I remember reading about the death of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar in the news. Little did I know I'd be commemorating his life a few days later. It was a privilege to read about him and his accomplishments. He died helping others and service is the Sikh way.
Not sure if this one's still on newsstands. I am lagging behind in posting things again. Maybe a New Year's Resolution is in order..
I've done a bunch of back page illustrations for Macleans over the years, but sometimes the art director has something a little different. I always say "Count me in!".
One time I got to do an illustration that looks like a colouring book page:
And here's one for J.K. Rowling's first venture into grown-up fiction, "A Casual Vacancy":
This one is a vintage-looking Snakes n' Ladders board with a bunch of tidbits about the Canadian economy. We were always a board-gaming household and one of my first favourites was our old-school Snakes n' Ladders board with moral lessons for the snakes and ladders. Example: Eat snacks before dinner / spoil your appetite! Snake! Study hard / pass the test! Ladder!
Here are some of the spot illustrations that go in the little game squares. I don't often draw full body shots of teeny-tiny people so that was something new for me:
I had a lot of fun coming up with concepts for each tidbit of writing.
This one's straightforward -- Target stores in Canada miss their mark and close all their stores:
Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. I made them wear old-timey bathing suits because the board was supposed to have a vintage flavour:
This one was my favourite. Had to do with the Bank of Canada Governor shocking the market by cutting the overnight rate :D :
There were a bunch more on the board, hope you like them!
Food, glorious food! One of my favourite subjects to draw. So I was psyched to draw a bunch of Rhode Island's most delicious and representative tasty bits.
That first illustration is kind of like those classic exploded technical drawings of toasters and such, the ones in the manuals that shows all the parts that make up the toaster. Rhode Islanders call submarine sandwiches (subs) "grinders". I love learning regional stuff like that.
Rhode Islanders also love their chowder and clam cakes!
Their main drag has a bunch of restaurants so I finally got to make one of those map-type illustrations I see in magazines!
I also learned about "kawfee milk" made from coffee syrup. Why haven't I heard of coffee syrup before?
4x milk and 4x sugar in coffee is called the "Xtra Xtra"!
And here are the illustrations that are meant to go around the hed and dek (headline and sort of sub-headline writing)! Clockwise from top left: Ravioli, some type of slushy lemonade that comes with a pretzel stick, calamari, and a zeppoli (a type of pastry that sounds pretty awesome). It's fun making a series of illustrations like this -- A unified collection that shares a harmonious colour palette. Nice to do it when given the chance! -- Julia Portfolio site
The grand opening of their storefront location will be happening this year. I'm psyched for Sylva and her team!
A job like this, where the illustration will be used for a long time and for different applications, has a longer development process than an editorial illustration that''ll be around a week or a month. I love the process -- and here it is!
Some other colour possiblities:
Sketch development from thumbnail to rough sketch to tighter sketch to even tighter sketch (clockwise from top left):
New client! It's always a rush when I'm given a chance to work for someone new. And full page, which is kinda an awesome opportunity.
This illustration accompanies an article about online shopping for home stuff and even had links to specific interior decorating sites, so I visited them for reference and inspiration. The internet wins again!
I used to do a lot of silkscreen printing so I'm naturally drawn to limited colour palettes. It's fun to try and come up with different ways to use the same colours! I based the colours on Pantone's colours for Spring 2016.
Also, the bare feet and the sleeping kitty emphasize how comfy it is to shop from home. :)
Catching up on posting some work again! A bunch of Macleans illustrations for their back page.
Macleans profiles the lives of Canadians every week and sometimes they ask me to create these illustrations that form a frame around a photo of the person. I read the article and draw stuff that they liked to do, memorable moments, and things other folks remember fondly about them -- stuff that made that person a unique individual.
I know it's laziness/forgetfulness that's stopped me from posting these as I completed them, but I kinda like seeing a bunch of them together like this. Yay rationalization!
Here's my latest for Macleans, about the trend of adult colouring books! Seems that folks are super into colouring as a way to relax and focus in on something enjoyable. But some people are so addicted they're kinda wrecking their hands, wrists, and backs.
The art director had this great idea of having the illustration looking like an actual colouring book page with some bits of the illustration coloured in and coloured pencils laid out on top. To top it off, they plan on making a digital version available for colouring!
I drew thistle, roses n' thorns, and cacti for the colouring book pages in the illustration. Spiky, thorny, painful plants. Bonus giant bottle of advil-type medication.
Because the illustration was printed across two pages there was a gutter to design around. I love compositional challenges like that.
Hydrocolloids are wondrous substances that can be found in beans, fruits, seaweed, hooves, and the bladders of some fish. They wiggle and gel and can impart those properties on food, lotions, sauces, just about anything!
The fourth of my Hydrocolloid series is Locust Bean Gum, aka Carob Gum. Primarily grown in the Mediterranean, it's used in cream cheese, pastry fillings, ice cream, and lotion to impart a creamy texture. It also acts as a thickener in sauces, soups, pet food, and salad dressings. Ancient Egyptians used a resin made from the beans of this tree as an adhesive for mummy wrappings. Dried carob beans have such a uniform weight (0.015g) that they were used by gold merchants as a standard of measurement!
Here are the others of the series (click the links to visit the blog entries!):
VIDA is a Google Ventures backed platform that allows designers to sell ethically sourced products that are created per demand. Their scarves and tops are made in Pakistan, where they create literacy programs and maintain fair wages for their workers.
Artists don't have to pay anything to have an online shop with them, and get 10% of each sale. If three or more pre-orders are made within fifteen days of the items going up for sale, they're produced! Any fellow artists who want an invite to join up, email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention my name! (If two peeps join up and create their own VIDA shop, I get a coupon code to buy my own products :P).
VIDA has been very responsive whenever I had any questions or concerns. I read through their contract and wasn't 100% pleased with it so they worked with me to make it something everyone could agree on. It is a rare company that will do this, it's a wonderful find. I'm psyched to collaborate with them!
One thing I don't like is how low-res the previews of the designs are. Less than 1Mb! Hi-res files are used to produce the items of course, but I wish hi-res files were used throughout.
I decided I wanted my products to be modal scarves. VIDA's modal is "MicroModal", made from beechwood processed in an eco-friendly factory in Austria, then woven in a factory in Pakistan. Modal feels awesome and has a great drape. Can't wait to see how they turn out!
Here's a look at my designs:
It feels great to work with a company that wants to the right thing, for everyone. And the right thing for the environment! Discover more of their story here.
Click image to enlarge and see gorgeous pixeltude.
I love the classic 16-colour EGA palette. I don't know why, but making teeny checkerboard patterns out of two of the colours (aka dithering) to make a third colour gives me just about the tamest thrill imaginable.
I'm planning on having day/night cycles in my game. At first, I thought there'd be one "day" version and one "night" version of each background, but I got carried away playing with all the colourful little pixels and here are a bunch of attempts at creating different lighting conditions using EGA.
If this was boring ol' 256 colour VGA or whatever else the kids are using nowadays, all I'd do to make a scene lighter or darker would be to slap a transparent layer of that colour on top and call it a day. YAWN. Or maybe edit the actual light source if this was one of those terrifying 3D games.
I'm much happier picking away with my digital cross-stitching :P.
Here are a bunch of patterns I've made because it's good to try new things and also this makes gift-giving at xmas-time so much easier! I just order a bunch of stuff from Society6 and I'm all done :).
I'm also thinking of trying Print All Over Me. Maybe get a pretty summer dress made! Their terms of service look fair and the range of products they offer is terrific. Dresses, pants, bean bag chairs, rain coats... Exciting!