When you see the video for Not the Christmas Number 1 - our Christmas charity hit for Help for Heroes - you’ll appreciate the amazing talent of the team of illustrators that created our wonderful festive mural.
Today I took the opportunity to sit down with Oli Frape, the brilliant fellow who created it, for a lovely cup of tea and a good old chinwag. This is what I discovered…
Oli is 29 years old, born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and now living in Hackney, East London. He’s a Hand-letterer, Typographer and Illustrator.
He recently released his first typeface so that people can type words the way that he draws them. (Clever chap!)
Oli was approached by digital agency STEEL (the team who are helping me with this project) and he jumped at the chance to be involved. He was briefed to produce a lively, colourful illustration featuring ME, Festive Jake! Plus a variety of other Christmas things that were inspired by suggestions for the song lyrics, which hundreds of Greggs Facebook fans and Twitter followers suggested.
After a brief period of refining the illustration he started preparing to paint it on a big wall. He began by projecting it onto the wall at a friend’s house to get an idea of scale - and apparently I looked rather splendid at that size :0)
Oli then spent a long time hand mixing paints to get the colours just right. And then it was off to the studio to film the video for Not the Christmas Number 1 - which is when I first met Oli.
Everything on the day was so well planned that it went like clockwork - and it needed to be because there was an awful lot of painting to get done. Oli brought a fabulous team with him who joined in with the drawing and painting. Thanks must go to… Ella Brock-Morgan (Oli’s lovely lady), Simon Brader (a fellow illustrator), Tom Cardo-Moreno (an animator and avid doodler) and Tom Goodfellow (a product designer and a whiz with practical tasks).
The finished mural was brilliant - and don’t I looked splendid - if somewhat gigantic!!
I’ll let Oli have the final word… he said… “I really appreciate the work that Help for Heroes do - and today I met some fantastically brave people.
Sitting in a studio painting a wall mural is a far cry from what these men and women are doing each day in extremely dangerous situations around the world. I just hope that everyone goes out and buys this single so they get as much help as possible.
It was a real pleasure and an honour to meet the guys from Help for Heroes on the video shoot day, since they’re exactly the kind of people that this project will help - and they were really good painters as well! Come on everyone! 99p for this single is such a small amount of money - but together, we can make a really big difference.”