Sunday, October 27, 2013

week 3 of Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells...scrapbooking

Time is flying by and we are already at the halfway point in MATS. This week concentrated on the scrapbooking market. Our brief was to design a scrapbooking page (the kind you might see in the aisles at Michael's) with a vintage camera/typewriter theme. The mini assignment (given out at the beginning of the week) was to draw those two subjects. Now I would never consider myself to be any kind of a great technical drawer, so the thought of taking my pencil to represent typewriters, in particular, was a daunting task. There are a lot of people in the course that can literally draw or paint anything with great ease...I am not one of them. Nonetheless, I liked the subject, especially the cameras, so I gave it a go. The first thing I saw were faces amongst all the buttons, bulbs and lenses, so at that point, I had my direction...vintage robot cameras, sort of! It made the project more fun. We were also told to include some lettering, which I was very happy to use to fill out the page. I also introduced the idea of using CMYK colors and registration marks. I thought they might add a nice touch as a border treatment. I drew a lot of cameras, many of which didn't make the cut, but my favorite little guy, was a quick little doodle/ mr. instamatic! Maybe it's because instamatic cameras, while not the most interesting looking cameras of all time, were the kind I used as a kid until I tried to get all fancy with a 35mm in college. Remember the film cartridges? I made a little pattern of them up near the top of the page.

It was a fun week and once again, a real pleasure to see all the different translations of the brief by the talented members of the class. Next week is one that I have been looking forward to...editorial!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

40 days of lettering... days 16 and 17!

I am back on the bandwagon (at least for a day or two) and have 2 more pieces to add to my lettering project as I ever so slowly, creep to the halfway point. 40 days was a crazy idea, and who knows how many in total it will take me to get there, but I am plugging away! In the news department, I am now represented by the nice folks over at Good Illustration. I have been poking around and looking for a rep for some time and their subspecialties of children's illustration and lettering seemed like it might make a nice fit with my work and luckily they agreed to take me on. They also sponsor a site called creative interviews, that feature weekly chats with well known creatives in the advertising and editorial fields. They asked me if I could whip up some type treatments based on quotes from the interviewees as a way to self promote, and I was happy to oblige. I really enjoyed doing the museum piece for Antonio Navas, ECD of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ. It was a nice respite from my usual sugar filled designs and the toned down color and linework gave me some "visual relief" from some of the kids stuff I have been working on lately. The Back to the Future piece from a quote from Rich Greco of the design firm, Droga5, gave me a lot more trouble, for some reason. I really wrested with the type treatment and whether or not to have the television shape or not, and even the colors themselves! In the end, I felt pretty comfortable with it and liked the retro feel to it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 2, Lilla's MATS class... baby apparel

Our week 2 assignment was to delve into the baby apparel market, focusing first on camping, in particular vintage camping as in retro campers, etc. I've never really focused on going into this market, even though I have done a lot of brand licensing work meant to be applied to apparel. I have never really come up with my own designs as applied to kids clothing. As with every week in Lilla's class, we get a mini assignment in the beginning of the week, in this case, camping icons. My main issue was that I came up with too many! I eventually settled on a woodland animals type camping scene, but as you can see from some of my sketches, a lot of them didn't make the cut! It's always a challenge for me to limit my colors, but is is a good exercise and contributes to a more pulled together look, I think. I may have gone over the line (10 colors) but lets just say there are a number of tints here ;). I used line work to try to hold the icons together, somewhat, without filling it up, so to speak. I could have done a whole lot more coordinates. I find that aspect of surface design the most fun, when you get to expand upon your theme. Next up is scrapbooking...stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

illustration friday... mustache

I hadn't submitted one of these in a long time, but when I saw the fun subject matter, mustaches, I knew I had an old illustration I could easily revise a bit to use! Actually, I did this for a Groundhog Day card a while back, so I removed him, changed the pose a bit, added some more textures that I thought it lacked, and here you go. Of course, you can't have a monocle, beard and mustache without a pipe! ;) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

40 days of 15

Ok, so 40 days is a long time. Why did it have to be 40 in the first place? What's wrong with thirty, or 25? Both perfectly nice numbers ;) Despite how far out 40 seems to be at the moment, I am going to stick to my pledge and plug away until I reach that magical number. I never said it would be 40 consecutive! Technically, you could say that I am bending the rules by including this piece, but it is in the spirit of lettering, so I'm calling it number 15! I revisited my Christmas card for Lilla's class and thought it might look nice in a less busy, more pared down version. I played around with the elements from the original, eliminating many and fit it in an ogee shape. I think I like the results... it's a cleaner read even though I hated getting rid of my little pipe smoking elf!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Make Art That Sells... Christmas in October!

Well it's that time again... the Christmas decorations are out nudging the Halloween decor in Target and I have yet to rake a single leaf! This week marked the beginning of part B of Lilla Rogers Make At that Sells e-course. I took part A and learned so much and have been looking forward to the topics in the second half, the first of which was the paper market. The assignment was to come up with 2 Christmas cards, focusing on candy and vintage ornaments... two of my favorite topics :). I have always been a big collector, and vintage Christmas is a major obsession...just check out my mantle. It's all there, from old cards, to hard plastic light-ups, to vintage Japanese ceramics like Holt Howard, Napco, etc. alongside Gurley candles, putz houses, chenille angels...and keep in mind, this is just my mantle, haha. So as you can see, I only needed to look so far as my attic for inspiration on this one!

The first design I worked on was the soldier and bear. Ive always noticed there are a lot of Christmas bands decorations, so I thought that could be a fun one. My main struggle with this design was the type treatment. Since I strayed a bit from my usual style to more geometric based figures, I thought the type should reflect that. Anyway, I ended up spending way too much time on this and literally have pages of fa la la la la la la la la la's! Can't tell you how many times I had to count the number of "la's!" It's hard to make the same two letters in repeat look interesting. 
For the second piece, which is the one I ended up submitting for review, I took part of the lyrics from one of my favorite Harry Connick Jr.'s songs. This one came easier to me overall as I knew from the start how I wanted the lettering to look and that I wanted the decorations to work off and around that as the central element. I've always loved elves, so I imagined them up to all sorts of mischief on a tree interacting with the ornaments. Note that I added a pipe smoker ;) I've decided that wherever possible, I will try to incorporate a pipe as my signature. Never smoked a thing in my life, but my dad occasionally used to smoke a pipe on weekends only, so this is my nod to him. I had a lot of fun working on this and although it is extremely busy, I hope you have fun looking at it! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

40 days of lettering... day 14

Back from my lettering hiatus, so I decided to cash in (I wish...) on the season. Being an obsessively crazy Christmas person, I don't particularly agree with this sentiment, but I always enjoyed it when my kids were little (see below and right... all costume credit goes to my talented sister, but I did make the horse and carriage ;) Anyway, I decided to take the title of the Andy Williams classic, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and skew it halloween. I sure hope Andy's estate has good royalties, because that song has absolutely taken over the christmas radio station song track in recent years. Not sure what is up with my apparent pipe affection as of late, but one somehow found its way into this...and no I do not smoke and have never smoked one! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

took a little break from lettering

This past week, I decided to take a short break from my lettering project and work on something that I had on my to-do list. A while back, I had designed the piece below for a unicef holiday card contest. It did not make the cut, but I had since thought that I could do something more with it and possibly turn it into a pattern collection of sorts. I struggled with making the main pattern hold together, and there is perhaps more detail than what is practical to have in a bolt pattern. I added the flower pots to give it a grid and some visual stability to counter all the randomness of the windows. I generally like to come up with at least coordinates. I really liked the colors in the diamond pattern. Hopefully, all four look like they are meant to go together! 

And now...back to lettering ;)