Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My latest illustration is on newsstands tomorrow!

I just finished work on the cover for the National Post newspaper's Arts & Life section for their month of March feature! I love doing "The Month Ahead" because they print it at a HUMONGOUS size -- around 6x20"! I mentioned that before in a previous post (I did the same job for their June feature last year -- check it out here) because it's so rare that I get to see my work printed that large and it's a total rush!

Last June I submitted four sketches for the job and I ended up liking one of the other sketches so much I ended up finishing it as a personal piece

This year I also submitted four sketches. One of them won out and you can see the finished product on newsstands March 1!

Which sketch do you think was used?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Daleks love cats on t-shirts

My friends are big Dr. Who fans and cat-lovers, so when this meme came around I couldn't resist creating a series of t-shirts for them as xmas presents! I believe the original drawing is by Lilian Tula, a web designer and creative person (and lover of Dr. Who and cats, evidently!)

I printed with different coloured inks because the tshirts were different colours. I'm particularly pleased with how bright the fluorescent pink turned out because it's a transparent ink, not opaque like the gold. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bob Seger Rocks On!

Bob Seger! I did this illustration for the Weekly Alibi to accompany their article on Bob Seger's awesomeness. One of the reasons I love editorial illustration so much is that I get to read articles and learn about stuff. I knew nothing about Bob Seger and his American heartland rocking-ness, his love of Truffaut, and his penchant for jetsetting to and from his concerts. 

Thanks to my "A Circus Mind" collaboration that features even more classic rocking, I find myself drawing a lot of guitars. I'm sure they are horribly inaccurate and occasionally aren't even real guitars, but they have such great shapes and styles that they are mighty hard to resist. 

And here's the sketch! I simplified the final and made ol' Bob more prominent. \m/ (rock n' roll devil hands!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Here's the Neon Genesis Evangelion-themed card I made. It features Dido (the Minamata family cat, as Captain Misato Katsuragi) and Sachiel (the third "angel" in the anime series) making nice, with Tokyo-3 in the background and a heart-shaped AT field in the sky. The words are kinda a rough approximation of "Happy Valentine Day!". 

My boyfriend and I are big fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion -- he's got the entire tv series on dvd in the special metal case with the printed graphics. Excitingly, series creator Hideaki Anno is in the midst of revamping the series and reformatting it into a series of four movies, two of which have already been released and a third is being released this year. We've seen the first two parts so far and although I'll have to see all four to make any decent comparisons, I have to say Evangelion has never looked better. 

Yes, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a giant robot show, but its forays into mysticism and psychology and plain ol' weirdness set it apart in my mind. The angels (crazy alien-looking creatures that are bent on destroying humanity) are all incredibly imaginative and the art is second to none. Give it a shot, it's an anime classic!

I received four LEGO minifigures for Valentine's this year. I'm pretty psyched! I've gotten back into LEGO recently, after I reorganized my collection back home in Toronto. I got Hillside House for my birthday, a terrific 3-1 set; it comes with three sets of instructions so you can build three different house types!

The minifigs come in little plastic tear packages (not blind boxes!) so if you are very dedicated and not self-conscious you can stand at a display and try to feel for distinctive shapes inside the packages in hopes of getting a particular figure. I managed to pick out the artist minifig in series four -- my boyfriend went out on his own and felt up tons of series four packages and was able to get me the geisha minifig I wanted! How sweet is that?

And here's the Valentine's card I made last year, with our trusty Dido as Servbot from Marvel vs. Capcom 3. M.O.D.O.K. (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing) was a new and particularly distinctive addition to the roster!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama: Chipping away at student loans

The Weekly Alibi published a story about President Obama's proposed reforms to student loans -- Here's the illustration I created for them! I went with a Sisyphean-type image, because I know that that can be what debt feels like. Here's hoping the reforms benefit tons of folks!

Two years ago I did an Alibi cover with a bunch of personalities, Obama being one of them. At that time I didn't draw him with the greying temples that he's been sporting lately. Being president has got to be a pretty stressful gig, particularly nowadays!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Glass vessels

I've always had a fascination with glass containers of all shapes, sizes, colours, and purposes. Chinese restaurants would have those paper placemats that show all the different kinds of cocktails in their specialized fancy glasses -- I loved those as a kid, I'd even bring them home (the placemats, not the glasses :P)! I especially love perfume bottles and I was so pleased to be able to do a couple illustrations for Best Health magazine last winter that showed new fall fragrances.

And that brings me to these bizarrely shaped alchemical apparatuses (apparati?) Such exotic names, shapes, and mysterious purposes. I eventually want to do an illustration based around them, but for now here are the sketches!


Of course, I couldn't leave out this sketch of cocktail glasses, based on those awesome paper placemats. Here in Calgary we've got three different kinds of glasses: Ikea coloured plastic tumblers, Ikea glass drinking glasses, and Ikea mugs. Wouldn't it be nice to have a pousse-café glass filled with liquids of different densities, producing a beguiling rainbow effect? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pete Townshend for "A Circus Mind"

Here's my sixth illustration for Ryan W. Cox's "A Circus Mind" book. Check out the other ones here! All the images in the book will adhere to one colour palette, you can see what some of those colours are if you check out the images I've done so far. Prints of this image and more available on my Society6 shop page!

This illustration is for a poem called "Pete Townshend" and is set in swingin' 60s mod London, more specifically Brighton Beach. The background wood texture is meant to resemble the famous boardwalk there. And who can think of The Who without their rock opera "Tommy"? So I incorporated some pinball motifs as well. For some reason I purposely put the red pinball bumpers in front of the wiry bit that snakes around on the left side. I realize it doesn't make sense but for some reason I like it that way! In fact, this entire image doesn't make much sense -- I think illustrating these poems is really freeing me up from being so literal with my illustrations. Feels good!

Townshend is credited as one of the first musicians to really incorporate distortion into music, which is why the Union Jack is cracking while his guitar spits sparks. And lastly, he's best known for this signature windmill move so of course I had to include that!


The initial sketch is pretty sketchy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recent additions to my collection

New make-up sketch! My most recent purchase was Urban Decay's Mini 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil Set -- Darks from Sephora, using a gift card I got for Christmas. 

I have the oily Asian mono-lid thing so despite my best efforts most eyeliners crease and migrate in short order. These mini pencils are exceptionally creamy and once they set actually stay on for a decent amount of time! They're a great base for eyeshadows, too. There is a second set of Brights, but "Corrupt" is in both sets. Why, Urban Decay? Whyyy? I don't think I'll pick up that other set anyway because I'm not a fan of blue eye make-up. These mini pencil sets are terrific because you get to try a bunch of different colours for a great price (basically the price of one full-size pencil!).  

My sister got me LUSH's Chilli Tingle Lip Tint for Christmas. It's a fabulous strong orange colour. It's translucent but the colour is surprisingly pigmented and shows up even on lips that have a colour of their own. Terrific product and a wholesome ingredient list. MakeupAlley, my favourite user-generated review site, loved it too! Sadly it was limited edition over the holidays and no longer available. 

A little while back I picked up Sephora's own Lip & Cheek Stain. Another well-received product at MakeupAlley (I never buy cosmetics unless I've done my research there first!). I recently started getting into lip stains because I wanted colour that wouldn't come off while I was out drinking bubble tea with my friends :P. This lip stain is a jelly that you can layer on to achieve your desired saturation. It can go on unevenly, but I think its texture and translucency helps it look a lot more natural than some of the super-strong lip stains out there (like the Joe Fresh ones I picked up, which I love for being so crazy-pigmented!). 

I got my first Joe Fresh Lip Stain (in Watermelon) last autumn. It was $6 at a Loblaws SuperStore. Like I said, this stuff is darn powerful. MakeupAlley likes it too, although because Joe Fresh is a Canadian brand that is just starting to make its way into the US there aren't as many reviews of their products. This is a  lip stain like my old Tokidoki ones and Josie Maran's. The price of these thing simply can't be beat. Mine hasn't dried out yet, which I hear is a common complaint about this marker-style delivery system. Last week I picked up Red, Peach, and Tangerine and they are all great colours. Peach is particularly nice if you don't want a super-strong lip stain colour; it's much more natural than the others I have.

Lastly, we have...
Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo is Sephora's latest birthday bonus for their Beauty Insiders. It is my favourite bonus so far. Fresh is a pricey brand, which makes it extra nice to get this little set for free! It looks a heck of a lot like this set, which they are selling for $22.50 USD on their site. Both sets are trial sizes, even. This set is great because you get two lovely smelling lip balms (one lemony and one rose) with SPF 15, one colourless and one with a slight pink tint. The lip balm tubes screw closed and just feel high quality. Be sure to pick this bonus up during your birth month, Beauty Insiders!