Monday, November 30, 2009

#023 Low-Tech & Lovin' It

Golly! This thing really works!

I hope that my ad works and that the message is loud and clear. I really want this one to work out because I used archived photos (not stock photos mind you) in this assignment, and even though it wasn't specified not to use them, I am a little skittish about the whole thing. But with 3 days of Thanksgiving travel, I was pressed for time, and this one served the purpose.

You can get cool old pictures just like me. Just go here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

#021 Vintage Paperbacks

Here are a couple of vintage paperbacks from the '70's that adorn my little brown bookshelf. I have read them both and they are funny, scary, and cool all at the same time. I can't get over the cover of the first one - what a work of art with its hot pink type and that cool wood engraving. This is part of the inspiration for the Bane of the Seas that I posted last week. I'm still not sure why the covers are yellow, but they are rated VG: Very Groovy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#020 Hello Analog...

This friendly little droid has mastered the art of fine penmanship. In fact, his little mechanical brain has learned to write just like Jane Austen. He uses his 2B Ticonderoga pencil with great skill and style.

This week in class we have been learning about the 3D capabilities of Adobe Illustrator. The assignment was to come up with a character that uses these techniques. It was hard to get in the swing of it (Illustrator is not close to a full-scale 3D application) but I managed to figure out the basics.

The droid shown here is based on a character from a little comic series (never released to the public) that I did a while back featuring Dot Bots (above) and the Düm Bots (not shown). Perhaps they will make it to the blog someday...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

#019 The Bane of the Seas

Flee from the wicked wrath of the Bane of the Seas: The dreaded purple Squid!!
In vain bearded seamen have tried to drive the harpoon home. This vile creature who lurks the foaming deep in search of treasure-laden vessels will stop at nothing to satisfy his lust for gold and human flesh!

I created the waves using custom brushes in Illustrator. Good friend Squid was also created with the same technique, and all was submitted for last weeks assignment. I can now sleep with the peace of mind that my assignment is completed, and you cannot sleep for fear of groping tentacles in the murky abyss.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

#018 Champignon

A beautiful specimen pushing up through the black dirt and pine needles. And no, it probably is not edible, however lawn gnomes have been known to frequent them. Ink washes & splatters in Illustrator.

One of my experiments for this week's assignment in WNM 105. I may be able to come up with something better, but so far this is the best I've got. I thought it was very pretty.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#017 King Ottokar's Sceptre

This is my beloved copy of King Ottokar's Scepter by Hergé in his Adventures of Tintin series. It is the first Tintin book that I had ever seen. My mom bought it for me when I was about seven or eight, and I loved it. I devoured the story, and of course the pictures. As a kid, I never really read comic books (and still don't as a general rule). But the Tintin albums were different than just comics, they were realistic, and far more adventurous than superhero stories. The vehicles, clothes and places were drawn from real life.
These days my Tintin collection has grown to include about eight or nine different albums, and a pane of commemorative stamps from Belgium. I hope to someday create graphic novels that draw from that same vein of realism and drama. Sequential art is definitely an acquired skill. In its finest form it's more like watching a movie on paper. And Hergé certainly mastered that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#016 Tintin Inked Panels

These are uncolored ink panels from King Ottokar's Sceptre one of the Tintin books by Belgian artist Hergé. I love his artwork, but this is the first time I have seen the bare inkwork. His lines are so precise and fine. What great stories! I found the link to these over at Agent44. Check out the brand-new Inktober book while you're there! I have got to get a copy...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

#015 New Yorker Magazine

One of my dreams as a professional Illustrator/Designer is to do a New Yorker cover. The New Yorker is mostly a literature magazine that (I guess) is supposed to cover life in New York City and feature witty (and sometimes liberal) literature and articles. But they are probably best known for their black & white cartoons nestled between the words of each issue.

The covers stand alone as great works of art. They always use the most powerful illustrations that are just on the border of being cartoony - without becoming cartoons. The covers can be an insane mix of subtle humor, seriousness, joy, grief, pain, and vibrant life in one simple understated image.

This week's cover (which I was alerted to on the great Lines & Colors) is no exception. We see trick or treaters with their masks, while their parents wait for them with ghostly masks of their own on - the glow of their cell phones. It really portrays life as it is - we are attached to our gadgets, and they have become a part of us. In a way it is beautiful though - for that brief moment when we take in the cover we can laugh at ourselves. We see how silly we are, we are all just trying to be something we aren't in digital worlds where we only exist in binary code, wearing our masks. For a brief moment, we want to be free from those cold LCDs. But we go on back to our broadband lives - and we miss the good stuff.

Let's close the gadgets, let's turn off the computer, let's turn off the iPod. Let's get the pencils to the paper, let's talk to real friends. Let's shuffle through the autumn leaves and get lost in the fog of November and the magic of being real.