On leaving school with 10 O levels, I decided that I wanted to study engineering with a
view to entering the music industry as a balance engineer, (the person who records the music). I wrote 100 letters to various studios across the country, from which I received the offer of 4 or 5 interviews.
However, these were all offers for a maintenance engineer to repair electrical equipment. I took the offer from Morgan Studios, worked there for about 3 months and sent out a second set of letters enquiring about
balance engineering opportunities. This proved successful and I ended up at Lansdowne Recording Studio in Holland Park. After 3 and a half years at Lansdowne, I received a very high voltage shock from a microphone
power supply. This allowed me my first solo flight across the studio, covering a distance of about 30 feet. Although an intriguing experience, it caused me to become diabetic. Due to this I had to leave the music
One of the engineers I had worked with was moving to a new studio being constructed near
Regents Park, called Utopia. He knew of my capability as an artist as he had seen a small mural I had painted at Lansdowne, and suggested I might like to produce some designs for 3 murals in the new studio, one wall
being 22 feet by 6 feet, and the others being 6 feet square. All were surreal images to be painted in acrylic. The designs were accepted, and the murals finished in three months ready for the studio's opening. The
chippies would build the studio during the day, and I would paint during the night. The chippies proved very useful, as they constructed me a huge compass. This consisted of an 11 foot piece of 4 by 2, a
moveable clamp with a nail in it on one end, and a hole drilled for a pencil on the other end. They also made me a 6 foot set square. The beauty of murals, is the amount of space available for detail.
I then started my graphics business - AB designs, mainly producing corporate identities.
However, After about 2 years, I realised that I needed more information, and so decided to go back to college and study graphics. By the time I had completed the course with a second class honours, the first home
computers were beginning to appear. The ZX Spectrum and the BBC micro. I bought one of the 1st BBC micro's, and within 6 months had learned to program the machine and was marketing the only true interactive graphics
package for the machine at that time. Then the BBC master arrived and so I produced a much more comprehensive graphics package called Microbrush. This consisted of 4, 16Kb eproms, with a separate eprom that
would render objects in perspective. I had also been producing pieces of clip art for Computer Concepts, the pre cursor of Xara, along with constructing and hinting 6 type faces for them. This led to me being
recruited by Monotype to hint type faces for Microsoft's Windows 95, as, at this time there were few people available with the skills.
Although I had just started the job at Monotype, I was half way through the illustration
of the MG. Midget. This was the start of my more detailed illustrations, and was produced on Art Works, the forerunner of Xara X. The Monotype job ended when the company went into receivership in 1992. I was then
asked if I would like to illustrate a chemistry book with over 1000 bond structure drawings. The firm that had been offered the job intended to produce these in pen and ink. However, the money offered meant that
even using Microbrush, the illustrations would take me too long. I believed I could write a program that would allow me to construct shapes and then store these in a scrollable library. This worked well, as not only
did shapes repeat within illustrations, but whole structures repeated in other illustrations. This eventually allowed me to construct extremely complicated structures in seconds, and led to the illustration of two
more chemistry books using this program. Since then I have written monthly magazine articles, programmed and illustrated many animated games, and produced illustrations for Xara. I still write programs as needs
arise as I find this a useful balance to my illustrating.