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copenhagen-wildlife

The joy of Brønshøj’s Utterslev Mose in the Spring

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I am incredibly lucky to live in such close proximity to Utterslev Mose, near my home in Brønshøj on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Every day I take a walk or cycle around to clear the design cob webs, have a nice think, get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of nature at her finest. Come Spring it becomes a feast for the eyes at Utterslev Mosen.

As a cyclist you need your wits about you as you manoeuvre around some very precious obstacles.

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The Design Museum Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Design Museum offers a rich and varied guide around Danish design. From furniture, products, fashion and graphic design, the classic Scandinavian influences and the icons of Danish Design like Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mortensen and Verner Panton feature.

While the world renowned furniture, products and fashion design quite rightly feature strongly, the rich tradition of Danish poster design and logo design is also well represented. Web design is also featured which is great to see the world of the web entering into design history and gaining recognition.

The collection is stunning, with new exhibitions changing regularly. Highly recommended.

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Finding the Design Museum in Copenhagen

Bredgade is just off Kongens Nytorv, the square that contains Magasin and Nyhavn harbour. About ten minutes walk, just past Amalienborg, the Royal Family’s winter residence and the very beautiful Marmor Kirk. If you carry on past the design museum you will eventually come to the Little Mermaid. So no excuse for not visiting.

 

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The time I cycled into a Danish policeman and knocked him over

On moving to Denmark, one of the first things I had to do on my arrival in Copenhagen was to purchase a bicycle. My then girlfriend found one in a newspaper. A price was agreed and borrowing my girlfriend’s bike, I just had to go and get it.

We were staying on Amager, the bike was on Nørrebro, around a 45 minute journey. I cycled to the seller’s flat and made the transaction.

So with a five mile journey ahead of me, in the dark, in a country/city I have just arrived in, cycling on a different side of the road to that which I am accustomed, on two bikes and with no bike lights, I begin my journey through the heart of Copenhagen. Unaware of the Danish laws, but not a complete idiot, I suspected cycling while holding/pulling another bicycle might be frowned upon.

I’m on Nørrebrogade, a major road cutting through Copenhagen about 5 minutes cycle from Dronning Louise Bro, and I spot half a dozen Policemen at the side of the road.

On spotting me on my two bikes without lights, one of them steps out onto the cycle path, raising his hand in the internationally recognised stop position. The bike I was on had no hand brakes, but a pedal backwards braking system. This was something I had never come across before moving to Denmark. It had been going fine with the pedal backwards braking system up until that point, but I panicked when the Danish policeman stepped out onto the road, and I forgot how to brake.

I cycled straight into the unfortunate guy, and knocked him over. He was in his fifties, a little over weight, with a moustache. As he fell over, his five or six colleagues (much younger and bigger, and fitter) laughed.

I was expecting to get deported.

Just at the point where I was about to find out my fate, there was a buzzing noise from a walkie talkie, lots of talking, and all the Policemen ran off with some urgency. ‘My’ policeman picked himself up to go follow his colleagues, shot me a filthy look, while shouting instructions to me to do something in Danish, while running to catch up with his much fitter colleagues.

Not speaking a word of Danish at the time, I decided what he must have said was ‘carry on, and try not forget how those brakes work in future eh’, and proceeded with my journey.

The time I got on a plane and I didn’t know where it was going

It had begun with a series of delays on my journey from my flat to Copenhagen Airport. Followed by a series of delays in the airport from queuing for, well it’s Copenhagen Airport, so everything then.

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Still life illustration work in progress

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This is a work in progress for my portfolio. It is based on a meal in The Nørrebro Bryghus restaurant in Nørrebro in Copenhagen.

I had a very enjoyable meal with my good friend Pedro.

As an illustrator the advice given is always to stick to one style. This is with regard to selling as an illustrator, to be memorable for art directors. I have always had difficulty following this advice, and when younger the constraints stopped me being able to work at times.

So there’s the cartoon work that is the majority my iain.dk website, the still life like the above image, portraiture (new ones coming soon) and more detailed character design.

I justify my switching of styles by pointing out Sir Paul McCartney wrote Helter Skelter, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, and Hey Jude. So if the great man can switch style as he pleases so can I.

I appreciate putting myself in the same sentence as Sir Paul is an act of laughable egoism, but if no one else will do it…

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Roskilde Festival Art

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It’s not all sex, drugs and rock n roll at Roskilde Festival, but it is mainly…

Whether staying for the whole week, camping on site, or a short visit with a one day ticket, The Roskilde Festival is a fantastic experience not to be missed.

The 2016 Roskilde Festival is from the 25th of June to the 2nd of July. Details on the official website. To be honest it doesn’t really matter who is playing, it is the experience that is magical. Go see for yourself.

The art of Roskilde Festival

There are lots of places to read about and see images from the Roskilde Festival. Here is some of the excellent graffiti art that is on display.

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Back to work after a relaxing summer

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Back to school work

With August about to turn into September, I find myself happily going up through the gears back into proper work mode. I’ve had a great summer, my first real break in many years. My batteries are recharged, and I’m raring to go from my base in Copenhagen.

One of the best aspects of living in Copenhagen is the work, life balance. The business side of the city clearly winds down a bit during the peak summer months, but then cranks back to life with everyone refreshed, with ideas and eager to explore possibilities.

We are three!

My design business will shortly be three years old. I am very proud of what I’ve achieved, and grateful to all the clients I have been lucky enough to meet and work with. Here’s to the next three years!

So if you want to see some of my work, here is web design.

This is for graphic design, specialising in logo design.

And my other core area Illustration.

Skål, Slangevar, Cheers!

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The fast developing Copenhagen harbour district of Nordhavn

I was working on a web design project for a client in the Nordhavn region of Copenhagen. Nordhavn is the harbour area of Copenhagen and is undergoing an enormous amount of development, with new housing and businesses. It also contains the UN City building. The project required me to take some photos, so I got myself down to Nordhavn as soon as there was a bit of sunshine…

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A Copenhagen burger illustration at Cafe Staalvand in Brønshøj

Out for lunch with my good friend Pedro at Staalvand Cafe in Brønshøj on the outskirts of Copenhagen. I took some photos of my burger and felt inspired to do an illustration.

Portfolio Items