Friday, December 13, 2013

Client Project: Holiday Card

I just finished folding, labeling, custom stamping, stuffing and sealing over 300 holiday cards for a client. It's a folding card printed on beautiful, shimmery pearlized heavy weight paper, making the photos really pop.

The last step was to take the cards to the Post Office and hand-cancel every one of them so they won't get defaced by the machine that cancels the stamps. Additionally, I was able to request that the cards don't get sorted by machine to further guard them from getting mangled before reaching the addressee.

There are a lot of steps involved in creating custom cards but when everything comes together it's very gratifying!

Photos by Steve Robb

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hulk Smash (1 Liner)

I thought I'd finish up a Hulk illustration I had started a short time ago just to keep going with the superhero kick I seem to be on. My previous post, How Superheroes Use Social Media, seemed to have gotten a lot of shares online (thanks so much!), so why not keep going a little?


This one's a mixture of a single continuous line drawing (Start at the ear and end at his hair) and a lot of angry texture. And some hand lettering.

I'll have it up in my Etsy shop soon as an option for a print.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Superheroes Use Social Media

How Superheroes Use Social Media is a series of illustrations I created as a personal project of mine. It all began with a Batman sketch in my sketchbook and then it started to take on a life of its own.

Some of these are available as prints on Etsy. I hope you enjoy them (and feel free to share)!

Here's the first one I did in the series:

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The Abomination waits while Hulk finishes an Amazon review of his new stretch pants:

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Maybe it's time to bring back the signal watch:

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Batman on Facebook:

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No love (or likes) for Spidey:


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The Punisher uses foursquare:

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You're invited to Robin's birthday party:

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And the inevitable (and usually inappropriate) selfie on Instagram by the Wonder Twins.

As I mentioned, a few of the above illustrations are available as giclée prints at my Etsy store.
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If you liked the above, I found some related items online that you might want to check out:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Illustrator Gathering- October 2013

Ed Shems, Gary LaCoste, Lauren Scheuer, Lisa Graves and Jannie Ho
The Creative Relay website has an article about a recent gathering of illustrators which I was a part of recently. I hung out with some fantastic illustrators: Gary LaCoste, Lauren Scheuer, Lisa Graves and Jannie Ho and we discussed everything from what we're working on in our studios to what types of drawing tools we use.

Check out the article HERE.

And here's the awesome illustration Gary did depicting our gathering:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gleek!

Here's Gleek to follow up from my last post with the Wonder Twins.

Did he have any actual powers?

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Wonder Twins

You know the drill. "Form of (some sort of animal). Form of (Something useless made out of water)."

The above is an off-shoot of a big personal project I've been working on recently which I'll be rolling out soon. If you like super heroes juxtaposed with modern technology, keep an eye here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

School Hallway

One of the automatic frog illustrations I created a couple of weeks ago went from character illustration to a full scene from the story using textures and overlays.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Automatic Frog

Character illustrations for a chapter book I'm starting on where one of the main characters is an automatic frog who loves v-neck sweaters. The illustrations in the book will likely be in black & white but I couldn't resist doing some promo images.

I've been working on bringing textures into my illustrations and this time I'm keeping them solely to the background.

I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pink Monster


Another monster character illustration. Go ahead- I know you want to give him a hug...
I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Survival Guide eBook Design

Today I'm finishing the design of an ebook for Lindsey at HomemadeMommy.net. It's a great site about eating and cooking real food with loads of recipes that make me want to stop working and eat. I had the chance to try the homemade chocolate that my mother-in-law made from the recipe and it was killer. It really didn't last very long.

The book is called The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms and it covers the basics of how to get started with real food for newbies with quite a lot of recipes.

I started by designing the "Survival Guide" logo for the cover. When you image search "Survival Guides" you end up with (mostly) stark and/or bland images. Typically, book covers end up with distressed or army lettering and either clip art or something symbolic to the topic. Since this book is aimed at moms, I wanted to offer something design-y, graphic and appealing to the sophisticated eye of the intended audience without resorting to pinks and pastels.

Well, the color part was dictated more by the colors of Lindsey's blog and the header there (which I also designed):

My first pass at a cover logo (before we made color decisions and before a slight name change) was not quite what Lindsey wanted and frankly was a little off concept-wise. But I'm proud of the execution. Here's the first version which was never quite finished:


So I went to the drawing board and quickly made the following sketch for myself:

Which led me to:



And Lindsey loved it!

Then came the design and pagination of the ebook which is 75 pages. 

The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms comes out in a few weeks, at which point I'll post some images from inside to show how the front cover design was reflected within.

If you want to order this ebook, go to HomemadeMommy.net.

I need to go find some chocolate now.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Anthropomorphised Characters


What I love about advertising is that it often features anthropomorphised products that appear to be absolutely thrilled despite knowing that they will soon be used up and thrown away, or dropped, poked and prodded for their (usually short) lives.
...but it gives illustrators like me something cute and fun to draw!
I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bug Juice

It's summer, the kids are in camp and bug juice is in abundance. But who really drinks the stuff?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Water Bottle Guy

I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monster Face

I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My New Book: Hamstigator

Update: The book is out! Check out Hamstigator!

The new Petimals book will be coming out in a few weeks and I thought I would show a few images I created for the book. This one is about a pet who is one part Hamster and one part hungry Alligator. Naturally, mayhem ensues when Hamstigator finds out that there are pet turtles in the house.

I worked with author Michael Andrew Fox on book 2 in the Petimals series and already Hamstigator (and the first book, Dogopotamus, which I also illustrated) have received some media attention. Check out Mike’s interview and the story of how the concept was born from a conversation with his son.

More illustrations to come!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Garage Sale Signs

Instead of, I mean, ALONG WITH helping my wife clean out the house, I worked on creating signage for our upcoming Garage Sale.

Because we're currently having a tropical storm (Andrea) and our sale date may be quite wet, I created a 1-color version to half-heartedly try to tape up on poles in the neighborhood and another few to show online.

Click to enlarge.
These designs gave me a chance to poke a little fun at my wife while enjoying a little bit of self-therapy. After all, I'll really miss my beloved Foosball table.

 Why should yard sale/garage sale signs be boring anyway?
Many thanks go out to the wonderful online creative community for offering backgrounds and textures for other creatives to play around with. Lost&Taken. Fudgegraphics. ThinkDesignBlog. Creative Market. Just to name a few.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Writing

A recent editorial illustration about the hardships of writing. 

Below is an alternate version for a more vertical space.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tintin Boat Chase Book Cover/Poster

A client asked me to do a new commission for him to give to his wife for her birthday. Last year I created a Tintin cover for him to give her for Christmas (she was his fiancée then) which took place on Safari in Africa.

This year it was a boat chase off the coast of Italy. They provided me with a few photos from their recent trip and I took it from there. Here's the final art:
It was interesting to me to try to emulate someone as talented as Hergé (Tintin's creator). His draftsmanship is incredible and the amount of detail in every panel is astonishing. What I found surprising was the lack of color shadows. Buildings, for example, seem to be the same color from all sides and yet, through skillful drawing, Hergé was able to make them seem dimensional. Certainly a challenge for an illustrator who adores shades and shadows!

The final art was printed poster-sized and framed for the wall of their home. I also gave him a small image saved for the web so he could share the art with his friends on Facebook.

I tracked my progression from sketch to final and uploaded the work in progress to Behance. Have a look and leave a comment please.

A few images from along the way to pique your interest:


And here's the poster I created for this client last year.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Creative Quarterback

I created this editorial illustration to go with an article by Innovation Consultant, Bruce Miller. The article talks about the benefits of bringing in a creative person- either freelance or on-staff- to help companies with their internal innovation projects. The article can be found on the Creative Relay website.

To see the steps I took to create this illustration (such as the one below), please see my post on Behance.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spanish Text Book Illustrations

or How I Spent my December and January

I recently illustrated the revised edition of a college level Spanish language textbook for Yale University Press. The number of illustrations was approximately 147, ranging from 1/4 pagers to full scenes and even a campus view, and the deadline was EXTREMELY short! While it was taxing rendering such a large number of images in so short a time (can you say tennis elbow?), I'm very proud of every one of them.

Here are a few of my faves from the book:
The authors of the book were hoping that I could update the look of the book and bring consistency as the previous edition had a few different artists, one of whom they were extremely unhappy with. Some comments I received:

"I write to thank you and tell you how pleased I am with the work that you have done on our book. The final colorized art is really great....the content is complete and supports our exercises and other pedagogical needs, and in addition is so very appealing.  Excellent job!!!"

"It has been a real pleasure working with you." 

It's always so nice to know that my efforts are appreciated!

More illustrations to come...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Howdy Crocodile

Here's a personal project I completed today. My goal with this illustration was to create an interesting portrait of an interesting character.
I’ve been doing a lot of character development lately and from time to time I show off new characters on my blog. Sometimes they’re black and white and sketchy and other times full color and finished. If you want to see more from this series, just click this “characters” tag. You can also see a collection of characters in my Behance portfolio or on my website.