Senin, 27 Juli 2015

Pet Monster

My friend Bret St.Amour and I have started a new business venture we are calling 'Ornery Frog Productions'. We'll offer character development to ad agencies and creative firms. Bret is a very talented Maya guru and long time friend I've known since art school days.

The following character images show it in progress so far. This character will also be part of the 'Keyboard Characters' I am currently developing.

Front View

Back View

The coloring we'll do on this will stay true to my initial style. It's a bit tricky but is looking cool so far. Eventually I'll have a full tutorial on this project at ''.

Minggu, 26 Juli 2015

Temporal Infestation

John Harrison of 'Start a Story' has a new illustrative project in the works called 'Cube'. It's not fully launched yet but should be fun.

Each side of the interactive cube will have an illustration. Each illustration will play off the other illustration on each of it's side some how. I am the first so it'll be interesting to see one flesh itself out when the other illustrators step up to the plate.

The name of mine is 'Temporal Infestation'. The above image shows how it'll be used inside the 'Cube'. Below shows how I imagined it fully with the drool and all.

Senin, 20 Juli 2015

Microsoft Messenger Backgrounds

Some of the interactive studios I work with have very unique names. Case in point is 'Put on the Dog'. Yes that is the name of the studio that hired me to create some background illustrations for the next incarnation of Windows Messenger they were developing a special site for. In my previous post 'Fear of Math' which you can see below I show one of the backgrounds I had done for them. These make up the remaining images in the collection I did.

Robot in all his pixelated splendor.

Do all dogs go to heaven?

Homage to Griffin.

Rupert the sea serpent.

Minggu, 19 Juli 2015

Memory Worm

An artist by the name of John Harrison is currently studying an MA in Sequential Design at Brighton University but on the side he's been busy creating 'Start a Story'. Part of that is a collaborative art project called '5x5' and he invited me to participate in it. Here is what '5x5' is all about in John's own words:

"5x5 will involve twentyfive contributors each designing one square in a patch work like illustrative narrative. The first square illustrated was the central one and then the rest are being allocated from the centre outwards. Artists have been asked to consider how their illustration relates to the other squares it's next too, so in narrative and/or imagery."

It's easier to understand when you see it for yourself so click on over and check out what '5x5' is all about. Lots of good talent participating.

Sola Fida

This weeks '' submission for the topic of 'Sacrifice'. The term 'Sola Fida' is Latin for 'Faith Alone'.

(Click Image to see full frame illustration)

Jumat, 17 Juli 2015 Launched

Last summer I was asked to teach a digital illustration class at the local college visual arts program once a week here in Salem, Oregon. I had never taught before so this was a whole new experience for me. I quickly realized the way my students learned best was when I demonstrated a process. I literally showed them how to go about doing a creative task and commented on it. This led me into developing numerous step by steps I could show them each week.

Over the course of last year I built up a nice little archive of teaching resources. I also posted them on the 'HOW Design Forum' to let other creatives benefit from them and due to that being received so well I decided to give them a proper home on their own site.

You can download all my teaching step by step tutorials at:

I hope you enjoy them.


Selasa, 14 Juli 2015

A Day in the Life of a Designer.

Recently on a design forum the topic of how a designer should deal with clients who like to play art director came up. I've given this topic much thought over the past decade and I'll be honest, I haven't always made the right decision. One of those unfortunate times was when I drew an unflattering caricature of a marketing director and put it on her desk. Even-though she wished to fire me she didn't have the power to do so. Not smart. Thankfully I handle such situations better now. LOL

In general I think the whole process is a balance.

Sure I've had clients who were knobs and I told them to take a hike in no certain terms and you know what they really got pissed at me. Saying stuff like "You're willing to turn down the money?" or "I can't believe you won't do this?" I try to explain to them my reasoning but it never sinks in with them. Paramount in their mindset is their own opinion and because of that I know the design will suffer so it's not worth the trouble.

Other clients who on the surface seem to be a pain I can see past their ignorance and realize some upfront pain is worth the potential that lay beneath.

Lets face it commercial art isn't fine art. Sure I think it's critical for a designer to have a passion and let that fuel his creative pursuits but those creative pursuits need to accomplish a commercial end. If the art changes and tweaks are not moving it towards that end objective and is just a non-designer playing art director then a designer needs to step up and give a well reasoned response as to why that shouldn't be done. If the party insists then you make it clear that project failure is on their head and decide if it's best to drop them or ask them to find another creative to assist them.

At speaking engagements I often tell a story about my time at Upper Deck where a weasel marketing director tried to play art director on a logo job. I submitted a tenth anniversary logo to him and what I got back in return sent me over the edge. I was about to call him up and tell him how much of a dork he was and then realized the best way to do this was to do exactly what he requested.

Long story short here is how it played out:

This is the logo I submitted originally. They whined that it didn't have the 'Upper Deck' logo in it even-though it says 'Upper Deck' and even-though it goes on product with the logo already on it. Redundant is marketings middle name.

At this point I am still playing nice. Fine here is your crappy logo.

I get back to my office and find this on my desk. What the? 400%? This guy is a uber knob. Why I ought to go Keith on them! @#$%! But wait I have an idea...

...Instead I did exactly what was requested. I executed (Pardon the pun) his well thought out art direction and left the print out on his desk and went to lunch.

He got really pissed at me and called me up and told me so. In a nut-shell I said "I did exactly what you asked for." He responded "That isn't what I meant." I said "I can't read your mind and maybe you shouldn't play art director." In the end he got the message and the logo came out decent.

Doesn't always work but you should always try to defend good design and if in the process you can make marketing weasels squirm all the better.

PS: I ran across this post on 'Speak Up' that had a great song on it called 'Make the Logo Bigger.' Too funny.

Jumat, 03 Juli 2015

Navajo Nation - Kaibeto, Arizona

Wow! That is all I can say after spending 11 days in Kaibeto, Arizona. It was my first time to help out with a vacation bible school our Church has done for the past five years on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Over the next few days I'll post several photos I took while there. The kids were great but there was also many local characters I enjoyed as well.

This Navajo gentleman visited every day and would hang out with us. Due to a car accident he is deft and is mute. Talking to him is like playing charades. He's a really friendly guy and apparently doesn't see any problem with the politically incorrect 'Indians' logo which some seem to think is insensitive. Francis loves the Indians logo and wears the cap all the time. I met another Navajo who is a diehard Chiefs fan and loves that logo too.

White Mesa
The Navajo nation is a beautiful place. Filled with mesa's all around and cool smaller scale grand canyon type of landmarks. This view was from one of our VBS locations.

Happy Dude
One of the Navajo kids attending VBS. I think his name was Rueben.

Piggy Back
One our High School students 'Jacob' carrying around a little Navajo girl during games.