The Beastie Boys & The Hollywood Hills- Hand Drawn Creative Art Print Sale

A3 Hollywood Bungalows print on Etsy £12

A3 Hollywood Bungalows print on Etsy £12

A lot of illustrator and art content this month, but I had to pop up a quick post when I spied Hand Drawn Creative is having a print sale. Neal McCullough is the super artist behind my blog’s logo, and right now his Etsy has a number of some of his most popular prints at a lower price. The Etsy prints are designed & hand-pulled in Neal’s studio in County Down.

 

On sale are the Hollywood Bungalows, Girl on a Motorcycle, Wonder Woman, Barcelona Lounge Chair, and Beastie Boys Lowrider prints.  There’s also a gallery of other snazzy prints to choose from, including a tribute to Bangor Maid, who used to make ice cream here in our shared hometown.

Neal’s wife Julie with the Lowrider 500x700mm print on Etsy £15

Neal’s wife Julie with the Lowrider 500x700mm print on Etsy £15

In addition, there’s a Hand Drawn Creative merch shop on Society6, who have 20% off art prints today. If you are reading this post a little later, you can usually grab a 30% off voucher code if it’s your first order on the site, by subscribing to their mailing list. 

 

The Society6 prints, some of which I’ve shown below, allow you to choose print dimensions, so you can pick a size to fit a space in your home you may have in mind. These are very high quality digital prints, from Hand Drawn Creative’s original work, and you can choose optional framing too.

 

Also available are a nice range of different items you can buy with Neal’s artwork adorning them, like travel mugs, throws and even t-shirts. 

 

Keep an eye on Neal’s Instagram for previews of new prints, art show tip offs and more. 

Did You Know There’s a Giant Pikachu Hiding in Plain Sight in Bangor Town Centre? He’s in My Favourite Non-Residential Bangor Building.

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My favourite non-residential building in Bangor is one that you may not even take heed of. It’s sort of faded into the patchwork of the Main Street over the years, but when you take a good look, it’s a very unusual, modernist marvel.

From the front you can see the huge glass front door panel, and the windows are massive, and by the looks of them, still single-paned, which must mean it’s a pain to heat for current tenants Boom Studios

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The building was originally home to the Allied Irish Bank, built in 1969 to a design by Shanks & Leighton. Again I’m mourning my loss of a certain book, An Introduction to Modern Ulster Architecture, by David Evans, as it’s got a photo of the interior when the building was first built. It’s interior design was as modernistic as the outside. The walls swooped down to a curve to meet the floor, making the offices look like the inside of a spaceship, if perhaps the alien HR department.

A nice touch is the fact Boom Studios have had a poster made by Neal McCullough from Hand Drawn Creative (lots of great prints for Christmas gifts in his store by the way)  featuring the building itself.

So, the Pikachu? Well, Smix spotted it one day when we were walking down the town. It’s peeking out of one of the top windows, round the corner just off Main Street. Watch out for him next time you are down.

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My Favourite Art Deco House in Bangor Northern Ireland- Plus Tonic Cinema Illustration From Hand Drawn Creative

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I shared with you my favourite house in Portstewart last week, so how about my favourite house in Bangor, where I actually live.

Its this pink beauty which resides in the wonderfully named 'Beverley Hills', in the Ballyholme area. Built in the 1930s it nestles amongst a neighbourhood of otherwise regular family homes, and backs onto a golf course.

I know what you're thinking- the cladding. I know. Cladding the exterior of a house in fancy stonework was a trend in the 1970s and you would wonder who in their right mind would have altered such an already high concept design building like this, let alone all over cladding, then painting it pink.

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The photo below showing the house in its original form is so much better, the corner windows to the left side are totally lost under the heavy brickwork. 

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The current owner was not responsible for the cladding, or the pink, and they also say the original interiors have been stripped and changed too. So no retro futuristic interiors to observe, sadly.

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David Wilson architects did some remodelling work recently extending the kitchen and living area on the ground floor. They appear to have done a good job, in keeping with the traditional design of the building.

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Bangor has some beautiful Art Deco public buildings, one of which Neal McCullough from Hand Drawn Creative has featured in a clean crisp illustration, which you can buy on his Etsy Store.

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The Bank of Ireland building is another example, right at the midpoint of Main Street. The building to the right which you can't see in the photograph has quite a few modernist qualities. I have an old Ulster Architrcture book somewhere that features it, I must dig it out to share with you on another blog post.

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There's another section of Bangor, what I call the new-build sprawl of the East which is like a maze to me, but which has a pocket of home designs I've always loved.

Along the ring road and into never ending suburbia there are a couple of streets of these happy little chalets. They look like designs of the 60s or 70s, family homes with asymmetrical rooves, cute archways and novelty balconies. 

There are several designs dotted along the Pinehill / Silverbirch area.

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Incidentally Neal has a print that looks a little bit like these homes- Hand Drawn Creative Hollywood Bungalow A3 for £20. Apart from his Fisher Price retro toy illustrations, I think this is my favourite of Neal's work.

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The last home of my favourites in Bangor list, is one I've been telling my parents I wanted to live in since I was a little girl, when we moved to the same road when I was aged two.

"The Sugar Cube", as its lovingly named by the family who live there, is a flat roofed design house on the same road as my parents' home. I always told my parents I would love there so I wasn't too far away from them when I moved out as an adult. Ironically I actually live almost this close now, although it's round the back of the Springhill Road, rather than down and opposite from my parents' house.

So have I got all th unusual homes in Bangor? Or do you know of any that I might like to nosy at too?  Hit me up on Twitter- @rudedoodle

I may feature Holywood next- it would require a lot of time on Google Streeview going up and down the split-level, modernist heaven that is Marino!

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One last bonus architectural oddity- the Ballyholme windmill, which peeks out from in between the streets of homes. 

I would LOVE to live somewhere like that. 

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Retro Stylised Wonder Woman Print from Hand Drawn Creative

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There's been quite the buzz about the new Wonder Woman film, with the heroine updated for the 2000s. Of course like most superheroes, Wonder Woman started out as a comic book heroine, and Neal from Hand Drawn Creative has paid tribute to these beginnings with his fab A3 print.

Also new is this swish little promo, Let's Learn To Draw The Hand Drawn Creative way. We get to meet Neal and tour his drawing office, as well as watching him at work. 

Don't forget to visit the Hand Drawn Creative Etsy Store, where A3 prints are a very reasonable £20

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Come Say Hi To My Favourite NI Artist in Belfast This Friday & Take Advantage of the Under £25 Pop Up Shop To Take Home a Hand Drawn Creative Piece of Your Own

Neal McCullough is probably my favourite Northern Irish illustrator and artist. I'm terribly fond of Sara O'Neill and Stephen Maurice Graham, but Neal from Hand Drawn Creative pips them at the post for two reasons. Firstly he's also from Bangor, and I always bump into him in M&S, so you know he's good people, but secondly and most importantly he is responsible for the The World of Kitsch logo, with its bang on fonts and mid-century plant table splendidness.

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This Friday evening coming is Belfast Culture Night & Neal will be showcasing & selling his work in a pop up shop in Blick Studios on Hill Street- full details here. Neal is one of a collection of local artists who will be offering all work for under £25, so that's a great opportunity to buy some starter pieces if you wish you had a local artist collection but don't have an art lover's budget.

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Here are some of the works on  the Hand Drawn Creative web shop, but I'm not completely sure whether these will be there on Friday, and whether he will be selling brand new never seen before prints too. The online prices start from £20, so if you don't live in NI you can still own one of Neal's designs without busting the bank. The Beastie Boys ones would make brilliant Christmas presents if you have a fan of them in your life.

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Neal's wife Jules with a second Beastie Boys design

Neal's wife Jules with a second Beastie Boys design

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There is also an artists' panel before the pop up, also free & looks very interesting indeed.

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Hand Drawn Creative at Bangor's Open House Festival

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My wonderful blog logo designer and all round, mid-century loving super illustrator Neal McCullough has a free exhibition as part of both our home town's Open House Festival this August. Pop along for the opening night on Wednesday 5th, or visit his website for more beautiful illustrations, including some free classic car tablet & phone backgrounds.

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Revisiting My Favourite Local Artist, Neal McCullough

I was putting together my little monthly column for The County Down Spectator today, a piece about summers past here in North Down. I came across this image, a retro ad for Bangor Maid ice cream, harking back to when there was a dairy in Bangor, my home town. It turned out the image was by Neal McCullough of www.handdrawncreative.co.uk the very illustrator who designed my blog's logo from scratch for me. 

The print is available online, and it's going on my birthday list for sure. 

Bangor Maid Print http://www.damnfineprint.com/bigcartel-item/

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More of Neal's work available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/handdrawncreative

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The Curious Case of Mrs Meow

My mysterious stray cat's origins were revealed earlier this month, and it's a bizarre tale alright. It's featured in this week's County Down Spectator, along with a fantastic cartoon by Neal McCullough from http://www.handdrawncreative.co.uk/

Neal is the genius behind my website's logo, and you can tell he knows us as he's dressed us exactly in our usual attire! 

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Here is the tale of Mrs Meow. 

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