Jumat, 27 Januari 2012

Weenies Don't Get Tattoos.

'Skull Tattoo Art'

A few months ago I participated in a collaborative art zine called 'I Want Your Skull!' The developer of that project has decided to do a second installment called 'I Want Your Skull 2' and I created this art for my contribution. The zine is in glorious black and white which I've created a version for that publication, but for this post I had fun with some color.

'Color Explorations'

Skulls remember are number '4' on my 'Top Ten Favorite Themes' list from a previous post I made, so as always it was a no-brainer topic to have fun with.

I like creating art I can use for multiple purposes so this dove tailed perfect with the digital illustration class I teach. This past week I assigned a 'Tattoo Illustration' to my students so I documented my process on this project and will share that with them and post the tutorial at www.IllustrationClass.com

'In Context Mockup'

People have asked me why I don't get a tattoo myself. Well I am kind of a weenie and don't like pain for one thing. Another reason is I can't commit to the art for a lifetime. I'd get sick of it after a month and then regret permanently applying it to my body for the rest of my life. Temporary tattoo's however have come along way and I might give that a try. But then I'd feel like a total poser so I may just stick with drawing them and call it good. ;-P

Rabu, 25 Januari 2012

Ironic Iconic

'Remod Icons'

The first ever graphic design gig I got was in High School. My dad worked for the school district and got me a job designing the icons for an emergency manual. I remember being fascinated at trying to create a simplified graphic that represented larger complex issues.

Fast forward 20 years and icon design makes up a large portion of the work I do. The style I choose matches what the project demands and dove tails with their current branding. The icons shown here were for a remodeling company to use on their web site, downloadable documents and print material.

Rabu, 18 Januari 2012

Analog & Digital

'Cross Fertilizing Ideas' - Click to View Larger Image.

I've been illustrating for a publication called 'Gas & Oil Investor' for about seven years now. I get the articles sent to me and then wade through a massive amount of information I frankly don't have a clue about and try to isolate something I can then play off of conceptually. This time around is was the wording in the article that said 'Cross Fertilization of Shared Ideas'. That put an image in my mind and I jumped on it.

For this project I wanted to use some of the textures that will be part of my texture book due out in June. I also wanted to to handle this project a in a little different method style wise as well so I illustrated the core artwork manually with a pen and paper then scanned it in and started painting in textures and detailing etc.

'Detail on Textures' - Click to View Larger Image.

As you can see from the detail shots above you can create a very rich texture effect by layering multiple textures and playing around with layer effects in Photoshop.

I'll be posting a tutorial on this artwork at IllustrationClass.com soon and that will include a layered PSD file so you can wade through it and see how I set it all up.

Minggu, 15 Januari 2012

Illustrative Logo - MeeWok

The majority of my work over the last four years has been for larger design firms, ad agencies and in-house art departments. But I still really enjoy helping a small business owner kick start their new business with a logo identity that'll equip them to play with the big boys.

MeeWok is the name the two business owners gave to a toy concept they are developing themselves. Each work full-time at a large company but on the side they've been getting their toy business in order and needed an identity that would help them pursue investors and market their idea abroad.

'The actual MeeWok prototype.'

The owners gave me a working prototype to take home so I could visually reference the actual product. I have to admit I never did master the device myself, but my two daughters did in a matter of hours and were MeeWoking around my studio.

'Final logo concept.'

Watching my daughters waddle around on this thing gave me some ideas for the logo direction I'd take. They thought it was fun and I felt that was important to carry across in the logo itself, so I decided to hand letter the design. Using the "K" letterform I created a character using using a MeeWok. I thought in the future if this company grows and gains more exposure a possible animation could be done for marketing purposes.

The logo will also appear on the final product molded into the plastic base.

'Finished business cards front and back.'

The MeeWok will be released in multiple colors so on the business cards I decided to print each of the partners cards using a different color them. (Orange & Lime Green) I also decided to mimic the shape of their toy in the business cards die-cut. The owners love the cards and have enjoyed the feedback they receive when handing them out as well.

Whether your project is for a multi-national brand or a small business owner just starting out, I can help you discover and design an appropriate creative foundation to build your success upon.

Kamis, 12 Januari 2012

MacWorld Predictions

'Jobs wearing his standard issue jeans and black turtleneck.'

For most people Christmas tends to be the apex of expectations in any given year when waiting for the unknown to be revealed. But for diehard MAC Addicts like myself Christmas is a mere warm up to the greater expectations that soon follow at Macworld with the Apple keynote given by Steve Jobs. What new products or technologies will Apple announce? Much speculation and rumor abounds this time of year and I thought I'd take a few guesses myself and see how well my forecasting skills bear up against the final truth to be revealed January 15th.

UPDATED: Well the keynote is over and it looks like I was far too hopeful then reality delivered. Anything tagged RED below either proved to be true or at least partially true. The rest was more or less wishful thinking or just pure science fiction I had hoped for. :-)


Apple will...
- Preview next-gen OS utilizing resolution independence. (Shot in the dark)
- Preview proof of concept for new OS navigation via touch-screen. (Eh)
- Announce touch-screen Mac. Tablet format. (iMac format?)
- Announce touch-screen programmable monitors. (Please)
- Announce iTunes movie rental service. (I know not original)
- Announce new Apple TV improvements. (Big surprise)
- Announce Apple Plasma TV. (Shot in the dark)
- Announce the ability to upload/edit video via Apple TV. (New iMovie)
- Announce the next generation iPhone. (3G, GPS & Video)
- Announce OLED Keyboard. (Sorry Optimus you're taking too long)
- Reveal it's own suite of creative apps to compete w/ Adobe. (I can dream)

Steve will...
- Slam Microsoft in some form at least 3-5 times during keynote. (Amen)
- Have Woz come cruising out on the stage riding his Segway. (LOL)
- Say "But there is one more thing." at least 2 times. (Maybe 3)
- Announce Beatles on iTunes. McCartney closes keynote. (Giddy Up)

Once the keynote wraps up on January 15th I'll post a follow up to this and see how well my predictions faired.

Selasa, 10 Januari 2012

Not all SPEC work is bad.


A while back I followed a link from 'Boing Boing' that took me to a blog post called 'Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers'. After reading that post I had to agree with the guy. The last time I purchased glasses (Lens, Frames and coating etc.) it came to about $500.

In the article the guy talks about many online vendors that now sell eyeglasses. You don't have to buy them from the specialized eye clinics that mark them up like a movie house does it's pop corn. You see it's all about the numbers. The doctor gives you a prescription card with the exact numbers a Binyon's would need to make your lenses. I realized my doctor forgot to write one bit of information on my card. The pupillary distance was not on it, so I called up the clinic and reqested the number. I knew they had measured me.

When the doctor called me back and found out I was buying my glasses online he kind of freaked. Insisted that it was a bad idea but when I asked him if the numbers on the card were accurate he said "Of course they are." which then begged the question "So all they have to do is follow the numbers right?" The doctor still insisted it was a bad idea all though he couldn't tell me why exactly? They eventually gave me the PD number I needed.

Today I started researching the various vendors listed at the linked site. I settled on 'www.39dollarglasses.com'. No the name isn't very clever but the site is nice and easy to use. The total cost for 'Frames, High Density Lenses, AR Coating etc.' is a grand total of $154 plus FREE Shipping. (Because my eyes are so bad I had to pay an extra $29 for specialized shaping so you could get them for around $115) Sure if you go to Binyons and look through their cheap area you'll find prices close to that but anything that looks cool is jacked up bigtime. Compared to what I paid last time I am saving over $300.

My only problem now is figuring out what style to go with. So I took the full-size sample images off the web site and mocked up my melon with some specs. (No making fun of my fat head either)

Let me know what specs you think I should get?

Rabu, 04 Januari 2012

Protect and Serve Quality Illustration

'FBI Tees Now Available.'

Do you feel drawn to be a special agent of the FBI? If so you'll investigate and solve illustrative crime by protecting and serving quality illustration. Show your support for the bureau and gird your loins with the official FBI moniker.

To view and order a t-shirt click here.

You too can also show your support for the "Federal Bureau of Illustration" by downloading an FBI wallpaper for your machine today!

Selasa, 03 Januari 2012

Texture Exploring

'Dead Ideas' Playing with Textures - Click to View Larger Image.

In June my texture book will be released and I wanted to start creating some sample images of how you can use the textures that come with the book in your artwork. Of course the book itself is filled with a ton of great art by over 50 artists using the textures already but I decided to play around with them myself again today.

As you can see from the detail shots above you can create very rich depth of organic flair by experimenting in Photoshop. All the textures used in this are were derived from digital photos I took of found surface textures. A few were created the old fashion way using some tempura paint and old cardboard then scanning it in.

I'll be posting a tutorial on this artwork at IllustrationClass.com soon and that will include a layered PSD file so you can wade through it and see how I set layer effects and such.

Minggu, 01 Januari 2012

Partum Professio = Create Art

'Insolitus' Collage Illustrative Design - Click to View Larger Image.

Since doing my Swat design I've wanted to experiment more with this whole collage method for design. Actually a better description for this whole style is 'Compost Modernism'. (Thank you Scott Hull for that name.)

When I started brainstorming an idea this image instantly formed in my mind. The process was all about experimenting. I'd try something and it didn't work well so I'd try something else. Originally I had a gas mask instead of a skull and it looked cool but like I've said before a skull is one of the top ten themes artists like so I had to go that route.

I decided to work text into this but didn't want it to distract from the overall feel so I used a dead language, Latin. This allows me to get nice type all the while making it more of a graphic element then informational. That said they do translate to what I was after.

Detail of Design.

It's hard to appreciate the subtle textures and overlapping that makes this style appealing so this image shows a more detailed shot of how the images relate. I designed this as a t-shirt design so it needed to be silk screenable.