First Direct Campaign
First Direct campaign - 'What Makes London, London'
24 hour drawing challenge for Childline's 25th Anniversary, sponsored by First Direct.
Lots of drawing, Red Bull and nervous breakdowns.
24 hour drawing challenge for Childline's 25th Anniversary, sponsored by First Direct.
Lots of drawing, Red Bull and nervous breakdowns.
Advertising, Drawing, Illustration
Tuesday at 10am saw the end of my 24hr marathon for first direct. They had sponsored a BTartbox for Childline’s 25th aniversary. There are over 80 of these traditional British phone boxes around London, all sponsored by different people and brands, and all to be auctioned for charity.
It’s a great idea, and they all are looking very impressive in Covent Garden. I was approached to work on the project by the lovely guys up at StoryUK, an advertising agency based in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.
I always love the surprise jobs that come out of nowhere, and this one seemed really exciting. The brief was pretty simple, as good briefs always are. 24hr Draw marathon, on a telephone box, for charity.
The subject would be ‘What makes London, London’ and the drawings would reflect people’s answers via Facebook. I woke up on the morning of the project to heavy rain, and my heart sank. Not because of the drawing (my pens are waterproof) but because I had just done my hair the night before.
Luckily the rain eased off, and my hair was saved. (I’m joking btw, I was much more concerned with the artwork. Sort of)
I was feeling a little nervous as I rocked up at the hotel in Soho for our preliminary breakfast meeting before kick-off on Monday 18th June. I always think a healthy amount of nerves is good on a project such as this. I think it shows you still care, and that you still yearn to deliver your best. This mentality, while valuable, tends to add a little strain to the start of any project. However, I believe it is nessecary in order to do a good job.
As with the case when working with any group of pleasant people, we ended up gossiping and chatting through the meeting, and only at the end of breakfast did we really nail down the aims of the project. At this point however, it’s pretty much down to me and my pens. I can do as much background and preliminary work as possible for a project like this, but what really counts at the end is the quality of the drawing, and the level of accomplishment displayed in the finished piece.
So, no pressure!
Seeing the blank box in Covent Garden was gorgeous. I had already seen it at the press breakfast, where I met Childline founder Esther Rantzen, and again I was struck by the beauty of the box. I think seeing the classic design in white makes you realise what a spectacular design it was, and I couldn’t help mourning the loss of these old British classics from our streets.
Seriously though, who the hell had the ridiculous idea of binning them, and bringing in the plastic horrors we’ve got now?
Any knowledge of this Sir Giles Gilbert Scott box exodus, do share it on my Facebook/Lizzie Mary Cullen.
By 10am the marathon had begun. As usual with the first line of my pen, my nerves vanished. I’m not sure why this happens. I think it’s because I know it is now down to me and my drawing, and I have never not delivered on a project. This knowledge is enough to banish nerves. Of course, during the course of the project, I would feel worry, panic, nervousness, all kicking in at different times, and all compounded by lack of sleep and far more drawing any sane person would do in one sitting. But right now, I felt calm and in control.
During the project the team from first direct had come down from Leeds to watch the box take shape, and upload pictures to Facebook. It’s a funny feeling having the client looking over your shoulder at every line, but I needn’t have worried. There was lots of encouragement, and bringing of coffee and it was a nice feeling having a group around me as I worked. I felt looked after and encouraged and, as the box started to take shape as the hours flew by, I started to buzz.
This buzz may be down to the unhealthy amount of caffeine which had been consumed, but my heart was still beating normally, which as most people know, is a good thing.
During this project, a film was being made by PAN Studio about first direct’s BT Artbox, and I was continually doing updates on camera, and being filmed as I worked. This was helpful in many ways. It provided a bit of a drawing break for me, and in a strange way, helped me understand by putting into words, how the box was going.
I don’t usually start randomly talking about how a piece of work is going, and doing this is quite theraputic. I may start doing it in everyday life. I can start talking randomly at people on the tube about how my day is going. Or become the bus stop nutter each morning by regailing my fellow commuters on how many times I went to the toilet the day before.
In between bouts of filming, knocking back unhealthy amounts of Red Bull and eating my weight in complex carbohydrate, I was listening to an audiobook which I had downloaded from my Audible account. I decided, in a flurry of extremely odd decision making the previous night, to listen to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. I chose this book for it’s length (37 hours) and the fact that I have always wanted to read it.
I urge anyone embarking on a 24 hr marathon to avoid this book at all costs. Indeed it is a masterful book, full of fascinating facts and not-to-be-forgotton insights into the human soul, but it’s a little heavy. Especially in the middle of the night, when the box is half finished, and I’m listening to Chamberlein’s nephew waxing lyrical about the glory of the aryan race. I ended up having to listen to a spot of Micahel McIntyre’s ‘Life and Laughing’ to bring myself back from the brink.
To those Michael McIntyre haters out there, I issue this statement: I do not understand you. He is adorable.
So, it was 1 in the morning in Covent Garden market. Me and the gang consisting of Susan, Olivia and Charlie from StoryUK, Becca from first direct and Sam from PAN were drinking wine and goofing about. Soon however, I was staring at the half-finished box like something out of The Shining, spiralling into mad visions of not completing the bastard thing by 10am the next morning. I think I had my crazy eyes on, and I was feeling angry. Really angry. Lizzie Smash.
By 3am, I was about to start scrawling ‘All work and no play make Lizzie a dull girl’ and promptly Hulk Out, when Susan insisted I grab an hour of sleep. This changed everything.
In fact, I only squeezed in 45 minutes, but waking up I felt refreshed. By 5am I was on my way again, and making progress. At this point I had been awake for 23 hours, and I was starting the feel it. The joy of drawing was leaving me, and even with Michael McIntyres loveable voice ringing in my ears, I could not off-set the exhaustion which was creeping into my bones like some kind of toxic mould. I was dreaming of a hot bath, and a bed. Any bed. In fact, if you had let me loose on London at that minute, I would have crawled into someone’s window and got into bed with an unsuspecting randomer and happily spooned them while I drifted into blissful unconciousness.
Luckily, I pushed on, and by 8am we were nearing the close. I’m not going to lie, my body was throbbing. It’s interesting, most people asked me ‘Is your arm killing you?’ And my honest answer would be, ‘No’. It’s never the arm which hurts after these drawing challenges. It’s always just the whole body. My knees were swollen, and my thighs seemed to be twitching. My back was screaming in protest, and for some reason my brain was refusing to connect to my mouth.
When the clock struck 10am on Tuesday 19th, I felt relief like never before.
We had done it, and the box looked fantastic. I had a pre-noon beer, which tasted glorious (Red Stripe beer to put the state of my brain in perspective) and after a few pictures and a quick interview, it was over.
I felt a pang of sadness saying goodbye to my overnight companions. You can bond with people in many ways, but it’s the odd experiences and the challenging ones which bring people together most. I’m under no illusions, I imagine I was a nightmare to work with. All blank staring eyes, and the occasional bit of dribble coming out of my mouth, resembling a zombie more than an illustrator.
However, we did it and it was fun. The box looks fantastic, and at the end of the (long) day it’s all for charity.
The product of this journey of angst, alcohol, pens and persistance is up for auction along with all the phoneboxes you can see around London this summer.
So if you want it, check out here’s the link
Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast. Lizzie x
Here is a collection of wall murals I have created, commissioned by Zizzi, Harvey Nichols and Bluehive over the past few years.
The work is always in my style, intricate line drawing and is often with colour. The subject of the murals are often the surrounding area. When I am commissioned by Zizzi for example, I have always visited the town where the restaurant is located. I'll have a walk around, and get lost. I make sketches and get to know the area. Any special buildings I'll take pictures of, and often do sketches. This helps my wall murals to be special, depicting the unique feel of the town.
I love visiting the libraries of the different towns when I visit to create wall mural. I read up on the local history, and visit any local attraction. A favourite hobby is reading the local paper.
There's something very comforting in reading the news of a different town. Not knowing any of the places, the streets are unfamiliar. When I go home, I'll leave the town with a wall mural, and the knowledge and Mr. Smith has won the bakesale competition at the town hall competition.Advertising, Drawing, Illustration2012
London is an ancient urban maze whose sensuous, dark and mythical history is echoed throughout the city.
By mapping not only routes, but also textures, ideas, weather, thought and feeling I will challenge the preconceptions of areas in London through my process of mapping imagination.
These psychogeographic maps combine reality with my own interpretations of the space, creating maps which not only record directional routes, but also document a moment of time, and all my sensory reactions to the space.Architecture, Drawing, Illustration2012
Client : Lewis Hamilton
Agency: The Rumpus Room
A holiday 'thank you' from Lewis to his fan base. The first 1000 fans who submitted photos to #TeamLH got included in the illustration.
A super fun project with a wonderful agency, for a very cool client!Animation, Character Design, Illustration2014
Oxfam - Happiest Mother's Day Campaign 2014. Live at Westfield Shepherd's Bush, London.Advertising, Calligraphy, Drawing2014
Client: Ciate Nails
Agencey: Penney Dunney Jones
Brief: Create a fun, vibrant chalk wall to promote the launch of Ciate Nails invention, the Chalkboard Manicure set.Advertising, Drawing, Illustration2013
A very cool brief to liven up Harvey Nichols HQ to accompany my wall murals in Harvey Nichols flagship store in Knightsbridge.Branding, Drawing, Street Art2012
Live art at the London Transport Museum, Covent GardenArt Direction, Drawing, Fine Arts2014
Commissioned by Zizzi as a part of their Fresh Talent initiative.
- 2014 -Drawing, Illustration, Street Art2014
HTC's Facebook App, commissioned by Profero.
The brief was to create different icons for the hands, to be matched up as a game. Lovely commission, very fun result!Advertising, Branding, Drawing2012
As a part of New Wave, Graham&Brown's new wallpaper collection featuring the work of UK designers, I was asked to create a wall mural at the company HQ in the reception.
The wall depicts Graham&Brown's rich company history, from it's beginnings at the historic India Mill through to its offices throughout the world, from New York to China.
I had a lovely time with a beautiful group of people during this job. Graham&Brown is truly a family company, and they made me feel very welcome!
Enjoy, and look out for my wallpaper collection, released Jan 2014!Drawing, Illustration, Interior Design2013
MTV used my psychogepgraphic map of Gerard Street, Chinatown for their international promotion. Yay!Advertising, Illustration2012
Commissioned by Somerset House, 'Lightwells at Somerset House' won the Gold Design Award at this years 'Images 36: Best of British Illustration'
The exhibition will be touring the UK in the coming year.Drawing, Fine Arts, Illustration2012
A private commission of Pullens Yard, Kennington
Created with rapidograph pen on tracing paper
- 2013 -Drawing, Fine Arts, Illustration2014
A lovely brief from The Guardian to illustrate a piece on my favourite subject - Independent bookshops yay!
As always, I used black rapidiograph pen, and then did a little scanning and this time; photoshopped the crap out of it. Not usually my style, but needed some colour pretty quick. I'm starting to love photoshop..Drawing, Editorial Design, Illustration2012
A series of bespoke promotional mailers I've made. These are a few of my favourites!Advertising, Art Direction, Illustration2012
A private client asked for a piece of artwork that captured their home town of Twickenham, UK.
Rapidograph pen, with wax crayon.Drawing, Fine Arts, Illustration2013
Covent Garden, Bow Street.Illustration, Design2010
Illustration, Graphic Design2009
Illustrations for tiny humans
A selection of my favourite kids stuff!
Lots of line drawing, and pastel colours. I love a good crayon! Here are a selection of things that I've been tinkering on over the past few years. A few stories, and lots of characters.Calligraphy, Character Design, Drawing2012
A personal project of mine launched via Facebook and Twitter. Anyone is welcome to come and sit for a Body Art session. Just drop me an email! And keep emailing me, I often forget to reply because I'm crap.Art Direction, Drawing, Photography2013
A collection of videos including stop-motion, how-to drawing guides, drawing challenges and sexy zombies!Animation, Art Direction, Illustration2012
London Fashion Week illustrations from Somerset HouseArt Direction, Drawing, Editorial Design2012
London Map of all the Zizzi LocationsAdvertising, Drawing, Illustration2012
Commissioned by Zizzi Restaurant chain to create Psycho-Geographic Map of Marlow and Sevenoaks. Inspired by the Beautiful town, the brief was to capture the feel of the historic town of Marlow to connect people to their local Italian Restaurant.Design2009
Blue Hive, the joint venture between Ogilvy, Mindshare and Wunderman, has hit upon a novel way to share season’s greetings this year.
Have your festive message turned into little works of art by the agency’s very own ‘doodle’ artist Lizzie Mary Cullen. Lizzie will be drawing each message onto a 12m x 3m purpose-built doodle wall within the agency.
Just tweet your message with the #MerryDoodle tag and from today until Thursday 16th, Lizzie (fuelled by mince pies and eggnog) will get the lids off her pens and start illustrating them.
You can watch the wall take shape live, as all the action is being streamed from Blue Hive’s website. In addition, every tweet will be lovingly photographed close up and posted on the dedicated Flickr site, where you (and more importantly, the person you’ve sent it to) can see it and share it.
The event runs for just three days. So if you’d like to be part of it, make sure you send your tweets of goodwill soon. Or better still, now.Advertising, Character Design, Drawing2012
Lizzie Mary Cullen launches first illustration show with help from Daniel Radcliffe
Text by Johann Chan on September 10, 2010 in Digital Arts Magazine
Yesterday we visited the opening of artist Lizzie Mary Cullen's first solo show. The show aims to raise £10,000 for The Big Issue Foundation. Attendees at the launch included Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame), and John Bird, founder of The Big Issue. Aside from the impressive guest line-up- there was also an impressive number of photographers (myself included).
Here's some shots from the opening.
The impressive guest line up and media frenzy are well set to propel Lizzie Mary Cullen further into the limelight – which would be easy to envy, if she wasn't such a down to earth and agreeable talent.
Drawing, Entrepreneurship, Exhibition Design2012
The ‘Pendurance Challenge’ – 24 hr non-stop drawing in London directed by suggestions from social networking platform Twitter.
The challenge was to complete 50 London locations in 24 hours, riding to each location on a Boris Bike and working on site on a massive roll of paper. I teamed up with webzine Think-Work-Play, and together we made a wager; if I didn’t complete this challenge, i’d face a humiliating forfeit. So the race was on!
How it worked was Twitter users would tweet their favourite London location, with a good anecdote attached to it, then we would make our way to the chosen place, I would draw it, and it would be uploaded immediately to Flickr. Barclays Cycle Hire had kindly given me a bike key for the duration of the project, and me, my Boris bike and the team at Think-Work-Play started out from Charing Cross at 12pm.
The challenge was a lot harder than I thought it’d be. Not because of the drawing, but when the exhuastion kicked in around 1am, it felt really hard to get back on the bike and ride to the next location. However, with one hour’s sleep at Think-Work-Play’s offices, I completed the challenge, finishing on time at 12pm beneath the London eye, completing my final (50th) illustration.
Then went to have a well earned beer.Design, Digital Art, Drawing2011
New Series of fantasy news coverage inspired by current events and people in the public eye. First few below – enjoy! Will be updated regularly as news tends to be quite regular.Blogging, Illustration, Writing2012
Drawing cities - this is San Francisco.Animation, Drawing, Fine Arts2012