Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Happy Spring!

Here in Western Washington we’ve been shivering. It’s official April was the coldest on record here. We got almost twice the average rain for April, not to mention hail and snow. Brrr. But May 1st was beautiful, a chance to get outside and take notice that Spring IS here. Nature keeps plugging away, singing birds, new emerging leaves and buzzing bees. Happy Spring finally.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ICON 6 Experience

Wowwee! ICON 6 was a blast. ICON (the Illustration Conference) is held every two years or so, this time in Pasadena. It was joyous, energetic mix of inspiration and education. I met lots of nice folks and am inspired to push my illustration self harder. The emcees, the amazing Brian Rea and Paul Rogers were charming, so relaxed and funny. See their ICON translator above. Yes, there were references to the horrific economy and the world going to hell, but a positive thread held everything together. All in all, the tone was hopeful for the future of illustration and for illustrators to thrive in a world with new possibilities.

See some of the illustration superstars pictured (with red eyes) on the perky Fernanda Cohen’s Drawger blog post. Including the mysterious Jason Holley who created hilarious videos that were shown between sections of the program. Hopefully they'll be posted somewhere soon —they are surely to be YouTube blockbusters (amongst illustrators, A.D.s and designers anyway). I'm so glad I went and am very thankful to all the volunteers and staff that produced the conference. It was a jolt of positive energy for many isolated illustrators, or should I say designer/illustrators and illustrator/educators and students. (Maybe 2% were solely illustrators.)

For myself, highlights were talks by fashion “lifestyle” illustrators Bil Donovan and John Jay Cabuay. It was a treat to hear the amazing, illustrator and NY Times blogger Christoph Niemann share his inspirations (including maps) and his design driven process. Almost every attendee I spoke to said Wayne White’s talk was their favorite (or their new imaginary boyfriend @designjunket). I can’t describe it only to say this man is a genius. Authentic, charming and well, you just had to be there (sorry). Or, buy the book, Maybe Now I'll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve a monograph of his 30-year career, edited by multi-talented Todd Oldham (also a fascinating ICON presenter). Yes, I think Mr. White deserves lots of respect (and many laughs too). See UK illustrator and ICON presenter Rod Hunt’s photos of ICON 6, including Wayne White shown with some of his word paintings.

Ahh, there was so much more to ICON 6, but I'll never eat dinner if I keep going on and on. Hmmm, I wonder where ICON 7 will be.

(Addendum: First of Jason Holley’s ICON funny (yet a bit sad) videos posted on vimeo. The voices and timing are “fabulous”. Also, for more ICON 6 links and conversation ICON info search Twitter for #ICON6)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Color Gesture Drawing!

Today I got my hands dirty looking through the pile of 150 or so drawings I made at an inspiring two-day Barbara Fugate art workshop in January. Most drawings were 30 seconds, I don't recall if the longest was two minutes or five, maybe one was five minutes. There's no hesitation, just start making marks. Not random marks, intuitively consider space, thrust, discovering how the model exists in space. And what wonderful models we had the honor to draw. This time there was color work with, lots of it. Raw, direct, bold marks. Ink wash, pastel, and charcoal. What a blast!
See a slideshow of drawings and photos from the workshop.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing for Visual Thinkers

Writing for visual thinkers? That was the illustration assignment for the current SPGA Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild meeting promotion. The meeting is Wednesday, I'll be there and look forward to Amy Posner's presentation on how to write for social media and personal promotion. I was happy with the illustration, but the printed postcard is much more vivid and more red than it should have been. Ahh, the joys of digital printing without a press check.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Oh My big changes happening at CafePress

On Earth Day CafePress sent an email out to shopkeepers explaining drastic changes to their business model. They didn't call it that, but that's what it is. I won't go into all the details but the nut of it is this, they will be dictating prices as of June 1. All products sold through their Marketplace will net the creators 10% of the retail price. Up to now they've always allowed creators to set the markup, set their own price. Many creators have built successful businesses making a decent profit from every sale, inspiring them to grow and promote their own ecommerce "shop" and brand. Generally by default all products created are for sale in their Marketplace. CP says their new pricing won't affect products in shopkeepers "shops" only in the CP Marketplace. Well, when same product selling in the CP Marketplace for sells for $12.99 and the designer has it in their shop for $18.99, who will make the sale? The creator makes $1.30 vs $6, My spouse calls it the "WallMartization of CafePress".

CP is abandoning their model of empowering creators to build their own brand and control their content to one where they control the market. They say it's to improve the customer experience.

Most of my sales come through the Marketplace, so I will be affected. CP is mostly a fun sideline for me, but this action by CP sours my enthusiasm. I really feel for those with highly successful shops, like one of my favorites "Obey the Purebreed". Maybe CP will be cutting side deals for select creators to stay, who really knows. If not many will be cutting out the Marketplace entirely and/or moving to the big competitor Zazzle.

It's a cold, cruel world. CP has made a pure business decision to change their fundamental model. They may regret it.

Zazzle here we come. Now if only I had snagged "matissimo" as my user name way back in 2004 when I first signed up. Someone else has it, but they've posted no products. Zazzle "matissimo" who are you?

P.S. CP also announced it changed the Marketplace search platform to bring the best designs to the front and reduce redundant designs. I welcome this change because in the past you had to wade through a lot of junk to find quality. Just too bad this change comes along with the price fixing. Maybe CP will back track.

Monday, February 02, 2009

This lucky illustrator creates HP “Work In 3G” campaign images

Last summer I was fortunate to have the opportunity to create some fun and unique illustrations for the current HP “Work In 3G” campaign. I collaborated with the talented creatives at McCann San Francisco, art director David Swope and art producer Evelyn Chan. They produced great Flash animation of the key illustration, a pop-up style world of transportation. The big thrill came when one of the ads appeared in the end of the year Time and Newsweek magazines. Imagine my work in the Time magazine person of the year issue with Shepard Fairey’s graphic illustration of Barack Obama on the cover, very cool!

Here’s the set of four ads, these appeared in commuter train cars. Click to see it larger.