try and limit the amount of airbrushing in my paintings and book cover illustrations to the skies and special effects. The rest was usually hand painted.
Here are some examples from The Chronicles of Time.
Anyway, I was pretty much exhausted and decided that the next time I got annual leave , I would set off for London and try to sell my concept and also see if I could get any work as an illustrator.
I set off for London, portfolio of paintings in hand and stayed with some friends of a friend in St Margarets in London. My first port of call was Paper Tiger books. Hubert Schaafsma, the owner of Paper Tiger had kindly agreed to meet me. He looked at my work, bought me lunch and sent me away empty handed. My work wasn't obviously good enough. The irony being, as you may know, that years later after I'd become a successful illustrator, I was sitting in my studio one afternoon, and the phone rang. It was a lady from Paper Tiger asking me if they could do a book about me. Strange how things come around. The bit in the book about being rejected years earlier was strangely edited out ! Anyway the book was to be Reflections - The Art of Stephen Bradbury.
I spent the week being rejected by publishers, illustration agents and others. In fact the woman at the illustration agents Young Artists said I wasn't up to the standard and should go home and be a milk man ! I packed my ruck sack on the Friday morning, said goodbye to my friends and set off for Euston Station to get the train back home. Fed up and heavy hearted I drifted round London. My train wasn't until 4.30, so I had time to kill. I decided, sod it! I'll try one more time. So I walked up Fulham Road and sat on a bench outside Pan Books for 2 hours, trying to drum up the nerve to go in and see the art director. Eventually I plucked up the courage and went into the reception in Stanley Studios and asked the lady behind the desk if I could see the art director, only to be told that the art director never saw people on Fridays. She said I would have to come back another day.
I told her I was on my way home and couldn't come back. She sighed and told me that she would have a word with him and disappeared around the back. Eventually she came back and said he would give me 5 minutes. So I went into the guy's office and was introduced to Gary Day Ellison. He looked through my portfolio, then looked through it again, and said to me where was i going. I said I was going back, up north to be a milk man ! He said, "We can't have that, and reached down from the shelf a hardback copy of The Many Coloured Land by Julian May. " Go home and design a cover for the paperback edition " he said. Apparently he'd had it on his shelf for a while waiting for the right person to walk in. So I went home , sketched, then painted the illustration for the cover and as they say, the rest was history!
I get cold sweats, even now, thinking what would have happened to me if I'd just come home that day and if I hadn't met a man with such great foresight, namely, Gary who saw the potential in my work. I truly believe I was lead to that bench on Fulham Road and to meet Gary Day Ellison. It was like Dick Whittington , but without the cat !
Anyway, the book was a success and I was asked to do the cover for the second book in the series The Golden Torc.
But how did you get that logo ?
Well it's simple really, I had to invoice for the book cover artwork, so I Letraset my address on one side and decided to do an ink drawing of the bird from The Golden Torc on the right. I thought I'd do something memorable, that everyone would remember in the future and know it was me. And it's been with me ever since. The Julian May books were very successful, went round the World, and helped me establish myself as an illustrator.
I still use the original black and white version on everything. It's even at the bottom of this web page. I've done other versions. The one at the top was painted for the Reflections, Paper Tiger book about me.
I used to craftily include it in the illustrations I did for book covers. It certainly got around. Bizarrely, another artist ( who I won't name ) copied it on to the paperback edition of a story I'd illustrated the hardback copy for. It was on a shield on the spine of the book. Can you believe it !
Can you spot it ? It's also on the belt buckle of The Dragon Slayer on the cover of Fantasy Art Techniques
As I said, I've done several versions. Here are some for you to look at.
So, there you have it. That's where my logo came from. I'm very fond of it. I might do another version soon.
It's also on one or two things in my website shop.Click here
Take care. Hope you enjoyed the Logo page.