I did a little digging through my computer while I’ve been off work this week, and came across a competition entry of mine for a 2008 ‘capital of culture’ contest that was held in Liverpool.

This contest was open to all Trinity Mirror North West employees (of which I was, and as of August 2011, still am), and back in the day when the company had more money to spend, there were fabulous cash prizes to be given out for winning entries which represented a cultural theme.

So, in the space of about a couple of hours one night, I designed this:

Based on the Liverpool superlambananas, natch.

As you can see, the lambanana concept which had worked so effectively for Liverpool during their capital of culture year was the inspiration for this piece, which added various Chester features to it. What I’d actually done was copied and pasted many pics from Google, turned down their opacity in Photoshop Elements, then used a graphics tablet pen to trace over the outlines and colour them in. So although it looks pretty neat, I have in fact taken a few shortcuts along the way.

As it turned out, I won the regional third-quarter award for best art design, so got through to the final, where I would compete against works which had actually taken some proper thought and effort. In a super-ironic twist, the overall winner of the £2,008 prize was an artist who I’d beaten in the third quarter of the year, so they returned with an improved fourth-quarter entry and whupped everyone. Hey ho. Serves me right for cheating, really.