Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Ice Skating"

Is it cold where you are? It's been a fairly cold winter so far for me! This made me think of a fun skating theme design I worked on. This design went through quite a few changes along the way - like the original skating bag I included was nixed and a little ice pond scene was requested instead. I liked out it turned out, that little scene just adds enough "fun". This sheet also includes accents in silver foil (the skate blades and some designs on the skates & stars).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Illustration Friday: LAYER

I wanted to work in a really cute, frustrated monkey, but it just didn't pan out… and in keeping with semi-current events, all texture photos used in "layering" this piece together, where photos I took in Tunisia. I dub thee, "Crazy Roman-mosaic never-peeling Banana of Tunisia".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Friends Forever"

So, we're through with Valentine's, but we can still show a little love for our friends, right? This is a tween design I did for the Jolee's product line a while back. This is one of the cases where I wish I got to work with the production team - I think a few things got lost in the translation from sketch to product.

You can see the sketch translated pretty identically, and as usual the color and materials were a surprise to me. I think the colors are great, perfect for tween girls. As usual, I was only given a title subject and just went with it. Some themes are more vague than others, but I thought focusing on the three best "friend" phrases would work here - and then the production came in with all the cool details.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Rose Hearts"

Happy Valentine's Day!
This was design did not start out as a Valentine's theme. At least, not that I know of. I suppose I could have made the assumption with the only direction of the assignment being "heart shapes made of roses". I tried to find traditional and non-tradional ways of showing the requested icons. Some results worked better than others. I was afraid the heart made from petals wouldn't read well in vector art, but it was apparently the heart shaped rose bud that did not - as can be seen in the change made by the production team after I submitted my final art. I'd also tried to keep the colors varied, including oranges and yellows along with the whites, pinks and reds. But this theme was released last month with other Valentine themes, so I guess they felt the need to make the colors more universally Valentine's related/monotone at the production stage as well.

Working digitally makes things much easier/faster with this kind of theme. I only had to draw 3 or 4 detailed rose variations and 4 or 5 rose petal variations, and use them to create all the varied icons on the sheet. Flipping and rotating the individual pieces so duplicate roses can't be easily identified, I pieced it all together like a puzzle (FYI, I created the original sketch the same way, using photoshop). Along with the color changes, it gives the sheet a nice variation of shapes with uniform "building blocks" to hold it all together.

Monday, February 07, 2011

New Work: NESCBWI Conference 2011 Illustration & Promo Material

This year I had the honor of being asked to create an illustration and promo material design for the New England Region of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrator's annual conference. The theme of the conference this year is "Celebrating Milestones" because both the SCBWI and the NESCBWI are celebrating big anniversaries.

Honestly, I really got myself worked up over this one. I mean, the PRESSURE. I was struggling with the deadline, the theme, and what style to go with. But with the help of my crit group pals, I finally landed on a solid concept that fit the theme and would be fun for me and my whimsical-fantasy artwork preferences. The main idea was based on the Gloucester Sea Serpent, a New England local legend, which grew to include a sailing ship to represent a long, on-going journey. I threw in a couple subtle references to the organizations - a feather pen for the writers, a brush for the illustrators and a kite to honor SCBWI National.

This was also a bit of an experimentation for me. I knew I wouldn't have the time for my favored colored pencil work and since I also love line drawings and work with vector art often, I decided to play around with blending both. I arrived at the final stlye by combining a vector color base, layered with several textures to add an organic feel, and finished it off with a layer of hand-drawn line work on top, to bring it all together.

All in all it's been a very fun project and experience. The conference organizers have been wonderful to work with (and so patient with me!). I can't wait to attend the conference myself, this May. :)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

New Work: Sticker Sunday - "Hearts & Stars"

Happy February! I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day, but I have done a LOT of heart and love themes stickers. This is one of the most recent, and most experimental/non-conformist of the bunch. I'm still not sure what material they are actually printed on (haven't seen a sample), but during work on this project, they were rumored to be going on chipboard (a rigid and thick material, compared to standard paper adhesive stickers). I was asked for a doodling style which recently became a popular theme itself, on stationery products at the time. As you can see, I initially included words and phrases in the design, but they were eventually removed because they were deemed illegible.

I started out with a very "pop" color theme (cyan, magenta, bright green, black & white), but I was asked to revise to include red. Eventually the green came out all together and magenta, red, and cyan became the final dominant color way. Personally, I really prefer my first submission - layout with text and color, but I still can't wait to see what the actual product looks like. :)