Just to clear things up: these are not Glasgow and Edinburgh from Britain Boys – they are two completely new characters with different personalities, looks and jobs.
The year of 2014 presented Scotland with a double celebration – the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the then-hot topic of Scotland’s potential breakaway from Britain (which has now re-entered the public consciousness thanks to Brexit). Since I wanted to create something to both commemorate and comment (of sorts) on these once-in-a-lifetime occasions, I decided to invent a whole new series in the vein of Britain Boys which would be a kind of satirical sitcom on modern Scottish society.
Because I struggled to come up with a name for this new series, I simply named it after the main duo of Glasgow and Edinburgh, although of course there would be a lot more characters named after Scottish places over the next few months.
The drawing above is how I first imagined the titular duo to look like. I based their personalities and appearances partly on how their respective cities are popularly perceived in the media – with Glaswegians being seen as rough and tough, and Edinburghers being more into culture and sophisticated.
When I first designed Glasgow, as seen above, he originally wore the stereotypical Scottish outfit of a kilt and black tap shoes with ribbons tied across the top of his socks. Although on the outside he appeared tough and prone to anger, inside he was jokey and always willing to have a laugh, even if it was at his own expense.
Edinburgh, on the other hand, makes making people laugh his job. I based him being a comedian on the presence of the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is the favourite tour stop of many real-life comedians from across the globe. I tried to make him look hipster-ish with his beanie hat, man-scarf, black trenchcoat and tartan trousers, which also reflects the stereotype of the city of Edinburgh being an avant-garde centre for those whose tastes are slightly different from the mainstream.
This drawing is the second iteration of the designs I created for Glasgow and Edinburgh. Edinburgh stayed mostly intact, but Glasgow was now a steelworker instead of just a figure of Scottish stereotype. This is because in the past, Glasgow was an epicentre for the British steel industry, as well as being the prime port of shipbuilding for such famous ships as the Queen Mary II. Though it has since dwindled greatly, it remains a point of pride for many Glaswegians, and the giant cranes overlooking the Clyde River have become the city’s landmark of sorts.
I would later again dramatically change Glasgow’s outfit and overall looks and personality, which would become his ‘canon’ design, but Edinburgh remained fundamentally the same. Glasgow’s ‘new’ design will be revealed in the next exhibition.