Monday, May 17, 2010

Oak Bluffs Gingerbread

Our kids gave us a gift certificate for a weekend away to a bed and breakfast. We decided to go to Cape Cod. Yesterday we spent the day at Martha's Vineyard. Had some fun taking pics in Oak Bluffs.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sketching on a Napkin

In the short period of time I worked for Tom Fowler, he instilled in me the importance of serving your clients. As much as you might want to scream and yell, the customer is the one who makes the final decisions and pays the bills. Nothing was ever impossible for Tom, and he believed you could create something good for your client no matter how tight the deadline.

That ethic served me and my clients well when I worked at Union Carbide as their Senior Designer. I would often have to create publications for employees on a very tight deadline.

I found this two color booklet created in 1994 to announce a new employee medical plan. I hate using clip art, and the booklet needed spot illustrations. I remember grabbing a felt tip pen and a napkin and sketching some quick, small images and then scanning them in at high resolution. I liked the feel of the images, the communications department was happy, and the employees got something more than just a booklet full of copy.

Never say never. Where there's a will there's a way. Don't give up the ship. I think you know what I mean. When we get pushed we can either give up or get creative. Be thankful for the people that push you to be and do your best.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Purple Paper Petals

Here's another image I dug out of that old portfolio case. I went through a period where I loved experimenting with colored pencil on colored papers. Being a designer at a corporation, I was always receiving samples from paper manufacturers. I still have several drawers full of papers, many that aren't milled anymore.

My wife has a beautiful garden in our back yard, and every year I look forward to the purple and white irises. They are such regal flowers. I sketched this from a photo while sitting on a beach in Cape Cod... probably about 15 years ago or more. One of these days I might actually get around to framing some of this stuff.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Like a Bug on a Windshield...

I was cleaning out an old portfolio case and found a bunch of black and white drawings I created while working at Union Carbide. I found the timing interesting. I have just finished my thesis, and one of the remarks I made was how liberating the MFA program has been for me, especially with regard to my thesis project. Here's the excerpt:

"There also were influences that I had to overcome in order to fully embrace this project. From 1985 to 2001, I was employed as the Senior Designer at Union Carbide Corporation. I was often asked to create characters for announcements, newsletters and invitations. I continually played with a host of styles, finding personal satisfaction in the work, even though the majority of my clients viewed the drawings as fun but unimportant. To keep my skills fresh and to stay awake during long meetings, I sketched caricatures of the speaker or the creative staff. But because of client feedback, I never saw them as something to be taken seriously."

So, here's one of those old assignments. I created an illustration of bugs smashed against a windshield for a product ad. It's fun to look back, especially with new eyes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Miracle Worker

In July 2008, Vin DiFate gave a presentation on several genres of illustration, including science fiction, movie posters and pulp fiction book covers. Guided by DiFate, we were directed to create a poster in our own style for one of our favorite movies. I created a poster for the 1962 classic, The Miracle Worker. I studied a number of screen shots of the film and created a 3D model of Anne Bancroft, who played the role of Annie Sullivan, instructor and companion of Helen Keller. I photographed my daughter, Emma, to represent Patty Duke, who played the part of young Ms. Keller. Bancroft’s large scale represents the enormous influence she had on Keller. The field in the foreground was created with several Photoshop brushes made from grass stalks drawn in Illustrator.