The Artist was our quarterly competition where we searched for a new editorial artist for IdeasMag. Applications could come from artists, illustrators, designers, photographers – or anyone whose work could be represented with a single still image. The winner then produced a new, topical piece of work every week for three months and was paid £100 per image.
The opinions expressed in The Artist do not necessarily represent those of IdeasTap.
Deadline - 20 October 2014
Time flies and I'm sorry to say this is my last montage. I'm also sorry to leave you all on such a downer but I feel like I've got to use my final image as a call to action. The world is a total mess. We've been apathetic, selfish, and prejudiced for too long. If this generation continues to accept the status quo in the way our predecessors have, there won't be many of us left to regret it. Seize the day now, or rue it later.
Containment - 13 October 2014
This was initially a response to hearing more and more comparisons made between the Ebola outbreak and the HIV epidemic. My first job was working in HIV/AIDS research and knowing well the irrational responses - like travel bans - that were imposed in response to that crisis it's hard not to anticipate similar things occurring with Ebola. At the same time I've tried to keep the meaning fairly open here, and I hope it could as easily be about the callous indifference of much of the world towards Africans fleeing from other disasters, war, or persecution.
Bread not bombs - 6 October 2014
Chancellor George Osborne plans to freeze welfare payments with the aim of saving £3bn and cutting the national deficit. Instead he could be scrapping nuclear weapons, or any number of other expensive white elephants, which are more about maintaining Britain's supposed status in the eyes of the world than about what's good for its people. The truth is that, as usual, this has little to do with economics and everything to do with punishing the "undeserving" poor.
Images: Phoenix and Scissors on Creative Commons licenses.
Olive branch - 29 September 2014
The number of modern wars which can be said to have convincingly made the world a better place can be counted on one hand, perhaps even on one finger. Regardless it looks like we're on our way back into Iraq, bringing peace at the barrel of a gun again, because that worked so wonderfully the last two times we tried it...
Images: Sand olive and Grenade on Creative Commons licenses.
Hypocritic oath - 22 September 2014
The fact we don't have a vaccine or a cure for diseases like Ebola is often presented as a matter of scientific difficulty: that we simply don't have the know how. The depressing reality is that it's also because pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in developing drugs for diseases that predominantly affect people who can't afford treatment. In testament to this I've reworked the Rod of Asclepius, an ancient symbol of the medical profession.
Images: public domain.
What next? - 15 September 2014
I'm neither pro nor anti Scottish independence. There are strong cases on both sides and ultimately it's for Scots themselves to decide. But I do think all people ought to be moving closer together rather than farther apart, and for me that means fewer divisions, fewer differences, and fewer nations.
Image: Topographic map of the UK on a Creative Commons license.
Meat is murder - 8 September 2014
If you needed another reason to cut your meat consumption or quit it all together, news this week is that meat production is causing climate change, and climate change is increasingly threatening our ability to produce enough food.
Image: Bengal famine on a Creative Commons license.
Loaded gun - 1 September 2014
I made this in response to the depressing news of a nine-year-old American girl accidentally killing her shooting instructor. I was going to make the image more complex but decided less is more, and there's a certain ambiguity in the simplicity of this image. It might just as well be about the perils of feeding kids junk food as about the risks of giving them loaded guns.
Images: Lollipop in motion and Kompakt Revolver on Creative Commons licenses.
Transformers, Russian style - 25 August 2014
My first photo montage is inspired by the rather suspicious "humanitarian aid" convoys Russia sent to Ukraine (whether the Ukrainian government likes it or not). It's also a rather pessimistic reverse-homage to a montage by the artist Peter Kennard, where a tank optimistically transforms into a tractor.
Images: Russian Tank and Ural4320, on Creative Commons licenses.