Vikings on the Thames - AOI Poster Prize 2018 entry

My entry for this years AOI Poster Prize took a influence from the theme "London Stories", focusing on a turbulent period of London's early history. Capturing the feeling of life in London during the Saxon times, when it was known as Lundenburgh.

Life mostly consisted of defending against Viking raiders, farming, drinking (a lot), trading in the marketplace and living under the watchful eye of Alfred the Great's iteration of St Paul's cathedral.

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The process

'Influenced by the past, with a contemporary palette'

I began this piece by looking at a lot of Anglo-Saxon paintings, tapestries and old English maps and texts. I wanted to capture the essence of some of these old pieces that depicted ploughmen, farmers and other every day people from the time, but give them a very contemporary colour palette and style to bring them up to date.

I then began hand-drawing and inking each section of the poster, to be scanned and coloured digitally using Photoshop. I wanted to retain as much ink/paint texture in the final piece as possible, as I think this makes the piece look much less flat.

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Saxon Drunkards

I wanted to fit various different mini-narratives into the poster, this one focusing on something it seems Saxons did a fair bit of...

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Everyday life

A Saxon family portrait. With a smithy father at work, a young girl with a wooden toy and her mother drying out some fabric.

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Ye Olde Lettering

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this piece was creating some eclectic, old english lettering.

I wanted to create each letter in a unique style, influenced by lettering from the Saxon Chronicles and other historical texts.