Sabtu, 31 Maret 2012

Create or Die!

'Latin for: Create or Die'

In June I'll be attending the HOW Design Conference in Atlanta. While there I'll also be doing a book signing for my soon to be published 'Crumble. Crackle. Burn'. I wanted to have a cool freebie give away I could hand out to those who purchase my book so I created this sticker design.

Creative types tend to be very passionate about creating, so I wanted to tap into that core commonality in all of us and design a sticker that most if not all would like. And since this design was geared for my fellow artist I knew I should work into my art a common theme most creative types love to work with. That being a 'skull' and 'flames'.

After asking about '60' designers what they'd like to see as a message I setted on 'Create or Die'. But it didn't fit the banner too well so I decided to translate it into Latin instead. I liked this a lot more because it makes people ask what it means. More interactive that way.

'Stickers Galore'

If you'd like one of these stickers for FREE just mail me a self addressed stamped envelope to: (5x7 Envelopes Preferred)

Gimme a Sticker!
Glitschka Studios
1976 Fitzpatrick Ave SE
Salem, OR 97306

Rabu, 28 Maret 2012

Podcast Graphics

'The Loud Room'

Over the past several years podcasting has grown. Some are like radio broadcasts but I like to think of them as audio magazines. And like magazines there is a podcast for nearly any type of theme or professional. One thing I noticed with several podcasts I enjoyed early on is they had terrible graphics. The information and audio broadcasts were fine but the show graphics looked at best amatuerish in nature. So I set out to remedy my favorite shows images and in the process have become friends with several well known podcasters.

Steve Stanger host of 'The Mac Attack Podcast' asked me if I'd design another graphic for his new music podcast he's producing that will showcase podsafe music and Creative Commons licensed hard rock and metal etc. called 'The LOUD Room'.

Sometimes my mind needs to brew on a project an other times something just clicks and I have an idea immediately and know exactly what I want to do. This is what happened with this project, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. What helped is I had an old illustration I did for the fun of it and adapted that into the graphic you see. Steve loved it.

BTW I run my own podcast called '' where I interview illustrators and designers. You can subscribe to it via iTunes by clicking here.

Sneak Peek - Drip.Dot.Swirl.

"Parlor" pattern design.

For the past five months I've been working on my second design book which will be based on illustrative patterns. It is tentatively titled "Drip.Dot.Swirl." and will be released in exactly one year.

I've spent a lot of time fine tuning and creating a very useful set of tileable patterns that artists will enjoy using in their design and illustrative projects.

"Parlor" pattern tiled repeat.

Each pattern will be vector based so they'll be easy to use, easy to edit color, and if needed easy to simplify for your specific needs. And like my texture book "Crumble.Crackle.Burn." it'll be both useful, inspirational and fun.

Sorry I can't share more at this time but when the date draws nigh I'll be posting more about it.

Rabu, 21 Maret 2012

Fertile Mind

'Fertile Mind - Urban Forest Project'

The original AIGA sponsored showing for 'The Urban Forest Project' took place in New York City in Times Square. Now other chapters of the AIGA are following that lead with their own localized version.

The Portland AIGA chapter will be displaying their own 'Urban Forest' banner designs from April 22-27 across Portland Oregon.

I went through a few concepts on this project. Originally I was going to do a burning bush type of theme with all the branches being arms and hands with the flames morphing into green leaves and one of the hands releasing a flaming Phoenix. It was OK, but frankly it was just getting too serious and the message was far too nebulous to communicate on a broad basis.

So I decided to approach it from a different angle thinking to myself "How will this whole Urban Forest issue ever fully become a reality with the average urban dweller?" The answer was then obvious, the heart of the people have to change before the mind will think differently and that is when the term 'Fertile Mind' came to me.

In my opinion these types of projects too many times are wrongly focused towards an adult audience, so I purposely created a banner design that would appeal to any age be it a 6 year old or a 60 year old. I wanted either type of viewer to look at it and smile from it's humor, all the while considering its meaning.

Selasa, 20 Maret 2012

Billy Mays for President!

'Billy Mays for President Campaign Poster.'

You really want change in the presidency?

Billy is a living exclamation mark and he wants your vote! He'll rage against those tough stains of senatorial corruption and clean up politics like a dirty rag dipped in OxiClean. In other words he'd make a mighty president!

Show your support for Billy and download his FREE campaign poster today!

Senin, 19 Maret 2012

One Flew Over the Designers Head.

I just finished a logo project for a bird aficionado. The name of his business is "Bird Fellow" and this post will give you a peek into my own creative process, challenges I faced and how I arrived at my final design solution.

Some of the early explorations.

These early explorations show a variety of stylistic approaches and personalities. I did more then what is shown here early on but these are the ones I thought were most interesting myself. We'll start with the top and go down.

The first one I wanted to play off the word "Fellow" and gear the art to be somewhat humorous in the fact he's an aristocrat bird. An upper class fowl sporting a monocle and proudly stating the company name in the Queen's English of course.

The second one I wanted to create a classic, clean, bird mark. I nested (pardon the pun) it inside a circle motif and flowed the type horizontally. You'll notice most are horizontally oriented and that is because the logo will live online for the most part thus they need to work in a header format easy.

These two marks were secondary explorations of the primary layouts I pitched. One on the the left was a badge design utilizing another typeface I tried out. And the one on the right was my attempt to create a Nike inspired bird. I baked down the shapes to create the simplest iconic form of a bird I could.

The bottom two used the iconic bird as the proverbial dot on letter "i" in the logo type.

Some of the mid process explorations.

During this phase of the project the client requested a specific bird species I should create from for a bird logo mark. The "KingFisher". I try to gather this type of information up front but sometimes clients change their mind mid-stream.

The KingFisher is a very cool looking bird and has some nice unique attributes that I thought would work well for a logo so I wasn't worried about working it into new designs. The client also asked for some foliage to be added as well in hopes that it would add a touch of nature to the mark. Good idea.

The top design was based off a doodle the client provided. I thought it was too busy but at this point I just wanted to make them happy.

The middle layout was my personal favorite at this stage of the process.

The bottom approach was a re-work of one of my original layouts shown above.

Refining the bird logo art.

Because I was designing this logo for a bird expert he pinpointed areas in my bird art that he felt needed to be changed to better reflect a KingFisher.

The bottom two birds was my first round of revisions on the bird art. The client now wanted branches without leaves on it but I showed him on with leaves as well. Sometimes you have show more then what is asked for.

The top two birds reflect more specific revisions such as a longer straightened beak, larger chest, refined branches and feet. I also modified the front of the birds head too even though the client didn't ask for it, I just thought it looked better.

The final logo mark.

After a couple months of revisions, tweaks, changes and more changes, I was finally able to arrive at a design solution this bird aficionado liked.

Logo Style Guide.

On all logo identity projects I provide a PDF style guide with all associated files so the client has everything they need to keep their identity consistent through out all their various marketing venues.

The design process isn't always easy, at times it's painful, other times it's annoying and sometimes you fowl out. ;-) I look at the end result of this project and even though I have mixed feeling regarding how the journey played out I am happy with the finished product. And for that I am thankful.

The Billy Mays Effect!

'Billy Mays Full-Color Art.'

You've seen him pushing his goods like "Samurai Shark", "OxiClean", "Hercules Hooks", "Handy Switch" or his newest shout out "Mighty Putty." Like me you've probably watched his no frill commercials as he confidently pitches the latest and greatest joe consumer product all the while being hypnotized by his impeccably groomed beard.

Billy's ever present smile, energy and high volume reassure you that what he's offering is a must have. After all he just showed you how it worked and gave it a thumbs up! Lets face it Billy Mays has selling power!

As designers we all struggle with selling our ideas, pitching them to the powers that be, so I though what would help in this pursuit? Billy Mays of course!

'Billy Mays B&W Art.'

Just download the Billy Mays PDF file, print it out and apply mask directly to face for your next presentation. With the iconic image of Billy Mays on your side, all you have to do is talk loud, grow out your forearm hair, give a thumbs up to your own design presentations and "Ka-Boom", your audience will buy into your ideas in no time!

'PDF Download.'

If you download the "Billy Mays Power Mask" right now, I'll double your order! That's right you get two PDF files in one download. (PDF includes a Color and B&W version) What are you waiting for? The power of Billy Mays is just a click away. Download "Billy Mays Power Mask" Today!

Minggu, 18 Maret 2012

GUI Icons

'Set of 7 Icons'

The agency developing a new web portal for their client called 'Go Human' needed a set of GUI icons thatwould match the clean look of their CSS driven site. I was give seven themes to work with and asked to create three sizes for each.

- 100x100: Used in web graphics and provided in vector form for print
- 32x32: Used for medium size GUI content
- 16x16: Used for smaller areas that are limited by size

The smallest size can be a major pain in the keester to pull off but when done are well worth the trouble.

Fickle But Fun!

The Fanta Fantam.

Agency work is so fickle. Sure it pays the bills and for that I am thankful, but agency work often falls under the category of "Creative Exploration" and that is at best an artistic gamble. Even when you do a good job someone down the line decides they'd rather go in another direction so what you've done is no longer needed. Because of that you miss out on designing or illustrating the end product and miss out on the satisfaction of seeing your art in a campaign.

The agency for Fanta pop (Yes, I call it pop not soda.) hired me to develop a character for an idea they had pitched called the "Fanta Fantam." Fanta asked that the character be more in tune with Halloween so they left the specifics up to me.

My daughters idea.

As I worked on this my 10 yrs old daughter came into my studio and asked what I was doing, I told her about it and she asked if she could draw something for me. I said sure and when she showed me her pencil sketch later that night I was really surprised at how well she had done so much so I played off her sketch and told her if they went for it I'd give her a cut of what they paid me.

So I sent the agency a couple options. One of them playing off my daughters idea shown above. The final art as shown above uses the same head as the one I drew from my daughters sketch.

Over the next few days my daughter would ask me if they had made up their mind yet and unfortunately today I had to tell her they decided to go in another direction with the campaign, so they no longer needed our Fantam character. I could tell she was a little bummed out after I told her the news and I couldn't blame her because I was as well.

Instead of letting the character sketch be filed away in my project folder and forgotten, I decided to go ahead and finalize the art so I could show my daughter what it could have been. The above character is the end result.

Kamis, 15 Maret 2012

7 Hour Project.

'Bow the Knee - Easter Production Logo'

Not all my projects afford me the time I'd like to create them. Such is the case with this project. I was given all the information about four days before it was due but the problem is I couldn't get to it until the day before it was due. Sometimes things work out this way and you just have to roll with the punches and do the best you can with the time you can.

'Pixelated Steroids in Action'

I knew I needed good reference so I convinced a friend of mine who goes to our Church to dress up in the Roman costumes they are using in the production so I could take some reference pictures to draw from. Thankfully he agreed. As you can see in the animated gif above I digitally enhanced Scott via pixelated steroids and that gave me the beefcake soldier I was after.

You'll also notice I grafted in a stronger looking hand as well.

From beginning to end I spent around 7 hours total working on this. Eventually I'll post a tutorial on how I went about creating the art and post it at

The production 'Bow the Knee' is based on Matthew 8:5-13 where a Roman Centurion brings his sick servant before Jesus to be healed.

Recycle Icons

Recycle Icons 1-4.

A local agency here in Salem, Oregon hired me to create a set of icons that their client the local waste management company could use to put on blue bags that would show what could and couldn't be recycled. It's not a glamorous job but it was still challenging trying to make junk look nice and iconic, yet still accurately spell it out for the average joe consumer.

The challenge was to do it using one color "White" on a blue bag and simple enough that it could be silk screened easily and hold up small. I have to admit the hardest one was "Styrofoam." At first I had no idea how I was going to do it then I just though about those nebulous shapes the come in a package and just made one up and that combined with a regular cup worked better then I had expected.

Recycle Icons 5-8.

One thing that cannot be recycled is general "Garbage" so this was my first ever illustrated garbage icon. It was a good waste of time. OK, bad pun.

Rabu, 14 Maret 2012

US Currency is Boring!

Cool transparent area on the $100 Brunei Bill.

About four years ago I told a designer friend of mine who travels a lot that I enjoy collecting foreign currency. Not because I like money (I do) but rather because I like the designs found on them. With the recent release of the new $5 US Bill it reminded me once again how boring our own currency is compared with other countries.

The favorite bill in my currency collection is a $100 Brunei bill. (Pictured above) The bill itself is printed on a thin plastic paper, they have printed a white base coat and allowed areas to remain transparent such as shown above in the picture. On top of this white base they have printed full-color, spot metallic, etchings, embossed areas, crash numbering and foil stamping. All of these technologies are used within a very colorful and elegant design.

For some reason Donny Osmond likes this bill?

Needless to say the Brunei bill is a lot more fun to look at then the mole-centric Abe sporting a big purple san serif "5".

View the Front Design of the $100 Brunei Bill.

View the Back Design of the $100 Brunei Bill.

Time for the US Mint to get some fresh blood in their design department. But maybe since the value of the dollar is dropping lately the design is now appropriate?

Selasa, 13 Maret 2012

NFL Embroidery Patches

'Patches-O-Plenty 2'

I am not a huge football fan to be honest. I don't watch it that often anymore but growing up I did enjoy it and collected football cards so I am familiar with all the stars from when I grew up. Such as Kenny Stabler who was called 'The Snake', Tom Landry's trademark fedora or the more modern term coined from a 1990's Saturday Night Live skit of 'Da Bears' and many others.

So when Upper Deck Company contacted me to create a set of NFL Licensed embroidery patch designs playing off these popular fan familiar terms and nick names of various players through out the sports history I got excited.

The patches themselves are not large at about 1.5x1.5 inches so the level of detail had to be kept somewhat simplified but still visually interesting and fun. Embroidery technology has really improved though over the past decade so I am still surprised at how much detail it can hold.

If you'd like to see the set of Major League Baseball Licensed embroidery patches I designed for the same company you can view them by clicking here.

It was a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun.

Minggu, 11 Maret 2012

Relax it's only work!

AP Assignment Illustration.

The thing I enjoy the most about illustrating for the Associated Press is the challenging timelines I am faced with. I get a story a day or so before the art is due and have to come up with a clever and fun visual that will capture the tone of the article and work well with it when distributed across their network to newspapers nationwide.

This specific illustration was for a small article about yoga-like stress reducing tips for the work environment.

Flightless Bird Logo

Reading Program Logo.

The agency for Janus asked me to create a logo for a program called "Janus Elevating Education Alliance" for the Denver Colorado school district. The logo needed to match the primary branding in style, use a bird and book for imagery and be fun, smart and somewhat sophisticated.

In the end they didn't use my direction and went with something else they had presented. This is pretty typical for agency work, it's hit and miss at times. You get paid to take an at bat and even when you think you get a solid hit, you find out later you never really got on base. In other words the owl didn't fly.