With times being so hard for illustrators right now, I’m always impressed and encouraged to see fellow commercial artists come with with new ideas to keep themselves busy and keep revenue flowing. Like illustrator friends here in BC, Doug Jones and Fiona Richards, who started a smart little side business called Cartolina, selling stationery featuring “centuries old block prints and antique cartouches, combined with twentieth century lead type, contemporary colours and our own original illustrations.”
And it’s not just paper cards; they also have an accompanying iPhone app which is really quite delightful and brings a whole new spin on doing e-cards:
This app is all about sending brief but beautiful emails and texts using one of our customizable Cartograms. Choose from a selection of beautiful designs, customize your message and pretty up someone’s inbox! Includes an integrated calendar which sends you automatic reminders.
I attempted getting into the stationery business years ago, and it was harsh. It’s hard work to carve out a spot for yourself in an industry dominated by two or three giant aggressive companies, so I’m glad to see Fiona and Doug making a go of it and being successful.
Here’s a lovely little animated promo for Gaz Metro created with stop-motion chalk on a wall. The shoot took place over 4 nights and used over 1600 big pieces of chalk.
Note: I’m skeptical of the environmental claims of any non-renewable resources, so I’m aware there’s an element of greenwashing here. But with Big Oil doing what’s it’s doing, I can see how natural gas seems like a friendlier alternative for some.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot. It helps if you understand French, but it’s still fun to see how it was put together.
Inserting drawings of creatures into real-world photos may not be new (see: Monster’s in Real Places, Aaron Brady’s Magic Camera, and Avid Liongoren’s Project 365) but there’s something about Aaron’s simple geometric spirit creatures inserted into the seemingly mundane landscape of urban Toronto that really resonates with me. He manages to turn an environment that’s familiar to me into something otherworldly.
If you haven’t been reading Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart – go check it out. The weekly webcomic is about a guy investigating the death of his grandfather and gets sucked into a surreal underworld. It’s over 100 strips deep and it just won the Eisner Award for Best digital comic. I ate the whole thing in one sitting and loved it.
ICameron says the comic is “a series of personal exercises for me, one of which is to allow myself to be comfortable with less-than-perfect artwork, as long as the storytelling is clear.”
Its been five years since Arthur de Pins last appeared on Drawn! (courtesy of D! head honcho, Johnny Martz). I only heard about him for the first time today.
Boy, does this guy ever make great pictures!
With Drawn! on summer vacation, I thought a look at a couple of de Pins beach scenes would be most appropriate for this post.
* Tip o’ the hat to Jamar Nicholas for the heads-up.
Michel Gagné (previously) has posted his animated masterpiece Sensology to youtube. I won’t embed it here, because it must be viewed in HD. Here’s a link to his site, with some insight into the work he put into this marvel:
Sensology was handdrawn (painted) with a Wacon tablet at first, and later, a Cintiq, using Photoshop. The drawings and frames where then composited and manipulated in a 2D software called Animo. There is no vector animation at any point in the film.
I’ve watched it several times now, and see something new with each viewing.
Via Cartoon Brew.
As part of the release of Mac Barnett and Dan Santat‘s OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World), Dan has gathered over 30 artists (including Calef Brown, Mo Willems, Jon Klassen, Tom Warburton, Kelly Murphy, and myself, plus many more) to create some artwork to be auctioned off to support 826LA. Here’s Dan’s words on this event:
As a parent I can relate to the frustrations many parents must have in finding any decent place to help educate their kids. Here in California we suffer from state budget cuts and schools continue to suffer from even more budget cuts when they already have nothing left to lose. So I gathered up some friends. A little over 30 children’s book artists (any more and my head would have exploded), and they did their own interpretations of Mac’s book “OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World)”and starting August 23rd people can begin buying pieces off of eBay. (There will be two auctions, one starting August 23rd, and another starting on August 30th.) There will also be a gallery show where all the pieces will be on display at the Nucleus Gallery starting August 14th. I will also be selling very limited edition prints from the book to go towards the charity as well as copies of the book itself.
Here’s the official site for the show: Eyewitness Reports.
Here’s Dan’s post on the show and auction: Eyewitness Reports: A Charity Art Auction in Support of 826LA.
Gallery Nucleus’s page on the show: Eyewitness Reports.
Oh, and here’s a video to promote the show as well (made by Dan himself):
I was in Portland, Oregon for a conference on Visual Communication in June. (Yeah, it’s almost August; yes, I’m that far behind). I just have to post about the whole darn city, it’s so great. Normally in any given town I only find about three shops that truly appeal to me… in Portland, there are whole neighbourhoods filled with them! Indie bookshops, Powell’s Books (the mother of all second hand book shops), vinyl record stores, vintage clothing, antique stores specializing in the weird, artist-run galleries, more artist run galleries, craft and art museums, restaurant patios, and multiple brew pubs. And it’s pretty affordable to be a tourist in, with good public transit, almost as many bicycles as Amsterdam, and cheap eats.
Normally we post on specific artists here on Drawn, but I’m going to praise the whole city, because a supportive city helps the arts flourish – and Portland seems to have done a great job of it. The civic planners and the artists deserve credit. I didn’t get to all the arts districts, but the Alberta Arts District really works well. There, you can find places like Together Gallery, and Monograph Bookwerks, which specializes in fine art books. The photo above MIGHT be from Together’s back area… it had a great selection of zines and other DIY… I didn’t do the greatest job of keeping track what I photographed. Maybe someone can confirm??? I also loved Ampersand Gallery, which has vintage ephemera, art books, and a lot of things related to photography.
If I were American, this is where I would go live and draw….
OK, I’m back home now from 12 days of ICON followed by San Diego Comic-Con. At both events there was a lot of talk about how 2-D illustration is (once again) “dead”. Previously killed by photography, illustration is now suffering death-by-animation. Or rebirth, as many point out. Naturally, the debate was instigated by Adobe, purveyor of motion-graphics software, and publishers such as WIRED and the NY Times, who are increasingly moving to online and iPad delivery. Graphic media writer Michael Dooley in Print Magazine’s online presence has assembled comments from ICON attendees about it. By the way, the RSS feed on Imprint’s column for illustration is worth subscribing to.
Of course, just as the illustration community is discussing the impending motion-graphics turn as the event of the immediate future, those who have been immersed in it are already sticking it in the museum. You animators might like to submit your work to this exhibition being curated by the Guggenheim:
Developed by YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in collaboration with HP, YouTube Play hopes to attract innovative, original, and surprising videos from around the world, regardless of genre, technique, background, or budget. …Now through July 31, 2010, participants are invited to submit new or existing videos created within the last two years at youtube.com/play. Submissions may include any form of creative video, including animation, motion graphics, narrative, non-narrative, or documentary work, music videos, and entirely new art forms.
Meanwhile, more illustrators are transitioning into gallery venues with their still images. The photo here is of the exhibition opening at Nucleus Gallery, showing works by attendees at ICON. Is this where illustration art will increasingly go if motion graphics is the medium of the future?
I’m at ICON in LA, and if you’re in the area you really ought to try and get in to one of the events.
At the book table, I was really excited to find this textbook for drawing by Michael Fleishman. As someone who has taught drawing in the past and may do so again in the future, I have to say there are very few textbooks I would recommend. Instructional books have never been terribly exciting – you best learn to draw by drawing, in my opinion, and the old classics like The Natural Way to Draw and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain are still good. But kinda boring.
Fleishman’s book is for illustrators, for a start. Secondly, it isn’t one person’s magic-bullet how-to book. It’s more a compendium of advice from dozens of contemporary illustrators, using their words. Third, there are billions of images in all styles – from the high realism of the cover image (by David Bowers) to the best crudest sketch to the most wacked out stuff. Fourth, although it features work and words from some of the current hottest illustrators, it isn’t limited to them. There’s input here from every kind of illustrator, many of them instructors. While the general flavor is “American” looking, it includes artists from all over the world. Finally, this is the ultimate how-to book for people who hate reading, typeset with lots of headings with text broken up in swallowable amounts, that you can open it at random, scan, and get something out of.
Although it offers the most to those who know the least, I also found it interesting to read what people I know are saying about their own work. Perhaps the most fabulous aspect of the book is that it imparts not just great tips and approaches to drawing, but it communicates a way of life. It has things to say about Fulfillment. For people like us who live and breathe the making of images, and want to learn more or initiate someone else into this life, this is the illustrator’s guide to the galaxy.
There was a request for me to post some shots of the page layouts, so with Michael Fleishman’s input I selected the following:
As you can see, there’s a great balance of images and text, and a variety of images. I especially like the headphone girls there by Yuko Shimizu. And each chapter ends with a summary and ideas for exercises.