Thursday, January 30, 2014

day 30 of 40 days of lettering


ok, so my sketches are never pretty, but you get the idea...
Today's piece (number 30...yayyy!!!) was a quote from Pablo del Campo, President and CEO of del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi. You can read the full interview here. I think this one is my favorite of all the quotes I have done for this series, which is funny since when I first read it, I couldn't think of any interesting visuals that I could integrate into the lettering. Somewhere along the way, I thought maybe I could tie in a log rolling idea, alongside a "top of the world" metaphor. Maybe this was a stretch, but I latched onto it because I thought it could be a fun image. I had it all drawn out with the businessman on top of the globe in water, when I started to doubt myself...maybe an actual log rolling lumberjack would be better? Maybe combining log rolling and staying on top of the world was too much for the viewer to get right away? So I drew the bearded fella on top of a giant log and although I liked him, I decided to stick to the skinny suit. In retrospect, the lumberjack looked like a hybrid of Yukon Cornelius (best character in Rudolph...) and Jack Lalanne (remember him?). Ultimately, I hope I made the right decision. This is the kind of question that would have been best answered if I had been working with an AD. I hope Pablo likes it and I hope you do too!

good ole Jack...the original fitness guru

best line in the show after he licks his pick axe..."nothin'"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

day 29 of 40 days of lettering





Getting there... almost to turning that to that magical number 30 and can actually start counting down! I'm absolutely positive this phrase has been done by someone out there in starbucks land, but I thought it might make a cute valentine message. Me, I'm more of a straight up "venti bold and give me some room" kind of girl...lattes are just fancy steamed milk and sugar.
Technical question for any of you master bloggers out there...can you tell me why jpegs like this look soooo grayed out when I post them here? I don't get it. They look nothing like the actual file and how it looks on flickr or even crappy Facebook. If you have a sec, check out the difference here...Thoughts? 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

the Adora project



Recently, I received a nice email from a father of a a cute little girl, named Adora. He became a first time dad at age 56 and for the last 2 years, he has been commissioning artists from all over the world, to do portraits of his little girl. Unbelievably, in the 2 plus years since, there have been over 1000 artworks created by over 700 artists! Quite the legacy he is creating for his daughter and I was happy to participate! You can check out his blog here

Adora has a wish list that artists can use as a starting point for their piece, or they can come up with their own inspiration. I chose to show Adora with  the dog, Hatchi from the Richard Gere movie with the same name. I had never heard of the movie, but who can resist drawing a cute puppy alongside a little girl :). I added the rabbit from a photo of Adora with a brown bunny. Lastly, I consulted my resident 8th grade French students, what the correct translation of "I adore you," was for an added lettering touch.



It was a fun little project and I encourage any other interested artists to join in the fun. Adora's family often pays a token amount to the artist, or will make a contribution to the charity of your choice. If interested, contact Adora's dad on the blog for more details.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

40 days of lettering, day 28 and killing 3 birds with one stone


also available in my shop!
This is what you call art multitasking. I hadn't done an Illustration Friday prompt in some time, so I thought maybe I could combine a submission, along with checking off day 28 of my lettering project, as well as come up with a valentine product for over at my society6 ;). Hey, when you work for yourself, this is the kind of crazy assignments you can self concoct. The word for the week at illustration friday, was beginning. More often than not, when I do submit something over there, I do it as lettering. I had kinda missed doing something on the cute lettering side (a departure from some of the quotes I have been doing for creative interviews). Soooo, I came up with this quote which is a bit of a reluctant valentine, one for someone who is on the fence about revealing their true feelings, ha. I think there must be a market for this sentiment, at least with teenagers!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

40 days of lettering... day 27



Today's lettering piece was done for an interview with Lincoln Bjorkman, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman. The interview can be read over at creative interviews. As quotes go, this was a really good one, with plenty of visuals that came to mind immediately. The king/queen wordage lent itself to a playing card theme. Kings in card decks, typically have a sword, so replacing that with a paintbrush was a natural fit. 

I am starting to appreciate illustrator's blob brush. So many artists I know really rave about it. I have never used it much... I always thought it was just a little too, well, blobby, lol. But, you can't beat it for easy smooth marks, making it pretty much the complete antithesis of the pen tool. I used it here in some of the detail work, as well as the hair lines. And believe me, at 3:00am when I was trying to finish this baby up, it was a trusted and valued friend. What I don't get (and should really take two seconds to research more) is why it seems to continually change point size as you go along...weird. 

The pic below shows a bit of how I work, sketch-wise. I don't do a lot of tracing over roughs and refining my work. Instead, I tend to make friends with my handy eraser, continually refining and adjusting in my handy sketchbook, until I think it's good enough for a final pencil (on right) that I use to scan and then draw over in illustrator. The queen could have used a bit more styling in her face, but she's upside down anyway, ha. Overall, I was happy with how it turned out for a one day project, anyway ;)


Thursday, January 9, 2014

a treasured gift





Christmas has come and gone, but I had to share the most fabulous gift I received from my sister. We are both crazy about mid-century Christmas decorations, ephemera, etc. and she happened upon a veritable goldmine of Christmas cuteness on a recent trip to California... the Little Golden Book, "My Christmas Treasury," illustrated in its entirety by one of the most iconic and wonderful children's book illustrators of the mid 20th century, Lowell Hess!! 72 pages of glorious cuteness (plus endpapers and covers ;) ! I must say, I felt like I was holding a celebrity book as I passed through the pages for the first time, seeing so many illos that I knew and loved. As some may know, I have a pretty extensive board of retro Christmas images over on pinterest, and suffice it to say, I had pinned many of these, yet there were so many more that I had never seen. I will be pinning these images and a few more over on that board in time, if you are interested. Apologies for the less than stellar pics here. I did not want to bend the spine too much, so they are all warped to some degree and I did my best to crop out my ugly thumb and fingers. Of course, I must thank little "Steven Henderson" who received and cared for this book from "the Colemans," so many Christmases ago. Published by Simon and Schuster, it is a compilation of 23 songs and carols, both full color and duotone. His sweet styling, adorable faces, graphic quality, composition, and character development, is unmatched. Such a treasure indeed.


You guessed it... 7 maids a milking

from "The Snowshoe Rabbits," by Kathryn Jackson


just look at those graceful reindeer!



His nativity art is beautifully folkloric

from "Christmas in the Country," by Barbara Collyer and John R. Foley

geez... I'd have bought this for the title page alone! Just look at that angel!


great characters!

gotta love the mutton chops on the old fella

Have you ever seen a jollier group of 12 lords a leaping?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

40 days of lettering...day 26


New year and another quote for Creative interviews, this time with Mat Zucker, Global Executive Creative Director Razorfish. The interview can be read in its entirety here.  I can certainly agree with this sentiment and can also easily see myself falling into this trap! I have never been an overly decisive person. Take for instance this design. Under a tight timeframe for me (one evening to complete), I initially thought I would keep it simple and stick to black and white. The style of lettering kind of lent itself to this and it seemed like a clean answer. Ultimately though, I couldn't stop myself from throwing in a bit of color to see how I liked it. Although I kind of liked it, in the end, I decided that it was better off with less going on, as well as the thought that the profile didn't read as well in multiple colors. When I started out, I just worked the lettering in the rounded shape, playing off the waviness of "wishy washy." It wasn't until I was nearly done, that it occurred to me that it might be a bit more interesting to add the nose and eye to make it into a profile. Anyone prefer the more colorful version? Ahhhh... the indecisiveness continues ;)


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Time for a new year, resolutions and day 25 of the lettering project!


Happy New Year! As I embark on 2014, I have resolved to finish this project...this year! Umm ok, maybe I can do better than that ;) After all, finishing a 40 day project that I started about 3 months ago would be the lamest of all New Years resolutions. Actually, I have never been one for resolutions in the first place. People always seem to make them after Christmas overindulgence, and they tend to pass long before spring. But this year, I have given it some thought, art-wise, and actually have a few things I hopefully am resolved about enough to actually accomplish.


1. Try my hand at using some traditional media. Yup. Back in the day, I actually was fairly capable at picking up a brush. I'd like to try gouache for illustration (which I have never used) as well as good old fashioned ink for lettering. I'm sure I will never abandon my mouse, but to coin the phrase of Lilla Rogers, I think it might "inform" my work, hopefully for the better and give it a more organic feel. Take for example, this piece. I used the pencil tool for a rougher look. It was hard for me not to smooth out those B├ęzier curves, but I held off. I still look at it and wonder what it might have looked like being done with an actual brush.

2. Now this is a tough one to define....make my work more commercially viable. I suppose every artist tries to do this, but I feel like I need to take a step back and look at my "style" objectively. I feel that I tend to go for pure over the top cuteness, that just isn't as sellable as it could be. Not sure what all this means, but I hope it ultimately translates into making art that actually sells.

3. Make an official website. I had/have one but since it is flash-driven, and super hard to work with, it hasn't been updated in ages. I do have a portfolio site over at carbonmade, but it doesn't give you the bells and whistles that a personalized website does.

4. Work on more collections. This is related to number 2.

That should be enough to keep me busy! What are your resolutions, art or otherwise? I would love to hear! Thanks for following along and all the best for a happy and healthy 2014!

Jill