Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Fairy Raised by Wolves

I have another, even more recent Macleans obit illustration out on newsstands right now, I'll share it in a week or two! I did a job for a new client between these two Macleans jobs, so I'll be posting that first :).

Here's another I did for Macleans. It's an obituary illustration for a wild and wonderful woman named Kimberley Ann Blackwell. A real free spirit and tough lady. Born in North Bay, lived in Whitehorse in a cabin she made with her own hands, drove from White Horse to Costa Rica and lived in a tropical paradise after she got sick of the cold. In Costa Rica she started her own organic chocolate business after serendipitously discovering cacao trees on her property. Her friends called her "a feral fairy -- A fairy raised by wolves."

I say this again and again, but I love doing these illustrations. They're often so rich and bursting with content. I love doing research into places and cultures and I try to bring motifs into the image that pay tribute to the subject.

I've always loved Inuit art, so I was excited to have the opportunity to play with some here. The mask on the left is reminiscent of wolf masks that Inuit artists carve, and the fish on the right was inspired by Inuit serigraphs. The wolf calls back to her being "raised by wolves" and the fish refers to her time spent working in mining and fishing camps.

Blackwell had a bit of a mystical side, and visited Stonehenge when she was on holiday. I managed to work that in, too.

The bottom half of the image deals with her time in Costa Rica. She found cacao plants and heliconias, so I put those in there. The fierce cat and the snake are at a stand-off, which refers obliquely to her tense dealings with poachers who would trespass on her land.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A few of Umami Girl's Favourite Things

I love food. I'm starting to check out food blogs for inspiration and information, and Carolyn Cope's "Umami Girl" blog is a really great one. She's been kind enough to share my very own umami-inspired image with her readers. Check the post out here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Applied Arts Wire >> Portfolio Peek

I've been featured on Applied Arts magazine's Portfolio Peek, check it out!

Applied Arts magazine showcases Canadian advertising, illustration, photography, and graphic design.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Fifth Taste: Umami

Scientists used to only acknowledge four basic tastes: sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. But in 1985, a fifth taste was officially recognized. It was called umami. My illustration depicts thirty-two umami rich foods ranging from seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables. It is the savoury taste of glutamates and nucleotides. Mmmmm.

The illustration has an Asian flavour (pun!) to pay tribute to Professors Kikunae Ikeda, Shintaro Kodama, and Akira Kuninaka, some of the major researchers behind the discovery of this new taste. Being Japanese myself, I grew up with lots of dashi, wakame, kombu, soy sauce, and green tea. This subject is near and dear to my heart!

If you like this image, visit my Society6 store to buy prints, stretched canvases, or other fun stuff!

Come to think of it, this piece is reminiscent of my "sweet" Alice piece.