While Twitter is undoubtedly useful for promoting, procrastinating and pondering what on earth Tulisa’s next half-cut ramblings will be, illustration agency Handsome Frank has found a rather novel use for the social network.

Alexandra Bruel, Kubrick's mind
Alexandra Bruel, Kubrick’s mind

The agency invited their Twitter followers to put forward a brief of something they’d like to see illustrated – absolutely anything at all – and the agency’s artists could then pick a brief that took their fancy.

Matt Murphy, Belly of a Whale
Matt Murphy, Belly of a Whale

Handsome Frank received more than 200 briefs from their followers, including requests to illustrate the inside of the belly of a whale and the inside of Stanley Kubrick’s mind. Former Charlatan’s frontman Tim Burgess chipped in a more straightforward request for someone to illustrate his favourite single, New Order’s Blue Monday.

Emma Kelly, Blue Monday
Emma Kelly, Blue Monday

Illustrator Emma Kelly rose to Burgess’ challenge, creating a pen and ink drawing of the 12” vinyl release of the single. Alexandra Bruel, meanwhile, tackled the Kubrick conundrum, while Matt Murphy immersed himself in the whale’s belly project.

Joel Penkman, The Medicalisation of Society
Joel Penkman, The Medicalisation of Society

Joel Penkman’s deceptively cutesy-looking picture is based on the brief ‘the medicalistation of society’; while Jeffery Bowman took his brief and, almost literally, ran with it.

He was tasked with creating a typography based illustration using a J.R.R. Tolkien quote ‘Not all those who wander are lost.’ With a three-week solo hiking expedition of Norway starting next month, Bowman decided to translate the quote into Norwegian ‘so [he] won’t be lost’.

Jeffrey Bowman, All that wander
Jeffrey Bowman, All that wander

A far more straightforward brief was that chosen by Jon Boam, who answered the request  for ‘a leopard sheriff with a hot glue gun in his holster’. Which is exactly what he drew.

Jon Boam, Leopard
Jon Boam, Leopard

The results of this ‘Tweet-a-brief’ challenge will be displayed in an exhibition in east London, which opens next month.

Handsome Frank co-founder Jon Cockley says, ‘we wanted to showcase the talent that we have on our books, but we wanted to do something a little more engaging and interactive than just a themed exhibition.

‘The Tweet-a-Brief concept not only helped us to spread the agency’s name and make new friends and contacts, it really pushed our artists creatively and it’s resulted in some of the best work they’ve ever produced.’

The exhibition runs from 13 – 22 July at The Church of London’s 71a Gallery, 71a Leonard Street, London EC2A

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  • Gwynneth Carville November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I really like the idea of Tweeting a brief – I teach fashion in a college and I am wondering how we could incorporate that concept somehow into our teaching ??

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