It was great to get this New York Times assignment from my favorite art director, Matt Dorfman, the minute the plane touched down in Dallas. At that point I wished I would have finished my presentation for the National Student Show, which is why I was back in Texas. I didn't get much sleep or see much of my parents while I was home but I don't think anything would ever stop me from getting to do a piece for The Times. Matt pulls the best out of illustrators, forcing them to think in different ways. We've joked that these assignments are both pure torchure and total bliss all at the same time. There's almost no time to do it, but it has to be the best thing ever knowing that millions of people (and lots of designers) will see it.
Matt and I worked hard over the weekend, between portfolio reviews, key note speakers, and my own presentation at the conference, even sneaking up to the great Jeff Barfoot's hotel room to get another hour and a half of sketching in on Saturday. We discovered the right solution at the 11th hour. FHEW! I love/hate doing these Times assignments! Keep 'em coming!
I was invited by my friend, Justin Pocta to participate in the goings on over at The Society of Killustrators. I thought the format was fun and I needed something to pull me away from client work and give me some creative freedom, so I spent a day creating this mock book cover for a story called The Salmon of Wisdom. Apparently, this fish is part of Irish mythology and the story goes something like this. There was this old salmon that lived in a pond surrounded by hazelnut trees. He ate a bunch of hazelnuts and BOOM, he had all the knowledge of the world... until some guy caught him and ate him and then the knowledge transferred to the seafood lover. Yadda yadda. You've heard it a hundred times I'm sure. Tale as old as time. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it if you want to dig deeper.
I wanted to draw some type that looked somewhat ancient but also fun. I was thinking about it as if it were a children's book cover so I wanted bright colors and simple imagery, and for it to look a little bit worn and beat up since it's such an old tale.
Lately I have been inking letters when I draw type instead of the usual Live Paint in Illustrator. It's more time consuming but I have way more control of the texture this way. Anyway, this was a fun little break from the other projects I've been juggling. I think it's important to do these kinds of exercises once in a while to stay fresh and experiment with new techniques. NOW BACK TO WORK!
I was honored to be asked by Conor O'Driscoll a while ago if I would do an interview for his website, 1 Minute With, which has an impressive collection of interviews from some amazing artists and designers. I think it took a little more than a minute but, whose keeping track. Thanks again to Conor, who hails from Cork, Ireland. HEY! Happy St. Paddy's!!
I had the pleasure of attending Jean François Porchez's talk last night at the Type Director's Club. Designers who have the gumption and courage to create these beautiful fonts are amazing to me and have my full respect. I honestly don't know how they do it. It was great hearing about the different projects and approaches like figuring out the exact proportions of drop shades for the custom monograms on Louis Vuitton bags. ADVANCED! Check out typofonderie.com for some beautiful fonts like Parisine Plus (shown above).
I recently completed a branding project for my new friends at New York Vocal Coaching. There are 2 parts of the business, the vocal side which is mainly for singers and the speech side which is for business people looking to improve their public speaking skills, get rid of accents, etc. They needed two separate logos because the two parts of the business have two very different groups of clientele but the two marks needed to be very similar. I think the result was pretty succeful. It was great working with these guys and hopefully we can do some more work down the road.
Over the past few months I've been doing a lot more branding/logo work than I ever have which is odd since I don't necessary consider logos as one of my specialties per se (note the lack of logos on my website), but I'm up for the challenge of course. It's tough when there are so many great logos out there and I sometimes feel I'll never measure up (you know... typical designer thinking). But it helps to think about how many HORRIBLE logos are out there. Maybe if I can just make a decent logo, that at least will rid the world of one more bad one. I have so much respect for people who make great marks, like RBMM in Dallas to name one. Amazing.