Thunder Chunky Time Capsule 2018

This year has been another difficult one for many people, for many different reasons. Art can offer a bit of an escape from the world’s problems though, if only for a fleeting moment. So we decided to get in touch with the many talented artists who we’ve been lucky enough to connect to over the years, and asked them to pick out one image which stands out to them for 2018, and tell us why. Enjoy!

Linzie Hunter Jetpack

Linzie Hunter — "This is from my most recent picture book, IF YOU HAD A JETPACK, which follows the adventures of two bunny brothers and their homemade jetpacks. It was really fun to create a whole world populated by my animal characters and it has very much inspired me to work on more self-authored books in 2019."

Van Orton Variety

Van Orton — "It was a great achievement to have made the Variety cover. We imagined it as a cover of an arcade videogame."

Al Heighton Paul Merton

Al Heighton — "I've picked out this picture of Paul Merton I was asked to produce for a magazine interview to reflect his character. Only I've ended up using it as wallpaper on my phone and on three occasions I've been with folk that have clocked me using my phone and have all commented is that Paul Merton? It made me smile every time."

Jamie Aspinall Lake

Jamie Aspinall — "I created the illustration of that lake in late 2017 but i wanted to come back, so i did some more pictures in 2018. I am still in love with that lake so i really will visit the lake again in 2019."

Toucan Tango Ladytron

Toucan Tango — "We have worked on some amazing projects this year! A special one as we know it meant a lot to people around us in Liverpool, was to design and print the poster for Ladytron's homecoming gig."

Alex Clauss Jungle

Alex Clauss — "In the past year I did a lot of diverse client work I'm very proud of, but this personal piece marked a shift in my style from character-only illustrations to more robust compositions."

House of Deadleg Beer

House of Deadleg — "A quick lunch-break project I made to try my hand at working in 3D, and bringing together various different interests – lettering, illustration and beer. What could be better?"

Ileana Soon Third Hotel

Ileana Soon — "This illustration for Oprah Magazine stands out as a highlight of my year as it combines 2 subjects that I love: books and travel, for a publication I adore. It also made me realise how much my work has grown and has developed a distinctive voice, something that I look forward to exploring more of in 2019."

Craig Robinson — "I did a drawing for the German design magazine Form about rituals. The top half references things and places involved in rituals in Mexico, and the bottom half looks at the personal rituals involved whem I'm working on an illustration project."

Sam Gilbey Jaws

Sam Gilbey — "I’ve had the good fortune to work on a number of exciting projects this year. I suppose that having the chance to create licensed posters for three classic Steven Spielberg films from three different decades (namely Jaws, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Jurassic Park) takes the top spot though. The fact that cast members have seen (and signed) at least two of them at comic-cons really pushes this one over the top!"

Gav Strange BBC Two

Gav Strange — "At Aardman, I had the prestigious honour of directing one of the brand new idents for BBC Two! It was a mad mix of real slime, a high-speed super slow motion camera, in-camera magnetically puppeteered eyes & VFX magic!"

Peskimo Star Wars Block

Peskimo — "It was a dream to be given the chance to illustrate some of the key moments from Star Wars for this book. There were so many highlights, but Yoda was a big deal, and we're really pleased with how he turned out, so much that he made the cover. It was hard to hold back on some of the spreads, we could have easily filled a few more pages with the occupants of the Cantina."

Pablo Pintachan

Pablo Pintachan — "I love this French city!!"

Steve Purcell Sam and Max

Steve Purcell — "This year I've been making some effort to post original painted images on the Sam & Max Funhouse, a facebook page for fans of the characters. After I posted a little painting commemorating both Easter and the simultaneous burn-up of a plunging Chinese Space station, I realized I had written a typo in the heading. Rather than take the heat for it myself I blamed Max for the post and included this image of him creating it, maybe the first chilling depiction of Max actually occupying my world."

Nathan Jurevicius IKEA

Nathan Jurevicius — "I was fortunate to work with IKEA and have this glass owl released this year. I fell in love with the glass making process and was able to have hands-on experience in Sweden where the owls were produced."

David Cousens Falling

David Cousens — "My image is a double page spread from my creator owned graphic novel: Falling. I’ve been doing a lot of work this year that I can’t share due to various Non-Disclosure Agreements, but a lot of this work has come from people seeing my work on Falling!"

Scott Campbell

Scott Campbell — "I love doing any project with Paul Scheer. This poster for his UNSPOOLED podcast with Amy Nicholson was particularly enjoyable. Smiling objects from the top 100 films of all time according to AFI. I love drawing smiling objects always. I haven't even seen all of these movies, so it was fun to riff with those guys on what objects to choose."

Davide Bonazzi Trees

Davide Bonazzi — "This image is part of an advertising campaign made with Vitro agency for Brandman University, targeting adults going back to school. I feel it well expresses that situation when someone has lost his direction and needs an outside help to show the way out of trouble. We've all been there. It's also a metaphor of how working with a team on a complex project like this one is for a freelance illustrator: sometimes the illustrator needs a clear direction from the agency to overcome difficulties, some other times they need the illustrator's creativity to find the way."

Aaron Miller Xmas Card

Aaron Miller — "Every year I design my parents Christmas card that they send to friends and family. It's usually an open brief, but this year I wanted to do something personal for them. So I chose to illustrate the family home, including their dog, Murphy."

TADO Janky

TADO — "This year we’ve been on an extended mat-leave, but there’s been a couple of projects we couldn’t say no to - Superplastic’s ‘Janky' being one of them. Janky is a phenomenal new toy platform for artists by Superplastic - a new company set up by Kidrobot founder Paul Budnitz and legendary toy designer Huck Gee. We’re thrilled to be part of the first series, our Janky is a fanatical champion stag-beetle breeder called Mr. Kabutomushi! "

Bob Staake Fake News Trump

Bob Staake — "Most of the time when I submit a cover idea to The New Yorker it’s in the form of a pencil sketch, but in the case of this piece I knew I really had to show them exactly what I had in mind. The only way to do that was to simply DO the cover, so I hunkered down and spent a week on the thing — FAR more speculative time than I anticipated putting into the illustration, but once I got into it I realized that I’d have to create all those small covers — while making them legible. Ultimately, the cover was rejected — but it happens to the best of us. You pick yourself up, dry your eyes, and live to fight another day at the drawing board. Happily, the image was wildly liked, shared and lol’ed over on social media, so in that regard it was a success."

Yuta Onoda

Yuta Onoda — "A book cover illustration for Nahoko Uehashi’s “The Beast Player.” The novel is about a YA fantasy about a girl with the special power to communicate with magical beasts and tries to save the warring kingdom. I really enjoyed working with the idea of juxtaposing and incorporating the shape of nature elements into a wolf."

Bill McConkey

Bill McConkey — "I could have chosen any number of editorial jobs i've done this year, but I think 2018 for me was all about launching my online shop, and creating work for this platform. This image is from my series called ToyBox, where I essentially illustrate entire toy lines from my childhood, this is the fifth in the series thus far, for a collection of figures called M.U.S.C.L.E released by Mattel in the 80's. I drew all 236 figures, but all in, there's over a 1000 figures on this page, and I released this in both flesh colour and a multi-coloured variant...The initial print run sold out within 24hrs!"

Lisa Maltby Under The Sea

Lisa Maltby — "I’ve chosen this because it is about pushing my work into new areas – animating my illustrations, combining lettering with illustration and developing skills. I hope to explore lots of new avenues for my work in 2019!"

Rod Hunt

Rod Hunt — "Drawing hundreds of tiny people getting busy with each other for an important HIV/AIDS Awareness campaign is always fun and rewarding."

Jean Jullien

Jean Jullien — "My last show of the year, called GIB, took place in New York this november at Arsham Fieg gallery. I've chosen it because it binds together a lot of different aspects of my practice and its old and new directions. The show was in a miniature gallery where perceptions are skewed by the photographs taken of the space. I've been doing a lot of paintings this year, as this was a direction I always wanted to explore and the show is very much about that. But that doesn't mean I've stopped drawing or being playful. That's why I also created figures based on my drawings (quite cartoony) that contrasted with the aesthetic of the paintings, yet gave them a certain scale. The mix of cartoons and paintings, 2D and 3D and playfulness is a good summary of what I want to achieve."

Adam Irwin Worm

Adam Irwin — "I really like worms."

Ste Johnson The Martian

Ste Johnson — "Book cover illustration for The Martian. I loved the book so and my thought for the cover was to try and convey the setting plus the aloneness of the main character Mark so thats what informed the idea of merging the helmet into the planet Mars to hopefully signify both."

James Oconnell Trump

James Oconnell — "This year's been incredible - smashing it as a Ltd Co and collaborating with friends across the globe has made working in the creative world a delight. Real work aside, 'Trump Thump' is an image to always remind me that even clowns can become the most powerful people on earth, how hard will you hit..."

Gareth Conway

Gareth Conway — "The project i'm most proud of is a book I illustrated called 'My Best Friend The Suffragette', written by Sally Morgan and published by Scholastic. I'm proud of the work I did but mostly that the book engaged and inspired my daughter to find out more about the Suffragette movement and what they stood for."

Tommy Parker

Tommy Parker — "I chose this one, a dynamic wallpaper for 21wallpaper, as a highlight for my 2018. Not only did it push the way I thought about how time would affect my image but also developed my technical skills far beyond what I thought I was capable of."

Marloes De Vries

Marloes De Vries — "I've been making doodles and comics about my life for almost 6 years now. Early this year a Dutch publisher asked if I wanted to translate them to Dutch and have them published as a book! As we speak, I'm finishing the last bits and the book will be released end of February. For 2019 I hope to find a publisher in the US or UK to have it published in its original language!"

Ewan Brock Freelance As F

Ewan Brock — "In my haste to submit something I completely forgot about a podcast I'm launching with a friend (Oliver Cuthbertson) called 'Freelance as F'. It's an irreverent look at the realities of freelance life, where two freelance illustrator/designers talk about all things self employed... but in a VERY relaxed, self deprecating way."

Robin Davey Saturday Club

Robin Davey — "Outwardly at least, 2018 has been a quiet one for me. That's because I've spent the last six months storyboarding, designing, and animating on Saturday Club, the preschool series I'm working on with Dog Ears. I can't share much just yet, but here are the characters you'll get to meet when the show launches on the streaming service Hopster next year."

Serge Seidlitz

Serge Seidlitz — "An exciting project for me this year was working with Strangebeast animation studios on a couple of 30 second animations that were quite far out there! I was surprised these made it through the approval process, and it was really great to be part of the team effort."

Chris Madden We Build Our Homes

Chris Madden — "Over the past year, I have been very lucky to work on, and publish, my second picture book, ‘We Build Our Homes’. This is a spread from the book which highlights the amazing architects of the animal kingdom."

Ben The Illustrator Newbury

Ben The Illustrator — "Earlier this year I was on a train home from London and spotted a lovely moment with a mother and daughter on a rainy train station platform, I captured it in a very quick sketch, and thought nothing else of it. Then a few months later I found it and decided to give it the full colour treatment and out of nowhere it's become perhaps my favourite illustration of the year. So next year I'm determined to capture more moments, to keep travelling with my sketchbook and aim for more emotive scenes like this one!"

Megan Reddi

Megan Reddi — "I made this illustration for a client brief a few weeks ago and although we ended up going in a different direction for the final artwork, I still really like it! This illustration also represents a year of professional development for me, as it was produced for a client that I had been desperate to work with for a while. I found last year really difficult and I went into 2018 feeling a bit anxious about my work so I guess this illustration just represents a good year for me and a step in the right direction!"

Dominique Byron Photography

Dominique Byron — "I enjoyed the challenge of creating around 25 separate illustrations for the courses on new Open Study College website (designed by the guys at Likely Story), as it required not just coming up with different ideas for the imagery, but also some pre-planning to make sure they're was a nice mix of different colours and people/objects across the whole website."

Pietari Posti Propercorn

Pietari Posti — "I was lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the artists to do the new packaging of Propercorn. It was great to work with them because they appreciate the artists and their talent and at the same time they had a clear vision what they wanted for each flavour. I think it shows in the results. So it was a really fun collaboration and I don't get to do packaging illustrations that often."

eBoy Berlin

eBoy — "The Berlin Pixorama 2018 update is a major revision of one of our oldest city scapes. It features new people, items, vehicles and locations from today. Look for the Berghain, Oase Imbiss, Kannopkes, c/o Berlin and many others."

Chris B. Murray SeanP Peanuts

Chris B. Murray — "In honor of one of my favorite comic strips ever (Charlie Brown – Peanuts) I chose to illustrate one of my all time favorite Emcee’s, the late, great Sean Price from Brooklyn, NYC. “P!eanutz” is a limited edition print from the hip-hop art series “RAP KINGS”, a series of illustrated prints highlighting some of the most influential musicians working today, both above and underground!"

Maria Picassó i Piquer

Maria Picassó i Piquer — "2018 was the second year that a bunch of illustrators and caricaturists took part in "Caricature Resolution". It is an art challenge consisting in drawing a caricature per day during all January. The list included a collection of 31 deceased celebrities and this is a selection of my favourites. I cannot wait for the 2019 edition."

Lesley Barnes Folio Society

Lesley Barnes — "It was very special to be asked to illustrate the Folio Anthology of Children's Poetry. I have been a huge fan of the folio's beautiful editions since I first came across them in Voltaire and Rousseau (an amazing vintage bookshop in Glasgow). This was a wonderful collection of poetry to illustrate and I was able to put more than 50 interior illustrations into this volume. I was so excited when my wonderful art director Raquel also let me know that as well as the cover binding being block printed with gold foil, it was also going to be glow-in-the-dark! I will treasure this book forever and I hope I have done justice to the words inside."

Andy Smith Rumpus

Andy Smith — "Heres my favourite piece from this year. It's a hand-painted enamelled sign I made for The Book Show. Its a tribute to Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It was fun to paint something by hand again. Something I hadn't done for a while."


The Boy Fitz Hammond — "This is Asia - one of six illustrations produced to detail in doodle form the worlds different continents."

Stephen Chan Footlocker

Stephen Chan — "I would like to put my illustration project for Foot Locker Liverpool into the TC Time Capsule 2018. It was a surreal experience to see my illustrations at such a large scale and promoted around the city that I grew up in. My illustrations have been used around the world, but this is the first time my mum's been able to see my work, live in Liverpool."

Brian Miller Space Park

Brian Miller — "While there were a number of exciting projects I was fortunate to work on this year, the illustration work I did for the Space Park board game (with Keymaster Games) stands out as my favorite as it was my first board game that made it through production - and I had immense creative freedom to explore and develop the theme."

Wijtze Valkema — "After having pitched a comic book approach to several editorial clients without succes, I finally got a sketch through for a one page comic for one of my favourite clients for an article about road rage. It might not be the best work I've done this year, but it is a nice reminder to keep pushing your ideas, presenting them to your client with passion."

This year has been another difficult one for many people, for many different reasons. Art can offer a bit of an escape from the world’s problems though, if only for a fleeting moment. So we decided to get in touch with the many talented artists who we’ve been lucky enough to connect to over the years, and asked them to pick out one image which stands out to them for 2018, and tell us why. Enjoy!

And that’s it, that’s our collection of inspiring artwork to raise a smile at the end of 2018. Thanks for reading TC this year! If you liked this feature, please consider sharing it on your social networks – it’s pretty much the only way we grow the site. High-five!